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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Halloween Writing Freebies Abound

Happy Halloween!
Educator Helper

Click here to preview all of Educator Helper's Halloween lessons and activities:

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Set the Mood for Halloween Writings

Let creativity flourish this Halloween with some fun individual and group writings! To get students in the mood to create spooky stories, decorate your classroom with these fun ideas:

1. Let students decorate--set a theme for each class wall then let students do the work. Pre-plan by having students envision their final wall scenes then draw these on plain paper. Have lots of Halloween themed handouts on hand for students to make and display. 

2. Dim the lights--opt for flashlights, battery operated tealights, glow in the dark sticks, and desk lamps to help students get in the Halloween mood. Students love using alternative lighting, so place plenty of these on desks, rugs, and tables.

3. Ditch traditional seating--bring in blankets, rugs, and large towels for students to lounge on while they do their eerie writings. 

4. Music is a must! YouTube has plenty of eerie Halloween writing music. Choose one with lots of different sounds then have students listen and write down as many sounds as possible. Next, have students choose ten words from their lists to include in their writings. A Halloween word bank will keep students' writings focused on the holiday theme. 

5. Add edibles--include snacks that are healthy yet Halloween themed, such as apples, popcorn, pretzels, and pumpkin seeds. Many schools have banned outside foods, so check policies, be aware of allergies, and play it safe. Your school's cafeteria manager can help when it comes to setting up special food displays. 

6. Fog machine and LCD projector scenes--these easy to set-up and use machines can change an ordinary classroom into an extraordinary holiday setting. These are in high demand, so purchase your fog machine or projector early in the season. 

Now that your classroom is ready, it's time to find great writing prompts for Halloween. Educator Helper has what you need to get students' creative storywriting skills flowing!

Happy Halloween!
Educator Helper

Halloween Activities:

Halloween Coloring Sheets
Eerie Writing Prompts
Write a Halloween Story with Word Bank
Get Fit Action Story: Frank N. Stein's Haunted House
Wacky Wayne's Halloween I-Spy
Halloween Count, Color, and Match

FREE Halloween Handouts:

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fall Festivals Abound in October

Do you know where to find the best fall festivals? If not, then Educator Helper can help you with lots of free fall activities for kids and adults! 

Here are some links to help you sort out fall fun:

1. Country Living magazine--okay, so it's really for adults, but the list is full of large festivals across the U.S. 

2. Travel Channel is ready to give a complete fall holiday fun list if you are in the mood to do some driving or flying.

3. Fodor's--the focus is on food! You can't go wrong with this list...

4. 10 Best--it's a list of the top 10 fall festivals from 2015, so browse and find your favorite.

5. Children's Fall Festivals--there's no link here because you need to check your local Chamber of Commerce, schools, and religious institutions to get the best in your area. Check out churches, daycares, schools, hospitals, and your community/neighborhood centers to find the best fall festival in your local area. 

Fall is full of fun for all, so make the best of it by visiting a fall festival near and far!

Educator Helper

FREE TpT Fall Product:

Falling Leaf Spelling Activity

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Three Things to Know about Changing Jobs from ISD to Higher Ed

Are you thinking of making a teaching change from a public independent school district to a higher education setting? Before you do so, let's take a look at some important information:

1. Education
Did you know you need 18 hours of masters or higher level courses in the discipline you want to teach? For example, if you would like to teach math then you need 18 graduate hours in that specific area. Education courses (listed under EDUC) do not count as discipline specific unless you are teaching in the School of Education. A mistake I almost made was getting my masters degree in English education rather than in English Composition and Rhetoric. If my English courses fell under EDUC, I would not qualify to teach college level composition courses under higher education regulations. This is a costly career error made by many public school teachers who are under the impression EDUC courses will suffice when applying for a college level job.

