Thursday, May 30, 2013

Teachers are people too

Just a youTube video.
Amazing how many similarities to education 60 years later. I shared this with my facebook followers this morning, but thought many of you would enjoy them too.



Monday, May 27, 2013

Educational Quotes 5


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Free Superhero Computer Desktops

I made these to fit the resolution of my home computer, but hopefully you can make them work for you as well. I made one for 1-5 classroom computers. If you need more numbers, just let me know!








Are you following me on Facebook?

The booking across Canada party is this coming Saturday June 1st.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Booking Across Canada party JUNE 1ST!

I just messaged all the teachers (I think, sorry if I missed you) who said they'd be interested in participating. If you are a new follower, and don't know what I'm talking about, check out my FAQ.

I hope we can get a great collection of Canadian resources from this party, and make some great new online friends.



Monday, May 20, 2013

Free Superhero Table labels

I've seen a lot of great table labels out there, and I have even pinned a few, but I've decided that if I'm going to have a Superhero theme in my next classroom I want to have as many of my decor items to coordinate as I can handle. As such, I've designed these table labels for myself, and have included most colours of the rainbow incase you plan on using different colours than me. There are TEN colours, and each is a quarter page. If anyone requests these full or half page, I will gladly repackage these and repost the link. Please enjoy! They are free.



Educational Quotes 4



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Canadian Free Fonts

Since Our Booking Across Canada party is coming soon (less than three weeks!), I decided I wanted to find a festive font I could use with my freebies....

but...

Here's what I could find for free. Can you do any better? (and if you can, please let me know, because I want to use these for Social Studies!)




Sunday, May 12, 2013

Peanut Hero


Bonus Freebie to start your week. I know some fellow bloggers/followers are already done for the year, and some won't be done until June, but if you're like me, you're already thinking about next year.

I plan on offering at least one freebie a week (Sundays) to get ready for next year. Many will be Superhero themed, so if that's why you're here, you're in luck. I have a bunch ready and waiting to share!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Today is Super because...

You know I'm currently obsessed with the idea of a Superhero classroom right?
Of course you are.

In that light, when wandering around Pinterest this week I saw this post from the Happy Teacher.

I thought, hmmmm.... can I make this Super?

And here's what I came up with (Click on the image to go to Google Drive for your Freebie):

Liz at the Happy Teacher says to either laminate or put in a frame so you can use it with a dry erase marker.

I'm not sure if I'll use this at the start of the day to get the kids excited about the day, or at the end of the day to celebrate WHY the day was Super, but I think (and hope), that it's a must have for Superhero themed classrooms.

Enjoy!

Friday, May 10, 2013

WBT: Program 532 WBT The First Hour

I still don't have a classroom for next year lined up, but I hope I get offered one really soon!

In the meantime, I'm preparing for possible interview questions, and so I can mentally be ready to be back in the classroom, after all, it will be 2 years since I last set foot in a classroom when school starts again.

I know the year NEEDS to start off on the best foot, and I'm hoping to get some ideas from watching some WBT videos.

Tonight's viewing: The First Hour

The First hour of any school year is very important, it's when you and your students get their very first impressions of each other. If you want your students to respect you from the first minute, it's absolutely paramount that they view you as a competent teacher. Using WBT skills from the first moments of school, will help ensure that this happens.

Before School even starts, the first step needed to be taken to get the year off to a good start is your room design. According to Coach Biffle, this includes:
WBT WALLS
1. A whiteboard with the Scoreboard and Rule #1 displayed.
2. White Board: This morning's lesson. Say what you're going to cover.
3. Super Improvers Wall with all the names already displayed on white cards.
4. Language Arts and Math Power Pix Grids.
5. Five Rules and Other WBT signs.

THE FIRST TEN MINUTES
Teach in the hallway where the kids are lined up before they are allowed to enter the room.
1. Line Students up outside.
2. Say, firmly, happy and commanding, "Please Look at me! I am (insert your name). I'm delighted you are here!"
3. Immediately start class-yes.
4. Tell students that whenever they say "yes!" their hands should be folded in the listening position.
Keep saying "I'll answer your questions later"

Hands are distractors, so its important to teach students what to do with their hands before they get in the room.

