The Tuesday 12: Feel the Love with 12 Fabulous February Science Freebies from TPT!

During the month of February, The Tuesday 12 will be featuring 12 FREE resources available on TPT! Click on the title of each resource to be brought to the TPT listing.  You need a TeachersPayTeachers accound to download the free items.  If you don’t have a TPT account, what are you waiting for?! It’s free!  The description for each item is taken from the listing description on its TPT page. Don’t forget to check out the other awesome resources from these teacher sellers!

12 february science freebies

1. “Going on a Matter Walk” by Martha Sosa

“{FREEBIE} This product was one of my top sellers! Now it’s free for you and your students to enjoy! 🙂 Students use this booklet (copy front to back) to record the solids, liquids and gases they observe while on a discovery walk around the school.”

2. “Life Cycle Sequencing Cards—Butterfly, Frog and Ladybug!” by Curriculum Castle

“These sequencing cards are a great visual aid for children who are just beginning to learn about the life cycles of a butterfly, frog or ladybug! Simply have them color, cut and arrange the cards in the correct order. They can even make a mini book about each animal’s life cycle.
These simplified cards are perfect for Pre-K and K students!”

3. “Weather Unit (Science Fun for Pre-School – 3rd Grade)” by Living Life Intentionally

“This Weather Unit is intended for Preschoolers – 3rd Grade. It includes a wide variety of activities, experiments, worksheets and more:
– Water Cycle (including experiments)
– Seasons (including creative writing)
– Temperature (differences in sun/shade, morning/afternoon, here/other countries)
– Weather Graphing
– Hot/Cold
– Hibernation
– Clouds (including experiments)
– Wind (including experiment & activity)
– Disaster Preparedness (including drill ideas)
– Preschool Skill Practice (letters – upper/lowercase, shadow match, counting, pre-writing, colors, numbers, which is different, fine motor scissor skills, addition, sentence structure, and more)
Kids learn best when they are having fun!! My goal is to provide a fun way to reinforce, review and teach sight words to kids.”

4. “Polar Bear Science” by Crayonbox Learning

“A fun science experiment where the question “Does ice melt faster in salt or fresh water?” is answered. Geared toward ages K-2nd grade.
This freebie includes a teacher guide, pocket chart graphing including header card and answer cards, tally mark sheet, record sheet, observation sheet, polar bear facts, polar bear writing practice!”

5. “Super Science Experiments” by Sparkles Smiles and Successful Students

“Looking to spruce up your science curriculum, or have an AWESOME science fair project well you have come to the right place!
This collection of truly Super Science Experiments is just for you! It contains chemistry experiments, experiments on matter, physics, and much more1
Includes:
– 70+ science experiments and demo guides
– detailed descriptions
– pictures of experiments
– material lists
These are only the experiments I thought would be the absolute coolest ones and that students would enjoy doing!”

6. “Penguins” by Penny Waddingham

“Interactive Penguin story along with science activities,recording sheet and physical education game.”

7. “Scientific Method for Young Learners” by Wild About Teaching

“Young students love to act like scientists!
This pack includes posters, 1/4 page cards to sequence and a generic science experiment recording sheet.
If you enjoy this pack, check out my other science packs I have available!”

8. “Science Acrostics Freebie” by The Science Penguin

“Thanks for checking out this file, Science Acrostics Freebie! I hope that these 12 pages will help your students use their higher order thinking skills to find phrases that describe each item. With an acrostic poem, you use each letter of a word as the first letter of a phrase.
Ideas for Use:
~ Create a bulletin board with your acrostics.
~ Use along with a craft.
~ Use after a lab activity.
~ Use after reading the textbook or a read aloud trade book.
~ Use as partner work in a center.
~ Fold and include in science notebooks.
~ Use as review before a quiz.”

9. “Science Fair Project Planner” by Upper Grades are Awesome

“This science fair project planner is designed for group science fair projects. In the past my students struggled with each component and how to put them together to design and create their science fair project. Using this as a guide students are more confident through the process and complete higher quality work. Included is an agenda of target due dates that the students fill in to help keep them on track. Each step of the science fair project is included with a brief description/directions and a space for students to fill in. Students will also benefit from guidelines on putting together their science fair board. Finally, I have included the scoring rubric (based on the one my district uses).”

