National Zoo Day: April 8th

April 8th is National Zoo Lovers Day
April 8th is National Zoo Lovers Day

April 8th is National Zoo Lovers Day and although COVID-19  has most of us staying home, there are many zoos and aquariums to discover online. I’ve posted about zoos and encouraged webcam watching.  Unfortunately, the animals aren’t always doing something when the kids stop by to view!  So, here’s a few more zoo links that might have animals doing something fun when you “drop by” to see them.

National Zoo Day Facts

  • The first public zoo in the United States was the Central Park Zoo in New York which opened in 1874.
  • The oldest zoo is the Vienna Zoo and was opened in 1765. 
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom has had almost 10 million visitors.

Zoo and Aquarium Live Cams

  • Atlanta Zoo– Along with the panda webcam, the zoo also has a large collection of “At Home” lessons.  Lessons are easy-to-use and include a wide variety of activities for kids of all ages. Check out the Panda Cam   https://zooatlanta.org/panda-cam/
  • Houston Webcams:  Check out the webcams that watch 7 different animals that call the Houston Zoo home. Kids will love seeing chimpanzees, giraffes, flamingos, rhinos, chimps, elephants, gorillas and ants.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium:  Explore the wonders of the ocean through the lens of ten live cams.
  • National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland has a live cam of jellyfish and the Blacktip Reef and Pacific Coral Reef.  I like that they include photos of fish to look for while you are viewing the webcam.

Zoo Trivia

  • A group of deer is called a? Herd
  • How many legs does a spider have?  8
  • Which animal has the highest blood pressure? Giraffe
  • The largest mammal in the world? Blue whale
  • Name the only animal which cannot jump?  Elephant
  • How many heart chambers does a cockroach have?  12
  • Which bird is a universal symbol of peace?  Dove
  • The fingerprints of which animal most resemble a human’s? A koala
  • A mandrill is what kind of animal? A monkey
  • A snail can sleep for how many years?  Three
  • All six legs of an ant are attached to what part of the body?   thorax
  • A group of lions is called a?  Pride
  • Name the slowest animal in the world? Three-toed sloth
  • Dogs only have sweat glands in their? Paws
  • Which animal never sleeps?  Bullfrog
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COVID-19 Organizing Learning

COVID-19 Learning
COVID-19 Learning

COVID-19 learning is our new reality and it has created a new kind of teaching for everyone.  But for parents, who are now taking on this responsibility, the question of where do we start is major.

COVID-19 Learning Tools

  • Keep a log of learning – Learning can occur anywhere, so take a few minutes, to get your child to write down what they’ve worked on. 
  • 24/7 Fieldtrip– Think of the time at home as a 24/7 field trip.  Look at family life as learning opportunities. It doesn’t have to be “worksheet learning”.  Ask your child to alphabetize the pantry or a book collection.  Take those same books and have them make a domino track and get them to fall down. In schools, teachers plan for the entire class.  Look for activities for YOUR CHILD to learn. They don’t have to be teacher-assigned. Use your log to track the learning.
  • Take Breaks – Kids and teachers have down time when they go to other teachers.  So be sure to include them in your schedule.   
  • Set routinesKids may not admit it but they like routine.  They like to know what’s next and with the uncertainty around COVID-19, a routine will be comforting for your child.   Schools revolve around routine.  So do your best to create a routine that works best for YOUR family. Maybe it’s blocks of time, early/late morning or even days of the week that work best.  Make the schedule one that you can ALL live with and CHANGE IT if it’s not working.  
  • Talk, Talk, Talk – Kids learn best when asking and answering questions.  Take cues from them.  And it’s OK if you don’t know all the answers to their questions.  A perfect learning opportunity is researching the answer. This is a great opportunity to build independence, too.
  • Read, Read, Read – Support reading by reading everything possible. Books, cereal boxes and even closed captions to anyone that will listen (dolls, pets, Facetime audiences, siblings). Follow up activities can include writing about what they’ve read or writing letters or sending drawings of their reading adventures. All these activities are literacy based and can be a few words, few sentences or a few paragraphs based on your child’s age.  
  • Project-based learningEngaging kids in a project that they want to do will make teaching SO much easier.  Help them identify a project and watch them be creative.  Two of my granddaughters created a lending library of their books that kept them involved for over 3 hours!

