Featured Post

Treasures Reading Supplement

What it is: We use the Treasures Reading curriculum (Macmillan McGraw Hill) at the school where I teach.  Although there are things I like about this curriculum, one thing that is in need of improvement are the activities provided for students to practice the skills that they are learning.  The activities don’t change from 1st-5th grade, are very repetitive, and do not encourage any sort of deeper thinking skills.  In an attempt to remedy this for our students, I went through each unit for 1st through 5th grade and pulled out the essential learning components.  I found activities that were engaging and required some deeper thinking to supplement what was currently in the curriculum.  As I worked to supplement the activities, I looked for a few things: 1. The activity could be completed with the whole class, using an interactive whiteboard or projector, or could be completed as a computer center (for the classroom with 2 or 3 computers).  2. The activities had to meet and reinforce the essential learning. 3. The activities had to be more engaging than what was already suggested. How to integrate Treasures Reading Supplement into the classroom: These guides are meant to be a supplement for the Treasures Reading Curriculum.  They are designed to offer some extra ideas for helping students to practice and solidify learning.  You will find a few activities that are meant for offline use such as a whole class bingo game or partner matching games.  You will also notice some suggestions for Promethean activities.  I created some supplemental flipcharts for our teachers to use that I am happy to share if you can use them. (I hope to have these up on Promethean Planet soon).   Many of these activities can be completed as a center activity in the classroom.  We don’t always have access to a computer lab of computers.  In the classroom with a few computers, set up a weekly rotation so that your students can complete some of the online activities.  Some of the games and activities are also appropriate for whole class participation. In my classroom, I like to play games with my students.  I will often split students into teams where the teams will take turns working through a game.   Students love the extra layer of competition being timed. In my reading classroom, I  had literacy groups that I met with every day.  Each day I met with a new group (those students who were in need of remedial reading met each day of the week).  During literacy group time, the group that I was working with read the story for the week, learned and practiced key essential learning together (phonics, grammar, vocabulary) , and worked on building comprehension strategies.  While I worked with my smaller literacy groups, the rest of the class  worked through independent literacy centers.  At the beginning of the week I explained all of the centers for the week.  Because my classroom had limited space, I put my centers into colored tubs that rotated around the classroom.  Each day a small group of students received a center tub.  The tub has all of the necessary supplies and directions for that center.  One of my centers always involved the classroom computers.  Sometimes the centers were inquiry based, sometimes games, and sometimes additional reading practice.  Every week, each student completed each center activity.  In the meantime, I was able to work one on one with my literacy groups.  This worked really well in my classroom and technology made it easy for students to work at their own level independently. The guides are below in ebook format using Issuu, they have been separated by grade.  Even if you don’t teach the Treasures Curriculum, everything has been arranged by the learning focus, these overlap in most curricula.  You may find some great activities that meet your classroom need here: First Grade: Second Grade: Third Grade: Fourth Grade: Fifth Grade: *Note: The fourth and fifth grade spelling lists on Spelling City do not come from the Treasures curriculum.  The fourth grade uses Houghton Mifflin and the fifth grade has generated their own lists. For a list of all of my publications check out my library on Issuu. Leave a comment and share how you are using the Treasures Reading Supplement in your classroom.

Read More

E is for Explore: discovery, science, math, art, literacy, social studies and more!

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Blogs, Create, Evaluate, Fun & Games, Inquiry, inspiration, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 07-01-2013

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3

E is for Explore!

 

Happy New Year!!  I have to say, I wasn’t heart broken to see 2012 go and welcome a year of new beginnings.  2012 felt…hard. And uninspired.  I think that is what happens when you see a dream realized and then comes the part where you are in the middle of it, making it work and doing the HARD work.  2012 wasn’t a year I felt particularly creative. I miss that, it is part of my essence.  I’ve been so incredibly busy, just working to keep everything going, that I had nothing left over.  I’m hoping that 2013 is a different story. Step 1: the first post of 2013.  Here is to creativity and passion!

What it is: I discovered a new blog that I am absolutely loving!  It is hard to beat a place where exploration is not only welcome, but encouraged.  E is for Explore is that place.  Here you will find new learning activities and a fantastic collection of ideas from other sources.  There is a handy-dandy index that helps you find just what you need quickly and easily.  I’ve been working on collecting resources for this inquiry unit and E is for Explore has been an absolute treasure trove.  Topics include discovery/exploration, science/engineering, mathematics, art, literacy, social studies and seasons/holidays.

How to integrate E is for Explore into the classroom:  E is for Explore is a great tool for unit, center, and inquiry planning.  I am really enjoying the huge bank of hands-on activities and projects all designed to encourage exploration in learning. The wide range of activities will keep sparking curiosity in a variety of disciplines.

As I plan out inquiry units and gather resources, I am always on the lookout for activities that will encourage students to explore and spark new curiosities.  E for Explore made this process infinitely easier, bringing me an easy-to-search collection of activities, with great instructions, all in one place.  Many of the activities are manageable enough for a center activity within the classroom…great for differentiation and individualization!

I shared E is for Explore with some of our students, they had a great time looking through the science experiments and learning about how to make mini robots and floam.  This would be SO much better than a small tic-tac-toe board for students to choose an activity from.  Students can explore the entire site and choose an exploration that is of interest to them and complete it accordingly.

Tips: My hope is that iLearn Technology does for you what E if for Explore did for me.  Did you know that you can search by keyword (at the top of my website) or through a multi-category search (in the sidebar on the right)?  Choose as many variables as you want and see what you can find!  I categorize every post by keywords, Bloom’s Taxonomy level, Grade Level, Resource Type, and Subject Area.  After 7 years of free resources, I’ve amassed quite a collection of awesome, free classroom tools.  Go ahead, give it a try and see what new fun finds you come across!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  E is for Explore in your classroom.

Comments (3)

Looks like a great resource! I’ll definitely show it to other teachers!

Thank you so much for the write up about E is for Explore! iLearn Technology is one of my all time favorite sites! I have your site bookmarked for easy access. Plus, I told my Educational Technology professor about iLearn Technology over the summer. I am so happy that you find E is for Explore useful. It’s awesome that you have your students use it for differentiated lessons. I featured your writeup about QR codes on my blog back in August. Here is the link to the post: http://eisforexplore.blogspot.com/2012/08/kid-qr-codes.html. Once again, thank you for the writeup! – Erin Bittman

Thank you Erin! What you all are doing is SO fabulous!

Write a comment

*