9.20.2009

Learn about Eid al-Fitr

The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr began today. For students who've been observing Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr is the end of a month of fasting and restraint.Check out this Palestinian Eid cake in the Huffington Post's slideshow of Eid al-Fitr celebrations around the world.
Read more about Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr at Holidays.net.

Simulate an Eid al-Fitr tradition with Crayola.com's Celebrate with Henna Hands activity.
Also check out their Ramadan coloring pages.

Then, since the beginning of Eid al-Fitr is based on the lunar cycle, learn about the phases of the moon with NASA's Space Place.

Images from Huffington Post, Crayola, and NASA.

9.18.2009

The Science Spot

Because teachers are generally certified to teach certain grade-levels instead of class subjects, it is the nature of public schools that occasionally a teacher with a subject-area teaching specialty finds herself teaching an entirely new and different subject. Such was the case for me last year when I inadvertently became a science teacher. Although I made good grades in school, I don't particularly remember much of what went on in my primary or secondary science classes.
This year I found out just as school was starting that I'd be teaching two new sections of science, one of which has no prescribed curriculum. Just as I was about to panic, I discovered The Science Spot. This site, developed by Tracy Trimpe who teaches middle school science in Illinois, is a science teacher's haven. Mrs. Trimpe's enormous index of resources is new to me, but not new. Today I used a worksheet she developed before I finished high school, and the details in her activities and lesson plans show those years of experience.
This week, my students marveled at the number of water drops that will fit on a penny with her Drops on a Penny lab, and I didn't have to worry about unforeseen disasters since her teacher notes have materials lists, safety precautions, and teaching tips (this one reminds teachers to emphasize that pipettes are not to be used as water guns).
Mrs. Trimpe also includes links to other great teachers' resources like the Come Fly With Me lab made by Jesse Bergman.Flying paper airplanes is a pretty fun way to practice steps of the scientific method.

The Science Spot also has a teacher's reference page, a long list of printable science review puzzles, and The Science Spot Kid Zone, a huge list of online science resources and games for students.

9.13.2009

Calendars and Agendas

The beginning of school is no time to miss an appointment or forget an assignment. Get your ducks in a row with these free organizing templates.


Organized Home's Household Notebook printables page has free monthly calendars, an undated monthly calendar page, a weekly planner page and a running to-do list.
Family Fun's Back-to-School Printables page has a monthly planner page with cute holiday and appointment stickers,
a student's weekly calendar, and a teacher's weekly calendar.
DIY Planner has printable kits for all sorts of planner sizes. At The Pocketmod, you can design, print, fold and stash a customizable, 8-page, pocket-sized notebook using just one sheet of paper. This program would also be great for making comic-book templates for students to fill in using the story board option on all eight pages.

Images from Organized Home, Family Fun, and my library.