National Park Service: Virtual Resource

National Park Service has outstanding virtual resources.

The United States has 62 officially protected areas designated as national parks. Since they are spread across the country, most of us can’t get to visit a park easily.  Lucky for us, the National Park Service (NPS) has created an extensive list of digital opportunities and activities to do at home or at school. The resources are good for all ages and can be integrated into all content areas and subject areas. 

Virtual visitors can access live tours, kid’s activities, reading lists, digital suggestions and participate in live presentations. There are also online galleries of photos, videos, webcams, podcasts, and sound recordings. They also have made it easy to connect 24/7 to their websites and through social media.  You can share stories, photos, trip ideas. Park experiences, and more with park staff and other enthusiasts.  Many parks and programs have their own account to follow but you can also follow national NPS accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

National Park Service (NPS) Social Media

  • Facebook: Receive updates, news releases, photos, videos, events, and live streams from parks and NPS programs.
  • Instagram: Get your daily inspiration of photos, videos, and live stories from parks around the country.
  • Twitter: Receive park updates, news releases, photos, and videos from @NatlParkService.
  • YouTube: Explore videos about wildlife, history, events, trip planning, and more.

My Favorite Virtual National Parks

National Park Service (NPS) Activities

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Calendar Dates for June/July

June/July FUN Activities

Just because kids aren’t in school doesn’t mean you don’t celebrate special dates.  Calendar dates can help to make days special and opportunities to learn. Special days and observances can be everything from silly to serious and everything in between.

I know I have NOT included every celebration in the list below.  But the list below should get you started with some “hours of fun!”  ENJOY! 

June Daily Calendar Dates

  • June 3: World Bicycle Day
  • June 5: National Doughnut Day (first Friday)
  • June 8: World Ocean Day
  • June 10: Iced Tea Day
  • June 19: Juneteenth
  • June 20: Summer Solstice/Summer Begins (varies)
  • June 21: Father’s Day (third Sunday)

June Weekly/Monthly Calendar Dates

  • Teacher Thank You Week (first week)
  • National Gardening Week (first week)
  • National Flag Week (usually third week with Flag Day)
  • Dairy Month

July Daily Holidays and Observances

July 4: Independence Day

  • July 4: Independence Day
  • July 18: World Listening Day
  • July 19: National Ice Cream Day (third Sunday)
  • July 23: Gorgeous Grandma Day
  • July 26: National Parents Day (fourth Sunday)
  • July 30: International Day of Friendship

July Weekly/Monthly Holidays and Observances

  • Clean Beaches Week (July 1-7)
  • National Ice Cream Month
  • National Make a Difference for Children Month
  • National Picnic Month

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Google Earth: Home Learning

Google Earth is great for home learning.

So, in looking for additional things to do with my granddaughters on virtual school days, I started exploring Google Earth. Google Earth is a learning tool to experience new places and adventures around the world without leaving your home. It is one of the easiest distance learning resources requiring little prep and the kids love it; almost as much as I do. Without travel this year, it has become our virtual “staycation”.

Kids Favorite Google Earth Activities:

  • Voyager Games and Activities – A collection of interactive guided tours, quizzes and layers that uses rich media, 360 videos, and street views that allow you to see the world. Kids can explore National Parks, track hurricanes, and explore space. They can even play travel games using Carmen Sandiego and discover new places, cultures, and customs. 
  • I’m Feeling Lucky button – As a kid, I would spin the globe and see where my finger landed.  I had read the name, but I never researched anything about where my finger landed.  Now, with a simple “click” you can stop the globe from spinning and learn about the place where the globe stopped. 

Be sure to check out the Resource Hub on the Google Earth Education website. It has amazing resources for teachers that are READY to GO.  Complete lesson plans are available on multiple topics and on many grade levels. The site, complete with tutorials, makes learning fun and easy.  There are also opportunities to join global projects with other classrooms and publish student writing.   This site is a win-win for everyone! Have Fun!

