Saturday, April 30, 2011

Featured Seller: Krystal Mills

1.            How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I’ve been a member of TpT for some time. I just became a “Premium Seller” in February. I found the site a few years ago and was sharing the awesome resources that I kept finding there with other staff members. 
I’m on maternity leave now, and I don’t go back until September. With the reduced income that maternity leave brings, I’ve decided to try to make up some of the difference with TpT.   

2. When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
Like many of us, I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a teacher. I knew all through high school that it’s where my path was headed. I tutored and worked with other students whenever I could. I loved the satisfaction of helping someone understand something that they didn’t understand before. 

3.            How are you currently involved in education? 
Well, currently I’m on maternity leave – enjoying my time with my 8 month old and 3½ year old boys. Last year I taught Grade 7 Math, Language Arts and Social Studies. Although my assignment may change, I expect it will be similar in the fall. In addition to building my TpT store, I also just started to contribute content for an online educational newsletter. 

4.            What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
I’d say, “Go for it!” The possibilities are endless with how far you could go – just look at some of the success stories. As I said, I’m very new at this. However, I earned my Premium Seller fee back in the first month and now everything I make for the rest of the year goes in my pocket. Plus, I love being able to share the lessons and activities that I have made for my students, as well as the ideas and strategies that I use in my classroom. Being on maternity leave is lovely, but it can also be lonely. I like the connection to other teachers that the site (and this blog) offers.  

5.            What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers? 
Well, I just recently reached an exciting benchmark: My first followers! I’m also on my way to $200 in earnings and when I started in February I didn’t know if I’d even sell one product! I think the biggest highlight, though, is the nice comments that people have left for my products. It’s really validating!

6.            What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
I love the show “Dog the Bounty Hunter”. 

7.            Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?
Last year, I was a teacher-supervisor for our school yearbook. I’ve organized different fundraising activities for various causes at our school. I also started a “Mathletes” group after school for students that wanted to try challenging Math from a higher grade level – something I wish I would have had when I was in school.   

8.            What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
The only other profession I’ve ever considered was a Psychologist, when I was completing my under-grad degree in Psychology. That Psychology background has been very helpful to me in the teaching profession! 

9.            What profession would you not like to do?
Probably a nurse – I have a friend that worked with young children in the cancer unit at a children’s hospital. It’s such an important profession - I just don’t think I could handle that type of stress. 

10.       Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
I don’t read for pleasure as much as I would like to at this time in my life, but I do enjoy Jodi Picoult’s writing. I loved “My Sister’s Keeper”. 
I think Karen Hume is amazing. “Start Where They Are” her book on differentiated instruction is absolutely incredible. 

Krystal Mills

- I’ve created a package on Translations, Reflections, Rotations and Graphing. Students work through various math centers to create their own colorful designs, plot points to solve a mystery picture (then create their own), play a Memory card game to practice identifying ordered pairs, play a hide and seek type of game with lines of longitude and latitude – I’ve included a test (with solutions) as well. The test alone, could be broken into 3 small assignments. 

-This is a really fun integrated arts project that addresses outcomes in creative writing, visual art and drama, communication, collaborative skills and time management (I’ve included optional rubrics, as well). Students create paper mache masks and design their masks to be any animal, monster etc. that they want. In small groups, the students use the characters that their masks form to become the characters in a play that they will collaboratively write. Finally, students gather any props, costumes, backdrops etc. that will enhance their performance and perform their plays for the class.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday Round Up #13

We are back after a small break. As always, lots of great resources, all on sale for just three days. So take a peek!

Literature Response Activity Cards for Any Book grades 3-8
These 45 Literature activity cards can be used with any book and are great for independent reading. They can also be used in addition to comprehension questions and other classroom work. Use at with literature groups, at centers or stations, as homework, or extra credit.
Rachel Lynette

The Great Poetry Race Fluency Kit grades 1-5
The Great Poetry Race is a fun way for students to practice their fluency by reading poems to adults and collecting their signatures.This kit contains resources and materials to help you set set up The Great Poetry Race in your classroom and help motivate your students to become successful and more fluent readers.
Mrs. Magee

Value Pack Let's Make Words - Word Family Literacy Station Activities grades K-2
Working with word families is an effective way to get kids reading and help them learn to decode longer words. This book can be used in a variety of ways, to make learning to read a hands-on experience. This book is packed with 150 different word families to get your students well on their way to becoming awesome readers!
Hilary Lewis

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid), RNA, Protein Synthesis Homework Set of 4 grades 7-10
This product contains 4 different homework assignments that you can use as you are teaching a unit on DNA, RNA and Protein Synthesis. I have divided the information into the following four assignments: Homework #1: DNA – The Basics Homework #2: DNA Replication Homework #3: RNA and Transcription Homework #4: Translation – Protein Synthesis.
Science Stuff

Punctuation and Capitalization Baseball PowerPoint Game grades 6-9
The questions in this PowerPoint game are designed to mimic the way punctuation and capitalization are sometimes questioned on state mandated tests using a multiple choice format.  Students are asked to select the needed change for the underlined section or to determine if the selection is correct as it is. The addition of an electronic tic-tac-toe option adds the skill of logic into this game as well.
Vintage Teacher

Checklist for Parent/Teacher Conferences Based on Characteristics, NOT Grades All grades
This original download contains nine, brief, succinct checklists which are written as a guide so that during conferences you, the teacher, have specific items to talk about besides grades. They are:  1) Study Skills and Organization, 2) Response to Assignments, 3) In Class Discussion, 4) Class Attitude, 5) Reaction to Setbacks, 6) Accountability, 7) Written Work, 8) Inquiry Skills, and 9) Evidence of Intellectual Ability.

Persuasive Paragraph Writing - organizers, templates and ideas! grades 6-10
An easy to use set of templates and organizers to help students write a persuasive paragraph or essay.  Includes worksheets with a given topic and duplicates of the same worksheets without a topic, so you could create your own.  One of my best sellers!
Addie Williams

Sunny Weather Literacy Center Activities grades K-3
This 94 page packet of literacy center activities includes 10 ready-to-print centers that are easy to use and reinforce literacy skills for students in kindergarten through grade 3. It includes activities and a game that focus on rhyming words, syllables, long and short vowel sounds, nouns, verbs, adjectives, contractions, writing sentences, matching synonyms, making words, practicing sight words, and digraphs. Included is an answer key and recording sheets.
Mark Lyons

Factor Quadratics PowerPoint grades 8-11
Ocean-themed PowerPoint presentation where students learn to solve quadratic equations using 4 different methods; Factoring the GCF, Factoring into two binomials, Square root method and the Quadratic Formula! This presentation has 50 slides which guide students through the process of solving quadratic equations using each of the different methods.  Also includes tons of examples and whiteboard practice!
The Enlightened Elephant

Big Chickens Fly the Coop Shared Reading Plans grades K-2
Shared reading plans for the children's book ""Big Chickens Fly the Coop"" by Leslie Helakoski. Includes plans for 5 days of activities including characters, setting, beginning, middle and end, squencing and interactive pieces for acting out the story. Completely accessible of children with disabilities.
Amanda Myers

Earth Day Activities grades 3-6
Your students will have fun as they discuss ways to protect the environment, recycle and reuse. 
Worksheets include: My design of Jane Yolen’s “I am the Earth” poem that has a frame where students paste their pictures, fill in the vowels of the poem, two Earth Day posters that I designed and can be hung in the classroom (8 1/2 inches by 11 inches), finding little words, designing Earth Day posters, Earth Day haiku, April categories, ABC order, scrambled words and more. Answers are included as well as many suggestions of how to use the activities. Worksheets are provided in color and black and white.
Ruth S.

Spanish Food Oral Partner Speaking Listening Activity Comida grades 7-12
Use a real life situation that students could find themselves in in the future where they must follow someone's directions in Spanish. Have the students work in pairs where they must listen to the partner give them directions on where to place food pictures. You can certainly edit the sentences to use specific vocabulary, verbs, and grammar structures you are currently studying in your food unit.

Nonstandard Measurement Smartboard Lesson grades 1-3
This 11-slide Smartboard lesson will help your students distinguish nonstandard units from standard units and how they are useful. There is also a fun group activity at the end.

Test Taking Tips and Strategies grades 7-12
This powerpoint is designed to share tips and strategies for taking standardized tests.  Included are tips for Reducing Test Anxiety, Strategies for Difficult Questions, and Guessing Strategies.  I also sell a Companion Jeopardy Game as a fun review.  Because this PPT is text-heavy, I often copy a class set of handouts (2/page) to allow students to take notes more easily.
Melissa Soeltz

Number of the Day: developing number sense grades 2-4
Number of the Day activities for 50 different numbers between 10 and 600! Number tasks include: solving and writing equations, problem-solving, representing numbers, number lines, skip-counting, expanded notation and much more!
Shelley Gray

Charlotte's Web  Literacy Bundle grades 1-4
This literacy unit is aligned with the new Common Core standards!  It was adapted from a kid-tested unit that has been utilized in my classroom for the past five years!  It's always a hit with my students, and I hope your students enjoy it too! :)
One Extra Degree

2D Basic Geometric Shape / Shapes Teaching Pack grades K-2
This MEGA FILE packet will help you introduce and teach some basic 2D shapes in your clssroom. It is 108 pages and packed full of quality graphics and motivating resources.
From the Pond

My Teacher's Report Card: End of the Year Activity! all grades
Looking for some fun and engaging end of the year activities?? This ""Teacher Report Card"" Activity is really neat and it will give you some feedback on your classes this year in a fun, constructive way!
It comes with 7 printables that help the students organize their thoughts and help them determine how they should ""grade"" the teacher..then, they complete a Teacher Report Card template and comments page..too cool for school! I enjoy reading them soooo much and it really is interesting to hear the student's perspective on things ;))
Tech Girl

Are you a TpT Seller? Would you like to be in the next Thursday Round Up? Just fill out this handy-dandy form! All sellers are welcome.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

50 Free Resources!

In order to celebrate 500 fans for her site, TpT seller Charity Preston of The Organized Classroom has collected 50 great TpT resources from different sellers, all for free!

Check out the list of links here. You are sure to find something great!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Inclusion Teacher's Toolkit

Picture it: This is my fantasy. I am wearing a beautifully tailored pantsuit, unstained and wrinkle-free. And I’m walking in the cutest pair of high heels ever. Every hair is in place and my makeup is appropriately alluring and dewy for school.  Calming classical music plays as I enter the classroom, Bach or Mozart. I see little cartoon birds chirping pleasantly outside my window, peering in as they hop from branch to branch. And Bambi is pleasantly munching grass with Flower and Thumper. All my students are seated with both feet on the floor, hands resting gently on their opened books. They are waiting with patient anticipation for the wisdom of my words and the wonder of my lessons. And most importantly, every child is exceeding expectations on state tests, behaves beautifully, and loves me totally.

Then a phlegmy spit-ball hits me in the eye and my Disney fantasy dissolves suddenly into the stark reality of my classroom. I’m wearing a coffee-stained and wrinkled T-shirt with khaki cargo pants. I look down at my feet and see the sneakers I bought at Wal-Mart, old and worn, but comfy. My hair is wildly tousled in that psychotic killer kind of way. And my makeup resembles that of a clown performing for the Cirque Du Soleil. My students are playing some rap/hip hop techno bubble gum pop thing that I don’t understand and, according to them, am not “cool” enough to listen to. No birds are at my window since that unfortunate slingshot incident involving my apple paper weight, and I haven’t been able to find my DVD of Bambi in weeks. My students are out of their desks, practically climbing the walls. I’m completely convinced that they are planning my ultimate demise. And most importantly, I have all levels of academic performance and all behaviours, and sometimes they hate me totally. This is my perfectly imperfect classroom.

All students deserve an education in an appropriate, least-restrictive environment (LRE) placement. This is both a moral and legal obligation. The education of all is enhanced by the inclusion of students who in the past would have been tracked into alternative education. Thus, many schools are instituting inclusion. This means that there will be students in your classroom who are not at level in terms of their academics and/or behaviour, but have every right to be there. I have always had inclusion students in my classroom. But, even for someone such as myself, with experience, inclusion can be daunting. On days when you’re discouraged, the task can appear impossible. 

Here are some practical tips I’ve added to my own "toolkit" over the years to maximize academic and behavioural success for all students.

