Teacher Tips: Preparing for the New School Year

EDU & Ideas

Planning for back to school can seem daunting, especially given the current uncertainty regarding whether to teach students in the classroom or remotely.

Our back to school tips and resources will help you prep with ideas to keep remote learning hands-on, and our list of engaging lessons for all grade levels will help you launch your school year with success.

Tips for Hands-On Remote Learning

The 2020-2021 school year will likely be fully or partially remote for many teachers, so we’re sharing resources that can help you integrate hands-on projects into your virtual learning environment.

  • If your class is partially remote, plan a hands-on project that students can do remotely. Send students home with 3D pens and plastics for an activity, then have them share their projects with the class in a virtual classroom meeting. Sanitize the 3D pens once they are returned to your classroom to keep your tools clean and safe.
  • Use our 3Doodler EDU Webinar archive and our free lessons to extend your hands-on learning projects. Great for the the classroom or the living room!
  • Add the free 3Doodler app to your classroom app tool belt. It is filled with tons of educational, tactile projects to make Doodling as easy as 1, 2, 3D!
      • Students can Doodle with the Start pen directly on the tablet screen safely. If using a Create+ pen, tape a DoodlePad on the screen to protect the tablet.

Plan Lessons Ahead

We’ve picked some great lessons for each grade level to help you plan for back to school. Crafted by teachers, each lesson has step-by-step instructions to make it easy for you to implement. Common Core, CSTA, NGST and ISTE standards are included in our lessons to help you fit them into your curriculum requirements.

Lessons for Grades K-2

Doodle-Sole-Charms (Sense of Touch & Sight)
Time: One 45-minute session
Skill: Beginner
Grades: K to 2nd

In this lesson, students will work with a partner to investigate two of their five senses, touch and sight, and then identify various patterns using these senses. Students will doodle "sole-charms" for their sneakers using the soles of their shoes to create the texture. Students can then attach to the charms to the laces of their sneakers.

MATH: Comparing Numbers with Doodle Gator
Time: Two 45-minute sessions
Skill: Beginner
Grades: K to 2nd

In this activity, students will work in pairs to doodle models which will be used to identify sets of numbers as greater than, less than or equal to. Students will hear the story of Doodle-Gator, a hungry, number-chomping gator who always likes eating the largest number, and Equal Eagle, who loves balancing numbers of equal value on her wings. This will help students remember the meaning and proper usage of these math symbols used to compare numbers.

Lessons for Grades 3-5

Dial up the Sun! Patterns on Earth and in Space
Time: One 45 minute session, which must be followed up over 6 consecutive hours. *Conduct this activity on a sunny day!
Skill: Beginner
Grades: 3rd to 5th

In this activity, students will work in pairs to design an innovative gnomon for a functional sundial. Students will record data regarding their observations about the length and position of shadows cast by the sun over a series of 4 hours. Based on this data, students will make inferences regarding patterns to predict the length of the shadow and its position over the next 2 hours.

Pentomino Puzzler (Geometry)
Time: One-two 45 minute sessions
Skill: Intermediate
Grades: 3rd to 5th

In this activity, students will work in pairs to create a set of 3Doodled pentominoes and then assemble them to solve the 6x10 rectangle. Pentominoes are tetris-like shapes that your students will enjoy designing and working with, as they're problem solving. The focus of this lesson is on the "Standards for Mathematical Practice," which compose the critical components of thinking and reasoning.

Lessons for Grades 6-8

ELA: 3Doodler Stop-Motion
Time: One 45-minute session
Skill: Intermediate
Grades: 6th to 8th

In this activity, students will work in pairs or small groups to identify the theme of a fictional text, summarize a scene that best reflects the theme, and create a 3Doodler stop-motion animation to enact the scene. Creative thinking skills will be integrated into this hands-on project that will help you assess your students' level of comprehension.

MATH: Doodler Dice Rollers
Time: Two 30-40- minute sessions
Skill: Intermediate
Grades: 6th to 8th

In this activity, students work in pairs to doodle dodecahedrons (12-sided) and icosahedrons (20-sided) to use in a math game that practices order of operations. Students will then create their own Doodle Dice Roller games to practice math skills.

Lessons for Grades 9-12

The Basic Unit of Life: Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells (STEM)
Time: Two 60-minute sessions
Skill: Advanced
Grades: 9th to 12th

In this activity, students will work in pairs to doodle two cell models, one of a prokaryotic cell, and one of a eukaryotic cell. The students will build all parts in each model such as the nucleus, plasma, cytoplasm, mitochondrion, etc. The student pairs will analyze and record the differences and similarities between the cells.

Doodle-Atoms
Time: Two 45-minute sessions
Skill: Intermediate
Grades: 9th to 12th

In this activity, students will work individually to create a Rutherford model of an atom. Students will also work with a partner who will be responsible for double-checking their work for accuracy as the project is worked on. Their work will be shared with the rest of the class and displayed for other classes to see.

Want more free K-12 lessons? Browse our 3D Pen lesson library.

Do you have back to school tips to share with our community of teachers? Please post them on social media, and be sure to tag us!

@3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU

Featured image courtesy of Meredith Beed.

Lessons require a 3Doodler Start pen (ages 6-13) or Create+ pen (ages 14+) and 3Doodler Start 3D pen plastics or Create+ 3D pen plastics. We have 3Doodler classroom sets and Learn From Home Sets for differing learning environments. Our 3D pens and 3D pen plastic refills can be purchased on our website or on Amazon. 

Note: 3D pen plastics are not cross-compatible between the Start and the Create+.

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