Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday Round Up #10

Hey, it's the Round Up. Everything you see here is on sale for just three days, so now is the time to take advantage of some terrific deals!

Creative & Critical Thinking Worksheets grades 2-6
Needs some fun activities to break up standardized testing? These 21 activities will fill the bill. Most of them utilize the upper levels of Blooms Taxonomy; inviting students to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate. Some are more writing-based, while others focus on logic skills. Most would work well as warm-up, homework or enrichment.
Rachel Lynette

I have put together an entire biology unit on a CD. This unit contains at least 3 weeks of materials depending on how many lab activities you want to do. The title of this unit is ""Genetics"". This unit has everything that a Biology teacher needs to teach a unit on genetics to Biology I students. You will receive a 61 slide powerpoint, teacher notes, student notes, 2 labs, 1 jeopardy review game, 5 quizzes, 7 practice problem worksheets, 1 crossword puzzle and a unit test. All answers are included.

This 37-slide PowerPoint game has students choosing the correct word to complete each sentence.  This can be a two person game or a classroom game. One side is red and one is black.  It is a fun game to play using the SmartBoard. The questions on this game deal with homophones and commonly confused words.

A Powerpoint presentation of 8 slides for student to practice el preterito.
Can be used as Bell Ringer, Class Activity, Exit Slip, or just review.
Presentation includes the answers, just click space bar to begin.

Cause & Effect Smartboard Lesson grades 1-3
Introduce, practice, and review Cause and Effect with this colorful and interactive Smartboard lesson. Just pull the tab on the slides to show the instructions. The first activity feels like magic as the students pass the object over the columns and the answer appears. There are 3 different cause and effect activities to engage your students with. This is a good companion to my Cause and Effect PowerPoint. Includes a link to an online game at the end.

Literary Elements Resource Binder grades 5-12
This HUGE 156 page resource contains creative resources and assignments to support your students’ learning of literary elements (author's purpose, characterization, figurative language, point of view, and tone and mood).  Each literary element bundle includes:  posters, bookmarks, reader response prompts, book list, class activities, graphic organizers, and ready-to-use assignments and rubrics.
Runde's Room

How to Summarize Reading Selections Using Bloom's Taxonomy High School/College
Because it was essential that every student come to class prepared, I created a required article summary to be completed for each assigned reading. The summary is done on 5”x8” file cards so there is not a great deal of writing for the student. Because a rubric is already developed, grading is quick and easy for the teacher. The five page handout consists of detailed directions, the ten point grading rubric, a sample of the back and front of a summary note card, and a detailed overview of Bloom’s Taxonomy with sample questions for each level of Bloom’s.

Pirate Pete's Treasure grades K-2
This is a 53 page document full of cute pirate themed math and literacy centers. The topics covered are counting coins, Greater Than/Less Than counting coins, and synonyms and antonyms.  Each center has a student response sheet. Clink link to see full description.
Karla Banks

Nonfiction Graphic Features Practice grades 6-9
This is practice on the graphic features in nonfiction text.  This product contains a bar graph, a line graph, a circle graph, and a diagram that students will anayze and answer questions.  This could be used as classwork or homework.
Science Etc.

Spanish Present Tense Connect Four Game grades 7-12
Practice the Spanish present tense in context with this fun connect four board game! Game comes with 35 different question cards with practice conjugating -ar, -er, and -ir verbs in the present tense.
Printable game, game pieces, question cards and directions are all included.
The Enlightened Elephant

The Lorax - "Basal Break" Literature Unit grades 2-5
Great for Earth Day! This comprehensive unit includes seven original activities to reinforce the skills of Comprehension, Multiple Meaning Words, Real/Nonsense Words, Vocabulary Development, Persuasive Writing,Rhyming Words and Homophones.

Hunger Games Arena Board Game Activity grades 6-12
Students can create their own board game or play the one provided for a review of the popular Suzanne Collins novel The Hunger Games. Includes directions, rules, printable game board, pawn, die, cards, tokens and blank board and cards for students who wish to create their own.
Tracee Orman

Guided Reading Pack (Lesson Plans, Strategy Posters & Running Records) grades K-1
This pack has what you need to help make your guided reading lesson planning, organization and strategies used a snap!

Poetry / Writing Prompts Power Point grades 4-10
20 visual writing or poetry prompts for a month of learning and writing!  Each slide contains an original photo, a discussion prompt or idea starter AND at least one poetry prompt and one writing prompt.  Great for a range of ages and abilities.
Addie Williams

State Travel Brochure Project grades 2-6
Have your students create a trifold travel brochure about any state! Have them fold a 11 x 17 piece of construction paper into thirds. There is a state research guide, websites that are recommended for research, 2 pages of project detail requirements, and a parent notification portion.

