Using everyday, familiar vocabulary from your learner(s)’ environment can be an effective tool. I developed eight different, multi-leveled LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs Hands-On Product Units involving the Body, Clothes, your Home, the Kitchen, Foods, Play, Nature, and Animals to actively engage your child(ren)’s learning process of the Uppercase & Lowercase Alphabet Letters.
All Product Units contain the following components:
ABC Theme – Based Book Ideas
A Literature Book List
Game Sort Mat
Uppercase, Lowercase & Blank Letter Cards
Image, Word & Blank Cards
Handwriting & Information Response Sheets
Additional extension and application activities are, also, included.
They are available in Mz. Bizzy Lizzy’s TeachersPayTeachers Shop.
Here’s a Freebie Overview of these 8 Alphabet Product Units.
LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs : An Overview & ABC Card Set
This 21-page Freebie is available for download and includes the following components:
Are you Understanding and Using Common Abbreviations ?
Before we begin ~ this Post is about Abbreviations NOT Acronyms….
Both Abbreviations and Acronyms are shortened forms of words or phrases.
An Abbreviation is a shortened form of a word ~ usually 2-4 letters ~ used to represent the whole word, such as Dr. for Doctor or tbsp. for tablespoon, while an Acronym contains a set of initial letters from a phrase that usually form another word such as ASAP for As Soon As Possible or LOL for Laugh Out Loud.
Why Use Abbreviations ?
When talking and/or writing it takes less time to say or write the first initial of each word or an abbreviated form of the full word than to spell out every single word. This makes communication easier and faster.Several every day examples are:
Writing down directions to somewhere is easier to when using N, S, E or W on a St., Ln. or Blvd. instead of writing North, South, East or West on a Street, Lane, or Boulevard.
Words like tablespoon, teaspoon, Fahrenheit, pounds are hard to fit on a recipe card, so, using tbsp,tsp. F. and lb. will keep the measurements on the 3 X 5″ recipe card.
Large group words like Company and Association take up a lot of space on a sign, so using Co. and Assn. can save time and money.
When to Use Abbreviations ?
In writing, abbreviations are especially useful when you need to squeeze a lot of writing into a small space, like:
You can, also, use abbreviations in place of long or cumbersome phrases to make your sentences easier and quicker to read:
Without Abbreviations ~Drive North on Highway 357. Take the Green Street exit. Turn right on Maple Lane. Then, continue on Maple Lane until Poplar Boulevard.
With Abbreviations ~ Drive N. on Hwy 357. Take the Green St. exit. Turn rt. on Maple Ln. Then, cont. on Maple Ln. until Poplar Blvd.
So, I created 6 Activity Units for Understanding and Using Common Abbreviations during everyday communications when writing and talking.
Each Activity Unit contains eight similar Components.
Activity Unit Components
Here is a list of the Components included in each of the six Abbreviation Activity Units:
Anchor Chart Diagram
Pre -Test Forms with Answer Cards
Game Sort Mats with Storage Pocket & Game Pieces*
Abbreviation Sentences & Answer Sheet
*Game Pieces include the “long” word and its abbreviation.
Keeping reading for a brief description of each Activity Unit.
COMMON ABBREVIATIONS: Classroom Clips
This 37-page Activity Unit includes a general collection of Abbreviations seen in the different subject areas taught in the classroom: Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Geography, Science, and Math (Customary & Metric).
COMMON ABBREVIATIONS : Travel Tidbits (Customary & Metric)
This 45-page Activity Unit includes Customary & Metric Abbreviations for In-Town Directions, USA’s 50 States, the 7 Continents, and Global Directions. A Geography/Map component is part of the Abbreviation Sentences.
Some of these Activity Units have “cross-over” Abbreviations. For example: Common Titles for Individuals are found in both Classroom Clips and People. Measurements can be found in Classroom Clips, Mini-Scopes, and Short-Order Kitchen.
However, each specific Activity Unit offers more than a few Abbreviations regarding its Abbreviation subject area. Plus, the Game Sort Mats, Game Pieces, and Abbreviation Sentences are specific to its subject area as well.
Regardless of which Activity Units you decide to purchase for your teaching purposes, I hope you and yours have fun while learning this valuable Literacy Skill.
