K-5 Curriculum Newsletter
In a time where there is spring fever and testing, we need to think of how to stay focused, motivated, and how to end the year strong! As educators, we always look for ways to make a lesson meaningful, interactive, and fun regardless of the setting.
May is National Physical Fitness and Sport Month (#MoveInMay), making it the perfect time to celebrate fitness. Schools across the country will be celebrating the importance of fitness, while empowering students to lead active and healthy lives. This month’s article will focus on the importance of fitness and movement in education and how we can incorporate it throughout our students’ school day. Enjoy the articles and resources. We hope they are useful for you and your students. #LetsMove!
Kinesthetic Learning and the Arts
Hands-on and kinesthetic activities activate our students’ brains, and some students need movement to learn best. Purposeful movement is a great way to keep active students engaged and focused because it stimulates our brain and refreshes our bodies. Effective teachers plan for this movement and incorporate it into their daily lesson plans. In the arts, there are plenty of ways to engage students in kinesthetic learning. For instance, students can participate in a gallery walks, folk dances, and theatrical performances! Please refer to links below for more information on how to incorporating kinesthetic activities to engage every student in your classroom.
Using Reader’s Theatre to Bring New Life to Your Reading!
It can be a challenge to get students actively engaged and excited about what they are reading. As we get closer to the end of the year this gets even harder. A fantastic way to breathe new life into your reading is through the use of Reader’s Theatre. Reader's Theater has students orally reading different parts in scripts. The students do not need to memorize their parts; they reread it several times, helping to develop their fluency skills. Reader's Theater scripts include lots of dialogue and provide almost all students the opportunity to get a part!
There are Reader’s Theatre scripts available covering all different topics and genres. You can even get creative and have students wear costumes as they perform. The students become truly engaged, active learners when they are up and moving as they are acting out their parts in the play.
For helpful tips on using Reader’s Theatre in your classroom go to
Be sure to tweet any pictures of your class doing Reader’s Theatre and tag @HeatherLieberm2 and @WeAreHTSD
Getting There from Here: Take a Virtual Reality Field Trip!
Studying Greek culture, but your principal says a field trip to the Acropolis just isn’t in the budget? Don’t have a time machine to visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre? Want to take your class to outer space? Try a virtual reality field trip. It’s the next best thing to being there!
There are a number of ways students can interact with these environments. Some sites offer 360o pictures that allow the viewer to move around. Although not essential, a set of VR goggles can be purchased inexpensively and lets students move about their new setting in 3D. Google Expeditions is a leader in these low-cost headsets, but there are many versions out there.
Education World has a list of virtual field trips to get you started. It you can’t get your class to the mountain, have the mountain come to your students!
PLAY #1: SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT NATIONAL PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH
#MoveInMay for National Physical Fitness & Sports Month. Get @FitnessGov's tips to #MoveInMay & every day at 0to60fitness.org .
- May is Natl Physical Fitness & Sports Month! Get out, get active & show how you #MoveInMay #0to60
- Follow @FitnessGov during Natl Physical Fitness & Sports Month for tips on being active & healthy #MoveInMay #0to60
- Need ideas to celebrate Natl Physical Fitness & Sports Month? Check out @FitnessGov #MoveInMay Playbook: https://go.usa.gov/x58mx
- Get inspired to be active during Natl Physical Fitness & Sports Month and beyond! See tips from @FitnessGov: https://go.usa.gov/x58mx
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! Get inspired to #MoveInMay with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutriton. Visit https://go.usa.gov/x58mx. #MoveInMay #0to60
Share the image below in your social media messages. Be sure to tag @Fitnessgov and use the hashtags #MoveInMay & #0to60.
#MoveinMay is Not Just for Kids
#MoveInMay is not just for kids. Everyone can benefit from keeping active and moving more. With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s a great time to step it up (pun intended)! As we all know, there are countless benefits to physical activity and, since May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, there’s no time like the present to get moving!
Read on for some tips to help you get -- and stay -- on the right path!
Set a goal: Be specific and commit to it. In fact, write it down and make sure to tell someone who will support you -- or better yet, join you. Make exercise a habit!
Make small changes: Just like the scaffolding we offer students, break down your end goal into reasonable increments. Keeping track and reaching those stepping stones will make your ultimate goal seem attainable.
