Throwback Thursday

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Every Thursday we will be running a new series to throwback to our favorite Teaching lessons. Make sure to check them out to liven up your classroom as you head into summer!

Today we are featuring our Hamilton lesson plan.
Here is a chance for you to bring music and history into the classroom. We have a free lesson plan in our TPT store for you to download here and  our entire post on why we choose to implement this lesson in our classrooms here.

Don’t let your students miss out on a chance to be in the “room where it happens!”

Make your grading more efficient!

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September is a great month for teaching!    The first few weeks of school is a happy time – new year, new students, new goals AND very little grading.  By the end of September those tests are rolling in and piling up on my desk and in my bag.   October is not as kind to teachers as the month of September.

I would prefer never to give a multiple choice test,  but I have to be practical.  Every year, I have over 150 high school students so to survive I make every test a mix of multiple choice and essay questions.   As test day approaches I gather the Scantron bubble sheets (usually in short supply) and plan an early morning assault on the one working grading machine when no other colleague will want to use it.

BUT FORGET IT! Not this year. INSTEAD…

This year… I manage my classroom on my PHONE! (Teaching? I’m on the phone!)

ZipGrade might be my best app find ever!    The basic phone app is a free download.  The free student answer sheets are downloaded from the site  (ZipGrade.com) in 20, 50 or 100 question formats.

Continue reading “Make your grading more efficient!”

What is the purpose of education?

What is the purpose of education? A great question to consider as we start the new school year. Horace Mann asked this very question when he designed and reformed our modern school system in the during the antebellum era. But fast forward to today (the 2nd gilded age?!) – we are still asking the same question. Educators, Parents, Politicians, students – perhaps we all have different answers (and questions!)

Is an education to prepare for the workforce?
Should students have a rigid structure or should students have flexibility and Freedom in the classroom?
Should teachers give homework?
Should teachers and students have the summer off?
Should education be free from birth?

These are difficult questions with varied opinions from EVERYONE. Everyone has been a student. Not everyone can be a teacher.

What are your thoughts? What is the PURPOSE of Education?

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The GREAT “HOLIDAY” Baking Challenge!

It may be September, but that is not stopping me from thinking about the holidays! I have shared with my readers in the past, bringing baking into the classroom is SUCH a hit! My Great Cookie Challenge at the end of the year is a great way to review historical events. BUT during the holiday season I like to have a GREAT HOLIDAY BAKING version of my  CHALLENGE WITH MY STUDENTS.

The rules:

I like to do this in groups of 2-3 students. Each group should Bring in a delicious dessert (that no one in the class will be allergic to!) that was baked it at home. It can be a donut, a cronut, a muffin, a cupcake, a cake, croissant, pie whatever floats your boat. In class – you 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 cakes. Here are some of my favorite photos from past challenges.

Whats another holiday pound or two for the joy of our children? Happy baking!

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The Teaching SECRET you NEED to know!

Tomorrow is the BIG day! The first day of teaching for NYC schools and students. As a seasoned teacher I always get asked the same question during my summer break… if there was one SECRET to being a great teacher what would it be? This is never an easy question to answer. But it really all comes down to ONE SECRET.

The best teachers COMBINE the TWO E’s.  ENTHUSIASM and EMPATHY.

WHY is this the secret to great teaching? Simple. Ask yourself, what type of teacher would you learn best from? Would you want to be a student in your class? In order to say YES you need both enthusiasm and empathy.

Great your students with a big “HELLO!” every day. Every class. Why? Because you don’t know what kind of day they have been having. That’s where the empathy comes into play. Maybe they didn’t have the chance to speak to their parents, maybe they got in a fight with their sibling, a peer or worse. Combining your smile with empathy is contagious.

Best of luck on this new school year teachers. Here are my favorite tips and tricks for bringing enthusiasm into the classroom! Let me know how your first day back goes!

Bring Google Classroom to Life

Howdy! How do you do? (Classroom Icebreakers 101)

Make a Magnificent Classroom Meme !

History’s Great Mystery (How can I make my classroom more interactive?!)

THE WINNING WHITEBOARD

Why I put the SOCIAL back into SOCIAL STUDIES!

SHARK TANK FOR YOUR CLASSROOM

The Great Debate (Socratic Seminars in the Classroom!)

Bored of Giving Assessments? – Use Board Games!

Holiday Themes for Google Classroom

Play-Doh is Power

Color the Past

The Mannequin Challenge – for the Classroom

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Bubbling Beauties for Back to School!

This summer has been so much fun! I have really enjoyed designing new material for my back to school classroom in my Teachers Pay Teachers Storefront.  I am elated I have been able to help so many of you ease your transition back to school! Check out my new TPT material below. Happy Shopping!

Open House Invitation Coloring Page

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Theres more!

Digital Paper-Gingham (FREE!)

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Digital Paper – Chalk Pattern

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Continue reading “Bubbling Beauties for Back to School!”

Friday Freebie – Back to School Animation!

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Its time to go back to school and meet a new group of students and parents!  Here’s a small “GIF”T! A FREE animation to add life to your September parent emails.   Adding a GIF is so easy – just insert it as a picture into an email or document to share.

Find it here at our Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Meet The Teacher Animation

 

 

 

 

Feel Good Free Fonts (Patriotic Edition!)

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Welcome to September! What a great year to be teaching! We are so excited to share our Fantastic FREE fonts for teaching the upcoming election!  Decorate your classroom or class handouts as you prepare for the big event in November.   The number of available free for personal use fonts is just staggering.  I have spent hours playing with new fonts.  Its addicting!

Continue reading “Feel Good Free Fonts (Patriotic Edition!)”

FREE Back-to-School Shopping Spree!

WOW! New York Teachers are you ready for this? A FREE Back-to-School Shopping Spree. You heard me right. A FREE Back-to-School Shopping Spree.

As per the qns.com story:

Materials for the Arts (MFTA), which is operated by the Department of Cultural Affairs, with support from the Department of Sanitation and Department of Education (DOE) has an ENTIRE Warehouse that provides free materials to teachers — from binders to paper and computer chairs.

Teachers, who are required to make appointments, can pick up items every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. If a teacher is looking to be added to their school’s member account they can go through their principal or send an email to education@mfta.nyc.gov.”

COUNT ME IN! and Check out more here!

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Got the Homework Blues?

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It’s time for Back to School organization!  One thing I absolutely hate doing is collecting homework.     See my earlier post here:  No HW assignments for 2016? Can it be done?  Assuming you assign homework, what should be done with it?  Collect, Grade, Every day?  The paper piles up!

If your bag is stuffed with student work,  you may want to check out BerryWing’s Scan to Spreadsheet smart phone app which sells for a few dollars.     This could be your new workflow:

  1. Walk around the class, verify assignment completion.
  2. With your phone, scan a QR code taped to each student’s notebook to record credit.
  3. Email the created excel spreadsheet to your work account.

Continue reading “Got the Homework Blues?”