March 29, 2012

Facebook Freebie Giveaway

If you could win any one of my teaching resources, which one would you choose? If you answer that question on Facebook, you could win it!

From time to time, I post a question on Facebook, and one lucky teacher becomes the winner of up to $20 worth of teaching resources! This week I'm adding a little twist, so I decided to blog about the contest to explain how to enter.

For this contest, I'm asking you to take a look at all of the items in my TeachersPayTeachers store and tell me which item you would like to win (up to $20 in value) and why you like it. While you are browsing my TeachersPayTeachers store, please click the Follow Me link at the top to be notified when I add new freebies and resources. Also, my TpT followers have the chance to download new products for about half price when I first add them to the site.

How to Enter
Since this is a Facebook giveaway, you'll need to enter by going to my Facebook page and letting me know which of Laura Candler's TeachersPayTeachers items you would like to win and why. Click this link to go directly to the Facebook Freebie Giveaway status update where you can post your response. The contest ends Friday evening, March 30th, around 8 p.m. EST. At that time, I'll review the responses carefully and use to help me select a winner.

How to find out if you win 
I'll announce the winner in my Candler's Classroom Connections newsletter on Saturday, so be sure you are subscribed. You can learn more about my newsletter and subscribe by visiting my newsletter sign up page. Each week I send out free teaching tips and printables, links to helpful websites, and special deals on my ebooks and lessons. Even if you don't win this week's contest, you'll be a winner each Saturday when you receive the newsletter! :-)

So which item in my TpT store would you like to win? Take a look around and visit my Facebook Wall  and enter your response where you see the yellow question mark. I'm looking forward to hearing which item is your favorite!

March 25, 2012

Note-Taking Foldable Freebie For Informational Text

How can you transform almost any assignment into an adventure? Use foldables! Foldables are so much fun to make, and when students create their own, they seem to take more pride in their work.

Note-taking Foldables
Foldables are terrific for note-taking assignments based on informational text. The examples shown on the right were created by my students during a science unit on the rain forest. I had four subtopics I wanted them to explore; therefore, I used a four-flap foldable so they could write one question on each flap. 

Below you'll find directions for making this rain forsest foldable. It works great for taking notes on any topic that has four clear subtopics - even textbook chapters!

I usually have students create foldables from plain paper, but if you've never created this one before, you may want to use the pattern below. It has dotted lines for folding and solid lines for cutting. You can download the Rain Forest Foldable pattern from the Science File Cabinet on Teaching Resources.

How to Make a Rain Forest Foldable:
  1. Give each student a large sheet of white construction paper - 12" x 18" was used in the examples above. Show your students how to fold it into eighths. (If using the pattern, have them fold on the dotted lines.)
  2. Ask students to open their papers and then fold the top and bottom halves in to meet at the center. (If using the pattern, the printed side goes down.)
  3. Next, show your students how to snip the fold in the middle of each flap to create a total of four flaps as shown in the photo above. (If using the pattern, cut on the two solid lines.)
  4. Ask students to write the title of the foldable and their name in the large space on the back, and then flip it over and write their four subtopics on the front, one per flap.
  5. If time allows, provide a few minutes for students to decorate their foldables. 
  6. Demonstrate how to lift up each flap and take notes in the area under the flap. (Tip: It's helpful to draw solid lines on the folds inside the foldable to separate the four sections.)
Not only are foldables a terrific way to actively engage students, they're also great because kids can store them and refer to them later when studying for a test or completing an assignment. How might you use this foldable? 

March 22, 2012

Hands On Geometry - Part II

Guest Blog Post by Stephanie Moorman of Teaching in Room 6

Last week I shared Hands-on Geometry, Part I, and I'm back with Part II! The Hands-on Geometry Freebie shown on the right includes templates that go with both lessons.

Area and Perimeter
I love going outside for these standards.  Heading out with our rulers and paper in hand, the kids measure various signs and playground objects.  I usually have the students find both the area and the perimeter of the objects (depending upon what time of year I have them do this activity). This is really fun, since the kids often have to work together to measure the objects (since the lines on the playground are often larger than the 12 inches a ruler provides)  They are getting practice in converting inches to feet, measuring large objects, AND finding the perimeter and/or area of those objects.  So much math, all on the playground!

Surface Area
I like to have the students discover this concept for themselves.  I give them a tissue box, paper, and scissors, with instructions to cover the box with no overlap.  Then they have to tell me how much paper they need.  This takes some time, but they actually all do figure out that they need to create a net, measure each side, find the area of each side, and add it all together.

