Top Teaching > 139 posts categorized "Activities"

Start the Year With Super-Easy, Tech-Savvy, Six-Word Memoirs

Second graders shoot their digital six-word memoirs!How do you get the Twitter generation to write a memoir? Start with Hemingway and six words. Novelist Ernest Hemingway didn't tweet or text, of course, but he's inspiring students to write and share their life stories online. Reportedly challenged to write a story in just six words, Hemingway wrote: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." True or not, this legend lives on thanks to SMITH Magazine, home of the Six-Word Memoir project and a series of books, starting with Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith's Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure

You can use this pithy form of the memoir to get students to speak with confidence and build community, and to quickly set expectations for digital projects throughout the year. Read on for a short video excerpt and to scroll through a few of my students' favorite six-word memoirs dealing with issues ranging from divorce and death to self-image.

Above: Isaac, a 2nd grade director, and Emma, a 2nd grade cinematographer, shoot their six-word memoirs.

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Reading Fluency: Speed, Accuracy, Expression, Oh My!

Aroundtheworld Today I'm going to discuss three important aspects of reading fluency: speed, accuracy, and expression. In the article "Common Questions About Fluency," Maryanne Wolf states, “Fluency is the developmental process that connects decoding with everything we know about words to make the meaning of the text come to life. Fluency is a wonderful bridge to comprehension and to a lifelong love of reading.” 

Read on for fun, effective fluency activities that you'll find easy to integrate into your lesson plans.

 

 

 

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Comments: 2

No Money, No Time? No Problem! Five Fabulous Ways to Integrate Technology!


This kind of technology is a laughing matter!This fall, I will be teaching 280 tech-hungry students in a building without interactive whiteboards, limited electrical power, limited Internet access and just 10 Apple computers. Nonetheless, my students will learn to safely navigate the wild, wild Web; produce digital products (e.g. blogs, movies, podcasts) and take control of 21st-century communication tools such as Skype and Twitter. Read on for five fabulous quick fixes for teaching 21st-century skills in a low-tech classroom.  

My colleague laughs at the equipment in our new "technology" room! 

 

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Comments: 8

The Power of Playing with Words

WhatsInTheBag Welcome to my blog! I am so glad you stopped by! I am privileged to share with you some ideas and strategies about literacy which I have used in my own class, focusing on those that are easy to prep, readily available, and customizable. The topics come directly from the 1st and 2nd grade language arts standards and include Fluency & Word Recognition, Vocabulary/Concept Development, and Reading Comprehension. In addition, I also want to know what your needs are. Please post your comments and questions - if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who does and blog about it.

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Comments: 4

Gain a New Perspective on Teaching and Learning — Study Abroad This Summer!

PlaneLast week we looked at how we can help students make great summer reading plans. This week it’s all about YOUR plans for the summer. Are you signed up to teach summer school? Or will you take some time off to relax and recharge? Perhaps you’re going to do something really meaningful and volunteer. Or maybe you’re looking to learn a new language and explore a foreign country? I've got a few ideas that include many of these possibilities. Get your bags packed and your passports stamped to study and volunteer abroad!

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Comments: 4

Technology Integration Quiz — Where Do You Fall?

IMG_0945[1]Technology is an exceptional tool. How can you use the technology available to improve your students’ learning? As you close down your classrooms this year and prepare to relax on a sandy beach somewhere, take some time to reflect on your technology use. Where do you typically integrate technology and how can you use technology to further improve student learning? Read on to take a fun interactive quiz to see where you fall in your technology integration and get tips to help you digitally prepare for next year.

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Comments: 7

Your Kids Can Do It: Quick, Free, and Easy Stop-Motion Videos

Stop_legoToday is not only my last day of teaching, but also my last day posting on Top Teaching for this school year. For my last post, I would like to share a fun classroom activity. As our year wrapped up, my students took some time to become more familiar with stop-motion animation. Using a free program, we were able to create stop-motion videos from start to finish in fewer than thirty minutes — and jazzed-up versions in less than an hour. With videos featuring Mother's Day messages, Harry Potter in LEGOs, and a demonstration of a llama's digestive system, this post will help wrap up the year in a fun and engaging manner. 

