set of empty white papers attached on pink wall
Games, K-12, Teaching Tools

All The Things

My posts are usually about one topic, but I have so many random things to share today that I just decided to go with a list!

  • I just added a link to my Wordle Variations Wakelet for Flippity WordMaster! Now you can create your own custom Wordles for class with lists of words!
  • Speaking of Wakelet, you may have missed my Lunar New Year post on Friday where I shared the link for my February Wakelet. If you look at it on a desktop/laptop screen, you will see columns for different February events, including Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, and the Superbowl! Please share anything you think I need to add! February is technically Black History Month, but I choose to celebrate an inclusive history all year, so I have a link to my Anti-Racist Wakelet in the February list as well. Follow me for more Wakelet collections here!
  • I hope this embeds correctly as it is a Tweet from Yo-Yo Ma that he dedicated to teachers, and it’s beautiful, and all of you deserve it right now!
  • Lastly, I am really, really planning to have my first online course, An Intro To Genius Hour, out tomorrow, February 1st (fingers crossed). It will be free for a limited time, so be sure to sign up to be notified! You will get one hour of continuing education credit (always check with your administrator to make sure they will accept it in your district).

cards and envelopes
K-12, Teaching Tools

Valentine’s Day 2022

I’ve noticed an uptick in views of my Valentine’s Day posts, so I just wanted to remind everyone that I have a huge collection of ideas on my Wakelet here. I also wrote a post about being inclusive on Valentine’s Day because it can easily end up being a day of hurt feelings. I’m in the midst of creating a February Holiday Wakelet, so please check back soon (or follow me on my Wakelet profile page) if you are looking for other February activities. Sorry this is such a short post, but I’m juggling lots of projects at the moment!

red flower on white sand
Photo by How Far From Home on Pexels.com
Art, Education, K-12, Social Studies, Student Products

Happy Valentine’s Day from San Antonio!

UPDATE 1/26/2021 – Here is my up-to-date Wakelet collection of Valentine’s Day resources.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a link to the Virtual Valentines Project.  Since my 1st graders are studying different continents and countries, I thought they would be the perfect group to match with a Virtual Valentine.  We were matched with a class in Canada, and will be Skyping with them today.

I wanted the Valentines my students made to reflect a little of our San Antonio uniqueness, so I asked the students to brainstorm some special things about San Antonio that our Canadian friends might not have.  This turned out to be harder than I expected.

“Games?” one student suggested.

“Toys?” another student ventured.

After I assured them that Canada is not an isolated planet in outer space without any stores or internet connections, we narrowed things down a bit.

“Barbecue!”

“The Riverwalk!”

“The Alamo!”

We ended up with a fairly long list, and the students could choose one San Antonio feature to include in their Valentines.  It wasn’t until yesterday, though, that I got a chance to look at them closely.  I thought I’d share a few with you 🙂

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It took me a moment to figure out that this is one of our Riverwalk barges.

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This barge appears to be about to devour all of the ducks.  Since the ducks are larger than the people, that might be just as well.

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Unlike most of us who live in San Antonio, I think this student actually visited the Alamo.

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I’m not absolutely sure what’s happening at the top of the ladder inside the Alamo. It could either be someone writing at a desk with a candle or lighting a cow on fire.  I guess I need to brush up on my Texas history. (My daughter just informed me that it’s a cannon.  Oops.)

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Yes, we definitely love our tacos in San Antonio!

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It’s rodeo season in San Antonio right now.  As you can see, that isn’t a picture of a cow or a horse.  Apparently, this student’s favorite rodeo experience was the school’s Bike Rodeo.

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This picture pretty much says it all…

Overall, I think their pictures definitely showcase some of our San Antonio flair.  I hope this post makes you smile as much as I did writing it, and Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!

Critical Thinking, Education, Games, K-12, Problem Solving

Valentine’s Day Breakout EDU

UPDATE 1/26/2021 – Here is my up-to-date Wakelet collection of Valentine’s Day resources.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  If you teach in any country that annually celebrates this day, then you know that getting your students to focus will probably be somewhat of a challenge.  You might as well join in the fun – in an educational way, of course.  I’ve already posted this year’s list of Valentine’s Day resources, but wanted to let you know that I will be adding these seasonal Breakout Edu games to the list.  “Anti-Love Potion #9” is designed for elementary students, and, “Where in the World is Valentino/Cupid?” targets middle and high schools.  “Holiday Hijinks” connects to a few different holidays, including Valentine’s Day, and can be used with 2nd-6th grades.