10. “Trash to Treasure—Free Activities & Lesson Using Recycled Items” by SciPi

“This FREE Trash to Treasure handout is an eight page booklet that features clever ideas, fun and engaging mini-lessons in addition to cute and easy to construct crafts made from recycled or common, everyday items. In this resource, discover how to take old, discarded materials and make them into new, useful, inexpensive products or tools for your classroom.
Learn many out-of-the-ordinary ways to use milk lids for math. Did you know two plastic beverage lids can be made into card holders for kindergartners or for those whose hands are disabled? Discover how to use butter tubs to create a fun indoor recess game that practices math skills. How about practicing math facts using egg cartons?
Because these numerous activities vary in difficulty and complexity, they are appropriate for most classrooms, and the visual and/or kinesthetic learners will love them.”

11. “Biology Lab: Simple DNA Extraction” by Science Stuff

“This is one of my favorite labs/activities that I do with my Biology I students. It doesn’t take long to do, it uses very simple, household materials, and it works every time! There is no number crunching or data analysis, but just a fun activity that your students will really enjoy.
NOTE: This product is also available in a bundled product called Biology Labs: 15 Must Do Labs for a Biology Class .
You will use ordinary Dawn dishwashing detergent and alcohol to extract the DNA from the cells of wheat germ. The download will include a lab handout that is ready to be copied and passed out to your students. Includes: Title, Introduction, Purpose, Safety Precautions, Procedure, and Follow Up Questions.
I have also included a “Teacher Preparation” page with answers to the questions and some additional set up information.
I use this with my high school Biology students, but this activity can easily be done with middle school students.”

12. “Luring Leprechauns—A Simple Penny Experiment” by Jamie Woodward

“This science activity includes directions and explanations for the experiment, two recording sheets and a place mat for the pennies. This science experiment can be completed as a whole group or in small groups. Your students will love “luring leprechauns” into their classroom. I would love your feedback!”

Don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12:  February Freebies!

The Tuesday 12: 12 Distinctly Canadian Picture Books!

As I was strolling through Chapters the other day looking for new books for my sons, I came across several picture books that were distinctly Canadian in either content or authorship.  So, here’s a list of 12 excellent picture books that proudly proclaim “our home and native land!”

12 canadian picture books

1. “The Hockey Sweater” by Roch Carrier (Translated by Sheila Fischman and Illustrated by Sheldon Cohen)

I bought this classic “Canadien” story for my sons.  Despite the NHL lockout, hockey is still a big topic of conversation and who can resist this tale of the little boy who receives a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey sweater instead of his beloved #9 Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens sweater?

2. “Crosby’s Golden Goal” by Mike Leonetti (Illustrated by Gary McLaughlin)

A great story about a boy who abandons hockey, a game he loves so much.  After witnessing Crosby’s golden goal at the Vancouver Olympics, he returns to the ice and the sport he loves. Other famous stories about hockey heroes by the same author include Wendel and The Great One, The Rocket, and The Mighty Tim Horton.

3. “The Salmon Twins” written and illustrated by Carroll Simpson

A visually stunning book that celebrates Canada’s First Nations by looking at the groups of the Pacific Northwest. Although it would be perfect for the grade 6 social studies curriculum, the theme of community values makes this a great addition to any classroom library.

4. “A Promise is a Promise” by Robert Munsch and Michael Kusugak (illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka)

Together, Munsch and Kusugak take you to the Northwest Territories to tell the story of Allashua, a little girl who encounters the qallupilluit, Inuit monsters that live below the ice.  In this book, children learn the importance of listening to their parents, keeping their promises, and Inuit story-telling traditions.

5. “Goodnight, Canada” written and illustrated by Andrea Beck

A wonderful book that takes you through the Canadian provinces and territories, while saying goodnight to children living in these different locations.

6. “M is for Moose: A Charles Pachter Alphabet” by Charles Pachter

This is a beautiful book that is filled with tons of visual information about Canadian history, pop culture, and heritage.  A stunning book! Also, check out “Canada Counts: A Charles Pachter Counting Book”

7.  “Picture a Tree” by Barbara Reid

I still remember reading “Have You Seen Birds?” with my grade three class and making our own plasticine bird pictures in Barbara Reid’s distinctive style. “Picture a Tree” is a great book to use during Earth Week, learning about the environment, and helping students develop respect, appreciation, and stewardship of our Earth.

