Teaching is in our soles (of our shoes!)

soles-of-our-shoesTOP 5 TEACHER SHOE IDEAS

EQUIP YOUR FEET TO ENSURE TOP PERFORMANCE WITH TOP COMFORT!

I decided I needed to do a little shoe shopping over the Christmas break because my feet were KILLING me in December from all that standing and walking around while teaching.  My feet feel much better in this New Year. Don’t suffer with sore feet anymore in the classroom!

Here are my Top 5 Shoes for Teachers:

5. Cheetah Ballerina Flats

I always like to wear a cute pair of shoes on the first day of school. But by the end of the month I am all about comfort! This is where my ballerina flats come into play.

Coming in 5th place cheetah ballerina flats. You can find them in any shape or style and I they go with EVERYTHING not to mention are very comfortable. I like to give a little flair to my accessories so I love these Cheetah print flats. Very easy to slip on and off and provide support to my achy feet! There are two different price variations I have provided based on your budget! Cheap  as in $12 cheap… vs. More Expensive.

 vs. more expensive  

4. Classic Cognac Loafers for the Fellas

Fellas I didn’t forget about you. Classic Cognac Shoes. Perfect coupled with that gingham button down, a sweater and jeans. Light on your feet and comfortable. My husband walked by as I was writing this post and asked me to send him a link to buy these shoes. Trust me!



3. Elevate your teaching with a Pump

Sometimes aka parent teacher conferences, us teachers have to step up our game. This is when I switch over to a comfortable dress pump. Anne Klein is my go-to for all my “pump” related shoe needs. I have worn these to teach in, as a wedding attendee and for the holidays. I like a basic black or a nude or  black and white checkered pump.

 

  

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Color the Past

I’m inspired by the transformation of black-and-white photos into color recently by Photo colorization specialists at Dynamichrome  featured by Buzzfeed. So inspired that I’ve decided to have my students color the past (literally).

The Dynamichrome folks colored portraits of the “12 million men, women, and children who arrived at Ellis Island, New York, between 1892 and 1954 to start a new life in the USA, often dressed in their finest clothes. The portraits show immigrants wearing the national dress of their country of origin, including military uniforms from Albania, bonnets from the Netherlands, and clothing of Sámi people from the Arctic regions. The photographs were taken between 1906 and 1914 by amateur photographer Augustus Francis Sherman, the chief registry clerk at Ellis Island, then the country’s busiest immigration station. In 1907 some of the photos were published by National Geographic.”

Have your students paint monochrome photographs from the past into color.  As Paul Simon shared

“When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It’s a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn’t hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

[…]

Everything looks worse in black and white
Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day”

Check it out:

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The Great Pumpkin Challenge

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One more day until October! The month of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, Apple Picking and my favorite THE GREAT PUMPKIN CHALLENGE! My students know how much I love food challenges (see my posts on The Great Cookie Challenge!The GREAT “HOLIDAY” Baking Challenge! and I’ll share my Food Network Challenge with you in a couple of weeks). So OF COURSE I always do a GREAT PUMPKIN CHALLENGE!

The rules are simple:

I like to do this in groups of 2-3 students. Each group should Bring in a pumpkin OR a pumpkin dessert (that no one in the class will be allergic to – baked at home). So… a regular ole pumpkin to decorate, a pumpkin spice cupcake, pumpkin bar, pumpkin gingerbread cookie, pumpkin donut, pumplin pie whatever floats your boat. In class – studnents will be decorating it with a historical event from THIS SEMESTER. You can have it be holiday specific, (Martin Luther King Day, Columbus Day, Christmas, Chanukah) or a historical event. The class judges each creation and at the end of course they eat the pumpkin or pumpkin food. Let me know how your great pumpkin challenge goes!

Find the Perfect Match (for College)

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Love comes in many forms. But finding the right match for college well… there’s no dating “app” for that. (Yet! I suppose 🙂 ) So what does that mean for teachers, parents and students who are ready to make their college “lists”? Well… (like dating) you will have to dedicate quite a bit of time to finding the right college. Here are some tips to get you started!

