Week 22, and that number is HIGHER than the temperature these days! It’s -15 with windchill right now…Brrrr!!! Below are the highlights of this never-ending week:
1. Friendship 9 – Did you hear the fantastic news about the Friendship 9? This week we read a Newsela article about their expunged records from the 1961 lunch counter sit-ins. Then, we viewed the wordlessnews.com entry on the topic to discuss the use of symbolism and imagery. What a powerful image! Justice is served! This fit in perfectly with our current unit on Spite Fences.
2. Kahoot– I’ve mentioned on this blog before how we like to use Kahoot with the student iPads or laptops as a fun review game. It’s always a hoot! The kids get SO excited and into it that I have to stop and calm them down after each question. If you haven’t tried it out, what are you waiting for? 🙂 This week, we used the game to review our Social Studies chapter on Reconstruction after the Civil War.
3. Bobblehead – So how cool is this? A student made a bobble head of me! I guess my head is too big and the mattress spring doesn’t really keep it up, but that’s fine by me. That hair! Those eyes and lips! I’m GORGEOUS! LOL. I hope I get to keep it in my room after the art show!
4. Sister Day– I am so blessed and lucky to have a superhero I mean sister. She is very busy being amazing as a pediatric oral surgeon, and I’m very busy being a kick-ass educator, and there is never enough sister time. So this past weekend, we scheduled some. She took me out for a pedicure and froyo, and lemme tell you, that is my idea of Heaven. I can think of nothing better.
5. Projects – I gotta tell you something: Winters in Wisconsin are HARD. Like really hard. I suffer from seasonal depression, and there’s not much you can do besides try to keep your spirits up and wait it out. One thing I like to do to keep my mind and hands occupied is to find little projects like making Christmas presents. I’ve started a few this week, and it feels so good!
How was your week? I’d love to hear how you ward off the Winter Blues. And aren’t you just loving these longer days?
I know, I know – It’s supposed to be “High Five for Friday,” but our last day of 2014 this year is on a Tuesday! We go right up to the 23rd. Hey, some people complain, but I like it for several reasons. It gets us out earlier in the summer, it keeps us busy, it forces me to be more prepared and organized for the holidays, and I know some kiddos are getting the warmth and food they need as close to the holidays as possible. So I don’t mind a bit!
Here are some highlights from our last week(s) of school:
1. Reading Turning Into Fun!– One of my 8 intervention students decided to make this game – ALL BY HERSELF! She asked if we could play it during our intervention class. I got everyone a game piece and one die for the group. Then, we read a Newsela article. After we finished each section, I asked the students a reading comprehension question (ranging from simple recall to inference and analysis). They enjoyed this, and I will definitely bring it out again.
2. Grammar Posters – I just made up a few random sentences and hung them on my bulletin board. We’ll see if they help!
3. Paper Wig Fashion Show – In art class, my students made a series of paper wigs. They look phenomenal, in my opinion! They asked the teachers to each model a wig and do a ‘runway fashion show’ for the school. I had such a blast! I really wish I could keep the wig, too – it’s really neat!
4. Krumkake – My mother, sister, and I got together for an afternoon to make Norwegian Krumkake. They are made on a hot press and then rolled onto a wooden dowel until they cool into this conical shape. You can eat them as is, or fill them with whipped cream. YUM.
5. Ready for Christmas! Here is Ruffy (one of my two dogs) in his Christmas best! Such a sweetie. We have all our gifts purchased, wrapped, packed, and ready to go! I just love Christmas 🙂
How were your last few days of school before Winter Break? I hope they were filled with good memories to last you until the New Year!
Have you heard of Kahoot? I just learned about it, and I was so excited to try it in my classroom. You can use this tool with any personal tech device with internet access. My students all have iPads, but you could also use cell phones or laptops if students have these.
I’ve got to say, my students REALLY enjoyed it. I haven’t seen them this excited in a long time. And I didn’t even offer prizes! They wanted to know when we could play again. As soon as I can make a new game!
Kahoot is like Trivia. The teacher creates a game, and the students play with their personal technology devices. I created a review game for some tricky grammatical concepts we have been studying. This would be an excellent review tool for vocabulary or content area classes as well.
I put the game up on my SMARTBoard, which displays a 5-digit game code. The students go to https://kahoot.it and enter the game code, and suddenly they are logged in to the game (no account or set-up required).
For each question, choices appear on their device. They log their answer on their iPad, and they are awarded points based on speed and accuracy.
After each question is complete, the SMARTBoard screen shows the correct answer, and their iPad tells them how many points they were awarded as well as which place they are in. On my SMARTBoard, the game then displays the top 5 participants (struggling students are not identified to the class).
I pause after each question for discussion. I usually create several questions in a row on the same concept, and this gives students a chance to learn and improve.
The possibilities for this game are endless! I did a 17-question game (each question has a 30-second timer), and this took about 25 minutes once you include the discussion and all of their enthusiasm. What a fun day in Language Arts class!
Welcome back, teachers and students! Today is my first day back with students. We are doing an all-school pep rally to start the day, then rotating through a shortened version of the schedule so students can see their classrooms/teachers, then after lunch we have a PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) activity for the whole afternoon to learn about school expectations.
I have quite a few ‘Get To Know You’ Activities planned. My goal is always to learn all 180 students’ names by Day 2. In reality, I will have about 7 names that just won’t stick by the end of Day 2 – I’ll get it by Day 3. I really take pride in getting to know my students and establishing a strong working relationship. I like to know what makes each student unique. Positive relationships are the cornerstone of my classroom management style.
The first activity is called ‘Get To Know You Bingo.’ It is a Bingo board with a question in each box. Each student will have his/her own worksheet and a pen/cil. They will have to walk around the room, ask a classmate a question, listen thoughtfully, and write the classmate’s name/response in the box. In this way, they should go around the room until they’ve gotten 5 in a row (or fill the whole board, depending on pacing and how much time we have). I encourage them to come up to me so I can appreciate their responses as well. You can see a preview picture of the activity below, and you can download the Get To Know You Bingo pdf here.
Another fun activity that I can do in the last few minutes of class throughout the first week uses this ‘Question Ball,’ which I adapted for my 8th graders from this blog post. I bought a bouncy ball from the Dollar Store for $2 and then wrote 35 ‘Get To Know You’ questions using a Sharpie. Doing this every day for the last couple of minutes will really help me learn those names!
1. What is your favorite dessert?
2. Do you belong to any clubs/groups?
3. How long do you sleep on the weekends?
4. How many times have you moved?
5. What do you do during recess?
6. What is something you’d like to buy?
7. What makes you really mad?
8. What is the last book or story that you read?
9. Tell about an injury you have had.
10. Do you have any chores at home?
11. What is your favorite summer activity?
12. What do you want to be when you grow up?
13. What is your biggest pet peeve?
14. What is your favorite breakfast food?
15. Do you like your name? Is it a good fit?
16. What makes you extremely happy?
17. Which class is your favorite?
18. Who lives with you?
19. Tell something that not many people know about you.
20. Do you have a favorite song, album, or musical artist?
21. How do you relax/unwind?
22. What is your favorite movie or TV show?
23. Which class is the hardest or easiest for you?
24. What is the strangest food you have ever tried?
25. Do you have a cell phone?
26. Have you ever been on Honor Roll or Student of the Month?
27. Where do you want to live when you grow up?
28. What is your favorite sport to play?
29. What makes you feel stressed?
30. How clean is your bedroom?
31. Chocolate or vanilla?
32. Walk or run?
33. Early or late?
34. Hot or cold?
35. Do you like surprises?
I’m really excited for today! I can’t wait to meet all of my new students!