8. “The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert W. Service (Illustrated by Ted Harrison)

I love this poem and teach it to my students each year.  The illustrations are beautiful and remind me of the Group of Seven. It would be great to integrate an art lesson with this poem and book by creating oil pastel drawings of the Northern Lights.

9. “Alligator Pie” by Dennis Lee (Illustrated by Frank Newfeld)

 

“Someday I’ll go to Winnipeg
To win a peg-leg pig.
But will a peg-leg winner win
The piglet’s ill-got wig?”

What’s not to love?! My son and I love reading these hilarious poems before bed each night!

10. “Wishes” by Jean Little (illustrated by Genevieve Cote)

I’ve been a Jean Little fan since I read “From Anna” in grade 4.  I bought this book for my youngest son for Christmas It would be great to create a collaborative class book where each child writes and illustrates their own wishes.

11. “A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: A Canadian 12 Days of Christmas” by Helaine Becker (illustrated by Werner Zimmermann)

Another Christmas gift for my sons! Can you tell I buy a lot of books? A great twist on the classic Christmas song! My favourite verse? Ten Leafs a-leaping!

12. “M is for Maple: A Canadian Alphabet” by Mike Ulmer and Melanie Rose (illustrated by Melanie Rose)

A beautifully illustrated book that takes you from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island.  Filled with Canadian history, personalities, geography, and pop culture.  If you like this one, check out the province specific ones including “A is for Algonquin: An Ontario Alphabet” and “B is for Bluenose: A Nova Scotia Alphabet.”

Don’t forget to check in next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12!

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

Words to Live by Wednesdays: Shel Silverstein

The new year brings about the opportunity for our students to make new goals.  Perhaps they would like to try something new, improve their grades, or simply better themselves.  I’ve heard many of my students say, “But I’m just not good at it” when they are faced with a new experience or challenge.  It is vital that our students understand that anything is possible and they can achieve their goals…through a little work and perseverance.

Have you helped your students set goals for themselves?  If you are unsure where to start, we have provided a lesson, rationale, and student goal setting worksheets in one of our TeachHUB.com articles.  This worksheet allows students to break up a larger goal into smaller and more manageable tasks.

But sometimes, the process of reaching the goal is not the problem.  The main thing that may be hampering student success is their attitude—if they don’t believe that they can be successful, then they will not be successful.  It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.  So many of our students psych themselves out before even trying anything because they don’t have the self-confidence to believe that they can do it.  It is critical that we help our students believe in themselves so that they can dream and achieve their goals.

Here’s one of our favourite poem written by the one and only Shel Silverstein.  It’s simple, beautiful, and so true.

As always, click on the image for the FREE printable poster.

shel silverstein

Don’t forget to visit us next Wednesday for another FREE classroom poster!

Part 1 of 3: The Effects of Music on the Brain

The Effects of Music on the BrainI have always been interested in Music.  As a child I participated in choir and then instrumental music. My early education was in Europe and when I moved back to North America, I was an ESL student.  I did not know a single English word but found that my language acquisition and mathematical skills developed quickly due to learning and participating in music.  Once I began studying to be a teacher, I was even more interested in how Music aids the learning process.  This post is from my research and will be a 3 part series.  I hope that you will find these interesting and of value as you plan your lessons for your students.

In Frames of Mind, Howard Gardner provides evidence that there are different aspects of intelligence.  He posits that every individual has a diverse learning style and that not all are being addressed in the context of the classroom.  Musical intelligence is identified as an independent intelligence without any association to linguistic, mathematical, or spatial intelligence.  Howard Gardner (1993) wrote “eliciting the use of musical intelligence the learner will be able to better acquire skills and knowledge since the framework of the mind is being utilized” (p.312).  Rauscher, Len and Shaw have brought this argument forward with their research project titled Music Exposure and the Development of the Child’s Brain.