Sentences - Writing / Revising / Editing - Grade 1 - All 9 Sets grades K-2
Sentences – Writing / Revising / Editing – Grade 1 – All 9 Sets is a series of sentence writing lessons for students in Grade 1. There are 9 sets of 20 sentence revising and editing pages written at the various grade 1 reading levels for students to read, revise, and edit. Students will be correcting for capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and spelling of sight words
Mark Lyons

Get your submissions in for the next Round Up here. The sooner, the better. All TpT sellers are welcome to submit.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bring Science Alive with Technology!

As a science teacher, one of my greatest teaching tools is the Internet, and I marvel at some of the fabulous opportunities it offers for both teachers and students.   I try to keep the following words in mind when planning a lesson for students – "Provoke, Relate, Reveal and Involve'. Using the Internet allows me to PROVOKE the students with an interesting question or topic. I can RELATE the topic to them through videos, animations or first-person accounts. I can REVEAL information to them, and lastly (and most importantly), I can INVOLVE them in the process.  Here are some fun and easy suggestions for how you can incorporate the Internet into your teaching practice.

  • Look up “animations” for your topic – I teach Geography / Earth Science and have found some excellent websites with quick animations to demonstrate plate tectonics, the rock cycle, weathering, erosion and more.  There are some excellent animation websites for biology, chemistry and physics.  Try the Interactive Activities page to get yourself started
  • Use YouTube, Vimeo, SchoolTube, and TeacherTube – all are invaluable and I use them almost daily.  Instead of talking about avalanches, why not go to YouTube and watch a video of a snowboarder racing for his life?  The same can be said for just about anything else -the sound of volcanic mud pots gurgling and sputtering can never be put into words or pictures! Have students sign up to present their favorite “Science Video of the Week” to involve them in the process.
  • I have a “current events” segment in my class at least once a week – science is happening, and it is happening right now!  Even if we’re not studying earthquakes, I’ll spend some time in class talking about what’s currently going on in Japan, because it’s science in action.  Why not keep up to date on NASA’s latest, keep an eye on crazy weather, have your finger on the pulse of biology research, or learn what’s happening in chemistry or physics? It doesn’t take long to find out by doing a quick Google search.  Have your students look up current events in your topic area, sign up for a week, and then present their information to the class.
  • Your local news station is an excellent website to check out – I miss the days of a VCR when it was easy to tape a short news segment on a science topic and bring it in to class.  Now, I can visit the news website and easily show the clip I want.
  • It’s always important to preview anything you find online… you never know when someone’s going to say or do something inappropriate.  Remember to re-check websites you haven't visited in a while, as content on the Internet can change rapidly.
  • If you don’t have access to the Internet at school, or if the video sites are blocked in your district, you can download RealPlayer so that you can save videos to your computer. Another option is to use the website KeepVid to download YouTube videos.

Have fun!

Addie Williams
Addie Williams' TPT Store

Featured Science-Related Products:

Classification of Living Organisms PowerPoint and Notes 6th-12th
Chemical Bonding / Covalent Bonds BINGO 10th-12th
States of Matter Puzzle Squares 2nd-4th

A Day at the Beach file folder game (Water Cycle) 3rd-8th
Living and Nonliving Cut-and-Paste Category Board Pre-K-2nd
Weather and Weather Tools PowerPoint 2nd-7th 
Water Cycle Interactive Clickers Question Set (SMART) 3rd-8th
Ionic and Covalent Bonding Games

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Featured Seller: Mr. Blake

1.   How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I joined TPT in the summer of 2008. I had just finished my Ed.S. degree in Educational Technology and heard about TPT from one of my classmates. I have always enjoyed making my own materials for the classroom and TPT seemed like the best way to share those materials with other teachers.

2.   When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
While studying electrical engineering and architecture at LSU, I started working the afterschool and summer programs at the church/school I attended. I fell in love with teaching and decided that’s what I was meant to do.

3.   How are you currently involved in education?
I am currently teaching 2nd grade (my 17th year!) and I am one of the technology leaders at my school. My wife and I also teach Sunday School classes at our church with children of various ages.

4.   What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
To quote the Nike ad, “Just do it!” You’re a teacher, so being creative and thinking on your feet comes naturally. Those materials you created for your classroom may also be of great value to many other teachers. Start out with the Basic membership to get your feet wet and upgrade to the Premium membership once you’ve made enough to pay for it.

