I was really intrigued by the Flags by Colours infographic in a presentation given by Kathy Schrock on “Using Infographics as a Creative Assessment” at T.C.E.A. last week. Although her presentation was about having students create infographics, this particular example struck me as one that could be useful in the classroom. For starters, you could ask the kids to try to predict which one represents their own country (conveniently forgetting to tell them that the flags are in alphabetical order). If they pick the wrong one(s), you could help them to determine why, which might bring in some math and fractions. You could also compare the similar flags of countries, have the students try to figure out which color is used the most (the answer is at the bottom) and speculate why, design what the infographic might look like for another flag – like one of a state or region, or try to design a flag based on its infographic, and then reveal the true flag. I’m sure you can think of even more ideas!
I found Hands Symphony on one of my favorite resources, KB Connected. I think that it is a great site for composing a tune to email to someone you care about while at the same time spreading life-saving information about CPR. Even if you aren’t planning to e-mail your composition, your students will have fun with this creative way to make music. I thought it was appropriate to post a site sponsored by the American Heart Association on Valentine’s Day:)
According to the Origami Resource Center, Puzzle Purses have been around for centuries in several different cultures. In Victorian times, they became a Valentine tradition. You can find specific directions, along with diagrams, for folding your own puzzle purse, here. As an additional challenge, your students can also create the poetry that goes inside.
February 13-19 has been designated as Random Acts of Kindness Week. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has many resources, including: monthly calendars, posters, and cards. They also offer bookmarks, videos, and other links on their RAK Week page. For another twist on an activity for next week, you can also check out my Random Acts of Kindness QR Codes.
In December, I posted some QR codes that could be used as reward coupons in the classroom. I suggested cutting them out and putting them in your class treasure box so your students could be surprised. My students loved them – until the website I had used to store the documents expired. (Tagmydoc.com allows you to create QR codes for documents that you have uploaded for free, but, unbeknownst to me, they are only stored for 14 days.)
I have posted new coupons under my Weebly account, so these QR codes will not expire unless Weebly goes out of business or I remove the site. These coupons were created with the iPad TypeDrawing app, which I highly recommend.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, you might want to put a QR code in each of your student’s Valentines. They will enjoy scanning them to discover the reward you have given them. Or, maybe get an old chocolate box, and let the students choose a “chocolate.”
Valentine’s Activities for the SmartBoard, created by SmartBoard Smarty, can be found at Teachers Pay Teachers. My GT 2nd graders were completely engaged by the Sudoku activity. Do not be alarmed by the title of the site. There are many great resources here that are absolutely free. You do have to register for an account (which is also free) in order to download them, but I have found many quality materials here that make registering well worth my time. This particular one is in SmartBoard format, but there are also Powerpoints, Word Documents, and PDF files. While you are visiting Teachers Pay Teachers, you might want to think about starting your own “store” on their site. Their biggest seller, Deanna Jump, has made over $500,000 by selling her self-designed materials here!
The Doodle 4 Google contest is up and running, and I love the theme for this year. It’s, “If I could travel in time, I’d visit…” It’s open to all K-12 students in U.S. schools, and there are some really amazing prizes, including a Google Chromebook. If you know a student who is an aspiring artist, be sure to have him or her submit an entry by March 23rd. To inspire your students, you might want to head over to this link, where some art students created some Art History Google pieces.