My Curse of Knowledge Moment

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When the videos began to fill my inbox, I began to realize the power of the assignment.

Originally, my classroom video project was meant to entertain jaded older students in the post spring break period.  I was tired, they were bored – OK, let’s try something different.  I have been using student videos as exit tickets this year and students seem to enjoy it.  See my post The Power of Student Voices!

As a teacher, I suffer from the Curse of Knowledge.  I’ve presented the same material over and over to hundreds (thousands?) of students and I have forgotten how hard it is for a beginner to understand it.    My course videos look and sound pretty good, but it is far more effective to have students explain concepts.    My students sang, danced, graphed and animated!    They enjoyed showing their work in class and loved helping others learn the material.

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A Classroom Comedy Hour

What is a math teacher’s favorite sum?
Summer!
Knock, knock. Whose there? The end of the year…

Ok, my comedy skills are not that amazing… But the end of the year tends to be an incredibly stressful time for my students. Between prepping for those end of year standardized exams and them looking for summer internships the tension is heightened. By June, I like to liven my classroom up by hosting a classroom comedy hour. Each student gets three minutes to be a stand up comedian to review the material we discussed in class in preparation for any type of upcoming assessment.

First we watch a few clips of kid comedians and discuss what worked with the sketch.
David Burrus is always a hit! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwDNHx7u9sw&list=PLH8fLTuVCXuh6YbX4lLu1XmSe-rEUtdQD

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Pop – Up Cards – Easily create memorable Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Cards for your classroom

SIGN ME UP!I know I’m a little behind with this post re: Valentine’s Day BUT… I had to share this amazing activity I enjoyed with my students a few weeks ago. We made historical pop up Valentine’s Day Cards for the classroom!

I taught my students a basic way to make a pop up card – Start with a simple card or piece of paper and fold it in half. Then cut parallel lines (in pairs of the same length) into the middle fold as shown in the picture. The cuts should be no more then half the length of the card. Push the flaps forward until your card looks the same as the top half.

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The Mannequin Challenge – for the Classroom

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I have been waiting all year to try out the Mannequin Challenge in my classroom! Finally I had the opportunity this week to get my students to “freeze in time” for this awesome task.

The Mannequin Challenge was a trend that spread across the internet asking people to freeze in a particular moment in time usually while a camera captures the moment. I chose to participate without the camera. Here’s how you can too.

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The Power of Student Voices!

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RECAP, the most fun I have had in my classroom all year!  Recap is a free and easy to use service where students use their phone (or other device) to create a short video in response to the teacher’s prompt.   My high school students loved it.

Teachers have the option to set up the prompt with a pin so students do not need to register with or sign into the site.  In my class, students were uploading their videos in minutes.   The Recap dashboard allows the teacher to see who has completed the assignment and creates a compilation reel for easy replay.

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Make your own handwriting font!

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Make your own handwriting font for free?   YES!  It is so easy with myscriptfont.com.   In less than 15 minutes you can have a personal font.    Print out the standard template and fill it in with a felt pen.  Make sure your letters stay within the boxes!   Next, scan your completed template to a pdf file and upload it to myscriptfont.com which will convert it to a ttf file.

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SUCCESSFUL SNOW DAY SUGGESTIONS!

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It’s a snowy day here in NY and the schools are closed wooohooo! Looking for something fun to do? Here are five fun ideas to try on this blistering day…

  1. Try a read aloud of The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. The snow is falling and this book will keep your little ones entertained as they check out this animated tale.http://www.ezra-jack-keats.org/read-aloud/the-snowy-day/Prefer a hard copy for the next snow day? Grab one here!
  2. Use this snow day calculator to predict if you will be off any more days this school year: https://www.snowdaycalculator.com/calculator.php (I’m guessing NO! If you are in NYC 🙂 )
  3. Make snow angels inside or outside to Music for Aardvarks & Other Mammals – Blanket of Snow song. Watch the snow come tumbling down outside your window and sing along to this cute tune. Heres a rendition by a local artist Jams with Janet if you don’t have spotify: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQoCx8WUCBAWant the whole album? (I’m obsessed!) Get it here!
  4. Check out a local museum or childrens coffee spot. Those tend to be open on Snow Days to keep your kids entertained! I like the American Museum of Natural History

    http://www.amnh.org/ or The Childrens Museum of Manhattan/ Brooklyn/ Staten Island (for you NYers) http://cmom.org/.

     

  5. Go sledding!!! Grab a tray or a sled and head out to the closest hill and enjoy the fluffy white snow.Let us know what you are up to this perfect snow day! I’m about to warm up some hot cocoa, make some pancakes and play some board games!

Are you a Google search pro?

Are you really a pro at using Google search?  I thought I was.    Yesterday, was a professional development day in NYC and Google search was on the agenda.  I was skeptical, but I learned some valuable time-saving tricks!   I am looking forward to sharing them with students.  Here are my two favorites.

 Filetype  You can restrict your search to specific file types.    For example, filetype:  ppt   will return PowerPoint files.   I am teaching economics and I need a lesson on elasticity.  The search elasticity filetype:  ppt will help me get started!

Site   You can refine your search to  a specific site.  The search tariffs site: NYTimes.com returns articles on tariffs from the New York Times.

Check out this link to see all the ways you can make your searches more precise!     Google search operators