5.   What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?
Well, aside from making a little extra money, networking with a wonderful group of educators has inspired me to “kick it up a notch” in my creativity in the classroom.

6.   What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
In 1996 I won 3rd place in Lakeshore Learning’s Great Ideas contest. The item I designed, the Writing Center Caddy, is still sold in their catalog today.

7.   Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?
Yes, my wife and I teach the preschool and school-aged children in Sunday School at our church. I have also given many afterschool, weekend, and technology conference training sessions, most of them dealing with technology use in the elementary grades classroom. I am also the resident “computer tutor” at my school, always willing to help my fellow teachers with their tech problems and questions.

8.   What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
My next goal in life is to be a published author. I have several books in mind, but haven’t dedicated the time to start writing them. I’m hoping to set some time aside this summer and I hope to preview my new book(s) on TPT by the fall.

9.   What profession would you not like to do?
School Administration! No, thank you! More power to all of you administrators out there, but that’s not the job for me.

10.                Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
My favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien. I love his Middle Earth writings and have read most of them several times. My favorite educational author is Debbie Diller. I love her practical writing style and how she gets to the “meat” of the issues that classroom teachers face.
Mr. Blake's Products

-Dolch Sight Word Assessment Kit
I developed this kit out necessity in my own classroom because I wanted an easy way to monitor my students’ progress with their sight words. I love being able to make individualized flashcards for each child with just a few clicks; the parents love it, too!

Literacy Work Stations
When it comes to schedules and routines in the classroom, I am definitely a “paperclip.” I created the Literacy Work Stations and Small Group Meeting Schedule to help organize my literacy block. Using the framework of Debbie Diller’s Literacy Work Stations I modified the plan to work in my classroom. This schedule allows my students to move fluidly from station to station and it provides me with a time to meet with all of my students throughout the week.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Round Up #9

Welcome to the last Thursday Round Up of the month! Spring is a terrific time to pick up some new resources to jazz up your classroom. As always, you will find a variety of products on the Round Up, all on sale until Saturday night. So take a peek. It would also be much appreciated if you would link this post on your own blog, facebook, website, or whatever you got.

Activity Pack for "I, Too, Sing America" grades 6-10
April is National Poetry Month!  Brand new product for teaching Langston Hughes's "I, Too, Sing America." 21 pages. $6.99
Secondary Solutions

Seasonal and Holiday Worksheet Templates  grades K-3
This resource is made up of ten sets of twelve worksheet templates. Each set features a different seasonal or holiday shape. There are ten different shapes for a total of 120 worksheet templates. The twelve templates are all different and can be used in a variety of ways across the curriculum. Simply edit with your own content and print. There is also an additional set of twenty sample worksheets to show a few possible ways to use the templates.
Rachel Lynette

Classroom and Behavior Management Package grades 4-9
This comprehensive package is an 80+ page document that includes classroom management plans and suggestions for dealing with difficult students, a homework policy package, a positive reinforcement system (Class Cash), 5 quick ideas for enriching your classroom, a complete fundraising guide and 10 inspirational posters. All templates, and printable sheets that you may need are included such as: Homework passes, missing homework recording sheets, class cash, behavior contract, sample letters to parents and staff, behavior tracking sheets, monthly report sheets and many, many others. 
Krystal Mills

Teaching Quotes with Dr. Seuss grades 1-3
This is a smartboard arts integrated lesson where students learn how to identify the words being said before moving on to adding correct punctuation to sentences and finally creating their own sentences using correct punctuation for quotes. Student also learn about the artwork of Dr. Seuss and a few tips on how to become a cartoonist. The lesson ends with students creating their own cartoon character (step by step instructions-fool proof) and writing a quote using correct punctuation.
Karla Banks

Genre Posters grades 1-5
These colorful posters will help your students readily identify various genres in literature, in a fun way. Use them to sort your classroom library books into different areas, or just use them as a reference in your library.
Hilary Lewis
Math Games- Jump Around: Moving with Math grades K-2
This is a set of almost 200 task cards for math games to be played in stations or whole group. With easy to make numbered floor mats, students will "jump around" to hop on their answers. Task cards require students to practice number words, ordering numbers, tally marks, place value, money, and skip counting.
Melissa McMurray

Microscope Powerpoint with Notes for Teacher and Student  grades 6 - 9
This powerpoint is on “The Microscope”. It consists of 27 slides that are colorful, informative and visually stimulating. Pictures and diagrams are included that will greatly enhance your instruction to your students. This product also includes a set of notes for the teacher (4 pages) and a set of notes for the student (6 pages).
Science Stuff

