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BrainyCats Learning

Our store focuses on resources for math, ELA, and US History, for students in grades 4 - 8. Many of the resources are designed for beginning-intermediate level English Language Learners. The goal is to provide resources with simplified language that still allow students to understand grade-level academics.

Our store focuses on resources for math, ELA, and US History, for students in grades 4 - 8. Many of the resources are designed for beginning-intermediate level English Language Learners. The goal is to provide resources with simplified language that still allow students to understand grade-level academics.
National Poetry  Month:  Langston Hughes:  Poetry, Civil Rights, and the Harlem Renaissance
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National Poetry Month: Langston Hughes: Poetry, Civil Rights, and the Harlem Renaissance

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Introduce your students to Langston Hughes, one of the most influential poets of the 20th century. There are activities to guide your students through analysis of two of Hughes's poems, as well as an informational text that highlights some of the experiences that shaped him as a champion of equality and black rights. This resource, originally designed as a poetry unit for ESL students, is great for both Black History Month and National Poetry Month, but also works well for cross-curricular units involving the Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights. Activities and suggested timeline: DAY 1: “Hold Fast to Dreams”: Two activity pages that help students analyze meaning and figurative language in “Hold Fast to Dreams” by Langston Hughes “Hold Fast to Dreams: Comprehension Questions DAY 2: Self-Reflection: Two writing prompts to get students thinking about the themes in the lesson Pre-Reading Vocabulary: Use context clues and matching to introduce students (especially English language learners) to words from the informative text. Informative Text: A text about Langston Hughes and some of the events that shaped his decision to speak out for equal rights. Comprehension questions for the Informative Text DAY 3: Pre-reading Vocabulary: A cut-match-paste activity that introduces students to some of the vocabulary in the poem “Harlem”. (Designed with beginning-intermediate English language learners in mind. Some words will seem simple to more fluent students.) “Harlem”: Students fill in missing words in the poem and answer analysis questions. “Harlem”/Figurative Language: Students examine the similes in the poem and note their reactions “Harlem” Guided Analysis: Question (loosely based on the TPCAST method of poetry analysis) guide students through a deeper examination of the poem. “Harlem” Comprehension Questions Figurative Language Wrap-Up: Students identify types of figurative language as they work to get from START to FINISH in the maze.
Amelia Earhart's Final Flight: Informational Texts and No-Prep Activities for Women's History Month
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Amelia Earhart's Final Flight: Informational Texts and No-Prep Activities for Women's History Month

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This Women's History Month resource contains activities related to Amelia Earhart and her last attempt to circumnavigate the globe. It also addresses the mystery surrounding her disappearance. The activities can be used individually, or as part of a themed unit. The comprehension questions use question stems from the 7th grade STAAR test, making the readings ideal for state testing practice. The pre-reading and idiom activities are especially helpful for English language Learners. Activities included are: Pre-Reading/Amelia Earhart’s Final Flight: Students predict the topic of the reading, and complete the first two columns of a K-W-L chart, as well as an agree-disagree anticipatory set. Pre-teach Vocabulary: Amelia Earhart’s Final Flight: Students use context clues to predict meanings of unfamiliar words, then match the words with the actual meanings. “Amelia Earhart’s Final Flight” Informational Text: A three-page reading about Earhart’s final flight with focused annotation questions in the margins. Final Flight Comprehension Questions: Based on STAAR sentence stems to help students prepare for standardized testing. “What Happened to Amelia Earhart?” In formational Text: Two page informational text with focused annotation questions in the margins. The article describes some of the most popular theories about the disappearance. “What Happened?” Comprehension Questions: Based on STAAR sentence stems to help students prepare for standardized testing. Figurative Language/Flying Idioms: Students use context clues to predict the meanings of idioms using the word “fly”, then match the idiom with the actual meaning. Idiom Task Cards: These eight task cards can be used at a literacy center, or posted around the room for a classroom activity. Two types of answer sheets are provided, one with four individual answer sheets and another complete sheet which requires the student to choose an idiom to use in a sentence and to illustrate the literal and figurative meanings of one of the idioms. Amelia Earhart’s Flight Plan: Students can use Google Earth to explore the path that Earhart took and record the distance between stops. A second sheet is included so they can mark out the path on a map. Amelia’s Accomplishments: Students read a list of Earhart’s accomplishments and write responses based on their own feelings and opinions. Final Flight Word Search: Not only are word searches fun for students, they also help develop cognitive skills, like pattern recognition. In this word search, students hunt for the cities on Amelia Earhart’s final flight plan.
ESL New Beginnings: First Day of School Activities
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ESL New Beginnings: First Day of School Activities

