Graham Cracker Buildings – Social Studies Activity

Social studies lends itself to tons of cool cultural and historical activities. We recently created historic buildings using graham crackers and frosting. It was a bit messy, but it was a blast and some of the buildings turned out really well!

Here’s Big Ben in London England:

Graham Cracker Building - Big Ben

Here’s the Santa Catalina Arch in Antigua, Guatemala: Graham Cracker Building - Santa Catalina ArchFirst we wrapped cardboard in tin foil (secured with tape). Then we put tons of frosting in ziplock baggies and cut a small corner off. We had some candy for decorations, but I don’t think it was necessary. We also used straight pretzels and other edibles as building materials. It was educational, but also delicious!

 

New Printable Timeline on TpT!

Timeline Blank sticker

Check out this printable graphic organizer/blank timeline I added on my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Yes, it’s still FREE! Perfect for history lessons, summarizing stories, or describing science observations!

Visit my store button

 

Field Trip Report (Free Printable)

Field Trip Report - Lower previewField Trip Report - Upper preview

I recently posted this field trip report/write-up over at We Are Teachers. There are 2 versions; one for upper grades and one for lower grades. Click here to view the post!

Chinese New Year – Animal of the Year Graphic Organizer

I like using projects year after year. It makes my life easier. This is especially true with holiday projects. There are so many other things to do and update each year, that it’s impossible to keep up. My friend, who teaches kindergarten, recently shared this idea:

Dragons - Chinese New Year

In the spirit of working smarter (not harder), I created this graphic organizer to be used year after year, no matter what animal is the animal of the year for Chinese New Year! After talking about what Chinese New Year is, have the kids draw a picture of that year’s animal, and then write ideas about what that animal can do, has and is (see my friend’s example above). Chinese New Year - Animal of the Year

Click here to download the free PDF: Chinese New Year – Animal of the Year

3-2-1 Note Taking Graphic Organizer

321 Notes STICKERI recently saw another variation on this same note-taking organizer and decided to make one with my own Squarehead spin! So, I present to you (drum roll please…) my 3-2-1 notes graphic organizer! Students will write 3 things they learned, 2 questions they still have and 1 picture illustrating understanding (teacher can specify what they should draw if needed).

Click here to download the free PDF: 321 Notes – graphic organizer

Giveaway! Roylco Straws & Connectors Set

 **This Giveaway has ended. Check back for more giveaway fun!**

As promised, I have a fun treat for you! Another giveaway! I’m pleased to partner with Roylco, creators of all things fun and educational for your classroom! So here’s the part you’re waiting for… what can you win!? Drum roll please!

Connectors Giveaway

What: This Straws & Connectors set has a whopping 705 pieces (over triple what we played with) and retails for $60, available for purchase here. It’s recommended for ages 4-5+, which I think is appropriate.

How to Enter: Super easy! Here are the steps:

  1. Hop on over to the Roylco Blog. (Click here)
  2. Poke around and check out their craft ideas. (There’s so much fun stuff over there, I know!)
  3. Come back here to this blog and write me a comment telling me what Roylco craft you liked. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page to type your comment. If you’re not a WordPress member, please leave me your email address so I can contact you if you win! That’s it!

This giveaway ends 1 week from now, at midnight (PST) on Tuesday, December 16, 2014.  **This giveaway has ended. Check back for more giveaway fun!**

Connectors Giveaway 2

What I think about the Roylco Straws & Connectors set: Way fun!! We played with the 230-piece set. It was a great amount for two of us to use. When I opened the box, it looked like this:

Connectors 2

It wasn’t hard to separate the connectors. Once we pulled them all apart, here’s what we had to play (and learn) with:

Connectors 1

At first, we didn’t use the directions, but we soon peeked at them to see hot to make more complex connections. The directions were fairly simple, easy to read, and gave us some good inspiration. Here are some of the creations we came up with (notice they get cooler as we continued to play with them):

Connectors 6

Connectors 5

The straws are roughly 9 inches long. They’re not very hard to connect, but they’ve got enough squeeze between the straw and connector that they stay connected pretty well.Connectors 7 Connectors 9 Connectors 8This was our favorite creation: a 30 inch tall “castle” with corners and arches!Connectors 10

What can you learn: First of all, these are just plain fun. So no matter what kids learn, they’ll have a good time. Here are some ideas for incorporating learning into this activity:

  • Identifying vertices and edges in 3D shapes
  • Structural aspects of various shapes (Which shapes are strongest?)
  • Spacial intelligence (How many cubes made up this castle? How many cylinders?)
  • Volume! (What’s the volume of the cube? Of the castle?)
  • Recreating historical buildings out
  • Creating chemical compounds (H20, etc)
  • And the list goes on!

 **This giveaway has ended. Check back for more giveaway fun!**

How to Post a Comment:

A few readers have told me they struggled with finding the place to write a comment. There are a few ways readers will get to this page, so here’s how to post a comment (depending on how you got to this post).

If there are multiple posts on this page (you’re on the Squarehead Teachers home page or a search results page):
How to Comment 2

If you clicked on this post (and it’s the only one on the page), then scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page:
How to Comment

The Fine Print: Participation is optional. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase is necessary to participate. Only one entry per person. Available to US and Canada participants only. There will be one winner. Winner will be randomly selected. I will email the winner between Wednesday, Dec. 17-Thursday, Dec. 18. The winner will have 24 hours to respond and provide me with shipping information so I can mail them their prize! If the winner does not respond within 24 hours, the winner forfeits the prize and another winner will randomly be selected (in which case the new winner will be notified and the same terms apply).  The winner will be announced on this blog once eligibility has been confirmed. I cannot guarantee the winner will receive their prize before Christmas, but I’ll try my best! This giveaway is sponsored by Squarehead Teachers and Roylco, and is not affiliated with WordPress or any other sponsor. If you have additional questions, please contact me! Good luck!

Free Math Videos

I recently learned about a cool free resource for teaching! It’s called Khan Academy. It provides tons of free educational content-based videos, with topics ranging from math and science to humanities and economics. With a log in, students (or anyone) can complete learn by watching videos and then complete tasks to earn badges. Teachers can track the data for their students and use the materials in lesson plans. You may also want to refer parents to this site if they’re looking for supplemental materials for helping their child. What’s not to love!?!  I wish I had learned about this when I started teaching!

 

As Seen on Pinterest

If you haven’t gotten addicted to Pinterest, you should. In fact, you should join me on Pinterest and see the tons of great teaching ideas out there! Here are some cool ideas I found recently:

Hang anchor charts with fun ribbon!

Poster showing what belongs in a student desk and how it should be organized. Genius!

“If MLK Jr. Had Instagram…” What a great way to have place history in a context kids know! Click here to read more.

Letters in Environmental Print! Ask kids to find and bring in 5 labels, then sort them into the alphabet.