Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Memorial Day Flower Boats



Read the previous blog post if you're interested in this activity.  Here's the link:
Memorial Day Flower Boats.

Children's Memorial Day Flower Boats

What better way is there for children to learn about the holidays than to participate in them!  Here's an idea that will help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make!  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing artificial flowers to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, read a poem, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging activity.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Describing why U.S. citizens celebrate Memorial Day is a Virginia Standard of Learning for Second Graders (2015 History/Social Science 2.5 - C)
I think I might know what your thinking.  It's something like, "Yikes!  It's the end of the school year!  I don't have time for this!"  Well, let me just mention that the end of the school year is one of the best times to plan highly motivating learning activities to keep students focused and to maintain positive behavior.  This activity is very simple and you probably already have a little plastic pool floating around the school from your field day event.  Plus, you'll be hitting a history lesson that incorporates creative writing with a class-created poem for your event.


Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Toy boat floating in water.

I created two versions (Balloon Boat and Toy Boat) of this project and tested both of them out in a lake.  I was thrilled that both boats actually floated!  Keep reading if you would like to see what materials I used and read a step by step tutorial.

Balloon Boat:
  
I found everything I needed for the balloon boat at Walmart and the Dollar Tree.  The balloon boat was less than $5.00 to make!  I used a blue foam board called a "kickboard" from the Dollar Tree to make it.  It's made of the same material as pool noodles.  I also bought one set of decorative patriotic garland flowers that are leis.  I needed a balloon so I purchased a package of patriotic balloons.  Then I went to Walmart and bought a red colored parachute cord which is 18 feet long.  I had scissors and glue so I was finished with shopping for the balloon boat. 


Materials Needed:

Kickboard - $1.00
Flower Garland - $1.00
Balloons - $1.00
Parachute cord - $1.97
Non-Toxic, Multi-Purpose Glue
Scissors
Source of Water (A child's plastic pool will work.)
Total cost:  $4.97 (plus tax)  

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Flower garland, parachute cord, balloon, glue, scissors.


Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Foam "kickboard"

Directions:

1.  Separate the flowers on the garland by cutting them apart.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Cut apart the flower garland.

2.  View the two sides of the kickboard.  One side is curved upward at the center.  This is the side you will glue the flowers on.  Have the children glue the flowers on the kickboard.  Allow the glue to dry.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Glue flowers on the foam kickboard.

Note:  We allowed 2 hours for drying time.  Due to the time limitations we had, we proceeded with the activity although the glue was not completely dried.  If possible, allow to the project dry overnight.
3.  Poke a small hole in the center of the kickboard.  (I used the blade of my scissors to do this.)  

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Poke a hole in the center of the kickboard.

Feed a balloon (not inflated) through the hole.  The opening of the balloon is on the opposite side as the side where the flowers are glued.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Push a balloon through the hole made in the center of the kickboard.

Note:  Make the hole as small as possible.  If the hole is too large the tied knot in the balloon will slip through the hole.
4.  Poke another hole through the front of the kickboard.  

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Poke another hole in the front of the kickboard.

Feed the parachute cord through the hole.  Tie a knot at the two ends of the cord.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Thread parachute cord through the hole in the front of the kickboard.
Note:  I was at a lake and therefore used the full length (18 ft.) of the parachute cord so that I could easily draw the boat out of the water.  If you are using a child's plastic pool, you might only need half of that length.
5.  Blow up the balloon and tie a knot at the opening.  

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Inflate the balloon.

The inflated side of the balloon is on the same side as the glued flowers.  The knot is on the opposite side.  

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Tie a knot in the balloon on the other side of the kickboard.

The inflated balloon assists the boat with floating.  This is important because of the added weight of the glue and the flowers.  The lightweight leis worked beautifully and they didn't get soggy in water!

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Float your boat!

Plan your observance!  Find a list of names of military men and women from your area who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.  Create a class poem of gratitude.  If nothing else, plan to have a moment of silence.  The key is to get all of your students involved in the project.  This was an easy project because the kickboard and the flowers can be set out in the art area.  The children can add flowers to the kickboard as time permits ahead of the event.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Children can glue flowers on as time permits when this project is put in the art area.

Take your boat(s) to your water source and float your boat(s).  Read the poem your class created out loud, have the children take turns reading the names of the men and women from your list, or have a moment of silence.  When you are finished, remove everything from the water.  You want to make sure that fish and other wildlife continue to enjoy their home!  Keep in mind that young children need CONSTANT supervision.  If you are planning this at a nearby pond, lake, or other body of water, you'll need one chaperone per child.

This idea was inspired by a Memorial Day flower boat craft activity using paper plates.  See that idea here:  Memorial Day Craft.

Keep going if you'd like to read about the Toy Boat version of this.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Sale and a Giveaway

Update May 14th  Congratulations to Julie!  She is the winner of a ten dollar Teachers Pay Teachers gift card.  Julie, I've sent you an email with your gift card code.  Thank you everyone for entering!  We had 100% correct on the question!  There will be another giveaway in early August.  If you teach pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, or second grade, you're going to love it!  I'm not announcing the prize until August because it's a surprise!  

Teachers work hard to provide their students with high quality learning opportunities.  Throughout the school year, they wear many hats.  Here's a list:

1.   Handyman
2.   First aide expert
3.   Arts and crafts pro
4.   Curriculum developer
5.   Event planner and coordinator
6.   Referee
7.   Coach
8.   Cheerleader
9.   Technology technician
10.  Interpreter
11Master of data collection 
12.  Learner
13Listening ear
14.  Advocate 
15.  Friend

If you are an educator, you deserve every form of "Thank you." that you receive.  Whether it's a written note of gratitude from a parent, a handful of flowers in May, or a picture that one of your students drew for you, the meaning is the same.  Your labor of love was noticed and appreciated!   

One way that I can say, "thank you" is to offer you a sales event at MY SHOP on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Everything in my store has been discounted with 20% off.  This sale is ongoing and will end on Wednesday, May 10th.  Use the promo code:  THANKYOU17 for an additional discount.  Don't forget to click on the "APPLY" button when you go to check-out.   

Teachers Pay Teachers has created another way to say "thank you".  They randomly distributed gift cards (valued at ten dollars) to their sellers to use with promoting the Teacher Appreciation sale.  I received one of the gift cards and I get to pass it on to one deserving teacher.  Complete the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win.  The contest ends at 9:00 a.m. EST on May 14th.  RULES:  one entry per person, over age 21, correctly answer the question, you agree that the name you provide can be posted on this blog.    

a Rafflecopter giveaway That's all for now!

Copyright 2017, Molly McMahon     

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Addition Sentence Fact Cards Freebie

Here's a lesson from my personal experience about the importance of following directions for assembling things or at least skimming the directions.

A few weeks ago I was perusing through Walmart's Easter goodies for children and I couldn't resist getting an inflatable ring toss bunny. 

Turn a ring toss game into an outdoor math station for first graders!  Use addition sentence cards and let the learning fun begin!  Students withdraw a card from a bag or hat which has an addition sentence written on it.  Children create the corresponding math fact by placing the rings on the left or right ear of an inflatable bunny.  There is a free set of addition sentences that can be downloaded from this blog post.  The cards include addition facts (two addends) for sums from zero to ten.
0 rings on one ear plus 4 rings on the other ear equal 4 rings in all.
I was envisioning outdoor fun by tossing the rings onto the bunny's ears.  All I needed to do was blow up the two air valves on the inflatable.  One valve was on the back of the rabbit and the other was on the base.  This was going to be a snap! 

I don't always read the manufacturer's directions.  I don't want to waste my time reading directions for things I already know how to do.  Or should I say THINK I know how to do!  How difficult could an inflatable bunny be anyway?  There are two air valves.  Blow air into them . . . right?  So I blew up the rabbit.  Afterward, my little rabbit would not stand up.  There was no way we could use it when it kept falling down.  I thought, "My inflatable is defective!  It's standing up in the photo on the product packaging but not for me!  See the photo below.

This is the packaging from the product.  The directions are on the back of the package.
I felt disappointed in my purchase.  I thought, "This is a cheap product that doesn't work!"  I gave up on the idea of having a ring toss.  Later on, I had a few minutes to reevaluate the "rabbit" situation.  I was almost ready to locate my receipt and make a return trip to Walmart.  Then I looked at the packaging and decided to read the directions.  Sometimes what seems to be the obvious process is not what is intended.  The valve on the BACK of the rabbit is for AIR.  The valve on the BASE is for WATER.  The water acts as a weight to hold the inflatable upright.  I removed all the air and started over again.  This time I filled the base valve with water.  Viola!  It worked like a charm and I had no issues with the bunny falling over.