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Having a student who is both new to the United States and new to the English language can be a little daunting for teachers. This resource, which I’ve used with my 7th and 8th grade Newcomers classes, is full of ideas, activities, and word work for the first day of school. The focus is to make the students comfortable, help them get to know some of their classmates, and teach them enough English language to have their basic needs met while at school. CONTENTS INCLUDE: Stuffed Animal Name Toss: a fun game that’s sure to get even the most frightened student smiling. Survival Language: A classroom poster (offered in both in color and in black and white) to help students remember how to make basic requests to use the restroom and get a drink of water, as well as ask for directions to the bus and to the cafeteria. Hang on the wall, or give a copy to each student for reference. Survival Language Activity Sheet: Using the Survival Language sheet, students will practice reading the questions, matching the symbols with the questions, and writing the questions. Nametag Template: Students can fold the paper in half to make a standing name tag with their name and illustrations of their favorite sport and favorite food.
Fact, Opinion, and Commonplace Assertions
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Fact, Opinion, and Commonplace Assertions

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Students need to understand the difference between fact, opinion and commonplace assertion, so they don't fall into the trap of believing everything they read on the Internet, or hear on television or radio or podcasts. This product was designed to help students differentiate between fact and opinion, and introduce them to the idea of commonplace assertions -- those things that many people believe to be true, but really aren't. With a PowerPoint that guides both teach and students through the activities, activities that allow movement, cooperative learning opportunities, and interactive notebook suggestions, it's a two day lesson that is both engaging and valuable. This product contains the following items: PowerPoint for students that guides the lesson and activities over the two days. Card sorting Activity Give One/Get One activity Three leveled readings about Pocohontas (app. 350, 650, 1050 L) Exit ticket
Informational Text:  Friday the 13th reading passage and activities
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Informational Text: Friday the 13th reading passage and activities

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Are you trying to get your students to connect with what they read? This product contains an informational text about Friday the 13th and a literary non-fiction piece thatwill capture student attention and engage critical thinking. High-level comprehension questions at the end of the readings will help you assess student understanding. The informational text also has a pre-teach vocabulary worksheet that will help make content comprehensible for language learners, while the literary non-fiction has a character trait follow-up. It's everything you need for a no-prep, print-and-teach lesson that you and your students will all enjoy. CONTENTS Reading passage (single page) Comprehension questions "Think About It" questions/Exit Ticket Coloring page with make-a-word activity Vocabulary pre-teaching sheet Second reading passage (double-sided) Interactive notebook root word activity Character analysis activity Answer keys for all activities
7th Grade STAAR Reading Review: Drama
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7th Grade STAAR Reading Review: Drama

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This resource was designed for use as a review for drama questions on the 7th grade STAAR Reading test. BEFORE PURCHASING THIS PRODUCT, PLEASE REVIEW THE EXCERPT FROM "RUIN A FOOD" (with the preview files). My students enjoyed it, but it is about a food contest where competitors try to make disgusting combinations of food, so the topic may be off-putting to some groups. This resource includes: * A template for taking notes, along with a completed copy to project for the students, or to use while giving instrauctions. * PRE-READING VOCABULARY for “RUIN A FOOD”: A Frayer model activity to help familiarize students with words in the play. Two versions are available – one for ESL students which includes a spot to translate the word into their home languages, and one for General Education students. *RUIN A FOOD: A scene for guided practice which includes figurative language and stage directions. *Comprehension questions for “RUIN A FOOD”, using question stems from the 7th grade STAAR Reading test. *THE LAST STRAW: An excerpt from a drama about bullying. *Comprehension questions for “THE LAST STRAW” using question stems from the 7th grade STAAR Reading test.
ESL NEW BEGINNINGS:  Spelling BUNDLE
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ESL NEW BEGINNINGS: Spelling BUNDLE

