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Tag Archives: classroom

The Kindness Bug

Be kind.

I know it’s a popular expression lately, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

The more people who say it, believe it, do it….the better, right?

Maybe it’s because of the constant school violence and threats of violence.

Maybe it’s because of the increasing number of teen suicides my area of the state has seen.

Maybe it’s because I finally saw the movie, Wonder, last weekend.

Maybe it’s because I am trying really hard in some areas of my life to show extra kindness.

It could be a combination.

It doesn’t matter why. Do I need a reason to remind my students to be kind?

This week I decided to put a quote in place of the typical school events on the white board each day.

My 2nd period class gets 15 minutes to 1) copy the quote in their agenda (instead of homework this week) and 2) respond to the quote in their journals.

Some students have chosen to share what they’ve written. I hope by the end of the week everyone will share at least one journal entry.

This afternoon I asked my hallway custodian, who is an incredible example of KIND, to give me the quote for tomorrow. She was so happy I asked her.

I’ve opened Thursday and Friday’s slots up to my Instagram followers.

What’s your favorite kindness quote?

Do you have a good theme for next week?

Leave a comment. I’d love to share your idea with my class.

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Do You Bitmoji?

I use Bitmoji in approximately four ways:

1) To participate in group holiday texts with my family

2) To tell my kids goodnight if they are at their dad’s house

3) To express sarcasm, enthusiasm, or exhaustion with my colleagues (don’t we all?)

4) To get my students attention (This either makes them laugh or makes their eyes roll.)

I’ve seen a lot of teachers customize the expressions and phrases to fit their classroom.

Instead of getting out of bed and starting the laundry, I decided to do likewise.

Going for the IXL Gold

So yesterday I was sick in bed and an idea came to me as I went in and out of sleep.

I decided to create the IXL Olympic Games.

I created two podium slides for each class period for two different areas: the time students spent on IXL and the number of skills students have shown progress on in February.

The kids simply went wild for this silly idea, as you can see below.

We will wrap up the competition on February 28th. Right now, it’s anybody’s game!

Tell me about a silly spur-of-the-moment idea that was well received by your students. I’d love to hear from you.

A Padlet of Videos for the Classroom

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.)

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December Padlet with Phrases and Clauses

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.

Padlet December 7

**All of my images were taken from Google images; worksheets and notes are my own.

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!

 

 

 

Rain, Rain Go Away….or the Queen Will Come Out to Play

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. 

Isn’t she lovely?


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….

My Pinterest: Anchor Charts

This summer has been pretty rainy and it started to get depressing when the kids weren’t home.  I can easily sit and read all day; however, reading on the iPad is just more technology.

So instead, I wasted time on Pinterest… collecting Anchor Chart ideas.

A few weeks ago I decided to bust out the markers and do a little creating.

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I was waiting to buy some big chart paper, but since I didn’t have any at home I decided to just recycle some unused desk calendars my secretary gave me. This is not the sturdiest paper or the best way to do this and they won’t last forever, but I like to update every so often anyway.

I found a good way to hang and store the charts as well. I will be using all the itty-bitty pants hangers from my kids’ closets.

Last winter I hung some cork strips from Joann’s on one unused wall in my classroom and this will be the perfect place for rotating the charts. Other ideas I’ve seen include hot gluing clothespins to a wall or hanging them to a string, using tension curtain-rods with metal rings, and using E-Z clips.

 

Do you have your own great collection of anchor charts?

Or do you have some great inspiration?

Share your links in the comments.

Just Enough to Get Me Through

As I looked in my mailbox at lunch today, I saw what appeared to be a “Please call Mrs. So-and-So” memo from the secretary.

My heart sank.

What now? Who did I give detention to? What did I forget? Whose grades are not where they should be?

The year is ending in 11 days and my sights are already set on next year: Year 2 in 7th grade. I just need a fresh start. A do-over, if you will.

This year was not a stellar year for me. New grade level, new content, new co-teachers, new administration….I just never felt like I was on top of things in a fabulous ‘Super Teacher’ sort of way.

However, the conversation turned out a little differently than I expected.

“I just wanted to thank you for working with R. this year and being so patient with him and so understanding about his needs. It’s no secret he hates school, but he told me last week that he doesn’t want this year to end.”

(Hmmmmm….What 7th grade boy says that??)

His mom continued, “I asked him why and he said, ‘Because Ms. K won’t be my teacher anymore.'”

I think I may have said something like, “Awwww…..I just love him!” I told his mom that I knew he’d do great next year in 8th grade and that he’d be in good hands. Truly, he gained a lot of confidence this year and really matured. I couldn’t be happier with his new and improved attitude and effort.

That was ALL she wanted to tell me.

I hung up with a smile on my face and a warm, happy heart.

And I skipped out of the office to face the rest of the day.

This whole year I felt like I hadn’t done enough.

Was I giving enough, teaching enough, learning enough, helping my kids grow enough??????

Right at a time when I really needed to hear it, when eleven days feels like ten too many, one simple phone call was exactly that – enough.

Teacher Appreciation Week has passed. End of the year gifts are nice and all. But trust me, in times like these, such a simple gesture means a lot.

March Madness (Reposted!!)

Last year, I posted a lot of information on the March Madness unit I used in my class in conjunction with another teacher.

Follow these two links to read all about the project!

March Madness Post #1

The COMPLETE March Madness Unit

If you have any questions, please ask. Have fun!

 

I Gave Schoology a Chance

And I liked it!!

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I realize this is somewhat cluttered….but this is how my brain works. If you want to know more about a specific use, just leave a comment.

When our district made a mandatory move from Edmodo to Schoology, I was frustrated.  I had spent a few years building my Edmodo library and was happy there. I didn’t want to move!

Feeling overwhelmed with all the other changes going on in our building, I decided that I was only going to do the bare minimum – post my homework – as we would be required to do during the 2nd semester.

Well, as you can see from above….I didn’t hold myself to that and Schoology has become an important part of my day…every day.

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