Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Free Character Analysis Graphic Organizers

Extra graphic organizers are always helpful.  They are even better when they are free.

I recently created two character analysis graphic organizers to use with my students.

I would like to share these two graphic organizers for you to enjoy.

free graphic organizers character analysis graphic organizer
Access the Printer-Friendly Version Here

Access the Printer-Friendly Version Here

Friday, August 31, 2018

Decimal Math Station Review Cards (Great for RTI and Test Prep)

Just print and use!  This bundle covers many decimal topics so that each student can review what he or she needs to cover at an individual level.

Rounding decimals, adding decimals, decimal word problems, multiplying decimals, decimal expanded notation, and more topics are covered.

This is a great tool for individualized instruction, guided math, or test prep.  These work well as decimal math station games.  Use these as a fourth grade decimal math station or as  fifth grade decimals math station activities.

After the Decimal Worksheet
After students complete a decimal worksheet, they often need additional practice.  How can you review skills based on individual student needs when there are so many decimal topics?

These print and use decimal review cards can help!  Each decimal topic comes with a printable box.  Print as many copies as you need of each decimal topic so that students can work individually or in small groups.  Send home a box with a student that needs extra practice.  Since these are printable, computer issues are not a concern.  Every student can have access to what they need for individualized practice at the same time. 

They work well as math station games since answer keys and tutorials are on each card.

Many Topics
There are so many decimal topics.  Those that are at the beginning stage of learning about decimals can use the comparing and identifying decimals cards.  Adding decimal game cards are included.  They contain illustrated directions and practice questions directly on the cards.  Students are can review them alone.  Click the image at the top of the screen to see what

There are also decimal word problem game cards.  Words problems are posed in a variety of ways to cover Blooms Taxonomy and help students go beyond just the surface level.

Multiplying decimals game cards and dividing decimals game cards are included.

Each topic contains a few tutorial cards.  These unique cars help student work independently.

Monday, August 27, 2018

A Paper Circuit? Yes! (A Cool and Inexpensive STEM Science Project)

Amaze your students with this fun and affordable science project

What would your students say if they could make a science project that could fit right inside of their notebooks?  They would be very amazed.

Affordable Science Project
This fun science project can be made for just a few dollars from objects that you can find in your local hardware store or online.

This blog post will provide step-by-step instructions about how to make this cool science project for kids.

STEM is designed to foster a love as well as knowledge about mathematics and science. This project brings circuits directly to students' notebooks.

Useful Tools
One of my newest loves and discoveries is aluminum tape.  Where has this been all of my life?  I purchased it for a little under $8 from my local hardware store.  It is found in the plumbing and/or tubing section of the store.  One roll of aluminum tape is enough to last for an entire school year.  I also purchased the round batteries I used for the project at the hardware store.

The LED lights can be purchased at an electronics store.

Background About This Project

What Is A Circuit?
A circuit is a path along which an electrical current can be carried. The energy comes from a source.  In this instance, it comes from a battery. Electrons are carried along the path.  These electrons cause the tiny bulb at the end of the path to illuminate.

Circuits in Daily Life
Circuits power our lights, they enable a car motor to work. They enable a computer (or anything else for that matter) that is plugged into a wall outlet to work.

I love this project because it gets to the heart of STEM.  Students are able to actively engage in STEM with a physical science activity that relates to their daily lives.  It requires just a few parts, and it is not intimidating.

How to Create the Notebook Circuit

STEM physical science projects
STEM in the classroom
STEP 1:  To create a paper circuit, have students draw a pattern on paper.  On one side I drew the picture of a battery.  On the other side, I drew a picture of an LED light.
fun STEM science project circuits
STEM in the classroom
STEP 2:  Cut a 24 inch piece of tape from the roll.  Next, you will make the piece thinner by cutting the aluminum tape into thirds. I used only a third of the width of tape.  If you are unable to find aluminum tape, aluminum foil from the grocery store will work just fine.  Make sure to make the strip thin.  (A larger width decreases the flow of energy in the circuit.)  

STEP 3:  Place the aluminum on top of your circuit lines in the notebook. Tape or glue will help it stay secure.

Special Notes During This Step:
1.Do not let both sides of the aluminum strips connect.  This can cause a short in the battery.  The edges on my example come close, but they do not touch.

2.When you are attaching the aluminum foil to the paper, do not cut it.  Instead, fold the corner and continue to apply the aluminum strip.  Cutting the strips reduces the flow of energy.

STEP 4 Continued...
Stack the batteries.  Place the batteries over the battery drawing, and place the LED light over the LED drawing. 

STEP 5:  You are all finished!  I had fold extra pieces of aluminum tape to connect each side of the battery to the circuit.  The sticky tape interfered with the conduction.  (I made sure that when I attached this extra aluminum, both sides of the circuit DID NOT connect as I was attaching the aluminum to the top of the batteries.  

You might have to press the batteries down to hold it in place. 
Affordable science projects
STEM in the classroom

Remove the batteries and LED light when you are finished so that they can be used in another project.

I love this because students learn about circuits and conductivity from doing and not just reading about it in a book.  

Follow my blog for additional STEM in the classroom activities.


