Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Become a World Traveler!

This evening I flew over the Pyramids of Giza, Halong Bay, Vietnam and swam with rays in the Maldives.  You can do this too by visiting the AirPano website.  The website has dozens of 360 degree panoramic views of some of the most beautiful and interesting places in the world!  I suggest printing yourself a world map from the FREE WORLD MAPS site or heading to Google Earth and marking all of the places you visit.

After each video there are articles that accompany the video.  The authors provide information about the area you "virtually toured" as well as how they were able to shoot the video.

Please share your top 3 tours with us.  I can't wait to see where you go!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Words, Words, Words!

We like to race at my house.  A lot.  We race to get dressed.  We race to see who will make it to the end of the block first or who will make it to the top of the stairs first.  Maybe some of you are familiar with these kinds of shinanigans yourself...

Well, William, the youngest in our family, doesn’t particularly care to race because he thinks he is always the “l-o-s-e-r.”  However, if he happens to be “first” he will always shout, “First one there is the STINKY ROTTEN CHEESE!”  Yes, you heard me right, STINKY ROTTEN CHEESE. We (my husband, eldest son and myself) have tried (through many fits of giggles) to explain to him that being the “STINKY ROTTEN CHEESE” is not cool.  He could care less. Why? Because those “words” make him feel good inside!  He wants to be the “STINKY ROTTEN CHEESE” because this means he is the winner in his world. AND, he loves to make us laugh AND he knows this ALWAYS makes us laugh.

This of course has got my teacher brain thinking about words and how they make us feel.  The words we choose to use when sending a message are more important than one might think.  Watch this video to see what I mean.


After watching this video and thinking awhile about its powerful message I thought it might be interesting to start keeping a "Word Journal." I have been collecting all kinds of words and phrases that I think might be perfect for a future story, poem, class lesson, blog post, letter or other piece of writing my future self might craft.  The words and phrases I have been collecting have been coming from newspapers, magazines, books I am reading, television shows, street signs and conversations.  If you pay attention, you will discover extraordinary WORDS ARE EVERYWHERE!

Here are some "Word Journal" pages to get your mind thinking in this direction.  I included a blank page in case you think of another category of words you might like to collect.  It also occurred to me that you might enjoy creating your own cover so I didn't include one.

I hope you will share some of the words and phrases you collect with us!
Word Journal

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

To complete this activity you will need to find one item for each letter of the alphabet.   Remember to think "outside the box."  For instance, the item you find might look like the letter rather than start with the letter. 

There are a couple of ways you could go about doing this scavenger hunt.  First, you could print out the Alphabet Scavenger Hunt record sheet below to record what you find for each letter.  Just write the name of the item you find for each letter and then sketch a picture of it.  Or...if your parents will let you use their digital camera (or you have one of your own) you could use the record sheet to keep track of the things you find and then take pictures rather than sketch.
Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

What should you do with all these awesome sketches and/or photographs when you are finished?  Create an alphabet book of course!  You could do this by using this FREE alphabet book template.

Or by creating a digital slide show using a FREE Animoto or Smilebox account.  Don't forget about Glogster EDU!  You could create an awesome poster with all of your pictures.

Happy hunting and please don't forget to share what you find!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Math Games

I just discovered a great new math website I think you will LOVE!  It is called Cyberchase and was created by PBS Kids. I have a feeling you will come back to school next fall a SUPER-DEE-DUPER MATH WHIZ after playing these games!

There is also a an activities page with several different math activities and games you could print out to work on or play when your parents need their computers back.

Try a few of the games and activities and then drop us a line letting us know which ones were your favorites and why.

Can't wait to hear from you!

P.S.  Don't forget about IXL!  You can practice your subtraction math facts, time, money, place value and math problem solving.