Category Archives: Blog Hop

Surviving the Chaos Blog Hop

Keeping students engaged (especially middle school students) can be a challenge to say the least. Here’s a no prep idea that you can try in that last month, or on those last few days of school to tame the chaos!

Have your students write a letter to themselves in the future – for their “high school graduation”. What would they say to themselves? What advice would they give themselves? What do they imagine themselves doing? What are the next steps that they are about to take in their lives? What challenges could they remind themselves of (things they’ve already persevered through) or fun times that they’ve had, but may not have thought about in years? What inspirational words would they share?

As an extension, students could also create a collage or piece of artwork of what they hope for themselves in the future.

If you’re in a situation where it would be possible to actually give these letters back to students on their grade 12 graduation night, how cool would that be? 

letter to grad

 

Thanks for stopping by! Have fun with the rest of the hop!

 

jamberry nails giveaway

 

 

 

A Middle School Blog Hop Just For You!

This post has TWO very important purposes.

 #1 Thank you to everyone who entered (and contributed to) my Back to School Giveaway. The winners have been contacted (and they’re very excited). Check your email/junk mail – I still have one winner who hasn’t gotten back to me yet – maybe it’s you!

#2 Kristy from 2 Peas And A Dog has generously volunteered to organize a Back to School Blog Hop for Middle Years – complete with freebies and a giveaway! I know, another giveaway SPECIFICALLY for Middle Years. How often does THAT happen? You’re welcome!

Alright. Kristy asked us to share a great tip for Back to School survival in our blog hop posts. My best tip would be to take those first few days to really get to know your kids. I know that you’re behind, almost before you start with the curriculum that you’re expected to cover. However, it’s in those first few days that the middle school students before you will decide what sort of a teacher you are, which will in turn impact the kind of year that you’ll have. That whole “Don’t smile until Christmas” advice from eons ago is simply garbage. Smile. Enjoy yourself. Get to know the dynamic, intelligent and funny people in front of you. Tell them about yourself and your family. I don’t mean take five minutes to introduce yourselves – but really talk to them. Don’t pass out the text books first, please. It can wait. What is more important, a promptly distributed text book or learning a bit about the students you’ll be teaching this year? I do realize that we have to pass out the books as well, I’m just saying don’t start with that. 

So, other than starting the first day with a big coffee and always having a stash of Advil in your desk (let’s face it – you’re going to need it) to survive and thrive this year, I’d say make sure to take QUALITY time to get to know your middle school students. They can be a fickle bunch and being treated with respect is huge for them. Rather than simply talking about respect – might as well start showing it to them right off the bat by having a conversation – asking them questions and really listening to their answers.

One way that I like to get to know my kids quickly, is through student surveys. Enjoy the rest of the hop! Oh, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!

 

Want More Back to School Goodies?

Enter our AMAZING back to school giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Oh yes – there’s just one more thing. TeachersPayTeachers has announced that their Back to School sale will be this Sunday and Monday – August 18th-19th. My entire store will be on sale! Now’s the time to stock up for those first few months!
 
 
Back to School Giveaway 
 
 
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Freebies, Great Books, New Blogs – Oh My!

I am very proud to be a part of Reading With Mrs. D’s “Booking Across Canada” event! Bloggers from almost all provinces and territories have chosen a book that represents some aspect of where they live and have provided a freebie along with their blog post.

Thanks so much to Mrs. D. for putting this whole blog hop together. It was a fantastic idea and I hope that everyone gathers up LOTS of great titles and freebies to keep in their back pocket for the next school year!

When I was trying to decide what book to choose for this event, there was one very obvious choice, making my decision quite easy. If you’ve ever heard of Prince Edward Island, chances are you may also have heard of a feisty red-headed girl named Anne.
Anne of Green Gables was written by Island author, Lucy Maud Montgomery in 1908. The story is that of Anne Shirley, a spirited and talkative young girl, with an amazing imagination and way with words.

Just in case you’re interested here are two links for you. The first is a link to Amazon to purchase the set of Anne books: The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, … Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside) This second link will give you 3 of the Anne books, including Anne of Green Gables, as a free download for your Kobo.

anne of green gables freebie

(Picture from www.cbc.ca/books)

 

Anne, a young orphan,  has never felt truly loved by anyone – not even herself. That is, until she goes to live with the Cuthberts, a brother and sister who needed help on their farm at Green Gables on beautiful Prince Edward Island. They had intended to adopt a boy from the orphanage, but were sent Anne instead. Matthew, the brother of the pair, is very kind hearted and convinces his sister Marilla, that they should keep Anne.