We don’t know how long these uncertain times will last.  But it may be a marathon friends, so pacing is important. Remember to keep in mind that perfection is not required.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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COVID-19 Is Making Educating Kids Tough

Education reforms have often been described as “building the airplane while it’s in the air”.  Yep, I’ve used the phrase, but it can’t be any more accurate that what we are going through right now.  Today, COVID-19 has us building fleets of airplanes to support millions of kids.  

Some districts had created an infrastructure that had teachers ready to go and made remote teaching somewhat seamless for kids and parents.  For other districts, their planes were in various stages of development. However, regardless of the status, teachers, parents and kids have assumed responsibility, took ownership and we are all working collectively towards shared goals.  Yes, this certainly wasn’t planned but we are all going to get through it together.

COVID-19 is our new reality and it has created a new kind of teaching for everyone.  For teachers, they are assigning activities and hoping that kids and parents will work on them and kids will learn.  In education, on-going assessment of material is critical to adjust lessons to support learning. Although lessons may be completed, whether kids learned may not be known for a while.  All of us are working hard and hoping for the best.

Kudos to the millions of parents that have been dealt a major assignment.  They are acting as both teacher and parents and, in many cases, continue their employment from home. Juggling at the finest. 

Next Post: COVID-19 Organizing Learning

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Forever Young

Perhaps it’s returning from the store and not being able to find a simple thing like a thermometer to check my temperature. Or, the many hours of extra reflection due to social distancing. Or, the ongoing news stories of the pandemic. All of this along with the fact that my entire family is 700 miles away in or very near the epicenter of the virus, I’m posting on a Tuesday. I’m also embedding a video for the first time. Hope it works.

I’ve been a big fan of the Canadian Tenors for year. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Enjoy the 3:43 minutes of calm.

 

Forever Young The Tenors

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others, let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the sky, climb on every rung
And may you stay, forever young

May you grow up to be righteous, may grown up to be true
May you always know the truth and see the light surrounding you
May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong
May you stay, forever young Forever young, (echo)
Forever young, (echo)
May you stay, (echo)
Forever

May your hands always be busy, may your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation, with no winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful, your song always be sung
And may you stay, forever young Forever young, (echo)
Forever young, (echo)
May you stay, (echo)
Forever young, (echo)
And may you stay, (echo)

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes always come true
And may you stay, forever young

Source: Musixmatch Songwriters: Bob Dylan

COVID-19 Virtual Museum Tours

Virtual Museum Tours for FREE
Virtual Museum Tours for FREE

With schools closed throughout the world many parents are searching for additional resources that are worthwhile for kids to explore.  One suggestion that I received from a blog follower is to explore the Virtual Museum resources of some of the most famous museums in the world. Your kids can spend countless hours exploring these worldwide resources.  You can visit them all in one day or one or two a day.  Alone or with a partner, kids and parents are bound to see and learn interesting facts about our world.

As we face these uncertain times, we might as well use the time wisely and learn while sheltering in place.  Be safe everyone.

5 Virtual Museum Tours in the United States

  • The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History – Located in Washington, D.C it is one of the most visited museums in the world.  The online virtual tour brings visitors on a walking tour of its many famous exhibits.  Be sure to check out the Hall of Mammals, Insect Zoo, and Dinosaurs.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art – The Met is in New York City and is home to over 2 million works of fine art.  Check out the online collection and virtual tours of some of its most impressive pieces from famous artists. The Met also works with the Google Cultural Institute to make even more artwork (that’s not featured in its own online collection) available for view.
  • NASA offers free virtual tours of the Langley Research Center in Virginia, as well as Ohio’s Glenn Research Center.  While exploring space, you can also download the new app for the  Houston Space Center that provides virtual tours and videos.
  • The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City makes some of its collections and exhibits available online. Be sure to check out the works of Pablo Picasso and Jeff Koons, two of my favorites.
  • The National Women’s History Museum is located in Alexandria, Virginia.  The museum includes online exhibits and oral histories that highlight the role of women in the history and culture of the United States.

