If you are not a StarrMatica member, or if you have educator friends who would like to benefit from our content, you should know about our new website that includes a sampling of our K-6 reading and math content for free.  We created this site to allow all teachers and students to benefit from our content even if their school is not able to subscribe.  You can check out the new site here:  free.starrmatica.com

The K-2 content is ready now and the 3-6 content will be added in October.  Please share it with your educator friends and parents!

Before we look ahead to a new school year, we wanted to take a moment to look back at the new content that was added during last school year.  Here’s a list of the new content we shared in our monthly newsletters throughout the year last year.  Be sure to read to the end for a sneak peek at what we have planned this year!

K-2 Summarizing Book Features:  Students learn how to summarize, sequence, find main ideas, and identify features of fiction and nonfiction books.

Featured Resource:  Circus Trains
Sequence how-to instructions and fiction paragraphs by putting train cars into the correct order. (You must be a StarrMatica member to access this content.)

Science Topic:  Light and Sound

Learn how shadows are formed and learn what happens to the shape and size of shadows at different times of the day and in different seasons.

Science Topic:  Oceans

Featured Resource:  Ocean Zones
Learn about four different ocean zones.  Then try to place six fish in the correct zones based on their descriptions.

Science Topic:  Science Careers and the Scientific Process

Featured Resource:  Career Town
Explore career town to learn about different job possibilities.

K-2 Data and Graphs:  Students learn how to create and read tally charts, picture graphs, bar graphs, and line plots.

Featured Resource:  Bar Graph Pets
Help Mindy collect data about the pets in her shop and create a bar graph with two or three categories. (You must be a StarrMatica member to access this content.)

Science Topic:  Classification and Heredity

Featured Resource:  Dog Breeding
Breed a certain type of border collie puppy by selecting parents with the right traits.

Science Topic:  Soil

Featured Resource:  Soil Safari
Journey through the soil in this Earth Ship to learn about the creatures that help create soil. Find an organism that can eat a toxic chemical that is threatening to destroy the meadow!

K-2 2D and 3D Shapes:  Students learn about 2D shapes, 3D shapes, symmetry, patterns, and spatial thinking.

Featured Resource:  Wrapping Paper Symmetry
Liam is creating drawings on the wrapping paper for Olivia’s present. Help Liam finish each drawing so it is symmetrical. (You must be a StarrMatica member to access this content.)

Math Topic:  Line Plots

Featured Resource:  The Data Bank Research Company
Gather data by surveying customers. Then create a line plot of the data, create a bar graph to display the data, and answer questions about the data.

And this year, look for new content to help you teach K-2 Measurement, Chemistry, Microorganisms, Compass Skills, and Grammar topics!

Welcome to the beginning of another fantastic school year!  We have been working all summer to help you start the year off right.  Here are a few of the updates you can now take advantage of automatically:

We want to make sure StarrMatica is providing you with the best digital content on the web.  That’s why in addition to adding new content topics, we also revisit current topics and add all of the new gems we’ve found as we scour the Internet so you don’t have to!  This summer, hundreds of new pieces of content were added to our existing K-2 reading and math topics!

Check out Word Chain Short Vowels and Number Jungle

Student and Teacher Notes

The Comment section that pops up when you add a link to a collection or edit a link in a collection is now re-named Student Notes.  In this section, you can write a note that the student will see about how this link will help them or how this link relates to your work in class.

The new section is named Teacher Notes.  In this section, you can write a note that you or any other teacher accessing your collection will see.  You can use this section to make notes to yourself about how you plan to use this link or notes to another teacher about how this link fits with your curriculum.

3-6 Exit Button

A new Exit button was added to our 3-6 interface.  The button is found below the star navigation arrows at the bottom center of your screen.

This new button will allow you to exit back to your teacher or student member page without having to use the back button in your browser.  Now both the K-2 and 3-6 interfaces have an easy, intuitive way for you to exit and continue to explore other areas of StarrMatica.

This month, we added new Social Studies content: Ancient Civilizations.  Content includes resources to help you explore the ancient worlds of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Incas, Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, and many more!

To access these resources, login to your teacher account and choose the search button, or choose the links tab in your classroom management account. Under the topics search, choose Social Studies as your subject and Ancient Civilizations as your topic.

