Saturday, December 22, 2012
Students write compliments to their classmates, and their words of kindness are turned into an ornament.
My 8th grade students loved the lesson and ornaments, and I was able to work out all the kinks before sharing with you!
I am also excited to announce that I have joined the world of TeacherspayTeachers. I originally had the opinion that teachers should just be generous and share their work with others for free, out of the goodness of their hearts. Surprisingly, A LOT of lessons are free (including this ornament one), but the ones that do cost are definitely worth it. After seeing the quality, I now understand the time and effort that went into the activities, lessons, posters, etc. and definitely think the teachers who created them deserve to be compensated.
I doubt I will be charging for anything anytime soon, but am kind of excited to have a new outlet to possibly earn some extra moula.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
I found tons of elementary-oriented website for helping with reading, spelling, and phonics, but secondary games are hard to come by...so I searched harder.
I have spent some of my free time (hah!) during the past few weeks looking for games that are fun to play, but also address objectives my students need to know and may also struggle with. I added my "finds" to my classroom website for students to access and thought some of you may want to use them as well without having to do the legwork. ;)
So, here they are... If you know of more please share with us in the comments!
For each answer you get right, they donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, and grades.
Identify definitions by using clues found in words' roots while playing in the Olympics.
Wrestle your opponent by answering comic strip questions.
Watch videos and play games from Garfield.
Interactive mysteries teach problem solving
Help Remainder the Dog gather enough mushrooms to sell at the market by uncovering the roots of words.
Twin sisters Pearl and Flora lost their friends in the bubble machine. Help them get their friends out by choosing the correct plural form of the given word.
Help Regan the Vegan make fresh salad. Choose the correct word to complete each sentence.
Our friends, the Grammar Gorillas, need help identifying parts of speech. If you click on the right word in the sentence, our friends get a banana. And you know, a gorilla with a banana is a gorilla with appeal.
Can you check the misspelled word??
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Because of these disabilities, we are working extra hard to give Deacon the best future possible. As you can imagine, this doesn't come cheap. Between doctor visits, therapy, tests, gluten-free diet, medication, and taking off work for these things (in addition to having two other children), we are stretched pretty thin.
Needless to say, we are THRILLED to begin our fundraiser for Deacon!! The main reason for our enthusiasm is because an AMAZING company was willing to help us out:
I stumbled across their website a few years ago and loved their products. Their personalized shirts were perfect for an upcoming photo session we had scheduled, so we quickly ordered! They arrived promptly and turned out adorable:
So, with the holidays quickly approaching, may I suggest Luna B. Tee's for your shopping needs:
They have a ton of personalized products for children, pets, teachers, and family members.
Including festive holiday shirts,
To get YOUR discount and donate 20% to Deacon, be sure to enter this coupon code at checkout:
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I recently used the above article for a persuasive writing lesson in my class that the students loved. The article is about how kids risk their lives to video tape crazy stunts to post on youtube and poses a question about youtube's responsibility.
I started the lesson with a video clip from youtube that the kids found hilarious = the perfect hook:
The rest of the magazine is fabulous as well, so you will probably see more blogs in the future about other cool stuff I find in there.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Wasn't sure if it would be too babyish for my 8th graders, but have been reminded yet again how much junior high students appreciate this kind of stuff! They are totally into seeing how they are doing throughout class and adjust their actions accordingly, and many have gone home to modify their monster. I am planning to do some type of reward system each week for students with the highest number of points, but haven't quite decided the logistics.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
I passed my test with even higher scores than I have made on any of my other certifications!
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Fortunately, I stumbled upon Animoto, a FREE video creating site. And when I say it was simple, I am not kidding. I made two 30 second videos in about twenty minutes. They already have slideshow templates to choose from and a huge library with music. You just type in what you want it to say and it does the work!
I don't think I will win any advertising awards, but they turned out pretty darn good:
I love this site so much, I am going to have to find ways to add it to my lessons, either by the students creating something or during instruction!
Saturday, September 1, 2012
After searching the internet for hours yesterday to figure out how to download videos (youtube doesn't allow you to), I stumbled upon a website that will convert youtube clips to mp4's that you can save to your computer to show later. All you do is paste the url and hit convert! No account registration or cost!
