Fun with Magformers!

I'm definitely excited to share some information about the awesome magnetic toy called Magformers with you. I first saw  these at my friend's house. Her son loved them and I enjoyed playing with them too! Check out the info and grab them over at Educents.
UltimateMagformersGuide Building with Magformers encourages children to use their imagination and show their creativity while developing skills and knowledge critical to their developmental success. Magformers uses high quality “always attracting” magnetic technology that provides endless constructional play. Educents offers all of the following sets of Magformers and more! Learn more about the educational value of each set, and find the special set that your child will love.

The Beginner Set

Good For: Ages 3+ Magformers are super powerful shapes that transform into colorful geometric builds that adhere on every edge with magnets. Build simple forms from houses to rockets that spin freely to ensure that every side attracts to other pieces. The possibilities are endless with this 30-piece sets which include 18 squares and 12 triangles! Magformers_fine motor practiceBuy Now
"I definitely recommend Magformers for a few reasons. I love how sturdy they are, the creations don’t fall apart! You can do a lot with a few pieces, we have the smallest set and it has already provided hours of play. I love the colors and the way you can add other sets onto your first set to keep expanding. The appeal to young and older kids is a big plus, it’s a great family toy. So much learning happens through play and this toy is no exception!" -Carisa, Blogger from 1+1+1=1
This is a great toy for children with special needs.
"Focus on colors. Combine the two shapes when introducing colors. Begin by only introducing one color by laying the shapes flat on a table. Name the color. Eventually, have the child sort colors and connect shapes of the same color. Keep the shapes flat as each shape is double-sided and possesses two different colors." - Gabriella V., Special Needs Homeschool Blogger

Magformers Walking Robot Set

  Do your kids like superheroes? They can build a superhero robot! Maybe they like spacemen instead. This robot kit comes with a guide book that has directions for 8 different robots for your little engineer. Or, maybe your child dances to the beat of her own drum and would prefer to use her imagination instead of a set of rules. Your child can even create their own robot character since the possibilities are endless with Magformers! Once they are built, their robot can walk at two different speeds. Magformers set Buy Now


The Light Show Set

Good For: Ages 4 - 12 The Magformers Light Show Set allows boys and girls of all ages to light up their imagination and create out of this world designs. They will have magical fun bringing out all the fun colors of the magnetic shapes when adding the light. Kids can build stars, space ships, shiny diamonds, the designs are endless! The only activity kids won't be afraid to do in the dark! magformers light setBuy Now

The WOW Set

Good For: Ages 5 - 12 Kids can speed away with the Magformers WOW set by forming mini vehicles with squares, triangles, and wheels! Kids will have endless hours of fun in the driver seat with this 16 piece set designing 20 mini vehicles to start. Once they put their imagination and creativity to work they can design their own vehicles with this set. Vroom, vroom! magformers wow set Buy Now

The Deep Sea Set

Good For: Ages 6 - 12 Kids can go on a deep sea adventure by building a variety of deep sea creatures such as a dolphin, shark, or whales with this set! The Magformers Deep Sea construction set comes with 46 pieces for building. The pieces come in different shapes and connect together on any side. Kids will be able to explore the bottom of the sea by creating over 10 deep sea creatures and much more! magformers deep sea Buy Now  
"The children in my class all want to make new creations...helping each other to make better and better ones." - Kathryn C., Educents customer

The Emergency Cruiser Set

Good For: Ages 6 - 12 Your kids will come to the rescue with the Magformers XL Cruisers Emergency 33-Piece Magnetic Building Set. Whether they want to be a police officer or firefighter they can create a police car or fire truck, by constructing red and blue shapes and accessories, lights and sound included!

magformers cruiser set

Buy Now

The Magformers Math Activity Book

Good For: Ages 6 - 12 Give kids a fun way to learn basic math skills, recognize shapes and create patterns with the Magformers Math Activity Book! This book is full of great ideas to help the little ones develop their basic math skills while using Magformers magnetic pieces. magformers Buy Now  

Follower Thank you Giveaway!

 Hello folks! I could not believe it last week! I hit some amazing milestones on social media and it is all thanks to all of you! Check out what happened below!

On Facebook, I hit 4,000 followers! WHAT?! Yes! On Instagram which I have been loving lately I hit 700 followers last week. And finally on my newest social media app, Periscope, I hit 100 followers last week too. I can't beieve it! Thank you so much for your support, dedication, and love. I am so glad that my posts and videos have been entertaining you, inspiring you, amusing you , and helping make teaching a little more fun and easier for you.

 To say THANK you, I am hosting a giveaway! Woohoo! Who doesn't like a giveaway? I will be giving away a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble AND I decided to throw in $10 to my TPT store! Wouldn't you like to grab some books for your class in B&N or some goodies for yourself (a few months ago I bought a cool Wonder Woman cup there for ME)? And I bet you would like to find something in my TPT for your class! It's easy... just check out the Rafflecopter below and there are a bunch of easy ways to enter! Thank you SO much and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

25 Oldies Songs to Use with Students

25 Oldies Songs to Use with Students from Reading and Writing Redhead

As a follow to my post on 25 Pop Songs to Use with Students, I thought you might like some suggestions for oldies or classic songs you can also use! I love music and it can make my day better and it can certainly change things up and keep things fun and interesting in the classroom. 

Here is how I chose the songs on this list? For the list of "classic" songs I considered songs at least 15 years old, and most from the 20th century.  I checked out 60-70 songs I thought might be okay and  then read the lyrics and decided what would make the top 25.  If you'd like to read the lyrics yourself, try AZ Lyrics' website. Most of the songs, like most songs in music, are love songs, but can be interpreted in other ways or more general ways. 

I will post links to the videos for the songs so you can hear the song but I can not vouch for the videos themselves. If you need to find music videos that are okay for elementary students, please search through videos on your own.    I am only vouching for the songs themselves.  Please comment and let us know if you have any other songs that you think could have made the list!

ABC by the Jackson 5
How can you go wrong? Of course this one has got to be a hit with teachers.  "Reading and writing and 'rithmetic are the branches of the learning tree".

Hero by Mariah Carey
I kind of forgot about this song but came across it in my research. This is not about someone else being your hero, but instead finding the hero is in you. That when you feel hopeless you can find the strength in you to carry on. Plus this is Mariah at her best - gorgeous, stunning voice and flawless (in my opinion) performance.

Dancing in the Street by Martha and the Vandellas
Just a fun and happy song about celebrating, community,  and dancing.

All You Need is Love by The Beatles
Probably don't need to explain this one, but since it mentions love a lot, it might be "uncool" to older elementary school students but the younger kids would probably enjoy. Plus, who doesn't enjoy The Beatles? And I think of that wedding scene from the movie Love Actually with Andrew Lincoln, Chewitel Ejifor, and Keira Knightly with the surprise performance of this song.

Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder
This is a great song by an amazing artist which would be great if you were celebrating music. Also I played this for my class after we read this picture book about Duke Ellington during Black History Month (clicking on the book cover will get you more details from Amazon).

Don't Worry be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
Most of you probably know this song already. It's just happy and fun and reminds me of the 1980s! Do you remember when it came out, or were you born after the 80's and only know it as "retro"?

Three Little Birds by Bob Marley
This is just such a sweet, positive song of hope.

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
No need to explain it, right?

My Girl by the Temptations
Yes, this is a love song really, but I think it could be also thought of a celebration of any girl or woman: sister, daughter, friend, etc.

Superstition by Stevie Wonder
This might be a fun  song in October if you are talking about superstitions with your class such as black cats, walking under ladders, etc.

Your Song by Elton John
"I hope you don't mind that I put down in words how wonderful life is with you in the world".

Help! by The Beatles
This is a song you probably know but maybe you have not listened to the lyrics. It about appreciating the support of friends and knowing you don't have to go it alone.

You'll Never Walk Alone by Rodgers and Hammerstein
This is a show tune from the 1940's musical Carousel  about never having to be alone and staying strong in tough times that was turned into a pop hit by the Merseybeat Band.  It is VERY popular in Great Britain and often played and sung at football games. Your kids would probably not prefer this version but I feel like since it is the original it should get to be shared here! Google the song to find more recent covers.

I'm a Believer by the Monkees
A cynic changes his attitude when he meets the right girl. Kids may not even notice the lyrics but they will probably enjoy the chorus. Of course they might recognize it from Smash Mouth's version from the movie Shrek!

Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
I remember some kind of Talent Show at my elementary school and someone was singing Simon ad Garfunkel. I don't know if it was this one but the lyrics of loyalty, support are sacrifice are timeless.

I'll be  There by Jackson 5
Originally written by Bobby Darin, this song's theme is again about love and support. It has been covered countless time so even though I love this version you could find another one if you like. Watch out though, little Michael Jackson's gorgeous voice in this video makes me tear up, along with the sentiment of the song.

Stand by Me by Ben E. King
So many terrific songs about loyalty and devotion. In this one, he does say "darling" a lot.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland
It's a song that we probably all know, but our students may not.

Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles
This video is a version by George Harrison but we love this song, right! Cheers me right up!

I Can See Further Now by Jimmy Cliff
A wonderful song about thinking positive, having triumphs after hard times and reminds us that things get better.

I Believe I can Fly by R. Kelly
Very inspirational lyrics and similar to Hero, he talks about finding strength in yourself. Your students won't know who he is, so if you feel it is acceptable to use, it might be great for elementary school classrooms.

The Twist by Chubby Checker
If you read the lyrics, there is a little innuendo, but elementary kids will not get it. Check them out before playing but I think it's okay for kids.

You are my Sunshine by Johnny Cash and June Carter
Beautiful song about possibly losing a love that has made your life better.

Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino
A song about remembering a past love - where? On Blueberry Hill of course.

Just a Kid by Wilco
Written for the 2004 Sponge Bob (yes I know it's not 15 years old yet - I could not resist sneaking it in), it's a fun song that kids will totally relate to.

Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out this list! Comment with any additional ideas and be sure to check out my related post of 25 Pop Songs to Use with Students!

25 Oldies Songs to Use with Students from Reading and Writing Redhead

Wild Sea Otter Gives Birth Behind the Monterey Bay Aqaurium

Wild Sea Otter Gives Birth Behind the Monterey Bay Aqaurium

Have you heard about this? Yesterday, I was getting Periscope notifications that the Monterey Bay Aquarium had live footage of a wild sea otter giving birth. So, I had to watch, and follow up today. Here's the story! The Monterey Bay area had really stormy weather this weekend and they noticed a wild sea otter had made her way into their protected tide pool area for shelter. She was exhibiting some behaviors that made the aquarium staff think she was in labor, they got an expert to observe her and he agreed she looked really bloated and like she was going to give birth within an hour. Patrick from the aquarium scoped about it for almost 45 minutes and they also took some high quality video. She did end up successfully giving birth to a healthy single pup. It was also interesting on Periscope because viewers asked questions and Patrick was able to answer. A couple of the questions  and  answers were:

Q: Why is she spinning around in the water? (this is not shown on the Youtube videos below but could be seen on the scope) 
A: She was doing a lot of grooming behavior. Before they give birth, sea otters groom like crazy.
Q: Is  this a common occurrence at the aquarium - that wild sea otters come in and give birth in their sheltered area?
A: No. It almost never happens - they did have another one happen about a year ago though.
Q: Do sea otters have twins? 
A: Yes, but usually singletons. If a sea otter, like many wild animals, has twins, she can only care for and keep one alive, so she abandons the weaker pup.  Occasionally, the aquarium will rescue an abandoned sea otter pup.

There is a short article about it at the local Fox channel website here.

And below are the videos from the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Youtube channel. You can follow their channel or follow them on Periscope. Maybe you can share the videos with your students or fellow teachers!

Also feel free to follow me on Periscope too for teaching tips and occasionally information and advice for other teacher bloggers and TPTers! My account is @rwredhead .
Rwredhead on Periscope

This one is closer up and be warned, the miracle of life is a little graphic in this one.

March Teaching Resources

Happy March everyone! I am so glad for March's arrival. I don't know about you but February was rough. Looking forward to some changes this month! I have compiled some March teaching resources for you - some are St. Patrick's Day related, some to March Madness and of course some that welcome the start of spring and the end of winter!
March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more! 

March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!
First, I have a brand new St. Patrick's Day Writing freebie for you! Looking for a little writing practice? This includes a prompt when students write about what they would hope to find at the end of the rainbow. It includes three types of writing paper and a checklist for student accountability. Click here to grab it or on the image above.

March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!
If you are looking for a math freebie, you might enjoy this graphing practice with a St. Patrick's Day theme. It's a fun way for kids in grades 1-3 to practice graphing skills. Click here or on the image above to see if it would work for you and your class. 

I have a couple of paid items too which might be beneficial to your students in grades 1, 2, and 3. Check them out, then keep reading to see free and paid resources from other teacher bloggers that are terrific for March!
March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!
I love using a wide variety of writing prompts with my class all year round! I created some fun prompts for spring that help students practice expository, persuasive and opinion writing as well as letter writing. Below are a few images including just a few of the prompts. Each prompt has a checklist for student accountability and I included several kinds of writing paper for each. To grab it, click here or on any of the sneak peek images.
March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!
March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!
March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!
March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!
If your students are working on double digit addition and subtraction like mine are, this could be just right for you! Check out the sneak peeks below and if it seems like your thing, click here or on any of the images to get the full details.

                    March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more! March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!
I even included some frames  and arrows practice in this product too, which would help if your school uses Everyday Math like mine.
March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!
How fun is A First for Everything's How to Catch a Leprechaun creative writing project? See if it is right for your class by going to her TPT store here or by clicking the image below!
March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!
If you're only interested in the writing prompt, it is free from her store. Click here or on the image below to grab it.
March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!
Also, if you're giving your class a little gift or if the leprechaun stops by and leaves something, you can use her free treat toppers! Get them here or by clicking the image.
March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!
Sally from Elementary Matters has a math freebie at her TPT store. It includes 2 digit addition and subtraction with and without regrouping. Pick it up here!
March Teaching Resources  from Reading and Writing Redhead - St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and more!

Here are some other fun St. Patrick's Day resources and ideas! 

Jason's Classroom's Bingo Squares (free)  

Art with Jenny's K's  Shamrock pattern coloring pop art page  (free)

Education to the Core's Notes to Students  and  Math Playing Cards (free) 

Marlie Rose's Color Word Freebie

Clutter-free Classroom has a a great blog post detailing a St. Patrick's Day Bulletin Board 
and another blog post with her own collection of fun St. Patrick's Day resources!

Laura Lanzi's St. Patricks Day coloring book (free) 

First Grade Schoolhouse's St. Patrick's Day pack , which includes About St. Patrick's Day, KWL, Writing and Illustrating about St Patrick's Day, Main Idea/Details, and more 

Mamas Like Me's Shamrock Craft and Poem 

Pinfeather Press' St. Patrick's Day Activity Pack - great for grades 3-5 

East Coat Mommy's Leprechaun Traps and Bait 

Reading Confetti's Shape Leprechauns 

And here are a few for March Madness and to welcome Spring!

Rockin' Resource's March Madness Persuasive Writing

Mandy Neal's March Madness Collection

Renee Dooley's March Madness Basketball Math Fun Freebie

Kendra King's Welcome Spring Bunny Craft

Linda G's Spring Windsock Craft

Also, here are my favorite books to share with my class in the month of March! Click on any image to get more information about the book from Amazon.

Want to be part of the Reading and Writing Redhead Insiders Club? Sign up here for freebies, insider tips and more!