April 5, 2016
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

Earth Day Cardboard Challenge, Part 1


We were excited to learn that The Imagination Foundation was sponsoring another cardboard challenge this year! We had a great time at our last one. This time, though, there is a specific theme: The 2016 Earth Day Cardboard Challenge. This challenge goes from April 1 to April 22 (Earth Day). Kids are encouraged to use recyclables to make new creations with an environmental theme.

We have some ideas for later in the month (see this old post for a hint!) But to kick off the month, we reused some old materials to solve a very real problem in our classroom. This year we have round collaboration tables instead of desks in our classroom, and they are wonderful for group work and discussions. The only problem with them comes up at test-taking time, when we each need a private space. The privacy dividers we used to use on our desks didn’t fit very well on the new collaboration tables and they were frustrating to use. With our state testing coming up this month, we knew we needed to find a new solution.

The idea came from cardboard project boards. Usually these get used once and then discarded, but they make great privacy partitions if you cut them in half! (If you didn’t have these project boards, you could use three sides of a cardboard box.) You could leave them blank, color them, or write inspirational messages inside. For ours, though, we decided to decorate the insides with pictures from nature. We cut pictures from a stash of old calendars we had in the classroom, and we each chose the pictures we liked the best to glue inside the dividers. Did you know that a recent study showed that looking at images from nature can help with decision making and self-control? We’re curious to see if it helps us concentrate when we’re taking a test! We’ll let you know what we think after we try them out later this week. Here’s a Flipagram showing some of our finished creations.

What types of nature scenes are most relaxing for you?

What else could you do with a cardboard project divider?

April 22, 2015
by Mrs. Hamman
1 Comment

Earth Day Resources

Today is Earth Day! We’ll be exploring resources about ecology throughout the day today. Later this week we’ll post presentations showcasing what we learned.

Here are some articles, videos and games about Earth Day.

April 25, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

It’s Earth Week!

It was Earth Week this week, and every year our class makes the pledge to go paperless for one full week to help the environment. Although we recycle our paper all year, we know that reducing our use of paper is even better. We try not to touch a single piece of paper all week!

If you’re wondering how you can go through a whole week in a classroom without paper, we made a list of 15 ideas for you! Check out our Slides presentation below.

We had a great time challenging ourselves to think of ways to go without paper. We realized that if you want to help the Earth sometimes you have to think outside the box a little bit!

On Earth Day itself (April 22), we got together with all our third grade friends to take a #GlobalSelfie and post it to Twitter. NASA is going to create a mosaic of all the pictures that were taken on that day. We can’t wait to see it!

Global Selfie 2014

What did you do for Earth Week?

*Update: NASA has posted the #GlobalSelfie they created here, and our picture is in it! Can you find it? I’ll give you a hint: it’s in the Eastern Hemisphere, south of the equator. There is a bright green border on the picture that makes it easier to find!

April 26, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman

Paperless Classroom for Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day! All year we have been reading and learning about Earth Day and what we can do to help the environment.

One thing we have been talking about is the amount of paper we use. Just about every week, our recycling bin looks like this:

Then we put it in the big recycling can in our building, which soon looks like this:

Now, we know that recycling paper is good for the environment. However, earlier this year we learned from Miss Evelyn from Keep Phoenix Beautiful that the most important of the 3 R’s is Reduce. We should be trying harder to reduce the amount of paper we use in the first place. We decided that this week, we would try not to use any paper at all! Here are some of the things we did.

Writing without paper is easy. We just typed our writing into documents using Google Drive.

During Read to Self, we used iPads and Leappads, or read blogs and books online.

We used page protectors and dry erase markers to practice our math facts.

We used iPads a lot during math. In this picture, we’re using the iPads for a QR code scavenger hunt to help us practice identifying types of lines and angles.

We have been practicing annotating text in reading, and we weren’t sure how to do that without using paper. We decided to take paper copies of the passages we were reading and put them in page protectors. Then we annotated using dry erase markers. That way the same papers can be reused over and over again.

When we needed to take a test, we entered our answers on responders.

We even took our weekly spelling test online, by typing our words into Spelling City.

It was Secretaries’ Day this week, too. Usually we make cards for our school secretaries, and we weren’t sure how to show our appreciation for them without using paper! We came up with the idea of using cardstock that a local business had used for its displays and then donated to our school. We reused the paper by cutting them into petal shapes, writing notes on them and putting them together into a flower (here is where we got this idea).

We had a great paperless week, and we are excited to see if we can continue this until the end of the school year!

Have you ever tried to go paperless in your classroom?

What did you do for Earth Day?

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