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This bundle of individual resources contains activities for ESL students to review 100 of the most commonly misspelled words in English. The words are broken into eight groups, so the full set can be completed over a series of eight weeks, wih 12 - 13 words each week. Each set has and introductory activity which requires students to translate the words into their own language, and create an original sentence for each word. Other activities include creating illustrations, word searches and a fill-in-the-blank reading .
Digital/Print ESCAPE ROOM/ Dia de los Muertos Informational Text and Activities
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Digital/Print ESCAPE ROOM/ Dia de los Muertos Informational Text and Activities

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Escape rooms harness the natural competitive nature of middle-school students to encourage them to work cooperatively and to use critical thinking and comprehension skills to complete a series of tasks which allow them to succeed. This product features an informational text about Día de los Muertos, along with comprehension questions and vocabulary matching. The vocabulary matching allows bilingual and English language learners a chance to take the lead in the problem solving. There are also two additional puzzles that students must solve in order to escape the room. The product gives both digital and non-digital options, or a combination of both. To use the digital version, students (or each group of students) need access to a device that has Internet capabilities. The teacher gives students a link to a private website that requires them to read and search for clues to unlock four different types of locks. The non-digital option allows the teacher to print out the reading passage and puzzles and give one set to each student, or each group of students. The students can then go to the website to enter their answers, or simply write the lock codes down on their response sheet for easy checking . The packet also includes an optional certificate that can be given to successful students.
Lucky Thirteen:  No-Prep Activities for Friday the Thirteenth and Beyond
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Lucky Thirteen: No-Prep Activities for Friday the Thirteenth and Beyond

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Be ready for Friday the Thirteenth or any day with this bundle of thirteen reading, math, science and history activities. This package contains thirteen different activities from all four core classes for you to use for centers, early finishers, brain breaks, or just a fun Friday activity. Each activity has the number 13 as a focus, making them especially ideal for Friday the 13, but suitable for any day. The activities included in this set are: The First Thirteen Elements: Students answer questions about the first thirteen elements in the Periodic Table, then find the elements in a word search. The unused letters reveal a quotation about the Periodic Table. My _________ Day: Students select words to complete a fill-it-in story that may or may not be about Friday the 13th. Target Thirteen: Students play in groups of 2 – 4 to add and subtract single digits and develop strategies to be the first person to reach 13. The Thirteen Colonies: Students have an opportunity to review the names and locations of the thirteen colonies by labeling a map and using a color key to highlight the three major regions. Thirteen Languages: Students test their language skills as they work together to translate “hello”, “good-bye” and “thirteen” into thirteen different languages. Thirteen Pairs: After cutting apart the triangle, students reconstruct the original by pairing up sides that add up to thirteen. This would be a great activity to laminate and have on hand for early finishers to work on. Make Thirteen: Students use the ten digits 0 – 9 to make the number thirteen according to the operations given. There are two versions – one with some of the numbers in place, and one without. Friday the Thirteenth Make-a-Word: How many words can be made with the letters in “Friday the Thirteenth”? Friday the Thirteenth: This reading passage gives students information about the origins of the unlucky day, and is accompanied by a set of comprehension questions. The Thirteenth Amendment: This reading passage introduces history students to what may be a surprising fact about slavery in the United States and asks, “Does the Thirteenth Amendment need to be changed?” Thirteenth Amendment Word Fill-In: The words of the Thirteenth Amendment are featured in this Word Cross puzzle. The Thirteenth Guest: Jemima Ficklewort needs an heir. Students must solve a logic problem to find out who the lucky person is. Thirteen Pieces of Gold: This easy to learn strategy game helps students develop problem-solving skills and learn to think ahead as they try to outwit their opponent. The real treasure is the fact that once students figure out the strategy to the original game, different variations can be created to further challenge their thinking.
Christmas Word Scramble Word Search
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Christmas Word Scramble Word Search

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It's the most wonderful time of the year . . .unless you're a teacher with one day left before vacation and you need to keep your students focused and entertained. Word searches are the perfect solution for those difficult days when clock watching and fidgeting seem to be the major activities. Word puzzles such as the ones included in this package can help increase vocabulary, improve spelling, and give your students a fun mental challenge, while still engaging your students with a special holiday activity.. This download includes four different types of word searches with hidden messages. In two puzzles, students must unscramble the words before finding them in the grid. There are two versions of the scrambled word search, one with words that only go left to right and top to bottom with no overlap, and one where the words are written in all directions, including diagonally, and using shared letters. For younger students, or ESL students who are just learning holiday vocabulary, there are two versions of the word search puzzle with the words unscrambled. One version has words in all directions and with shared letters, and the other has the words only written left to right and top to bottom with no shared letters. Once the words have been found in the grid, the remaining letters can be written in the blank grid to reveal the hidden message. The two scrambled word searches have the same hidden message, and the two unscrambled word searches have the same message.
HALLOWEEN: Literary Non-Fiction, Poetry, Myth and more
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HALLOWEEN: Literary Non-Fiction, Poetry, Myth and more

