Saturday, February 29, 2020

Vincent Van Gogh, Constellations & Coordinate Graphs: A Math & Literacy Project

Sometimes, our students give us the best ideas. We were mucking through our solar system unit in science, reading about how the night sky is charted, when Charlie said, "This kind of reminds me of how we graph points."

I love moments like this. It's like everything kind of slows down, and our brains begin to connect the dots (no pun intended). Charlie's response was the catalyst for this project. To this day, he likes to say that he added the spice to our fifth grade coordinate graphing unit. And he would be right. 

I went home that night and began to pull resources together for a multi-disciplinary project. There was one Common Core State Standard that had been causing grief...

5.G.A.2 Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems. 

It was the "real world" part that perplexed me. The next week, we got down to business. We began by reading about Vincent Van Gogh. I chose this artist because "Starry Night" is a painting that most students recognize, and I wanted to bring our study of constellations into the math class. I found two children's books that did a nice job.
In Katie and the Starry Night, a young girls visits famous paintings. When she view's Van Gogh's "Starry Night," the stars come tumbling out of the painting. She experiences the painting as she attempts to round up the rogue stars.

In Vincent Can't Sleep, readers experience the night sky through Vincent's sleepless eyes. This book explores how Vincent's lifelong insomnia provided inspiration for one of his greatest works. 

In addition, we read a straight biographical sketch that I wrote about Van Gogh. 
After reading the books, biography and a quotation biography that I created for my students, students responded to the readings by using the Step Inside thinking routine. You can read more about that here.

We also spent some time observing "Starry Night" up close and personal using our SMART board, so it would be projected big enough for us to notice small details. 

Later on in the week, we researched different constellations. We extended our science learning a bit and read about some of the myths associated with the constellations. I created constellation cards for my students to use. I also curated a list of websites about constellations and uploaded them in our Google Classroom site. 

Finally, we were ready to begin reviewing our coordinate graphing concepts. We practice graphing X and Y coordinate data and applying increase and decrease rules to that data. Students accepted a commission from a wealthy patron who wanted a night sky with one constellation picture created for her home. It must be inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night."  My kids chose a favorite constellation and graphed it on a small coordinate grid. They recorded the coordinates for their constellations. 

Then, real life came traipsing in all over their artistic dreams. The wealthy patron wrote them a letter explaining that she wanted the picture to be double the size. It had to be larger. At this point in the project, students demonstrated that they could write a mathematical rule for their X and Y coordinates, apply it, and graph them to create an art piece double the size of the original. 

After doing this, they used oil pastels to create their art piece inspired by Vincent Van Gogh. Then, they cut out an horizon scape that I had printed on 11"X 17" paper. They traced these on black construction paper and glued them to the bottom part of their night skies. This made their art look similar to Van Gogh's. Instead of painting a village scape, they used black construction paper cities, forests, lighthouses, etc. for a silhouetted effect. 

The last step of this project was a student learning statement in which I required my students to reflect on what they learned about coordinate graphing, rules, constellations and Vincent Van Gogh.  

What I absolutely love about this project is that I could combine some really rigorous literacy goals with science concepts and equally challenging math goals. And my students were ON FIRE with enthusiasm and engagement. Charlie actually said, "This has something for everyone, Ms. Willis!" And again, he would be right. 

You can find the Starry Night project by clicking on the picture below!

And if you like multi-disciplinary projects like this one, you have to check out the ones below! They will rock your classroom world!

FREE MISC. LESSON - “FREE Visual Recipes with REAL pictures (for special education)”

by Mrs Ds Corner
2nd - 12th Grade

FREE * 2 visual recipes with REAL pictures of each step.

Use this set of recipes to cook with your students in the classroom, foster those super important life skills, and work on those IEP goals and objectives... all at the same time!

Watch a video preview here.

• Recipe card (that lists kitchen tools and ingredients needed)
• Visual recipe and sequencing mat
• Adapted visual recipe workpages
• Pages to create a visual recipe file folder
• 4” sequencing cards
• Comprehension questions
• Recipe survey
• ...and more!

• Leprechaun Juice
• Lucky Marshmallow Squares

• Save money by buying the YEAR BUNDLE. •
• February Visual Recipes
• March Visual Recipes
• April Visual Recipes

You might also like: 35+ Visual Recipes for Fun Food Friday

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Friday, February 28, 2020

FREE MISC. LESSON - “FREE Stand Up Get to Know Your Students Sponge Activity”

by Lisa Frase
Kindergarten - 12th Grade

This 9 page FREE pdf file is a great year round sponge activity that helps you to continue to get to know your students. It only takes a couple of minutes and helps you to gather information and make mental notes about your students on a personal level. There is also a faculty / teacher version. This is one of those activities that once you get the idea you will be able to build upon with your own ideas.

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Stand Up Sponge Activity
© 2016 Lisa Frase

Terms of Use:
The original purchaser may use this teaching resource in their classroom or homeschool (personal home or your homeschool coop class that you teach). You have permission to make copies for student use for your classroom or homeschool only.