The ring toss activity is a cute idea but little kids might become frustrated attempting to toss the rings on the rabbits' ears.  I would allow the children to simply place the rings on the ears instead of tossing.  If you use outdoor learning stations, this might be something that could be adapted as a first grade math station.  Students could read an addition sentence on a 3 x 5 card and arrange the rings on the rabbit's ears accordingly.  (There were four rings included with the inflatable which makes this work with sums up to four . . .  unless you have additional rings.)

Turn a ring toss game into an outdoor math station for first graders!  Use addition sentence cards and let the learning fun begin!  Students withdraw a card from a bag or hat which has an addition sentence written on it.  Children create the corresponding math fact by placing the rings on the left or right ear of an inflatable bunny.  There is a free set of addition sentences that can be downloaded from this blog post.  The cards include addition facts (two addends) for sums from zero to ten.

It's almost Teacher Appreciation Day so I made a freebie for you!  It's a set of addition sentences for sums up to ten.  They're 3" x 5" cards.   I've included the combinations for two addends.  Get creative and make up your own activities with them or use the suggestions I've included in the file.  Click on the image shown below the get the freebie.

http://bit.ly/addition-sentence-cards
That's all for now!

Copyright 2017 Molly McMahon, Lessons by Molly

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Earth Day Color by Code Freebie

Happy Belated "Earth Day"!

We often talk about the importance of taking care of our planet because it is beneficial to ourselves as well as future generations.  One thing we shouldn't neglect to emphasize with our students is that it's not just about us!  Human beings are not the only ones that inhabit the Earth.  We're the caretakers of the planet.  We're Earth's "custodians"!  The environmental choices we make impact all living things on Earth.

I made a Color by Code freebie in honor of "Earth Day".  Use it as a review for your unit on animals.  Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects are the six animal groups included.  Children read the animal names on the sheet such as the word "swan".  Then they determine the animal group and color according to the key at the top of the page.  Click the link to get the freebieEarth Day.

Earth Day is on April 22nd!  Celebrate the event with your students with this free "Color by Code" printable.  There are five animal groups that are classified as vertebrates.  They include mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds.  There is one group of animals classified as invertebrates which are insects.  Students read the animal names in each section of the color by code page and determine the animal's classification.  They then color according to the key provided on the printable.


"Earth Day" is on April 22nd but every day is a perfect day to be a good steward of the planet we all call home!

Copyright 2017 Molly McMahon

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ten Dollar Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card - April 2017

Update!  Congratulations to Malissa!  She captured the "golden egg"!  Thank you everyone for entering the contest.  Malissa, I've sent you the gift card through the email you provided on Rafflecopter.    

Hello friends!

Happy Egg Hunt!  Maybe you'll be the one to find the golden egg this year.  I don't have a golden egg and my goose that lays golden eggs seems to be missing!  Ha!  But I have a collection of plastic eggs with something special inside one of them.
 
Something's hatching out of one of these colorful eggs and it's not going to be a little yellow chick.


It's a ten dollar Teachers Pay Teachers gift card and you have a chance to win it.  If you already know my contest rules you can skip reading them and go straight to the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.  The contest ends on the 5th of May and the winner will be announced later in the evening.  

Here are the rules:   

1.  You must be 21 years old or older.
2.  Enter one time.  Don't use multiple email accounts to try and increase your chances to win.
3.  Winner grants permission for the name provided on the Rafflecopter form to be used on my blog when I announce the winner.
4.  Abide by Rafflecopter rules.
5.  MANDATORY:  Correctly answer the question on the Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Copyright:  Molly McMahon  

Monday, April 3, 2017

Simple Solutions for Difficulties Arising with "Color by Code" Printables

Hello visitors!  Yesterday a wrote a blog post about seven strategies for using "Color by Number" (or "Color by Code").  You can read it HERE.  Today I'm going to address ten common classroom challenges that come with "Color by Code" printable pages.  I'll offer a few easy solutions to those difficulties as well.  Best of all, there's a "Color by Code" freebie for beginners.  Scroll down to the end of this post to get the free download.

Below is a list of the challenges (and their solutions) that can occur with "Color by Code" printable sheets.

1.  Insufficient Materials.  The crayon colors necessary to complete the pages are missing.
      Solution:  Use the "Color by Code" sheets as a station area instead of a whole class activity.  Supply JUST the crayon colors needed to complete the printable at the station.  Children will waste time rummaging through tons of crayons if too many are provided.