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Comments: 4

How to Throw a Fabulous Year-End Celebration

P1020895Have you ever seen a 3rd grader accept an award for an Excel spreadsheet as though it were an Oscar? Have you seen a 5th grader pose on the red carpet for their first animated film? If not . . . the time is now. The next Bill Gates or George Lucas could be tinkering away in your tech class. Accomplishments in technology class should be widely acknowledged and celebrated by school staff, parents, and peers. When you celebrate potential, students are encouraged to mobilize technology, make their voices heard, and/or discover new worlds.

Read on to see how project-based learning takes center stage at a multimedia tech celebration and to discover for tips on throwing an over-the-top kid party that will rival the Oscars. 

The cast of "Stop Smoking!" poses for the paparazzi after receiving the 2010 Techie Award for Best Social Issue Cinema.

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Comments: 1

Saying Goodbye

BusWaveBye2TH[1] Over the years I’ve noticed that things tend to fall apart, socially speaking, at the end of the school year. Maybe you’ve noticed this phenomenon, too. This social disintegration is marked by short tempers, unkind words, and increased sensitivity and rejection. Rejection is one way students separate from and prepare to leave their classmates. We’re all exhausted and ready for a break, but it’s up to us to ensure that all students feel safe and accepted through the last day of school.

Here are several suggestions for helping students transition peacefully to summer vacation and to their next grade.

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Comments: 2

Interactive Whiteboard 101 — A Resource of Activities for Math Instruction

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Bring your math curriculum to life with your interactive whiteboard. In my last post, "Whiteboards 101: A Resource of Activities for Literacy Instruction," I shared numerous literacy Web sites and games to use on your interactive whiteboard. This week, click "read more" to see an extensive list of math games that will have your students out of their seats, up at the board, and exploring math concepts.

 

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Comments: 6

Host a Reality Fair

 
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Your school probably hosts a Career Day each year, but what about a Reality Fair? If you haven't heard of this before, it's a wonderful addition for grades 5 and above. I have never seen any other event hit home like this does with regard to selecting a profession and trying to work with a budget. Read on to see how our fantastic school counselor organized and created our Reality Fair to give our students a taste of reality. This could be a wonderful addition to your scheduled school events next year.

Photo: Students meet with a university advisor about college costs and entrance requirements.

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Comments: 2

Redwall Day!

IMG_6858On the first day of school, eager 2nd graders ask, "Are we reading Redwall this year?" and beg, “When can we start Redwall?"

Throughout the year, my students continually bring up Redwall by Brian Jacques (pronounced Jakes). I explain they'll need to build listening stamina for long books before we can read Redwall. I want to give my students most of the year to mature. From past experience, I know Redwall will work best with 2nd graders who have become strong listeners and thinkers. I usually start this read-aloud in mid-March, hoping to complete the 300+ page book by the end of the school year. More than just a book, Redwall Day has become part of 2nd grade mythology.

Read on to find out about this book and  celebrating Redwall Day.

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Comments: 3

Finish Off the Year With Amazing Summer Reading Plans

CamilaplansWow! It’s hard to believe that it’s just about time to wrap up the year with summer reading plans. You've taught your students a ton of reading strategies this year and showed them what it means to be a good reader. You'll want to ensure that they keep up their reading stamina by making summer reading plans. With your help, they'll be excited to grab a new book along with their snacks and sunscreen and hit the beach. Let the summer reading plans begin!

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Comments: 4

Technology and the Great Outdoors

Bronx New Schoolers explore the great outdoors with digital field guides! This summer, rather than venture outside, many students will succumb to television-induced comas or play an endless series of video games. Research shows that today's students spend almost eight hours a day looking at some sort of digital media indoors. Author and naturalist Richard Louv says that kids today spend half as much time outdoors as they did twenty years ago! Louv calls the phenomenon "nature deficit disorder."

But contrary to what many critics are hollering, technology doesn’t have to be Mother Nature's enemy. In fact, technology may be her best PR person! Educators have used technology to make social studies exciting, to bring vocabulary to life, and to virtually eliminate school absenteeism. Now read about four fabulous ways technology can get your students outside and get them moving.

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Comments: 12

Red Carpet Movie Premiere — The Kindergarten Tree

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You have read my series of posts, Behind the Scenes, and now our movie is ready to be published. Because we had submitted the movie to the San Diego County Office of Education’s Innovative Videos in Education (iVIE) Awards, we had to wait until the judging was complete before posting it. We are so excited to announce that our movie was nominated for an award! Just last Thursday we held a red carpet movie premiere night comparable to a Hollywood premiere. Click "read more" to view our class movie and learn more about our magical movie premiere.

