Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teachers Are Heroes - who deserve a sale!

TeachersPayTeachers is recognizing the hard work that teachers do with a site-wide sale later this week. The theme is - Teachers are Heroes!

This Wednesday, use the promo code "heroes" to save an extra 10% off the sale price as determined by individual sellers for their TPT products. I'll be discounting most of my store the full 20%. When you add them together, then that equals 28% off, because the 10% is applied to an already reduced price.

Be sure to check out some of the other incredible Secondary Teacher stores included in the graphic above, or the list below.

Danielle Knight (Study All Knight) 
The Classroom Sparrow
Michele Luck's Social Studies 
Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy

Mad Science Lessons 
Juggling ELA
Krystal Mills - Lessons From The Middle 
Teaching High School Math 
To the square inch- Kate Bing Coners 
Charlene Tess 
Pamela Kranz
The Creative Classroom

Kristin Lee 
Mrs. Brosseau's Binder 
James Whitaker's SophistThoughts

Darlene Anne
ELA Everyday 
Lessons With Coffee
Teaching FSL
Room 213
Lindsay Perro 
Liz's Lessons 
21st Century Math Projects

The SuperHERO Teacher
Science Stuff 
Kate's Classroom Cafe 
A Space to Create

Addie Williams 
Created by MrHughes

Leah Cleary
Secondary Solutions
All Things Algebra
Tracee Orman
Live Love Math

Ruth S.

2 Peas and a Dog 
FisherReyna Education
Rachel Friedrich
Linda Jennifer 
For the Love of Teaching Math
The Career Ready Teacher 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pre-Reading Activity for "Enfants de la rébellion"

I realized I had an old blog post that somehow got corrupted or deactivated - or maybe I just never published it properly. Although I'm not totally sure what happened with the original, a buyer just asked me about the pre-reading minds-on activity I mentioned in my unit for the novel Enfants de la Rébellion. You can check out the novel study guide that I created to use in my class a couple of years ago in my TPT store.

Although the pre-reading activity can be easily adapted to suit individual classrooms, changing the focus to correspond with your long-term teaching goals, here is the set of quotes that I used as an anticipation guide-type activity.

Students love a chance to move around the classroom, even when there is still a learning purpose, so I used this along with some upbeat francophone music to encourage students to speak to various classmates. It's a great opportunity to mix students up in ways they might not be normally grouped within the classroom, with a very low risk factor. The structure I used is "Tea Party" and you can read more about that strategy here. (To me, it actually seems like more of a "cocktail party" strategy... picture people circulating around and chatting, rather than sitting down with pinkies in the air... but I guess we're keeping it PG by avoiding the potential alcohol reference.)

So, if you're exploring this novel in your class, feel free to avail yourself of the quotes that I selected from various parts of the novel, to give an idea about the characters, the setting, the genre and certain aspects of the plot (without giving too much away, of course! No outright spoilers.)

I've included the 25 quotes I used in my classroom, and there are a couple of blanks at the end, in case you need to hand-write a few more, for a larger class. I've also provided a PowerPoint file, into which you can type your own quotes if you're a fan of consistency in appearance & have messy handwriting (like me!). The PowerPoint is not fully editable, to protect the graphics I used and honour their terms of use. But there are text boxes within which you can customize or personalize the text.

Thanks for stopping by! (Et merci beaucoup, Shannon, for letting me know that this element was missing!)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Bright Idea for BYOD Classroom Management

I'm so excited to be participating in February's fabulous blog hop, a monthly event dreamed up by fellow Canadian edublogger Shelley Gray at Teaching in the Early Years

Here's my "bright idea" which relates to technology this month. In my school district, students are invited, even encouraged to bring... I'd say even strongly encouraged to provide their own technology to class. Of course the school board sees this as a win-win, because many students DO already have technology that would be appropriate for educational use and one would assume that if it's the learner's own tablet, laptop or smart phone, then they would already be comfortable using it. A lot of flexibility, open-mindedness about process, and planning around alternative methods to achieve the same outcomes are needed in this situation, I've found.

I'm getting accustomed to that aspect, but I still find starting up a new project or assignment can be a little hectic, as multiple sets of instructions - or overly vague "one size fits all" instructions have to be given. So, I was thinking... what if, for the purposes of such work, my student groupings were temporarily rearranged to suit me? I believe in flexible groupings, with different sizes and various compositions based on the activity at hand. So this is really just adding one more possibility to my procedures.

If all the students with android phones are sitting in one area, and all the iPad users in another, with our laptop owners at a third group of desks, then they can more easily help one another through any tricky app downloading or sign-in processes that may vary by platform.  What about the kids who don't have a device? Either they can use a school supplied one that fits into the established groups, or there can be a section of the class for those using low-tech options. In case you're thinking that sounds a little bit uncomfortable, segregating students by the "brand" of technology they can bring themselves, let me just add that I wouldn't keep student groups like this for long. Maybe just a period or for short activities that already involve students moving about the learning space, it could be an even more brief time frame. Possibly just the first 5 or 10 minutes of an activity. 

If you like to use multiple groupings like me, you could even have little table signs ready or posted lists of seating with some of your most used arrangements ready for students or even a supply teacher to use as a handy reference.

I hope you liked this idea! If so, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Twitter and TpT for lots of other great stuff! I love to share! Also, check out some of the other awesome promo-free blog posts linked up below.

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