Category Archives: Learning Opportunities

Language Arts Mini Spark #65: Spelling Bee Prep

Let’s get ready for spelling bee season. Watch this video, pause to take notes, and work along with the teacher to practice words that are spelled wrong over and over.
Spend at least 3 minutes taking notes. If you are a spelling PRO, spend more time watching!!

*This is a great word list to use as a practice session!

*Make sure you know how to pronounce all of the words from this list. You can use the internet to help you with this. Type in the word and the word “pronounce” and it will pop up for you.

#1 Start with the first five words.
#2 Whisper spell each one 5 times.
#3 Now practice spelling one word one at a time.
*Look at one word quickly.
*Close your eyes and spell the word using the strategy that works for you.
*Open your eyes and check your spelling from the list.
*Keep practicing until you can spell all 5 correctly.
#4 Repeat with the next 5 on the list.

Try more practice words

Find the list that is right for you
grade 3  grade 4   grade 5   grade 6   grade 7  grade 8
To earn credit for this mini spark, choose 10 words from the grade level that suits you.  Create a study guide. Have a teacher, parent, or peer give you a spelling test over the 10 words you choose. Submit your results and the study guide to your teacher or EY coordinator.
Happy Spelling!

Language Arts Mini Spark #64 Modifiers: What are they? Where do they go?

Modifiers are words, phrases, and clauses that add information about other parts of a sentence—which is usually helpful. But when modifiers aren’t linked clearly enough to the words they’re actually referring to, they can create unintentional ambiguity.

Incorrectly placed modifier: Perched up high on a tree branch, I yelled at the cat to leave the sparrow alone.

Meaning: I don’t tangle with a tabby unless I am perched 10 feet up in the air.

Correctly placed modifier: Seeing a sparrow perched up high on a tree branch, I yelled at the cat to leave him alone.

Meaning: ohhhh….the sparrow is up in the tree. Watch out little sparrow!

#1 Read this teaching page to look over some modifier examples.

#2 Watch this TED Ed video and take detailed notes about modifiers and their placement and navigate the sticky world of misplaced, dangling and squinting modifiers.

#3  Make a visual explaining modifiers with examples of how they are used. Also include your own sentence with a misplaced modifier and then correct the sentence so that the reader understands the meaning.

Challenge:  Do more research about misplaced, dangling and squinting modifiers. Include what you learned in your visual.

Language Arts Mini Spark #63 – All About Axolotls

Do you love Axolotls? Learn more about the amazing Axolotl with this fun mini spark!

Step One: Read the Species Profile and answer these Reflection Questions. Axolotl Reading (Pages 1-2).

Step Two: Research. Find out even more by doing your own research. Use the sheet below as a guide (Description, Habitat, Diet, Lifespan, Conservation).

Step Three: Create! Show us what you learned about Axolotls in a creative way. Choose from one of the following options.

  1. Social Media Post – Using these templates, create Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter posts from the perspective of an Axolotl. Turn in your completed post(s) to your EY Coordinator.
  2. Minecraft Habitat – Design an ideal habitat or underwater playground for the Axolotl using Minecraft. You will need to complete this option at home. Take a photo or screenshot and send to your EY Coordinator.
  3. Regeneration Pic Collage – Did you learn that Axolotls have an incredible ability to regenerate? Watch the video below to learn more! What other Amphibians have this ability? Create a PicCollage that shows us what you discovered.

Language Arts Mini Spark #62 – Simile Me

What is a Simile? The official definition of a simile is a noun that means: “a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid.”

Step One: Watch this Brain Pop Jr. video about Similes 

and this word girl video

Step Two: Look at the Simile list below. Whisper read a scenario for each one

Example: as sly as a fox

Hillary was ______________________ , as she to gingerly placed the fruit bat into her backpack.

  • Easy as ABC
  • Like two peas in a pod
  • Straight as an arrow
  • Wise as an owl

Step Three: Watch and listen to the book, “My Dog Is As Smelly As Dirty Socks”. Click book image below.

Step Four: Write a “Simile Me”.

  • First, jot down five words you would use to describe yourself.
  • Use your five words and make comparisons to something else, writing your own version of a “Simile Me”

Here is my example:

1 – busy                                                                                                                                 

2 – creative

3 – hardworking

4 – happy

5 – sleepy

I’m as busy as a timer,

As creative as a stained glass window,

As hardworking as an elephant,

As happy as a well-loved dog,

And as sleepy as a pillow.

Step Five: Use an app of your choice to create a fun illustration/visual of your “Simile Me”

Step Six: Send your “Simile Me” and illustration/visual to your EY Coordinator!

Social Studies Spark #46: A Raindrop’s Journey

You may think every drop of rain falling from the sky, or each glass of water you drink, is brand new, but it has always been here, and is a part of the water cycle.  At its most basic, the water cycle is how water continuously moves from the ground to the atmosphere and back again.  As it moves through this cycle, it changes forms.  Water is the only substance that naturally exists in three states on Earth – solid, liquid, and gas.