 

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Comments: 14

The Power of a Student-Made Magazine

Magazine_mixThis week we begin the publication cycle for our class memoirs. It's always a delight to see the finished products, and students love to receive a copy of their writing, published along with that of their peers. I enjoy using resources such as Studentreasures for publication, but there are other great resources that can take the look of your students' writing to a whole new level. In this post I'll share some of these resources — and the power of creating high-quality classroom magazines — with you. 

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Comments: 14

Planning for Next Year — Hogwarts' Houses

Hogwarts%202[1] Right now we’re immersed in state tests that will run through the end of May, leaving just enough time for field days, class plays, and an all-school meeting before students board their buses for the last time. Many of us are thinking ahead to next year as we discuss class lists, consider groupings, and receive room assignments. Some of us will move to a new grade or school.

So now seems like an ideal time to share an idea about setting up small groups for next year. Keep reading to find out more. . . .

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Comments: 2

Encourage Persuasive Writing With Movie Reviews and More!

JesusandJessicaLet a trip to the movies inspire your students to write fantastic reviews that will persuade others to either see the movie — or skip it! African Cats is a great film that celebrates family and fits in perfectly as Mother's Day approaches. Is it too scary for kids to watch? Or does it perfectly balance the beauty of nature and the harsh reality of survival in the African savanna? Plan a trip to see it, and teach your students how to write up a review of it. Can't make it to the movies? No worries! I'll share some other ways to get your writers to express their opinions through persuasive reviews. Grab a tub of popcorn, and let's get started!


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Comments: 2

Putting the "WOW" in your Open House: 10 Technology Tips

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The end of the year is rapidly approaching. As teachers face state tests, finish up learning units, and try to push their students to that next level, Open House is lurking right around the corner. Click to read ten technology tips that will show off your students’ learning and wow parents at your Open House.

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Comments: 5

How to Make a Music Video in Five Simple Steps

Dominique and her mentor, cinematographer and parent A. Carlton, shoot a music video. Do the names Willow Smith, Selena Gomez, or Justin Bieber pop up in class discussions? Are the folders or book bags in your school plastered with images of singing/dancing Disney and Nickelodeon stars? If so, you are not alone. Today's students have been raised on a streaming media diet of MTV, BET, and other channels that promote prepubescent superstars. American Idol and overnight YouTube sensations like Justin Bieber plant dreams of stardom in young minds. Thus, it is inevitable that students will ask, “Can we make a music video?”

Use that curiosity and taste for fame to unlock hidden talent, skyrocket self-esteem, and discover the work involved in producing a music video. Read on to view videos produced by a group of talented Bronx youngsters and to note helpful tricks for moving students from passive media consumers to critical, powerful music video producers.

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Comments: 3

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

MEXC0001[1] Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, is a Mexican-American holiday celebrated in the southwestern states and in U.S. cities with large Mexican-American populations. It's a much bigger holiday in the United States than in Mexico. Cinco de Mayo commemorates a surprise victory of the Mexican Army led by Benito Juárez over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Sometimes we confuse this special day with Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated throughout Mexico on September 16.

Read on for easy ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at your school.

 

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Comments: 4

Explore Poetry That Turns the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary — Write an Ode!

LenaandgenessiswriteodesDuring the last week of Poetry Month, have some fun creating odes with your students. Take the time to assess, use a mentor text you love, and invite your students to notice strategies poets use. Then it's on to the writing and to providing feedback. Your students will enjoy the revising, editing, and publishing phases and finish up with a powerful poetry reading. Let's get busy turning the ordinary into something extraordinary by writing fantastic odes!

 

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Using Video Clips to Build Bridges and Activate Schema

Clifford 
Students' prior knowledge can help or hinder learning.

Carnegie Mellon’s Learning Principles

When you want to learn how to do something new, where do you go? Chances are you head right for the Internet. More specifically, to videos. There is something about watching a video that explains things better than just reading. The visuals combined with the information, either told or written, helps many people to grasp the concept they need to learn.

Well . . .

Your students are the same! Read on to see how one- to three-minute video clips can assist your students in building the background knowledge necessary for them to learn the content you're teaching.

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Comments: 25

My April Top Ten List: Going Green at School

  
FourthWhile it's certainly worthwhile to use Earth Day to help students understand the importance of “going green,” it’s also crucial to encourage students to be environmentally conscious throughout the year. In this post, I will share a variety of projects and activities that my own school has implemented to become an official “green school” in Michigan. I hope you can use these ideas to help your school go green, but I am also looking forward to reading your comments and seeing how schools around the world are helping to save our planet.   

