5 ways to rock that google dino AR

At our house the google AR animals were already a hit for spring. But then- it got bigger. Dinosaurs! Seriously- I have a nine year old who is practically a paleontologist without the expensive degree. I can’t wait to use these great animal AR opportunities with kids at school (whenever that can happen again…) So until then I am asking my own kids to try these ideas out as part of our fight against summer slide. This was our first shot with the dinosaur, I should have have turned to landscape but he was SO tall!

*Use the pictures as a story starter! Take that picture and use it as part of a story map. What can you already label for the story? The characters? The setting? The problem? A goal? So much of the story map could already be covered in this image, now I have PLENTY to write about.

*Research questions or base for a KWL chart. Now that you are standing next to a life size octopus, what questions do you have about it? This is the want to learn section of your KWL chart. Next stop- quality research sources to help you!

*Always wanted a dog? Use the image to help you write a persuasive letter or a poem to convince mom it’s time to adopt one! Need some inspiration for a persuasive letter? The picture book favorite I Wanna Iguana will get you ready to write.

*Measure and compare! When I saw my son standing next to the giant panda, I remembered a dinosaur footprint comparison I had done in the library a few years ago. Find the measurement of a body part of the animal vs. yours! Feet, teeth, and hands are easy to draw and compare (and get in that measurement practice, too).undefined

*Get some artspiration from the photo- find art online of the animal you chose and create a piece of art showing the best feature! Focus in on the tiger’s eye, the panda’s smile, and draw or paint. Reading a book like Whose Eyes are These? is a great way to focus on one significant detail at a time as you illustrate.

Tiger Eye by Lis Zadravec

it’s gonna be honeybee day (8.15)

I love bees so I just couldn’t wait until August for World Honeybee Day to indulge in the latest buzz in education (sorry). Everyone is making bitmoji classrooms, but I like outdoor scenes even more, after all we are not taking any field trips anytime soon. There are books read aloud on youtube, a few fun fact videos, some games, and a bit more. If you view the slide in presentation mode you can listen to the Flight of the Bumblebee (which some people find stressful). This will be something fun to either wrap up the summer or start the new year for elementary students. You could certainly add middle school books for this topic instead…What can you add? I am sure to find a few more things before August. To make your own copy of this slide, click on the image. https://bit.ly/mspbeeday

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backyard nature journal and educreations

This year more than ever I am looking with a nervous eye at the Summer Slide effect. To keep learning interesting we mix in lots of activities that can employ language skills, but aren’t worksheets (although I am totally on board with a worksheet now and then because I am a tired working parent). Educreations had a generous free upgrade this year for teachers during the school shutdown, so we used it at home, too.

Keeping things educational in quarantine wasn’t so bad when we used our own backyard and a homemade journal to record observations of animals and plants all around us. When the boys found a critter to research we relied on Capstone, Epic and other kid friendly research sources to annotate our drawings with new learning. Then we tried out educreations to share our learning with friends. Click on the image to see/hear an example. Working on ideas for the next project now…

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