Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Create Your Own Lapbooks With This Huge Tempate Pack!

Have you wanted to make lapbooks or interactive notebooks with your students but felt overwhelmed by all the work it appears to be? Or maybe you already use lapbooks and foldables to teach but you’d like more templates and ideas to choose from. Maybe you’re tired of buying templates for one project and would like something a little more versatile.

What if you could find a package of templates and ideas to get you going? What if the hardest part of the work was photocopying the templates and looking at the list of ideas to decide which parts to use? What if any of them could be used in any of your subject areas?

Look no further! This document has more than 50 templates for use in lapbooks, interactive notebooks, or foldable lessons. It also has pictures of lapbook samples and several pages of ideas to use many of the elements across subject areas!

This 38 page document includes:

-Instructions for making simple, single folder lapbooks, and for making multiple folder lapbooks

-Photo samples of a simple and multiple folder lapbook
-More than 50 templates to use!
-4 pages of ideas for using the templates in various subjects and grade levels. Just start reading them and more ideas will pop into your head!
-A teacher rubric to use for grading
-A student planning page to help them plan out their own, independent lapbook project (just make a bunch of copies and let them plan their own lapbook project out!)

Just to give you a hint of the templates provided here, there are foldables in several shapes, social media frames, a graphing and data grid, multiple sizes/shapes of pockets and inserts, flow chart pieces, banners for titles, tabs for step books, gate folds, petal books, several shapes and sizes of mini brochures, and more!

I’ve combined as many templates on one page as possible so you have less printing and copying pages to do!

Head on over to my TPT or TN store today and pick up your packet!  All grade levels, all subject matters, only $4.50!

If you like my lapbook templates you might be interested in my Nonfiction Reading Response

Copying, redistributing, or posting elsewhere online is a violation of my copyright. You can use there for personal classroom or homeschool use only.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Easy Visual for the Vertical Ribs on Cacti

In my area (southern California) we have a lot of cacti.  Even if they aren't right around us everywhere, we pass them on any long drive out of town.  Sometimes miles and miles of them.

As part of my 4th grade science we learn about ecosystems. Our signature saguaro cactus is a great way to bring home some plant knowledge about survival in the surrounding desert.  We read the book Mojave by Diane Siebert and do some art with the cactus as well as a found poem with the book.  I'll try to dig up a sample of that for you soon.

One easy and quick thing I do to show the kids how the cactus survives in the desert with so little water is to demonstrate how the cactus actually stores water long term. 

I just accordion fold and staple two pieces of construction paper long ways.  Since I was at home for this post I just have one piece but you can get the idea.

Cue the lovely 5 year old model in my kitchen:

You can see here that the cactus is skinny and the spines are well pronounced.  This is what the cactus looks like when it has very little water stored.

But when it rains and the cactus sucks up some water with its roots, it stores the water in the middle.  This causes the "dips" in the folds to move outward and the cactus actually gets wider, the ribs less pronounced. 

Like this:

When the cactus goes for long periods without water, it uses up the water and the ribs slowly become more pronounced again.

Easy, quick visual for desert plant adaptations!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Using Hidden Pockets for Science - A Few Ideas

If you want to check out the other posts I've done with ideas for these you can look at the links below:
-Ideas for use in ELA
-Ideas for use in math
-Synonyms - Shades of Meaning Pockets
-Multiplication Practice Pockets
-Blank Hidden Pockets Template to Make Your Own!

Today we're discussing Science uses for the hidden pockets!

Let's start with the basic questions and answers.  These are great for test review and to have students create their own and swap to quiz each other!  Just have the question pockets in one stack, and the answers mixed up.  Students match the correct answer to the correct question.

I don't have a picture of this one, but vocabulary is always a great one for the hidden pockets.  I had a picture and it magically disappeared while cropping it!  Seriously?! 

Just put words on the pockets, and a stack of the definitions in a separate stack.  Students match the correct definitions to the correct words.

True and false statements work well with these too!  Have a bunch of statements on the pockets and a stack of true and false sticks.  Kids put the true or false in the pocket.

How about putting things in order?  Below we have two examples.  One of them has a student order the events that take place in photosynthesis.  The other example shows ordering the parts of a food chain.

Lastly, don't forget cause an effect.  Students can match causes (on the sticks) to effects (on the pockets).  There are lots of cause and effect relationships in science!