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CLAMDIGGERS’ Summer Literacy Enrichment Collection is a HUGE combination of my Product Units, Resources from my Resource Library, and Freebies guaranteed to engage your youngster(s) with lots of entertaining activities and projects ~ involving LOTS of too-busy-to-be-bored time….
But, before I begin & you read on, let me share some things my many Summers with Kids of various ages taught me:
a DAILY routine is a SANITY ~ SAVER for you & the kids
Outdoor time EVERY DAY is a MUST, especially if it’s water-related
Multiple opportunities for arts, crafts & projects is a NECESSITY
Click on this link for some wonderful website helpers:
If you need something more organized and day-to-day, I’ve created Celebration Calendars for June, July & August. This project-unit consists of a monthly-themed activity list and a daily celebration list with over 65 specific activities. Recipes & Activity Sheets are , also, included. Here’s the TpT link:
Read on for Social Studies, Geography & History Resources & Activities are coming up next….
Studying Our World
If you’re not barefoot, then, you’re overdressed. ~Unknown
Studying Our World ~ to me, anyway ~ is ABSOLUTELY fascinating. If your youngster (or three) loves finding out how the civilizations of Our World have affected us today, I have a few drops in that bucket to hold his/her (their) interest.
The categories I’ve listed, of course, have cross-over elements and events.
If your youngster(s) need a little boost in Reading & Writing this Summer, keep reading for LOTS of Resources, Product Units & Freebies. Your Home-School efforts just got a little easier !
Your Home-School Summer School
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it in summer school. ~ Josh Stern
My son, a smart as he is, was NOT an avid reader `like his mom, the school teacher. However, during the Summer Vacation months, a 30 minute DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time was NOT an option. He chose when to spend those reading minutes during the daylight hours. Hottest time, preferably….
So, if you need some Home-Summer-School action and need some additional assistance, I’ve got some support for you & yours.
Hope these tips, ideas & resources help to make your Home Summer School a success!
And make sure you take some “do nothing” time ~ it’s important….
Taking Some “Do Nothing” Time
Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~ Sam Keen
On August 11, 2017, Parent Co. published an article on their site entitled, “Why the Lazy Days of Summer Are Actually the Most Memorable for Kids”.
Podcast host/writer Shauna Niequist & writer Tish Oxenreider traveled extensively with their children. When they asked them to cite the most memorable events of the vacations, the extraordinary was not expressed. What was shared were the ordinary things like “swimming in the hotel pool, wandering through fields, playing with new friends, and eating”.
Consequently, both moms came to the same conclusion ~”When everything is awesome, nothing is awesome.” Their children remembered everyday, ordinary events when they had their parents’ undivided attention.
“Uh huh”….. I mused. So, I created a little 18-page Freebie with Lots of Together activities and a Scrapbook template for capturing, recording, and keeping those Summer Memory Makers.
Hopefully, this CLAMDiggers Summer Literacy Enrichment Collection of Resources , Product Units & Freebies will keep you & yours engaged all Summer long with its new ideas for your Family Literacy Circle.
Let me hear from you with questions, concerns, comments.
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A family in harmony will prosper in everything. ~Chinese Proverb
Week One of CLAMDiggers: February’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 15-page unit entitled Asian New Year. It contains the following Projects/Activities:
Lion Dance Mask with Lion Dance Mask Tracers Template
Celebration Lantern with Gung Hei Fat Choy Characters & Asian New Year Animal Images
General Supply List: card-stock, construction paper, paper plates, glitter, large craft stick, red paper ribbon, yellow crepe streamers, pipe cleaners, ruler, scissors, glue, hole punch, markers, stapler
You can access the Asian New Year unit by clicking on the link below:
Welcome to Part Three of The FLC First Grader’s Series
Your 6-year-old is asking MORE questions than s/he usually does.
And even though s/he LOVES rules and boundaries in his/her expanding world, those very important inquiries are giving you clues to the puzzles being solved in her/his broadening brain.
Your First Grader’s Inquiry Skills are growing. They are becoming an important part of his/her brain development and academic success.
A “How-To……” book of instructions for everything in life right now would be just fine with her/him!
PART THREE : Inquiry Skills
It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question. ~ Eugene Ionesco
There is a philosophy that an answer can be found within the context of its question…..or at least its beginning is….
Your First Grader comes home with many new & wonderful ideas to share. S/he LOVES explaining how explorations became discoveries.
