Water Cycle Teaching Resources and Cooperative Learning Project


The week before break we wrapped up one of my favorite science units—the water cycle.  As with most of my science units, I started off by showing a Study Jams video on my Smart Board.  Then we got into cooperative groups to research the four main parts of the water cycle—evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection.  Each group had one “expert” on each part of the water cycle.  They used our science book as well as various sites I posted on our class website for their research. 

I let each group decide how they wanted to present their findings to the class.  This batch of kiddos can whip up a Keynote or iMovie with all the bells and whistles faster and better than I can.  I guess you’d expect that from them since they’ve had 1:1 technology since first grade.  Still, they never cease to amaze me with their technological as well as collaborative skills.

Here's one of my groups working on a Keynote.

Here's one getting ready to share their iMovie with the class.

This group chose to present their findings using a poster.

The early finishers used these FREE task cards from The Science Penguin.  

TpT Cyber Monday Sale and a New Product


I hope you all had a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving break.  I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my family and doing a little decorating for Christmas.  I even managed to finish a product I’ve been working on for quite some time—my 4th Grade Common Core Math Worksheets for ALL Standards

I will be using these mainly for homework and review, especially when we get into test-prep season. . which will be here before we know it! 


Speaking of test prep, if you use task cards to reinforce and review the math CCSS, you may want to check out my regular and QR code bundles while they're on sale.  They cover many of the 3rd and 4th grade standards, and I have a few more sets in the works.  When you purchase the bundle, you get any future sets for free since I add them to the existing bundle on TpT.  You just have to re-upload the file.:)


My entire store, including my bundles will be discounted 20% Monday and Tuesday.  If you use TpT’s promo code “CYBER” you can get an additional 10% off.  Happy shopping!:)

Animal Adaptations Science Center Using Augmented Reality

This week we went on a field trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo downtown Chicago.  As we walked around the various exhibits, I made sure to get some good pictures and videos of the animals.  
Once we were back at school, I used the Aurasma app on my iPad to set up this interactive bulletin board/science center.  Each animal's picture triggers a video I took while at the zoo.  The students' task was to watch the videos on the iPads via augmented reality and record the adaptations (physical and/or behavioral) they observed.  As a challenge/extension, they could write an essay comparing and contrasting two of the animals' habitats.

Click the video below to see a couple of the auras in action.

All New Product, Freebie, and Giveaway


Meg @ The TeacherStudio is having an “All New” giveaway with some amazing prizes!  I am giving away $10 worth of products from my TpT store—winner’s choice!  Click the image to see the other prizes and enter the Rafflecopter.


The “All New” product I’m featuring is my Vocabulary Activity Cubes With QR Codes.  I cannot wait to start using these this week with my 4th graders to make vocabulary practice more meaningful and engaging.  I will be placing them in a center with an iPad during reader’s workshop.  Students simply roll and scan one of the cubes to reveal an activity to complete using their vocabulary lists.  This product can be used with any word list!  Click HERE or on the image below to check it out on TpT.

I also have an “All New” freebie for you—Roll a Writing Prompt Cube With QR Codes.  This one can also be placed in a center with a device that reads QR codes.  Students roll the cube and scan it to reveal a fun writing prompt.  I hope your kiddos love it!

Augmented Reality Biography Projects


Ever since reading this post by Erin Klein (one of my techie idols), I’ve been itching to try augmented reality with my fourth graders.  We recently completed a biography unit for which my students researched famous Americans and wrote five paragraph biographical essays.  They attached a photo to their essays to serve as the “trigger” for their auras.
My tech coach then came in to help us set up accounts using the free app Aurasma.  She also recorded videos of each of my students speaking in the first person about their famous American.  Although I didn’t require it, many of them dressed up and went to town portraying their character.  After uploading the videos and taking a picture of the “trigger” image, Mona helped my kiddos join them together to complete their auras. 

Click the video below to see the Barack Obama aura in action.


Here is one of my sweeties that totally got into character with Salvador Dali. 


In addition to Erin Klein, Two Guys and Some iPads have some great AR information and ideas on their blog if you’re looking to try it out for yourself.

I hope to share some new augmented reality projects with you very soon!

Multiplication: Halloween Style (2 Freebies Included)


Our focus in math workshop this week has been on representing multiplication in various ways—repeated addition, arrays, groups, etc.  I introduced this concept by having the kiddos watch a couple videos at home along with doing some example problems (since I’ve been flipping my classroom in math).  They used Kidspiration to help them visualize multiplication using groups.
Today the kids worked in groups to make posters that represented particular multiplication facts in various ways using Lita Lita’s adorable Halloween clipart.  
They also had a chance to complete a Spooky Array QR Code Scavenger Hunt, which is a new freebie in my TpT store.  This one follows the same format as all of my other QR code scavenger hunts.  Students find the "Start" phone and scan the QR code to reveal the first multiplication fact.  They must then find the phone that displays the corresponding array.  Each QR code leads them to the next phone until they complete the scavenger hunt.