  1. Work closely with your special education and/or targeted behaviour team to integrate included students. These people include special education and targeted behaviour teachers, guidance counselors and social workers, and administration, such as principals and vice-principals. My first principal believed that when presented with a problem, you should throw adults at it until the problem goes away. Teaching inclusion students takes a whole team, so don’t be afraid to use the resources available at your school. You are not less of a teacher for doing so.
  2. Review all previous assessments done on the student. My sister is a behaviour consultant, and her one annoyance is teachers who never look at assessments. Previous assessments can provide valuable information. You need them to develop your preventative and academic plans. Sometimes these assessments can be grossly out of date, rendering them close to useless. Either way, the teacher needs to know who is entering the classroom.
  3. Develop a preventative plan to handle any problems the inclusion student in your classroom will present, be it academic, behavioural and/or logistical. For example, I had a student in my classroom who became verbally and physically violent when over-stimulated by his environment. In this student’s preventative plan, my educational associate would take the student out of the class before such behaviour occurred. Such plans make the classroom run more smoothly.
  4. Make a list of short- and long-term academic and/or behaviour goals for each inclusion student, or check the IEP for existing goals. These goals do not have to be complex. I have developed such goals as:
    • The student will use appropriate language and say “Present” rather than using profanity during attendance.
    • The student will progress with the Life Skills Math group and transition away from one-on-one instruction
    • The student will develop appropriate self-care skills, such as using a tissue in a sanitary manner.
    • The student will sit for at least 15 consecutive minutes each period.
  5. Keep a parallel dayplan book. Like most teachers, I make my own planning sheets and keep them in a zippered binder. I have the larger class’s plan on the left, and the plan for any inclusion students on the right. This format allows me to see what the inclusion student is doing, and how it fits into the larger class, and vice versa.
  6. Keep a visual schedule within the classroom. I had my schedule on its own whiteboard. I made cards that included both the word and visual symbol for each part of our day. Then, I stuck the cards on the far left of the whiteboard with fun tak (you could also use adhesive magnets or Velcro), and wrote any notes beside them. This was useful for all of my students, because they knew what to expect at all times. Even my students who struggled with reading could follow our schedule.
  7. DO NOT over-decorate your classroom. It makes kids with attention deficit, kids on the autism spectrum, and obsessive-compulsive students squirrelly. Also, try not to hang things from the ceiling. They’re like cat toys; some students just love batting them around! And lastly, remember that school may be the only safe place for some students, so make the classroom homey. Student-created decor should be prominent in the classroom.
  8. Be a neat freak and keep your class very clean and organized. You may want to colour-coordinate sections of your classroom with coloured paper. I had a red papered wall (actually the main chalkboard), where my daily schedule whiteboard, calendar, and announcements were located. Though I wish that I had a less vibrant colour, the colour was great for differentiating that part of the room.
  9. Keep a calm, straight face through everything. You don’t have to behave like a Zen master, but mainstreaming is not for the faint-of-heart! Many inclusion students are authority-defiant and will deliberately push your buttons. Try not to take it personally. Use a quiet voice and try to use the student’s name. One student of mine used profanity every time he needed to leave the classroom. I would just quietly say, “Johnny, if you need to leave the class, just ask.” It’s important to choose composure.
  10. Know when to ignore certain behaviours. Some students will seek attention by making rude remarks, calling out, making noises, or tapping a pencil. If other students are not too distracted by the behaviour, and if the behaviour is not harmful to your other students, you can ignore it to encourage the student to seek attention in a more appropriate manner. Remember: “What you focus on, you get more of!”* Never underestimate the power of the other classmates’ disapproval. With attention seeking students, make sure that you are giving them appropriate attention when they are not engaging in these behaviours.
But the best tip I can give is…Just Relax! Allow yourself to be as imperfect as your students. Imperfection improves teaching, and makes teaching a lot more fun--or as my students say, “more funner!”

*Quote by Dr. Becky Bailey, Conscious Discipline

Related Products:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter and Passover: What is allowed in public schools, and how can they create teachable moments?

Welcome springtime, at last!  In April of 2011, Easter will be on the 24th, and Passover is from the 19th through the 25th.  Students will be experiencing events and family gatherings at home that they will want to share at school.

Flowers, Easter baskets, eggs, and candy abound in stores in the spring.  Easter displays and church invitations seem to be everywhere. 