MOVING INTO THE CLASSROOM
1. Usher them into the room and get them seated quickly.
2. Keep using "Please...". point kids at seats and tell them to keep their hands folded.
3. Observe who follows directions.
4. Praise for following directions.
Keep saying, "We'll assign permanent seats later"

What is on the Whiteboard?
My name on the upper left corner.
Scoreboard underneath that.
Rule #1.
Date
First Lesson Plan: 1. Class-Yes!
                            2. Rule 1: Follow Directions Quickly.
                            3. The Scoreboard
                            4. Practice Rule 1
                            5. Learn Student names
                            6. Practice Rule 1
Point out that students have already learned class-yes.

NEXT
1. Stand in front of the class. Do Class-Yes a few more times.
2. Sound happy, confident, commanding.
3. Quickly review the morning lesson.
4. Teach Rule 1 with the gesture. "When I say Rule 1, you say Follow directions quickly" Practice doing things. Get Buy In so later you can say to a student, "remember, we all voted on these?"
EXPLAIN THE SCOREBOARD
Use the scoreboard to practice Rule 1 as a motivator to follow directions quickly. This is called scaffolding the learning. Using previous knowledge with new knowledge helps to build understanding.

LEARN STUDENT NAMES
This is the part I always have a hardtime with, but I usually have most names memorized by lunch, and 90% by the end of the day. This process should have in memorized within this first hour!

When you forget a name, say "Who is this?" and someone will reply and tell you.

USE RULE ONE AND THE SCOREBOARD TO TEACH PROCEDURES
Practice and Learn how to get our books, pass out papers, lineup, etc.



*************
The Question asked of viewers in this video was:
What are the strengths and weaknesses of Whole Brain Teaching's the First Hour?



"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"~John Wooden

Starting the school year off with your right foot forward is very important. If you don't take the time to teach your students rules and procedures, then you won't be able to get that time back later in the year to teach it properly. That time will be lost, as well as all the other time you waste correcting student behaviour throughout the year. Hopefully Couch Biffle’s Enthusiasm for the first hour will ensure that students are ready to learn.

However, I can see a few weaknesses to the First Hour. In many schools, including the ones I've taught at, students trickle in for the first hour, so it is very difficult to keep them in the hall to start the first lesson before they enter the room. Also, many schools start the first day with an assembly, so you will have already lost time before you've reached your room trying to teach procedures without any rules in place.

A second Weakness I believe would be present especially in a primary level class would be the pure voice level of the students as they get excited while learning the rules and procedures, as well as with helping me learn their names. But that is okay with me!

I'm not sure what I think of not assigning seats for the first day though, that's one of those things I was told was essential for first day classroom management.

As for strengths, there are many!

I am one of those teachers who are never quite sure how to start the first day. It's not a subject that was covered in my teacher education program. Now with this step by step guideline, I know exactly what is essential to already have on the walls when my kiddos first walk in, and that is the very first lesson they will learn from me.

I like having a plan to learn names other than having them make name tags. Games are a great way to start the school year off, and have always been a part of my first day plans. Now I'll make the first game be one that helps me check off one of my first day essentials.

I don't have to do over my teaching of rules if I start the year off by following this first hour guideline. I have to make sure I make the time in my first day schedule, no matter what else is required of me, to teach my kiddos the first rle and class-yes. Knowing these two essential parts of WBT, will help ensure we have a smooth year and great learning together.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

DARE program



Did your school, or the one you now teach at participate in the DARE program?

Apparently, it was founded in 1983 (two years before I started school), but I didn't learn anything about it until I started student teaching and then subbing. But I didn't have anything to do with the program, so I have no insights.

But after a little research, here's what I've learned:
1. The programmed is designed to give teachers the skills they need to teach students how to resist pressure to do drugs, smoke and drink alcohol.
2. Police officers lead the program in your classroom for ten one hour sessions over the course of the year.
3. In Nova Scotia, RCMP officers visit classrooms for 17 weeks for this program. Introduced in 2001.
This unique program sees specially trained officers deliver school presentations to youth ingrades five and six across Nova Scotia. The seventeen week course addresses such topics as the dangers of tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse; developing assertiveness and self confidence; and dealing with violence, bullying and gang behaviours. D.A.R.E . gives special attention to fifth and sixth grade students in order to prepare them for entry into junior and senior high schools wherethey are most likely to encounter pressure to use drugs.

HOWEVER, there has also been some controversy as to whether the program has been successful. Some reports suggest that students exposed to DARE, have a higher incidence of use of drugs than students NOT exposed to the program.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What do you call your daily silent reading time?

