Tag Archives: K through 12

Great Resource for Classroom Posters

I just stumbled upon Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers.

(They had me at “nerdy.”)

You can find some very cool,  free PDF versions of charts, visuals, posters, organizers, and strategies for your classroom.

This would be a great tool for students to keep inside a math work book or binder. (Download at the above mentioned site)

If you don’t have time to make these kinds of things (who does?) or you don’t believe in reinventing the wheel, look here first.

I plan on adding this to my paragraph writing lesson we are currently working on. (Download at the above mentioned site)

The only thing you’ll need is color ink for your printer and it’s recommended you laminate these 8 1/2 x 11 pages.

It looks like you can also purchase an editable format for $10 if you’d like to tweak it.

The posters are colorful, visually pleasing, cover the K-12 spectrum in many subject areas, and, for me….give me great ideas of things I’d like to make!

I won’t be using this at the middle school…but it might come in handy at home with the kids! I think I’ll hang it on the fridge – or my forehead. (Download at the above mentioned site)

BYOT: What Will They Bring?

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.20120730-102257.jpgAfterthought: 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.

Using Visuals: Grabbing Their Attention

The first few moments of giving directions for a project or any creative assignment are critical. Getting students attention and building their interest is an art. I asked Tweedle Dee to describe how some of her teachers introduce projects.

“Well, first (she) stands up in the front of the room and says, ‘We are going to start a project‘ and then she passes out a paper about it…”

::::::::insert sigh here:::::::

“Then….she reads the entire paper to us….”

:::::::::insert double sigh::::::::

It’s funny, because I knew this is exactly what Tweedle Dee would say. And Tweedle Dee likes school and loves projects. Some days she even wants to be a teacher when she grows up. We talked about some variations of this with her other teachers, but none of them really razzle-dazzle her with their project kick-offs.

This is probably all too common.

Here are the beginning directions for an 8th grade fairy tale writing project. This handout is passed out while the teacher reads the directions. (And picture this familiar scene: one student is playing keep-away, another is getting irritated, one student is picking up a dropped stack of papers, one student is trying to figure out which side of the handout is the front, and the last two rows came up short but no one says anything for at least 15 minutes.)20120723-160342.jpg

I am not saying that a handout or check sheet is bad. It is, in fact, usually necessary. Students need to have a hard copy of the expectations for future reference. (This check sheet is how this particular teacher grades the papers vs. a rubric.)

While these directions are enough for some students, the modified version I created for our inclusion class provides a more concrete explanation of their options.

If students can picture what they are being asked to do they may be more excited about doing it.

This is the first page of our SMART Notebook file:


In the above example, we’ve got visuals that are modern, real world, “their world” ….with just the slightest prompt to stir their imagination.

And now, sit back and relax and laugh at a “fractured fairy tale” I think you will enjoy. Our kick-off to the assignment – a quick video clip to really grab their attention.

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