Monday, March 30, 2009

Art Project for Mother's Day

This watercolor project is a third in a series I've written at Bright Hub. It is for Mother's Day, or for any spring day in art. You are creating flowers on a watercolor background. The flowers can be daisies, mums, pansies or simple white flowers stamped on in acrylic paint. Its easy to do and fun for kids. The article link is:
If you like this project, or have one of your own, let me know at this blog.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Creative Ways to Get Students to Read and Report

An article at BrightHub caught my attention because it was about writing book reports in a new way. The article talked about reading a book and creating a blog about it, then leaving the book for someone else to find. Here is an excert form the article: There is a website,, where students may go and register the book they have read. They then write a blurb about their book and receive an identification number. To complete this project, students write the ID number in the book and then leave their book somewhere with a note to whomever finds it. Using this website, students participate in a modern, technologically advanced “message in a bottle” activity.

The full article can be found at:
Help Students Think Outside The Box With These Book Project Ideas.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Smart Ways to Use the Smartboard Series

I've written 3 articlesS in a series called Smart Ways to Use the Smartboard. The first one deals with uses of the Smartboard in daily classroom routines, reading and writing activities. The 2nd article deals more the Smartboard specifically in math lessons, the 3rd is for science lessons. All 3 give easy ways to use the Smartboard's drawing tools, pictures and backgrounds, multimedia and online resources. The resources are mostly from the UK. The math resources provide an excellent site with 90 math activities. There also some great online science sites to go to. Check the article out at

Smart Ways to Use the SMARTboard series

Smart Ways to Use the SMARTboard in Math Lessons
Smart Ways to Use the SMARTboard in Science Lessons

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mathletics Website fo Math Motivation

For the next 2 weeks, grade 2 and 3's will be doing a trial demonstration of a product from 3p Learning at This program had the world math day timed math contest for students to play against other students in the world. The student gets to design their own avatar before they begin the games. The program also offers math lessons that a teacher can require students to perform at a level between 1 and 5. The lessons are start with a pre-quiz, several lessons that can be repeated and then a post quiz.

The motivation to perform the lessons is that gaining gold bars will allow more games to be unlocked by a student. It is very motivating math and something that students will likely enjoy. By participating in the 2 week trial, the students can access their accounts from home, to try it out after school hours. Seems like a fun program. If you've tried it before or would like to comment, please post a reply. I will be reporting how the demo went, to see if we do decide to purchase this program for our school.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Watercolor Art Project for Spring

Watercolor art projects are so easy to do and design. The latest project I designed involves a stormy sky, a rainbow and a child holding an umbrella. If students can't draw the child they can just paint the background and have a separate painting of an umbrella and a pair of boots. You then cut out the umbrella and boots and glue them on to the background with a sponge holding them away from the background. Simple and cute.
Watercolor Art Project for Spring
Check out the article on the materials and procedures. It is part of a series on watercolor art projects that I have written at Bright Hub. As I do more watercolor projects I will post them. If there are any art ideas that you would like to add, please comment.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Project

On March 17, I found a quick easy art project to teach about creating color. The color was green of course. I simply had students divide a 12" paper into 6 equal parts. At one end we painted blue and at the other end yellow. Then as you move toward the center, paint each section a green. On one end paint more yellow than blue, on the other end, the blue end, paint more blue than yellow. Create various greens that blend into each other. We found tempra paint to work poorly compared to acrylic paint. So, if you want to teach about blending colors, or the differences between tempra and acrylic paint, or between blending colors on paper or on a paint tray, then try this simple lesson. The kids enjoyed learning about color blending without having to accomplish a great masterpiece. This was done at grade 4 and 5 level.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Science Project - Gr. 4 - 6 Plants & Space

The CSA, Canadian Space Agency has an excellent scientific experiment for kids to perform with tomato seeds. At a website called Tomatosphere, you can learn all about ways to use tomatoes to help actual astronaut test conditions in space. By registering your class or school with the project, they will send you 2 packages of tomato seeds, one of which is a control group and one which has been exposed to conditions like those on Mars. The seed packages are labelled M and N. Students grow them and find the rate of germination. Experiments are easy to set up. Students send in their results to the website. Later they are informed which package of seeds are the control group.
Its an exciting hands-on project. There are videos to support it. Many teacher resources are included on the website. We have done this project last year and unless you back out, you carry on the project for 3 consecutive years. Try it out! Try to see it.

To see a video of the project click here:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Easy Easter Art Project

I took a watercolor project that I learned from Gail Schmaltz, and added an Easter aspect to it. Most of her watercolor projects are easy to do, end in beautiful results and the kids love them.
You really should have watercolor paper for these and all watercolor projects as it soaks up the paint in a certain way. You can purchase watercolor paper at Colors or at Art Placement. Probably Michaels will have it as well. Paints can be from the dollar store. Here is the link to an article on watercolor project for Easter Eggs:

There are other Easter egg coloring pages, pastel projects and traditional Easter egg dying (Pysanka Art) which I do at Easter. Do you have any favorite projects??

