Monday, August 31, 2015

Surfing To Success: Multiplication Fluency

There are very few things in this world that I can say was an original idea. Here is another great tool I found because I follow Mercedes's "Surfing to Success blog." Somehow I clicked on something that took me to one of her older posts, and then I just had to purchase it.

This product has 150 pages of really great "stuff" to help students memorize their multiplication facts. 

Look at her bulletin board. How cute is that? 
The data wall up close. Students add a surf board for each fact that they memorize.
Mercedes even includes games (both in color and black & white).

To read more about how Mercedes helps students with Multiplication Fact Fluency, just click on the link below:
Surfing To Success: Fact Fluency: Multiplication: Teaching 5th Grade Math two years ago, I learned quickly the importance of  memorizing multiplication facts.  How can I teach children to fi...

Pluto: As Seen From New Horizons

This is just a quick share, but I thought you would want to see it.

To find out more, click here!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Education Tips from a Mountain Top View

Displaying IMAG0380.jpg
Okay! I'm not actually on the top of the mountain, but I'm sitting out on the deck in the middle of the mountains and it is a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

I've was looking up trout informaion for my informational reading (which will be featured soon). You might want to look up my trout Web-Quest which I have already blogged about.
 Anyway, while I was researching, I took up a little side trip and discovered a few things. I have to admit that I'm a bit addicted to looking things up and wanting to try out something new. Here is what I found today:
Bloggerific has a creative set up with some great resources. I have known about RACE, but had lost track of it. Visit her site by clicking on the RACE pic to see what else is posted.

Bullying has become a huge issue. Most often kids don't realize that they are being mean and bullying. I'm always on the lookout for a good resource. Here is a set of free posters.
Bullying Prevention Posters Freebie

I ablsolutely love the combination of Literature Circle and Respect that Crafting Connections created from a project of her second grader. 
I want to start literature circles, but have always been afraid of them. Well, this year I am going to do it. I'll begin by posting this anchor chart first. 

I had planned for the Literature Circle/Respect anchor chart to be my last tip, but then I discovered 

I found some more anchor charts on BuzzFeed, that I  believe need a second look. For example, I just completed my first close reading story with my new class. I know the students all did close ready last year, so I want to know if they understand  the reasoning behind read a text or passage more than once, so the first anchor chart has students marking off what they covered and why.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Instructive Internet introduction to Correct Classroom Use

Although we have been using computers in our school for many years, I have discovered that students need some instruction on the correct way to use a computer. There are some basic principles the students need to understand. I print up the foldable pages as a packet. The students take notes on this packet. 
When finished they assemble into a foldable that can be put into an interactive journal or binder.

My students have  Internet access through Chromebooks. I cover the following topics:

  1. What is the Internet? The simple definition is that the Internet is a communication network where computers can talk to each other.
  2. How did the Internet get its start? The Internet was started in 1969 by the government. It was called ARPA Net, and it was set up for university researchers to talk to each other.
  3. What are web browsers? Browsers are software applications that allow you to connect to the Internet. There are four main browers: Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome. I have included an Interactive Map in my powerpoint so students can see which browser most people use in each country on Earth. There are a couple of things you can do at this site to view who uses what, so it is worth taking a look at and playing around on it for a few minutes. 
  4. How does the information travel from computer to computer? I love showing the students this because it is the same concept that our cell phones work on, as well as all the spacecraft that have traveled to the different planets in our solar system. 

  • I have included a 110011 type of craftivity, which we refer to throughout the year.

  • I am beginning to compile computer tech idioms and have included two of them here:

  1. Email Etiquette: Along with a spot for students to record their email address and their teacher's email, students realize that since they are working on a network, their email is not private. Other points of etiquette include: 1) Don't use ALL CAPS, which is considered YELLING. 2) Put a dot (.) next to the last word in a sentence. (I am shocked that I have to tell 5th graders that the period goes next to the word, but each year I have several kids who put it next to the first word in a sentence. I also have students who do not put a space between the sentences because they think that the period replaces the space, so my last point is 3) Put a space after the period, before you start the next sentence.
  2. Acceptable Use: "What is acceptable use?" my students ask. Acceptable use includes the things you are allowed to do while you are using the Internet and/or computer: research, educational sites. Bullying is not allowed, or are obscene pictures. I also work to help students learn about copyright laws.
  3. Privileges: It is an advantage that some students get. Using the computer is not a "right"; therefore, this privilege can be taken away if students don't follow the rules and use the computers in a quiet and respectful manner.
  4. Network Etiquette: is the way you are expected to act. Be polite, voices off, open only your files, and no swearing. Write/publish only what you wouldn't mind your parents reading.
  5. Safety & Security: Do not share: your town, address, phone number, location, email address and any log-in password.
  6. Responsibility: Your school district is not responsible for any damages you suffer. For example, loss of information and service interruption. Use of information from Internet is at your own risk.
  7. Vandalism is harming or destroying computer or data from a computer or network. Do no unplugg computers, destroy files, or harm the computers in any way. Conseaquences include the loss of computer and Internet use, and depending on the severity, they could include criminal charges and payment for any damages.
  8. Cyber Bullying: I left this for last, because I want the students to remember it. Cyber Bullying is posting mean pictures or words about any student or teacher so others can see and laugh at them. 

Click on any of the pictures to visit my TpT store for a closer look at this product and many more.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Can You Teach an Old Teacher New Tricks?

