Advertising: Creating a Cereal Box!

There are so many different activities to engage in and create with your students to help them understand the concept of advertising and all that is included when creating specific items for the media. Between trying to make it appealing to including important facts such as nutrients to as simple as including a bar code. Ofcourse, before thinking of such activities to further build upon the concept of advertising, students first need to understand the word advertising, be able to give examples, understand important terms in connection to advertising, etc. Once students are clear, there is nothing more promising to help students learn then to let them create something hands on as a follow up activity. We have created a lesson plan, along with a starter activity and templates! Click on the images below to print the complete lesson, templates and starter!

Christmas Activities on Bitstrips!

During Halloween, we discussed Bitstrips – one of many great programs that you can engage in online with your students. This site allows you and your students to create fun, personalized characters which you can then further create a comic strip for. Aside from fun activities for Halloween, Bitstrips also has some really interesting activities for Christmas that you may definitely want to consider introducing to and engaging in with your students. Anywhere from creating a holiday scene to creating your own greeting card and more. Plus they continue to include and add more, new props to add to your favorite holiday scene and greeting card! You can find it all on Bitstrips!

Yet another fun thing to do with your students during the Christmas season! While you are there, I am sure you will find many other great uses for this program, especially once you see just how much your students enjoy it! Have fun!

21st Century Learning: A Time of Change for Teachers and Students

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists” (Eric Hoffer)

Today, all the teachers in our board participated in professional development centred around 21st century learning.  Each school sent a few representatives to the symposium, while the remaining teachers and support staff at each school logged in to a live stream and watched the presentation together.  I can honestly say that today’s symposium and speakers were amazing.  I have so much to write and think about, but I need to go over my notes to really do it justice.  So many excellent ideas were presented today and I really want to reflect on how to be a learner and a teacher, how to engage my students in innovative ways, and how to apply all this new knowledge to my teaching.

Here are a few things though:

I have so many thoughts running through my head regarding the questions raised today, but I have to try to formulate some sort of plan to address these ideas in the classroom.  One item that was mentioned today was teachers using blogs to get connected to students, parents, and other educators…on that note:

Here’s our latest TeachHUB.com article: The Importance of Teacher Bloggers! Please read our article, leave a comment, ask a question, or tell us about your blogs!

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

The Tuesday 12: 12 Awesome Digital Resources for Your Classroom (Word clouds, comics, infographics, math, classroom management, and so much more!)

12 digital resources

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’re looking at some excellent digital resources for your classroom! There are so many great sites out there that would be beneficial to both teachers and students, but here are 12 that we can’t live without! Just click on each name to be brought to its website!

1. ClassDojo

This is a classroom behaviour management tool that allows you to track each student in your class.  You can either use the predefined behaviour categories or create your own.  I have created the behaviour categories to match the learning skills we use on the Ontario Report Cards.  I think it will be great to keep students on track (you can even set it so that it tracks group behaviour) and to help teachers with anecdotal comments. I’ve just begun using this app and so far, so good! I’ve downloaded the app for my iPhone, so it’s really convenient and easy to use!

2. Glogster

So what is a “glog”? Well, according to Glogster, a glog is an interactive poster loaded with text, graphics, music, videos and more, while being a space to express emotions, ideas, and knowledge online.  What I like about glogster is that it is great to watch…students will be captivated by the interactive, multi-media lessons making them much more engaged in learning.

3. Wordle

I’ve already told you how much I love Wordle! Create word clouds about any topic.  So easy to use!

science wordle

4. Tagxedo

Similar to Wordle, but you are able to make your word clouds look like various images and create various shapes. Check out the ones that Lisa has created!

5. storybird.com

According to their website, “Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print.” Students can create a free account, choose the images that they would like, and then start writing a story, poem, comic, or anything else they’d like.  Just like the photo and image prompts that are often used in creative writing, the digital images found here are a great springboard to help students get writing!

6. Gizmos

As Elita previously explained in a post, Gizmos are interactive online simulations for math and science topics.  There are a variety of fun, engaging, and interactive activities on many different science and math topics, such as dividing fractions, predator-prey relationships, and genetics.  The activities are scaffolded, so students work on increasingly difficult tasks to fully comprehend the concepts.  Although it is not free, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial, but you can always see if your school or school board is interested in obtaining a subscription for their teachers.  Our school board has a subscription, so teachers and students are able to enjoy this great resource!

7. Bitstrips

As Lisa has previously mentioned, Bitstrips is a great site to help your students create their own comics. So cool and the kids love it!

8. Pinterest

Oh, Pinterest, how I love you! We just love spending hours on Pinterest finding great ideas and resources for our classrooms! If you haven’t already, follow our boards!

9. LiveBinders

This site allows you to create a digital binder of the your favourite web resources! Instead of adding them all to your Favourites, you can create various binders to keep track of sites and resources you love! You simply add the “LiveBinder It” tool to your browser toolbar and then surf the web like you normally do…when you come across a great resource, you can quickly and easily add it to one of your binders.

10. Edmodo

I’m going to start using Edmodo with my class very, very soon. It seems like a combination of Twitter and Facebook to me, since you can post pics, chat, vote, and send messages that are 140 characters or less. What I really like about it is the privacy…teachers sign up for a free account, students sign up for a free account, and then teachers provide their students with a code to join the group.  This way, the classroom information and messages are kept private.

11. Prezi

A great way to create cool, multi-media presentations! Simply sign up, login and begin adding in your information.  You can add video or audio clips, images, websites, and other resources to your presentations.  Why can’t I just use PowerPoint, you might be asking…well, Prezi makes the presentation so much nicer and more fluid as the ideas flow from one section to the next.

