February Daily Visual Challenges – updated

I recently updated my February set of Daily Visual Challenges to include 28 days’ worth of problem-solving, thought-provoking, creative fun. The added variety allows you more flexibility to pick and choose the challenges that work best for your class and makes them usable year after year.

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Find out more about my Daily Visual Challenges here.

Daily Visual Challenge sets for February, March, and April are available in my TpT store.

 

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What does your imagination tell you to do?

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Over the past year or so, stories about creativity and imagination have caught my eye…

Caine’s arcade creation and Nirvan Mullick‘s video inspiration led to the Imagination Foundation’s yearly Cardboard Challenge which continues to spark imagination and creativity worldwide.

Kid President‘s creativity led to an imaginative way to share his love of life and motivate others to see the good and pass it on.

Martha‘s creativity and imagination impacted students worldwide as she blogged about her school meals and raised money for Mary’s Meals.

An Oregon 5th grader organized a bowling fundraiser for Boston.

and the list goes on…

Where have creativity and imagination taken you lately?

. . .

The poster above is from this Einstein quote:

I believe in intuition and inspiration. …At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason.  When the [solar] eclipse of 1919 confirmed my intuition, I was not in the least surprised.  In fact I would have been astonished had it turned out otherwise.  Imagination is more important than knowledge.  For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.” [From A. Einstein, Cosmic Religion: With Other Opinions and Aphorisms, p. 97 (1931).]   source

. . .

I believe in inspiration, creativity, and imagination, too!

Merry Christmas!

1213032253Wishing you all a joyous holiday season!

. . . .

A new job has taken up more of my time than I expected, but I will be back soon with more freebies and visual literacy fun.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

First Friday Freebie #9: Flower Seeds and Lifelong Dreams

Each time I read the book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, I am inspired by Alice’s dedication to her dreams and her quest to make the world more beautiful.

Over the years, these themes have quite naturally become a part of the way my classes commemorate Patriot Day, September 11th. Although young students today have no personal memories of that event, they can still join others in service and work to promote beauty, happiness, and good in the world.

This month’s freebie is an activity based on the story of Miss Rumphius to help students identify practical ways they can change the world for the better.

Click here or on the picture below for a pdf of the activity: includes directions, worksheet, templates, and examples of completed display.

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See previous September 11th posts for other books, activities, and resources.

First Friday Freebie #8: Whether Far or Near, Friends are Dear

Building friendships and community is a big focus at the beginning of the school year as classes are formed and begin the year-long journey of learning together. A story that shares a unique perspective of friendship is Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams. This book, based upon a true story, tells about two girls in a refugee camp who decide to share a pair of sandals even after their lives take them in very different directions. Bonding over shared experiences as well as footwear provides a foundation for a deep and lasting friendship.

How do your students define the word “friends”? This month’s First Friday Freebie provides an opportunity for them to brainstorm how friends should act towards each other.

Get the free graphic organizer here.

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For more ideas, check out Williams Writes, author Karen Lynn Williams’ website, where you can find a teacher’s guide for this story, see a picture of the sandals that inspired the book, and learn more about the author.

For the Love of Reading Freebie

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I have continued to be inspired by this summer’s book study over at We Read, We Blog, We Teach. It is interesting to see Donalyn Miller’s Book Whisperer ideas being discussed and pondered from so many different perspectives (and grade levels).

One thing that has really stood out to me throughout the whole book is the value of sharing the love of reading. When everyone in the classroom community is active in the discussion of books, the conversations and learning opportunities are richer and more meaningful.

So how do you engage your students in these conversations? What avenues are available for them to share the books they have enjoyed and broaden their own reading lists?

Here is a book recommendation form I created that you could use to encourage your students to share what they have read. It provides space for a re-creation of the cover to aid classmates as they search for the book themselves, two areas for sharing highlights from the story, and 1-5 star rating system. (click here for pdf)

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For the Love of Reading, Part 2

So how do you equip your “travelers” for their reading journeys?

In Chapter 2 of The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller, she focuses on her belief that everybody is a reader, and as such, is along for the ride. No one gets to opt out for any reason. In addition to building confidence in students who haven’t seen themselves as readers in the past, this is also a great community/team-building strategy in the classroom. Miller’s first day “book frenzy” is a wonderful start to the journey she leads her class on each year.

For more insights from this chapter (and a freebie!), check out We Read, We Blog, We Teach.