Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Off to a good start =)

Today was my 2nd day. Here's what I did in my physics classes....

I expect students to know unit conversions, scientific notation, & significant figures from chemistry class, so I like to keep it to one quick day of review.

I used to write the example problems on the smartboard, but for this year I added all the steps to the powerpoint and fully animated it. Boy did that make a difference!!

I wasn't tied to the board......I could walk around and interact with my new students. It was nice. =)

My non-honors classes are doing THIS for homework because they need more practice.

I'll give a quiz Tuesday to assess these topics.

Students that feel they need more practice can come after school to work with me, or pick up one of these OPTIONAL extra
<----- practice sheets.

Lisa T =)

Tasty Tuesday Giveaway!

Hey Friends! Denise here from Sunny Days in Second Grade.

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a great idea on about cooking in the classroom. I decided to develop this idea a bit further to share with my team mates and then took it even further and turned it into a product I sell in my TpT store. 

Basically, we copy a recipe (no cooktop or oven necessary), we follow it, we eat it and we write about it. It's seriously yummy fun and a fantastic way to incorporate bunches of math, science and literacy skills. 

Stop by my blog to enter the easiest contest EVER {for real} for your chance to win a copy of the yearlong writing program to use with your class or entire grade level! (just click on the little baker bear!)

Click me!

Some great ideas to use with Chrysanthemum

I noticed yesterday on the Facebook Fan Page that people were loving a comment about using Chrysanthemum in the classroom with their students, so I compiled all the ways that they mentioned into one handy little document. If you use this book (or are looking for a new beginning of the year title), head over to The Organized Classroom Blog to see some of the suggestions for yourself!

See you there!

3 Free Higher Thinking Math Worksheets

Why not practice basic skills like adding and multiplication with a little extra challenge? Get your kids thinking with these three challenging and fun math enrichment worksheets. Click on the picture to get yours for free!

Get To Know Your Students - "All About Me Newspaper" - Addie Williams

Back to School is always a busy and hectic time of the year for teachers and students alike.  Students have to adjust to getting up early again, a more regimented daily schedule after the dog-days of summer, new classmates, a new teacher and more! 

What do you do to get ready for back to school?   I try to get up earlier the week before school starts so that the early alarm clock isn't quite so terrible that first week of school. 

The first few days in class can be busy - learning names, reviewing classroom behaviour expectations, filling out paperwork.... it's an endless list of administrivia sometimes!

Here's an easy writing activity to give to your students in the first week back to school. It's a fun way to learn about your students as they write a newspaper about themselves.  If you have time, why not write one about yourself to share with your students??

Addie Williams

From an Animal's Point of View....

Hi to all! I am very excited to be a part of The Lesson Cloud!
Since I love, love, love animals, what better way to get students writing descriptively by composing animal poems?
My students are in the middle of the writing process at the moment, and I can't wait for their presentations this Friday.
Keeping with the descriptive writing mode throughout poem, students write from the animal's point of view to show the animal's life, including habitat, diet, cool facts, physical description, etc. Of course, the poems are accompanied by a creative visual. Students can get very creative with this part, too! I'll be sure to take pictures to post! It's a fun way to learn how to "SHOW" not "tell" when writing. It would be great for a science class as well!
Again, I'm very glad to be on The Lesson Cloud and look forward to discovering lots of great ideas!! Have a great rest of the week & Labor Day weekend!

Parent Involvment

Parent involvement is extremely important to the success of our students although lack of parent involvement is one of the biggest problems that we face in school.   We all have a variety of ways that we try to involve parents and communicate the happenings  at school.  Being a special education teacher, I do not have a homeroom, so my parent contact may look a bit different than a general education teacher.   Here is just a sampling of some of my parent involvement ideas:

Good Notes or Happy Grams:
I love to send home Good Notes or Happy Grams.   These are just simple notes that tell about something positive a child has done in school.   I have even had postcards made that say Happy Gram so I can just jot a note down after school and stick it in the mail.  The kids love this!

