Tomorrow is Pi Day, and it’s time to celebrate! I will be throwing a Pi Day sale and all my math products will be 15% off! It’s the perfect time to pick up a PowerPoint or a project! I hope you’ll stop by! Here are all the products that are on sale (by category):
It’s true, teachers really are heroes! Teachers are leaders, nurses, parents, psychologists, social workers, friends, confidants, and so much more. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to check out Teachers Pay Teachers, it has arrived! Today (only for a few more hours!) everything on the site – in every single store! – is at least 10% off! My store has everything 28% off! That’s right! If you’ve been eyeing that perfect lesson, activity, or resource, now is the time to stop by and stock up! There probably won’t be another sale until my birthday (that’s all the way in April, people!), so get test prep, Common Core and LAFS resources, math lessons, writing resources, reading activities, and so much more! And don’t forget, there’s a TON of free stuff on the site, too – not just my store, but hundreds – thousands (literally, there are over 70K stores on TpT!) – of stores with something for everyone. So no matter what or you teach – in a classroom K-12, early childhood, college, or even homeschool, there is something for you! Head on over and check it out!
Well, for my school district (in Tampa, FL) today was the first day back for students. So – anyone who had kiddos for the first time today…I hope it went great. If you’ve already had your first day back with the kidlets, I hope it went awesome, too. And if you’ve yet to have day 1, I hope it is just spectacular. So, here’s my first entry of the 14-15 school year. I thought I’d start out with something that might help you get your classes started at least a few times a week.
I’m not sure when I first became aware of CNN student news, but ever since I was introduced to it, I have loved it. It is primarily used in middle school social studies classrooms, although I think it could be used in English classes as well. There is one, 10-minute video each day with headlines and interactive features (polls, etc.). Some teachers have students take notes on each video and then give an assessment at the end of the week. This is a great way to do bell work and keep kids accountable. As an English teacher, I think it would be neat to have students write reflection, analysis, or persuasive pieces on the covered stories. Research skills could also be contextually taught if a teacher wanted to extend the topic beyond bell work.
There are archives of videos so if you’re looking for a particular topic you can search for it. They even have transcripts of the videos to utilize as written text. I think it would be a great way to explore bias in the news media and the use of rhetorical devices.
For each video, CNN provides a daily curriculum .pdf, key concepts of the show, a short (3-5 question) quiz for after the show (or during, if you wish), and discussion questions.
I think it would be cool to show a video on a Monday and assign an essay/written response on one of the stories. Tuesday and Wednesday students could be shown other sources focusing on the same story. They could edit (peer or individually) their writing on Thursday, and then create the final draft on Friday. This could be done as bell work, a mini-lesson, or a full-blown class period.
Some writing topics:
Do you agree or disagree with the stance [person] took on [topic]? Why or why not?
How did the CNN student news coverage of the story compare to ?
What rhetorical devices were present in the story? How effective were they?
Is [story] a worthwhile piece of reporting? Why or why not? Persuade someone to agree with your claim.
Using all the resources you have had access to, write a [#] paragraph paper on the story.
Write a summary of the story.
Create [#] interview questions for [person in story], then, answer them the way you think he/she would given all the research you have done on the topic.
By the way, tomorrow is a one-day back-to-school boost sale on TeachersPayTeachers. My entire store is 20% off plus the site-wide discount. I’ve got lots of great stuff for classroom management to start the year off right, along with math and ELA lessons/resources for middle and high school. Come check it out!
First of all, I want to apologize for having a bit of a late post. With back-to-school looming, things have been crazy, as everyone knows.
Second, I want to let everyone know that TeachersPayTeachers is having their annual Back To School sale, and that I am running a sale to coincide, making everything in my store 28% off! Most sellers are doing the exact same thing, so check it out and get great deals on classroom management resources, math Power Point lessons and other activities, and ELA reading and writing products. Here is my store.
When I taught writing to my students, I was constantly struggling with getting them to “show not tell.” If you’re a new English teacher and you haven’t heard that phrase, you will hear it soon, and often. One of the best things I learned about effective writing is that the power is in the verbs, not the adjectives. I’ve see teachers do “dead word” walls and activities, which I think are fantastic. Descriptive writing, however, requires students to “show” the reader. It requires them to craft their writing in such a way that the reader can relate to it himself and experience it as he reads. The use of imagery engages the reader because they can picture, smell, feel, taste, and hear what the author is writing.
Getting students to use effective imagery, however, is a daunting task. Ask a student to describe something and you’ll invariably get the most flat, one-dimensional words imaginable: “red,” “big,” “small,” “hot,” you get the picture. Words that are so vague they don’t really mean anything to the reader. To get students writing with better imagery, I ask follow up questions about their descriptions.
1) One question to ask is “how” or “which”. The student writes, “Her dress was red.” I ask, “Which shade of red?” The student writes “The house was big.” I ask, “How big was it?”
2) Another question I ask is “than what?” The student writes, “The car was small.” I ask, “Smaller than what?”
3) Ask “how do I know?” The student writes, “She was mad.” I ask, “How do I know she is mad?”
This type of questioning forces the student to be more specific in their descriptions, and I doing so, makes their writing more relatable to the reader.
There is a great activity that I do to help students branch out in their descriptions as they write. It takes a little while, but it’s worth it.
1) Each student will need a paper and pencil.
2) You will need several objects that have very distinct characteristics of the five senses.
3) You can divide the students into between 2 and 5 groups. 2 groups will allow students to experience more opportunities for sensory writing, but 5 groups will take a little less time overall.
4) Each group will get at least 1 object. The object should have a characteristic that clearly relates to one of the five senses.
5) The members of the group will INDIVIDUALLY describe the object with the condition that the person they are describing it to is missing (and has always been missing) that one (or you could do multiple) sense. For example, if the object was a bottle of perfume, the students would have to describe the scent of the perfume to someone who cannot (and never could) smell.
a. It’s important that students understand the person they’re describing to has never been able to use that sense. This will prevent them from giving flat descriptions. For example, if they have to describe an object to someone who cannot and has never been able to see, using the word “blue” means nothing. They have to come up with other words to describe the color. You get really cool descriptions.
6) Once each student has his/her description, the other group(s) listens to the description and tries to predict what the object will look/smell/sound/taste/feel like. For smell, taste, touch, and hearing, writing down the prediction is nearly impossible, but students will still be able to decide afterwards if the description was accurate/helpful. For the sense of sight, make sure students sketch the object based on the descriptions written by their classmates before showing them the actual object.
7) After the description is read and the opposing group(s) experience the original object, have them write 2 separate responses:
a. How accurate were their classmates’ descriptions? Why do they think the descriptions were as accurate (or un-) as they were?
b. What would his/her own description be for someone who was void of that sense?
Enjoy the rest of the summer!