Access Fun Science Interactive Notebooks Too!

Click The Image

Friday, August 24, 2018

Creative Ways to Teach Integers

Negative and positive integers can be fun
Visual notetaking is just one way to make integers fun.

Who says that teaching integers has to be well let's say, dull?  The next time you teach students how to add, subtract, multiply, or divide integers, try these ideas.  Enliven the topic with negative and positive integers with these fun tips.

negative and positive numbers ideas before you teach adding, subtracting, and multiplying

Add Some Artwork
Colored pencils and crayons hold power.  As students take notes, ask them to draw and color examples of integers in real life.  This helps them organize their ideas and apply information.

Use Less Common Examples
No one walks around and discusses integers in daily conversation.  Still, the topic of integers affects our daily lives.  I was recently on an elevator in Europe.  I was surprised to see that negative numbers were used to describe floors that were below ground level.  
integers and negative and positive numbers for adding and subtracting

Going to the basement level of a building or suddenly discovering that it in below zero outside are everyday instances when we all think about negative and positive numbers.

Do you have more examples of integers in our daily lives?  Share your ideas in the comment section.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Division Teaching: Strategies to Build A Deeper Understanding

Knowing what a math problem means is as important as knowing the steps to solve a math problem.  The next time students complete a fraction worksheet or do dividing fractions practice, provide these visual dividing fractions examples.

How Does This Help? This blog post shows the progression of how fractional parts change when numbers are divided.  By observing step-by-step visuals, students will gain greater insight into what it really means to divide with fractions.

anchor chart that shows how to divide fractions

Applying What Has Been Learned
One reason why dividing fractions word problems are often challenging is because students cannot often visualize what is being asked.  Visual, step-by-step charts connect the parts of a word problem to their visual representation.  This makes it easier for them to determine when they are being asked to reduce fractions, multiply fractions, or even multiply fractions with whole numbers.
Using models to show dividing fractions

For Task Cards That Teach And Review How To Divide Fractions Click Here

To Access Math Task Cards That Teach And Review A Variety Of Math Concepts Click Here

Being able to visualize math concepts helps students understand word problems, and it also helps students have the needed skills in order to solve math problems that are worded in different ways.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Interactive Notebooks (A Fun Way To Take Notes)

westward expansion and pioneers interactive notebook

I first fell in love with interactive notebooks a few years ago when I stumbled across a website.  My first thought was, "My students would love that!"

Interactive notebooks are the superstars of notetaking.  They are hands-on, enable students to draw or create small models of what they are learning, and they make school topics come alive.
pioneer interactive notebook
What Are Interactive Notebooks?
Interactive notebooks are notebooks that contain colored notes, printable notebook inserts, or 3D images that fit right into notebooks.  In this interactive notebook, students do several interactive activities that teach them about pioneer settlers and daily pioneer life.

pioneer life interactive journal
Often, the teacher reads information about a topic that is presented in the notebook.  Then, the students are given time to assemble parts using a set of instructions that are often included by the teacher or a notebooking kit.

Earth Science interactive notebook
They can be used in any subject.  Students enjoy the hands-on nature of the their newly created journals.

Click An Image Below
To Access An Interactive Notebook
Westward expansion interactive notebook 
Earth science interactive notebook

Monday, August 20, 2018

(Free) Humorous Reasons to Learn Inferences

free inference task cards
Review inferences with these free task cards.

Okay, I have a silly sense of humor.  I admit it.  But school should be fun, right?

free task cards help students learn the real reasons why they should learn about inferences.  These humorous task cards are a fun way to get even the most reluctant of learners to review inferences. 

What Makes These Free Task Cards Different?
Each inference task card contains an inference passage, question, a funny joke and a colorful image to match each joke.  The cards make it fun to review inferencing.
As with most of my task cards, a printable box is also included.  Enjoy this classroom freebie!

They Are Easy To Use
Did I mention a printable box is also included?  Printable boxes are included with most of my task cards in my store to make storage, organization, and individualized learning much easier.  You don’t have to worry about technology issues with these task cards!  Plus, you don’t have to worry about having enough iPads or computers for every student.  Just print out what you need.  Laminate the free task cards to keep them for years.
free inference games
Inference task card

Use Them With Inferencing Worksheets

Review is important.  Task cards and literacy center games help reinforce reading skills.  They are great because students can work individually or in small groups on reading comprehension skills where additional practice is needed.  Use them as a free inference game for small groups.  This reinforces skills that students will learn on worksheets.
free inference task cards

Balanced Reading Comprehension Practice
Students need balanced practice.  They should have opportunities to write their answers at times.  The task cards have written response questions, a student recording form, and a detailed answer key that students can use to check their own answers.

Are There More Task Cards?
Yes, there are!  Follow the link to access leveled task cards.  The task card sets are organized by guided reading, lexile, and/or grade level equivalents.  This enables students to work on the same skills simultaneously at their own reading levels.

This makes them great for individualized learning plans (i.e.p.’s) and for differentiating instruction.

Yes, more silly task cards are on their way.  But hey, learning should be fun.
main idea grade 2 
inference grade 4

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Access Even More Skills & Levels