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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Winter Fun

It's the time of year to spice up lesson plans! Teachers and students are ready for winter break, and fostering learning through engaging activities lightens the mood. Try collaborative groups that focus on peer learning rather than individual worksheets completed as homework. Also, try some of the engaging, meaningful activities listed below:

Winter Holiday Writing Prompts--fun stationary with themed writing prompts to get all writers writing!
Winter Writing Prompts with Coloring Sheets--time for some relaxing coloring and writing!
Winter Holiday Coloring Sheets--let your students color and display these or use as holiday placements
Top Ten Kid Movies using symbols to figure out titles--fun word play!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanksgiving is for giving...

There are many ways to incorporate giving lessons within your classroom. Highlight students who help others or give back to their communities, try a Good Deed a Day Award, or express your thanks to students for their good behaviors and hard work. Make it a point to praise on person per day, and, soon, it will become habit. Whether lending an ear or extending a hand, Thanksgiving is for giving. 

Free Thanksgiving Give-Aways:
Thanksgiving Writing Prompts
Becoming a Successful Teacher
Winter Writing Prompts with Coloring-Sheets
What I Like About You

Click for Other FREE Teaching Products!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloween Fun!

It's time for creative writing to take center stage!  Get into the spirit of the season with some fun Halloween writing prompts and scary group writings.  Give the below activities a try to get students involved in the season: 

Eerie Writing Prompts
Lets Write a Scary Store A Group Writing Assignment
Halloween Coloring Sheets

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Leave the paperwork in the classroom!

As an English teacher, I often get asked about all those essays to grade--how do I make time?  Peer workshopping!  As I introduce skills through twenty-minute mini-lessons, students locate the items within their essays.  Then, using a peer workshopping sheet that lists the skills we have worked on (see below), student do read arounds of their essays and rotate them to look for errors and positive points.  By the time I read the essays with the students during one-on-one conferences, the essays are pretty good.  Grading essays with students allows them to see what I'm looking for, to go over rules for missed skills, and helps them to understand what an "A" essay looks like. 

Give it a try, and see if your paperwork load decreases....

Running Peer Workshopping Classroom PowerPoint link:

0330 Narrative Peer Workshopping

Peer Reviewer(s): __________________________________

Title of Paper: ___________________________________

Author: ________________________________________

Remember—revisions are the author’s choice!

As the reviewer, I have:

   Listened to the author read the piece aloud

   Highlighted all end punctuation marks

o   Double check for question marks and exclamation points.

   Highlighted the words needing capitalization

o   Beginning of each sentence

o   Proper names, places, brand names, etc…

   Highlighted all the transition words

   Highlighted any misspelled words—use a dictionary or spell check if needed

   Checked for proper formatting: Double Spaced, Times New Roman, Twelve Font

   Checked for narrative guidelines

o   Uses I

o   Uses chronological/sequential/time order

o   True story

o   Moral point/life lesson is _____________________________________________

   Attached feedback sheet to rough draft (given to author)

One item I liked: ________________________________________________________________

One item I wish the author would add: ______________________________________________

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Educator or Entertainer? How about both...

As teachers, we often feel more like entertainers competing for students' attention spans. How can you teach to entertain and educate? Try some of the activities, ideas, links and resources in The Edutainer presentation at:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back to School Ideas

Anyone looking for back to school ideas? How about a Road of Life Map or Get to Know You activity? Check both out at the store front...

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Hope the New Year is off to a great start! The one issue I always battle is time management...of course, organization goes right along with that...I want to be able to read, write, share, and grade. Right now, I'm reading the Smithsonian magazine, which features an article on Texas and wild pigs and an article on the Colisseum's underground mazes. Anyone reading a great novel they would like to share?