Top Teaching > 87 posts categorized "Classroom Tools"

The Common Core Crosswalk

  Blow_iStock000011442357_kidsandflagAligning curriculum to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a complex, yet rejuvenating journey, and one that should not be traveled alone. My summer quest to align my curriculum resulted in many trials and tribulations; however, it was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with colleagues to strengthen our educational system, and we had the satisfaction of knowing that we were paving the way for others.

Read on to watch a video illustrating my crosswalk process — that, is the process of aligning previous units, identifying gaps, and eliminating less important content — and to download the graphic organizer that guided me through this complicated process.  

Image: iStockphoto © KeithBishop.

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Comments: 17

Finding Literacy Inspiration: Why It's Okay to Be Addicted to Pinterest

AnchorchartForty-one tabs. Seriously, I had 41 tabs open on my laptop at once. Forty-one glorious gems that I just could not close, many of them printable resources ready to be utilized immediately. Time spent finding these resources? Probably thirty minutes. Tops.

Anyone who has ever touched Pinterest can attest that it's highly addictive. However, I have found the time I spend on the site to be extremely beneficial. If you haven't heard of this resource yet, you are totally missing out. Forget Googling, and learn how you can peruse the Internet, find incredible educational resources, and share them with your friends in a visually appealing way. 

Read this post to learn about some of the quick and easy literacy ideas I've found through Pinterest. I'll also spotlight a few archived posts on literacy, where you'll find many videos and printables.

Photo: Visit The Inspired Apple (tab #32) for some gorgeous anchor chart and lesson ideas.

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Comments: 1

Rethinking Motivation for the 2011–2012 School Year — Thanks Daniel Pink! Part Two

Class“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

             —Albert Einstein

Welcome back for the second part of my two-part series on motivating students this school year and beyond. The picture to the right shows my homeroom students the first week of school. I am amazed by the expressions of determination on their faces every time I look at this photograph. In fact, I had the picture enlarged to a four-foot by three-foot poster and hung it outside our classroom door as a reminder that curiosity and excitement about learning do exist, even at this age. And without vigilance and the willingness to grant them autonomy, this flame can be extinguished in an instant.

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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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Comments: 25

Evidence-Based Small Group Literacy Instruction: Measuring Progress and Growth

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It feels great to be back! This is my fourth year writing with Scholastic, and with each year I have written through the lens of a different grade level. My posts have detailed my time as a fourth grade teacher when I freshly transitioned from being a literacy coach, a third grade teacher, which followed my time teaching fifth grade, and now my current role of academic/literacy interventionist for a K-6 school. In this role, I am responsible for small group literacy instruction for select students in kindergarten through 6th grade. With the great responsibility of meeting individual student needs, and quality small group planning and instruction, there is little down time. With up to four small groups per grade level each day, it is possible that I need to create up to 28 lesson plans a day. How does one know what to plan? More importantly, how does one know what is successful? I am finding it critical to utilize evidence-based literacy instruction and assessment to guide instruction, and I'd like to share some tips on making the most of your time with small group work in your classroom. In this post I have included some printable resources and hands-on materials for literacy instruction as well.

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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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Welcome Aboard! Decorating with a Classroom Theme

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Bon voyage! This school year we are setting sail with our year-long theme, “Cruising Through Kindergarten.” Read more and climb aboard our classroom ship for a fun-filled cruise through the school year. You can see some of our classroom theme decorations, bulletin boards, and future learning activities. In this post, you can also get a sneak peek at some future blog posts on my Top Teaching kindergarten and early childhood blog. Welcome aboard, matey!

 

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Comments: 2

Greetings From Top Teaching Advisor Ruth

Manna_Ruth_Promo_xlg I’m always excited as a new school year approaches. It’s the time of year when all the pencils are sharp and none of the crayons are broken and I’m filled with a sense of hope and possibility. It’s an annual “do-over.”

I’ve been an elementary teacher for 25 years in New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts. During that time I’ve taught many diverse students in urban, suburban, and rural schools.

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Comments: 8

Greetings From Top Teaching Advisor Mary

Blow_Mary_xlg I teach 6th grade English at Lowville Academy Middle School in New York's Black River Valley, located in the rolling foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.

Lowville is an agriculture-dependent community in the heart of Lewis County, one of the lowest socio-economic counties in our state. Despite economic struggles, Lowville is rich in small town culture, which is attractive to many of the 10th Mountain Division soldiers stationed at nearby Fort Drum. We are pioneers in alternative energy. Not only are we home to the infamous Maple Ridge Wind Farm on Tug Hill, the largest wind farm east of the Mississippi, but we have a nearby biomass plant and a hydropower plant.

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Comments: 1

Greetings from Top Teaching Advisor Christy

Crawford_Christy_Promo_xlg Greetings from the Big Apple!