Friday Folder/Weekly Progress Report:   A few years ago, I sent home folders every Friday with papers from the week and a weekly progress report. This report included behavior and work habits for the week and had a place for comments. It also required a parent’s signature.  Parents seemed to like this as they could keep up to date on classwork and behavior.

Web page/blog:  I love using a webpage to share information with parents.  This allows the parent to look at the information on their own time and from almost anywhere.   On this page I would include homework, class room information, poems that we might be working on, sight word lists, important links for parents and lots of links for my students to use to review skills.  This page may also include a school calendar and contact information. 

Math/Reading bags:   Each week I send home a bag with a reading or math activity in it that students can use at home with a parent.  This allows the parent to see what their child is working on in class and gives the student the opportunity for additional practice.  For example I may send home a bag with a student who is weak in addition skills that includes a version of addition memory,  addition tic tac toe, and an addition board game. 

How do you keep parents involved?


What is Your District?

A mysterious hashtag appeared after The Hunger Games movie teaser on Sunday night, which read #whatsmydistrict. Curious fans checked into it and discovered the website It seems as though the Capitol and Lionsgate have teamed up to provide some entertainment as eager fans patiently await the movie premiere in March.

I checked out the site Monday and today was placed in District... (See my blog to finish reading and learn MORE about this mysterious site that you can share with your students!)

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Graphs Galore!

I created this activity to use this week during centers.  I'm using it to reinforce graphing concepts and skills.  It covers line plots, bar graphs, and pictographs.  Each graph can be printed and laminated, while the student pages (two per page) can be printed for students to record their answers on.

Click the picture below to download the center.

Science Skills: The Compound Microscope

The question of the day is:  Is having the student peer into a microscope considered a skill that teaches critical thinking and problem solving?  I say "YES",  but it will be up to the teacher to make the activity inquiry-driven and skills-based.

Read my full article here.

Amy Brown 
(aka Science Stuff)
A Free Two-Part Activity
in Celebration of Labor Day
     Occupation ID challenges students to study a set of five words or phrases with connections to a particular profession and make a correct identification.  The two parts are composed of 28 items each.   Answer keys are included.   Six total pages counting cover.

Margaret Whisnant

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics

Do your students love the hieroglyphics when you are studying ancient Egypt?

This writing says Vintage Teacher which is the name of my blog.  Click on the image above to be taken to Vintage Teacher to find out about a resource that will allow your students to easily and quickly type like an Egyptian!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FREE MATH LESSON - “Create-A-Graph Cards”

FREE MATH LESSON - “Create-A-Graph Cards” by Charity Preston.   Go to "The Best of Teachers Pay Teachers" for this and other free products.

3 Great Free Websites for Learning

Starfall Learn to ReadWho hasn't heard of My kids at home can't get enough!!! And I am happy to have such a great free interactive web site to use... especially for my soon to be four year old son. He loves it. From the time my kids were born, I was buying books to create a personal library for them (my daughter loves to read!) My son also likes books but he gets food on them, wets them, writes on them with pens and crayons and before I can turn around I see that pages are missing and the cover is coming off. So the books do not always last but He seems to respect my laptop! So the starfall system works at my house!

I also like to use another free website called Gudli. It has tons of games and videos that are multidisciplinary and it's really interactive.

My final favorite is somewhat simpler in design but very effective for practicing those multiplication tables... It's the Underwater Times Tables from What2Learn.
By@ Nyla's Crafty Teaching

One Wall At A Time ...

I went in to work on my classroom today ... for the first time this summer.  Come on over to my blog to check out my progress so far - this is the "before" picture.


Only a few days left- don't miss your chance to enter my Back to School Contest!

Everyone loves free stuff and so I'm making this super simple. Become a follower of The Lesson Cloud. Then come on over to my TpT Store  and follow me as well. That's it! Once you've done so, fill out an entry form for your chance to win the product of your choice from my TpT store.