If you'd like your own black line master of the hidden pockets, you can get a template in my store for only $1!

Monday, March 17, 2014

A-Rhythm-Etic TED Talk

This is a cool video. It looks like he's presenting at a school assembly (love that half the kids are sitting in bean bag chairs). ;)

Clayton Cameron uses music to show and explain math connections, how music relies of math.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Chemistry Vocabulary Card Game Now in my Store!

Don't you sometimes miss the games we played as kids, like Go Fish?!  This game is played the same way except you're matching words and definitions.

30 words and their definitions (60 cards total) - sized like a regular deck of cards.

A decorative back should you choose to "prettify"  your game cards.

Students directions and an answer key are included so they can check each other if needed  (without interruption you).

Active in my TPT store today!  Go get yours now and print them out.  Have your students playing tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Earth Day Ideas I've Pinned

Earth Day is right around the corner and it's a day I love to celebrate!  Today I'm sharing with you some of my favorite Earth Day pins.  I've tried to link them to their original source instead of Pinterest, but you can always find them on my Pinterest boards here:  .  If you click on the pics they'll take you to the original source I pinned.

Up first are some books!  

This is a list of books that are great for Earth Day reading from Memetales.  Some are old favorites and some are newer.  It s a great list.

And since a lot of people read The Lorax on Earth Day, I'll share this craft I came across.  Easy, adorable, but had no viable link.  Good thing it's easy to tell how to do it from the picture. ;)

Wouldn't this be an adorable decoration for a kids room as well as a classroom?!

One more list of books, these are about trees and can be a great resource for Earth Day or Arbor Day (which is also fairly close).

This blog post also has a link or two to some activities from the BBC and Sesame Street. 

How about this fun Earth Day craft?

The old glue and tissue paper craft never fails to wow me when sun is shining through it. :)

A day like Earth Day is best ended with an action item.  How about an Earth Day pledge?

The pledge didn't have a page attached to it.  Darn broken links!  But I love the hand print on the Earth.

And last but not least, we can't have an Earth Day without a lab.  Demonstrating an oil spill is a great one from Second Grade Delicious!

And of course I have a pack in my store of Earth Day activities for 1-3 graders!  Ideas, vocabulary, printables, sorting and more!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Using Hidden Pockets for Language Arts - A Few Ideas

Alright, so we've covered a few math ideas for these. Today we're exploring just a few options for ELA.

Hidden pockets can be used to practice comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, etc... How?  I'm glad you ask! ;)

I'm using the story Grandfather's Journey to demonstrate all these ideas but they can all be tweaked to fit other stories at any grade level.

Let's start with a character sort.

Make a pocket for each character in a story or book. Then put a short description on the sticks.  Students match hidden tabs to the name on the pockets.

Many books have multiple settings. 

 I like to have students write a short description of one setting in a book and label the pocket with the place.  Then they can be mixed with others and students match descriptions to the correct place.

There are always comprehension questions!  

Question on the outside, answer on the inside.  Mix them all up and students match the correct answers to their questions.  Again, this is a good one for students to do themselves and trade.


Put words on the pockets, definitions on the sticks.  Mix them up.  Students match.  Are you starting to see a bit of how my brain works with these?

How about grammar? 

 You could have a sentence on the outside with the incorrect form of a word.  Students have several sticks to choose from, one of them the correct form of the word.  That one goes in the pocket.

Or how about this one below where I made parts of speech pockets and students sorted words on sticks into the correct pocket:

And lastly (not pictured because I almost forgot about it!)...spelling!

For this one you leave the pocket blank, have a student write the spelling word correctly in large letters on the stick, and then they spell the word aloud one letter at a time, checking after each letter by slowly pulling the hidden stick out, one letter at a time.

I have also used them for sorting synonyms in order by strength of connotation.  You can find those in my store here. 

If you missed the post on using these in math, go here.

The hidden pocket template is available in my TPT store for only $1!

I'll be doing two more posts with these showing how to use them in science and social studies.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Teacher Humor

I noticed a larger than normal amount of humorous posts on various websites yesterday.  I thought I'd share a few here because, hey, It's Friday.  And laughs are always appreciated by teachers. ;)

Love the double meaning on this one:

 This one was just plain funny!  How many of these Google searches have you done?
Teacher Google Searches (follow the link)


We've all had this experience:

And for this one you have to follow the link as well.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Race to the Board - Versatile Classroom Review Game

This is an oldie but goodie!  

