ABC and 123: April 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Interactive Projection Camera {Giveaway}



Today I would like to introduce you to the Luna Interactive Projection Camera.  This three in one tool - video camera, still camera, web cam – simplifies your classroom presentation and increases productivity.  The camera is very small and portable – no more bulky overhead needed!  The tool easily connects to either your computer or smart board.


Here are just a few of the practical applications I came up with for using the projection camera:

~Use the video feature with narration to explain how to use manipulatives in math and science center activities.

~Project the pictures for your read aloud book so that no one on the carpet can complain about not being able to see ;)

~Take still shots of student writing samples to include in a digital portfolio.

~Project various blank charts and graphs from the computer to the board where the class can work together to fill them in with information corresponding with the lesson content.

~Share a nonfiction text from a book and search together for key non fiction features and/or details vs. main ideas.

~Use the web cam feature to engage the entire class in a Skype conversation with a career professional whose job description weaves in with your curriculum and/or an author sharing tips on quality writing.

I have to say, I even used the camera at home to project one of my recipes onto my laptop screen. As I was cooking I could walk away from the recipe and still see it projected.  I never had to touch it with my sticky ingredient fingers.

In experimenting with sharing lesson materials under the camera I discovered that jerky movements projected a bit fuzzy, but with smooth movements and the focus tool it was easy to adjust the clarity of still images.

I think this technology tool is incredibly affordable for all that it is capable of doing. I was really impressed with how easy the camera was to set up and use.  I put off getting started with it at first because I thought I would need to read through a manual to figure out all the features, but actually it is self explanatory once the cd is loaded in the computer.  There is a helpful button on the camera to project light on dark images that need to be shared clearly. Luna does not require any batteries, which eliminates a maintenance frustration. This is certainly a useful tool for a busy teacher who is looking for fun and effective ways to enhance instruction!



GIVEAWAY:
Learning Resourcesa leading manufacturer of innovative, hands-on educational materials for classrooms worldwide and learning toys, has offered our readers the chance to win a Luna Interactive Projection Camera (retail value $199)! We are really looking forward to getting this great technology tool in the hands of one of our teaching and learning families here on ABC & 123!
Entry Details:
Add your entries in the Rafflecopter widget.  This giveaway will close on Thursday, May 4th at 12:00 EST.  A winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter immediately and posted on ABC & 123 as soon as possible. The winner's Interactive Projection Camera will be sent directly from Learning Resources.


a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer:  Learning Resources sent us a Luna Interactive Projection Camera in exchange for sharing about it here.  They are also providing the giveaway product.  If you would like to learn more about Learning Resources you can do so by checking out Learning Resources on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bilingual Wednesdays- Colors in Spring


Spring is here and we can take advantage of this teachable moment to introduce or review some color words  in Spanish. I made a domino to review colors with my niece and a set of Spanish colors posters for you!



Tell children they will learn the Spanish form of these words:
Red / rojo
Blue / azul
Yellow / amarillo
Orange / naranja
Green / verde
Purple/ violeta
Light blue/ celeste
Pink/ rosa

To prepare the posters you need to print them onto cardboard and laminate for durability. Then..
*Go for a color hunt around home or class.
*Let kids cut and paste pictures from old magazines and make a collage. Ask them about the colors they can see in their pictures. 
*Play "I spy" using the posters.
*Invite children to sort manipulatives according to color.
*Make a mural using their favorite color.
* Ask and answer "How many red/ rojas things can you see?"
* Using commands.."point to a yellow/amarillo flower" "pick up a green/verde crayon"


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Show and Tell #98

Keitha, from Keitha's Chaos, has come up with a clever way to integrate literacy into lunch time with book themed lunches.

Making a plastic bottle guitar, with instructions from Jellyfish Jelly, looks like a musical idea to add to my second grade son's summer fun list.


By the way, if you are dreaming up your "Summer Bucket Lists" you might want to join in with the May 1 Linky Party at Little Wonders Days.

Play, Eat, Grow shows up the step by step directions for making lovely pattern play blocks.

 It's your turn!


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If you are new to Show & Tell or need a quick recap, here are the rules:


~Post your favorite lessons, crafts, traditions, kid friendly recipes, field trip recap, learning games, experiments, DIY organizational projects, holiday related activities, or Ah-Ha moments.


~Direct link to your post, not your home page.


~Include a link back to us or include our link button in your post or sidebar.


~Please try to visit and comment on at least three links. This adds to the positive collaboration that makes our learning cooperative a success!


~Each week we will feature three links from the previous week's party.  Some weeks these are chosen at random, sometimes by theme, and other times according to linky tools stats.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Movement and Music: Exploring Space!

Hello again!  I'm Jedda, from This Little Project.   Today, I'm here sharing some ideas of how to explore SPACE with movement and music!

