abcteach blog

Earth Day, Every Day!

April 19th, 2016

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Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22nd. We should celebrate Earth Day everyday! How are you going to incorporate Earth Day into the classroom? Well, look no further…we have some great activities to get started. We want to focus on the importance of protecting the environment, as well as ways to prevent more damage from occurring.

Going Green

Let’s start off on the right foot by reducing the waste we make each and every day. Instead of printing paper, Go Green! Recycling paper can save money, as well as our planet! You can immediately start reducing your carbon footprint with these helpful tips and tricks to try today, and why not start on Earth Day.

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Teach your students/children how to recycle early. It can be confusing, what is recyclable and what is not. Recycling is a great way to reduce pollution, conserve energy, and save important natural resources. Here are a few ideas to help recycle paper use in the classroom.

 

  • Use both sides of sheet paper when writing in the classroom, and printing large workbooks.
  • Work in groups to save on printed handouts.
  • Create a scrap paper bin for students to use whenever!
  • Use chalkboards/whiteboards to save paper.
  • Create a blog or website for students to access and submit assignments online.
  • Ask for local donations. (Reuse library books)
  • Start a recycling bin in the classroom
  • Recycle old magazines, newspaper clippings, and mail to create cool art projects.

 

Do you have any other ‘green’ classroom tips that you can share? Feel free to leave a comment on how you are helping reduce waste in your classroom.

To refresh your comprehension skills, we have many different articles about Earth Day and how it all began. Did you know that Earth Day was originally started in San Francisco in 1970?

Comprehension: Earth Day (upper elem/middle)  – Members Only

Comprehension: Earth Day, Every Day (elem) – Members Only

We have a few awesome interactive activities to use in the classroom on Earth Day! Don’t have a SMART Board? No problem, just open the file using Smart Express Viewer.

Earth Day Interactives Using SMART Board – Members Only

PowerPoint Presentation: Natural Resources

Other activities that help explain the three R’s of conservation (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) are linked below.

 

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Think Green, Teach Green

There are so many fun, hands-on ways to teach green in the classroom. This is a great time of year to show your students what they can do to help save our planet.

 

There are so many ways we can protect the environment and help save the planet. Teaching the importance of going green in the classroom, and encouraging our students to be environmentally conscious every day and not just Earth Day is a wonderful start. You can make a difference by Going Green!

 

~ Laura Kemsley, abcteach team

 

 

abcWorkshop Tutorial

April 7th, 2016

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Have you ever wanted to be able to use abcteach resources directly on your computer or tablet without having to print? Well, now you can! With abcWorkshop you can bring up any PDF on the site to draw, color, and write using the custom tools. This is only being offered to our members. If you are a free user you can test it out using the free templates on the site.

Here is a simple tutorial showing how you can use abcWorkshop and what benefits it has to offer for you and your students. Let’s get started with something simple. AbcWorkshop is easy and fun to use! If you are following along, we will be using the first Dot-to-Dot example on the FREE site. Click here to get started!

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Bring up any PDF document by selecting the blue drop down box, and choose, “Open in abcWorkshop.” This will open a new screen with your selected file. You will see a list along the left-hand side of the screen. This shows all of the customized tools you can use.

  • Write
  • Pencil
  • Marker
  • Shape
  • Save

 

Step One:

Select the pencil to connect the alphabet dots! Starting with the letter A, and ending with Z. You have 18 different color options to choose from. We used a black outline for the crow, once you have connected all the dots, now color it in and add your own personal touch! After every tool, select done.

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Step Two:

Select the marker to color as well as the size of thickness. You can easily change colors and size as you go. Get creative, and have fun!

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Step Three:

If you want to add solid lines you can use the pencil and if you want to highlight or fill in the lines, use the marker tool. Make a mistake? No worries…just select the red ‘undo’ button and it will clear the previous edit.

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Step Four:

Want to write out a story or poem on this page? Select write in the upper left-hand corner, and choose a font. You can update the text at anytime. When it is selected, a green dotted-line will appear around the text box. Press ‘done’ to finish.

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Step Five:

Once you are completely happy with what you’ve made, (and you should be, you did a great job!) you have a few options when saving. Select save and a pop-up window will appear! You have the choice of saving the document to ‘my abcteach,’ download, print, share, and send link. And that’s it! Enjoy :)

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For all of our FANTASTIC abcteach members, you have unlimited access to every PDF on the website. Here are a ton of great activities to try right now using the abcWorkshop!

 

There are so many different possibilities using abcWorkshop! I hope you found this tutorial helpful. We would love to see what you are working on. Use the hashtag #abcWorkshop on social media and facebook so everyone can view your work.

Thanks-

Laura Kemsley – abcteach team

 

Every year in January we celebrate MLK Jr.’s dream. It is just as important today, as it was then; which is why we want to celebrate by creating a hands-on mobile for the classroom. This will get your students thinking about future goals and dreams that they can share with their peers.

