Learning can and should take place in the home; the problem is how to implement it. You can jump-start the process once a week by sending home a “Work-at-Home” worksheet with each student giving both the student and the parent a job to do.
The first step in involving parents in the education process is to remember they are there. We often get focused on our job and forget that parents could be a valuable time-saving resource. Changing your perspective means brainstorming a way to have them help.
Students view local television news programs with their parents to analyze content and discuss current issues. Ask students to write with their parents comments on their discussion to be later shared in class.
Have students create a short auto-biographical essay or list of personal facts, then decorate it with a photo and a fingerprint. You can guarantee that no two will be the same.
Career development activities in elementary, intermediate, and secondary grades become a crystal ball to the future. Students can have a reason for education and can develop a direction once they see a future, once they have a light at the end of the tunnel. Integrating careers into ALL classrooms is simple but it does mean making a paradigm shift from always educating for education’s sake to educating for employment/careers.
Kites are a welcome outdoor project after being cooped up inside all winter, right? In fact, they’re the perfect celebration of the end of winter. Students study and create their kites indoors, and then you just wait for the ideal weather to take them out for testing. For the younger students, try a quick and easy Paper Bag Kite. Older students can tackle the Tetrahedral Kite, which can be scaled for a large or small format creation.
Students will learn how latitude affects weather patterns.
Those whiners who constantly mewl “why do I need to learn this?” can be in charge of this lesson – let them brainstorm ways to use the scientific method in testing consumer products. The following are just samples; have your kids come up with other products to test, and devise ways to test them.
Introduce students to fossils and how paleontologists mark out a dig. Using cooperative learning techniques, students use plastic forks to systematically, probe through the sand, starting at one corner of the box.
Moore’s Law states that computer processor speed doubles every 18 months. Compare that to progress in the early 1900’s and your students can see how things are moving zillions of miles per hour faster than in the past. With the new millennium upon us, what better time to predict the future?
Assign students to examine a remote control at home, drawing a picture of it as well as thinking about how they would change it.
Before you toss out that old floppy disk or wristwatch, think about how your kids, with minimal tools, could disassemble it and use it for something else.
Heat sources: Part of this learning process is figuring out how different heat sources react differently with the paper. Some possibilities are hair dryers, irons, electric griddles, cups of hot water, soldering irons, curling irons and heat lamps.
If it rains in, you close the window. But what if your room is too hot or cold? Get students involved in trying to moderate temperature extremes based on their level of competence and how you can integrate the project into existing weather or science lessons.
Parents can help their students with this exercise using readily available items to figure the rough speed of sound. Incorporate this into your regular lessons on sound.