A-Z of Fun Things To Do Instead of Making Resources

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Let's just lay it out there, teachers are a rare breed. There is no other career that springs to mind when I think about the tedious hours worked along with the minimal pay for the input given. Yet teachers are so dedicated to the education of their students. If you are one of the many fantastic teachers who help make the world a better place on a daily basis then I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

Being a teacher you are often faced with the job of wearing dozens of hats that act as different roles. From being a school nurse to a graphic designer the jobs are endless. The truth is, with the modern world of technology you can now save time switching between so many jobs by seeking outside help. TPT (teacherspayteachers.com) is the perfect place to browse at your own pleasure in order to reduce the amount of time and effort that is needed to carry out your daily teaching job. 


Today I am going to provide you with 26 fun things you could be doing instead of spending tedious hours developing your own resources. I will do this by using the letters A-Z to add a fun educational element.

Adopt A Pet 

Blog Your Heart Out 

Cloud Watch 

Declutter 

Expose Yourself to New Ways of Learning 

Family Time 

Go to The Movies 

Handwriting Practice 

Ice-skate

Juggle 

Karaoke 

Learn A New Language 

Meet Someone New 

Nap Time  

Outdoor Adventure 

Play A Team Sport 

Quiet Time 

Read A Book for The First Time In Forever 

Socialize 

Travel 

Upcycle Furniture 

Vacate Your Life 

Walk 

X-Mas Tree Decorating with The Family 

You Time 

Zoo Trip 


Which letter was your favorite? Let me know in a comment below :). 

2016 Presidential Election for Students

Want to get inspired with fun ways to teach your children about the 2016 presidential election? Then look no further. Here are four fun ways to educate your students while at the same time engaging them with their learning. 


One: Hold Classroom Debates 

Who doesn't love a good debate? Teaching children how to debate allows them to express their ideas without getting into an argument with one another. For less confident learners, try giving them debate topics and even sides. For more advanced learners, allow them more creative freedom and the ability to decide on where they stand on an issue or topic. A quick version of this activity can be done by the teacher making a statement such as, "we need to help the homeless more" and then the students decide on where they literally "stand" on the issue by placing themselves at certain spots in the classroom. One end (which you have decided on and discussed with the kids) is for those that strongly support your statement, with the other end being those who strongly oppose. 

Important Note: your students should be encouraged to not stand in the middle. 

Two: Hold a Classroom Election 

Role playing is a great way for students to learn as it engages all different types of learners (visual, doers, etc.). After all, what is more fun than actually holding a classroom election for yourselves? This could be done in a range of different ways. You could hold an election where someone is actually trying to be the classroom president. Or, you could hold elections where every student gets a role, but they must apply and campaign in order to get selected for each role. 

Looking for premade voting forms? Fun voting tabs are included in my Election 2016 Booklet. 

Three: Study Past Political Candidates 

It is important for learners to learn about past as well as present presidential elections. The past is the foundation for our future, so learning about the history of politics allows your students to have a more diverse perspective on politics. 

Four: Hold Classroom Polls and Analyze Them 

The ability for your students to develop their own perspectives on even the minute details allows them to develop their own selves. This development is essential to their developmental growth. Holding polls around things from what whiteboard maker color makes people learn the best to should uniforms be worn in every school can be polled. 

Looking for more? Check out my range of Election 2016 Resources availableover at my TPT store. There is a fun freebie included in this category. Simply click here to find it.  







Implementing Differentiated Learning In The Classroom

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It's common knowledge, not all humans are born equal. Our diversity from one human to another is the reason why we are all so unique. Sadly, the modern day classroom often struggles to cater to the diverse needs that students have. This is in no way the teachers fault. Being a teacher these days is as hard as packing up your work bag, while juggling apples made out of Jell-O, while trying to defy the law of gravity. Actually come to think of it, it's even harder than that sometimes. 


So what is the key to allowing students to learn in a differentiated style? 

The problem is the key is hidden within the resources you as a teacher choose to use. Creating these yourself is not only a tedious task, but it is often overwhelming trying to figure out how you can adjust one main resource to allow for different needs in learning. 

My current goal with my store is to try and adjust as many resources as I can that are on offer to allow for differentiated learning. I am also on a mission to make my resources as real-world relevant and as fun as possible. This is why all of my country studies and continent studies now include 4 different versions (blank no text, original, lines no text, and no images) to allow for differentiated learning. They also include fun boarding passes and postcards that will even get you, as the teacher, excited to "travel" around the world from the comfort of your own classroom. 

        
                  


If you want to implement differentiated learning in your classroom while being on a budget, then check out the following ideas:

·      Assign “experts” to take a leadership role and assist others with their learning (extends very capable learners).
·      Get the students to create their own questions or worksheets that replicate a resource you are using in class. This flip-side approach really gets them thinking (extends capable and very capable learners).
·      Hold small group sessions to discuss what the learning task at hand is (helps struggling learners feel more confident with the learning material).

Five Fun Ways To Teach Kids About China

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Launching into a study on China can be very daunting for many teachers. The place, the people, the culture, the history, and the economy of China can be a lot to wrap your head around, let alone teach others. Here are five fun ways to teach your students about the beautiful land of China.


One: set up your classroom as though it was China itself. 

This sounds like a lot of effort, but it can be successfully done with minimal effort. Think splashes of red (this color is very symbolic to the people of China) everywhere with pictures of Chinese cities displayed around the room. To get a really authentic experience, seek help from your local community. If you have a parent who identifies with the Chinese culture, get them to come in and tell the class what living in China is like. Or better yet, get them to talk about how attending a school in China is different to attending your school. 


Two: go for the basics with little learners. 

If you want to teach very little kids (lower elementary) about China then go for the approach of teaching them the basics: what the flag looks like, what the country looks like geographically, along with some fun facts that the children are bound to leap home to share with their families. This can be done through sourcing flags, maps, and facts online.

If you want a no prep way of doing this that saves you time, then check out my 
China Country Study | Cultural Booklet of Fun Facts.

Three: act it out 

Get your students to act out what a typical day in the life of someone living in China could consist of. What time do they wake up? How much do they enjoy their jobs? What do they do as a hobby? To add some complexity to this, (for older learners) get your students to pick what life they would want to live if they were in China (rural living, city living, what job?) and then to act this out as a group.


Four: get your students involved in a research project 

If you are wanting to do an in-depth look into the country of China with big kids (upper elementary) then there is nothing better than getting your students to engage in authentic research. Using the internet to gather and analyze information is an essential skill for today's youth. The best way to do this is to put together a bunch of questions or prompts that you want answered/ researched by your students.

Want to save time doing this? Check out my China Country Study | Research Booklet for Big Kids. It includes 20 research pages on the place, the people, the culture, the history, and the economy of China. It also includes some teacher cheat sheets and an end of unit travel brochure.

Five: set up a Chinese themed classroom shop

For a fun hands on learning experience around China, set up a Chinese themed classroom shop. Get the students to look into what traditional Chinese food items are eaten in China, then get them to make them. Use recyclable materials for this (plastics, cardboard etc.) to add an element of sustainable learning. Your students will absolutely love doing this! For older kids, make sure you incorporate Chinese currency into the mix. You could also look into how much money a grocery store worker would get paid in China and compare this to the going rate in your local area.



I hope you and your students have an awesome time learning about China! Feel free to share in a comment below any ideas you have for teaching children about the country of China.