This is what you need to get started:

abcteach MLK mobile template

* Scissors

* Glue

* Craft Paper, Card Stock, Construction Paper, etc.

* Marker, pencil, crayons

* String

* Tape

1. Begin by printing out the cloud mobile template for each student. Have them complete each sentence about their dreams for the community, school, world and each other.


2. Cut out each cloud. Starting with the title page, you can add a colorful border, picture, or drawing to represent each students’ individual artistry.

3. Using a hole punch and string, punch a hole in each dream cloud and tie a string connecting each dream cloud to the title page. It’s fun to use different string lengths! If you don’t have a hole punch, you could tape the string as well.


4. Find a spot in the classroom for the students to hang their MLK mobile.

Here are some related categories on abcteach, where you can find teachings for Martin Luther King Jr. , and more historical and cultural figures.

Martin Luther King Jr. Theme Unit

* Black History Month

* Biographies (member only)

* Athlete Biographies (member only)

* Holidays/Culture

* Social Studies: People

Enjoy this fun activity, and useful links for all your cultural teaching needs.  Share with other teachers, parents, and friends.  This is a fun activity for the classroom or for at home.

Enjoy !

Laura Kemsley – abcteach team 

Happy New Year from abcteach!

January 4th, 2016

 

The holiday season has passed and 2016 has arrived.  For teachers, homeschools, and parents it is time to get organized and look forward to another great year of educating your children.  There is an increasing amount of information being thrown at our students and us today.  With the overuse and abundance of social media communications, new technologies and educational concepts, it is important for us to stay organized on what we should be teaching.  Don’t worry abcteach is here to help.  Here are some helpful tips on how you can be prepared for the year ahead.

 

 * Try Something New

 

We all have a certain way that we like to teach, and most of the time the point gets across to our students.  However, it is important to challenge yourself as an educator and try new things in the classroom.  Abcteach has many helpful categories such as Teaching Extras, Homeschool and Parent Resources, and Fun Activities where you will certainly find something new and exciting to try in the classroom.

 

  * Wake Up Kids!

 

School can be long and excruciating if the right energy is not in the classroom.  We want our students to learn and behave respectably, but we can’t expect that to happen automatically.  Engage your students in the lessons you are teaching.  No matter what the objective of the day is; classroom work, group work, video & write up, a quiz, it is important to communicate with as many of the students as you can on a regular basis.  It will grab their attention and keep them attentive.  Have your students accomplish more than one task during each class period.  This will help them refocus and keep them awake!

 

  * Get Back To Basics!

 

When all else fails in the classroom or at home, we need to take a hard look at ourselves and assess how to accomplish a better teaching environment for all the parties involved.  When this happens, get back to basics!  Make sure to take advantage of our abctools (custom worksheet generators).  Make quick worksheets for the classroom! Members can save their abctools and refer back to them at anytime.  This is one of the best ways to create basic templates for all your teaching needs.  Theme Units and Thinking Skills (member category) will help you find something to get your classroom or household on the straight and narrow as well.

*** Make sure to take advantage of our current New Years Special ! 50% OFF 1 & 2 year memberships.  That’s only $20 a year !  Become a member today ! 

Let 2016 be your best year yet!

David Kemsley – abcteach Team

 

Now that classrooms are organized and ready, well just about, and the professional development meetings are over, for now; all that seems to be left is to fill the classroom with eager, energetic students ready to take on a new school year.  Just remember, these new students are coming to you fresh off of summer camp fun, late night sleepovers, and erratic schedules.  In other words, your new students are in dire need of structure and a regimented set of classroom rules.

 

Many educators develop their classroom norms or rules before students even step foot into the classroom.  These are usually simple rules that students should follow to create an “ideal” learning environment.  Though at times this may be successful, students do not have any say or ownership in the environment they will be learning and socializing in for the next 10 months.  This can lead to frequent problems and behavioral issues.

 

Try instead asking your students for suggestions the first day or two of school.  For instance, brainstorm a list of the students ideas on large chart paper or the front board. Once the list is compiled ask students, if old enough, to vote on the top 6-8 rules to respectfully follow for the school year.

For younger students, pick the top 5 and create a classroom poster with all the classroom norms and have each child sign the poster to display.  For older students you can do the same or create a more complex personal contract for each student to sign.  You can give the students a copy and keep one for yourself to refer back to if needed.

 

abcteach offers some helpful classroom rule posters that can go along with your individualized set of classroom norms.  Using them as a visual example to start students on the right path to brainstorming appropriate classroom norms would be ideal.  Check out these posters and other ideas for classroom rule displays by typing in “rules” in the search box of abcteach website.  Classroom Rules 

 

 

Don’t forget…Having the classroom norms visible for students of all ages creates a set of boundaries and rules that students feel connected to and are able to reference easily.

 

Happy rulemaking not rule breaking!

