Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Various ideas

I'm trying to finish my idea cards.  Some may apply to homeschool while others might be more applicable to a classroom but that could even be a Sunday school classroom.

 Calendar & Post Cards make good sources of art prints.

Bulletin Board ideas:
God let's all things fall into place (autumn)
Map with current events pinned on the correct locations
Awesome Autumn

3-D board ideas:
balloons attached by the string
school supplies-push long straight pins halfway into to bulletin board in a row, then rest items on them
hand puppets or small stuffed animals
real clothing w/ drawn head hands and legs
book jackets
wrapped candies & empty food containers
Christmas ornaments

Different caption ideas:
Write in script
mount each letter on paper cutouts in simple shapes (hearts, shamrocks, snowflakes)
cut the letters out with pinking shears
cut letters from wallpaper samples, newspaper, or graph paper
hand-tear paper into various shapes instead of cutting it
cut out two sets of letters and mount them one on top of another for a shadow effect.

Use old vinyl place mats with pattern blocks & cuisinaire rods.  They muffle noise & prevent pieces slipping between cracks.  Solid colors work best.

Large number game
1. Divide paper plate into ten sections and label each with a number 0-9.  Make spinner from paper clips and pencil.
2. Create place value charts that can write ten rows of of number.
3.  To get starting numbers.  players spin 6 times and write digits obtained from each spin in the places across top row from hundred thousand to ones.
4.  Players take turns spinning and replacing one digit with a new number they spin.  Write new number on successive rows.  574325
5.  Winner of game is the player with the biggest number on the last row.
6.  Can have students write descriptions of strategies they used to play.  Discuss whether they could apply their strategies to make smallest rather than the largest number.

Research Bank
Pass out a few manila file folders per student.  Let each child think of a particularly interesting topic (whales, video games, ballet) and neatly write the subject on the folder tab.  Put the folders in alphabetical order in an easily accessible file.  Every time you or your students find info (newspaper or magazine article for instance) about the topic place it in the file.  Add new topic folders whenever children think of them.  You and your students will use this resource over and over.

Creative Writing
Have class brainstorm words that are both colors and nouns (emerald, lemon, rust, cream, rose, etc.)  Post list and tell students that for next writing assignment ask them instead to substitute words from the list the class created.

After you've introduced a new concept, ask students to turn to person next to them to explain or discuss a certain topic.

Collect old metal campaign-type buttons (political headquarters, travel agencies, etc.)  Give a sticker for each job well done and have them put it on the button.  Cover the face of the button.  Once they've covered their buttons, have a special day for wearing the button.

Inexpensive plastic tablecloths for painting and messy projects.
Refrigerator boxes, turned on their sides for a quiet reading space.
Rope plant hangers and plastic flower pots to hang from the ceiling for extra storage.
An old step ladder for displaying plants dioramas and art projects.
Telephone books for practice with alphabetizing and categorizing.
Old shower curtain liners for making giant game boards for floor maps.
Pant hangers for hanging chart paper and large sheets of newsprint.

Reading display:
Reading race-feet with books read.
Bookworm-each section of the work is a book read.

Beg a Branch
clear plastic bag without holes
1.  Choose a deciduous tree.
2.  Slip bag over end of bag enclosing as many leaves as possible.
3.  Gather and tie open end around branch.
4.  Write  down what you think will happen.
5.  After several hours check results.

Shamrock language arts & science
The shamrock (clover leaf) is the national symbol of Ireland because the Irish believe it was originally planted by St. Patrick.  Since three was considered a lucky number, the tri-leafed plant was said to bring good fortune.  Have your students use botanical identification books (try Peterson's Guide to Wildflowers) with bright colors and interesting descriptions to pick a plant that they think symbolizes America, their family, or even themselves.  Have them make a detailed drawing of the plant and write a paragraph explaining why they chose it.  This is a great activity to start off a science unit on plants.

Beginning of Year--Time Capsules
First of year divide class into groups of 3 or 4 and have each group decide what to include.  Suggest they measure each other with string, write short stories, or attempt math problems.  Have each group seal in decorated shoe boxes, milk cartons, or toilet paper rolls.  At end of year, open time capsules to see physical and academic growth.

Snowman-math and language arts
Have students build a snowman and keep a snowman's journal
Describe the snowman's properties (color, shape, size)
Record daily the height and chest measurements of the snowman
Record the temperature of the snowman and air temperature each day.
Predict when it will be completely melted.
Have students illustrate the 3 states of matter for their snowman.
Challenge older students to find mass and volume of snowman.
Write several sentences from the snowman's perspective describing how it feels to melt.

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