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Creative Thinking

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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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What About Critical Thinking Challenges?

What do you do when you want to challenge students, but you also want them to learn? We give them critical thinking challenges. Critical thing requires many skills-problem solving, collaboration, design thinking, and perseverance. When a critical thinking question is carefully crafted, you can get students to explore learning outcomes while having fun and being engaged in their learning at the same time. Continue Reading

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Poem in Your Pocket Day

We’re hosting a “Poem in Your Pocket” day as a celebration upon completing our poetry unit in Language Arts. It coincides with the National Poem In Your Pocket Day. This year’s event is being held April 26. It’s coming up soon! You can join us this year even if you haven’t taught poetry in your classroom yet! Continue Reading

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Why You Should Give Students Choices

How would you feel if you knew you were a wonderful writer but the only way you could express yourself was through modern dance? What would you do if you have to recite your report card comments by memory to each and every parent? How would you feel if you were given the choice to write your report cards any way YOU want? (Ours would be invisible!)

Wouldn’t that be amazing? Wouldn’t that make you want to write the best report cards the world has ever seen?

So why are we so determined as teachers that there’s only one way to assess our students? Why can’t they have choices too? Continue Reading

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Work Through the Design Process

Here’s a quick lesson you can do with your students to learn how to use your Makerspace while teaching students to enjoy the process.

Give your students a selection of pieces. These can be any material you have available. We used bottle caps, straws, tape, index cards and string. We also had scissors available. You can use these materials or use what you have in your Makerspace. The items should be flexible enough to let students explore. Continue Reading

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What Goes in a Makerspace?

You’ve decided to have a Makerspace. What should you put in it? Any thing you want. Start small. We put out origami paper and a book during the first week just to see what would happen. (Turns out the answer to that question is lots of paper frogs.) But seriously, we made a list of potential items for your Makerspace. Continue Reading