If you haven’t registered with Breakout EDU yet, you can go to this page.  Registering is free, and you need to do so in order to get the password that will give you full access to the games.  And, just in case you haven’t read my original post on Breakout EDU, here you go 🙂

vdaymm
image from: Wikimedia

Apps, Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Student Products, Teaching Tools

I <3 My Readers!

UPDATE 1/26/2021 – Here is my up-to-date Wakelet collection of Valentine’s Day resources.

Looking for ways to build on the anticipation and excitement your students have for Valentine’s Day?  Here are some of the activities I’ve recommended in past years.

I’m always looking for new ideas, though.  I ran across a couple from fellow bloggers that were posted last year around this time.

Christy at Creative Classroom Tools has these great forced association activities called, “A Very Venn Valentine’s.”  I’m totally using these (free download on TPT!) this year!

Minds in Bloom offers some fun “Would You Rather” questions of the non-mathematical variety.

Valentine’s Day Sudoku – I have some other links to online and printable sudoku puzzles here, but these free printables are particularly well-suited for Kinder and 1st graders.

Hopscotch Hearts – I thought it would be fun for my students to use Hopscotch (the iPad coding app) to make something Valentine-y, and they have been working on their own ideas on and off for a couple of weeks.  (You can see what a few of my 2nd graders have done so far here – most of them haven’t finished, yet.)  Then I saw a tweet from Hopscotch about a new tutorial they just posted to make a “Pixel Art Heart.”  My 3rd graders tried it out yesterday and really liked it.  A few of them finished the code and then started modifying it to make the heart bigger or smaller as well as different colors.  A couple of other students messed up on the code and I loved watching their peers working with them to try to figure out where they went wrong. (Because I had absolutely no idea!)

And finally, how about geeking up your day?  Check out these awesome paper circuit cards made by 7th graders! (You can find Chibitronics LED circuit stickers online, or you can use surface-mount LED’s.  Copper tape and coin cell batteries will help you make the circuits.)  For instructions on making greeting cards, visit this post. (UPDATE 2/8/16: Here is a link to the Valentine Cards our Maker Club made this year.)

Screen Shot from Hopscotch Pixel Art tutorial
Screen Shot from Hopscotch Pixel Art tutorial

Computer Science, Critical Thinking, Education, K-5, Problem Solving, Student Products, Teaching Tools

Love Doesn’t Always Defy Logic

UPDATE 1/26/2021 – Here is my up-to-date Wakelet collection of Valentine’s Day resources.

I was going to title this post, “VD is Making me ADD.” Fortunately I realized that was a bad idea – for so many reasons.

Well, I kind of lied.  I have been saying for two days that all of my posts this week would be about the TCEA conference I attended last week.  But then one Valentine resource popped up.  And then another.   And I thought that some of you might actually want to learn about them before Valentine’s Day which, of course, for those of us in the U.S. who follow the Hallmark Holiday Calendar, is this coming Saturday.

Even though it’s not my favorite holiday, Valentine’s Day does lend itself to some fun classroom activities.   I’ve already posted a bunch of resources.  It’s kind of sad, actually, that I have more links to Valentine’s Day resources than Presidents’ Day.  I think it’s a silent rebellion against working  on a day that the students get a holiday…

Anyway, here are a couple more to add to the list of ways to have fun  teach critical thinking and problem solving skills that are vital for standardized testing 😉

Valentine’s Day Sudoku – I have some other links to online and printable sudoku puzzles here, but these free printables are particularly well-suited for Kinder and 1st graders.

Hopscotch Hearts – I thought it would be fun for my students to use Hopscotch (the iPad coding app) to make something Valentine-y, and they have been working on their own ideas on and off for a couple of weeks.  (You can see what a few of my 2nd graders have done so far here – most of them haven’t finished, yet.)  Then I saw a tweet from Hopscotch about a new tutorial they just posted to make a “Pixel Art Heart.”  My 3rd graders tried it out yesterday and really liked it.  A few of them finished the code and then started modifying it to make the heart bigger or smaller as well as different colors.  A couple of other students messed up on the code and I loved watching their peers working with them to try to figure out where they went wrong. (Because I had absolutely no idea!)

So those are my two off-task suggestions for today.  I would promise that I’ll be back to the plan tomorrow, but who knows what will capture my attention between now and then?

Pixel Art Heart