As public educators know, religious holidays can be a bit sticky for teaching.  Many teachers at this time of year stick to celebrating spring and the newness of warm, sunny days.  What does the law say? According to "Religion in the Public Schools: A Joint Statement of Current Laws,"about religious holidays: published by the U.S. Government, schools are allowed to teach
Generally, public schools may teach about religious holidays, and may celebrate the secular aspects of the holiday and objectively teach about their religious aspects. They may not observe the holidays as religious events. Schools should generally excuse students who do not wish to participate in holiday events. Those interested in further details should see Religious Holidays in the Public Schools: Questions and Answers, a pamphlet published by a broad spectrum of religious and civil liberties groups.
What are some appropriate ways to share the Easter holiday with your students?  Some of the following would be a good fit and allow many children to share in the Easter excitement:
  • Students who attend Ash Wednesday services may share about the ashes on their foreheads or new Easter clothing curing show and tell or share and learn time.
  • Natural dyes could be used to color eggs, such as using water from boiling red cabbage to turn eggshells a nice robin's egg blue.  Better Homes and Gardens' website offers a list of natural dyes.
  • If you can find a knowledgeable volunteer, students could learn about how Ukrainian Easter eggs are crafted. Without the aid of an expert, students could still research the process, or study different designs and write persuasive paragraphs about which egg is the best.
  • Allow students to run ribbons through empty fruit baskets for children to fill at home.
  • Plant grass in 1/2 egg shells for children to share with their families.
  • Have children use colored, wet tissue paper to "paint" egg shells, or the shape of shells drawn on white paper, as the tissue paper will bleed colors onto a white surface.

My time teaching general studies in a Jewish school taught me many new things about the Jewish faith, including the observance of Passover. Passover is an important remembrance in Judaism, and for many Christians as well. The story of the Israelites and their exodus from bondage in Egypt is told during Passover Seder meals.  The Shabbat, or Sabbath day of rest, before Passover arrives is called Shabbat HaGadol, because it marks the beginning of the redemption.

The story of the Exodus plays a major role in Jewish families' observation of the Passover season. Because the Hebrews had to leave in a hurry in their flight from Egypt, the Scripture says that God told them to prepare the daily bread without leaven, since they wouldn't have time to allow it to rise. Leavened foods are therefore not eaten during Passover. Kosher families do not even keep leavened foods in the house during the season. Grocery stores make available many foods that are specially approved as Kosher for Passover. Beginning a month prior to Passover, mothers begin an exhaustive house cleaning, even vacuuming the corners in the cupboards. Families who keep Kosher must carefully clean the house of all leavened foods, from biter biscuits in the baby's diaper bag to cereal in the pantry, to make sure there is no leaven in the house during Passover. Those who are strict about the Kosher laws will have a second set of plates, silverware, and pots and pans, that have never been used with leavened food products, making them Kosher for Passover.

Many Christian churches have a Seder meal during this time. When my church had a Seder dinner, one of the Rabbis from the school was a guest speaker.  I was as surprised as he was to see him in my church!   We had taken Kosher for Passover Coke as show and tell.  Did you know Coke-a-Cola makes a special Coke just for Passover?    

Special foods and an empty place setting for the prophet Elijah are part of every Seder meal. Children have a special role, asking four questions that lead the participants through the story of Passover. The Seder leader hides the Afikomen (a broken piece of matzo, or unleavened bread) as part of the special meal.  My daughter knew about this tradition and was watching when the Rabbi hid it, so she was the first to find it.  Her reward was a dollar.

Our real reward for learning about other cultures is the ability to understand each other, so it is important for children to share special times with classmates. You can help students learn more about Passover by having a Jewish classmate or guest speaker come and speak to the class about Passover observance. Everyone will enjoy trying special foods such as matzo and charoset, a sweet, sticky mixture of fruits and nuts.

Bringing Easter and Passover into the classroom can be an enlightening experience for children, and can help them to better understand not only other cultures, but the world around them.

Carolyn Wilhelm
Wise Owl Factory

Additional Products

Easter Worksheets

Sunday, April 17, 2011

You Tube's Search On Tool & Effective Teaching Solutions

I made this video in about 3 minutes using You Tube's new Search On tool. I can imagine a lot of fun teaching opportunities here. A safe Google search? A Google bibliography? Use your imagination. I'm sure some clever teacher out there will find a way to use this fun, new tool. Watch my video!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Featured Seller: Beth Hammett

1.   How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I have been on TPT for about six months.  A friend, Lisa Frase, shared the site with me.  Upon viewing it, I knew TPT had hit upon a combination that worked for educators.  It’s a community of sharing!
2.   When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
When I was a four, I wanted to go to school with the neighborhood kids, and, since then, I’ve always loved learning. I did not re-enroll in college until I was thirty, and, since helping others came naturally, I chose to teach. 