Test Taking Survival Kit grades 1-6
Includes a welcome video showing how to create this product! Make standardized test day a little more fun! This printable includes a list of "necessities" to improve scores and attitudes.
Charity Preston

Kindergarten Sight Word Books for Spring  grades PreK-1
The book ""Little Bunny and Big Bunny"" focuses on the sight words little and big. The book ""We Like Spring"" focuses on the sight words we and like. Each book has two versions: The first version has blanks to be filled in with the sight words. The second version provides dots so that the sight words can be traced. Predictable text is used.
Teacher Tam

Elementary Simple Steps to Sentence Sense Step One grades 1-5
A lesson for elementary students on finding and using prepositional phrases. Three pages of exercises and a writing connection practice exercise. This is Step 1 of the elementary version of Charlene Tess' Simple Steps to Sentence. Mrs. Tess' unique method of teaching sentence analysis and grammar has been used successfully by teachers since 1996. As a bonus, the lesson includes a Jr. version of SAM, the Sentence Analysis Map that saves both teachers and students hours of time.
Charlene Tess

Greatest Common Factor and Least Common Multiple Four-In-A-Row Game grades 5-9
This interactive game has students choosing the correct GCF (Greatest Common Factor) or the LCM (Least Common Multiple) of a set of numbers. This game is great for use with pairs of students on an individual computer or on a interactive board for the whole class to play in teams.  Get three of your disks in a row and you win! Many slides have both the GCF and the LCM shown as possible answers so students have to concentrate on the difference between the GCF and the LCM.
Vintage Teachers

Washington D.C. Center File Folder Activities grades 3-6
There are 6 file folder centers that have a fun, interactive and differentiated approach to learning about Washington D.C. and the government. Each file folder center comes with the necessary recording sheets or activity pages that go along with each center activity (19 pages total). For example, center 1 that is pictured in the thumbnail, also includes a downloadable quill pencil page, two pages of the Declaration of Independence and a patriotic writing paper.

Angles: Geometry Hands-On Activities grades K-9
Angles – they are everywhere! But how do we introduce them to students without being so abstract? This five page handout explains how to use three different items to construct angles – coffee filters, plastic plates, and your fingers. Each item or manipulative is inexpensive, easy to make, and simple for students to use. All of the activities are hands-on and work well for kinesthetic, logical, spatial, and/or visual learners. Correct geometric language is encouraged in the activities, and books are listed that will integrate language and geometry.

Grade 1 Everyday Math Lessons on a single CD Wise Owl Factory
This math CD helps bridge learning from manipulative activities through working in the math journals.  It helps by making lessons memorable by being interactive and colorful.
Wise Owl Factory 

Parts of a Story PowerPoint grades 1-3
This powerpoint uses the Wizard of Oz to help illustrate the parts of a story, which cover setting, characters, problem, sequence of events climax, solution, and point of view.

"The Outsiders" - Graphic Organizers that focus on Issues in the novel  grades 6-10
"The Outsiders" is an oldie, but a goodie!  The issues raised in the novel are similar to the issues faced by teens today.  This series of graphic organizers and worksheets is great for group work, journaling, class discussion...  Topics include character, slang, gangs and more.
Addie Williams

191 Writer's Workshop Topic Ideas: plus organizers grades 2-6 
Your students will never be stuck for a writing idea again! This resource includes 191 ideas for writing, in two different list styles to suit the needs of your classroom. Additionally, writing organizers are included that will aid the brainstorming and writing process.
Shelley Gray

Preterite Spanish Powerpoint Past Tense:  grades 7-12
A Powerpoint presentation of 8 slides for student to practice el preterito.
Can be used as Bell Ringer, Class Activity, Exit Slip, or just review.
Presentation includes the answers, just click space bar to begin.

That is it for this week. If you would like one of your products featured in the next Round Up, just fill out this handy dandy form. Handy Dandy Form. All sellers are welcome, even if you are brand new! If you found something you like here, consider leaving some feedback for the seller. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Homework: Meaningful Reinforcement or Families’ Worst Nightmare?

With 27 years of experience teaching high school biology and chemistry and two teenage daughters in high school, I have developed strong views about homework. Actually, my views on homework have changed over the years. At the beginning of my teaching career, I gave homework every night, whether it was needed or not. When my own daughters entered school, however, I quickly began to realize that homework can be a nightmare once it leaves our desks and arrives at home.

