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!
And I liked it!!
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.
We are finally wrapping up When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by the end of the day Tuesday.
Oh my goodness, does anyone else feel like novels can drag on forever?
This was actually the fastest I’ve gotten through a novel (5 weeks), but I am glad to be done and moving on.
I am also really excited for the activities I have planned for the next two weeks. Yesterday things just sort of fell in place as I was planning and I came up with not one, but TWO, weeks’ worth of plans with a variety of new activities. I love the idea of NEW ideas.
Things I have on tap that I am really anticipating:
In an effort to be current and real, we will be brainstorming, Instagram-style, on Schoology in an activity I am simply calling #zacharybeaver. Ian and Dee loved practicing this activity the other day. (#guineapigs)
To differentiate and get kids engaged with the informational text unit, we will be trying out the .99¢ app called ReadNRespond.
To get everyone involved in discussion and control the conversation dominators, I am going to try a strategy called “Two Chips”. (I think it was originally called “Three Chips,” but I only have 8 students in my class so I needed to adjust.)
To get a feel for my students’ use of Quizlet for studying, we will be using the quiz feature to assess vocabulary.
To push the writing (because, honestly, we don’t do enough) , I am going to try a book that I bought two weekends ago called “Writing Frames for the Interactive Whiteboard” by Scholastic. Based on the concept of modeling, I think this will help my students organize their thoughts and write structured, organized paragraphs for a variety of purposes.
To move away from Language worksheets (blech!), students will be using the Explain Everything app in groups to work on combining simple sentences.
To teach Theme and Author’s Purpose, I am going to use the lessons from my favorite Interactive Notebook collection.
To fulfill my SLO duties, we will also be completing our pre-assessment for writing/language this week…not looking forward to that quite as much!
I know this is just a teaser post, so stop back soon to hear more about the things that interest you!
It’s almost the end of the 1st nine weeks and I am wrapping up our first novel, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, and moving into an informational text unit.
I wanted to do a review game/activity on the iPads but couldn’t choose an app. I decided this was a good time to try Quizlet, which has been on my “Want to Learn About” list since July.
I created these two set of cards this morning:
I haven’t upgraded to the $15/year or the $25/year option yet. I want to see how it goes with the class week, but I am optimistic.
First impression: I love how easy Quizlet is to use.
- You type in the terms and choose from a list of “auto-definitions” or type your own. I am a very fast typist so I had them done in no time. Actually, after I got started, I realized I could copy and paste from the PDFs I already have.
- You can switch the terms and the definitions with one click. Sometimes it is better to present the definition first and ask students to recall the term. Other times, it’s more appropriate to do it the other way around. I
- Quizlet has a “Speak Text” option, which will be great for my class. (I just picked up cheap headphones for the iPads. I have issues with a lot of noise and this should help. A few students also have ear buds of their own.)
- There are hundreds/thousands of sets already created on Quizlet and I spent some time a few weeks ago searching for something that would work.
Now that I’ve realized Quizlet is so easy to use, I shouldn’t have wasted my time searching for an almost-perfect fit, and should have gone this route. Now I have exactly what I want for my class based on what we have studied. (I used the exact definitions we used in our Interactive Notebooks to be consistent)
I was able to quickly link the two card sets to my Schoology course and I will introduce Quizlet tomorrow after our reading quiz (also on Schoology).
The real trick will be if the kids can remember their logins for Schoology!!
What are your thoughts on Quizlet?
How do you use Quizlet in your classroom?
Would you/Did you pay the extra $15 or $25 to upgrade?
Maybe most importantly, how do you get kids to learn their usernames and passwords to multiple online accounts? Our students building-wide are dealing with our new g-mail, Schoology, Chrome books, Khan academy and online text books and it’s been quite a challenge!