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Holidays

A Thanksgiving Poll for Students–What does ‘Turkey’ mean?

Last year, I did a poll on the meaning of the word ‘turkey’. This was to demonstrate how powerful symbols are to your students and do so with an authentic use of technology to support discussion on math, language standards, and the holidays.

As a summation to your discussion with students on symbols, idiomatic expressions, geography, farms, or another topic, post this on your Smartscreen. The poll includes lots of definitions for the word ‘turkey’. Have each student come up sometime during the day (or class) and make their choices.

What definitions did your students come up with I didn’t list?

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Categories: Critical thinking, Holidays, Lesson plans | Leave a comment

16 Thanksgiving Sites, 2 Apps, and 2 Projects

Need a few websites and apps to fill in sponge time? Here are Thanksgiving websites that will keep students busy and still teach them:

  1. Canadian Thanksgiving
  2. Online/Offline Thanksgiving activities
  3. Plimoth Plantation
  4. Starfall–Silly Turkey
  5. Thanksgiving edu-websites–CybraryMan
  6. Thanksgiving Games
  7. Thanksgiving games and puzzles
  8. Thanksgiving games–Quia
  9. Thanksgiving information–history, more
  10. Thanksgiving Jigsaw
  11. Thanksgiving Jigsaw II
  12. Thanksgiving Lesson Plans
  13. Thanksgiving Tic-tac-toe
  14. Thanksgiving video–Brainpop
  15. Thanksgiving Wordsearch
  16. The First Thanksgiving

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Categories: Holidays, Websites | Tags: | 2 Comments

Thanksgiving Activities That Keep You in Charge of Learning

thanksgivingTeaching the days before big holidays is challenging. Students and teachers alike are ready for a break. Both struggle to pay attention regardless of how innovative and engaging are the lesson plans.

I’ve been there often. As a result, I’ve come up with fun ways to support learning while students power through the last few days of school. Here are seven I use during the pre-Thanksgiving season:

ASCII Art

Time required: Less than one class

ASCII Art is the graphic design technique of creating images by typing the letters, numbers, and symbols defined by ASCII Standards. Holiday examples include this Thanksgiving pumpkin and these holiday bells. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Open your word processing program (MS Word, Google Docs, or another).
  2. Add a watermark of a picture you’d like to use, preferably a single image rather than one that includes a background. Silhouettes are perfect for this sort of project.
  3. Type over the image with the letters, symbols, and numbers that best fit the outline. It’s fine to use one letter throughout (like an X).
  4. Add color by highlighting the letters, numbers, and symbols typed over the parts you’d like colored (such as the stem of a pumpkin or the bow on Christmas bells in the linked samples above).
  5. When you’ve covered the image with characters, delete the watermark. That leaves just your typing.
  6. Save, print, share, publish as is customary in your classes.

Tie-ins: Use this not only for holidays but any academic class by creating an artistic image of the topic being discussed. Click the link for an example of Abraham Lincoln to align with study of the American Civil War or this one of the American Revolution. This is also a fun and authentic way for students to practice keyboarding.

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Halloween Projects, Websites, and Apps

Three holidays are fast-approaching–Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. If you’re a teacher, that means lots of tie-ins to make school festive and relevant to students.

halloween

Here are ideas for Halloween projects, lesson plans, websites, and apps:

Projects

  1. ASCII Art–Computer Art for Everyone (a pumpkin–see inset)
  2. Lesson Plan: Halloween letter for grades 2-5
  3. Make a Holiday Card
  4. A Holiday Card
  5. A Holiday flier
[gallery ids="34209,34210,34211,34212,34213,34214,34215,34216"]

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Work Hard–it’s Labor Day!

Labor Day is annually held on the first Monday of September (this year, September 3rd). It was originally organized to celebrate various labor associations’ strengths of and contributions to the United States economy. It is largely a day of rest in modern times. Many people mark Labor Day as the end of the summer season and a last chance to make trips or hold outdoor events.

Labor Day is a US holiday dedicated to workers across the country. The public holiday always falls on the first Monday in September. The first federal observation of the holiday occurred in 1894 however the first Labor Day observed in a state was in Oregon in 1887.

Today, I honor the warrior, his job to fight for America’s way of life, invisibly and heroically, across the globe.

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Categories: Holidays | 1 Comment

Happy Fourth of July!

It’s America’s birthday and I’m celebrating. I have an Army son heading off overseas and a Navy daughter doing her thing stateside. I’m toasting both of them today and all of America’s warriors, God be with you.

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Categories: Holidays, News | 1 Comment

World Environment Day: Living Responsibly with Nature

World Environment Day is June 5th. Catherine Ross, Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, has some great suggestions on how to celebrate that with children and students in a way that shows them how to be responsible stewards for the only planet we have. I think you’ll enjoy her article:

***

We live in a millennium where technology has disrupted many of the traditional systems and ways. Cultural mores have morphed because of technology, leaving a discontinuity between the old and the new. Instead of snuggling into their grandmother’s lap and listening to dragon stories, do not be surprised to see kids persuade their grandmothers to play dragon games. Interestingly, grandmothers have coped and how; many senior women love gaming!

Wealth has been generated because of technology, but this has also increased the gap between the rich and the poor. Changes caused by technology have been beneficial, but there are side effects like loneliness and lack of social skills which individuals and society as a whole find hard to cope with.

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Categories: Holidays | Tags: | 2 Comments

Memorial Day

I’m taking the day to honor our all soldiers on America’s Memorial Day. Without their sacrifice, where would we be? I tried to keep the videos to three and failed miserably. Once I got started watching, I got lost.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omd9_FJnerY] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoNj8qsptjA] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07-RnI8W4xY] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TT5u2xVEO5M]

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14 Memorial Day Websites for Students

american-20835_640Memorial Day (May 28, 2018) is the time we remember all of those soldiers who gave their lives in the defense of American freedom. In war and peace, they made the ultimate sacrifice and because of them we are privileged to live the American Dream.

Once a year, we honor them, their sacrifice, and those they left behind. Here are some activities to help students understand the import of this day:

  1. Folding the American flag
  2. In Flanders Field--poem
  3. Memorial Day Messages, Speeches, Oaths, Poems, Anthems, and images
  4. Memorial Day Poems
  5. Memorial Day Poetry–poems
  6. Memorial Day Prayer
  7. Memorial Day puzzle I
  8. Memorial Day Puzzle II
  9. Memorial Day DigitPuzzle
  10. Memorial Day Quiz
  11. Memorial Day Word Search
  12. Primary source recollections of War
  13. Quotes about Memorial Day/Wars
  14. Who you are remembering–Americans killed in action

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Music for Armed Forces Day 2018

Many Americans celebrate Armed Forces Day annually on the third Saturday of May. It is a day to pay tribute to men and women who serve the United States’ armed forces. Armed Forces Day is also part of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyKfr8G04Qc&w=560&h=315] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI-_wAX1tV8&w=560&h=315]

 

Categories: Holidays | 1 Comment