My kids and I have been studying the planets and one of our {little projects}
was making a solar system.


I wanted a fun way to teach my 4 year-old about the planets.  I sang this song (below) with her a few times to help her learn their order.
Then a week later when we went to a planet exhibit at the museum and she sang it by herself all the way there!  She remembered it!
 Music is a great tool for learning!

This song is about the order of the planets in the solar system:


This song teaches a little bit about each of the planets.  It's nice for an introduction to the solar system.

We have also been enjoying the music about each planet that Gustav Holst composed.  He composed a piece of music about each of the planets, except for Earth, and I have movies of each of them below for you to enjoy.

It would be fun to read a book about a planet before you listen to the music, so it's fresh in your mind.

It's also fun to dress up in the color of each planet and dance along.  Each song in this Planet Suite has a personality and it's fun to move in different ways while you learn about each planet (see the video above).

The Planets Suite by Holst is probably not something that most kids will sit through at one sitting.  It's kinda long.  But listening to the music of each planet as you learn about each planet is really fun! 

Mercury, The Winged Messanger; by Gustav Holst:

Venus, The Bringer of Peace; by Gustav Holst:

Mars. the Bringer of War; by Gustav Holst:
 

Jupiter, the bringer of Jollity; composed by Gustav Holst:

Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age; by Gustav Holst:

Uranus, the Magician; composed by Gustav Holst:


Neptune, the Mystic; by Gustav Holst:

Try drawing a picture about each of the planets as you listen to the music too.  If you look at pictures or a book about each planet before doing your art work, it will be fresh in your mind and easier to think and imagine about.

Which planet is your favorite?
I hope you have fun exploring space with music and movement!

For more Music and Movement ideas on this site, click {here}.

And come see me at This Little Project for more kid-friendly learning fun :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Learning Beyond Limits


It isn't often here on ABC & 123 that we talk about our personal lives and our families.  I was recently asked to write an article explaining our son's journey with Spina Bifida and his success with the specific type of therapy we have chosen.  While I was working on the article I enjoyed putting together a video explaining our littlest love, our thoughts on his potential, and his outstanding progress.  I hope you don't mind me sharing it with all of you here.  If nothing more, at least you will get a brief glimpse into our daily life.  However, my hope is that this will serve as an encouragement to you that ALL children are capable of achieving above and beyond any limitations that have been placed on them! 
If you are interested in reading more of Gabe's story, have a child with Spina Bifida, or are looking for encouragement and resources for helping your child with special needs I would love for you to visit his site.  You can read more there and contact us if you have specific questions.
Disclaimer: This video was my very first attempt at using Photo Story 3, which I am currently exploring in my grad class 21 Things for the 21st Century Teacher. I still have a bit of experimenting to do with getting just the right balance between the recorded sound and the background music. PS3 is easy to use and I am guessing you will all find some great ways to use it to increase your teaching productivity.  The Amazon book link is not an affiliate.  However, I think the book is amazing and it has changed the way I think about working with all children!  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April Showers: Clouds and Rain


We've all heard the saying... 
So, let's use this spring board for some rainy lessons.



First Grade Parade shared a wealth of weather related lesson suggestions to make teaching about clouds interesting for young students.
Using the instructions from Apples and Papers your students can create a rainy day person
.
Family Education explains the steps to creating rain in a bag.
Tobey Fields shared a thorough lesson plan about weather, focusing on rain and wind.  The plans include several books appropriate for teaching about rain.
Teach your children to water their own miniature gardens with a rain cloud like the one on A Little Learning for Two

At Another Day in Pre K the students watched as their teacher created a cloud in a bottle and released it into their classroom.
Somewhat Simple demonstrated the steps for creating a rain stick.

Better Kid's Care has a collection of rainy day finger plays to try with your preschoolers.




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Math Resources


Rachelle here from What the Teacher Wants


I just wanted to share some of my favorite online math resources 

and the favorites of my Facebook followers.

XtraMath.org"XtraMath is a free web program that teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts which are critical to success in mathematics." -Xtramath.org
If you are looking to help your students memorize their math facts, this is a great FREE website to do so! The kiddos can practice at school or at home and it's easy to sign up.
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abcya.com
"ABCya.com is the leader in free educational kids computer games and activities for elementary students to learn on the web. All children's educational computer activities were created or approved by certified school teachers. All educational games are free and are modeled from primary grade lessons and enhanced to provide an interactive way for children to learn." -abcya.com

My students love this website! We use it during our computer time. I love how the games are all separated by grade-level and then by topic. We use the math section almost every time!
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jmathpage.com"Johnnie's Math Page is the site to find fun math for kids, math games, and even a little math homework help."-Johnnie's Math Page
This site has loads of free games organized by subject!  With such fun interactive games, my kiddos are glued to the computer screen!
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"Sumdog's math games are always free to play, either at home or at school. They cover 100 numeracy skills, split into 10 levels. Most are multiplayer, so you can play against thousands of students worldwide."-Sumdog.com


This is a site I haven't used, but was recommended multiple times on What the Teacher Wants Facebook Page.  The games look just like video games and they can play against other students, all while integrating math! Can't wait to try it!
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Click [{HERE}] for more math ideas from, 
"It All Adds Up With Rachelle"!

