Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Earth Hour and Fancy Nancy

At 8.30 PM on Saturday 26 March 2011, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour.

Teaching the children about ecology and caring for the planet is pretty important around our parts... as I am sure it is with yours. So we have some simple and fun activities that we are leading up into Earth Hour here in our schoolroom...

For the younger elementary set we're reading Fancy Nancy: Every Day Is Earth Day by Jane O'Connor. Fancy Nancy is a big hit around here and the independence of being able to read has made it a treat for quiet time for both adults and children.

The Amazon.com description is as follows:
"After learning at school that “every day is Earth Day,” Fancy Nancy takes her lessons home. After espousing rhyming “green rules” to her family (“Dad, don’t waste water. Get clean, but stay green!”), Nancy ramps up the eco-enforcement, and minor mishaps result: Mom loses work, for example, when Nancy turns off the computer to save energy. The story’s messages about balancing environmental enthusiasm with tolerance and common sense bring fresh angles to this well-paced installment in the consistently strong early reader series. As usual, the exuberant line-and-wash illustrations amplify the story’s sense of messy, creative fun. Grades K-2."

So have fun with it, introduce book reports, and use the literature unit as a spring board into other areas of study. We sure will!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cabin Fever

Ok, so here in New England we've had ENOUGH of the snow and cold weather. In January and February we got more snow than we've had in years for the state of Connecticut, and my kids were all going crazy from it.

Keeping little minds busy and engaged is a bit of a task at times but not entirely impossible. Math can be taught from the book, but on a warm day get out and take advantage of the break in the weather and use Nature to teach things like Math and Science. At this point there are plants starting to peek through the soil, and fun can be had with string and a ruler.

Find your small plant or flower outside, then measure it's current growth. Make notes, and when you do have to go back inside, use your library or the internet to learn more about the growth rate. While Elementary age children might be a little young to estimate growth progressions and calculate them, it is well worth it to introduce the concept to them and make it a game to guess how fast the plant will grow.

What activities do you do when your students have cabin fever?