Do NOT share, reproduce, or distribute print or digital copies in any form. Please refer interested teachers to my TPT store at to purchase their own copies of this teaching resource. Additional licenses for other teachers use can be purchased at a discount.

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

FREE MISC. LESSON - “Digital Blurbs - Chevron Me Up Blurbs”

by ZippadeeZazz
Pre-Kindergarten - 12th Grade

This set includes:

• 12 Chevron blurb designs.

• High quality 300 dpi files in .png format.

• Personal and Commercial use.

Terms of Use (TOU)

All free and paid graphics may be used for personal and/or commercial use, such as:
Classroom Printables, Party Printables; Cards and Invitations; Classroom Crafts; Lesson Plans; Scrapbooking, Photography, Stickers; T-shirt Prints; Vinyl Cutting or Decals; Embroidery and more.
No additional licenses are required, however, credit back to my TpT store is always welcome.

Thanks for visiting our store!

© 2016 by Zippadee Zazz. All Rights Reserved.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Wednesday Weekly 5 Under $5 - 2/26/20

Every week I put together a list of 5 great products from members of The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative (TBOTEMC) with the requirement that each product must be less than $5.  With a variety of subjects and a wide range of grades, there just might be something that you can use, so continue to read below and see!

In addition, if you're a seller on Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) that would like to get more information about joining TBOTEMC, click here.  Free free to contact me via Twitter (@ATeachersTeach) or simply by leaving a comment on this blog post.

By Mickey's Place
ELA/Reading; Grades 1-4

Alphabetical Order skills are practiced by sorting Second Grade Dolch words using trains. The trains are put in ABC order by their first letter. This resource contains four sets of eight groups of word cars. The four sets increase in difficulty, from arranging three cars in a group to sorting six word cars into a group. 32 different sets for sorting.

By Scipi - Science and Math
Reading; Grades K-3

This St. Patrick’s Day glyph is an excellent activity for reading and following directions, and requires problem solving, communication, and data organization. Students color or glue different items on a St. Patrick’s Day themed glyph based on information about themselves. Students are to finish the St. Patrick’s Day glyph using six listed categories.

By Kamp Kindergarten
Special Education, Life Skills; Not Grade Specific

This resource provides fun and exciting Alaska themed math centers for learners to practice addition facts to 10. This packet has 5 sets of addition equation cards (10 cards per set) and recording pages with matching Alaska themed graphics. The images include musher kids on sleds, sled dogs, sled dog teams, and the starting line.

Social Studies, World History, U.S. History; Grades K-3

Discover the New World Explorers and learn more about Ponce de Leon, Amerigo Vespucci, and Hernando de Soto through the use of text + hyperlinked vocabulary words, pictures, crafts, maps, & more! PLUS - The supplemental activity book about the New World Explorers (Lesson #2) offers hands-on activities and includes word/definition matching, dot-to-dot, make your own comic strip, and an explorer maze!

By Reading Spotlight
Reading Strategies; Grades K-3

Unique! Effective! Enjoyable! Easy to use! Kids love this activity because they get to move around, and it is actually a great way to develop the important reading strategy of sequencing events. There is a physicality to it that helps children who have difficulty conceptualizing events in time. The set includes 28 correctly numbered events from Strega Nona in both Numbered and Unnumbered formats. Starred* events can be eliminated, depending on class size.

Other WW5U5 Team Members on TpT to Visit:

As always, I encourage comments below and any ideas or suggestions by tweeting me @ATeachersTeach.

-A Teacher's Teacher

FREE LANGUAGE ARTS LESSON - “Inferencing With Pictures FREE PowerPoint”

by Sweet Integrations
3rd - 4th Grade

This is a FREEBIE in a series of Inferencing With Pictures. Inferencing with pictures is a great way to teach the concept of inferring. It helps students develop important skills needed in reading. (observing details, describing, and using prior knowledge) Students will study the photo on the slide and use their own knowledge to infer what is going on in the scene. Students can do this individually as a whole group activity. Print the graphic organizers or add text boxes.
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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

FREE MATH LESSON - “Multiplication Quick and Easy to Prep Center Game for Multiply By One Freebie”

by Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas
Kindergarten - 4th Grade

Looking to add some excitement to your center time? These highly engaging center games are quick and easy to prep and can be used for a variety of games, concentration, match game, go fish, gin rummy, scoot, read the room, self checking, even perfect for assessments. Once your students play with this deck, many of my other Quick and Easy to Prep centers can be used for different skills and seasons. Your center time will run smoothly and with very little prep from you! FREE DOWNLOADS: Free Multiplication: Quick and Easy to Prep Free Multiplication Center Game Multiply By One with a Cute Student Back to School Theme!

This Free Multiplication math resource includes:
Four center game pages in color
Teacher directions and Common Core sheet

© 2015, Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas

Keywords: FREE DOWNLOADS, FREE DOWNLOAD, FREE, Free Multiplication, Free, Multiplication, Students, Back to School, School Supplies, Multiplication, Multiply By One, Multiplication Centers, August, Multiplication Center Games, Math Stations, Small Group Remediation, Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, First Grade, Second Grade.

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