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Halloween is an exciting holiday for many middle-schoolers. Help your students improve their reading comprehension, poetry analysis, and vocabulary skills by using their love of the holiday to engage them with this packet of entertaining literary activities. This product includes three pieces that focus on the Halloween season, along with comprehension, idiom, context clue and other activities Contents: Mischief Night: a literary non-fiction piece with the theme “Sometimes you have to stand up to bullies.” Related Activities: Context clues to pre-teach vocabulary Story Analysis, including a character trait organizer Comprehension questions Feline Bullied: A light-hearted poem about a kitten and a pumpkin and their “fiery” relationship. The theme is similar to that of Mischief Night, allowing the teacher to use the two as paired readings. Related Activities: TP-CASTT analysis sheet Comprehension questions The Story of Stingy Jack: an original retelling of the myth behind Jack-O’-Lanterns. Related Activities: Comprehension questions Three additional activities to use in centers, as homework, or extension activities: Context Clues/Halloween Idioms Halloween Word Search Fact/Opinion/Common Assertion ****** Check out these other themed products: Amelia Earhart's Final Flight: Informational Texts and No-Prep Activities for Women's History Month Super Bowl: Informational Text and No-Prep Activities Myths and Superstitions: Informative Text, Reader's Theater, and Writing Activities
Inauguration Day: Informational Text and No-Prep Activities
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Inauguration Day: Informational Text and No-Prep Activities

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UPDATED ON JANUARY 21, 2017. Update includes a second informational text that focuses specifically on President Trump's Inauguration day. This resource contains informational texts, , critical thinking activities, word puzzles and other fun activities for January 20 or any unit involving the election process in the US. Teach your students about the peaceful transfer of power in the US every four years with these fun and educational no-prep activities. Included in this resource: Inauguration Day Informational text (2 levels)-- Unexpected at the Inauguration -- odd things that have ahppened over the years Inauguration Day 2017-- informational text about Donald Trump's Inauguration Day and address Comprehension questions for all informational texts Presidential Word Search Oath of Office Word Cross Presidential Birthplace Hunt Presidential Birthplace Mapping Activity Inauguration Alphabet Challenge Inauguration Acrostic and coloring page Create-Your-Own Oath of Office and coloring page Answer keys
100TH Day of School with Benjamin Franklin: Informational Text and No-Prep Activities
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100TH Day of School with Benjamin Franklin: Informational Text and No-Prep Activities

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This Benjamin Franklin - inspired twist on the more traditional observation of the 100th day of school, gives your middle school students a little education with their fun. (Or, maybe, a little fun with their education!). The no-prep activities in this packet all have to do with the $100 bill and Benjamin Franklin, and differentiated levels make them are suitable for 5th -8th graders. There is also a self-reflection journal that allows students to analyze their performance in the first 100 days. This 100th day, make it all about the Benjamin Franklins! Activities included are: Math word problems with answer keys. (Two sets: one with one-step problems and one with two-step problems) Informational Text: Text about Franklin’s accomplishments. Two different reading levels (app. 600 and 900) with comprehension questions. $100 Words: Find out how much your name is worth, and try to discover some $100 words. Franklin Quote Completion Challenge: Let your students step into Benjamin Franklin’s shoes and dispense words of wisdom based on his well-known quotes. Quote match: After coming up with their own endings to the quotes, students can try to match the actual beginnings and endings. Quote- Libs: Like the popular story fill-in game, but with Franklin-inspired quotations Creative Writing Prompt: What would you do if you found $100? Find the Difference: Examine twelve $100 bills and find the one that is not like the rest Find the Match: Examine twelve $100 bills and find the two that are identical. Reflection on the First 100 Days: Students think about what they’ve accomplished in the first 100 days, and what they would like to accomplish before the end of school.
Valentine's Day 2018:  Math, Writing, Science, Informational Text and Other No-Prep Activities
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Valentine's Day 2018: Math, Writing, Science, Informational Text and Other No-Prep Activities

