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

 

 

 

 

SHARK TANK FOR YOUR CLASSROOM

Many of my readers have been asking me for extended tips on implementing Shark Tank in your classroom (since reading my post on History’s Great Mystery (How can I make my classroom more interactive?!)

This activity is a HUGE hit in my history classroom. This is basically a marketing 101 lesson.

The Basics:
Break students into groups. Each group gets one invention. The group presents the invention and has to sell the items to three – five “ investors”.

The Play by play:
Start the class by asking what technology has changed during their lifetime. How has it changed cultural, social, political and religious interactions?

Then show a pitch from Shark Tank. I like the LuminAID storyline & clip – find it here. Stop after the 2-3 minute pitch. Ask students why the LuminAID pitch was successful. Write answers on the board.

Go on to show more of the clip and introduce the concept of the valuations.

Give students 1-2 class periods to come up with their pitch and then a class period to present. The rest of the class should take notes while the pitches are being presented.

The Lesson Ideas:
Here are a few lesson ideas by topic-

The Industrial Revolution – Invite students to sell you items from the industrial revolution in a game of SHARK TANK. Pick three – five “ investors”. Ask them to sell you investment ideas from the time period such as the Erie Canal, the railroad, the telephone. Teach them how to make a three-minute pitch and calculate how much they need for their investment. Check out my other marketing ideas here.

The High Middle Ages – Ask students to SELL you technological items from the Commercial Revolution in a game of SHARK TANK. These include the windmill and guilds.

Continue reading “SHARK TANK FOR YOUR CLASSROOM”

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

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Classroom introductions. The ICEBREAKER! The moment your students (and YOU!) have been waiting for all summer. But the butterflies, they are in the pits of your students stomachs. How do you make it effortless for everyone? Well, here are 5 different ways to break the ice and say “hello!” the easy way. Start by breaking your students into groups and then have each group introduce their team members via a game. Here’s how:

Continue reading “Howdy! How do you do? (Classroom Icebreakers 101)”

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?”

Bored of your Borders?!

 

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I like adding borders to my class handouts.  See some of my work here:  Everybody Walk the Dinosaur. For those days when there is just no extra time in your teaching-packed day, the built-in borders from Microsoft Word are a great way to spice up an ordinary handout.

Follow the example below, and you’ll see that it is really easy to made something special!

Continue reading “Bored of your Borders?!”

Gifts for GRAND teachers!

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Many parents and students always want to give me a little thank you at the beginning of the year, the holidays or end of the year. While I am always grateful for these
kind offerings, I try not to take anything of true value from my
students. Usually a lovely well written thank you card suffices.
However, if my school did allow it (and not all do!), here would be my
top 5 teacher gift choices for the grand teacher in your life (or that
recent graduate of education)- in ascending price order.

Continue reading “Gifts for GRAND teachers!”

The Paperless Teachers Desk (It can be done!) Here’s how –

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As you hardworking teachers know, there is a tremendous amount of paperwork in teaching. Everything from quizzes, to tests, to class handouts, to collected homework.   The goal – keep it all moving!  Over the years I have been able to reduce the amount of paper I generate in my classroom which I explored already in my post on  The Paperless Classroom? Here’s how.

BUT the REAL challenge for me is to keep track of all the other paper that flows over my desk.  The one-off sheet of paper I always spend a few minutes looking for!     I am talking about the memos from administrative authorities, weekly attendance, absent notes, late homework, hand-scrawled notes about individual students, last-minute changes to today’s  lesson or the instructional gem  I collected from a talented colleague.  It used to make me crazy..

Continue reading “The Paperless Teachers Desk (It can be done!) Here’s how –”

Discuss amongst yourselves (Online that is!)

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“Hi, this is Linda Richman. I’m verklempt ! Talk amongst yourselves! Here, I’ll give you a topic: The Holy Roman Empire. It wasn’t holy, it wasn’t Roman, and it wasn’t an empire. Discuss!”

Just a little Saturday Night Live Humor for you.

Now – If you have some students who are super quiet in class, you might be surprised at how they come to life online. I have seen such a change in my students when I ask them to join in on an online discussion. Usually a week-long discussion board is all you need as a great assignment to bring them out of their shells!

Here’s how – Choose an exciting or controversial topic to motivate participation, similar to how you would choose one for a great debate, or socratic seminar in the classroom!  One possibility is to post a difficult problem or debate question and ask students to write a multi-paragraph response.

Later in the week, they can respond to two or more of their classmates.   You can also ask students to post a document or video to enhance their response.   I have found that group assignments work especially well online.  It is harder to free-ride on your group when all your work is displayed. Continue reading “Discuss amongst yourselves (Online that is!)”

No HW assignments for 2016? Can it be done?

I’ve been spending a lot of time this summer reflecting on my best practices for teaching. I’ve been seeing all these apps that do students homework (see blog post below) and thinking about how much copying transpires amongst students and I’m debating – just hear me out – assigning NO homework for the upcoming school year. Now I teach history to high school juniors and seniors in AP (Advanced Placement courses) which I know are traditionally rigorous and the bane of most students homework woes BUT what if instead of assigning them textbook readings and excerpts from historical books to read out of the classroom – I assigned them healthy tasks to do.

Students should go outside and play baseball, volunteer at a homeless shelter, babysit their sibling, hold a door open. Would they become better more AWARE people by the end of the year? Would their test scores be the same anyway?

Continue reading “No HW assignments for 2016? Can it be done?”

Using Marketing in the Classroom

One of the greatest tools a teacher can have, especially on the high school level, is preparing their students for the post collegiate world. Students are often exploring their interests during this phase of their lives and teachers have the ability to open students eyes to more careers then the basic “teacher”, “doctor”, “lawyer”. One way to do that is to have students create their own infographics. Infographics make information eye catching, shareable and easily digestible. They also play a crucial role in the increasingly visual world of marketing. Check out some of my samples from Piktochart that I have used to show students how to market items (For example, try it during a Shark Tank activity perhaps – sell me your item!) or create them to advertise an upcoming class assignment. An invaluable lesson! My favorite site is www.piktochart.com.

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Using marketing in the classroom