I am Christy Crawford and this is my 10th year of teaching in New York City. I’m teaching technology at P.S. 51 (The Bronx New School), a small progressive K-5 school of 280 students from all over the world. My technology class was recently awarded $10,000 from Microsoft for our movies about social issues. Previously, I taught 2nd and 3rd grade — two years in Harlem and four years in the Bronx. I have also served as an adjunct lecturer at The City College of New York (CUNY).

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Comments: 3

Greetings From Top Teaching Advisor Brent

Brent_Vasicek Where does the excitement of a sea voyage meet rigorous academic standards? Right here in Pier 24 at Miami Elementary in Clinton Township, Michigan. My name is Brent, and each year I pick a theme for the class. This year it is exploration. From the bon voyage to the final docking, I am excited to share management and organization tips for the yearlong journey.

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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: 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: 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: 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

The Power of Positive Influences in Your Life (In and Out of the Classroom)

Scholastic_postWhen I taught 3rd grade last year I was fortunate to have Lindsey Gagnon as one of my parents. I don't think I have ever — let me stress, ever — met anyone kinder and more caring in my entire life. She was the kind of parent that offered to bring me food at home when I called in sick; the kind of parent that offered her car when my precious Beetle broke down. She probably doesn't know this, but she continues to be an inspiration to me.

I love meeting and being surrounded by people like Mrs. Gagnon. They are such positive forces, and it reminds me that kindness begets kindness. What or who keeps you going each week? What makes you want to be a better person and teacher? This post is dedicated to the people, forces, and even mindsets that can help you and those around you shine.

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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: 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: 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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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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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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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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Comments: 9

Classroom Walkthroughs

2003510191[1] This year as a new curriculum director I’ve visited more classrooms and observed more teaching than I’ve observed in my entire career! Having been an elementary teacher for more than 20 years, I’m at home in classrooms. Five-minute walkthroughs give me surprisingly accurate snapshots of what’s happening in individual classrooms as well as entire schools.

If your principal conducts regular walkthroughs, you're familiar with this observation model. You already know that frequent, short visits enhance your development as a teacher and learner. And walkthroughs are more manageable than longer, formal observations for teachers, administrators, and coaches.

Whether you’re familiar with walkthroughs or not, keep reading to learn what I (and your principal) might note during a walkthrough.

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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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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

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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Engaging Student Writers With Blogging

IMG_0374Which is more motivating to you? Just writing for your teacher? Or, writing for readers all around the world? Which piece of writing would you spend more time and energy on? More than likely, your students feel the same.

Tap into students’ digital world by bringing blogging into your classroom. Read on to get examples of how seamlessly blogging can be integrated into your curriculum. Also, find out how adding a worldwide audience automatically increases students’ engagement in their writing.

 

Award graphic courtesy of adrianbruce.com.

 

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Comments: 12

Reading Goes to the Dogs!

Reader's Theater with Beau!Remember the first time you were asked to read aloud in a classroom or at an event?  Perhaps your throat became incredibly dry. Your heart pounded, and your palms became moist with the sweat of anxiety. During Read Across America Day, March 2, and World Read Aloud Day, March 9, many people will talk about the joys of reading aloud and the poetry of the cat in the striped hat. But this year try something different in your classroom — let your students read aloud to a dog. Experts say animals, especially dogs, have a calming, healing effect on humans. Read on to see how you can use the power of pet therapy to help any child become a joyful, confident reader. 

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Differentiate Instruction With Paper Choice and Get Ready for President's Day

PresidentbooksPresident’s Day is less than a week away. Are you ready to teach your students about great leaders in history? Have you been looking for ways to talk to your students about the protests in Egypt? Let’s use this special day to inspire children to think about what it takes to be a great leader. I'll share my book choices here, as well as downloadable resources and links that will help you scaffold your students’ learning while differentiating instruction. If you think about it, we are educating future leaders! So make the time to plan for these lessons today.

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Report Card Comments Made Simple

TraThis year do you have more students and less time? Then let Teachers Report Assistant come to your rescue during report card time this winter. Ever since I started using this FREE program, I have cut my narrative comment writing time in more than half. So stop dreading the task of writing your report card comments and download this tool today! Click "read more" to see two Jing how-to videos that will help you get started with this stress- and time-saving tool today!

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Comments: 2

Beat the Clock — Capturing Stories of the American Civil Rights Movement

Our First Civil Rights Interview! The majority of American students do not fully grasp the historical significance of Barack Obama's presidency. How could they? No history text accurately and vividly reveals the pain, power, individual sacrifice, and wisdom of the civil rights movement.

But with today's technology, any student can get firsthand accounts of the movement from local heroes and share those inspirational stories with thousands . . . online. Read on to see how you can help kids capture eyewitness accounts of one of the greatest and most provocative movements in American history. 