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Lost Generation

This video is interesting. It won 2nd place at a meeting of the AARP (American Association of Retired People). It was submitted by a 20 year old. The contest was called "u @ 50". When shown, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause. So simple and yet so brilliant because it reads a completely different message backwards than it does forwards. Its about today's generation. Its simple yet effective.

The link to it is here:
or you can try clicking beflow:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Advantages of Blogging

In researching advantages to blogging as a teaching tool, I found a great resource called: 11 Advantages of Using a Blog for Teaching. Some of the advantages are: learning is indepent of time and location, learning becomes self-directed, more peer-to-peer collaboration occurs and writing competencies are improved. The powerpoint on the 11 advantages is at:
It was a slideshow created by Frank Calberg, in Switzerland, 10 months ago (June 2008).
Check it out. Perhaps you will start a blog with your students.
What advantages do you see to blogging with students??

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Structures and Towers - Grade 7 Science Lesson

This is a unit in Grade 7 to study structures in society. Here is an excellent source for information. If you find a good source for other students to use, post it in your comments.
This is information from an online encyclopedia at:
Try researching information on towers and structures, then plan an informative powerpoint on various types of structures.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Importance Of A Blog for Teaching , Posting Art

In today's world, if you were teaching writing, it would be important to incorporated communicating and messaging. Would having a teacher's blog be important for teaching this? I would think that classrooms online, using a program called blackboard do this. Is there anyone who uses a blog to accomplish the same thing? I am going to check out this way of teaching. Jeff Jarvis, at, a blog I'm following, discusses education in today's world. Check it out.
A website which provides 11 advantages to teaching with a blog is at:
Its a slide presentation about teaching, at college level, using a blog.

A blog for posting children's artwork can be found at:
This is what the creators say about this blog: THEBLOG WEEMADE is a user-generated showcase. We accept posts from anyone and everyone. Scan and post your children's artwork or your own artwork from when you were child. Found artwork. Anything!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Art Project for Creating Nametags

This article goes over 3 simple steps to creating a name creature. It is easy to do and involves markers and paper. I would use it at the beginning of the year to make a nametag for an art portfolio. Pictures are included to show the steps along the way. Try it, you'll like it!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Great and small art projects

Here is an article on an easy to do art project. I have tried to give some tips and hints to make it go smoothly. It is for kids of all ages. I call it the Larger Than Life Project. To read about it, click on this link at Associated Content:

Other great lessons and tips are welcome, especially for art projects that work well. Teachers can provide the best tips on how it works at different age levels. There are some projects I would do again and some I would not. There are some that go well with "creative creature" themes and some that work better with the "human face" theme. I will be posting my favorite and easiest projects here.

Which projects have you liked? Why? What are your recommendations??

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

World's Math Day - Mar. 4, 2009

Today is the day to get students doing as much math online at as possible. Teachers who registered students for this contest were sent emails stating that a day before the contest, they could no longer register new students. Competition begins at different times in different time zones in the world. The company sent teachers Activity Ideas for the classroom and school. These included such things as creating a giant school graph of each class's progress, run teacher vs. student challenges, and making a large world map of countries the students have challenged. Its an exciting day if students can get online and do this contest. The link to the activities is as follows:

Students can get a Gold Certificate if they answer 1000 questions during the challenge. It is a very motivating math and computer activity.

Dr. Seuss Lesson Plans - For March 2 - His birthday

Lesson plans for using Dr. Suess on March 2, his birthday are provided by a writer at Associated Content, Michelle M. Guilbeau-Sheppard, a teacher in k-6 in Illinois. With an art degree this writer has many lesson plans involving art, authors, poets and technology. To find Dr. Seuss lesson plans, click on the following link:

To read her other articles on Associated Content, follow this link:

I found articles on Shel Silverstein poems, coloring dragon pictures, and and princess coloring pages.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Google For Doodle Contest

A writer at Associated Content, Linda StCyr, wrote an interesting article about a contest Google is having for students. Teachers have to register their students in grades K-12. The students try to create a new Google logo. The theme is What I Wish For The World. The rules are found at the website,, given in her article. Only U.S. students are allowed to enter.

See the complete article at:

You will also find my article about this contest at www.
The link for this is:

Today Google's Logo is Dr. Seuss characters, to celebrate his birthday. At the contest website you can find out about how Mr. Hwang comes up with the logos he does. He also shows his favorites. Check them out. I like the Mozart logo. Which is your favorite??

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Star Wars Can Increase Your Child's Vocabulary

B. A. Rogers, a writer at Associated Content gives us the reasons why exposing children to vocabulary in context can increase their understanding. She tells us what makes a word "rare" and then provides the reasons why Star Wars books can aid a child's vocabulary. A great article by a writer with a B.A. in English, who adds life experiences to her writing. Read this article at: