OWLS: Project Based Learning Through INQUIRY

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I thought that Project Based Learning in Primary classrooms would be difficult, but here’s an easy approach to Inquiry which is easy to follow for teachers who are new to PBL.

A little while ago, my class did a study of OWLS. 
I decided to turn it into a Project Based Learning opportunity where the kids could learn about their favorite kind of Owl.  In order to make the research portion simpler, I created a great packet with information sheets about 14 different kinds of owls.

to get your own copy

To stimulate their interest, we arranged a visit from a local Wildlife Rehabilitation facility called OWL (Orphaned Wild Life).  They specialize in raptors, which are birds of prey.  We had a visit from a hawk and a barn owl.



They filled out the K part of the KWL sheet after a class brainstorm about what they already knew about owls.

Then we watched a variety of YouTube videos about owls - the links are in my packet.

Next they filled out the W part of the KWL worksheet.

Then I asked the kids to choose an owl to study from the information cards in the pack.
They wrote down their notes on the FACTS worksheet and then using the other outlines in my set, they were able to write a passage about their favorite owl.

The final step was to draw and paint a picture of their owl.  I used a step-by-step process which I outlined in my package.


Can you guess what kinds of owls these are??

And then finally, in British Columbia, where I work, we have a new curriculum which requires us to tie most of the curriculum to the First Nations (Indigenous) Peoples of our area.  To facilitate this, I used some pages from a coloring book that I bought and discussed with the kids how the First Nations People would draw their animals and what colours they would use.  Then I let them color in the picture with markers, crayons, and a black sharpie.  And finally we painted over it with liquid watercolor.  I think the final effect was pretty striking don't you?





Thanks for stopping by again today.
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How to Draw Spring

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I found this cute little drawing tutorial over at Art for Kids Hub.
Hop on over and check out his site - he has some great videos and tutorials.




So we did this as a class directed drawing activity.  First I traced a small plate to make the circle for the umbrella.  This gives the kids a better sense of scale in their drawing.
Then after they drew their picture I gave them a sharpie and they traced over it.  I asked them to colour in their hair with the sharpie.  I showed the boys how to turn their person into a boy by adding pants and giving it a short haircut.

 


 


 

I told this little boy that it looks like his person is jumping.  
When they were done with the sharpies they painted it with liquid watercolours.  If you haven't tried them yet, you need to get some - the colours are so vivid!!!!



Here's one of my bulletin boards full of these little kids - so cute!

Thanks for stopping by again today!
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Favorite Easter Craft Ideas

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Easter is fast approaching.  I thought I'd let you in on some of my favorite ideas for Easter Crafts for Kids.  
Over 30 ideas.  Here's some fantastic free ideas for kids easter crafts from savvyteachingtips.com
Check out these great ideas I found on Pinterest. When I was searching through Pinterest, I was really trying to find original and interesting crafts. I've done some Easter Crafts so many times in my classroom that I'm getting bored of them, and I'm sure this comes across to the kids. So the pins below, represent some of the most visually interesting ones I could find. There are crafts in here that range from preschool to grade 4 or 5. I tried to get a wide variety.

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The Benefits of STEM Activities

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 Have you tried STEM lessons yet?  Here are some great reasons to teach this way, and links to some great resources.

About a year ago, I discovered STEM.  It’s a fantastic way of integrating Science, Technology Engineering and Math.  In my school district, we have a new curriculum which has a component called Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies.  STEM fits right into this area.

There are many fantastic reasons to teach STEM lessons in your classroom and the most important one is STUDENT ENGAGEMENT.   Kids LOVE to create and STEM lessons give them hands-on activities which allow them to play.  Personally, I believe that play is a child’s job.  They are hard-wired to want to play with things.   Children NEED to play with things to learn how they work.  STEM lessons allow for the freedom to experiment and play which are an integral part of hands-on learning.  This is highly motivating for kids and keeps them focused.

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STEM lessons engage a child's imagination.  They need to think and be creative in order to find a solution to the problem.


STEM lessons allow for failure.  Things go wrong, and kids learn from their mistakes.  I know many people don’t like the negative connotations that surround “mistake” and “failure”.  But when things don’t work out according to plan (which is common in STEM lessons), kids LEARN.  It’s important, as a teacher, to redirect them to figuring out how they could change things to have success.  Whenever I have taught a STEM lesson and the kids’ creation (solution) didn’t work out, the look in their eyes tells me all I need to know.  The light bulb often goes on (so to speak).  (There’s a whole side lesson in the benefits of learning to adjust to failure and disappointment, but that’s a topic for another post one day).


STEM lessons can be set up as collaborative learning lessons where kids need to work in small cooperative groups.   Employers say that they look for people who work well with others, and teaching lessons that involve small group work is highly beneficial for kids.  By learning to work together in Elementary School, they are learning skills which will help them in later life.


Click on the photos below to find some of the STEM products available in my store.

or
   
Never taught STEM before?  These step-by-step lessons are great for teaching Science, Engineering, Technology and Math     Never taught STEM before?  These step-by-step lessons are great for teaching Science, Engineering, Technology and Math
 



Thanks for stopping by today!                          
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Our Favorite Leprechaun Traps

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I've been searching around Pinterest and found some great ideas for Leprechaun traps.
It inspired me to create a planning sheet so that kids can make their own traps.
Scroll down to the bottom of the post to grab your own freebie.
Our favorite leprechaun trap ideas and a free printable STEM planning sheet for kids.
Our favorite leprechaun trap ideas and a free printable STEM planning sheet for kids.
But for now.  Let's take a look at some of the great ideas I found on Pinterest.
And click below to get your own planning freebie!
CLICK HERE
Our favorite leprechaun trap ideas and a free printable STEM planning sheet for kids.
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