Okay! I admit it. I am officially an "old teacher." That is, I have been teaching for 30 years. I am still plugging away and trying to stay up with all the "seasoned ~ but not old" teachers. In my mind I am still "one of them" even though the reality is that they can move circles around me. The cool thing is.... I am still learning.
Take Mentor Texts ~ by Jivey. I was looking around TpT this morning looking for something to use with my students to focus in on sentence structure, without just spending time on sentence structure, and I discovered Jivey's mentor texts, which she has been doing for quite some time. Well, I got so excited that I just had to pass on this blog post because it has so much depth and potential for student growth. I can't imagine how many hundreds-of-hours she has spent to create these interesting mini-lessons. 

Here are a few things that caught my eye. Remember to click on the picture above to see the post that describes all of these products. I do have each picture linked back to her store, but the blog post really explains everything.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Teaching Bank: Enter to Win a $25 TpT Gift Certificate for BTS Sh...

The Teaching Bank: Enter to Win a $25 TpT Gift Certificate for BTS Sh...: Enter to win a $25 TpT Gift Certificate from The Teaching Bank! Enter now until Midnight CST, Tuesday, August 18, 2015 using the Raffle...

I thought I'd pass this on! You have until tomorrow night.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Are Teachers Disappearing? Provoking Thoughts to Think On

I use Linked-In to network with other teachers and administrators, and I have discovered several intriguing articles. As a veteran teacher, I have seen many teachers of all ages come and go.

This Week In Education: Thompson: Why Teachers (& Bees) Are Disappearing caught my eye. With the mutlitude of changes taking place in education, I am seeing teachers stressed out, worn out, and find they are feeling unappreciated for the amazing work they are doing.

According to this article, California alone is filling 21,500 classrooms with new teachers. I know California is a really large state, but that number seems excessive. This article list many reasons why. What do you think? Is there something that can be done about this? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Why I Can't Skip My Reading Homework Tonight! ~ FREEBIE

Have you ever seen this poster? It totally blows my mind when I think of how beneficial reading homework can be. I found an old poster of this and used it in my classroom. It just didn't have the impact that I wanted it to have, so I reworked it so that I have a simple two-slide presentation to periodically show my students and then my parents at both back-to-school night and parent conference.
I will have this posted on my smart board the second morning of school. Hopefully the magic will begin at the first click.....
I will point out each part. On my mext revision I'll put each student on a different slide and enlarge it.
The chart at the top is the summary and the questions will fly in one at a time to allow for group collaboration.
After the discussion, I will have students put their thoughts in writing, so they can reflect on it through out the year.
 This is a free item in my TpT store, so feel free to grab one. I would love to hear how you plan on using this in your classroom.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Tour Weird Dwarf Planet Ceres

I think this is a pretty cool video clip. Scientist still do not know what is causing the bright spots; however, they have discovered more of that material on the tallest Cerean Mountain.

Incase you are interested, I have an indepth PowerPoint of Ceres and the first 10 asteroids
Ceres & the First 10 Asteroids in the Asteroid Belt
This is a 64-slide PowerPoint that includes video clips and 5 writing assignments.
It can also be purchased as a bundle, which saves your money.
An Amazing Adventure: Exploring the Asteroid Belt
This PowerPoint has 175 slides and includes all three PowerPoints on Asteroids.
FREE ~ Near Earth Asteroids PowerPoint
Here is a FREEBIE. Click on the Picture.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Mysterious Magic Motivates Students

Last year I began my first science lesson with a huge (I really mean HUGE) amount of interest and excitement!
My goal was to create an interest in science, while creating enthusiam and a love of learning.
I use a seemingly simple styrofoam cup (it has magic powder in it, but the kids don't know that).
I tip the cup at a 45 degree angle and quickly walk around so they can see the "empty" cup.
I then call up two students. Student #1 gets to hold the cup over his head while Student #2 puts a teaspoon of water in the cup everytime I tell him too. 

I discuss learning, teamwork and the 6 Cs. What are the 6 Cs you might be wondering? Here they are: 
Critical Thinking

You end by having student #2 taking the cup and turning it upside down on student #1's head.

To find out more, you will need to download my PowerPoint.

You will need to order the magic powder right away. the nice thing is what you get with it. Also, a little goes a long way. I purchased a pound of it over 10 years ago, and it has lasted for many years. Each year up to 5 classes do the experiment with their class ~ a little goes a long way. for $14.95 you will get many years of excitement and it will be an experiment that students will always remember. You also get a video clip and explanation to the science behind the magic which is something they did not offer when I purchased my magic powder.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Nifty New Foldable Features Pluto-Charon System for Interactive Notebook

This adorable little foldable took quite awhile to make, but it is well worth the work. I can't wait to use it with my students. Of course I also cannot wait to share the new pictures with my students.

Here it is upclose. This is not the color copy because my colored printer is at work.
Once it is cut out, and unfolded, it looks like this on the outside. I have a place for Pluto and Charon, and then a spot for each of the tiny moons: Nix, Hydra, Styx, and Kerberos.

Here is the outside of the color copy. 

Once you open the foldable, it is set up so the student can see the names of all the moons. I plan to have my students draw the moons on the sides you see here, and then list important information for each on the other side.

A bonus feature to the foldable is
a picture of the Pluto System. Of course the moons are not to scale, but the shapes are beginning to come into focus. So click on any of the pictures above to see this product in my TpT store.

I am going to show them my updated PowerPoint (Featured yesterday)

Next my students will do their own research using my webpage as a starting point. This poster above can be found on the New Horizons website, Pluto Safair, and now in my PowerPoint.
Yesterday I wrote about Pluto Safari, so you might want to take a look if you missed it.

My PowerPoint has two writing assignments in it, as well as the Interactive Foldable. Since I will be using this in the beginning of the year (at least this year) I will use the foldable as the assessment of what they learned, so we will spend 2-3 writing/science session on Pluto, and then move on.