Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Water Cycle Wheel

Make a Water Cycle Wheel here.


Library Thing is a fantastic tool that allows you to keep track and share books that you own. I’m using it to help me organize and build my classroom library. I love that you can easily view your library by book cover, subject, tags, title, author, even Lexile Classification. Also, you can embed a widget of your library into your blog.
Entering the books is simple, but time consuming. So far, I’m using the tags to help me sort my children’s books into categories such as award winners, themes, and genres. I’ve even created a separate wishlist library for children’s books that I want to purchase. 
Teachers how do you keep track of your classroom library?

Cheers for your Peers

Promote positive peer responses using Dr. Jean's Cheer Cards. A great activity to use during student presentations. Student groups can select a different cheer (our teacher used a Cheerios cup to pass out the cards).

After a student presents, one of the groups teaches their cheer to the rest of the class. Then the whole class performs the cheer to celebrate the student presenters success! We did this in a college classroom and had a blast. I think any elementary group will get a kick out of it. It also helps students to blow off some steam between presentations.

You can find the Cheer Cards here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Setting personal goals in the classroom with Daruma dolls

Daruma Dolls
Students can learn about customs from another culture in this fun goal setting activity.

Daruma dolls are a Japanese good luck symbol. They stand for the spirit of courage and determination. The weighted bottoms and rounded shape forces this ancient cultural doll to right itself after being knocked over, teaching us to be dedicated and persistent and symbolizing our recoveries from misfortune. The Daruma dolls are often given to someone when they start something new. The dolls come with both eyes blank. After purchasing or receiving it as a gift, you paint one eye and make a wish or begin a new project. The second eye is painted when the wish comes true or the project is completed.

In my of my courses the professor invited each of us to set a personal goal for the class using a Daruma doll worksheet. We recorded our goals for the course on the back of our "doll" and colored in one eye. At the end of the course we revisited our goals and if we were successful in accomplishing them we colored in the other eye.

I thought this was a great activity for any age to set personal goals while learning about an interesting Japanese custom. Below is a Daruma doll worksheet.

Directions: What is your goal for this class? Think, decide, and record it on the back of your “doll”. Color in one eye.