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A Visit to Bronx Arts

P4130042 This week I visited Bronx Charter School for the Arts in Hunts Point, a Bronx, NY, neighborhood. I was there to attend their Arts Education Conference, which coincided with the school's Arts Week. During our visit, the other conference attendees and I got to see the arts in action.

In this post, read about a few of the discoveries I made at the Arts Education Conference that might interest you, whether you're an arts educator or a classroom teacher. I’ve also included links so you can find out more. 

Photo: Art gallery with aboriginal-style paintings.

 

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Comments: 6

Celebrate Earth Day by Teaching Kids to Make a Difference

DontlitterposterAs we approach Earth Day, this Friday, April 22nd, join me in educating students on the impact we have on our environment with a Promethean flip chart and some powerful photographs of animals in trouble. And get your markers and crayons ready so your students can create posters that will educate others about why we all need to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Hooray for Earth Day! 

(I must warn you. Some of the images in this post are heartbreaking and difficult to look at.)

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Comments: 4

Cure Review Boredom With Games Created by IWB-Ready Tools

 
IMG_0705Are your students not enjoying all the review and test prep going on right now? Is it like pulling teeth to make reviewing concepts interesting? Well, this post is for you! Come take a look at some fun and easy online games created using templates. They'll catch your students’ attention and make reviewing an exciting learning opportunity. Whether you are preparing for state testing or just end of the year assessments, these games are just what the doctor ordered for that review boredom.

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Comments: 5

Poetry in 140 Characters!

Try Twitter Poetry!Using Twitter in the classroom? Combine Haiku with Twitter and you've got engaging and easy poetry for your digital natives. Haiku is approximately seventeen syllables of traditional Japanese poetry; Twitter has a 140-character format. Combine the two to make "Twaiku." "Twaiku" is fun for kids and adults. And yes, there's an application for it. Check out Tweeku on iTunes!  

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Comments: 11

Overcoming Spring Slump

Gardenpartnership[1] Every April, with the end of the school year looming like a black storm cloud, I experience a feeling of letdown and quiet panic. I suddenly realize all the wonderful plans and ideas I had last September aren’t going to happen because I’m running out of time. The challenging student I wanted to reach, the science unit I promised myself I’d improve, and those math games I was going to make: all will have to wait until next year. There just isn’t time.

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling overwhelmed with the end of the year in sight. Over the years I’ve worked out ways of coping with Spring Slump. If, like me, you tend to experience end-of-year blues, I hope these coping mechanisms will help. Read the strategies in this post, and write in with your own ideas and solutions.

Photo: Spending time outdoors helps.

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Comments: 14

Writing List Poems That Are Better Than OK

JustinbahbinokbookFor the second week of Poetry Month, I’ve got a plan for creating list poems that will allow your students to showcase their creativity as well as the qualities that make them unique. This week's activities involve writing, editing, revising, publishing, and some watercolor painting, so get ready for a busy classroom filled with lots of fun. With the help of one of my favorite authors, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, we’ll get our writers creating poems that are "better than OK”! 

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Comments: 4

April Book Picks!

SpringbooksApril is finally here! We’ve had a cold and snowy winter in NYC, so we are welcoming the spring weather with open arms — April showers and all.

This month’s booklist will help you explore all this month has to offer. We’ll kick off Poetry Month and plan Earth Day activities. Did you know that April is also National Humor Month? Many of my picks will keep your students laughing right along with you. Click on the links to find out more about the authors and illustrators featured this month, and be sure to grab some free resources from their sites. Happy spring! 

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Behind the Scenes, Part 5 — Editing and Publishing Your Movie

IMG_0739“Edit and revise.” Do these words make your students cringe during writing time? Giving your students the opportunity to edit a movie is an exciting and relevant way to teach students the importance of these writing steps. Read on to see how even kindergartners can edit their movie and translate this important understanding to their writing.

 

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Comments: 6

Digital Poetry — Make Words Zoom and Fly Across the Room!

Bronx New Schoolers recite "Sugar Cookies" by Dominique and Sharlene.All you need is a computer, projector, and an Internet connection to give students the power to make their words larger than life. Digital poetry can turn a typical school poetry slam into a multimedia event. Read on to captivate the most tech-savvy wordsmiths, grab links for your interactive whiteboard, and partake in some 21st century word play.

