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.

 

  

Continue reading “Teaching is in our soles (of our shoes!)”

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.

Continue reading “Speed Networking in the Classroom”

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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Wrap up the decades with RAP music in the classroom

I love the idea of using music (especially rap music) in the clasroom. It can seamlessly be integrated into Social Studies, English and language arts curriculum as a form of both poetry and drama. Allowing students to write and perform their own rap encourages them to think critically, to practice writing in the narrative form, to increase vocabulary, and to develop an understanding of rhyme and rhythm. This is the modern day poetry of our nation and students should be able to analyze the material and have an open conversation about many of the themes running through the songs. Here are some song ideas for teaching the 90s into 2001 using music in your classroom.

1) 90s Rap –
Tupac Shakur’s “Changes”, Notorious Big – Hypnotize

Students can analyze the songs and have a discussion about the changes Tupac raps about. Has much changed from then until now? How has rap music evolved?

2) Conformity of the Boy Band Era –
Nsync, Bye Bye Bye,  Boyz II Men – End of the Road, Backstreet Boys – I want it that way

VS.

3) Girl Power – Madonna, Material Girl (to discuss the greed of the decade) TLC, Waterfalls, Spice Girls, Wannabe, Britney Spears, Hit me baby, Christina Aguilera, Genie in a bottle, Destinys Child – Bills, Bills, