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TEACHERS.NET GAZETTE
SEPTEMBER 2000
Volume 1 Number 7

COVER STORY
Ride along with the Hole in the Wall Gang this month and discover the special camp founded by Paul Newman nestled away in the quiet hills of Connecticut.
COLUMNS
Effective Teaching by Harry Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
The Trouble With... by Alfie Kohn
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Schoolhouse Views by Beth Bruno
ARTICLES
To Refer or Not to Refer
Tell A Number Trick
BCL Classroom Environments
Links Worth The Click
Morning Meetings
FLingers Block Party
Bridging the Digital Divide
Science Teacher Initiative
Poetry Contest for Canadian Youth
Developing a Positive Home-School Relationship
Classroom Rules Can Be Sweet
Teaching the Visually Impaired
BJ Treks Outback
Teacher To Ski Antarctica
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Letters to the Editor
Poll: Favorite Quotes
Archives: Self Publishing
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Humor from the Classroom
Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
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FEATURED LESSON

Lesson #1912. Shower Curtain Actitivites

Compiled from Teachers.Net Mailring (Subscribe here)
level: Elementary; Materials Required: Inexpensive plastic shower curtain
Activity Time: varies; Concepts Taught: Various language arts and math concepts

FROM MARCIA 1-2/CA:
My kids favorite game was sight word flip. About 30-50 sight words were written on the vinyl table clothe with black permanent mark------ they would flip coins onto the cloth. If the coin landed on a square with a word it and they could read it correctly then they got to keep the coin in their baggie. If they couldn't read the word correctly, then the coin stayed in the square and the first person to read the word correctly, after flipping their coin into the same square got to keep their coin and the other coins in that square. Since this was a K-1 class, the kids used calculators to add up their coin values to see who won.

Another idea for the shower curtains is to draw a large calculator on it. We play addition and subtraction games on it. I show a flash card (for example 8+4) A child must jump to the correct "keys" on the calculator to solve (so he/she would first jump to the 8 then the + sign then the 4 then the = sign and then the 1 and 2 for the answer of 12. This game works great in a center, too!

FROM LAURA (READINGLADY.COM):
Vowel Hopscotch - Use a permanent marker to divide a shower curtain liner into hop scotch board. Students toss beanbag onto the game board. They have to hop to the beanbag, say the vowel and the sound. If it is correct, they pick up the bean bag and continue. If not, they leave it there for the next child.This can be played for long or short vowels. For variation -- they can identify a word that has that vowel sound in it.

Alphabet Activities - Use a permanent marker to divide a shower curtain liner into equal size boxes. I used 36 on mine -- or 6 x 6. I wrote the letters -- one in each box -- some letters were written more than once, but all were written once. I did one for uppercase and one for lowercase. Toward the end of the year I have one that is mixed. These are the games they like to play with the liner.

Letter Recognition - Good in the beginning of the year 1st grade review. Students toss beanbag onto the game board and identifies the letter it lands on.

Letter Match - Make index cards for upper and lowercase letters. Give the students the lower case cards to match to the upper case liner. Give the other students upper case cards to match to the lower case liner. For variation -- they can choose the card from a pile and then attempt to toss the beanbag onto the matching box.

Beginning Sounds - Students can toss the beanbag onto the liner. They then must name a word that begins with the letter it landed on. For variation -- they can toss the bag. Have picture cards available memory style (face down). They must choose a card from a pile. When they make a match to the letter sound they make toss again. Until they make a match, they keep choosing a card on each subsequent turn.

Sight Words (WWW) - Use permanent marker to divide the liner into equal boxes. Write one sight word in each box. I have 20 boxes on mine -- 10x10. They toss the bean bag and chant the word it lands on. Example - c o m e -- come. If they get stumped the next player gets to chant/read that word. Try to use really high frequency words if only making one liner.

Math - Addition or subtraction. Use permanent marker to divide the liner into equal boxes. I have 12 boxes - 0 - 10 and the sign in the extra box (+ -). Students toss two bean bags. They then add or subtract to find the answer. For subtraction you need to explain that they subtract the smaller number from the larger one. This gives the added benefit of developing greater/less than.

FROM AMY:
I just used a shower curtain to make a hundreds chart. We're going to use it to practice several things. For my lower kids I thought I could use it just forputting the numbers in the correct order. For more advanced students we're going to use it for thingslike being able to find the right "place" for a number to go when you only have a few numbers to use as a guide. Also, I thought it would be good for active learning since they would be able to hop or jump to different places on the board.

You can also use a shower curtain for a blank graphing board. It would make a great "life-size) board for some real graphs.

FROM HELEN:
Use paint or tape.. -Make a graph in which students can stand..Use cards, tagboard etc to label the columns so you can change them. -Make a numberline that the students can interact with..ie. act out 6+1= or 8-2= etc. -Draw two large circles, overlapping (Venn Diagram) and allow students to sort given objects or objects of their own selection into them. -make a hopscotch game for rainy day PE. -Make a grid of ten or twelve sections...have students stand in the squares and model odd /even numbers.(1-12). -Draw a map sort of like a rural street, with four or five big cul-de-sacs (sp.?). Label the cul-de-sacs with dry erase or visa vis pens(so you can change them periodically)..curved, not curved, red, not red, straight sides, three corners, four corners, thin, big ,small etc. Whatever you can think of. Make a big set of shapes(rectangles, ovals, triangles, squares, circles) in different sizes, colors (red, blue, yellow, green), and thicknesses.Have the children begin at one end and "park" their pattern pieces in the first cul-do-sac that fits their pattern piece. They have to think, for the pieces have multiple attributes. I have done this with "Relationshapes" and heavy posterboard. Kids love it.