I love this one because it's versatile! Any grade or subject can fit into here somehow.

***It's a great game for rainy days and high heat days because kids can get up and move without losing instructional time.***

Many teachers have been doing this game in one form or another for years, but I recently saw a video where a teacher was doing this to review at the end of a unit and I was thinking, "That would be a great beginning of a unit too!"

How to Play (the traditional way): 

-Divide the class into two or more teams.
-Give each team a different colored white board marker and delineate a space on the white board for them.
-Tell the teams their task, the team members with the markers race to the board to write what ever you've told them to.
-The first one to write the correct answer on the board wins their team a point.
-The marker gets passed to the next person on the team for the next task.
-Examples:  call out a math problem and they write an answer, give a definition (from any subject) and they write the matching word, have them spell a word, in kinder you could have them write the letter whose sound they hear at the beginning/middle/end of a word, etc...

The Review Game:

The video I saw had a classroom divided into two groups (you could do more).  They were reviewing some topic (I THINK maybe a social studies topic but it doesn't really matter because you could do it with any subject).  The task was to race to the board, write as many words as you could think of that went with the topic, then when you were slowing or couldn't think of anymore pass the marker to another team member to add to your team's list.  The teacher counted the words at the end of a given amount of time.  The team with the most accepted words that weren't repeated won.

*If I were doing this review game I'd also give a bonus point for each word a team had that other teams did not have. ;)

Beginning a Unit with Race to the Board:

I was thinking this could totally be a way to start off a unit as well.  You have kids access their prior knowledge and informally assess what they know at the same time!  It works the same way as the review game above, only you give the topic at the beginning of the unit. 

-Divide the class into how ever many teams you like.
-Give them their own color marker and space on the white board.
-Tell them the topic, and let the race begin.  (I find 2 minutes to be good with 3-6 grade) .
-Teams can't yell words to members writing, the marker has to be passed off. 
-As you are counting the words to decide on the winning team, you can be discussing meanings, misinformation, etc... and clarifying what they know and how many students know it.  It might even open up some discussion as some other teams might want to "challenge" weather a certain word from another team is acceptable. 

How have you used this type of game in the classroom?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Using Hidden Pockets for Math - A Few Ideas

I mentioned in a previous post that I gave away a free copy of my hidden pockets template to my TPT followers this month.  It's now listed in my store for only $1 for the rest of the population!  I have a few posts lined up to explain ways to use them in all grades and subject areas.

If you bought my upper grade spelling activities packet, you don't need to purchase this, there's a copy in the packet.  It's also in the hidden multiplication math facts practice and the synonyms - shades of meaning product. 

But just in case you need a few more ideas about how to use these, today we'll look at math ideas.  I have other subjects lines up for the future as well.

First, there's the ever obvious, have several pockets with short problems to solve and several answer sticks.  Students have to match the correct answer to the correct problem.  These samples are about a grade 2-3 level but this can be done with any grade level!

And don't forget you can switch it up too!  How about having several pockets with answers and several problems.  Students have to match them.


Of course they can be easier or harder problems for different grades.  They can include multiplication and division, even algebra.

 The pockets can also be used for vocabulary review.  Have a stack of pockets with math terms, and a stack of hidden sticks with definitions, examples, or pictures, and students match them.  Here we have students in 4th grade matching geometry terms. 

What about ordering things from least to greatest or visa versa?  In earlier grades it could be simple numbers and can emphasize place value.  In the example below we have students ordering fractions with unlike denominators.

You could go a step further by having them order numbers from completely different forms or expressions.

The possibilities really are endless.  Just think about what your grade learns and I'll be you fit the practice of those skills with these hidden pockets.  If you can't think of a way but want to, let me know!  I'm sure I can think of one!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Another Fun Way To Display Book Reports or Other Projects

Today's post is just a quickie pic from a friend's classroom.

This picture is from the same room I posted the sub folder book from.

This was a third grade class.   The students had read mystery books for their monthly book reports and their reports were a door/booklet thingy.  She strung them up across the entrance to the class library.

I thought it was smart to put book reports near the books, and to use a laundry line style display in a corner of the classroom.