Friday, 17 October 2014

Pumpkin Ideas, TpT Gift Card Giveaway & Halloween Freebies!

Each year the student council at my school buys a whole bunch of pumpkins from the farmer's market across the street and sponsors a pumpkin carving contest.  Great fun and good prizes for the winning class - but messy and time-consuming when there is curriculum to cover!  Here are some quicker and cleaner ideas for pumpkin carving this Halloween.

Simple and classic - use caulking to create a design on the pumpkin, then paint once it's dry.  Source: HGTV

This haunted house pumpkin is a snap!  Use permanent marker, paint, construction paper or vinyl for the windows and doors, then add some dollar store decor.  Source: Mom 4 Real

These cute owl pumpkins are super quick and inexpensive.  Some sunflower seeds, hot glue and paint are all you need if you don't feel like carving out the eyes and beak.  Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Kids just love mustaches for some reason?  Ring in Movember with this hip design.  Source: The Swell Designer

Another popular design that is sure to do well with the kids is Grumpy Cat! Source: The Swell Designer

If you've got an art class, why not reproduce famous works of art right onto the pumpkin?  Here is Starry Night.  Source: The Swell Designer

Another one that is great for art class - and math class - is this geometric design. Sierpinski's Pumpkin, anyone? Source: Alida Burke Geometric Design

Teaching Spanish?  Check out these Mexico-inspired pumpkins.  Source: Crafty Chica

Great for Science class!  Swine flu pumpkins are easy to make and very clever!  Source: Elena Juatco

Simple and beautiful for any grade level, from K to Senior Environmental Science, all these pumpkins require is some paint, glue and a nice stroll outside to collect some leaves.  Source: The Daily Basics

Here is a really quick idea.  Grab a sharpie and a recipe for pumpkin pie and write it out.  Nice for a foods class, or as a gift.  Also, throw in a pumpkin pie to sway the judges!  Source: She Knows

Great for the little ones, grab some Mr. Potato head parts and let the kids create Picasso-faced pumpkins.  Source: She Knows

I love this one for ELA class!  Dress up your pumpkin like your favorite book characters... then write a story about them.  How cute!  Source: Book Pumpkins

Some googly eyes and dollar store materials make this trendy owl pumpkin quick and easy to make with your class.  Source: A Bullseye View Owl

Some paint and jar lids help make the cutest helpers - Minions! Source unknown

A great idea for Geography class - pumpkin globes!  Source: NEA

But wait, there's more!

Now for another treat!  Check out my FREE Zombies: Race to the Brains PowerPoint game.  Come up with your own questions on Halloween and review with these moaning and groaning zombies as they shuffle towards victory!

Click here to grab it for free!

Also, not a freebie, but check out the Halloween Coin Bingo in my shop.  Both US and CAD versions available!

What?!  You want more treats?  
Alright - enter the giveaway for your chance to win a $25 gift certificate to TpT or one of four $10 gift certificates!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to hop along with my friends!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

A Fun Way to Review the Cell Cycle & Mitosis

I am always looking for ways to help my students understand and remember the facts.  Yes, I definitely understand that this is the lowest rung of the Bloom's Taxonomy ladder, but how can you get to the next rung without the first one?  (Now I am thinking about proof by induction... yep. I'm a nerd.)

I love making puzzles, games and manipulatives and my students love it too.  It is something different than their textbooks and notes and can trigger a different reaction in their understanding.  I do this a lot with new vocabulary - especially in the general science courses.  The students love the option of playing with a domino puzzle to help them with new terminology.  The Naming Compounds Spinner has proven to be so valuable in helping students name ionic and simple molecular compounds.

So I thought of the Cell Cycle and Mitosis.  How can I ask deeper thinking questions about mitosis if they don't know what is happening in each stage?  I came up with the Cell Cycle Spinner to help with that.  But then I thought - why not cut it up and make it a puzzle the students have to put together?  And what about the students that lose everything?  Well, let's just glue that in their binder and make it a note as well.  Here it is:
There are 10 variations of this resource.  Five of them are meant for general science and include interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase and cytokinesis.  Another 5 versions also include prometaphase for the more advanced Biology classes.  
Some variations have colours, some have text and some don't include the chromosomes so the students have an opportunity to draw those in themselves.  It's a great resource if I do say so myself!

Check it out and enjoy!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Amazing & Free Chemistry Resources for Teaching Elements

I stumbled across this website, Compound Interest, today because of an infographic that popped up on my Facebook feed.  It contains amazing infographics for all sorts of things from the chemistry of fireworks, to cosmetics to bacon aroma - yum!

It truly is a great site with high resolution images, a store to buy the posters (I think I will do that when I return from maternity leave!) and a downloads section.  

I think it is incredibly kind of the graphic artists to let you download their work.  Even better, for the infographics on the chemical groups (families) they even include a teacher version!  How much fun would it be to get the students to research elements and their properties with hand outs that look like this?!  I could only dream of being able to create something so beautiful for my class!

Thank you, Compound Interest, for making such incredible educational infographics!

Of course, you can also download the FREE Elements: Experiments in Character - PowerPoint to Introduce the Periodic Table from my TpT shop!

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