  1. Think broadly. Do you want to stay close to home (and live at home) or are you okay with travel (car, bus, train, plane?). If you are willing to go 8 hours north you should be willing to go 8 hours west, east and south.
  2. Once you have made a decision on location, start to do your research. Check out these websites for help on  finding a college based on “I know what I want”, “I am not sure where to start”
     – College Board Website
    –  College Confidential

    – Forbes College Quiz
    – College Match Quiz
  3. Take a campus tour once you have narrowed down your choice. See if you can stay overnight with a student many colleges have a program set up for you to see what its like.
  4. Research Campus Safety.
  5. If money is an issue check out my post on finding scholarships. Start early!
  6. Don’t forget to ask your teachers for college recommendations. You will need at least two. Try to ask them as junior year is concluding so you are locked in for the fall. Teachers need tips on writing a college rec – here are some sample letters!
  7. Say thank you to all those who are helping you along your journey! But remember…
    The path to true love never does run smoothly. So don’t be afraid to transfer colleges if that first match wasn’t a right fit for you!

Speed Networking in the Classroom

 

It can be daunting to try out a new teaching method, but TRUST ME, this one is A HUGE hit! I’m writing an extension to my post on History’s Great Mystery (How can I make my classroom more interactive?!) and Why I put the SOCIAL back into SOCIAL STUDIES! so you can try out this awesome technique in your classroom. This lesson can be modified for primary/middle school and high school.

I like doing this lesson for a number of reasons.
One –  This lesson give students practical, real world experience. The students are required to practice their interviewing skills on their peers as they bring a business card, a name tent and a resume with them of their historical figure (on the high school level). See below I modify this for the younger grades.  This gets my students thinking about creating their own resumes and business cards and career prospects.

Each resume and must include the following: Name, birth date, education, background, known associations (with a definition), notable accomplishments, and 3 references. Each resume must also have a “job sought” paragraph at the top. This must be between 3-6 sentences long and should include long term goals and other pertinent information. I have students bring a resume which should also include a picture. I require that these must be typed (you need two copies – one for you and one for me!) . You should have students work on this in groups if they are each assigned the same character. 

Two – I require each student to shake hands with the person as they move around the table. I give them a quick “this is how to do a proper handshake” and “smile nicely” when I hand out the instructions and again before the activity begins. This requires they practice their social skills.

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Mnemonic Device To remember the original Thirteen Colonies

my-new-neighbor-can-not-re-paint-my-dark-violet-no-shiny-grey-bungalow-colony-2Awesome Mnemonic Device to remember the original Thirteen Colonies! Its about that time in US history where teachers are reviewing the 13 colonies. Perfect timing for a Mnemonic Device to remember the original Thirteen Colonies! When they think of the word “colony” they can easily remember one sentence – My New Neighbor Can Not Re-Paint My Dark Violet No Shiny Grey! [Bungalow Colony]. Each 1st letter of the word stands for a colony –

  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Pennsylvania
  • Maryland
  • Delaware
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia

Have you tried teaching with mnemonics? Ready for another one for the early presidents? Here you go!

Pottery Barn Lesson Plan for your Classroom

One of the nice things about working in a high school is the students can explore their interests without a commitment to a college major. In order to scaffold a lesson for my more creative students I created a history lesson where students can create their own houses from different time periods – a Pottery Barn Style lesson!

For Global History have students design a home from around the globe for the Phoenicians (ancient history), the Medieval Era, the Renaissance, and modern history. They should use different textures that were available and furniture, and even set the table with foods from the period. This can be done in PowerPoint or a diorama style model.

For US History – this is a lesson through the decades. Design a home for colonists, the 13 colonies, Jacksonian Era, Progressive Era, World War Eras, Great Depression, the Decades “50s – 00s”. They should use different textures that were available and furniture, and even set the table with foods from the period. This can be done in PowerPoint or a diorama style model.

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