I finally found a way to organize all of the video clips I like to use on a regular basis in class. I come back to these videos often, and I also wanted something I could post on Schoology for my students to use as a resource.
Now I can easily add to this Padlet anytime I find a new video, and I can share it with other teachers (and you) as well!
Click HERE for the link. (This is just a screen shot.)
I’m still playing with Padlet and finding all sorts of uses for it. Right now I see it as a great place to store materials and units If you teach 7th grade, you might be ready to work on phrases and clauses around this time of the year.
If you teach writing, you might be able to incorporate these pictures into writing activities as well.
Again, much like my blog about Padlet and participles, I’ve created a Padlet that houses all of my notes, worksheets, and activities on phrases and clauses, as well as 15 winter picture prompts for December. I am working on adding directions to each prompt, specifically about phrases and clauses, but you could use the pictures as they are.
To access this Phrases and Clauses Padlet, click the link. The password is: jolly
I will be adding and editing this Padlet as I work through December as I am uncertain about the pacing and need for reteaching with my 7th graders.
Hopefully you can find a way to use this Padlet in your classroom!
Tell me all about it in the comments!
Instead of Black Friday shopping, I’m sitting at home all cozy on the couch with the dog and a cup of coffee. As usual, I’m being my typical nerd self and having a good time creating materials for class next week.
Last year, my co-teacher was very clever with the Elf of the Shelf idea and hid our class elf, “Schnoodlemint Fairypie III,” around the room every night for the last few weeks before Christmas. The students enjoyed seeing and writing about the trouble he’d gotten into each night.
This year, I decided to do something similar in my resource room, but instead of actually buying an elf and doing all the work, I just created this Padlet, which will hold all the adventures of the elf, in one easy-to-access place.
As you can see, my 8th graders are learning about participles and also desperately need practice with transitional words and phrases.
I took all the images off of Google images and made up each prompt from a list of transition words and phrases. I may have to supply some participles in the beginning.
My plan will be for this to be the opening activity when they arrive. We will transition into grammar, and then I’ll give them a few minutes to wrap up their writing for the day, or have them complete it for homework, before we move on to our main lesson.
Near the end of the month, I plan to give them an argumentative writing assignment: “Should parents use the Elf on the Shelf with their children?”
If you would like to use this Padlet with your class (if you are specifically teaching participles), you make access it by going to this link: December Padlet The password is “jolly.” You will not have writing privileges, but you could check it out for more ideas.
Stay tuned for more December ideas! I know it’s a rough, but fun, month!
Tomorrow looks to be a day full of interactive, technology-based assessment in my classroom!
I have a student teacher starting during the 2nd semester, and he’s coming tomorrow to get his hours of observation in. Last week he let me know that he needs to observe some use of technology to assess students for his current class.
I didn’t want him to watch the same thing four times in one day, so I decided to do a different activity each period.
1st period LA 7 will be completing their first activity on Padlet, which I am super excited about. They will be writing about various themes from our novel. I am brand new to Padlet, but I practiced using it with a co-worker Saturday and tested it on school devices, as well as personal devices. Don’t you just hate when you plan a technology-based lesson and the filters suddenly don’t cooperate? Fingers crossed that this is what they see tomorrow at 8 a.m.!
2nd period LA 8 will be using Plickers to do a pre-assessment for after Thanksgiving break when we start verbals. It will be short – only 10 questions. I like Plickers over Kahoot for assessments like this, because I get specific results and data to work with. I hope I am surprised that they remember some of the “8th grade secrets” I taught them last year. Even so, this will cover adjectives, nouns, and verbs as well.
4th and 6th period tutoring will be playing Kahoot to review for their science quiz on Tuesday. This is an 8th grade group studying “The Restless Earth.” Kahoot is super popular now at our school. The kids love it. It’s fast paced. It’s fun.
I feel it is imperative I get control of the class after the standings have been posted so we can discuss the question and answer. I also have a 20 second rule for choosing a school appropriate name. With those rules in place, I think Kahoot can be a great tool to get kids engaged and review for a quiz or test.
Follow this link to see/play: (I am not sure which link will take you to the teacher page).
So it likes Mr. Student Teacher will be getting plenty to write about, and it looks like my Monday will be a fun one!
If I don’t post again before Thanksgiving, have a wonderful time with your family! Teachers, enjoy your much-needed break!
My 8th grade inclusion students recently started learning about verbals. As if participles weren’t fun enough, we had to add gerunds to the mix.
Last week, one of my quietest students came to me and asked, “Can we please practice gerunds in study hall? I don’t understand them at all!”
My first instinct was to pull up a practice worksheet on the Smartboard and use those sentences to teach them the difference between a gerund functioning as a subject, a direct object, and a predicate nominative. (At this point we haven’t discussed object of the preposition.)
Other than easily identifying a word that ends in “-ing,” my students felt helpless.
Sometimes I get these crazy ideas for teaching a concept; they just pop in my head.
Take this video, for example. I have no idea what made me think of a video with a tiny Yorkie puppy doing lots of amazing tricks. My dad had sent this video to me long ago, impressed with the dog’s talents. My Yorkie, Blue, is nowhere near as talented.
I told my class to watch closely and remember as many tricks as possible.