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Everyone adores Valentine's Day. With candy, fun, and a chance to take a break from the books , it has everything your students love. With this resource, you can let your students enjoy the Valentine's Day while completing a variety of activities that keep them learning and engaged Activities in this resource include: Love Among the Robots: Students use logic to determine which members of the Robotics Club exchanged cards and what type of candy they shared on Valentine's Day. Famous Couple Match-Up: Build student background knowledge with this activity that requires students to match up famous couples in history and literature. While the students are cutting and matching, you can lead a discussion about each pair. Equivalent Fraction Match-Up:: Students “repair” the broken hearts by matching equivalent fractions to bring the left and right pieces together. Valentine’s Day Make-a-Word: Challenge your students to use the letters in Valentine's Day to make as many words as possible. Informational Text: Valentine’s Day celebrations around the world. Comprehension Questions The Language of Love: Students match different ways to say “I Love You” with the correct language. It’s Not Valentine’s Day: Students can stretch their creative muscles and enjoy a break from “mushy love stuff” by creating new celebrations for February 14. Circulation Station: Students read a paragraph about the process of circulation in the body and use the information given to label a diagram of the heart. Heart and Blood Word Search: Students search the grid for words related to the heart and blood
Middle Grades Emergency Sub Plans:  No-Prep Informational Texts, Comprehension Questions, Activities
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Middle Grades Emergency Sub Plans: No-Prep Informational Texts, Comprehension Questions, Activities

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Just in time for cold and flu season, with its accompanying need for emergency sub plans, it's a bundle of my most popular informational texts. Each of these eight texts comes with a set of comprehension questions, along with a no-prep activity. Just print and copy to keep your students engaged and learning while you rest. This resource includes: “It’s All About the Benjamins”: 2 reading levels of an informational text and comprehension questions about Benjamin Franklin, along with a “Mad Lib”-type activity that allows students to put their own twist on quotes by Benjamin Franklin. “The Story of Groundhog Day”: This text traces the origins o Groundhog Day. The accompanying activity challenges students to use the letters from GROUNDHOG DAY to make as many words as possible. “Inauguration Day 2017”: Informational text about Trump’s Inauguration Day , along with a word search using the last names of all the presidents. “Inauguration Day”: This informational text reveals some of the unusual events of inaugurations past. The text comes in two-levels for differentiation. The accompanying activity is an Oath of Office Word Cross. “Service Dogs”: This policy speech about allowing service dogs in businesses is offered in two different levels to fit the needs of your class. The activity requires students to research their own facts, statistics, quotes and examples to support a central argument of their choosing. “The Pope of Football”: This text introduces students to Vince Lombardi, the man for whom the Super Bowl trophy is named. The accompanying activity uses a quote of Lombardi’s to create an expository writing prompt. Pre-writing activities, editing checklists and a page for the final draft are also included. “Friday the 13th”: This text explains many of the negative associations that Friday the 13th has in our culture, Use the accompanying activity to preview vocabulary before reading. “Superstitions”: This one-page informational text describes superstitions, both in the United States and around the world. An acrostic puzzle is included as a follow-up to the reading. PLEASE NOTE: Each of these texts are available as part of an individual resource that includes more themed activities.
St. Patrick's Day:  Art Projects, Writing Prompts, Spelling Games
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St. Patrick's Day: Art Projects, Writing Prompts, Spelling Games

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Agamographs, writing prompts, and spelling games, all with a St. Patrick's Day theme. Each of the three activities comes with two variations, one easy and one a little more challenging, to allow differentiation. The activities are: Irish agamographs: Choose from a combination of St. Patrick and a snake or a leprechaun and his pot of gold to make a 3D piece of art. This is a great cooperative activity, with pairs of students working together to each complete one part of the art, then assempling the finished artwork. Two writing prompts accompany the agamographs. One is an eyewitness account of seeing St, Patrick drive the snakes out of Ireland. The other is a story about finding a pot of gold. Blarney Stone Spelling: Students will make their own tetrahedron-shaped “Blarney Stones” and use them in to complete two spelling games. Losers have to "kiss the Blarney Stone" by complimenting the winner..
Pi Day 2017: No-Prep Art, Math, Figurative Language and Writing Activities
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Pi Day 2017: No-Prep Art, Math, Figurative Language and Writing Activities

