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#Operation55 -The Little Linebacker

I am so excited to team up with Stephen Tulloch and Maria Dismondy to share with you a book about self determination and dreams.  

Based on Tulloch's own life, this book shares how his passion for football and a BIG dream led to a successful 10 year NFL career.  None of this was easy but with self determination, Tulloch was able to turn his can'ts into cans.

This is not a book just about football. The Little Linebacker teaches students to DREAM BIG, persevere, and believe in yourself.  These are traits I teach my students all year long.  

What is wonderful is that teachers and homeschoolers can access a complimentary Reader's Guide.  

The authors of The Little Linebacker have generously offered to giveaway a book to one reader of this blog. All you need to do is comment below.  A winner will be selected on May 31st. 

Congratulations to Lor! Raines~

May the Force Be With You: Teaching Force and Motion

Happy May the Fourth Be With You Day!

I just wanted to quickly share how I used this Star Wars based day to teach force and motion to my class.  

We dedicated the entire morning to exploring force and it how it works via hands-on centers.

First, we talked about our science vocabulary:
force motion push pull

The objective at each center was to discover if and how you used force. They also explored what was the reaction based upon the force used. 

Our centers:
  1. Launch Star Wars Angry Birds using various catapults
  2. Build a domino maze and knock it down
  3. Give stuffed animals a ride on a train
  4. Bowling
  5. Car races using different ramps and types of cars
  6. Use Playdoh shapes to push and pull
We also went outside and pushed each other on the swings and tried to do a pull up on the monkey bars.  Had time permitted, we would have pretended to ride on a roller coaster using the fun GoNoodle video.

It was a great day of learning.  How do you teach force and motion to your kindergarten students?

Creating Green Screen Videos

Have you ever wondered how to create a video using a green screen? Do you consider yourself a novice when it comes to some aspects of technology? If you said, yes to either of these questions, I felt the same way.

For the past few weeks, my class has learned all about the weather. I knew that I wanted my students to become meteorologists. I saw many creations like this one on Twitter that inspired me to stretch myself as a teacher and learner.

Using the app DoInk, I was able to layer a video and image with a few easy steps.

A video posted by Mrs.Parker (@learningwithmrsparker) on

First, I found an area in my room to film. I choose a small corner which did not interfere with our day to day learning. It was a large enough area where I could hang my green screen which I created by using this. Then, I filmed my students in front of the screen using my smartphone.

The app will merge your video and an image together to create the video.

Ta-da! You've just created a layered video! Save and your done!

I wish I could show you the videos my students created. They are as precious as they are. We had a viewing party of Friday as a conclusion of our learning. It was a great way to incorporate technology in a meaningful way.

Please note: DoInk did not ask me to write about their product. 

Earth Day #CardboardChallenge

This year, my class is participating in the #CardboardChallenge in honor of Earth Day.

What is the #cardboardchallenge?  Inspired by the response to Caine's Arcade, it is a global event which invites children to create, build, and play using cardboard, recycled materials and their imagination.   

I am so excited to be joining this event.  We all know that a child's imagination is endless and their love for boxes is like no other.  I think this is a perfect way for us to honor our Earth.
I am also excited that this builds upon all the good things in education like play, imagination, collaboration and perseverance.
 Go here for more information.  You can also see what others have created via Twitter using the hashtag #cardboardchallenge
Not sure if this is for you, watch this video and be prepared to be inspired. 

Simple Science Weather Experiments

Weather science is fun!

Here are a few simple science experiments that you can use in your classroom to teach about different aspects of weather.  

Each is easy to do but yields high student engagement and learning.

Rainbows are always a hot topic in my classroom.  For some reason, kindergarteners LOVE rainbows.  They can not get enough of them. They write about them. Draw them and talk about them. 

My class could not believe when I told them that we were going to make a rainbow.  

You'll need some mason jars. 
Fill the jars with water.
Add food coloring.
Assemble in a sunny spot.
Watch your rainbow appear.

This simple science weather experiment in always a hit.  (Just look at her mouth in amazement.)

The shaving cream acts as the cloud.
Water in a vase or jar represents the water in our atmosphere, lakes, oceans and other places.
Food coloring is the water vapor which becomes rain.

By creating a rain cloud, you can show how water vapor absorbs in a cloud. Once it is heavy enough, rain begins.

Afterwards, we used our new learning to create an interactive writing piece.  Working with groups of students, I could differentiate the content based on student need.

Who knew learning about wind could be so fun?! We did three simple science experiments based on wind but these wind catchers were their favorite.

We learned that wind is moving air.  Our wind catchers helped us see it. 

Simply tie a piece of yarn around the handles of a plastic bag to make your wind catcher.  If it is windy enough, you can even run and "fly" your wind catcher. 

There you have it! Simple weather science experiments that will have you and your students engaged!

Happy Learning!

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