 

Emily Barnett Pomish -abcteach

Whether you have begun your first few weeks of school or are anticipating the ceremonial hand off of your class list, school is in the forefront of your mind. With Professional development days ahead of you and classroom organization needed, time and efficiency is of the essence.   Don’t stress! abcteach is here to help!

These next few weeks can go by in a flash so be prepared with these five simple and helpful tips when you head into your classroom.

 

1). Less is more!

Pick a few colors, one common classroom theme, bold, readable print, etc.  Remember, you are trying to gain the students attention not distract them during lessons.  abcteach has a number of different ideas to help spark a new theme for your classroom in the back to school section.

2). Leave Space!

I promise.. it is ok.

Let the students have ample space to display their own work and thinking in the classroom.  Not every wall needs to be filled with cutesy teacher-made displays.  It is acceptable to have areas not covered the first few days or even weeks of school.  Put up cute “Under Construction” signs or “Students thinking coming soon” on blank bulletin boards. Parents and students alike will appreciate the opportunity to help shape the learning environment.

 

3). Do it Now! Don’t wait!

 

 

If you have a few extra moments, which I know can be hard to imagine with professional development, meetings, and classroom readiness for students; try to declutter now.  Organize your books, label the manipulative bins, and clean out that classroom junk drawer you have been meaning to do for years;  once school gets going you won’t have the time.  Check those items off your mental checklist and ease your mind even before your new students walk in the door.

4). Make THREE extras of everything and leave them blank!

 

You never know when you are going to get that “new” student added to your class list.  Instead of trying to remember every detail you need to copy and label, have it ready to go.  Laminate what needs to be done along with your class set and put all the blank extras in a safe place.  You will save yourself from a lot of stress and time in advanced.  Even if you don’t get any late joining students, you now have a head start for next year or this year when that student spills milk over everything in a two mile radius. Don’t forget you can create your own custom Desk Tags for your new class too! Its easy with our Desk Tag Generator, part of abctools® and every abcteach membership.

 

5). Do something new!

 

 

Take a risk, step out of your comfort zone.  Even veteran teachers need to spice things up! Whether it is changing your classroom theme after 15 years or starting the first day of school with a new “getting to know each other” activity; try something new and have fun.

Happy Classroom Organizing!

Emily Barnett Pomish – abcteach

 

abcworkshop_logo-final

Draw, Write, Color & Create Shapes using abcWorkshop !

abcWorkshop is a new online editor, enabling members to draw, write, color, create, save, print, and share using abcteach pdf documents as their template for creativity.  Now, for the first time all of our pdf documents can be edited through abcWorkshop on your tablet or computer.  Save your creation for another day, print and share with a friend or family member,  teachers can send any document to their students, as long as the link to the document is provided.  Your students will be able to receive a given assignment, edit with the abcWorkshop tools, and send back to you once the assignment is complete.  This is a member feature only, however, free users can demo the abcWorkshop.

Watch the abcWorkshop tutorial video below:

 

Make a Bunny: Craft Project

March 31st, 2015

 

Make a Bunny:  Crafts

 

 

Here are instructions on how to craft your own bunny.  Click on the link below for printouts.  

Link to document:  Make a Bunny Craft Project

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Directions:

1.  Download the document and print out the patterns to create your bunny.

2.  Cut out the patterns.

3.  Paste the face and ear patterns together.

4.  Add the cheeks, then the nose and mouth of the bunny.

5.  Finish by adding the whiskers.  Optional:  Pipe cleaners can be used for whiskers.  

6.  Be creative !  Color, paint and glitter the bunny to customize your project.  

Have fun and enjoy ! 

Daisy

March 2nd, 2015

Use the daisy pattern shown below:

Create your own daisy by tracing a CD,  then draw in the petals and stem of the flower.  The daisy pattern can be used for many activities throughout the school year.

 

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Here are some ideas:

• Glue or draw a picture in the center (for example, a picture of a

person), or write words that describe the picture in the petals, or

glue or draw other pictures on the petals that relate to the

center picture (for example, a person’s interests)

• Write a name (your own, or the person for whom you are making the

daisy, or a hero of yours, etc.) and then write information about the

person on the petals

• Write the word “goals” in the center and then decorate the petals with

goals — these could include: schoolwork, sports, behavior, etc.

• Write “Books I Have Read” in the center of the daisy. Write titles and

authors on the petals.

• Write a word (a theme you’re studying) and write facts on the petals

• Write a suffix or prefix in the middle and write words using them in the

petals (PREfix, PREtend, PREvent…)

• Put a multiplication fact in the center and numbers on the outer ring.

Multiply and put the answer in the center of the petal.

 

Crafts – Woven Valentine

January 26th, 2015

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You will need…

 

Heart pattern

–  White or color of your choice card stock.

–  Colored paper or card stock.

–  Scissors

–  Paste/ glue

 

Directions

1. Cut out a heart pattern.

2. Fold heart in half.

3. Cut across the fold to about ½ to 1 inch from the edge of the heart

4. Weave strips in over/under pattern.  Trim around edges and glue.  

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