These are some of my most popular and useful Back-To-School posts:
First Day of School Scavenger Hunt – Great ice breaker that gets kids out of their seats and helps you get to know your students. Download the PDF to customize it for your grade.
Updated Scavenger Hunts – Three levels of first day scevenger hunts to meet the needs of your particular students.
Identifying Student Learning Styles – Two links to PDF learning style inventories and one link to an online tool for determining how your students learn best.
I am a Squiggle Stuck Inside a Square – Another great ice breaker that encourages teamwork. Middle schoolers love this one. Hopefully you have a nice mix of shapes in your classroom.
I Gave Schoology a Chance – A graphic that shows all of the ways I have used Schoology in my classroom. I just realized my old course from last year was wiped out, so this will be a helpful post for me!
Team Teaching Options – Descriptions of five ways to team teach.
Summarizing Short Stories: Story Elements and Conflict – Free PDFs for these basic concepts that are often introduced in Language Arts at the beginning of the year.
Easy Access – This link will take you to one place to find everything that is free. Wait!! Everything is FREE on All Access Pass!! Go here to find an organized list of downloads.
Do you have a favorite Back-To-School post or a post that is wildly popular on your own teaching blog?
Post a link in the comments!
A few weeks ago I learned about ThingLink, which is destined to become my new favorite thing.
With our Spring Break trip and adjusting to Ian’s new life on an insulin pump, I haven’t had much time to work with it.
But finally, the last few days I’ve been creating a review ThingLink for our 7th grade Language Arts students. I’ve connected it to many of my own Prezis and found some other resources as well. Every little icon you see will take you somewhere new!
Here are the top apps suggested by my friend who teaches 6th grade Language Arts:
1. Notability It took me less than two weeks to become a huge fan. It was hard to get used to writing on the iPad, but I’m improving every day.
2. Educreations Students can record their voice in a whiteboard style video.
3. iTooch 6th grade Language Arts (They have this for different subjects and grades.)
4. Animoto I am interested in what this app can do, but don’t have the time to take it on right now. Seems like something Tweedle Dee can learn for me.
5. Grammar Up
The next two apps are great ways for students to create their own stories. Ian entertained himself with Toontastic during an hour meeting.
8. Pages A personal favorite even though it costs $9.99. I like this app on my iPad….not a fan on my MacBook Air though???
9. iMovie I am determined (in my free time???) to learn how to use iMovie in 2013.
10. Nearpod – The math teacher I work with, Captain Algebra, uses this in math class too. “The Nearpod platform enables teachers to use their iPads to manage content on students’ iPads, iPhones or iPods. It combines presentation, collaboration, and real-time assessment tools into one integrated solution.”
11. QR Reader – I am still not quite sure how QR codes work. Something else to add to my 2013 Technology Bucket List.
12. Prezi – Tweedle Dee learned how to use this in 7th grade science for a biome project. Some snowy afternoon I’m going to have her give me a lesson.
13. Sticky Notes – Virtual post-it notes! I use a similar app called Infinote Pinboard which cost $2.99 but is a must for a traveling teacher like myself. I keep all my notes for inclusion, as well as many To Do lists in this app.
- Apps with Friends: Social Studies (allaccesspassblog.wordpress.com)
I found a few video clips from YouTube that help advertise different types of figurative language and literary terms in class. To read more about my philosophy and approach to using media and visuals, read this post.
With SMARTBoards and Edmodo, it is easy to share these videos with students during class or at home.
Onomatopoeia is usually pretty easy for students by the middle school level. As part of my effort to reach all learners with visuals and a media tie-in, I love to introduce onomatopoeia with this seemingly unrelated, but ironically related, video.
Nothing says personification like talking teapots, dancing silverware, and frisky feather-dusters.
This YouTube video covers the following: symbolism, foreshadowing, flashback, atmosphere, and plot twists with Disney clips. There is a short “quiz” at the end.
You could also use BYOT to have students create their own videos on these concepts.
For example, this video featuring “Hyberbole Man” would work for older students 7th grade and up. It is full of hyperboles and is probably pretty funny to teenagers. Better yet, it might be a nice kick-off for a project where students create their own hyperbole movies.
Lastly, this video links figurative language to pop music lyrics. With examples of Katie Perry, Selena Gomez, Green Day, Uncle Kracker, and Taylor Swift…this should be pretty easy for students to relate to. I think students would enjoy listening to music and finding lyrics using figurative language, as well as making their own videos.
How do you teach figurative language in your classroom?
Do you have a favorite app for making videos?
Please share your ideas!
Our school is piloting a Bring Your Own Technology program this fall.
I am very excited about this and have made a list of ideas for this fall. However, in my position, I am not sure what to expect in terms of my students and the devices they will have available to them.
Students are not required to bring their own technology and teachers are not required to use it. For those without personal devices, we still have 2.5 computer labs available and a cart of 20 laptops that have been vandalized. (We are hoping that students will take better care of their own technology???)
And at this time, I still do not know what I am teaching this fall. School starts in less than a month (no official countdown at this time) and I don’t have a schedule. I don’t know which teachers, which subjects, or which grade levels I will be working with. (This has been the hardest part of my summer…not knowing.)
Despite this, I have created a survey for whatever class I may end up in. I plan to share this with my co-teachers and other staff members as I am also on the technology committee.
This BYOT First Day Survey will help us get a better feel for what we can do in our classrooms with BYOT.Afterthought: Thinking about this today during professional development, I think I need to add a question texting/data packages. If they do not have unlimited texting or unlimited data, we would need to keep that in mind.
- Intro to the First Week of BYOT (byotnetwork.com)
- Building BYOT (mossfreestone.com)
- Getting Teachers and Parents Comfortable with BYOT (insidetheclassroomoutsidethebox.wordpress.com)
- Top 10 requirements for great mobile BYOT/BYOD (clouducation.wordpress.com)
- 5 Best Practices for BYOT in the Classroom (insidetheclassroomoutsidethebox.wordpress.com)
- First 5 Lessons Learned In Our First Year Of BYOT (myweb4ed.net)