Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Earth Day Resource Roundup

First up, I have my Earth Day minilessons pack featuring three Earth day text-based minilessons. These lessons are so easy to use. The lesson plans are already done. All you have to do is print and teach.

Click on the picture to view on TPT.

I'm loving this new resource from Denise at Sunny Days in Second Grade. This is just genius! She has a freebie from the pack for Earth day. Check it out to get a taste of her pack.

Click on the image to view on TPT.

How about some math? This is a really fun word problem freebie from Kelley at Teacher Idea Factory.


Click on the image to view.
And here's another Earth day freebie from Kelley. So fun!

Click on the picture to view.

I love reading the blogs from Shannon at Technology Rocks, Seriously. She has always features lots of great tech resources for lots of different subjects.

Click on the picture to check out her post.'
My kiddos always love the art projects from Art with Jenny K. This Earth day one helps them practice teamwork and it always turns out really cute.
Click on the picture to view on TPT.
Hope you found something great to use for Earth day! 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Magic of Books: Pizza Freebies

Happy Sunday! I'm back today to share a few freebies I made for one of the books in the "History of Fun Stuff" series.

Click on the image to view on Amazon.

Your kiddos will love learning the history of one of their favorite foods, pizza. I've included some freebies that you can use if you read this book aloud or have your students read independently. Hope you enjoy! Click on any of the images to take you to the freebies.




While you're here, don't forget to enter my giveaway to win 5 books of your choice from this series. Click here to take you to the giveaway.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Magic of Books: "The History of Fun Stuff"

Hi everyone! Today I am dropping by to share one of my new favorite nonfiction series that will become a favorite of your young readers. "The History of Fun Stuff" is full of facts and details about things that kids love - pizza, video games, ice cream, phones, and so much more. These books are on about a 5th grade level but these would make great read alouds for younger kids or independent reads for advanced readers.

Let's start with pizza. This book focuses on where pizza was created and the history of some types of pizzas. I love the engaging manner of these stories plus there is some geography, science, and math thrown in at the back. Kids can learn about the geography of Italy, the science of smell, and math with fractions.

And now for some dessert - ice cream.What kid doesn't want to learn how ice cream was created and even about those ice cream novelties? I loved that this book includes some geography by talking about weird flavors in different countries. There's also a section about the science of ice cream.

Kids love fireworks so they should love learning about them too. Fireworks date back to long ago and this book is full of fun facts. There are also sections on bamboo, independence celebrations around the world, and the color wheel.

My students are obsessed with phones so this book is really popular.Although this book is focused on the history of phones, some science is included too. Kids can also learn about pie charts, greetings from around the world, and the science of sound.

Okay, so what kid doesn't love video games? This book is highly engaging for them. There's also a focus on charting the popularity of video games and a section on the geography of Japan. I don't know about you but I never found geography that exciting but it is in the context of video games.

I had no idea that hot chocolate had such a history. This is a really interesting read even for adults. I love the section on the layers of the tropical rain forest, foods from the Americas that changed the world, and money from around the world. Lots of fun facts!

Kids love to learn about space but it can be very technical reading. This book breaks down the facts in a way that is easy to understand by kids. There's also a science focus on day and night plus stars in the sky. Kids will also love reading about science fiction stories that came true.

Halloween has quite a history that your kids would love to learn. There's also sections on festivals around the world, how pumpkins grow, and animals of Halloween.

This cookie focused book comes out in July and I know it will be a hit. I don't know exactly what's included but I've already preordered my copy from Amazon.

I've decided to give away some of these books. Enter the Rafflecopter below to win your choice of five "History of Fun Stuff" books.  Also, be sure to stop by tomorrow. I'm creating a few freebies to go along with this series.

Amazon affiliate links included in this post.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Top Tech Tips: Nearpod

Nearpod? What's that? Let me tell you that it is a game changer. My classroom recently went 1:1 with Chromebooks so I've been looking for some new ways to teach content utilizing these devices. I'd heard a little bit about Nearpod and decided to check it out. 

So Nearpod is hard to describe because you need to see it to believe it. Nearpod has a store of ready made lessons to use with your kiddos or you can make your own. I've used a few free ones and they are pretty good but I really like to make my own. You can take task cards, centers, websites, and pretty much anything and embed it into a Nearpod lesson.

So here's what a Nearpod Presentation looks like on the Teacher Screen.

See how you can embed quizzes and fill in the blanks within the presentation. After you publish your presentation, your students can join a session. You can do two options: a live session or a homework session. In a live session, the teacher is controlling what the students see on the screen so the class moves at the same pace. For a homework session, the student moves at his or her own pace. I mostly use the live presentation mode but I've started using the homework mode for projects and independent opportunities. 

Your students will need the Pin number to join your session. I usually have my students go to the Nearpod homepage and just enter the pin. You can also embed it in a classroom blog, send a link, email it, or use it through Google Classroom.

Each presentation has a unique pin. Feel free to use the one I created for this presentation to explore the student view through Nearpod.

My favorite part of using Nearpod is how engaged my students are. I have an extremely chatty class and it's been hard to get them to focus all year. Nearpod has allowed me to save some sanity because they are all involved and working.

At my school, we switch classes for 30 minutes for intervention time. I have a group of high achieving kids. It's been difficult to keep them challenged and engaged. Nearpod has really helped. We were studying space so I created Nearpod presentations for each of the topics we were covering. The students could advance through the presentation at their own pace. I linked Brainpop videos, books from Trueflix, and presentations from Pebble Go.

My absolute favorite part about Nearpod is the instant feedback from the activities. You can insert quizzes, polls, open-ended questions, and drawing activities. The results come to the teacher immediately. I found out that I needed to keep the Nearpod off the Activboard because students could see each others' answers. I usually walk around with my iPad, controlling the Nearpod through the app, and getting their responses right in front of me. 

For this Nearpod, I uploaded task cards that I purchased from Amy Lemons and had the students put their answers in Nearpod.
If you are ready to try it out, I would love it if you would use my code so I could get more storage space. Teacher accounts are free (with limited storage space) and students don't even need an account to participate in the Nearpod sessions.
 Click on the picture to head over to Nearpod.
If you are ready to try it out, I created an Nearpod version of my popular, "If the Shoe Fits" inferencing investigation.. I've included directions in the pack for how to get a copy. You just need to purchase it on TPT and you will have 2 versions of the activity. If you've already purchased this pack, download it again from the "My Purchases" tab on TPT. I've also updated the shoe cards to make them easier to cut.
Click on the picture to view this pack on TPT.