After we watched the video, my students were able to write all kinds of sentences using gerunds as the subject and as a predicate nominative.
- Pushing a shopping cart is the dog’s best trick.
- Weaving in and out of cups would be hard to teach.
- The puppy’s cutest trick is skateboarding.
- Wrapping herself up in a blanket was the cutest trick.
- Painting is a trick I would never expect a dog to do.
- Pushing the car with her nose was a cute trick.
- Putting away the laundry is a trick I should teach my dog!
- The first trick I would teach my dog is doing my homework!
Of course, you know me, I’ve been trying to think of other ways to incorporate viral videos into my practice activities in Tornado Time.
There are a couple of routes I could go. I could always go with an old classic like this:
Or I could find a series of viral videos like this one:
Knowing your students best, you probably already know what kind of videos you’d want to use. Think of how you could get your students writing with particular parts of speech or sentence structures by giving them a visual prompt like this.
What viral video clips do you love?
What great ideas just popped into your head?
I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
So, I’ve been sick, and my students have been sick. It was also raining this morning, and it was time to start prepositional phrases.
They were not very impressed, nor were they motivated by my “Interactive Grammar Notes” from the textbook to introduce this concept.
So today, the Queen of English made her first public appearance. Dressed in her finest, she became the subject of all of our sentences and she was a wonderful model of the correct use of prepositional phrases.
She was inside a binder. She was sitting on a student’s head. She was hiding under the table. She was looking out the window. I even stuck her outside the window.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Queen of English is silly and juvenile, but it works with 7th grade, especially when I fall into the role of Queen. Then they really love making her do silly things!
They had the Queen doing all kinds of things in their sentences. She even met some of the characters in our novel and went into the cave with Tiger.
Silliness like this opens up lots of room for creativity and gave the students a chance to explore prepositional phrases, which was a totally new concept, without feeling threatened. I mean, who’s afraid of a plush puppet?
Today was kind of an exploration day to kick-0ff prepositional phrases. However, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of the Queen….
Last year we attempted to have out 7th graders write an epilogue about a chosen character from the novel.
The results were far from stellar. We did not realize the difficulty of this task for students who struggled with creativity, making inferences, and writing in general.
This year we approached it from a different angle, assigning each student one character and then giving them three choices for their epilogue.
These activities ranged from letters to diary entries to speeches to conversations between old friends and new family members.
Below is a screen shot of what they received today.
“I don’t know which one to pick…they are all so good!!”
:::::::teacher love and heart swell:::::
I’m looking forward to the next step which their language arts teacher has laid out a nice plan for with very specific tasks and skills. It includes checkpoints along the way to ensure success.
I’ll share the PDF of the choices I created. It’s very much like a RAFT writing assignment.
Hopefully this year’s epilogues are better than last year’s!
Global Read Aloud
This week I kicked off our classroom participation in the Global Read Aloud. I chose the book Fish by L.S. Matthews for my middle school classes. I am so happy to finally be doing some literature-based activities. Our focus up to this point has been strictly informational text.
We’ve been reading and writing a lot about refugees in the first few weeks of school, so my students have a pretty solid background on refugee camps and current refugee situations.
The GRA is designed to connect classrooms around the world. While we haven’t made any contacts with other classrooms yet, I created a Twitter account so we could participate in some of the “slow chats”. However, our school doesn’t allow students to access Twitter, so I am going to need to come up with some creative ways for us to use Twitter as a class.
My 8th graders are already asking if they can tweet questions and comments. I quickly made this simple exit ticket where students can record their thoughts each day and submit them to me for review before I tweet them. I know there are several versions of Twitter Exit Tickets on Pinterest and TPT, but I figured something simple was fine.
Click here for a free PDF of my Twitter Exit Ticket
Literary Element Graphic Organizers – Simplified
Speaking of simple, I decided to revamp some of my graphic organizers and teaching tools. Considering I have some of the same students for a few years in a row, I needed some variety.
I will admit, I used to spend a lot of time making graphic organizers and making them “pretty” and “perfect.”
I realized recently, simple works too. I spend far too much time worrying about the alignment and formatting of my handouts.
It’s time to simplify my life and my classroom a bit and put the creativity into my students’ hands.
As we started our novel, I had students glue each of the organizers below into their reading journals. They glue one on the left hand side and skip the right hand side, because that is where they create their own rendition.
This past week, I gave them three separate pages to glue in. We will be adding to each of them as we work our way through the exposition of the novel.
Clicker here to download the free PDF of my POV, Plot Diagram and Conflict Graphic Organizers
I’ll be sure to share some student samples in the next post. If these aren’t quite what you are looking for, try my Easy Access page with an entire bank of free graphic organizers and teaching tools.
**If you are reading Fish now too, leave a comment! Maybe our classes can meet up online and talk about the book!
Fish by L.S. Matthews was my pick for the Global Read Aloud. We are only a chapter and a half in, but so far, so good.
I’ve been making some vocabulary squares for my 7th and 8th graders and thought I would post them here in case anyone else could use them. Even if you aren’t reading Fish now as part of the GRA, maybe you will in the future.
At this time, I have three sets you can download. I’ve also linked my Quizlets for each set.
Please leave a comment if you are doing the GRA! I would love to connect with others who are participating!