Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Works for Me!

I like class to start the second students enter my classroom (high school physics). Meanwhile, I am supposed to be standing in the hallway while classes change!

About 10 years ago I perfected my technique for "Bellringers". Each student has a "Bellringer Book" that they pick up from the "Bellringer Table" on their way into the room. I have review questions or a practice problem on the board with a count down timer running. Students need to return books to their period's bin by the end of the countdown timer.

Everything is right there in one nice booklet. I count it as 1 pt a day that is entered as one grade at the end of the marking period. I have a calendar printed on the back of the book to record the points and the dates printed on the pages. My goal is to grade them daily to take the pulse of the class.

Many a teacher has admired and envied my smooth start to class and bell-to-bell teaching. I've shared my "Bellringer Book", but none have been anal, er I mean DETAIL ORIENTED enough to follow through with it. It really needs to occur daily to establish the routine.

Joining the TpT family has exposed me to a whole new circle of possibly "detail oriented" teachers. I made a smaller 1 month version of my Bellringer Book for January 2012 to offer as a freebie. ( I use legal size paper & have enough pages for a whole marking period for mine). Nearly 500 people downloaded it. It is an editable WORD file. Use it for Bellringers or any daily routine you like to keep in one place.

January was FREE. February is 80 cents. March will be free.

Check it out....

Heart Attackz

Have you checked out this fast-paced game to engage your students in multiplication and division recall.  There's a twist though, you may not want to take that next card it could be your last...
Your students will have a blast with a new twist on Valentine's Day games, Heart Attackz!

Free Science Internet Resources #2 - January 2012 via The Lesson Guide

Are you still looking for Free Virtual Science web resources to plan lessons, share with your students or provide enrichment materials?

We have compiled another list of Free Virtual Science Resources – Here is a small sample - check out the full list on The Lesson Guide:

Play a virtual coral reef game and discover the fascinating creatures that live on a coral reef, play fun games that show you who eats who, and learn what you can do to keep coral reefs healthy.

Resources and activities to extend hygiene messages and prevent the spread of germs in your classroom.  Lessons for students in grades K-5 included with a take home activity to share with families to help prevent the spread of germs at home.

A collection of more than 50,000 educational materials including lesson plans, units, and activities sponsored by the National Education Association.

The Encyclopedia of Life provides over 1 Million images through a community to provide global access to knowledge about life on Earth.

All Links have been verified and are working as of January 31, 2012.
© Lisa Michalek
The Lesson Guide

FREE MISC. LESSON - “FREE - Valentine’s Day Critical Thinking Activity”

Rachel Lynette created a Valentine’s Day critical thinking activity for 3rd - 6th grade students. Go to “The Best of Teachers Pay Teachers” for this and other free lessons.


The Best of Teachers Pay Teachers

Valentine Thematic Unit

Check out our new thematic unit:

Valentines Red, Valentines Blue: Sweet Thematic Curriculum Essentials

Table of Contents:
Scripted Literacy Lessons With Independent Options:
Speedy Heart: Naming Alphabet Letter Sounds Fluently
Valentine YOYO: Reading Sight Words
Postal Race: Reading and Alphabetizing Names
Valentine Sounds: Blending Sounds Together
Capital Clash: Building Alphabet Letter and Sound Fluency
Independent Activities: 
Vanishing Hearts: Reading Alphabet Letter Sounds Fluently
Conversation Hearts: Reading and Writing High-Frequency Words
Sorting Mail: Reading and Writing Various Fonts
Scripted Math Lessons With Independent Options:
Find a Heart: Identifying Numbers
Valentine Count: Making Numbers Equal to 10
Cupcake Wars: Adding and Subtracting on a Number Line Using the Signs + and -.
Independent Activities: 
Draw a Shape: Drawing Shapes
Symmetry: Making a Heart
Candy Heart Graph: Gathering and Interpreting Data
Art Projects
Valentine Animals
Valentine Mouse
Valentine Puzzle
Kitchen Science
Sweetheart Pudding
Decorate a Valentine Cookie
My Friend
Love Dust
Writing Prompts/Word Wall
Valentine Word Wall Words
My Friends
Things I Love

Guided Reading Books
My Valentine

Monday, January 30, 2012

Rockin' Teacher Materials: Here's That FREEBIE I Was Telling You About!

Rockin' Teacher Materials: Here's That FREEBIE I Was Telling You About!: Come on over to Rockin' Teacher Materials to check it out and get yours! Happy Tuesday!

One of our own will be missed...

It has come to our attention here at The Lesson Cloud that one of our own contributor/bloggers Pam Woods, of Vintage Teacher, has passed at the age of 53.  She will certainly be missed.  Below is the message Pam's family sent:

Pam was a dedicated teacher for years and education was always an important part of her life and the lives of those around her. Pam was a friend to many and helpful in providing insight and educational tidbits to others when they asked for help. Outside of education, Pam was involved with her church family and maintained relationships with family and friends over facebook. 

Pam will be missed by many and will always be remembered for the impact she had on education and children.  Thank you for following her blogs and being a part of her life. As her family and friends, we are sure that you had a positive impact on her each and every day.   Thanks for honoring her in this way and helping us share her story with others.

Thank you for being a part of our lives, Pam.  You will be missed.