As a student in the early 90's, my junior high (middle school to most of you, but it was 7-9) had silent reading every day right after lunch before the first afternoon class.

Our school called it USSR- Un-Sustained Silent Reading.


I've also had a lot of schools call it DEAR- Drop Everything And Read.
My first student teacher placement had it called OTTER- Our time To Enjoy Reading
I've heard of SQUIRT- Super Quiet Uninterrupted Independent Reading Time
How about WEIRD?- We Enjoy Silent Reading Daily
ZYLAR- Zip Your Lips And Read
FUR- Free Uninterrupted Reading
DIRT- Daily Independent Reading Time
WEB- We Enjoy Reading
FVR- Free Voluntary Reading
POWER- Positive Outcomes While Enjoying Reading
HIP- High Intensity Practice

I found a long list of Silent Reading acronyms on Google docs, is yours on the list?

I'm thinking this week that if I do a Superhero classroom next time I have one, I'd maybe like my silent reading to be themed.

I like the idea of POWER, but I'm not sure I like what it means.
Instead of  Positive Outcomes While Enjoying Reading, how about:
Practicing Our Wonderful Exciting Reading?

What about HERO?
Helping Everyone Read Outstandingly?





What do you call it?


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Education in the News: April

Have you checked out my Facebook fan page? Have you seen our advertisement for the Booking across Canada party?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/high-school-student-suspended-for-writing-yolo-on-a-test-and
So this case the student was protesting against having to write this standardized test, when there was another he deemed more important to study for. While I agree that in some districts there are too many tests, it is not up to the students to decide which one should carry more weight. Doing this to this test or any other, could have an effect on his education, and the funding his school receives for his senior year.


http://www.buzzfeed.com/skarlan/touching-apology-from-teacher-to-transgender-student
In this sweet story, the teacher realized she had used the wrong pronouns when referring to a transgender student, and instead of ignoring it, she apologized by secretly passing a note to acknowledge the mistake to the student. I think this is great, it made it clear to the student that the teacher wasn't trying to deny the students sexuality, but that the choice of pronouns was simple human error.

http://metronews.ca/news/edmonton/645567/edmonton-teachers-can-give-zeros/
This story originally made the news when a teacher was fired for giving out 0's to students who had failed to pass in work. I understand the reasoning behind no 0's, that students should be graded on their knowledge and completed work, but I agree that 0's are necessary. If a student does spectacularly on one assignment  and that is all he passes in all year, should he receive an A for the year? Obviously not, because he did't meet all the standards, and the 0's allow the teacher to accurately tally up how much of the year the student learned.
HOWEVER, when a student is on an IEP or similar, then of course the no 0 rule can apply! IMO.

http://metronews.ca/news/halifax/638780/ontario-experts-to-begin-halifax-school-board-review-into-rehtaeh-parsons-case/
Big news locally this last month was the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons which was  a direct result of bullying stemming from an alleged rape. I'm not going o debate whether the sex was consensual or not, the boys know the truth, and so did Rehtaeh. However, she was bullied at school by a picture sent through texts and Facebook, and everywhere she went, the kids from school taunted her. This constant bullying ended finally when she couldn't take it any longer, and chose to take her own life to end it. Lots of newscasts have suggested that something has to be done, and I agree. But it's too late for this poor girl. We need to step up our anti-bullying education in school, and make it clear to our students that teasing hurts!

http://metronews.ca/news/vancouver/629413/girl-wins-lawsuit-against-boy-for-recess-injury-at-surrey-school-when-kids-were-11-and-12/
Accidental violence on the playground at a private school has four and a half years later resulted in a civil court case. A student was piggyback riding a classmate, when another pushed them, causing the girls to fall down. The one on top broke her arm, and she's the one who brought forth the suit. I agree that the boy should have been more careful, and that the students should have been supervised on the playground, but a civil court case may have been excessive. Was the boy given detention or suspended in 2008? Because that should have been enough. We have great health care in Canada, so she shouldn't have had huge medical bills for the broken arm that he could have to pay for.

http://metronews.ca/news/ottawa/648196/students-suspended-over-immunization/
This one is a bit ridiculous.
Before you start school, your parents have to provide proof of immunizations to the school before your enrollment. Then as you go through school you get more shots, I personally had my 15 year booster AT school. These students were suspended because they didn't have proof of their immunizations. I wonder if maybe having the shots at school would have done the trick?

Thoughts on any of these articles?

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