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Hands-on Learning with Tinker Boxes

A Reggio-inspired tinker box is a learning tool inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to education. This approach emphasizes the importance of hands-on, experiential learning and encourages children to explore, tinker, and discover for themselves. A Reggio-inspired tinker box is filled with various materials and tools that children can use to explore and create. The box's contents might include craft supplies, beads, buttons, scissors, paper, tape, and more. The purpose of the tinker box is to allow children to use their creativity and problem-solving skills to create and explore on their own. It is a way to encourage open-ended, imaginative play and promote learning through hands-on exploration and discovery. In addition, some Tinker boxes are tech-enhanced or STEM educational kits that contain materials and instructions for children to engage in hands-on, creative problem-solving activities. They are designed to encourage children to explore and experiment with different materia
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Get out of the classroom with virtual tours

Virtual field trips are an exciting way for middle school students to experience new places and concepts without ever leaving the classroom. Using technology, students can visit locations and learn about subjects in a interactive and engaging way. One great example of a virtual field trip is the American Museum of Natural History's Hall of North American Mammals (Grades 3-5) You can do a virtual hall tour with a student worksheet that is designed to span about one class period, or you can assign additional activities to extend the exploration over two or more class periods. Their tour allows students to explore habitat dioramas to learn how animals must be adapted to an environment in order to survive in it. Another excellent virtual field trip is the "Virtual Youth Docent Tours" tour offered by the National Air and Space Museum. Each interactive Virtual Youth Docent Tour presentation for 3rd - 5th grades lasts approximately 45 minutes and will be hosted on Zoom. Links: A

Valentine's Day STEM Challenges

STEM challenges are important in the classroom because they help students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity skills. These skills are essential for success in the 21st century and will serve students well throughout their lives. One way to make STEM challenges even more fun and engaging is to pair them with a holiday such as Valentine's Day. This can help shake off the winter doldrums and add an element of fun and excitement to the activity. For example, you might have students design and build a structure using candy hearts or create Valentine's Day-themed robots using recycled materials. There are many ways to incorporate STEM challenges into the classroom, and they can be tailored to fit the interests and abilities of your students. Whether you're using them to teach specific concepts or just looking for a fun and engaging activity, STEM challenges are a great way to get kids excited about learning. Plus, they're a lot of fun! So don't be

Choice Boards in Middle School- what you need to know

Choice boards are a great tool for middle school teachers to use in their classrooms. They allow students to have a say in their learning and can be used in a variety of subjects and settings. What is a choice board? A choice board is a visual representation of a set of options that students can choose from to complete a task or activity. It can be used in place of a traditional worksheet or assignment, giving students the opportunity to select their own learning path. Choice boards can be created in a variety of formats, including physical boards with cut-out choices, or digital versions using tools like Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint. Benefits of using choice boards in middle school Choice boards can be especially beneficial for middle school students, as they are at a stage where they are developing their own interests and preferences. Allowing them to choose their own learning activities can increase motivation and engagement. Choice boards can also support differentiation i

Students Making a Difference on World Water Day

On World Water Day, it is essential to recognize young people's role in making a positive difference. Students are becoming more aware of their own water footprint and what they need for sustainability; we should empower them with knowledge about how much effort goes into providing clean drinking water around the world each day and ways they could help make an impact! These Third-grade students created their own PSA for the Global Goals Project on Goal Six, "Clean Water and Sanitation." You can watch their video at this link.  These students operate on the fundamental principle that all people have access to clean water and proper sanitation regardless of economic status or location. While working on this project, they discovered that the only way we can achieve this goal is by working together as one human family, and achieving the sustainable management of fresh drinking-water supplies requires collaboration at both the domestic level (between families) but also interna

Resources for Observance of World Wildlife Day

In honor of World Wildlife Day, we would like to share some resources with educators on how to help students learn about and appreciate wildlife. The UN celebrates World Wildlife Day on March 3, marking the day they signed an important Convention to protect endangered species. The theme for 2022 is 'Recovering key species of flora and fauna in our ecosystem. The goal? To raise awareness about critically endangered animals, with an aim at generating workable solutions that will conserve them.' There are many ways for people of all ages to get involved in helping protect wildlife and their habitats. In observance of World Wildlife Day, be sure to explore all the resources available, the UN has an extensive list of resources for celebrating World Wildlife Day with your students. So today, let's all take some time to appreciate the amazing creatures that call our planet home. By immersing students in the beauty of the plant and animal kingdoms, educators can help inspire a life

Get Your Virtual Hiking Boots Ready!

Virtual field trips have evolved into an innovative way to teach. They provide a different perspective, meaning teachers can now explore anything they want while providing their students with valuable knowledge. They offer a different perspective, which means teachers can teach about anything in any situation while providing their students with useful and practical content understanding. Imagine if, instead of showing videos and primary source examples from other countries, teachers were to take their students on tours in person? It's more exciting as students could be sitting in classrooms anywhere while learning through engaging lectures or presentations by experts who have traveled extensively through other countries! If you haven't yet dipped your virtual hiking boots into a Scottish stream, try this one on for size; hike the Old Man of Storr .