-The entire Lesson Cloud family

Probability: Spinners Pack

Have you ever just wished you had blank spinners on hand for students to carry out their own probability problems and experiments?

This pack of over 50 spinners includes blanks, numbered and colored spinners for students and teachers. Various spinners include 2,3,4,5,6,8,10 and 16 spaces. All you need is a pencil and a paper clip:)

Probability: Spinners Pack

Krystal Mills

Excellent Website: National Geographic Education (Beta)

Just a quick note about a great site. If you haven't checked it out already, have a look at National Geographic Education.

There are resources for teachers, an interactive map maker tool, fabulous videos and photos - lots of materials for various grade levels.

Especially if you teach Geography or Social Studies, or do any animals units, you'll find up to date info on this new site!

Krystal Mills

Representing the Real Number System

There are many good ways to "see" the relationship among the different sets of real numbers.  The Venn Diagram, a graphic organizer that uses circles, is a common way to show how all the sets of numbers relate to each other.  Often a vertical Hierarchy chart is used as seen on your left. It is an organizational graphic representation that ranks subsets according to categories.

I found that both the Venn Diagram and the vertical Hierarchy chart worked well for my students who are visual learners, but not necessarily for those who needed something to touch and move around.  Using six file folders, I made a hands-on model which has worked well in my Algebra and upper level math classes.  My remedial math college students also liked it as it gave them something to see as well as to manipulate.

For a short time, this hands-on model is available on Teachers Pay Teachers as a free resource.  Check it out at by clicking here: The Real Number System; A Hands-On-Model  If you download it, I would appreciate your feedback and input.

Celebrating Spring with 101 Writing Prompts for Spring

Need some inspiration and ideas for things to do other than test prep?  How about some spring-inspired writing prompts?  101 Writing Prompts for Spring includes writing ideas for research papers, argumentative/persuasive essays, narrative/descriptive essays, response to quote and response to literature essays, creative writing, and more for grades 6 and up.  These prompts can be used for quick journal response writing, as discussion questions, as literature circle ideas, as process essay ideas, or as in-class quick essay assessment prep.

I have also posted 20 FREE spring writing prompts on my blog, so be sure to check those out to get an idea of the types of prompts you will find in 101 Writing Prompts for Spring at TPT!  Enjoy!

Kristen Bowers (aka Secondary Solutions)
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FREE Visualization Reading Comprehension Strategy

Visualization lesson for primary grades with student work pages, SMART board file with PDF, FREE
Visualization lesson for primary grades with student work pages, Power Point with PDFs, FREE

Facilitative Teaching - Worth the Risk?

Sometimes it's tempting to lecture rather than facilitate, especially in the upper grades, even though we know we shouldn't. Why is this so? For me, among other reasons, it's the uncertainty that facilitation can bring into the classroom, but the risk is worth the results. Read about it here.

Happy Teaching!

Laura Torres

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Probability Math Game: My Lucky Stars

It has been my experience that most students really enjoy our unit on probability. Probability allows students of various skill levels to participate in fun little games and probability experiments that include coin flips, spinners and cards etc. Many students are able to excel and increase understanding by using manipulatives.

If you need a probability game to add to your math centers, check out My Lucky Stars.

Krystal Mills


Valentine's Day and 100's Day

Valentine's Day is just around the corner.  Are you ready?  Here are two freebies to get you going.

My newest unit combines 100's Day and Valentine's Day (our fall on the same day). There are 5 activities that work on numbers 1 to 100. 

Using Art to hook your students in Social Studies...

We are getting ready to start our next semester and the Revolutionary War. Whenever you start a new unit, I think you need to HOOK them. Find out what they know and what they are thinking and then...you have their interest. I use a lot of art work to evoke feelings, share time period clothing/culture and give them a peek into the world of 1776.

Come on over to my social studies blog and see how I plan to "hook them" this week with a new power point FREEBIE...

Lazy Day = Free Time to Work on my Blog!

YAY for Sundays!!!  We've been enjoying a lazy weekend here, and with the family pleasantly occupied, I found myself with some free time!!!  I decided to make a few tweaks to my blog.  I made two new buttons:  one for my Friday Art Feature posts, and one for my Math Journal Sunday posts.  When you click on one of the buttons, all of the posts are grouped together in one spot.  I also updated my Free Products and Featured Products pages.  I have over 40 products listed on my Free Products page.  Come on over to take a peek, and let me know what you think about my new buttons.

Happy Sunday!


Have Fun Learning Persuasive Devices!

This is a brand new item I've added to my store! The Super Bowl Game always has the best commercials! Have your students identify and analyze the persuasive tools/tactics used in the commercials! 12 Pages...

Click the thumbnails to see more!
As a freebie, download my recently added...
Have a wonderful week!

A Valentine Gift for Math Teachers and ALL Puzzle Lovers

For math teachers, gifted kids, lovers of puzzles, and anyone who needs a little challenge in their life. With a rating of 'easy,' I have found this type of puzzle to be wonderfully rewarding and fun for solvers of all ages and abilities.

A beginner's solving tutorial is included with the file.

Enjoy, and SHARE the LOVE!

Be Mine,
Emily @ The Allman Files


Amanda McDonald created a song to help 2nd - 6th grade students remember how many sides each polygon has. Go to “The Best of Teachers Pay Teachers” for this and other free lessons.


The Best of Teachers Pay Teachers