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Feb 28, 2015
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Getting to Know Each Other

Take five to ten minutes several times during the first two weeks to engage students in activities that help them get to know each other. These activities also provide ways to practice active listening, expressing feelings, and cooperation. Here are some suggestions for ways to get to know each other:

  1. What Do We Have in Common?
    • Give each student a sheet that has three columns and a place for three students' names.
    • Then ask students to pair up with someone they don't know well or use grouping cards to place people in pairs.
    • Give each pair two minutes to write down all the similarities they can think of (physical characteristics, family stuff, things they both do, possessions they both own, etc.)
    • Then ask students to pair up two more times repeating the process.
    • At the end of the activity, ask: “What surprised you about what you discovered you had in common with someone else? How many similarities did you find the first time? The last time? Did it get easier for anyone? Why?”
    • Point out that when we are having a disagreement or having trouble working together, it's especially important to remember what we have in common.

  2. Finding Out About Who We Are
    • Create an interview sheet, have students find a partner, and choose a question that interests both of them.
    • Have them interview each other and jot down their partner's name and something you want to remember that their partner said.
    • Give them a few minutes and then have them find a new partner.
    • You could end this activity by asking students what they learned about each other.
    • Use the following questions:
      • Describe your family.
      • What is something funny, weird, unusual, or special about one person in your family?
      • What's one place you would like to visit in your lifetime? Why do you want to go there?
      • What's your favorite TV show and why do you like to watch this show?
      • If you had to eat the same meal everyday for a month, what would it be?
      • What's one thing you would like to change about your neighborhood that would make it a better place to live?
      • What worries you the most about the world you live in today?
      • Name one thing you could teach someone else how to make or how to do?
      • What's your favorite holiday of the year? What makes this holiday your favorite?
      • What's one thing that you would like to change about your school that would make it a better place for you?

Highlights

Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon
Join the Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon! Read each episode as it's re-released with newly revealed facts, behind-the-scenes illustrations, and the inside scoop. Make it official by pledging on the blog to read each chapter with Cosmoe. Your students will love following the exploits of these space travelers, and you'll love the educational elements that can easily be paired to the stories.

Handwashing Awareness
Kids are especially susceptible to contracting and spreading viruses during the winter months. Prevention starts with proper handwashing. Show students how to keep germs away.

March Calendar of Events
March is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: National School Breakfast Week (3/2-6), World Orphan Week (3/4-11), Boston Massacre (3/5/1770), Daylight Saving Time Begins (3/8), International Women's Day (3/8), Teen Tech Week (3/8-14), Pi Day (3/14), St. Patrick's Day (3/17), Spring Begins (3/20), Make Your Own Holiday Day (3/26), and World Theatre Day (3/27). Plus, celebrate Deaf History Month (3/15-4/15), Music In Our Schools Month, Women's History Month, and Youth Art Month!

Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.

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Women's History Month
March is Women's History Month. Talk to your students about the accomplishments women have made—as well as the adversity they have faced.

Teaching with Comics
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guide to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series, as found on Funbrain.com, will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stores.


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