3.   How are you currently involved in education?
I am an Associate Professor of English and teach developmental college students.  I also do in-services and presentations for independent school districts, plus I write curriculum, many with emotional intelligence components.  I write monthly standardized assessment articles for a company in Arizona, and I score college entrance exams and CAHSEE essays for EST.  I work with the Greater Houston Area Writing Project, and 6 Seconds.  Finally, I write Young Adult novels on the side.

4.   What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
Think about your best practices in teaching.  Everyone is good at something, so find your niche, and share your favorite lesson plans and ideas with the community.

5.   What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?
Placing value on what I do, and being able to share my work with others.

6.   What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
I am a Leonlifer, and my husband and I often follow Leon Russell to attend his concerts.  I’m a huge fan of Gregg Allman and Kid Rock, as well. 

7.   Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?
I present nationally, plus work with the National Writing Project and with the Kellogg Institute for NADE.  Both are very important because they influence policy making and learning within the classrooms.  They also help train teachers in best practices. 

8.   What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Artist.  I was going to major in art, but an advisor told me there was “no money in it”, so I chose English education!

9.   What profession would you not like to do?
Paint fishing lures (I did this for year and was awful at it).

10.     Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
Gustave Flaubert because of his descriptions and portrayal of real life. 
Ralph Fletcher and Harry Noden, both are creative, have fun learning, and love sharing (they are also wonderful human beings). 

by Beth Hammett

Beth's Featured Items

An interactive PowerPoint to assist students through the processes of choosing college majors. Learn the differences between Bachelor of Arts and Sciences plus skill-based majors. Includes a link to career assessments, small/whole group critical thinking activities, extra resources, and more, in this complete lesson plan.

This free handout get students organized by using and reinforcing time management skills. The "to-do" list has two columns: Work and Play. Students use critical thinking skills to prioritize responsibilities and plan their days. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday Round Up #12

Welcome to another Round Up where everything is on sale till Sunday! A special welcome back to Wise Guys - we've missed you!

Earth Day is coming soon and you will find some terrific resources to help your students learn how they can help the planet.

Sellers, remember to get your submission in for next week's Round Up.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: a mini-unit grades 2-4
Teach your students the value of reducing, reusing and recycling with this fun mini-unit. Students will be engaged in a variety of activities integrating math, language arts, science and art. Perfect for the weeks surrounding Earth Day!
Shelley Gray

Grammar Dots  grades  4-10
Are you tired of correcting the same errors in your students' work? Post these colorful grammar dots in your classroom and watch the errors disappear. 24 common grammar errors are included, covering homophones, contractions, possessive forms, and more. 
Liven up your journal writing program with these 252 journal prompts. The prompts are presented in a fun Tic-Tac-Toe format that allows students to choose the prompts they want to use (as long as they are in a row!). Engaging prompts that will produce interesting and well-thought-out entries. 
This K-3, 52 page thematic penguin unit is packed with cross-curricular activities in reading, writing, poetry, science, math, art, and drama. 
Students will learn about the Earth's natural resources and about the art of Andy Goldsworthy in this arts integrated lesson. The lesson concludes with the students going on a nature walk around the school to collect materials to create their very own Earth art. This is a great lesson for Earth Day. 
This is an 11 page document that includes: unit lesson plans on how to write a persuasive letter, a pre-writing worksheet, steps to develop persuasive writing, student examples of brainstorm ideas, planning their persuasive writing worksheet, editing checklists, teacher examples of pre-writing, leads, arguments, and final letter, and a final template for the students to follow.
A Great activity to do to help celebrate Earth Day with your students! It keeps the students engaged as they complete the sentences about Earth Day and Draw and Color a picture on EACH page! Put the pages together to create an adorable Earth Day Booklet to have as their own..too cute! 