12. Easel.ly

Love infographics? This site allows users to create their own infographics by choosing, selecting, dragging, dropping, and editing vhemes directly onto your canvas. This would be a great way for student to consolidate learning, create mind or concept maps, visual key concepts, and share their learning with their peers.

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

The Tuesday 12: 12 Wonderful Resources for Teaching Students about the World’s Water Systems

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’ll be looking at resources focusing on the world’s water systems.  I love to teach this unit to my grade 8 students because there are so many interesting and vital aspects to consider; for example, students learn about personal water conservation, the global water crisis, weather and extreme weather events, climate change, pollution, the chemistry of water, and the role water plays in economic, societal, political, and health issues. Just click on the title to be brought to each resource!

1. Operation WellFound. “Water: A Precious Resource.”

The activities in this lesson plan help students to understand how much water they use on a regular basis and how that compares to other people in the world.  I’ve done this activity with my students and it is an eye-opening experience for them.  It really helps to put into perspective how lucky we are.

2. The United Nations. The Global Water Crisis.

This site has excellent resources both for teachers and students.  In addition to the teacher lessons plans, there are many interesting links for students; for instance, there is a water alert game, a quiz, various people tell their stories of water related issues (e.g. there’s a video clip of Jay-Z exploring the water crisis in Africa), and ways to help people around the world gain access to clean and safe drinking water.

3. Strauss, Rochelle. One Well: The Story of Water on Earth. Toronto: Kids Can Press Ltd, 2007.

This is an absolutely gorgeous book and the content is just as good.  One Well: The Story of Water on Earth incorporates information of water statistics, conservation, our reliance on water, and the vital role water plays in our lives; however, the information is conveyed in a captivating manner.  Throughout the book, the theme of how all the water on Earth is connected and how we are all connected to that same water is emphasized.  Excellently written and beautifully illustrated!

4. The Story of Stuff. “The Story of Bottled Water.”

Bottled water is all around us.  Unfortunately, not many people know the implications of drinking bottled water.  After watching this movie, challenge your students to ban the bottle!

5. And of course, our resource to go along with “The Story of Bottled Water”!

A great way to integrate media literacy and science!

6. Water 1st International. Water 1st Curriculum.

During this lesson, students learn about the water cycle, their water usage, water facts, how lack of access to clean water affects people, and how they can make a difference.  It also includes writing assignments, art activities, and science activities to make this lesson cross-curricular.

7. The Water Project. The Water Crisis- Lesson Plans for All Grades.

A great way to bring social justice and activism into your classroom.  After learning about how the global water crisis has a severe impact on many people in the world, students can work together to raise funds and awareness for various water projects.

8. Water.org. Learn About the Water Crisis.

This website provides complete units on the water crisis and they are divided by grade levels: elementary, middle school, and high school level curriculum.  There is an extensive amount of resources on this site and the activities are great!

9. WWF. Grade 8 Water. Schools for a Living Planet.

You need to sign in to access the units on this site, but I suggest you do so, since signing up is free and the WWF has great science unit plans! This is an excellent unit plan that takes you through the chemical makeup of water, to the difference between salt water and fresh water, climate change, water conservation, and the need to protect water resources.

10. Water Systems Information.

I’ve used this site as an introduction to my water systems unit.  Not only does it provide a good review of concept students have already learned, but it also gives students a great repository of information about oceans, lakes, rivers, currents, the water cycle, climate, and the chemistry of water.

11. 22nd Annual International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment. This year’s theme is “Water: Where Does it Come From?”

The contest is open to students aged 6 – 14 years old from the United States and Canada.  Submissions are due March 1, 2013. I definitely want to do this with my students!

12. Alaska K-12 Science Curricular Initiative. “Hands-On Lessons”

This site has some great hands-on science lessons on a variety of water topics, including the water cycle, glaciers, water scarcity, streams, and evaporation!

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

 

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.

The Tuesday 12: 12 Remarkable Remembrance Day Resources (November 11)

remembrance day

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we are providing you with 12 resources (crafts, poems, displays, activities) that can be used to teach your students about the importance of Remembrance Day.  On November 11, we are provided with the opportunity to pay tribute to the brave men and women who sacrificed everything in order for us to enjoy the freedom that we often take for granted.

1. “In Flanders Fields” on YouTube from AdPaylor (includes excerpt from “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon)

2. Remembrance Day Toolkit from the Canadian War Museum

3. Remembrance Day Huichol Yarn Painting from www.thatartistwoman.org (click on image for instructions)

4. Special Education Language Program—Remembrance Day Unit (free download on TPT by Matthew Hackney)

5. Beautiful for the Canadian flag (I’ve linked this to the Pinterest source, but I can’t find the proper attribution…if you know where this is from, please leave the info in the comments section. Thanks! Thanks to Patrick who left us a comment informing us that this beautiful piece of work was created by Brian Espiritu)

http://media-cache-ec3.pinimg.com/originals/f3/1e/ac/f31eacaf166aaea8a2df2ee3116e488c.jpg

6. Remembrance Day Canada (“Soldiers Cry” by Roland Majeau) video on YouTube

7. Poppy Mixed Media from www.thatartistwoman.org (for instructions, click on the image)

8. Teachers’ Resources on Veterans Affairs Canada

9. A worksheet to accompany the story “What Does Peace Feel Like” by Vladimir Radunsky (free download on TPT by Vanessa Steunenberg)

10. Tons of Teacher Resources from Saskatoon Public Schools! Interactive sites, multimedia, poems, and links to tons of sites.

11. Beautiful Bulletin Boards


12. Veterans’ Week and Remembrance Day (tons of resources from the Government of Alberta)

On November 11, please take a moment to show your gratitude for those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom and way of life.

Poppy - ''Lest we forget''

Click on poppy for information regarding Remembrance Day services in Toronto.