I have found that many teachers are unrealistic in their expectations concerning homework. We have to remember that in high school, a student has 5 other classes in addition to our own. If we each give an hour of homework, the student then has 6 hours of homework at night. Some homework is of little value to students since it is never assessed. Other assignments are irrelevant to the learning in class, include vague directions or expectations, or cover material that has not yet been taught. It’s time to change the way we think about homework.
I am still a believer in homework. Students must review the material learned at school, and they must practice using this material outside of the school setting, but my views about homework have definitely changed. I now put more thought into each assignment, making sure that it is a quality assignment that will be beneficial to the student.

When I am considering giving homework, I think about the following points when preparing the assignment. Some teachers may agree with these points, and some may not. Please feel free to write a comment, and let the discussion begin!
  • Homework is an essential part of the learning process, but should be assigned with care. The assignment should be meaningful and should contribute to student learning. What is your goal in assigning this work to the student?
  • The homework should be directly related to the ongoing instructional process of the classroom.
  • Homework assignments should be given to reinforce concepts already taught in class, not as a means of covering new material because the teacher ran out of time.
  • Consider how much time will be required to complete the assignment, remembering that students have homework in all of their classes. It is not possible for students to complete two-hour assignments in every class, every night.
  • Clear and concise directions for completing the assignment should be given. Students need to know specifically what they are expected to accomplish.
  • If the homework is important enough to assign, teachers should take the time to discuss the assignment and to answer questions about it. That will mean leaving enough time at the end of class to explain directions and answer questions before students leave.
  • Will students receive a grade for the assignment? Teachers should indicate in advance how the completed assignment will be scored, and how the scores will contribute to the overall grade.
  • When the assignment is due, the teacher should take the time to do one or a combination of the following:
    • take it up and grade it
    • give individual feedback
    • give some sort of credit for completion
    • ask if there are any questions about the assignment
  • Teachers should be cautious about making out-of-class group projects that require students to get together outside of school. Many students will experience difficulty meeting with their groups through no fault of their own.
I hope this provides food for thought and seeds for discussion in the comments section. Good luck in your teaching!

Amy Brown

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Featured Seller: Jer

1  How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I have been a part of TPT since May 2009.  I had been looking for lessons on-line, with a general Google search, and I kept getting directed to TPT.  I bought a power point on the French Revolution and was impressed with the product.  Then I bought a vocabulary power point and knew that I could do a better job than that.

2.   When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
Since 6th grade; I was chosen to be a safety for the kindergarteners on the school bus and loved the chance to help other students.  My favorite summer activity was always playing “school” with my younger sisters and their friends.  In high school I tutored on a volunteer basis for the fun and love of education.

3.   How are you currently involved in education?
Currently I am a classroom teacher for 9-12 grades in French I – IV.  I began and moderate a Modern Language Honor Society at our school to foster continued study and appreciation of the languages and their associated cultures.  I also moderate an active French Club and take students to France every other year during spring break.

4.   What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
It is well worth the premium membership fee; mine paid for itself in just the first month that I joined.  You are doing the work anyways for your classes, so you may as well put a bit more effort in to have it look nice and neat so that you can list it and have it sell well.  Other teachers are doing the same units that you are!

5.   What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?
It has made me focus on what works well.  It has strengthened the creative side of me.  I try to have more of a variety of activities for each topic so that I always have a choice based on how well the students understand, how cooperative they are being and how old or new the topic is. 

6.   What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
I love to sew and create unique outfits, accessories and home furnishings. 

7.   Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?
Not at the present time.  I have done many different things over the years, but right now I am concentrating on my classes (I am developing a foreign language program for lower level students) and on creating products for TPT.

8.   What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
None; education is where my passion is.  Although, I was a seamstress for 12 years while I stayed at home and raised my children.

9.   What profession would you not like to do?
Politician; their life is under a microscope and they are frequently under attack by those who disagree.

10.   Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
John Grisham; I like the intricacy of his stories and I like to try to figure things out before the end of the book.  I also like not having to remember anything about the book except that it was an interesting story. 
Harry Wong; he has some great ideas on how students learn best.
Jer's Featured Items:
 - I like my “Inspecteur / Inspector” activities.  They give students a chance to get out of their seats, move around, talk to friends and STILL be doing classwork.  Students read a question out loud, working on reading and speaking skills; they listen and understand what they hear; they read and find the appropriate response.  They are a great activity that uses many skills.