And, THEN, “what if…..?” Oh, the imagination of the inquiring mind!!!!
This state of inquiry, however, is not satisfied with thinking about things.
Your 6-year-old and his/her longer attention span likes to learn & problem solve by doing: experimenting, planning, building, collecting, and, maybe even , performing magic tricks just to solve what “appears” to be unsolvable.
You can promote these Critical Thinking questions. BLB’s Library has several ideas for you to use in an interactive resource:
Although it can be time-consuming, I found a KWL chart to be a very valuable exploration & discovery tool. Used interactively, it provided me, and my students, with knowledge already in place~no wasted time on redundancy~ and ownership of what was to be learned ~ with a few prompted questions, ideas, & vocabulary clues from me.
When Do We Use A KWL ?
You can use this tool with your child in a variety of scenarios:
to enrich & reinforce a variety of science, social studies & geography topics being taught in school
to increase reading comprehension elements in fiction & nonfiction reads at home and for school
to use as a home-management builder in a number of arenas: chores, safety, nutrition, clothing/weather, etc.
SO~I’ve created something a little different that includes a Resource section in this discovery chat titled KQRL. Here’s a downloadable 8.5×11″ PDF template you can print, laminate & re-use during you & yours’ Inquiry Investigations: KQRL Template
Wondering what science, social studies & geography concepts your First Grader will be learning in the classroom?
Your child’s school district can provide you with a list of objectives & expectations. Ask her/his teacher for assistance and explanations.
Science Explorations in First Grade
Your child will engage his/her 5 Senses to observe, ask questions, and, then, record what s/he is learning. Entering data on graphs (pictographs & bar graphs), hand-drawings as well as written words are products used to show what s/he understands.
This is a “general” list of science concepts your child may (or may not) be learning throughout his/her year in First Grade:
Forces in Motion: push & pull, balance, magnetism, electricity
Changes in States of Matter (solid, liquid & gas)
Properties of Liquids
Sound Production & Travel
Properties of Air
The Universe: day & night sky, moon, stars, sun
Weather: seasons, temperature measurement
Properties & Uses of Earth Materials: soil, rocks, minerals, water
Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun. ~ Mary Lou Cook
PBSParents offers some very useful suggestions on how to explore science concepts with your child in everyday scenarios. And just for you, I created a table -YIPEE- to help with that!
Home~Grown Science Explorations & Discoveries
PHYSICAL SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONS
EARTH SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONS
LIFE SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONS
Forces in Motion: trikes, bikes, scooter, wagon; playground equipment
Matter: solids, liquids, gases
Sound:different machines in the air/on the ground
Properties of Air: balloons, paper airplanes, Frisbee, kites, leaves
Light/Dark: day & night sky elements, moon phases, shadows, shade, self-reflection in water
Weather: clouds, temperature, precipitation
Materials:different rocks, soil varieties, waters(lake, pond, brook, river, mud puddles)
Different Plant & Animal Ecosystems
Stages of growth in plants & animals
In the Car
On the Bus/Train
Forces in Motion: Push / Pull
Sound: Machines at work
Light/Dark: self-reflection in window, vision adjustments to sight, building sights, day vs night sky visibility in different environments
Weather: cloud formations in open sky, visibility during precipitation at different speeds
Materials: landforms, bodies of water
Different Plant & Animal Ecosystems: city/country, desert/plains/forest/seaside
In the Kitchen
At the Market
Forces in Motion: push/pull of different utensils, float/sink of different food elements
Matter: changing states from solid to liquid to gas
Liquid Properties: changes with heat, cold, mixtures
Properties of Air: forces of air when applied to different foods, like meringues
Weather: on foods' stability, spoilage, growth in the garden
Materials: how rocks, soil, water affect foods
Human Body: nutrition, food groups, menu/recipe combinations, extra foods
Plant & Animal Ecosystems: growth, food sources, omnivores/herbivores/carnivores
Life Cycles: plants from seed, growth/harvest, preparation
I don’t know about you, but, there are questions children ask that defy an explanation…..So, instead of trying to give reason that might not be understandable or accurate, a more “scientific” approach will probably satisfy those questions. Wonder, inquire & investigate along with your child, encouraging him/her to explain why s/he thinks the way s/he does. Yes~answer a question with another question.
Ready to Set Up A Home~Grown Science Lab ?