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

  • Virtual Aquariums Are Fun
  • Historical Landmarks Virtual Tours

June Dates for Classroom FUN

June Dates for Classroom FUN

June dates are sure to bring lots of fun to classrooms. Calendar dates can help to make days special and opportunities to learn. Special days and observances can be everything from silly to serious and everything in between.

These special days don’t have to be only celebrated at home.  Knowing the days can extend to homes and family activities too.  Aren’t we all looking for ways to make learning at fun everywhere?  After a year of being in the midst of a pandemic aren’t we all ready for some FUN?  

I know I have NOT included every celebration in the list below.  But the list below should get you started with some “hours of fun!”  ENJOY! If you are ready for even more fun, check out the websites below that list additional holidays and celebrations.  Along with basic information you will find classroom resources and lesson ideas.  ALL FREE!

June Dates: Daily Celebrations

  • June 4                  National Donut Day
  • June 8                  World Ocean Day
  • June 14                Flag Day
  • June 18                International Picnic Day
  • June 18                National Flip Flop Day
  • June 19                Juneteenth
  • June 20                Start of Summer
  • June 20                Father’s Day
  • June 21                World Music Day
  • June 27                National Sunglasses Day

June Weekly Observances

  • Teacher Thank You Week (1st week)

June Monthly Observances

  • National Safety Month
  • Child Vision Awareness Month
  • National Safety Month

FREE Celebration Resources

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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Inspirational Quotes for Teachers

Inspirational Quotes for Teachers

Some days are just long when you are a teacher.  This year, the pandemic has made many of our days long and have us all questioning if we are doing everything we need to for our students. These are the days that we could use some inspirational Teacher quotes. 

As a student teacher supervisor, I have watched student teachers work in classrooms that change by the day.  One day face to face, next day virtual.  Kids in school part time and virtual the other days.  Teaching both to classroom kids and kids at home. If it is hard for me to keep up with their schedule, I cannot imagine their days! A special thank you to the Cooperating Teachers for volunteering to mentor in these crazy times. 

So, for Teacher Appreciation Week check out the teacher quotes below that remind us why we teach.  Consider it a couple of minutes of self-care.  We know we teach because we love helping kids but sometimes a few nice words can make our day.  Sometimes it is just a few words that remind us WHY we became teachers. 

Inspirational Quotes for Teachers

The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.   Pablo Picasso     

Children must be taught to think, not what to think.  Margaret Mead

Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.                                                             Malala Yousafzai

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it todayMalcom X    

In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn. Phil Collins

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. Lily Tomlin

We never know which lives we influence, or when or why. Stephen King

Don’t just teach your children to read, teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything! George Carlin

Thank you to every teacher that tries to make a difference every day! 

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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Using An Editing Checklist Improves Writing

Using An Editing Checklist Improves Writing

An Editing Checklist is a great tool to help students improve their writing.  By teaching students how to use an editing checklist they will be better able to address their own mistakes while writing. It allows students to revise and edit until it is “just right”.

5 Steps to Use Editing Checklist

  • Tell students the purpose of the checklist.
  • Tell students the best authors use checklists.
  • Provide the checklist at the beginning of the assignment so they can use it through the writing process (pre-writing, rough draft, revising, editing, peer editing, and final copy).  Remind them to go over the checklist prior to the publishing stage.
  • Demonstrate how to use the checklist.
  • Ask students to turn in the checklist with their published list.  This will help them be accountable for the items on the checklist.

Editing Checklist Sample

When I was a K-2 elementary principal we adopted the following checklist to help our students become better writers.  