- My 4 by 4 activities; students work in small groups and arrange 16 index cards in a 4 x 4 grid.  All adjacent sides must match.  My 4 by 4 with passé composé is great for reviewing all 4 groups of verbs (regular, irregular past participles, être verbs & reflexive verbs).  “Nous nous sommes” requires a reflexive verb that has agreement for masculine plural; “sorti” requires a masculine singular subject with être.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Round Up #8

Welcome to the Thursday Round Up! As always, you will find an assortment of terrific teaching resources, all on sale until Saturday night. This week we have a lot of new sellers! Please be sure to check out their offerings. There is also quite a bit of math and science. If you are working on graphing you have come to the right place - there are three different graphing resources! But don't worry, there are also some language and literature products as well as character education and drama. So take a peek!
If you are a TpT seller and would like to be included in the next Round Up, be sure to fill out this Handy Dandy Form. All sellers are welcome, even if you are brand new!

100 Improvisation Scenarios for Drama / Theatre Arts grades 4-12
TOP SELLER! 100 improvisation acting scenarios. Simply print these scenarios onto cardstock, cut them out, and place them in a box for partners to draw out. These scenarios are great for drama class!
Lisa Frase

Interactive Literature Book Marks  grades 2-6
More than bookmarks, these 17 handy learning tools help students track and think about what they are reading. Great for casual reading when you do not want to do a full-on unit but do want some accountability. Book marks for characters, setting, summarizing, interesting words, cause and effect and many more.
Rachel Lynette

Past Tense Irregular Verbs grades 1-3
This colorful and interactive PowerPoint will help your students tackle past tense irregular verbs. 

Literary Terms Worksheets & Graphic Organizers  7-12
17 Literary Terms Worksheets and Graphic Organizers that work with any novel, short story, or poem. These standards based worksheets ask students to think critically about the literature they read, and enable students to comprehend character motivation, theme, and figurative language with the texts. Also builds background for literary response writing.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus grades PreK-K
Do your students love the pigeon books by Mo Willems? Let your students interact with the story as they learn literacy, math, science, fine motor, art, and more. This packet contains 90 pages of activities with a total of 12 printables.
Karen Cox

Character Education Fun! grades 2-8
"An awesome set of character education activities, lessons, and printables that you can share with your students on 8 different character traits! Also, included are several pages of quotes for each trait that you can use for journals, discussions, or poster making! Over 30 pages of activities to incorporate into your classroom to review or begin to build character with your students. (Cooperation, Empathy, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Perseverance, Tolerance, and Kindness).
Tech Girl

Getting students to practice vocabulary grades 6-12
Foreign Language Tool that gets students to practice their vocabulary words. They can choose which activities to do that will help them learn and practice the words. Choose activities from three categories (5 points, 10 points, 15 points) and have students do a total of 20 points worth of practice.

Fractions for the Confused and Bewildered - All Operations grades 4-8
Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions is something every student should learn, but often numerous students are left behind in the mathematical dust when a math textbook is followed page by page. Finding the lowest common denominator, changing denominators, not changing denominators, finding a reciprocal, and reducing to lowest terms are complex issues and often very difficult for many math phobic students. The teaching methods included in this eight page handout target the kinesthetic learner, the visual/spatial learner, the auditory student, and the student who with a learning disability. What is amazing is that the unconventional techniques described will always work. 

Science Tasks with Otis & Flask grades 3-6
Science Tasks with Otis & Flask were designed as centers to reinforce science concepts in grades 3-6. These centers include Teacher Background information, Task Cards for each center that provide information for the student, photocopy-ready student packet pages which many include student observation sheets, data sheets, student readings, vocabulary, and assessment items. An answer key is also included.
Teaching Learning Collaborative

Advertising Techniques - Create Your Own Ad grades 5-10
A great introduction to advertising techniques - students learn how companies convince us to make purchases and then apply those techniques to their own ad.  Includes student handout for ad techniques, assignment sheet and rubric.
Addie Williams

Animal Cell Study Guide grades 4-9
This powerpoint is a study guide for the parts of an animal cell. The student will click on a specific part of the cell and the powerpoint will take them to a page telling about that part.  When they are confident  they can identify the part, they go to a testing slide that allows them to identify and tell what each part of the cell does.
Pamela Woods

Action Verbs and Keith Haring grades 2-5
This is a smartboard, arts integrated lesson with everything you need to teach the lesson.  Students will learn about action verbs, review nouns, and the color wheel particularly complementary colors with a review of primary and secondary colors.
Karla Banks

The Ultimate Lab Safety Bundle for Teachers grades 5-12
It is our responsibility as science teachers to make sure that the lab environment for our students is a safe environment.  This bundle of products has everything you need to insure the safety of your students.  Products contained are:  30 slide powerpoint, notes for teacher and student, lab safety contract, lab safety activity, lab safety quiz, medical emergency form and pre-lab worksheet.
Science Stuff

