Sunday, December 12, 2010

See You in 2011!

No updates today, or for the rest of the year.  I'll be busy with work next week, and I also have some other stuff I'm working on that I thought it best to save.

But, if the Lord wills, I'll be back at the beginning of January with some new stuff for the blog!

So far, I have in mind more teaching tips, a spotlight on Web 2.0 tools that I find intriguing, ideas for centers and workstations, plus much more.  I soon want to begin adding downloadable activities for classrooms on the site as well.

What's more, it's almost time for the job fairs, certification tests, interviews and all that stuff that I really hate doing even though I must persevere.  I really want next semester to be my first as a full-time teacher, so I'm focused on getting that done.

I hope you all have a great Christmas break and vacation!  See you soon!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Teaching Tips of the Week (Dec. 6-12): Make it a Jan Brett Christmas, Dreidel Game

  1. With the holiday season upon us already, it's a good idea to have some nice picture books to usher in the celebrations.  Jan Brett, the popular children's book author and illustrator, has several books that will have elementary students feeling festive.  Chances are high that your school library has a ton of her books.  Scholastic has a list of helpful ideas for a Jan Brett author study, which includes several of her Christmas and winter books.  Also, check out Jan Brett's website for coloring pages, videos and more!
  2. Laura Candler has created a Dreidel Game that is free to download from her website.  The game includes a print out of a dreidel to cut out and use in a small group game.  Talk to your class about Hanukkah, and then invite them to play this game while learning Hebrew symbols.  Instructions for the game are included in the link.
  3. Laura has also made a nice Christmas word game as a treat for your students.  Log in to TeachersPayTeachers and download the free activity and challenge them to solve all the clues, and then make their own to share with other students

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Classroom Management Videos: Teach Like a Champion

A few weeks ago, I was browsing TheCornerstoneForTeacher's website and found this classroom management video.  The video notes some techniques about acquiring and maintaining the class' attention, mostly through the use of nonverbal cues.

The techniques are from a book called Teach Like a Champion. I haven't read it yet, but I'm looking at reviews now and I'm curious about it. There are a few things in the video that I want to borrow. Most of them are things we're told repeatedly to do with students (such as correcting behavior and immediately shifting the focus elsewhere), but I like how they are achieved in this video.

"I don't have Marissa, but I do have Jasmine." It corrects the behavior, and also brings to attention someone doing something positive.

What's really cool are the nonverbal cues. Without saying a word, the first teacher in the video is able to tell students to put their hands down, keep their eyes on her, listen carefully, pay attention to what's on the board, sit up properly, and probably several other things! I like that, because it means she's trained them to recognize and respond to her cues, and it maintains a lot of order and prevents interruptions.

With subbing, of course it's a little harder to teach students some cues when you're only with them one day, but I still think there are some things in the video I'd like to try myself and keep in store for when I am a regular teacher.