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Celebrate Pi Day with these fun, no-prep activities that focus on the number (and its homophone) in a variety of ways that will engage and educate your elementary, middle, and even high school students. Activities in this resource:Activities in this resource: Agamograph: This engaging art project shows the word and symbol for Π when viewed from one angle, and the approximation 3.14 when viewed from another. Discovering Pi: Students measure the diameter and circumference of circles to determine the value of pi for themselves, them use their discovered value to predict the circumference of a circle they draw. Pie Idioms: Students use context clues to predict the meaning of idioms that include the word “pie” Hidden Message Pi Word Search: Students find the names of people throughout history who worked on calculating the value of pi. When they are done, the unused letters will reveal a quotation about pi. Uncovering Pi: Use PEMDAS to find the first ten digits of pi. Memorizing Pi: Create a story to help memorize the first ten digits of pi.
Super Bowl 2018:  Informational Text and No-Prep Activities
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Super Bowl 2018: Informational Text and No-Prep Activities

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This resource includes an assortment of math, reading, writing and critical thinking activities, all involving different aspects of the 52st Super Bowl on February 4, 2018. It's perfect for upper elementary and middle school students who need activities that allow them to review concepts while engaging them with the excitement of the big game. Activities include: Logic Puzzle: use the clues to figure out the team mascot and average points per game for four new teams that entered the NFL in 2034. Informational Text: The Pope of Football. The Super Bowl trophy is named after coach Vince Lombardi. This informational text details events from Lombardi’s life. Comprehension questions for “The Pope of Football”. Two Word Searches with Hidden Messages featuring the Eagles and Patriots starting players Make the Score: Students must figure out what combination of touchdowns, field goals, and point after touchdowns resulted in a given score. Did They Make the First Down? Students read a scenario and must determine if the team was able to move the ball at least ten yards in four plays. Great practice for integer addition! Scrambled Mascots and Cities: Students unscramble place names and mascots and match them together in this fun word puzzle. Predictions: Students use statistics from this year’s Super Bowl teams to predict the winner and final score of the big game. Students are also given sentence starters to justify their predictions. Create Your Own Team: Students can take a break from calculations and reading and exercise their creativity by creating a team name, choosing team colors, and creating a logo to put on their team helmet. Expository Prompt: Students write an expository prompt in response to one of Vince Lombardi’s quotes. A prompt analysis, pre-writing activity, rough draft, editing and final draft sheet are included. Answer keys for all activities ********** Looking for Informational Texts with comprehension questions and no-prep activities with the same theme? Need a last-minute lesson for your sub> Looking for a way to perk up your students on Friday afternoon with some engaging and educational activities? Check out some of these products: Myth and Superstition : Informational Text, Readers Theater, and More Benjamin Franklin: Informational Text and No-Prep Activities
Groundhog Day 2017:  Informational Text and No-Prep Activities
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Groundhog Day 2017: Informational Text and No-Prep Activities

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Groundhog Day 2017 is on February 2. Treat your students to some quick and educational activities to celebrate the day. From an informational text telling about the ancient origins of Groundhog Day to a maze requiring the students to use all four arithmetic operations on two and three- digit numbers, your students will have a chance to review skills and learn some interesting facts along the way. Activities: Informational Text: The Origins of Groundhog Day Comprehension Questions Math Maze: Help the groundhog find his shadow by finding the answers to basic two- and three-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems. Groundhog Day Word Search Make-a-Word And, don't forget that Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner!! Super Bowl 2017: Informational Text and No-Prep Activities
Make 13:  Math Puzzles that Develop Algebraic Thinking
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Make 13: Math Puzzles that Develop Algebraic Thinking

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Help your students practice basic operations, sharpen their logic skills, and strengthen their problem-solving abilities with these “Make a Number” puzzles. There are thirteen different sets. Each set contains an “expert” level puzzle, a “novice” puzzle with hints, and an answer key. These puzzles are perfect for early finishers, homework, cooperative learning, extra credit, and times when you need a fun but educational activity at the end of the day of before vacations. Because they reinforce basic skills and have simple instructions, they are suitable for many grade levels, and students of varying degrees of English fluency. ” The Novice and Expert levels help you differentiate for the variety of abilities in your classroom. In addition to practice with basic number facts, the puzzles also encourage development for skills needed for algebraic thinking, such as thinking backward, solving for an unknown, and eliminating solutions.