Filed under: General | Comments Off on Shapebooks/Borders Tool: Create a Custom Invitation!
Our abctools section is very popular among our members. Some of the tools have a very specific purpose: make a word wall, create a shapebook, customize a handwriting worksheet, etc. But they can have other uses as well. Throughout the coming year I will […]
Filed under: General | Comments Off on Reading Log Activity
Fun Reading Log on a Metal Ring * When I taught 3rd grade I was always trying to come up with a fun way for my students to keep track of what they read. I also encouraged them to read a variety of genres. I came up with this idea of making genre strips […]
Filed under: General | Comments Off on Halloween Fun!
* This week’s fun activity is great for Halloween parties, craft day or for a learning center. * Follow the easy instructions and create a Halloween or Autumn lantern. Step by Step Instructions: 1. Leaving a one-inch margin on all sides, cut […]
Filed under: General | Comments Off on Feedback
Bill Gates gave a Ted Talk in May 2013 about feedback, and the lack thereof, directed at teachers. Gates cited a study that claims 98% of teachers only get one word of feedback, and that feedback is most often “satisfactory.” While it’s (barely) better than nothing, a single thumbs-up is about as useful for honing […]
Filed under: General | Comment (1)
I didn’t realize I had become Letterman. As in David Letterman, the soon-to-retire host of the Late Show. I did, however, realize that I was tired all the time, and my well of ideas felt close to running dry. There was an uncomfortable air of desperation in my teaching. That’s when my vice principal revealed […]
Filed under: General | Comments Off on What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
“What could possibly go wrong?” The phrase is rarely deployed without irony, and for good reason; we are all familiar with Murphy and his law. When we ask the question literally, we plan and innovate. “What could possibly go wrong?” has given us seat belts and parachutes. It has given us lifeguards and extra sets […]
Filed under: General | Comments Off on Summer Fun with… Heraldry?
Medieval heraldry sounds about as fun as a day of browsing antique shops to the few children who know what the term means. It almost sounds dusty. But you don’t need to look to (the decidedly kid-inappropriate) Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, or Dune series to see that people love “houses,” heraldry, […]
Filed under: General | Comments Off on Assigning Beauty
“We’ve been talking, and we’re tired of doing kid stuff,” said Andy, one of my favorite trouble-making fifth-graders. We were only a few days into school, and Andy had become the unofficial mouthpiece for student-teacher negotiations in my classroom. I found this half-amusing and half-terrifying. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for Organized Labor […]
Filed under: General | Comments Off on Mystery in the Classroom
Humans love mystery. It can be frustrating one moment (where are my keys?!), and great fun the next (just one more chapter…). We subject ourselves to mystery willfully for the pleasure it brings us, whether it be in the form of fiction, riddles, or magic. As you’ve doubtlessly noticed, the minds of children are especially […]
Filed under: General, Teaching Ideas, Technology | Comments Off on Stepping Up Your Game
It’s easy to see video games as an enemy. They compete viciously for free time, often coexisting on the same computer we powered on with the best of intentions. Everyone from CEOs to teachers to students to my dear own mother seems to have their time waylaid by video games now and again. Clearly, something […]