Various antics keep the reader engaged, as Anne finds herself constantly getting into lots of sticky situations – none of them actually her fault, of course. Through the story, Anne learns about friendship, love, hard work and accepting herself for who she is. Anne has lots of struggles and successes along her path, as she grows and matures. Of course the Cuthberts come to love the fiery redhead, and call her their own.   I won’t give away any more of the details, or how the novel ends, but I will tell you that you will enjoy the twists and turns of the plot and may need a tissue by the end of this classic Island story.

There are many teaching points and themes that Anne of Green Gables could address in the classroom – voice, sentence fluency, word choice, setting description, new vocabulary, figurative language etc. I have decided to focus on voice.

The way that Anne speaks is filled with passion, theatrics and spirit. This 11year old is not afraid to speak her mind. She uses her imagination to make herself feel better and to bring excitement to her life. Almost any passage in which Anne speaks, could be selected and used as a mentor text, to highlight her imaginative and energetic voice.

The freebie that I have attached would be great to use with this Island classic. Of course, I’m practical and know that not everyone will want or be able to use this exact novel. Therefore, although this freebie was inspired by Anne and her imagination, it can be used with other books from your classroom library.

Anne of Green Gables Freebie

Of course, like many great classics, Anne of Green Gables has also been made into a movie. Truth be told, it’s one of my favorites! Here’s a short trailer of the film.

Make sure to visit as many of the blogs in this event as you can! There are lots of amazing resources out there to be found!

booking across canada

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And the winner is…(Plus Info on Student Blogging)

Thank you to all who hopped on over and followed our blogs and TPT Stores last weekend! Your participation in this little event was awesome! We do have a winner to announce

Drumroll please……

Teachingisagift McKay – your resources and Amazon gift code are on the way! Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter!

cartoon winner

I want to mention one more thing this evening. My post just went live on Global Teacher Connect yesterday and it’s about student blogging. I’d really encourage you to have a peek if you are currently blogging with your students OR if it’s something that you’d be interested in trying next year. I have a Collaborative Project: Student Blogging Form that you can fill out with your info so that you are able to contact each other and pair yourselves up! So far, there are teachers from Morocco, US, Canada, Ecuador and Bermuda who would like to blog this year or next! How cool is that?

If you would like to be contacted next year for blogging – just add that as a note on the form. We already have two teachers who have posted their info, who would be interested in something for next school year.

I’ve just started blogging with my students in the last month or so and we’re about to collaborate with another school on the Island and one in Ontario, Canada. The kids are trying to “fix up” their blogs a bit more for their audience – which is what we want! We want them writing for a purpose, and with an audience in mind! Anyhow, I can see this evolving into something more for next year. Maybe even a “Blog-folio” type of idea. Regular blogging would be great, but also, having their best pieces of writing displayed for an audience would be so cool. It would also be neat to see their writing abilities progress through the year. Anyhow, I am quite excited about what we’ve done with the blogs so far, although we all still have much to learn!

Check out the post on GTC and even if you’d be interested in having your students READ the student blogs and comment on them – fill out the form! The wider the audience the better! Plus, I’d love for my students to get comments from kids all around the world. That would be a big part of my ultimate goal. (I’ll be working on this next year…so stay tuned if you’re at all interested…)

That’s it for this evening! Please leave a comment here or on the Global Teacher Connect post if you have any tips or questions for me about student blogging.

bullying video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School’s (Almost) Out Blog Hop and Giveaway

Bloghopdone.jpg

 

I know what you’re thinking! What do you mean school’s almost out? We have 2 months to go! Well, I wanted to have one more giveaway before it got too close to the end of the school year to use the awesome ideas and  resources you’ll find in this event!

So, I’ve teamed up a new blogger-friend, Joey, from Create, Teach and Share. We’ve come up with this fantastic blog hop and giveaway! The participating bloggers are below. Be sure to hop to each of their blogs this weekend, check out their posts and give them a follow. The theme of the blog hop is “year-end” and so I know that you’ll find some great ideas for the end of the school year and because of the timing – you’ll be able to use them this school year. Per-ty smart, huh?

So, for my post in this School’s (Almost) Out Blog Hop, I’ve got three “End of Year” inspired ideas!