2. Pay
There's a myth that pay is much higher at the college level. While this may be true in many regions of the United States, it is not true in Oklahoma or Texas where I currently teach. In fact, my pay cut from the ISD was about $3,000.00 while a new employee sitting next to me also coming from an independent school district took a $10,000.00 pay cut! Why the differences? Perhaps in Oklahoma and Texas it is the classification of employees from district to state that make the difference. State benefits packages are vastly different, and better, under state guidelines. Yet, it will take years for me to recoup the losses from my monthly ISD paycheck. Also, at the college I am employed at, we are paid once per month versus twice per month at the ISD I worked at. Pay raises, so far over the last eight years at the college I work at, have only offset increases in health insurance, retirement contributions, and federal taxes. "Going Backwards" is the best way to describe my last seven years paychecks--so, weigh your pay options carefully!

3. Time
It's true--I have more time to spend on creating critical thinking, high-interest
lesson plans! My first year at the college level was an adjustment after teaching middle school. No parents to deal with, no high stakes testing, no classroom behavior issues, no sick kids, no fights to break up, no before and after school duties, no IEPs... Need I go on? I work a four day work week, teach five classes, do 7 1/2 hours of office time per week, and enjoy my time off. Of course, there are meetings and professional development days, but compare this to the daily grind of ISD teaching and yearly teaching requirements!

There are lots of differences between teaching at an ISD and college, so be sure to thoroughly do your homework before making a career change.

Happy Transitioning!
Educator Helper

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

TRIO is Here to Help You

Ana is the first person in her family to attend college. Also, her parents have limited income, and she is hard of hearing, which she received services for throughout her elementary and secondary school years. As a student, Ana meets all three qualifiers of the TRIO program.

The federal government defines TRIO as:

"The Federal TRiO Programs  are federal outreach and student services programs in the United States designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. They are administered, funded, and implemented by the United States Department of Education."

Students must meet at least one of the eligibility requirements:

1. First generation students, or no parent has completed a bachelor degree.
2. Low income, or receives state services
3. Disability, or documented mental or physical impairment

Meet some of the Faces of Trio:

TRIO is a college career saving lifeline for many students. The program and its well trained staff are able to assist with a variety of needs, such as:

TRIO Advisor Robert Arenas Speaking to Students

TRIO can help set up one-on-one tutoring sessions, lend textbooks, give emotional support, meeting other new students, and so much more! It's an often overlooked program when students go on campus tours. But, don't underestimate its value. Because of TRIO and its services, many students are able to complete their college degrees. 

If you or someone you know who is in college meets the above criteria, have them dash to the TRIO office to sign up for these wonderful FREE services.

I'm proud to be a supporter of TRIO!
Beth, Educator Helper 

FREE!!! Click here to get the full lesson FREE:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Re-Thinking the Resume

Is your resume a traditional document? If so, it's time to re-think your resume! No matter what career field you are in, the job market is tough, so how do you make your resume stand out among the crowd? Here's some resume updating tips that will help you land your perfect job:

1. Infographs 
Use a free Microsoft Word template to create your infograph and highlight the top items on your 
resume. Competition is tough, so make reading your resume simple and easy with an infograph 

Here's my infograph resume:
Be creative, but make sure your infograph is easy to read and functional for potential employers.

2. Online Career Portfolios 
Use Live Journal or YouTube to create and post a short and simple portfolio of your best work. Then, post your video to a job site or send it to company administrators. This process can be time consuming, so be sure to check out companies' media policies on viewing and receiving these kinds of documents in lieu of or as attachments with job applications.

3. Flowcharts
Flowcharts are great for chronological or sequencing information, which works well for resumes. Be colorful and use easy-to-read fonts. Be sure to organize and streamline your resume info so it fits neatly into shapes. PowerPoint, which is easier to use for manipulating objects and shapes, has many free flowchart templates. 

Re-thinking the traditional resume format can help you rise to the top of the list as a job applicant! These solutions will highlight your creativity, as well as job skills, when trying to land your perfect job. 

Have fun with your resume!
Educator Helper

Want to help students look for their perfect jobs? Educator Helper can help with this FREE, fun, educational, hands-on learning product:

FREE!!! Choosing a Major