Tag Archives: theme

Planning a Manic Monday Before Thanksgiving

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.!

Fish Theme


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.

Plicker participles


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.

Kahoot Earth's Interior

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!

Last Minute Language Arts Cram Session

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!

Language Arts Review – Are you ready?


This image isn't live. You'll have to click the link above to discover all the goodies hidden behind the icons.

This image isn’t live. You’ll have to click the link above to discover all the goodies hidden behind the icons.

Being Resilient When Times Get Tough (Do you have what it takes?)

A few months ago, I sent Ian an Instagram photo of the popular Japanese Proverb:


We’ve all heard this one dozens of times, but for Ian, I had to explain what it meant to him…a couple of times until he really understood.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to write a post about how I’m a girl who’s been knocked down over and over. If you know me, you know I am the girl who has had the opportunity to get back up…over and over.

And now I’m not only teaching my own children that important lesson, but also my students.

Our school has a building-wide theme this year – GRIT (Gumption, Resilience, Initiative and Tenacity). Before that was ever announced, I had already settled on my theme for the year: Conflict

During the first nine weeks, we studied conflicts in literature and connected the text to our own lives.

Hanging in my classroom

Hanging in my classroom

In the second nine weeks, I tweaked my theme to fit the GRIT theme and we are focusing on resilience.   In class we have been reading informational text about teens that have stayed resilient in tough times.   Surviving storms, dealing with illnesses, saving lives, standing up for themselves, teaching others valuable lessons….these true teen accounts are easy for my students to read and discuss and then step back and ask themselves, “Hmmmm….would I be able to do that if it happened to me?”

The beauty of this theme is that it lent itself to an amazing (in my own humble opinion) writing experience with my Resource Room.  I will be posting the details of that project very soon.


Identifying Themes in Music (Prezi)

We have been working a lot on theme lately.  And one of the best ways I’ve found to do that is through music. This is my second Prezi and one that the kids really enjoyed.

Identifying Themes in Music

We reviewed the intro each day and did one video a day.   I did this activity throughout  Stargirl.  Since YouTube is not blocked for teachers, it was very easy for me to just pull up the video that morning during homeroom (I always look for videos with lyrics to help with reading, plus some videos aren’t always school appropriate.)

More on novel playlists (including my Stargirl playlist) and using music in class can be viewed here. 

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