Estimation vs. Calculation is one of many interactive math bulletin board ideas made available by Kutztown University. Each of the bulletin boards is designed by a college student studying to become a teacher, has accompanying pictures, directions on how to replicate the board, and worksheets. Most of them are for secondary school, but I noticed a few, such as the Estimation one, that would be appropriate for upper elementary. I especially liked the warning that appeared at the end of the instructions for Estimation vs. Calculation. The creator, Sara Karahoca, states, “WARNING!!!!!! A bulletin board with candy is very enticing. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR USE WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS (as they will eat all your candy). NOT RECOMMENDED IN HIGH TRAFFIC/UNSUPERVISED AREAS (as students, hungry professional staff, and/or wild animals may also eat all your candy and steal your smiley faces.)” A sense of humor always helps!
7 Hat Challenge is a game hosted by Scholastic News that allows the player to choose the difficulty level, and then try to earn 7 different presidential “hats” of responsibility. This is a good interactive that allows the player to learn more about some of the Presidents of the United States and their many roles. For a plethora of Presidents’ Day activities, check out the post where I found this one on “Technology Rocks. Seriously.”
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.”