Do a little more each time: If you walked two laps today, walk three tomorrow. If you held a plank for 30 seconds today, aim for 40 tomorrow. 5 burpees today; 6 tomorrow. You get the idea.
Stay hydrated: While we’ve all heard the ‘8 glasses of water per day’ adage, an increase in physical activity means an increase in water intake. There are free apps that can help keep track of your water intake or even remind you to take a sip!
Eat to fuel performance and recovery: What you eat does matter! For example, did you know that muscle cramps are caused by a lack of electrolytes? To maintain adequate levels of calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium, add fortified orange juice, avocados, almonds, and leafy greens to your diet.
Try something new AND fun: The important thing is to find physical activities you enjoy. Keep things fresh, so you don’t get bored!
Dear Data Guy,
As you near the end of the year, it is important to take stock of how your students have grown since the beginning of the year. We already utilize PARCC, and i-Ready to help us gauge academic performance in ELA and Mathematics. We can analyze the data in Linkit! If you want to measure student growth in other areas, another way to measure student performance is through Authentic assessments.
Authentic assessment is the measurement of "intellectual accomplishments that are worthwhile, significant, and meaningful," as contrasted to multiple choice standardized tests. Authentic assessment can be devised by the teacher, or in collaboration with the student by engaging student voice.
When creating your authentic assessment think of a project based activity that students can work on at home and school. Here is a link to the NEA Authentic assessment toolbox. Additionally, using a digital portfolio for the authentic assessment is a great way to collect past and present artifacts for an Authentic assessment. One key to authentic assessments is to develop a rubric to measure student performance.
- Brain Energizers - Classroom Fitness Activities
- Dance Like a Butterfly - an integrated science lesson
Movement and Learning in Danielson
Domain 1 - Planning & Preparation:
Survey your students (Sample Learning Style Inventory) to gauge what type of learners are in your classroom. What type of activities could you incorporate to reach this your kinesthetic learners?
Create a balance of how students develop their conceptual knowledge in the classroom. Instead of taking traditional notes, students could complete a Mind Map develop their understanding and make new connections.
Continue to expand your knowledge of strategies and resources Ex: #kinestheticlearners
Domain 2 - The Classroom Environment:
Look for ways to incorporate movement to assist with classroom routines and behavior. Whole Brain Teaching could be an effective instructional approach to in your classroom
Reflect on your classroom setup. Students should feel comfortable moving about the classroom, when permitted, to accomplish a task. When applicable, encourage your students to modify their learning environment when working in groups.
Domain 3 - Instruction:
When developing lessons/units, look for ways to incorporate movement and interaction between students to increase student participation and engagement: Examples: centers, performing a skit, gallery walks, Big Paper: Building a Silent Conversation
Take the opportunity to focus a kinesthetic learner’s energy to promote a lesson Provide opportunities for students to fidget; use a multi-sensory approach.
- In addition to having students engage in movement, providing visuals and connecting learning to a story or anecdote can often enhance student engagement and increase students’ motivation and comprehension of the content being taught.
Notes from Mr. Scotto
Have a Specialized Educational Talent or Skill?
Willing to Turnkey a Strategy that You Learned from an Out-of-District Workshop?
Looking to Develop your PD Training Experience?
Consider being a Presenter for:
The Hamilton Township School District
2018 Summer Institute for Professional Development
Due Date for Application: 5/11/18
Please refer to Mr. Scotto's previous email for the application packet (or contact Mrs. Baldwin for another copy).
Hamilton Township School District
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Supervisor of K - 12 World Language
Health and Physical Education
Testing Evaluation Specialist and Data Systems
Supervisor of ESL/Bilingual K - 12, Family Engagement, Title I Preschool, Title III, Title III-Immigrant
Supervisor of K - 5 English / Language Arts Literacy
Library and Media Services K - 12, ALPS, BSI, Title I & II
Supervisor of K - 5 Mathematics & K - 5 Technology (STEM)
BSI, Title I & Title II
Supervisor of K - 12, Science, and 6 - 12 Technology (STEM)
Director of Curriculum & Instruction
Supervisor of K - 12 Social Studies, Business,
Family and Consumer Science
Supervisor of K - 12 Visual and Performing Arts