Category Archives: Freebies
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
Teachingisagift McKay – your resources and Amazon gift code are on the way! Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter!
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.
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.
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!
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:)
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 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?
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.
So we’re about half way through our book club and things are going okay. My class is a group of very verbal kids (and then some not so verbal kids). They seem to be enjoying their novels and I know that they’re engaged in the read aloud text: Firegirl. I have been struggling with one thing, which is getting students to discuss their novels in a meaningful way, without my prompting.
Students are struggling to keep the conversation going for more than 5 or 10 minutes in their book clubs, after their assigned reading. They are finding it difficult to break away from taking turns, …I talk…then you talk…then you… rather than having a conversation.
When I realized that this was going to be a struggle (after the first book club meeting) I modelled a conversation for the class. Basically, after reading the section of our read aloud text, a few student volunteers and I had a conversation in front of the class about what had happened. I tried to model what the dicussion should look like, asking questions, building meaning etc. It was a start – but just not enough! If prompted, they can come up with all sorts of ideas, connections and predictions. However, without my prompting, I am listening to very basic comprehension types of statements without any real excitement!
It’s sad. All this time is being spent on the book club and the real meat of the club – talking about what they’re reading – is falling flat. Now I won’t be too hard on them (or me, I guess). There have been some glimmers during their conversations, I just find that given the students I have – I expected more! I struggle to shut them up ( you know what I mean) on a good day, having to ask them to put their hands down because we’ll just never get to finish the lesson (sometimes their connections are not always on topic and once that train falls off the rails…).
Well, we had a short after school PD session on Guided Reading for K-8 yesterday, and it got me thinking about how I’m doing things in this book club and what they are actually getting out of it.
I talked to our presenter after the session about the conversation dilemma and she actually directed me toward a great resource that our school has: Teaching and Comprehending Fluency: Thinking, Talking and Writing about Reading (with DVD). I read the chapter on book clubs and got a couple of great ideas from it. The DVD that comes with the book has lots of other resources on it as well! The one that I plan to us is the video modelling what a book club discussion is supposed to look like – with real students discussing a real text. I can’t wait to show it to my students and see what they have to say about it, especially in comparison to their own groups. I’m really hoping that it’s going to put some spark into their book club discussions.
I guess maybe I was a little naive, as this is my first book club. I just thought they’d dive in, like on Oprah and divulge their thoughts and wonderings, building elegantly on one another’s ideas. Ugghhh…What was I thinking?
Oh, one other idea that I got from the book was to have students use a “think mark” – basically just a folded piece of paper - to write ideas down as they come across things in their reading. They can mark page numbers down, predictions, opinions, wonderings, words they don’t understand etc. and then take those to book club to use as they discuss. I’m going to try this one tomorrow.
So, help me out! What other strategies can I try, to make the second half of this book club more engaging than the first? I’m completely open to your ideas!
I’ll tell you what I’ve got so far…
-Students are already expected to have a Reader Response ready and topic of discussion for the book club meeting (completed after they read). And, I’m going to try the think mark idea tomorrow.
-Students have “Guidelines for Book Club” to encourage listening and making sure that everyone has a chance to speak.
What I plan to try…
-Showing them the DVD of the book club discussion as a model and talk about what the students are doing well.
I’m ready and listening…share your wisdom…please!
I just found this great giveaway and so I thought I’d write a quick blog post to share!
Tips For Teachers is having a holiday giveaway. There are many resources to be won, donated by teachers (which is a whole lot of awesomeness) but what I’m really hoping for is the Nook that they’re offering! I can just imagine curling up with a new read over the holidays and also sharing this fabulous piece of technology with my grade sevens in the new year. I hope I win…but I’m just so thoughtful, that I had to share the giveaway with you guys too!
Good luck, and of course, let me know if you win…