FIVE winners will be chosen on Sunday, September 4th. I'll simply email the winners their chosen resources and post the names of the winners on The Lesson Cloud.

I teach Grade 7 and so most of my resources are aimed at Grades 6-9. I have lots of Math projects, centers and activities, Language Arts activities, Classroom Management and back to school items etc. Lots of freebies for you to check out and download while you're there as well!


Spanish Speaking Countries Activities

If you teach Spanish 1, then your probably getting ready to teach about the Spanish Speaking countries (if you haven't already!).  This activities packet has some great resources!   (Click images for more info.)

This packet contains the following resources
1. Wall/Bulletin board decorations; Country Flags, Maps and Spanish Speaking Countries and Capitals, framed in colorful borders.
2. SS country location sort and game question cards.
3. SS country and capitals matching cards.
4. Printable and reusable Game board, with directions and resources for two different games.
5. Word sort and Concept Map activity
6. 5 Different Practice Worksheets/quizzes
7. Spanish Speaking Country Research Project (Foldable Standing Cube and PowerPoint Presentation)

Class Handbook for Open House

I was always a lot more nervous talking to a roomful of adults than a roomful of kids. I dreaded Open House a.k.a. Back to School Night a.k.a. Curriculum Night for the first few years that I was teaching. Then I realized that if I planned well, I could make the night a breeze and also circumvent a lot of problems down the road with student (and parent!) behaviors that I didn't like.

I created a class handbook to use as my guide during my Open House presentation, and parents would bring it home as a reference to use throughout the year. Customize my template to make your Open House night easy!

You can visit my blog, Smarty Pants Teaching, to read all of my tips for a successful Open House.

Anna Colley

Do You Zip Up Your Desks?

Looking for a way to keep those desks in the same place in your room? Head over to The Organized Classroom Blog to see my latest video! :)

See you there!

Another Free Magic Tree House Novel Study

I just finished my novel study package for Magic Tree House book #26, Good Morning, Gorillas and I am sharing it with all of you for FREE!!!!

The unit can be used as a whole class novel study, with smaller guided reading groups, or as an independent novel study. Hooray for choices!

To get other Magic Tree House novel studies visit my  TpT Store.

Click on the picture to get the novel study. I would really appreciate it if you could
                                       leave me some feedback as well.      


Counting Money Center

I created this activity to help my students practice counting money as well as making change less than $20.  I'm using it this week in my Math centers.  Click the picture below to get your copy.

Kicking off the year with a mentos explosion!

Last year, my colleague Joe and I developed this amazing beginning of the year science observation lesson. It was so much fun and the kids loved it! What's not to love when you get to see a giant explosion? We also teach the children how to observe, how to record in their new science journal, variable /constants and how to plan their very first experiment for the year!

This year we will start off again...with a blast! I am offering this unit for FREE for 5 days. Then I will be charging $5 per purchase. If you are at all curious...I suggest you download it now!

Feedback is very much appreciated...

Gotta Run!

Bud, Not Buddy - An Adorable Story for Grades 5-7

If you teach ages 8-12, and you are not familiar with the adorable novel Bud, Not Buddy, take a look!

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis is an endearing tale of a ten year-old boy, Bud, who was orphaned during the Great Depression. After escaping a foster home, Bud sets out on a journey to find his father, who he believes is a famous bandleader H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a story that will have you and your students giggling along the way, as Bud gets himself into all sorts of trouble, learning about life and the way the world works in an adventurous and charming fashion.

It is the winner of the 20002 Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature, as well as the Coretta Scott King Award that is given in recognition of outstanding African-American authors. Consider this book with your class this year! You will not be disappointed!

For a Common Core Standards-Based Bud, Not Buddy Literature Guide to help you with your teaching, CLICK HERE. Guide is available in both PDF and Print formats!

Happy reading!

, Secondary Solutions
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