Neurophysiology tells us that at birth, the human brain has 100 billion neurons, which are not connected to form a network.  Connections among neurons are formed rapidly in the early years of life as the growing child experiences and forms attachments to their surrounding world.  Huttenlocher (1984) discovered that if “these synapses are used repeatedly in a child’s day to day life, they are reinforced and become part of the brain’s permanent circuitry. If they are not used repeatedly, or often enough, they are gradually eliminated in the second decade of life” (p. 283).  In essence, as the child grows and the more connections made, opens the door to create a more complex, powerful system of neural pathways.  This is directly related to how the child learns and thinks, and greater academic success in the future. Rauscher, Len and Shaw tested children to discover if music would help create these pathways and discovered that through music instruction, even as little as four months, “children displayed a significant change in spatial temporal reasoning”(p.53).  At risk (low academics, and socioeconomic factors) children displayed a significant increase and other children displayed an above average increase in their abilities to complete tasks that measured recall, tactile and reasoning abilities. The research team also demonstrated measurements of brain activity using an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine, which showed that both the right and left hemispheres of the brain are responsive when listening and creating music.  “When listening to music, both sides of the brain are being activated, one side to follow the rhythm and the other to follow the melody.” (Rauscher, Len, & Shaw, 2002, p. 56). This provides proof that in creating the neural pathways as Huttenlocher described music would create more connections as it is developing the whole brain instead of one side.  Rauscher, Len and Shaw also discovered that “musicians who began their training before age six or seven have a larger left planum temporale and corpus callosum” (p. 32). These results infer that all musical engagements activate both brain hemispheres and involve cerebral cortex activity and memory retrieval mechanisms.   This is the basis for all academic success; having a developed and functioning brain in order to process higher level thinking.

So what does this all mean for us as educators?  See my next post : Music and its Value in Education.

The Tuesday 12: 12 Fun, Festive, and {FREE} Christmas Activities from TPT!

12 free christmas tpt activities

On this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we have rounded up 12 festively fantastic Christmas activities from TeachersPayTeachers.com.  The best part?  All the resources are FREE! Enjoy!  I’ve included the product overview from the description for each resource to help you determine which products suit your students best. Also, don’t forget to check out the other awesome products these teachers have in their TPT stores!

1. Gingerbread Fact Family by Tina’s Teaching Treasures (for grades 2 and 3)

“A FREE product to help your students learn about fact families and the inverse properties of addition and subtraction!
Great for Related Facts, Fact Families, and Addition and Subtraction! Perfect for a winter center, Christmas center, or gingerbread unit!
Included:
2 Posters to explain fact families and leave up for student reference
2 sheets (1 sheet if you double side) for student practice
3 pages for “Craftivity”
Pictures of Craftivity
1 Page of flashcard templates”

2. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas-I Have Who Has by MrHughes (for grades 3-7)

“Who hasn’t heard the classic poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement C. Moore?
This fun and interactive activity will have your students begging to play again and again as they try to beat their best time by reading fluently and more quickly each time.
The poem has been divided into 28 cards in a “I have, Who Has” fashion. Students will have to listen carefully as they only get the 3 or 4 words in poem ahead of their lines.”

3. Christmas Elf Application by Kindergarten Squared (for pre-K to gr 2)

“This cute freebie has your little elves applying for 1 of 3 jobs in the: Elf Toy Workshop, Elf Bakery, or Elf Gift Wrapping. This is a great activity that ties in with the Common Core opinion/persuasion writing standard!”

4. New Year’s Resolution Friendly Letter by Primary Paradise (for K to gr 3)

“What a better way to talk about the New Year than to let your students make their own New Year’s Resolution, or goal!
Student will practice their friendly letter writing skills and will make New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. They can write to a friend, parent, or even to themselves!
This packet includes:
Directions on how to Use
A New Year’s Resolution Poster
Sample New Year’s Resolution Letter
Kindergarten Letter Formats in which students can draw first
First Grade Letter Formats
Second & Third Grade Letter Formats”

5. Snow Day Snowman Writing Mini-Pack by TeacherMomof3 (for K to gr 2)

“Students will have snow much fun with this little writing pack! Use in your writing center, for homework, or in small groups!
Contents:
~Page 3- Have students write a description or a story for the picture.
~Page 4– Extra stationery page
~Page 5- Finish the writing stem
~Page 6- students write what they think the snowman is saying in the speech cloud.”

6. Free Packet: We Are Kind Kids {Random Acts of Kindness} by A Year of Many First (for K to gr 8)

“Have your students learn all about the importance of paying it forward with this packet!”