FROM SHERI:
A teacher on the 3rd grade mail ring, Amy, used a shower curtain to make a giant hundred's chart. When laid on the ground students can jump the numbers forwards and backwards, by tens, even numbers, etc. It's a very kinesthetic way to do math!

Here are her ideas (somewhat paraphrased):
"We took a heavy duty shower curtain and using colored masking tape (blue) made a hundreds chart. I've put the numbers on index cards. Kids who still need help with counting can just put the numbers down in order. I will also use it for number patterns. For example with only have a few numbers on the chart, the kids have to figure out where certain numbers go using their knowledge of numbers, not just counting to find the correct space. I'm also thinking it will be great for active learning. We can jump the numbers, hop the numbers, etc."

FROM CHERI:
I observed a veteran teacher last Fall that used a light blue shower curtain as her backdrops on her bulletin boards instead of butcher paper. It was more durable and the kids were able to write on it with dry erase markers and then wipe it off. It worked great for the Saxon Math activities they did every morning.

FROM HANANE:
Story mats....they can walk the story...takes some time to prepare but they are fun...math sum twister...get a clear one and you can make a pocket chart ....You can hang it low on the wall let the rest lay on the floor and use it as a painting drop cloth,,, I hotglue some clip to the part on the wall and it also an easel.

FROM KATHY/MS/2:
I have one that I purchased to put on the floor under the art center. Also, you tape some gallon zip lock bags and make lots of floor games. Checkers, Twister, etc. It perfectly fits paper so you can make any board out of it.

FROM LOIS 4/5 LOOP AL:
-Get a couple set of magnetic letters sold in the toy department, put them in a container and then let the kids lay the curtains down and make words.

-Hang the curtain from the ceiling using the old "paper clip" method and get the magnetic poetry sentences for kids to make poems.

- Get a set of magnets and let kids use the curtain to discover scientific concepts.

One bit of advice though--keep the magnets away from your computers!!!

FROM HILLARIE CA/1/2:
I saw somewhere that you could make them into large game boards, kind of like lotto. You divide the shower curtain into a grid and write math facts, vocab words, etc in the squares. The kids toss a bean bag into a square and have to do the math/read the word, etc. Sounds like fun, but I've never actually done it.

FROM VERONA/GA/3:
I am going to put my word wall on one. I have separated the curtain into spaces and attached Velcro under the letters so that I can put up and move the words easily. I am going to hang it on the wall with clothes pins glued to the wall. A friend of mine used one as her overhead projector screen; it is larger than most standard screens. Good Luck!

FROM Lvgrade2:
Teachers in our district use them to divide the room into centers or little nooks. They look really cute and help the students know their "space!"

FROM WAYSTEVE:
You can divide them into squares and write different numbers in each square. The student throw two bean bags onto the curtain and add,subtract, multiply,etc. the two numbers the bags land on.

You can also do the same things for reading. Write story elements such as setting, characters, problem, solution, main ideas, etc. The students throw a bean bag and whatever element it lands on they have to state that from the story you are reading.

FROM NANCY in PA:
At my school teachers have used shower curtains as additional bulletin board space. They just put them right up on the wall. Also, we have used them to hang in front of windows where the sun beats in too much. Then the students either paint them and hang things on them.

FROM MICHELLE:
I got tablecloths that I am going to write the alphabet on (in grid form). The children will take flyswatters and swat the letters to spell their spelling words. I am also going to make one for math facts. (put numbers in the grid and have them draw a flash card with a math problem like 4+4. they would need to swat the answer. Vocabulary words can be used as well!

FROM KG3935:
Cover tables during messy projects Cover tables during food projects Cover tables for playing with clay Hang as portable walls to divide your class into "nooks"....

FROM MAME397:
I use a piece of plastic tablecloth (I have a few left over from my parents anniversary party) and just cover the table with it when we are going to paint. I think you can get them at the dollar store for about a buck. I don't clean it and it last the whole year. After the project, I just wait for it to dry and fold it up. It is so much less stressful than cleaning tables. The kids like it too when we use special colors and weeks later they see it on the cloth and say, "remember when we made...."

FROM MONICA 1/2 WA:
Margaret Moustafa recommends putting your word wall on a shower curtain because you can uas scotch tape to put up words...but then they can be easily removed and moved around. The shower curtain makes the tape come off and on real easy and still maintain the stickiness.

FROM STACI/IL:
Hi! I just went to a conference the end of July, and one of the presenters told us to use a white shower curtain and draw a computer keyboard on it. Then let the students take turns "typing" word wall words or spelling words out using a flyswatter and calling out the letter. I don't know if this makes sense, but it was a really neat idea.

FROM CINDY S.:
I have heard of using a shower curtain and putting an outline of the United States on it, and the states. Kids can use toy cars to drive from one state to another, or to practice N,S,W,E. Another idea is to draw the five lines of a music staff, putting the cleft sign in front. Then have the kids standn on the right places to show the notes.

FROM pjsmmdd:
Earlier someone wrote that when the class studied communities, she drew the streets on a plain shower curtain using markers and the students then added box buildings for homes, businesses, churches, etc.. When finished, the buildings go home and the shower curtain gets folded up and stored for the next year.

FROM C5Pic:
I've used shower curtains for putting sight words on in a grid and getting a bean bag. The students stand behind a line and throw the bag on the curtain. Whatever word it lands on they have to be able to read to get a point. To make it more challenging I have them use it in a sentence. That's something I do at the beginning of the year. I've also used one to make maps on. And you could use it to make a big graph on that you can change all the time. (bar graphs)

FROM JOSIANNE 2ND GRADE LEBANON:
1. You could make a grid and use it to graph things. If you lay it flat on the floor you could use kids as markers for your graphs. 2. Make number lines and have kids act out number sentences. s 3. Draw a Venn diagram on it.


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