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ASCD Conference — Wish You Were Here!

IMG00673-20110325-1439 This weekend I'm in San Francisco for the annual conference of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). At this year's conference there are more than 9,700 educators from all over the U.S. and the world. I've met educators from Mexico, Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and states from Hawaii to New York. I've learned new teaching techniques and strategies, and all about new books and products, too! Next week I'll write more, but for now I thought you'd like to see a few snapshots of this year's ASCD conference and of San Francisco.

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The Celebration of Teaching & Learning — Dr. Oz and Much, Much More!

InspiringLast week I had the opportunity to attend the 6th annual Celebration of Teaching & Learning in New York City. There were over 150 exhibits to explore and many workshops to attend. Some of the world's best thinkers and practitioners spoke, and educators joined together to gather ideas and resources to use in their classrooms. It was an incredible experience, and I truly wish I could have taken you all there with me!

Check out the wonderful organizations, incredible speakers, cool sites, and innovative resources that stood out on this very busy day.

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Behind the Scenes, Part 4 — Filming Your Movie

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Lights, Camera, ACTION! You’re ready to start filming! This is an exciting time, especially for the students, but there is still a lot of important learning and planning at this stage. Read more and find out how you can prepare your students to film your class movie in a smooth and successful way.

 

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Comments: 8

Five Ways to Make Standardized Test Prep Engaging

TestprepWith state testing quickly approaching, my grade level decided to try out some new ways to review content across the curriculum. One idea that has received rave reviews from both students and parents is our weekly TCAPalon competitions. "TCAPalon" — a play on our state test's name and "triathlon" — allows our classes to compete academically with each other while receiving quality review instruction. Read on to learn how to turn standardized test prep into a team event, and to read about some tried and true test review methods. 

Photo: Students learn how to review using the "Great BamBunyi" method.


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Comments: 2

Does Professional Development Work?

Lead_teacher2 This year for the first time I’ve been on the planning side of professional development (PD) events. As I plan and attend events, I see PD with new eyes. I wonder to what extent professional development is effective, and what types of PD work best. We all accept that a knowing-doing gap exists between what we learn is the best practice and what we are able to implement, but how much PD is useful? I’m interested in what you think. What works for you? What's effective? Is it easy to put in-service training into action? Keep reading and voice your opinions.

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Comments: 10

Working Together and Using Technology to Understand What Is Happening in Japan

JapanbeforeandafterDevastating videos, images, and stories are coming out of Japan. Educators are looking for just the right way to teach students about the earthquake and tsunami as well as the growing concerns about the nuclear reactors. We know that covering current events through activities that incorporate listening, speaking, reading, and writing can increase literacy skills in the classroom. But how do we use online resources to tackle difficult topics with sensitivity and heart?

This week I'll share my experiences working with a 3rd grade class to study the events in Japan. Check out images from my flipchart, click on links to online resources, and download activity sheets that will have your students collaborating in groups and using technology to understand the effects of the earthquake and tsunami on the people in Japan.

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Behind the Scenes, Part 3 — Writing the Script and Storyboarding

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Have you ever seen extremely motivated student writers? The opportunity to bring their writing to life on the big screen is highly engaging and meaningful for students. Read on to learn how my kindergartners wrote the script for our class movie, with attention to "showing" and "telling" writing, and how we storyboarded it out to assist us in the next step — filming our movie.

 

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Comments: 4

Conducting Interviews to Honor the Amazing Women in Our Lives

BulletinboardwomenshistoryinterviewsIt's mid-March, and our Women's History Month celebrations are in full swing. "March Book Picks!" had us researching big names in history as well as reading books by spectacular authors. This week we'll give students the opportunity to honor the incredible women in their own lives.

Whether they've been inspired by their mothers, aunts, grandmothers, or teachers, this is the time for your students to share the stories of the great women in their lives. In this project, we'll create questions for our interviews and ask these special ladies to give us advice based on their personal experiences. Click on my downloadable templates to get your budding journalists started on an important interview.

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Behind the Scenes, Part 2 — Creating a Rubric

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 “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” This is a common saying about how the acquisition of knowledge is empowering.

One way to empower students is to involve them in the process of analyzing their learning and evaluating their work. When they do, true learning takes place, way beyond the intended curriculum. READ ON to see how you can create rubrics with your students to evaluate student-created videos, writing, or other projects. Included are two examples of rubrics my kindergarten students made to evaluate their digital photo story and our class movie.