Back to the food again!  Using the marshmallows (they are cheap and easy because of their shape), the students need to create cubes and rectangular prisms of set sizes.  If I have them create a 36 marshmallow cube, they can see that the entire thing gets filled it.  It is 36 cubic units.  We then count the marshmallows on the length, the width, and the height.  Multiply them together, and you get 36 cubic units!

The circumference of a circle is about 3 times the diameter.  To show the students this, I take them outside to one of the painted circles on the playground.  We all sit around it and I have the students walk the diameter of the circle.   When we all have a basic idea of what the diameter is, the kids then walk the actual circle.  To their amazement, it really does take them 3x as long to walk around the outside of the circle!

There really are so many different ways to help the students learn the different concepts found within the Geometry and Measurement strands.  With a little creativity, it is easy to make these vital standards come to life for the students!  How have you made these standards more hands-on?  Please comment below.  I would love to hear about it!

Stephanie Moorman is a 5th grade teacher who has been teaching elementary school for 14 years. She has her Masters in Education and is Nationally Board Certified. She is the creator of the Teaching in Room 6 blog where she enjoys sharing her strategies with others. 

March 3, 2012

Permission to Pin Revisited

Last week I wrote about my recent concerns regarding Pinterest's terms of agreement. In a nutshell, when we sign up, we are agreeing that own the rights to whatever we pin, and we also give Pinterest full rights to those images. I'm not going to go into detail here; I suggest you read my full blog post if this is news to you.

You are free to interpret these terms however you would like, but I feel that the only respectful thing to do is to ask permission before pinning. I'm not the only one who feels this way, so I'd like to encourage bloggers and site owners to state their permissions clearly in some way. One way is to join the link up described in my original Pinterest blog post, but another way is to simply post a Permission to Pin badge in your sidebar. Feel free to grab this one* and use it, or create your own. If you use this one, I would appreciate a link back to one of my two blog posts on this topic so your visitors will know the whole story, but a link back is not required. I just want to know when I get to a site that it's okay to pin, and I don't want to have to email you to ask. If you would like to use the button shown above, just copy and past this code into an HTML gadget on your sidebar.

<center><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" /></a></center>

Over the last week I've seen a number of great blog posts that I wanted to pin, but I couldn't find any statement or information on the site that gave me permission and I moved on. I would be most appreciative if you would join me in spreading the word about this and encouraging others to show visitors that they have permission to pin. Thanks!

*Note: Thanks to Denise Boehm of Sunny Days in Second Grade for her help in designing and creating this Permission to Pin button!

March 2, 2012

Classroom Book Publishing Webinar

Your students can become published authors, and it won't cost you a penny! Studentreasures Publishing has a free program where your class can create a hardcover book with up to 66 pages - 33 stories and 33 color illustrations. You can choose from several book formats that include portrait or landscape pages and lined or unlined paper for the story pages.

I loved using this program in my class, so I'm excited to be able to present a webinar next week about the project called Simple Steps to Classroom Book Publishing. The webinar will take place on March 6th at 8 p.m. EST, but if you miss it, you can watch the recording from the Studentreasures page I've set up on my website. I'm a visual person, so I created the Classbook Storyboard shown below to help teachers plan and organize their projects. I'll be explaining how to use the Storyboard during the webinar. You can download a copy now by clicking on the image.

One reason that I'm so excited about the webinar is that I'll be joined by three other teachers who are just as passionate as I am about the project as I am:

  • Juana Saborido, 6th grade
  • Candy Carl, 1st grade
  • Robin Kramer, 1st grade

The book shown above, An Imaginary World, was created by Juana Saborido's 6th grade class. Juana, Candy, Robin, and I will be available at the end of the session to answer your questions about the Classbook publishing project. The webinar is being hosted by Studentreasures, so a few members of their staff will available to answer questions, too.

You can register for the webinar by clicking on the image on the left to be taken to the Simple Steps to Classroom Book Publishing registration page. You can sign up even if you can't attend the live session and you'll be sent the recording link later.

I know this is a busy time of year, but I hope you'll take time to attend this webinar. Publishing student work for free is an opportunity you don't want to pass up, but the project can be a little tricky the first time you do it. Yes, you can watch the recording later, but you won't be able to have YOUR questions personally answered! Also, at the end of the webinar, 3 participants will be randomly selected to win a $50 gift card to Scholastic, and you do have to be present to win. Please use the social sharing buttons on this blog post to share it with anyone you know who might be interested. I hope you'll join us on Tuesday, March 6th!