Thursday, August 30, 2012
One of the vocabulary words my students learned today was camaraderie, and I was able to teach it showing clips from Forrest Gump and Coach Carter:
If the website is blocked at your campus, they also have a downloading feature, so you can save the clip at home to show in class. And as you can see there is also the capability to embed the video (great for powerpoints)!
Saturday, August 25, 2012
I started a teaching position in a new district and it has opened up tons of fabulous resources to learn about. And I have so, so, so much great stuff to share! If only I had the time to get them all on here, but I will do my best.
First up is actually an idea that was inspired by pinterest, a weekly bingo card to help with classroom management. I didn't find any online that said exactly what I needed it to, so I just made my own through excel. I thought I would save you the time and effort by sharing an editable version to meet your needs.
So here you go:
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Earlier this year a colleague and I attended a couple of ELA conferences. Both conferences spent a large amount of time talking about book trailers and how fabulous they are. We were sold by the time we left and thought we would try it as a lesson for our tutoring groups. Basically, book trailers are a lot like movie trailers: trying to get audiences interested in checking it out by giving enough of a hook without giving away the ending. It teaches almost every objective for our junior high students, but can also benefit elementary and high school students. By the time our project was complete we covered: plot structure, foreshadowing, inferencing, tone, mood, main idea, summarizing, planning, drafting, editing, point of view, and persuasive writing.
We introduced the project by first showing them some book trailers we found online:
Students used Photo Story to create their trailer and had no trouble navigating the fool-proof program that lets you upload and edit images, add music, voice, and text, and decide the transition between slides. Here are a couple of my favorites:
The kids had so much fun and really took pride in their work! The entire project took about 2 weeks (3 days a week for 55 minutes).
Below are the materials we gave students to get started. (Hopefully they download/print for you. I have never used this program before! If not, email me and I will send you the documents.)
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Word Hearts - This site creates a heart-shaped word cloud. Would be great to brainstorm a list of things kids love or adjectives that mean love.
Valentine Word Drop - players must unscramble the words before they hit the bottom of the screen.
My Money Valentine - Game is played like the online lemonade stand, but with an amorous twist
Starfall Connecting Words - elementary students can learn about connecting words while creating their own Valentines
Heart Writing - Don't let the foreign language throw you off when you enter the site. Simply type a paragraph into the box and choose "layout text" to create your own heart.
Counting Candy Hearts - reinforces number corelation in lower elementary
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Like always, I found a videos to start with. (Our district has an account with brainpop.com, so I showed that one first. If your district doesn't have an account, they need to get one, or you need to write a grant! They have bunches of videos, mostly aimed at the secondary level and are quick and a little funny.) The other video didn't have much of a lesson with it, but the kids were entertained:
The art teacher at my school was nice enough to lend some supplies to me execute my idea. I borrowed clay and we built boundaries. I love my kinesthetic learners!
They had so much fun with the clay!
...and each one had their own way to illustrate their understanding.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
I like to start lessons with a brainpop video or youtube video/song. Sometimes you get some good ones, other times they are a little cheesy, but still memorable, like this one:
I thought it might be fun to do something different than just drawing a picture of the sides. We pulled out some paint and 3-dimensional shapes and stamped the sides instead!
When the posters dried (we used a hair dryer borrowed from the nurse), we started measuring and calculating!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
I had the bright idea to unplug my Wii and take it to school! I think it was the most engaged my class of 35 students had been all year! Since then, I make a point to have "Wii day" a couple of times a year and the kids could not be more excited!
I have looked on Amazon and found a couple of other educational Wii games, but haven't bought any yet. Maybe future grant?
ThinkSMART appears to have games best for high school: Science Papa lets you explore chemistry, biology, physics, and paleontology through science experiments.
Reader Rabbit has a couple of games for early elementary grades (I think I saw Pre-K through 3rd grade).
My Word Coach looks like it would be great for GT and high school classes, but may be a fun warm-up for a typical middle school classes too.
Jump Start advertises being great for ages 5-9.As if you haven't seen this show! Upper elementary classes would love this:
We recently bought an XBox Kinect for our son and may have to start checking out games for that too! If you know any other games, please share!