Top Teaching > Danielle Mahoney

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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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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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Scoring the English Language Arts Assessments

ScoringAfter many months of anticipation and intensive teaching, the English Language Arts (ELA) New York State testing is over and done with. Whoo hoo!! And now, the scoring has officially begun. Who does the scoring? Teachers like you and me! I am really excited to be a part of a scoring team in my district. We've got rubrics to examine, examples of student answers to look over, scoring guides to work with, and many evenings and weekends set aside to get the scoring done. I am confident that because of your amazing guidance and support, the test results will show that your students have met the learning goals for your grade.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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