7. Christmas Puns: Puns from the North—Santa Takes the Pole Position by Margaret Whisnant (for gr 4 to 8)

“PUNS FROM THE NORTH–SANTA TAKES THE POLE POSITION is a giggle-powered collection of riddle puns about Santa and his life at the North Pole. Youngsters will enjoy revving up their punnybones to go searching for each riddle’s pun-filled answer from a choice of four possible responses.
This activity has two parts with twenty items each.
Full answer keys included. Eight pages including the cover and links to other items.”

8. Christmas Holiday Logic Puzzle by Lindsay Perro (for gr 3 to 8)

“This fun activity will keep your students thinking as they try to figure out which gift each child received!”

9. Christmas and Winter Themed Word Problems by Runde’s Room (for gr 5 to 7)

“This file contains 14 Christmas and winter themed math word problems that cover a variety of concepts and skills. Each word problem is displayed on beautiful festive background. These problems can be projected from the computer or placed under the document camera for all students to see during bell work or in a lesson. They could also be laminated and used in a math center. Answers are also included.”

10. Christmas Freebie: 12 Point of View Improv Cards for Christmas by Krystal Mills (for gr 5 to 7)

“This download contains 12 point of view improv cards, each with a Christmas theme, to engage your students.
Students will love speaking from unique points of view with this fun improv activity. Through completing this activity, they’ll develop more of an understanding of what it means to write from different points of view. Hopefully they will then take this back into their own writing! It’s a fun, interactive activity to do closer to Christmas time.”

11. What’s Your Favorite Christmas Song? by Cooperative Learning 365 (for gr 3 to 8)

“Students decide on their favorite Christmas song and as a class graph the results. Students can then create their own graph and answer questions.”

12. Winter Holiday Write Away Writing Prompts by LittleRed (for gr 3 to 8)

“Winter Holiday Write Away! writing prompts. This set contains 25 different writing prompts, all related to winter holidays (e.g. Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, as well as general ‘holiday’ prompts).”

Enjoy! Tune in next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12!

Bullying: Reporting vs. Telling

With all eyes and ears on bullying and anti bullying initiatives, we are also facing the same challenges in keeping our ears to the ground so to speak.  We cannot be in every place for every situation but yet we need to address them.  What we need to understand is that every time someone is being bullied there is always someone else that is present.  We do not want to imply that they are culpable, but when they just stand around and observe or watch, they help perpetuate the bullying behavior.  One of our greatest assets in diminishing and preventing bullying is the help of other students.  But, what I have found is that other students do not understand they have the power to be or to make that difference.  They believe they cannot make a difference and sometimes do not possess the strategies necessary to make that difference.  We have to help them identify these strategies and understand that the safety of others is of essence and they are responsible for their own and others well being.  One key factor is having students understand the difference between telling and reporting.

Telling: When a student is telling a person of authority about an action or situation, in order to get the other student(s) in trouble when there is no safety concern for self or for others.

Reporting: When a student tells a person of authority about an action or situation in order to prevent the emotional and/or physical safety of others.

Students need practice through demonstrations to be able to understand the difference.  They need to be able to identify situations and how to address them.  That is, if they speak to a person of authority about that situation, would it be telling or reporting?

Below you will find a link to a presentation (5 slides) that can be used as a short handout, or worked through as a group.   Don’t get fooled though, a lot of discussion will be generated!

To begin students will be able to identify who the trusted adults in their surroundings are and who will be able to help.  The presentation stresses personal safety and the safety of others as paramount.  After identifying the adults who could help, students will brainstorm the difference between telling and reporting.  Lastly, 3 different scenarios are provided for group discussion.  At the end of the presentation, it is time to proceed to different teaching strategies.

Some strategies to help students further understand that they cannot just stand by and watch unsafe situations happen are as follows:

1)   Have students role – play different scenarios (student developed) as a great way to recognize their actions and how to act appropriately.

2)   Another way is to build understanding through visuals. Students can create posters for a variety of audiences.

3)   Get technology involved! Students can create digital presentations (Powerpoint or Prezi are fantastic tools)

4)   Students can get even more creative by developing songs, videos, news/podcasts, or commercial.

Reporting vs Telling Presentation

We hope that starting off with small steps will begin to make a difference in your schools.