1) I am a reflective person by nature and so I made a little Student Reflection freebie for students to think back on the year that was. You can have them fill it out, decorate it and then laminate the reflections and give them back with report cards, or use them as a display for “closing ceremonies”. I know that I would love to have a little memento from my school year and so I hope that they will as well.

 student reflection for end of year

 

2) In my school, the students “graduate” in grade seven as we are currently a grade K-7 school. I always do a slide show presentation for their “graduation” and so at this point in the year I’m on the lookout for songs that would be useable for the slide show. Just in case you’re in the same boat – here are a few songs for you to consider! (I’ve included the versions with lyrics:)


 

3) Do you get your students gifts at the end of the school year? I never did, until last year (too cheap). I got this idea from Confessions of a Teaching Junkie last spring. It’s a Wordle! What’s a wordle, you ask? Well, it’s word art. This is how I did it.

In June, I gave the students a class list and told them that I was planning something for them, but that I couldn’t give them any details. I asked the students to put a kind word/compliment beside each classmate’s name (and gave lots of appropriate examples to begin with). Athletic, kind, creative, musical, funny – you name it. I collected and compiled the compliments. Then, I used the Wordle website to make a personalized piece of word art for each student containing their name and all of the kind words that their classmates said about them. I also framed the wordles with dollar store frames, to make them more substantial. The finished product was really beautiful! The kids appreciated them on graduation night – and I think I’ll have to do them again this year because they were so well received!

Okay, that’s just about it from me. Be sure to hop over to my co-host’s blog Create, Teach and Share – you’ll love her! She’s awesome, as are the dozen teacher-bloggers below who have joined in the fun this weekend. Grab a cup of coffee, kick back and enjoy. Oh and of course, don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post!

 

Little Lovely Leaders Addie Education – Teacher Talk
The Teacher Wife 2PeasAndADog Blog
MissMathDork Composition Classroom The Teaching Bank
An Educator's Life Numbers Rule My World The SuperHERO Teacher's Adventures and Advice!

 

Lots of awesome prizes to be won by ONE Grand Prize Winner!

Thanks again to the teachers above for their donations! Both Joey and I are giving you a choice of any three items in our TPT Stores and there’s a $35.00 Amazon gift card thrown in there as well:)

Krystal’s TPT Store

Joey’s TPT Store

I’ve been super excited for this event, so I hope you enjoy it!

 

PLEASE NOTE: Just in case you’re new to Rafflecopter, clicking the “Follow Me” link on the widget doesn’t automatically follow the stores and blogs of the contributing teachers. It takes you to the store or blog and it’s up to you to follow once you’re there. If it’s a TPT Store, click on the red “Follow Me” above their name. If it’s a blog, look for how to follow them on the side bar – usually there are a few options. When you “Like” a Facebook link, it is automatic and then you can enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Why can’t we make the papers for something positive?

A little stressed here this evening….

We just got news that the three classes of students in the basement of our building must be relocated to other areas of our school immediately. This means that we will lose our Tech lab, part of our library and our staff room and that those teachers will be in make-shift classrooms for the remainder of the school year, and potentially into next year. Awesome.

I don’t really care about losing those areas – as much as it sucks. The health of our kids and our staff is what matters. We have been battling with a few air quality concerns in our school for a while now, and things just aren’t getting any better.

Rather than holding our PLC meetings tomorrow, as planned, our staff will be helping to pack up boxes for those teachers who must vacate their rooms. We got this news today and the kids will be in their new “classrooms” on Monday. With only two months left in the school year, it’s just not the extra stress that anyone wants right now.

I know that there are more important things to worry about in the world, and that in the grand scheme of things, this is not even a blip on the screen. I know that. Rest assured I know how lucky I am -a new/renovated school is planned for us for 2014. However, the pressure and tension in our school today was evident and I hate that feeling!

I’m about to sound worse than one of the kids with my exaggeration, but why are we never in the papers for something positive?

High Radon Levels Found in Souris

 

Enough of  the “poor me” attitude … Thanks for allowing me to vent. I don’t do it often – but it was just one of those days!

The actual reason that I sat down to write this evening was to let you know about a giveaway and blog hop that I’ll be co-hosting this weekend with my blogger-friend Joey, from Create, Teach and Share. It’s a “School’s (Almost) Out” blog hop and giveaway and is aimed at you awesome middle school teachers, of course! Be sure to check back this weekend to partake in some fantastic blog posts, freebies, and of course to enter the giveaway.

Bloghopdone.jpg

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