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Having Fun With Fluency! Part 2 — Strategies Readers Will Enjoy

FluencystrategieschartLast week, we had the opportunity to learn more about the components of fluency instruction in our reading work, as we watched the replay of Teacher Talks Live Webcast Series: Tim Rasinski on Fluency. This week, I'm excited to share a few of my favorite fluency strategies with you. Download printable resources as well as a new bookmark I created, to help keep your students from sounding like robots! We'll build comprehension and teach our students to become fluent readers while we have some fun. 

 

 

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Give Your Students a Voice With VoiceThread

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VoiceThread is a Web 2.0 tool for online group conversation, collaboration, and sharing, and it's sure to be a winner in the classroom. This tool is great whether it is used with one computer or many, with advanced students or English language learners. Although I've used VoiceThread for about four years, I continue to come up with new ways to incorporate it into my classroom to enhance or assist with instruction. Come take a look at an example of a VoiceThread created by my kindergarten class and at a video sharing ways I use this tool in my classroom. Plus, get authentic practice by participating in a VoiceThread right here on our blog!

 

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Joy in Words – Writing Poetry


Index.2 Poetry is magical and memorable. The poetry we read, write, and hear in childhood stays with us throughout our lives.

Last week I wrote about heart maps, a visual reminder of what matters, a beginning step in writing poetry. This week, I describe several of my favorite books about teaching students to write poetry. I like to give you resources to make it easier for you to plan lessons. I'm happy to discuss writing with you, so post a comment or question!

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Having Fun With Fluency! Part I — A Bridge to Comprehension



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If you missed out on watching Tim Rasinski's webcast on fluency this month, I strongly urge you to go back and watch the replay and visit the new Fluency page for strategies and teaching ideas that will get your students on the road to a deeper understanding of the stories they read with smooth and expressive reading.

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Shifting Teachers' Thinking — Focusing on Learning First

IMG_0406Imagine a school with children who can read and write, but with teachers who cannot, and you have a metaphor of the Information Age in which we live.

—Peter Cochrane

How do you predict the future? People have been trying to do this since the beginning of recorded history. As educators, we are trying to prepare our students for their future  a future that is unknown. It is time for us as educators to shift our thinking and teaching from the way of the past to the way of the present, in order to prepare our students for the way of the future.

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Heart Maps and Writing

DSC00694.JPG[1] My students create heart maps early in the school year and keep them in their writing folders so they can refer back to them when they write poetry or when they’re stuck about what to write.

I learned about heart maps from one of poet and author Georgia Heard's books about teaching writing, Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School. This inspiring and practical handbook for teachers is full of adaptable ideas that will help establish a classroom environment that fosters a love of poetry and poetry writing. 

READ ON to find out how to make heart maps in your class.

 

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Comments: 7

Web Sites and Web 2.0 Tools You Can Use Instantly

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This post is the beginning of a master list of free Web sites and Web 2.0 tools that teachers and students can use instantly for literacy projects focusing on word work, vocabulary, comprehension, reader response, and fluency. Come take a look at some really cool tools that are sure to make your reading skills come alive!

made on Wondersay - Animate text with style

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Comments: 4

Using Technology to Teach Holidays

Fun with Elf Yourself!Looking for the best videos to embed in interactive whiteboard holiday lessons?  Are parents requesting safe sites that they can use to entertain or educate? Get ready to laugh, learn, and click links for some of the best holiday videos and sites the Web has to offer.

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Comments: 2

Motivating Students by Publishing — Art Focus

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Looking for a way to boost students’ self-esteem, connect with parents and family members around the world, and get money for your art program for FREE? Artsonia is your answer!

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Comments: 3

Learning and the Brain

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This weekend I attended the Learning and the Brain Conference in Cambridge, MA, a three day conference that brings together neuroscientists, psychologists, and educators to explore the intersection of the mind (psychology), the brain (neuroscience), and the teaching-learning process. As teachers, we can use the results of the latest brain research and integrate information from neuroscience and psychology into our teaching practice.

Read on to discover just a little of what I learned at one presentation.

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Assess, Plan, Teach! Part 2 — Strategies to Support Young Writers

PlanLast week, we looked at on-demand writing pieces. Through this process we learned a lot about what our writers know and are able to do. From this information we can begin to plan meaningful instruction that targets our students' needs. This week, I’ll take you through the planning process, giving you downloadable tools to help the young writers in your classroom.

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Comments: 8

Technology Teachers Are Thankful For

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Technology is constantly changing! Look in your pockets and around your house. We use technology in our everyday life, and we rely on it. How about in our classrooms? In this month of Thanksgiving, stop and look around your classroom and school to give thanks for the technology that helps you do your job and meet the needs of your students.

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