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A Fun, Practical Way to Teach Sources

IMG_2267If you ask your students how they find answers to questions they wonder about, it's a sure bet that the phrase "Google it" will be mentioned first and foremost. In many ways, technology has made life easier — we're always just a key word and a click away from the answer. On the other hand, many students lack the skills necessary to use resources such as an atlas, thesaurus, world almanac, dictionary, and library catalog. To help your students REALLY understand how and when to use these resources, consider this incredibly fun and engaging game my students played with our school librarian.

Photo: Students race to find an answer to a question using the most effective source. 

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March Book Picks!

MarchbooksMarch is a busy month filled with many special dates. This month's booklist will help you collect resources to plan lots of fantastic activities. We kicked off Women's History Month with Ruby Bridges last week and will continue to teach our students what it takes to be successful in the face of adversity. We'll also look at the Mardi Gras celebrations and learn about the Irish traditions we can all participate in on St. Patrick's Day.

Click on the links to find out more about the incredible authors featured this month and to gather downloadable resources to learn what makes March such a special month. We'll look at poetry, nonfiction texts, legends, folktales, and interactive whiteboard activities that will get your students excited about learning and on the search for their very own pot of gold! 

 

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Behind the Scenes, Part 1 — Finding a Topic

IMG_0646Are you interested in creating movies with your students, but not sure where to begin? Do you feel as though you don't have time to create movies with all the curriculum and standards that you need to cover? Take a look at this first post in a series about filmmaking with students. In this series, I will walk you through the process of creating a movie with your class so you feel confident in creating student films.

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Comments: 2

Teaching Moon Phases

AddiMoon phases seem to be taught across the grade levels. My son is in 2nd grade and recently completed a study, which included keeping a moon phase log each evening and creating moon phases using Oreo cookies. As I have taught grades 2–6, I dedicate this post to the various ways you can teach moon phases in the classroom. This includes my FAVORITE activity, building a moon phase transporter, as well as some great music resources and videos (four videos, to be exact).


 

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Comments: 2

Ready . . . Set . . . Revolution 2.0 Reporters!


Revolution 2.0 Reporters! My 5th grade students must document a pressing social issue (e.g., bullying, sexism, racism, smoking) using Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. For their attempts to change the world through short movies, Microsoft awarded us $10,000. The most difficult aspect of this lesson was not in writing, shooting, or editing, but in helping kids realize their power to sway opinion and prompt positive action. Weeks later, they realized their ability to influence, impact, and organize a community for positive change, to stand up for their rights, to start a movement or even overthrow a tyrant! This lesson was priceless. 

Whether students are buzzing about the myriad protests around the world, American patriots in history class, heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, or teacher rallies in Wisconsin, provide them with ample time and tools to investigate how ordinary people have prevailed in times of upheaval. If you've got a Mac computer and two 40 minute periods, you can EASILY create iReports of protests around the world. iReports force students to condense their retell of confusing world events into coherent 60 second sound bites. Read on for three steps for using simple technology to thoroughly digest and retell these stories of revolution.

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10 Questions for Diane Johnson, Iditarod Dir. of Education


Diane Johnson Since 2005 Diane Johnson has been Director of Education for http://iditarod.com.
Even though it’s her busiest time of the year, Diane graciously answered questions about the Iditarod and her role on the web site.  She talked about teaching the Iditarod, and teaching in general.

Read interview with Diane...

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Comments: 2

March Is Women's History Month! Celebrate With Art, Literature and Ruby Bridges

ArttiashaMake the transition from Black History Month to Women’s History Month smooth by revisiting your lessons on Ruby Bridges to learn more about her courage, strength, and impact on education at such a young age. With the teachings from last month set as the groundwork for this lesson, ask your students to step into Ruby's shoes as they paint a scene from her life and give her a voice. Get out the watercolor paints and celebrate this great woman in history!

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Comments: 10

Filmmaking — Stop-Motion to Bring Curriculum to Life

IMG_0652Stop-motion has long been used to entertain children and adults on television and in the movies. Think back to Gumby or the cute Christmas specials, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and The Year Without a Santa Claus. All of those were done by using the stop-motion technique of filming. This year my kindergarten class has been interested in stop-motion. We are currently in the process of creating a stop-motion movie to learn about plants using candy. Click to read more about stop-motion and see some student examples of how this exciting filmmaking technique can be used in the classroom.

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