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BrainNinjasWP

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Recycled Materials: Christmas Wreaths

Here is a great activity your students can do that is both environmentally friendly and makes a wonderful Christmas gift.

Your students can help create one wreath as a group or can create their own wreath depending on how much material you have to recycle.

Materials: 1 metal clothes hanger per wreath, old green clothes such as shirts, socks, tablecloths, towels, sheets, and pants (they can be a variety of shades of green as well as different types of materials, but in our experience knitted items do not work well), scissors that cut cloth, green yarn scraps, decorations such as bows, bells and old ornaments

Here’s how to make it: Continue Reading

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Interactive Math Notebooks Representing Numbers

We use interactive notebooks in our math class. We have found creating a reference book of concepts and procedures that students can refer to when working in math helps them build confidence and develop independence.

We’re not going to lie. They are a lot of work, but the working is meaningful. We found on average our math grades improved and students were able to retain more of their learning year over year.

Our notebooks are created using two pages for each concept. Continue Reading

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Five Things We Learned From Interactive Notebooks

When a colleague told me we should try interactive notebooks in math, we agreed and then went on our merry ways and did math the same old way for another year, so at the end of that school year, she approached us again and DEMANDED we buy this Interactive Math Journal by Jen Runde. We took a look, bought it and then went on summer vacation. Near the end of the summer I opened it up and it CHANGED MY WORLD. I will never teach math the same way again. That being said, there are a few things I learned and will change for the upcoming year to get the most of math journals.

Interactive math notebooks are an investment, but like all good investments they take time to show a good return. Patience is the key! They take time, but they result in deeper understanding, so here are some things you need to consider before starting your interactive math notebook journey.

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Art Christmas Holidays and Seasonal Makerspace Seasonal/Holiday Winter

Recycled Paper Snowmen

Here’s a little task you can give to your students to make an environmentally friendly Christmas tree ornament. For this task we have chosen to make a snowman.

You will need: newspaper, magazine or flyers, white glue (glue sticks work, but not as well), yarn/string, ornamental details like
googly eyes, bells, felt, markers. You may need hot glue to attach large pieces together.

Here’s how to make your own recycled paper snowmen. Continue Reading

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Research Skills: The Library

When you want to do research in your school library do you often find your school just can’t afford the resources (or even the librarian) you need? This is why so often we take our students online to do research. In doing this, we often teach students that libraries are not a valuable resource because nothing could be further than the truth.  Continue Reading

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Alternative Halloween Activities

Let’s be honest. Halloween is not one of the best days for teachers-even worse the day after. So unless the day lands on a weekend, chances are you’re going to be somehow involved. So, other than sitting and eating junk food while dressed in costumes, what other activities can a teacher do with their class while still celebrating Halloween? Continue Reading