  1. I have reread my work to make sure it says what I intended to write.
  2. I have checked to make sure my sentences are not too long.  If they are, I have rephrased them.
  3. I have checked to see that I used the correct verb tense.
  4. I have found misspelled words, circled them, and tried spelling them correctly in the margin.
  5. I have checked to see if I used the correct homophone. (there, their, for, four)
  6. I have checked to see if I have used correct punctuation (commas, question marks, periods, quotation marks, apostrophes)
  7. Every sentence begins with an uppercase letter.
  8. I have checked to see that my nouns and verbs agree.
  9. I have indented each new paragraph (new thought per paragraph)
  10. I have used uppercase letters for names of people, places, and proper nouns.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Mother’s Day Jokes 2021

Mother’s Day jokes to make us laugh.

I am loving being the Grandma on Mother’s Day because I can help the grandkids prepare something for their MOMs for the special day.  For the little ones, we tackled a card. But for the older ones…. we went for Mother’s Day jokes. Teaching vocabulary, explaining the puns, and helping them “deliver” the jokes was hysterical. But watching some of the kids crack up with laughter and the others rolling their eyes, just made my day. 

So, to my daughter and daughters-in-law, I hope you enjoy the kids presents as much as I did helping them get ready.  

Happy Mother’s Day Friends!

10 Mother’s Day Jokes

  1. What color flowers do mama cats like to get on Mother’s Day?
  2. What was the mommy cat wearing to breakfast on Mother’s Day?
  3. What makes more noise than a child jumping on mommy’s bed on Mother’s Day morning?
  4. What did the mommy cat say when her kittens brought her warm milk on Mother’s Day?
  5. What kind of flowers are best for Mother’s Day?
  6. What did the mama tomato say to the baby tomato?
  7. What did the cheerleader bring her mom for breakfast on Mother’s Day? 
  8. When does Mother’s Day come before St. Patrick’s Day? 
  9. Why do mother kangaroos hate rainy days?
  10. Why did the banana mom go to visit a doctor?

Answers

  1. Purrrrrrrrple flowers.
  2. Her paw-jamas!
  3. Two children jumping on mommy’s bed!
  4. It is purrrrfect!
  5. Mums
  6. Catch up!
  7. Cheerios
  8. In the dictionary!
  9. Because then her kids have to play inside.
  10. Because she was not peeling well.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

More Effective Special Education Strategies

Effective special education strategies can make a difference.

A new cadre of student teachers start their special education placements this week.  Teaching a classroom of students with a multitude of needs is difficult for the most experienced teacher.  So, for novice teachers, it can be overwhelming. But there are some effective special education strategies that student teachers can add to their toolbox to help meet the needs of their new students. However, since student needs vary widely; flexibility is key.

Check out the list of strategies to try with your students that need support with communication/language, social/emotional growth and physical /motor development. For some kids, the recipe for success may change daily.  Thank you for working so hard to help all kids shine! 

Communication and Language

  • Provide verbal prompts for vocabulary words or responses.
  • Increase complexity of words in language and content.
  • Use letters of alphabet as they come up in real life situations.
  • Allow children to demonstrate understanding in multiple ways (pointing, using visuals, communication boards or devices, own words, pointing.
  • Understand that some children may speak languages other than English (LOTE) and identify and explain patterns of spoken English.

 Social/Emotional Growth

  • Allow calming breaks for focusing (quiet area, place to move, “special helper”)
  • Provide transition sensory support (squeeze ball, sensory items, weighted blankets, seat cushions)
  • Identify and discuss feelings.
  • Support transitions (visual and verbal cues, songs)
  • Consider child’s seating.
  • Model coping feelings
  • Establish one-on-one time for teacher/student meetings.
  • Intervene as needed (resolving conflict, problem solving, making friends)
  • Adjust environment (lighting, noise, materials, soft music, distractions)

Physical/Motor Development

  • Allow extra time.
  • Enhance visual clarity or distinctiveness (special lighting)
  • Ensure accessibility and ease of handling – Talk to Physical and Occupational Therapist for ideas.
  • Provide opportunities for pincer grasp (thumb/forefinger) Gluing, small crayons, picking up small objects.
  • Allow students to explore sensory needs with sensory items (glue, paint, clay, silly putty)

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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