Area and Perimeter PowerPoint grades 7-12
Teach and practice perimeter and area of rectangles, squares, parallelograms, trapezoids and triangles with this fun, colorful PowerPoint presentation.  Presentation has 33 slides total, 13 slides are instructional slides which include animation that shows and explains perimeter and each area formula. Also includes the definitions of all 5 shapes and lots of practice for whiteboards or regular paper.
The Enlightened Elephant

Clean Sweep Homophone Center grades 2-5
Have your students clean up sentences that have one too many homophones. This hands-on literacy center provides 30 practice sentences, a student direction sign, an answer sheet for students, and feather dusters to cut out and attach to clothespins to turn your students in to super sentence cleaners!

Graphing Math Project grades 3-6
Have your students conduct a survey where they will graph their survey results. They will create a frequency chart, bar graph, pictograph, line plot, a tally chart, and be asked to find statistical landmarks (maximum, minimum, mode, etc.).  Included is the project description, project point rubric, and graph examples.

Coordinate City Creative Math Project grades 4-8
This is a creative math lesson plan that has students create their own Coordinate City using coordinates, a scale, four quadrants, x and y axis skills (to name a few). Students get to pick a name and theme for their city that includes: buildings, streets, a park, and an attraction. Included are six pages: a contract sheet, a direction sheet, a rubric for assessment, a vocabulary sheet with definitions, a four-quadrant grid, and a teacher tips page.
Wise Guys

Ordered Pairs / Coordinate Graphing Smartboard Lesson grades 4-6
Here is a 17-page Smart Board presentation on ordered pairs. 12 interactive pages plus 5 introductory discussion-starter pages. This lesson is an introduction to locating points in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane. I recently used this along with my mystery state coordinate maps (also for sale on TPT) and had excellent results!
Patrick Shaffer

Oviparous Animals: a unit integrating literacy, math and science grades K-1
A 99-page unit that integrates Common Core standards from language arts and math into the study of oviparous animals! Your students will love learning about egg-laying animals as they work with words, research, complete graphing activities, make mini-books and much more!
Shelley Gray

Monday, March 14, 2011

Food for Thought: St. Patrick's Day Learning

Today is St. Patrick's Day.  To say that I love being Irish is to underestimate how much I love being Irish.  It's like saying David Bowie is just a singer or that William Shakespeare wrote some cool poems.  I love being Irish, and I love celebrating the history and culture of my people.  Each year I take time to make a few Irish dishes for friends and family.  I love to tell them the history of my people and why these particular dishes are significant to Ireland.

To me, being Irish is a great special gift that not everyone can share, but everyone should know about.  I am proud of the good and the bad that is my Irish ancestry.  I love celebrating today, to tell everyone around me about the Irish.  I also do it every other day of the year, if someone will let me -- but today I get to go a little overboard, and I'm okay with that!

Learning about a new culture and really appreciating it can feel overwhelming and distant.  What I mean by distant is that reading a textbook or watching a film probably isn't going to make a culture or country come to life for anyone.  It also won't present a way in which to make a lasting connection with the viewer (unless the story already holds a personal connection).  I know this to be very true from my own personal experiences.  This is also the reality that faces our students.

This is a huge world filled with over 200 countries, each with its own unique culture, people, and history.  As global citizens, each student should learn about these different cultures as best they can.  By having an understanding, and thereby an appreciation, of other people, global citizens can have more compassion and awareness of the world around them.  It can be difficult, however, to really learn about these cultures and countries simply from a textbook or a website.

In many elementary schools, students complete two big social studies projects on a state, followed by a country project.  And while those projects are really good, there isn't much after that, which is unfortunate.  To me, a great opportunity is missed when we don't take the time to learn about a country's cuisine.  For my part, I know quite a bit about Ireland, and understanding the local and traditional dishes of the Irish has given me a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the culture as a whole.  For example, why is it that potatoes, cabbages, or root vegetables seem to be in nearly every meal?  Due to the rocky moist soil and the longer growing time required -  these types of vegetables do well there.  Plus, root vegetables are less expensive to grow and keep longer in storage.  When Ireland was developing as it's own country, money wasn't very plentiful - so you needed to eat and eat items that weren't expensive to grow or tricky to harvest.  There's no way an orange would grow or last long on the cold, rainy, windy island of Ireland.  So, by learning about the foods that come from Ireland, I am also learning about the country and culture of the Irish.  Seafood is very common in Irish dishes too; and why is that, you ask?  Well, Ireland is an island.   And seeing how after an initial investment in fishing tools, it is very inexpensive to fish - it makes economic sense to fish.  Again, by examining the food of my people I am better equipped to know them.  I can also teach someone that the limited food ingredients that the Irish had to cook and eat with was in large part due to the restrictions placed on them by the English sovereignty.  This type of analysis can be applied to any country. 