2 Virtual Museum Tours in Europe

The Louvre is in Paris, France and is one of the world’s largest art museums. Check out the free online tours of the popular exhibits such as Egyptian antiquities and works from Michelangelo.

The Vatican Museums feature an extensive collection of important art and classical sculptures. Be sure to check out the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  Beautiful!

Enjoy!  Happy Travels!

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COVID-19 Learning Activities Reading Newsletter

COVID-19 Learning  Activities for Reading
COVID-19 Learning Activities for Reading

Who would think that I would ever be posting a COVID-19 Learning activities newsletter? However, here we are with schools closed and millions of kids home. Parents are stepping up to “homeschool” their children and are using home packets and online resources. For many this is unfamiliar territory and an added element to their already full plates.

Many parents are scouring the internet to find school activities to support schoolwork or looking for additional activities. To help shorten your search I’m working on some mid-month newsletters of some past posts from my blog threeringsconnections.org to get you started. This newsletter is focused on  READING activities. Keep checking back for additional posts.

Reading Resources

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

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Understood.org: Resources for Coronavirus

Understood.org: Resources for Coronavirus
Understood.org: Excellent resources for Coronavirus

I don’t usually just post one link that I think is terrific, but understood.org has posted some great information to support learning during the COVID-19 crisis. We certainly need some good information in these difficult times.

The website Understood.org is a website that I’ve used for years to support the needs of students that learn and think differently. However, I think there postings on Coronavirus are very well done and certainly continue to fit their mission of helping us to learn and think differently. I’ve added some links below, however, there are additional links on the site. I think it’s certainly worth a look by my blog followers.

Coronavirus: Latest Updates and Tips

Hope you find the information helpful. I am working on reposting learning activities and new activities to support learning. Keep checking threeringsconnections.org

Stay well Friends!

Donna

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COVID-19 Learning Activities Math Newsletter

  COVID-19 learning activities
COVID-19 Learning Activities

COVID-19 LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Who would think that I would ever be posting a COVID-19 Learning activities newsletter? However, here we are with schools closed and millions of kids home. Parents are stepping up to “homeschool” their children and are using home packets and online resources. For many this is unfamiliar territory and an added element to their already full plates.

Many parents are scouring the internet to find school activities to support schoolwork or looking for additional activities. To help shorten your search I’m working on some mid-month newsletters of some past posts from my blog threeringsconnections.org to get you started. This newsletter is focused on Math activities. Keep checking back for additional posts.

Math 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?

Special Education Resources for Teachers

Changes in special education make it difficult to keep up to date on resources to help kids.

Finding effective strategies and resources is a lifelong search for special education teachers.  Continuous changes in the field makes it hard to keep up on new studies, research, and new technologies. For student teachers the learning curve is bigger. Check out some of the new resources that I have reviewed that you might find helpful. 

Special Education Resources

  • I have recommended Teacher Vision before but not with a focus on special education needs.  This site is divided into easy to read/use sections with links for printed printed materials, activities, books, and charts.  Everything you need to supplement your classroom materials.   If I had 1 site to choose to find ways to support my students, this would be it.
  • Do2Learn provides thousands of FREE pages that will help students improve on social skills, behavior, and academics.  Resources include many activities to support social, emotional, and academic needs of students.   Extensive  resources for preschool students.
  • The National Center for Learning Disabilities gives lots of information of different types of learning disabilities   Do not be scared off by the front-page focus on legislation issues.  The site includes videos and articles that contain valuable information and strategies to help your teaching.  Check out the tips on improving parent-teacher relationship, assistive technology and using the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan.
  • Keeping up on latest research and special education laws by state can be tiresome.  Check out The Education Commission of the States specifically for your state. New York Friends here is the link to NYS Education Special Education website. 
  • Learning Disabilities Online helps kids with learning abilities achieve their full potential. Check out the Educator’s sections for instructional strategies, information, and solutions for teaching issues.

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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