I’m still trying to digest all that I learned in a 2 day whirlwind at the Texas Computer Education Association Conference in Austin this week. One of my last sessions was presented by the inimitable Leslie Fisher, who never ceases to make me laugh. She started the session with this video, and I thought it would make a good Phun Phriday video for everyone! Of course, my mind never stops thinking about education possibilities. Even though it’s a parody, I thought of using it for a S.C.A.M.P.E.R. lesson for some of upper elementary students. The parody takes the “M” in the acronym (which stands for “Magnify” or “Minimize”) to a new level. What other crazy parodies could your students imagine with the rest of S.C.A.M.P.E.R.?
Let’s face it. This week is hard. No one – including you – is feeling very focused on academics right now. To save everyone’s sanity, and to put smiles on all of the faces in the room, try some of these creative ideas:
- If your students participated in an Hour of Code last week by doing the Hopscotch tutorial on the iPad, use this extension suggested by @kd0602 – design a Holiday Scene. It’s similar to the idea of making a holiday card in Scratch. However, since Hopscotch offers less commands to use, a bit more creative problem solving is required (such as using the text object to make the letter “o” stand in for eyes and a nose on a snowman).
- Don’t feel like doing something “techie”? Have your students design new uses for candy canes like Ms. Trayers. (Ms. Trayers has lots of creative ideas, so check out her blog for even more!)
- Use this idea from Ian Byrd – Create a Holiday.
- Assign students to change the words of a famous holiday song (such as Jingle Bells) to reflect a character’s perspective in a book you are currently reading.
- Create holiday cards in the manner of a famous artist. What would a Picasso card look like? How about Van Gogh or O’Keefe?
- Do some Winter Mad Libs.
- Watch this video, and have students draw and explain their own “Rube Goldberg” holiday machines.
- Got some marbles, dominoes, and string? Have the kids design a real “Rube Goldberg” machine that ends with a holiday message!
- Try one of the “10 Creative Spins on the Question: What do You Want for Christmas?” from Minds in Bloom.
- Enjoy some creative ideas when your students work on this free “Frosty Figurative Language” packet from Leah Chamberlin on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Here are a couple I have mentioned before, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat.
- Have your students S.C.A.M.P.E.R. the Holidays.
- Write about what you would see if you lived in a snow globe.
- Create Text Snowflakes.
More in this series:
Thank goodness for people like Laura Moore (@LearnMoreStuff). She collected a ton of December-themed tech activities, and bundled them all up in a Listly she embedded in this post. With 3 more weeks until Winter Break, she realizes that we all need some ideas to get us through this crazy month.
I’m pretty sure Laura’s list will keep you busy. But, just in case you still have some huge gaps in your lesson plans, here are some past posts that I’ve done with a Winter theme:
Augmented Reality Holiday Cards (I might add some more to these in the near future, or you can watch these great instructions from @PaulHamilton8 on making your own.)
Holiday QR Codes (with a Kindness Countdown, Class Coupons, and Home Coupons)
And, of course, yesterday’s post – If I Lived in a Snow Globe, I Would Wear My Bike Helmet to Bed
During this month, don’t we all feel like we live in a snow globe sometimes?
Many of us in the States have only a week and a half left before the Thanksgiving holidays. Here are a few resources that might be fun to sprinkle into the curriculum as everyone starts running for the light at the end of the tunnel. All of them are free except for my shameless plug at the end
Pumpkin Adaptations – a cute activity from Miss Trayers at “Not Just Child’s Play”
A Thanksgiving Timeline via Google Earth – a wonderful way to integrate Thanksgiving, Technology, and Geography from Laura Moore at “Learn Moore Stuff”
Thanksgiving Fun – a plethora of fun tech activities from “Technology Rocks. Seriously.”
The First Thanksgiving – from Scholastic.com, includes videos, historical letters, and resource guides for teachers
Thanksgiving Jokes with Tom and Ben - a fun activity my Multimedia Club did a couple of years ago with the iPad
Thanksgiving Analogies – from “Minds in Bloom”
What are You Thankful For? Ask it Better. – I love these great ideas for putting a twist on this age-old question, also from “Minds in Bloom” (You could use a Padlet wall for the responses – H/T to Richard Byrne)
You are the Historian - Investigate the First Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving SmartBoard Activities – pretty much what the title says
Thanksgiving Sudoku - online
Thanksgiving Sudoku – printable
Thanksgiving Puzzles (Sudoku, Magic Square, Word Jumble, etc…) – from Cybersleuth Kids
Augmented Reality Reward Coupons – not completely Thanksgiving related, but great way to show gratitude for a job well done (students LOVE these!)
Autumn S.C.A.M.P.E.R. Packet – available on TPT for the bargain price of $2.00
Welcome to another Phun Phriday! And this one promises to be fabulous! RSCON starts today, Friday, October 11th! It’s not too late to sign up for one of the 100′s of sessions that will be offered online for free from today through Sunday evening. Click here to learn more!
One of the presenters during RSCON is Laura Gilchrist. Her Saturday morning session is called, “Dry Erase Surfaces in the Classroom: Uncap Creativity, Expression, and Enthusiasm for Learning.” Laura has IdeaPaint on her classroom tables, and has an excellent post showing great pictures of how the students use it to its full potential. Isn’t it funny how writing on a dry-erase board is not nearly as fun as writing on a dry-erase table?
Check out this page from the IdeaPaint site that shows other examples of IdeaPaint in schools.
I like the idea that you can use other colors besides white! I’m thinking of painting my tables neon colors, and putting the clear IdeaPaint over them. What do you think?
This is a bonus post. I just had to share some of the great projects my students have done for the Global Cardboard Challenge. Technically, the Big Event is this Saturday, October 5th, 2013 (check here for an event near you). But we started small this year, and my gifted students (2nd-5th grades) are inviting their classmates to view their constructions and play the games during recess next week instead. Here are some of the projects that they made. If you did not get a chance to participate this year, I strongly urge you try to attend one of your local events and make an effort to get involved next year! My hope for next year is to “charge for admission” so we can raise money for charity.