Over 96% of total global water is in the ocean, so let’s start there.  Energy from the sun causes water on the surface to evaporate into water vapor – a gas.  This invisible vapor rises into the atmosphere, where the air is colder, and condenses into clouds.  Air currents move these clouds all around the earth.

Water drops form in clouds, and the drops then return to the ocean or land as precipitation, often rainfall.   When it rains, the raindrops fall to the ground, and run off into a lake or river, which flows back into the ocean, where it starts the process again.

Have you ever thought about the journey a raindrop takes?

When you click on the link below, you will see a map of the continental United States.

This website allows for you to click anywhere on the map to drop a raindrop and follow its journey to the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic or the Pacific Oceans! Once you click, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the path the raindrop takes!

Try it out! Then comment below with something that surprised you!

https://river-runner.samlearner.com/?fbclid=IwAR0W9pISldvvUF9tx6l8RoYLwiz1fITqa1j4aiHTy8htV5bTFIXvkqB45dc

 

Early Enrichment Spark #56: Comedy in Wildlife Photography

Did you know that there are awards for funny photographs of wildlife?

Born from a passion for wildlife, The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards began modestly in 2015 as a photographic competition.

Since then, it has grown into a worldwide competition seen by millions of people every year, and always with wildlife conservation at its heart.

The free competition, open to wildlife photography experts and beginners, celebrates the funniness of our natural world and highlights what we need to do to protect it. From a surprised otter to an angry turtle, Comedy Wildlife’s photographs bring a smile to everyone’s face.

Below is a link to a google slides presentation with some of the finalists for the 2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography awards.

Your job is to write something funny to go along with each photo!

Directions:                                                                                                                                                                  1) Click the link below.                                                                                                                                          2) Make a copy of the slides.   Now they are yours!                                                                                      3) Write something funny on each slide to go along with each picture.                                              4) When you are finished, click on the yellow share button.                                                                    5) Share with the EY teacher at your building!                                                              Swanson/Sunset: henningsen.jennifer@westside66.net                                          Westgate/Paddock Rd.: spady.lynn@westside66.net                                                                        Prairie Lane/Loveland/Westbrook: thompson.megan@westside66.net Rockbrook/Oakdale/Hillside: sindt.kathleen@westside66.net

Link to Comedy Wildlife Google Slides 

Language Arts Mini Spark #61 – Caption This!

Even if a picture is worth a thousand words, it still needs a caption. Captions are easy to write if you begin with the basics. Let’s practice using the photo below.

Caption:  A caption is text that gives additional information about a picture or illustration.

Example: Begin by brainstorming Who, What, When, Where, and How. Once you have written down these details from the photo, write a caption that gives these details and some additional information (use the checklist below).

Caption Writing Checklist:

  • describe the picture
  • provide additional information
  • written in complete sentences
  • include adjectives and additional details

Now, try one a few on your own!

Teachers: Ask your EY Coordinator for this 65 page resource (PDF), would be great for warms ups and exit tickets to help students practice caption writing!

 

 

#86 Football Roster Math

There is a plethora of data when it comes to sports!  Whether you’re looking at individual player stats, team rankings, or just want to see the breakdown of a particular game…MATH IS EVERYWHERE IN SPORTS!

This Mini Spark has you looking at the 21-22 Westside High School Football JV and Varsity Football Roster.  Download and print a copy of the worksheet and roster by clicking the links below.  Or, you can complete the worksheet digitally using Notability or other app on your iPad.

When you’re finished, show your classroom teacher and/or your EY Coordinator.

Worksheet:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dSSsHG7ddQJjY74xtgz45yVjqlMP8f7y/view?usp=sharing

JV Football Roster:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tiADGIRu6cgsIQWIx3BTIM1JCS8ICCLZ/view?usp=sharing

Varsity Football Roster: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lf_44eFFhv-QHSsv-M62mpTL4ZX5z61I/view?usp=sharing

image source: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_UGZ5jFqqjw3iY1GJ_4r-Kt7rpuFOiu3hKX7BYZvWJ8/copy

Language Arts Mini Spark #60- One word sentences

‘Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo’ is a grammatically correct sentence. How? Emma Bryce explains how this and other one-word sentences illustrate some lexical ambiguities that can turn ordinary words and sentences into mazes that mess with our minds. This lesson from TED ED will get you started creating your own ridiculous sentences to share with your friends.

Try figuring out the meaning to these sentences:

Police police Police police police police Police police.
Will, will Will will Will Will’s will?
Rose rose to put rose roes on her rows of roses.
If it is it, it is it; if it is it is it, it is.

If you need help with figuring out the sentences above check out this  guide which will have clues for you.

To wrap up this mini spark, use this info page to find words to help you create your own silly sentence using one word.