This month, we added to our growing collection of picture book guides.  50 new guides were added to StarrMatica this month for free online non-fiction texts.  With the Common Core’s heavy focus on non-fiction, these guides provide  treasure trove of resources to increase your students’ experience and confidence with non-fiction texts.

If you aren’t familiar, picture book guides help you to easily use our picture book resources by providing a ready to-go lesson plan developed by a fellow teacher. Content guides for picture books include digital connections, launching activities, example questions, enrichment ideas, answer keys, and standards correlations. You can check out one of our new non-fiction guides here: The First Airplane

All guides are included for free in StarrMatica’s Classroom Management system, or can be purchased individually by non-members in Emily Starr’s Teachers Pay Teachers store.  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Emily-Starr

This month, we added to our growing collection of picture book guides.  50 new guides were added to StarrMatica this month including classics such as: Make Way for Ducklings, The Polar Express, Officer Buckle, and If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. The list now reaches over 100!  But wait, there’s more!  40 of the guides include free online versions!

If you aren’t familiar, picture book guides help you to easily use our picture book resources by providing a ready to-go lesson plan developed by a fellow teacher. Content guides for picture books include digital connections, launching activities, example questions, enrichment ideas, answer keys, and standards correlations. You can check one of our new guides here:  http://www.starrmatica.com/siteresources/docs/resources/StarrMaticaContentGuide_ThePolarExpress.pdf

All guides are included for free in StarrMatica’s Classroom Management system, or can be purchased individually by non-members in Emily Starr’s Teachers Pay Teachers store.  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Emily-Starr

A new K-2 StarrMatica Lesson was just launched!

Our farm themed place value lesson was designed to help students discover the meaning of place value on their own and to explore the concept in many different ways.

In the Learn section:

• Students are challenged to experiment with grouping animals to determine what groupings make them easier to count.
• Students are introduced to counting by tens and ones.
• Students explore the meaning of tens and ones with base ten blocks and discover the importance of zero as a place holder.

In the Play section:

• Students are challenged to visualize groups of tens and ones.
• Students are asked to represent numbers with ten frames and base ten blocks.
• Students practice increasing and decreasing a number by tens and by ones.

Check out two of our favorites:

Game:  Aerial Gardening

Count crops from the sky.  How quickly can you count by visualizing rows of tens and ones?

Apple Pickin’

Add or take away boxes of ten apples and single apples to fulfill each farmer’s market order.

StarrMatica’s detective themed K-2 Story Clues lesson just launched!

Students learn how to use context clues to identify an unknown word, how to make a reasonable prediction, and how to draw a conclusion by combining their own knowledge with a clue in the story.

A few lesson highlights include:

Light Bulb Conclusions – Students choose the conclusion they can draw from the given statement.

Game:  Riddle Me This –  Students draw conclusions from the clues they are given to solve the mysterious riddles.

Enrichment:  What Did You Say? — Students are challenged to figure out the meaning of common idioms by hearing them used in a sentence.

To access these resources, login and choose K-2 Lessons.  Then choose Story Clues  from the Reading Menu.

This month a new Science topic was added to our resource library:  Plants.  This topic includes digital content for learning about plant needs, plant parts, seeds, flowers, trees, and photosynthesis.

Check out one of the great new resources! Do you have what it takes to help grow a plant to its greatest height? http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/plants_grow.swf

3…..2……1……Lift Off!  StarrMatica’s space themed K-2 Alphabet lesson just launched!

Students learn about the alphabet alongside Alex the Alien.  Concepts include: identifying letters and their sounds, differentiating between upper and lower case letters, writing upper and lower case letters, and putting letters and words in alphabetical order.

A few lesson highlights include:

Zap! – Students move their spaceship into position and zap the correct letter ship.

Alphabetical Order Abduction –  Students rush to put cows in alphabetical order before they are beamed into the aliens’ ships.  Students can choose from three abduction speeds to vary the challenge.

All activities include multiple levels of difficulty and many activities allow you to choose the letters you would like included in the activity.  You can even choose the letters you would like a student to practice before putting an activity in a student’s digital backpack!

To access these resources, login and choose K-2 Lessons.  Then choose The Alphabet  from the Reading Menu.