Visit us at What the Teacher Wants for more tips and free downloads!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Show and Tell #97


With Earth Day on it's way, several of the natural science related activities linked up in last week's party caught my attention.  Did you see these three?
At Creekside Learning they used rocks and chalk to represent the constellations.

Putti Prapancha created a texturized picture of the Earth using paint and salt.

Sunny Day Today Mama built an amazing dinosaur egg example out of paper mache'.

It's your turn!


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If you are new to Show &Tell or need a quick recap, here are the rules:


~Post your favorite lessons, crafts, traditions, kid friendly recipes, field trip recap, learning games, experiments, DIY organizational projects, holiday related activities, or Ah-Ha moments.


~Direct link to your post, not your home page.


~Include a link back to us or include our link button in your post or sidebar.


~Each week we will feature three links from the previous week's party.  Some weeks these are chosen at random, sometimes by theme, and other times according to linky tools stats.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Teaching with Ticia: Making the Most of Field Trips


Spring is field trip season. The weather is beautiful, and many of my local area places are best in the Spring. So, we at least in our homeschool go on lots of field trips in this time of year.

Prep work before 


1. Look to see hours, distance to travel, and other things of that nature. I've made the mistake a few times of not checking ahead of time and getting there to discover the place we were going closed.

2.  Check to see if there's a website.  If there is look for any lesson plans to go along with it.  Many museums or zoos have lesson plans to go with their museum.  They also frequently have picture scavenger hunts for younger kids to complete.

3.  Pack all snacks and lunches you plan to bring.  Double check if you can bring them in.  Some museums allow you to bring small snacks, others do not allow any food inside, but will allow you to leave to eat and come back in.

4.  If it's a museum dedicated to someone, or someone's house, try checking out a book about the subject to let them learn more beforehand, and to bring up more questions.

While you're there


1.  Take advantage of maps.  This is a great chance to have a hands on map skills lesson.


2.  Figure out what places are high priority and go there first.  For my kids when we go to zoos, their highest priorities are giraffes and lions.  Children's Museums, their highest priorities are the grocery stores or towns.  Most other museums it is hands on exhibits.


3.  I'm sure you all know this, but if it's just your family and you are not on a particular schedule, leave while the kids are still happy.  It's so tempting to squeeze out one more activity to "get your money's worth out of it," but every time I've tried that it has not gone well.

4.  If it is not a museum geared towards children, try to alternate exhibits that are less hands on and exhibits that are more hands on.

After the field trip


1.  For younger kids, have them narrate what happened, and what their favorite parts were.  Older kids who are starting to write can write their own summary.

2.  Do any follow up activities suggested from the website.  Our local children's museum has suggestions of what to do after your visit related to the current traveling exhibit.  Depending on the type of exhibit it can be a science experiment, a writing activity, or a building activity.

3.  Go to the library and follow up on any topics or questions brought up.  We frequently follow up zoo visits by getting more information about animals we saw.

4.  Write a story.  This is one of my kids' favorites activities to do.  They will spend a lot of time making up stories about them and the pictures we took.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bilingual Wednesdays- Día de la tierra


Word recognition is an early skill that helps your children identify new words, associate words and pictures and consolidate word structure either in English or Spanish. I made this set of letter tiles to practice word recognition with one of my bilingual groups.



In this case you will find some cards and letter tiles to "write" words such as
Earth / Tierra
Tree / árbol
Sun / sol
Water/ agua
Leaf /hoja 
Branch/ rama
Flower /flor
Bee / abeja
Soil /suelo
Snail / caracol


Print, cut and laminate for durability. Let children form the words using the tiles.



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Show and Tell #96

Living and Learning at Home has many posts about exploring the 5 Senses. Last week they linked up with a Nature Walk focusing on their sense of hearing.

Small Good Hearth shared many great suggestions for encouraging a young poet.

Preschool Powol Packet will have you searching for ants to try this neat color changing experiment. 


It's your turn!


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If you are new to Show & Tell or need a quick recap, here are the rules:


~Post your favorite lessons, crafts, traditions, kid friendly recipes, field trip recap, learning games, experiments, DIY organizational projects, holiday related activities, or Ah-Ha moments.


~Direct link to your post, not your home page.