2.  Material Depletion.  Coloring the "Color by Code" sheets have caused crayons to become worn out!
     Solution:  Don't use crayons that are pristine.  Collect old crayons and make them the ones that are to be used for large coloring projects. 

3.  Disproportionate Students' Finishing Time.  Some students are coloring too heavily which is making the task take too long!
     Solution:  Model the manner in which to color.  Emphasize the technique of coloring LIGHTLY or GENTLY without much pressure put on the paper.

4.  Low Homework Return Rate.  A "Color by Code" page was assigned for homework and only 50% of the class returned the work.
     Solution:  Don't assign "Color by Code" sheets as a homework assignment!  As educators, we don't know what materials are available at home.  A child that is missing one crayon color will not be able to complete the work.  If you are not sending home the needed crayons the day the work is assigned, don't make "Color by Code" a homework assignment.  The Math Facts Color by Number Addition and Subtraction product that I created can be used as a math station activity or with summer review materials.

5.  Color Confusion  Some students can become preoccupied with the shades of any given color.  They will constantly ask you which crayon they should use within the same color family.  
    Solutions:  Tell the children that you are looking forward to viewing their varied results.  Once in a while a "Color by Code" sheet may have two shades of the same color.  A good way to term these are to say, "light blue", "dark blue", "light green", "dark green" and so forth.  Don't make it more complicated than that!  You could also allow the children to test the colors on a scratch piece of paper to find the shade they desire to use.

6.  Color Blindness.  Children that have a form of color blindness may not know they're using the wrong colors.
    Solution:  Accept the work as is.  Encourage the student to read the labels on the crayons to determine the correct color.     

7.  Mistakes Can't be Erased.  Students make mistakes and they can't erase the crayon colors!  You might have spent time assisting a child with trying to scrape off the crayon wax in order for a mistake to be colored over with another crayon color.  It's frustrating for both the teacher and the child! 
     Solutions:  Have students color a small portion of each section and then require them to check their work again before completing the coloring.  Alternatively, have them write the answers in each section with a pencil.  Then check their work yourself before allowing them to color.  Sometimes it's easier for a child to start over.  Keep extra copies of each sheet on hand with this in mind.

8.  Student Misreads the Code/Key.  A student has misinterpreted the code/key and has colored an entire section the wrong color.
     Solution:  Alter the key on the child's paper so that it matches his/her work.  View the photo below.  The flower is colored purple instead of pink.  The word pink has been crossed out and the word purple has been written below.  The teacher has caused the exemplar to become accurate.

 "Color by Code" printable pages are always a hit with children who love to color!  They can incorporate a wide variety of topics such as animal groupings, multiplication facts, color word recognition and more!  This color by code printable page is a free download!  Children identify the letters of the alphabet that are shown in each section of the coloring sheet and color the sections according to the key which is shown at the top of the page.  They'll enjoy taking their finished work home!
9.  Inaccurate Student Evaluation of Concepts/Skills.  Some students will be able to identify the picture and the color pattern without solving the facts.  They're coloring accurately but not because they understood the work.
     Solution:  Use the "Color by Code" printables as practice, reinforcement, and summer review.  Don't use them as an evaluation tool for concepts or skills.

10.  Mechanics of "Color by Code" Are Not Understood.  While students may be proficient in basic addition and subtraction facts, they don't necessarily know how to complete a "Color by Code" sheet.  They may not understand how to use the key.  It may also be the first time they've used a "Color by Code" sheet.
     Solution:  Use a very basic "Color by Code" printable (such as the one shown below) as an introduction for them.

"Color by Code" printable pages are always a hit with children who love to color!  They can incorporate a wide variety of topics such as animal groupings, multiplication facts, color word recognition and more!  This color by code printable page is a free download!  Children read the color words shown in each section of the picture and match with their crayons to color accordingly.  When they're finished coloring, they'll have a picture which can be displayed on a classroom bulletin board.
I hope this post will give you some additional insights on how to overcome the challenges that can take place with "Color by Code" printables.  

Grab a freebie and get your beginners started with "Color by Code"!  Click the image below to get the freebie.

http://bit.ly/colorbycode

Copyright 2017, Molly McMahon
All rights reserved.
Copying, pasting, or procuring my content in any manner is prohibited.