Your Primary learner LOVES to investigate his/her Inquiries!
I’ve created 4 of them for you & yours, addressing several of the objectives found in the Physical, Earth, Life & Ecology Sciences. Each contain several investigations with sequential activities for observations, predictions, explorations, experiments & discoveries appropriate for children, ages 5-8. You can visit these “Labs” in BLB’s Shop by clicking on the links below:
Your First grader will, also, be learning about the diverse cultures & countries of the world. Using the Inquiry approach to these studies is a great interactive way to engage her/his learning.
Navigating the World Through Investigations
I found Social Studies & Geography an easy way to integrate reading & writing. Not only are they inter-related, they are incredibly relevant & engaging for most children. Who doesn’t want to explore his/her home country, ancestral roots, holiday traditions, and, then, navigate the way there?!
Here’s a general, sequential inquiry map several fellow teachers & I used in our classrooms before the curriculum timeline rules changed. It’s a thematic approach that blended & covered all required objectives, including some Math, Health & Science expectations. We began at the beginning~the Home.
Family & Home
Where do you live: apartment, house, duplex, trailer, shelter?
Can you draw a map of the inside of your home?
Who is part of your family at home?
What are the needs of most families?
How do families meet those needs?
Are chores & shared responsibilities part of your family?
What other buildings are in your neighborhood?
How is an apartment complex like a neighborhood?
Do your friends and/or relatives live nearby?
Is there a park or playscape in your neighborhood?
Are these other places in your neighborhood: school, gas station, restaurants, markets?
Can you draw a map of your neighborhood, using a few symbols & a compass rose for directions?
The Communities in A Town or City
What is a community?
How are neighborhoods & communities the same? Different?
Do you know where these buildings are in your community: retail shops, restaurants, fire & police stations, schools, churches, hospitals, clinics/offices, athletic fields, cinemas?
Who are the community helpers in these places?
How do you know ( uniforms, special jobs)?
When do you need these community helpers?
How do some of them keep communities safe?
What are “goods” and “services”?
Which community helpers provide services? Goods?
What is the difference between a town & a city?
Do you know how many people live in our town/city?
How many of these places have you visited: concert hall, opera house, theater, museum, historical sites, sports arena, transportation hubs ~ bus terminal, train station, airport?
How did you travel to those places?
Where can you find a major waterway in our town/city? What is its name?
Have you ever traveled to a different town or city?
Was it in our state or a different state?
Can you locate our town/city on this map?
Widening the Scope
A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils. ~ Ever Garrison
What is the name of the state we live in?
Is a state larger or smaller than a city?
Are there only towns & cities in our state?
Do you know the names of some other towns or cities in our state?
Do you know the names of any other states?
Have you ever traveled to any other state?
What did you see/do there?
Where is it on this map?
How did you travel there?
Can you locate our state on this map?
What are those other names a part of on the map?
What is famous about our state?
These states are all part of a what?
What is a country?
Do you know the names of any other countries?
What is the name of our country?
Why is our country called “The United States of America”?
Click on the link below to download, copy & print a PFD I created for celebrating USA Symbols, Citizenship & National Holidays:
There is another, more in-depth way to encourage your child’s Inquiry Skills. It’s a technique called UbD.
Big Ideas & Essential Questions
An idea is “big” if it helps us make sense of lots of confusing experience and seemingly isolated facts. It’s like the picture that connects the dots or a simple rule of thumb in a complex field. ~ Grant Wiggins
Your child’s classroom teacher may, also, (or maybe not) be using a learning technique called UbD~Understanding by Design ~ especially during science, geography & social studies units, which are, then, coordinated thematically with fiction & nonfiction reads. Projects & knowledge are student-driven through exploration & discovery guided by questions the students have formed regarding the subject.
The “Essential Questions” will usually help define the “Big Idea”, which is usually a general, or abstract statement.
When forming the Questions, keep these insights in mind:
They have no right or wrong answers
They promote inquiry to help learn the Big Idea.
They encourage critical thinking, curiosity & real life problem solving.
Basically~ What do you see? What do you think about what you see? What do you wonder about when you see it? How & where can you find out more?
Need more info and tips on how to provide your child with inquiry-based explorations? George Lucas Educational Foundation’s Edutopia is a great site to visit. Just click on the link below: