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January 16, 2018

Engaging Students on National Popcorn Day!

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    National Popcorn Day is on January 19. It is a fun celebration and can be a great way of increasing excitement in any classroom! These quirky holidays inspire me to find and create fun and meaningful activities to implement curriculum in my classroom. Really, anything that provides a platform for student engagement is A-OK by me! And, speaking of student engagement — why don’t we ever talk about teacher engagement. We (teachers) need to be just as engaged in what we teach as our students are expected to be engaged in what they learn.

    Spark Interest and Inspire Learning

    In education, student engagement is definitely a buzzword phrase. “Student engagement refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education.” (edglossary.org).

    Over winter break, I thought a lot about what increases my own engagement in teaching. I enjoyed my time off, but was ready — and excited — to see my students and get back to the classroom! I frequently check Holiday Insights for monthly ideas that will spark interest and inspire learning. I was so excited to learn that there was such a thing as National Popcorn Day and I just couldn’t wait to get back and celebrate (code word for do whatever it takes to motivate students and improve learning) National Popcorn Day with my kindergarteners!

    Where to Begin

    I love starting a lesson with a GOOD book. Tomie de Paola’s The Popcorn Book, is a book for everyone who loves popcorn (and who doesn’t?). The book gives a kid-friendly overview of the history of popcorn and the indigenous people who discovered it many thousands of years ago, as well as a scientific explanation for how popcorn pops.

    My students have instant text-to-self connections when I read the book aloud. Kids can relate to the book because they have experience with popcorn. This book builds upon what kiddos already know (and love to eat) and helps build schema, even in the youngest of learners. One other thing I love about this book has nothing to do with popcorn. My kids love learning about text features, but text bubbles are their FAVORITE — and, you will find them all throughout the book!

    Popcorn and a Book

    Who needs popcorn and a movie when you can have popcorn and a book?!? I made this little note and sent it home with my students at the beginning of the week. We talk about our Popcorn and a Book event all week long, and let me tell you, this builds EXCITEMENT.

    I made a few cute little signs to hang up on our Popcorn and a Book day. When the kids saw them, they squealed with JOY knowing the day had finally come! They each brought a book to school with them that they could read and share with their friends in class.

    I passed out little bags of popcorn. I used sandwich baggies and created a simple treat bag topper to staple on the top of the bag. The kids eagerly got their books out, found a place to read, and came up to grab a bag of popcorn. Popcorn and a Book was simple to prepare and easy on a teacher’s budget! My kids had a great time reading, and demonstrated more reading stamina than ever before!

    Popcorn Words

    I am always on the hunt for fun ways to practice sight words. In our class, we call sight words popcorn words because they “POP UP!” in reading and writing all the time. Most of these words (regardless of what you call them) are learned by sight and cannot be easily sounded out. By eliminating the need to decode these words, the reader can focus on those that are more difficult, or less familiar. My kids loved this engaging activity and it will help reinforce the recognition of these words, and bring lots of fun and smiles to your classroom!

    I made the popcorn pieces first, using the popcorn words that have already been taught. I then laminated the pieces for extra life and durability, cut them out, and placed them in these cute little popcorn boxes that I purchased from our local party store.

    The kids pull popcorn pieces out of the boxes and then take turns reading their words to the group. I love doing this activity in a group setting because if someone struggles with a word, they have lots of classmates to help. After reading the words, they are asked to write the popcorn words on the recording sheet I created for this activity. Everyone had great success, and this activity ended up capturing their total attention!

    Exploring the Five Senses with Popcorn

    In our kindergarten curriculum, children learn that people have five senses which can be used to learn about their world, and to describe matter. I can’t think of a better (and yummier…) way to learn about this than with popcorn!

    It’s fun to use popcorn to explore the sense of taste. There are so many flavors to choose from! I purchased four different kinds from the store and the kids were given the opportunity to taste and explore the differences between savory, sweet, and salty. I found the popcorn on sale, and the bags even had a coupon taped to it. I always love finding a good deal, and coupons that help me to save even more money!

    After our little popcorn sampling session, the kids joined me in our Gathering Place, where they helped create a popcorn anchor chart. The kids came up with wonderful words to describe the sound, smell, look, touch, and taste of popcorn. When finish making the chart, we read it together. I am always amazed at how well my students read during shared reading, when they are reading an anchor chart they created themselves.

    Scholastic Resources

    Scholastic Teachables has emergent readers my students love. This one is perfect for your National Popcorn Day celebration! These little readers build vocabulary in a way that will get the taste buds — and other senses — excited! I was so excited to find this resource and my kids loved reading during our literacy centers this week!

    Fun Popcorn Fact

    Popcorn is best stored in stored in the refrigerator, so it keeps its moisture. If the popcorn does dry out, you can add one or two tablespoons of water and shake it until the water is absorbed.

    Here's hoping you and your students have fun celebrating National Popcorn Day. I sure hope you can use some of these activities and that you always remember, when you love what you teach, your students will love what they learn!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog, and here’s to a great January with fun learning POPPING up everywhere!

    xo-Shari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    National Popcorn Day is on January 19. It is a fun celebration and can be a great way of increasing excitement in any classroom! These quirky holidays inspire me to find and create fun and meaningful activities to implement curriculum in my classroom. Really, anything that provides a platform for student engagement is A-OK by me! And, speaking of student engagement — why don’t we ever talk about teacher engagement. We (teachers) need to be just as engaged in what we teach as our students are expected to be engaged in what they learn.

    Spark Interest and Inspire Learning

    In education, student engagement is definitely a buzzword phrase. “Student engagement refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education.” (edglossary.org).

    Over winter break, I thought a lot about what increases my own engagement in teaching. I enjoyed my time off, but was ready — and excited — to see my students and get back to the classroom! I frequently check Holiday Insights for monthly ideas that will spark interest and inspire learning. I was so excited to learn that there was such a thing as National Popcorn Day and I just couldn’t wait to get back and celebrate (code word for do whatever it takes to motivate students and improve learning) National Popcorn Day with my kindergarteners!

    Where to Begin

    I love starting a lesson with a GOOD book. Tomie de Paola’s The Popcorn Book, is a book for everyone who loves popcorn (and who doesn’t?). The book gives a kid-friendly overview of the history of popcorn and the indigenous people who discovered it many thousands of years ago, as well as a scientific explanation for how popcorn pops.

    My students have instant text-to-self connections when I read the book aloud. Kids can relate to the book because they have experience with popcorn. This book builds upon what kiddos already know (and love to eat) and helps build schema, even in the youngest of learners. One other thing I love about this book has nothing to do with popcorn. My kids love learning about text features, but text bubbles are their FAVORITE — and, you will find them all throughout the book!

    Popcorn and a Book

    Who needs popcorn and a movie when you can have popcorn and a book?!? I made this little note and sent it home with my students at the beginning of the week. We talk about our Popcorn and a Book event all week long, and let me tell you, this builds EXCITEMENT.

    I made a few cute little signs to hang up on our Popcorn and a Book day. When the kids saw them, they squealed with JOY knowing the day had finally come! They each brought a book to school with them that they could read and share with their friends in class.

    I passed out little bags of popcorn. I used sandwich baggies and created a simple treat bag topper to staple on the top of the bag. The kids eagerly got their books out, found a place to read, and came up to grab a bag of popcorn. Popcorn and a Book was simple to prepare and easy on a teacher’s budget! My kids had a great time reading, and demonstrated more reading stamina than ever before!

    Popcorn Words

    I am always on the hunt for fun ways to practice sight words. In our class, we call sight words popcorn words because they “POP UP!” in reading and writing all the time. Most of these words (regardless of what you call them) are learned by sight and cannot be easily sounded out. By eliminating the need to decode these words, the reader can focus on those that are more difficult, or less familiar. My kids loved this engaging activity and it will help reinforce the recognition of these words, and bring lots of fun and smiles to your classroom!

    I made the popcorn pieces first, using the popcorn words that have already been taught. I then laminated the pieces for extra life and durability, cut them out, and placed them in these cute little popcorn boxes that I purchased from our local party store.

    The kids pull popcorn pieces out of the boxes and then take turns reading their words to the group. I love doing this activity in a group setting because if someone struggles with a word, they have lots of classmates to help. After reading the words, they are asked to write the popcorn words on the recording sheet I created for this activity. Everyone had great success, and this activity ended up capturing their total attention!

    Exploring the Five Senses with Popcorn

    In our kindergarten curriculum, children learn that people have five senses which can be used to learn about their world, and to describe matter. I can’t think of a better (and yummier…) way to learn about this than with popcorn!

    It’s fun to use popcorn to explore the sense of taste. There are so many flavors to choose from! I purchased four different kinds from the store and the kids were given the opportunity to taste and explore the differences between savory, sweet, and salty. I found the popcorn on sale, and the bags even had a coupon taped to it. I always love finding a good deal, and coupons that help me to save even more money!

    After our little popcorn sampling session, the kids joined me in our Gathering Place, where they helped create a popcorn anchor chart. The kids came up with wonderful words to describe the sound, smell, look, touch, and taste of popcorn. When finish making the chart, we read it together. I am always amazed at how well my students read during shared reading, when they are reading an anchor chart they created themselves.

    Scholastic Resources

    Scholastic Teachables has emergent readers my students love. This one is perfect for your National Popcorn Day celebration! These little readers build vocabulary in a way that will get the taste buds — and other senses — excited! I was so excited to find this resource and my kids loved reading during our literacy centers this week!

    Fun Popcorn Fact

    Popcorn is best stored in stored in the refrigerator, so it keeps its moisture. If the popcorn does dry out, you can add one or two tablespoons of water and shake it until the water is absorbed.

    Here's hoping you and your students have fun celebrating National Popcorn Day. I sure hope you can use some of these activities and that you always remember, when you love what you teach, your students will love what they learn!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog, and here’s to a great January with fun learning POPPING up everywhere!

    xo-Shari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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