~Include a link back to us or include our link button in your post or sidebar.


~Please try to visit and comment on at least three links. This adds to the positive collaboration that makes our learning cooperative a success!


~Each week we will feature three links from the previous week's party.  Some weeks these are chosen at random, sometimes by theme, and other times according to linky tools stats.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Egg Skill Review Hunts


Katie assembled a skill building egg hunt activity with separate questions appropriate for each of her children's age level.

Childhood 101 shares different suggestions for putting together your Easter egg hunt.
How about a high tech egg hunt using GPS like the one suggested by Discover Magazine?
Preschool Lesson Plans brings the egg hunt inside to reinforce essential early literacy concepts.
Adventures to Inspire put together a math fact egg hunt.

More Than a Maths Teacher has compiled a list of mathematical problems to hide in your Easter eggs.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Show and Tell #95

There are so many interesting links in last week's Show and Tell. I was especially excited to see so many new participants as I clicked through to visit each of the neat ideas that were shared. Thank you so much to all of our new reader friends who have linked up to make this party even more fun!



 Science Sparks shared a simple, clever way to introduce your young biologists to the concept of food chains.

 Mama to Many Blessing made a group of textured eggs that would be interesting for toddlers.



These Cloud Jars from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds certainly caught my interest, I am sure that students will be excited to give it a try as well!

It's your turn!


abc button




If you are new to Show & Tell or need a quick recap, here are the rules:


~Post your favorite lessons, crafts, traditions, kid friendly recipes, field trip recap, learning games, experiments, DIY organizational projects, holiday related activities, or Ah-Ha moments.


~Direct link to your post, not your home page.


~Include a link back to us or include our link button in your post or sidebar.


~Please try to visit and comment on at least three links. This adds to the positive collaboration that makes our learning cooperative a success!


~Each week we will feature three links from the previous week's party.  Some weeks these are chosen at random, sometimes by theme, and other times according to linky tools stats.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Teaching with Ticia: Ohio and ways to use the state symbols books


I was going to post on Ohio and Louisiana, but there were a lot of activities and books to go with Louisiana, and that would make this post extremely long, beyond my attention span..........

OHIO
First a sign language joke (I took 2 years in college), the sign for Ohio is "O" move your "O" higher.  That may only amuse me, but it certainly amused me very much.

Included in the lapbook:

My Great Invention- Ohio is home to the "Invention Museum," which I would love to visit someday!  I found a book called "Cromwell Dixon's Sky Cycle," all about a boy who loves to invent things.  With my kids we created an invention with Legos, however this would also be a great time to break out your box of recyclables and let them create whatever they want.  This activity lets you pull in several different disciplines (science-making a plan and experimenting, writing, what are your steps and how did you do it, math- measuring).

Covered Wagon- Early on Ohio was considered the "Great Wilderness," and it was brave to explore out there.  We tend to think of wagon trains to Oregon or somewhere "out West," but once upon a time this was great wilderness.  We had to fill our covered wagons with pictures of what we would bring.  I tried to size it appropriate to the space, but that did not always work right.

Neil Armstrong- Neil Armstrong is from Ohio, and the book I found wrote all about how he planned and worked to achieve his plan of being a pilot and then an astronaut.  I challenged the kids to think of what their goal is and how they would achieve it.


Other things to do:
Trilobites- the state fossil.  Afterwards I did a few google searches and found these ideas: trilobite masks and printable 3d trilobite and snack.  Trilobites are on my things I find oddly amusing list.

Giant of Seville- This is a cute story about a small town, Seville, that helps a VERY tall man feel welcome in their town despite his not fitting any of the houses or buildings.  A great story to talk about accepting people who are different than you, and how to work to help them fit in.  An easy extension of this book is to measure out how tall the giant was and compare it to themselves.

Annie Oakley- my library had several books on her, but it did not work on the flow of our lesson to include her.  I highly recommend reading a book about her and then comparing it to the musical about her "Annie Get Your Gun!"  If you have boys with Nerf guns this would be a great chance to let them practice hitting targets like she did (toilet paper rolls make great targets).


Warm as Wool- You can use this an introduction to spinning wool, I found a great series of videos on this starting with "How a spinning wheel works."






What to do with State Symbol books

Graph them, this is the easiest thing to do with them.  I joke that every third state has a ladybug as their state insect and the other two are either a butterfly or firefly.  But, it makes for an interesting comparison.  What is the most common state insect or flower?

Sort into classifications- Does every state have a state flower or fossil?  Which states have what symbols?

Compare and Contrast- Venn Diagrams would be a great idea here.  You can compare two neighboring states and see if they share any common symbols.

What would you do with them?  I'm planning on graphing them, but I think we might go back and do a Venn diagram as an easy pictorial introduction.