Now, to bring this concept into the classroom may be a little tricky at first, but it is possible at any level of school.  What about having a food party at the end of a unit?  Each student or group makes a dish, does a little write up explaining what the food tells us about the culture, and presents it to the class.   While the groups present their dishes, the remainder of the class writes and takes notes on the presentation, and is required to ask at least three questions during each presentation.  Afterwards, the teacher can take all the recipes and make a booklet for each student. The recipe book would also be a great computer lab project for the students. You could have students type up their recipes, and then merge the files into one document for printing and copying. You could even have student editors in charge of proofreading the recipes and merging the files. Your colleagues might even enjoy receiving copies of the finished product!  This can be done at any grade level; and could really be a great deal of fun for older students, who don't get as many creative opportunities to learn.

This may seem like a time-intensive project, but it doesnít have to be, and the learning benefits are huge.  At the minimum, students could research a dish and print an image of it, and then continue on with the abovementioned report presentation. You could also involve parents in the project. 

As educators, we should be looking for ways to bring the curriculum to life for our students.  Child or not, who doesn't want to have their learning be more interesting?  I don't know a single person who feels fulfilled by reading a textbook alone.  As teachers, we want our lessons  to be meaningful, and for students to retain what they are learning.  By talking and learning while eating foods from various cultures, we can allow for learning that expands our students' worlds, and lasts a lifetime.

Erin Go Braugh!

by Rosshalde Pak

Article Items

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Featured Seller: Justin

1.    How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I’ve been a seller for about seven months. I happened to read an online article about the site and decided to give it a go. I have created packets and sold them on e-bay, but that site is not really a place people look for education products. I love sharing my products and to make extra money from it is fantastic!

2.    When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
I had some really great teachers throughout my education, so I must give them credit for making their mark on me and influencing me toward a fulfilling career. My Spanish teachers were all able to really reach me as a student and made the love for the language grow. My first ‘training’ as a teacher came after my second year of college, as I work as a teacher in a summer program for inner-city children. Without any education classes besides Education 100, I completed the summer and knew that I could handle this profession and it was something I wanted to do. At least now I know what I am doing though!

3.    How are you currently involved in education?
This is my 6th year teaching. I currently teach 8th grade Spanish at a Blue Ribbon school in Illinois. I like to get involved in extra curricular programs and events at my school and see students perform outside the classroom walls.

4.    What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
Any teacher who is not part of TpT needs to be! It is free to sign up as a customer and you can find thousands of products to use in your classroom. You can find plenty of free resources but any product you buy you know it is a teacher tried and true lesson-plus at great prices. To those who create engaging lessons for their own students, it is satisfying to know that your work is benefiting students around the US when other teachers buy your products. Plus, who couldn’t use some extra income?

5.    What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?
I have always wanted to get into publishing. As a teacher, I enjoy creating relevant and engaging lessons for my students. When I would see products in educational catalogues being sold at high prices, I would think to myself “I could make that.” And now I am making products and can market them to teachers at reasonable prices that I would pay.

6.    What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I would love to be an author and write novels. As a child, I loved to write and would write mini books at home. Although I do publish teacher materials on TpT, I still hope to eventually publish a book in the future. Perhaps in retirement?

7.    What profession would you not like to do?
Lucky for me, I have found a profession that I love. I go to work everyday knowing that I am doing something worthwhile and enjoyable. I enjoy my role as a teacher where I get to interact with students everyday and hopefully inspire them in my content. I see the work that administrators do and the problems that social workers deal with and I know that I could never do their difficult jobs.

9.  Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
I do not have a particular favorite author, but I do enjoy reading, especially the kind of books my students are reading. That being said, I have to say I really enjoyed the Hunger Games series.

By Justin

Justin's Favorite Products

This 64 page book features many ideas for lessons and offers numerous games and projects, You won't find a collection of this many classroom tried and tested materials in once place for this price! Publishers will charge you over 2 or 3 times the price of this book.

This project, designed for students in grades 6-10, has groups working to research and present about a Country. Project includes 4 main components: Presentation Board, Map, Travel Brochure, and Map. Each component has a detailed rubric for easy grading. Makes good project for Geography, Social Studies, or Foreign Language classes.

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