Differentiated Instruction Lesson Pack grades K-12
This lesson plan pack of three different lesson planning templates helps you to set up differentiated lessons in a breeze! Easy formats allow for differentiating content, product, or process for a flawless lesson that delivers curriculum to students' with ease every time! Also includes 2 FREE Bonus files! 

Geometry Review: 8 Math Centers grades 6-8
Whether it's time to review, or to begin Geometry for the year, this package of 8 Math Centers offers your students hands-on opportunities to expand their knowledge. In these centers, students draw designs, measure circular objects, use tangram blocks, draw and measure angles etc. This package hits many outcomes in geometry including circumference/area of circles, area of triangles, classifying triangles, area of parallelograms, drawing/measuring/classifying angles, drawing parallel, perpendicular and intersecting lines, bisecting angles and lines etc., (includes solutions and examples of work).
Krystal Mills  

Pirates! A Sight Word Game grades PreK-1
Your students will love this adorable game and YOU will love the extra reading practice they'll get! It comes with a game board, directions, and 2 sets of sight word cards. Blank cards are also included for both sets so you can add your own words!
Teacher Tam

Middle Ages Project Package - 5 Fun Projects grades 4-10
A fun and creative way to study the Middle Ages - students work through 5 different projects to demonstrate their learning.  All templates, worksheets and rubrics included!
It's baseball season!! This ready-to-use 20 page packet is perfect for baseball fans in grades 4-6.  It includes a 17 page student booklet along with an answer key. The booklet divides the text, Babe and Me, into six reading assignments with questions and tasks to reinforce essential reading and writing skills.
Jean Martin

Measurement Bingo:  Reading a Ruler in Inches grades 4-9
While playing this bingo game, students get to read a ruler to determine the location of the arrow.  This file has a class set of 26 individual bingo boards and the necessary calling cards.  Measurements include whole inches, halves, fourths, eighths, and sixteenths. Bingo boards are also wonderful practice for math centers, seat work, or homework.
Vintage Teacher

Thematic Paper for Journal and Creative Writing grades K-5
Add a spark to journal writing and creative writing projects with this colorful thematic paper!  Included are seventeen different designs including patriotic, Easter, spring, summer picnic, autumn, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, school bus, and several others. Each design comes in two versions--one with writing lines for K-2 students, and one with theme-paper type lines.
Jan Lindley

Angles, Triangles and Polygons PowerPoint grades 6-9
Angles, Triangles and Polygons is a power point program of 25 slides used to test and reinforce your students' understanding of geometry. Basic facts such as right angles, measurement, estimating angles, degrees of angles, polygons as well as visual geometric images challenge your students as they answer specific questions. This power point program is designed to be used as a whole classroom lesson requiring students to write their answers on paper.
David Filipek

Classification (Taxonomy) of Living Organisms Powerpoint and Notes grades 7-9
This powerpoint is on “The Classification Systems of Living Organisms”. It consists of 49 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 (9 pages) and a set of notes for the student (10 pages).
Science Stuff

Bunny Glyph for Spring or Easter grades 2-5
This is an excellent activity for spring or Easter that requires following directions. Students are to finish the bunny glyph using eight categories. So that each student has the same bunny to begin with, a printable outline is provided on page four of this six page activity. This handout also contains a page where the students are asked to identify the characteristics of someone who did their own bunny glyph. An answer key is included.

Mother's Day Coupons - 3 Versions grades Pre-K - 5
36 Mother’s Day Coupons in 3 different sets:  Version #1-the student traces over the dotted letters.  Version #2-the student draws a picture.  Version #3-the student does not have to write on the actual coupon.
Victoria Leon

Monday, April 11, 2011

Time Management for Seniors Heading to College

          There is no better test of time management skills than the first year of college.  Getting to class, studying for tests, meeting for group sessions, attending extra labs, and finding time to socialize all compete for students’ time.  Many students will also be working part-time. At the same time, many of our students will be on their own (physically if not financially!) for the first time in their lives. How do they manage to fit it all in, and without parents and teachers staying on them constantly?  There are many ways to manage time, but students should develop an individual plan based on lifestyle, learning styles, and personality. You can help your students prepare for college by guiding them in adopting time management skills that suit their needs. 
          Many students benefit from  a to-do list to help with prioritizing.  Beside each task, have students approximate the amount of time needed for completion. Students can then decide what needs to be done before socializing.  If needed, have students make two columns, one labeled Work and one titled Play, and write tasks under the appropriate headings.  Then, direct students to number the items in the order of importance.  This will help them focus on their responsibilities and help them decide which tasks are the most important, without feeling that their personal time is out the window altogether. For students who are easily overwhelmed, such as those with learning disabilities, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or Asperger’s, you might suggest limiting the list to a particular category of tasks, and then making a separate list for other types of tasks. This will produce shorter lists, which may be easier to digest. For instance, a student might have one list for tasks related to general studying and homework, and a separate list detailing what needs to be done for a major project or paper.
          A follow-up step that many students will find helpful is to schedule tasks onto a calendar, planner, or personal device, such as a smart phone,, iPod, netbook, laptop, or tablet.  Many social networks also offer calendars with programmable reminders.  Some programs, such as Microsoft Outlook, let students share calendars with family and friends.  Electronic reminders can be a great help to students who have trouble remembering details of appointments or who procrastinate. They can also be an effective coping strategy for students who struggle with organization due to attention deficit, autism, or some other issue.
Students should be aware, however, that being connected can be distracting and time consuming. This is a vital part of time management for today’s digital-native students. Remind them to make plans to check emails or social networking sites only at specific times of the day. Students who are easily sidetracked may also benefit from setting a timer to limit online time. There are several great apps for mobile devices or a home computer, or students could just use the old-fashioned egg timer. Another strategy is to strategically schedule online time with a natural endpoint—for example, 20 minutes before a favorite T.V. show or while a dinner pizza is in the oven. This creates a forced stopping point. Just tell them to make sure they don’t burn that pizza!
An old-fashioned, paper calendar may be a better option for some students, and some students will just prefer to go the traditional route. Check the product links below for some schedules and time-management helpers students can use. Some are even free!  Other schedule and calendar templates can be found in Microsoft Office, or students can purchase a calendar or planner to suit their own personal styles. Some will prefer the simplest grid, while others will be disciplined enough to use a system such as a Franklin Covey planner or David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) system. 
Another area to discuss with students is goal-setting and breaking down tasks. Remind students to set realistic goals and chunk work into manageable portions.  For example, they should plan to study in small increments of about forty-minutes rather than studying in blocks of two-to-three hours (or worse, trying to cram it all in the night before a big test).  All of these considerations, too, will create entries on the students’ calendars or planners. You might have a whole class  brainstorm ideas for unusual ways to study, or if that doesn’t fit with your teaching plans, suggest the strategy to students whose styles may be well-suited to variety, or who just need a change of pace.  For example, they might study before or between classes, or they might use commute time.  They may want to listen to study materials such as recorded lectures, audio versions of textbooks, or subject-area podcasts. Students could also look for video content as a study aid, and share with classmates. Mnemonic devices (memory tricks) also help some students. Ask students to consider how multitasking affects their quality of work.  Do they devote their full attention to the taskathand when multitasking?  How will they schedule time away from books and homework?  For most students, finding a balance between work and fun will take time, but it can be done by using good time management strategies.
Once students have scheduled all of these tasks onto their calendars, have them follow their plans.  You may want to meet with students again in two weeks to discuss challenges, and then make adjustments to schedules or organizational systems.  This kind of dry run will be a valuable learning experience for seniors before going out on their own.
Getting enough rest is also important, so urge students to know themselves (“Am I a morning person or a night owl?”) and to establish a routine.  Students need to schedule classes at times when they are most alert.  This is a wonderful advantage of college classes compared to high school; most colleges offer many class options: morning, afternoon, evening, night, completely online, and web-enhanced.  Students should enroll in courses that compliment their learning styles and personalities.  A lesson on learning styles would be beneficial for all of your college-bound students, and might be worth part of a class period. For example, if students enjoy working with their hands and are most alert after lunch, afternoon lab classes would be a good fit if available.  
Effective time management skills take practice.  The first year of college is stressful, so help students get a jumpstart on these skills while still in high school. Then, encourage students to follow their schedules and incorporate good time management skills when they finally leave the nest.

Beth Hammett

Related Products:

More Information:

Apps and Tools:
iOS Apps
Android Apps (available in the Android App Marketplace)
Action Complete (GTD compatible)
Advanced Task Manager Pro
Due Today
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...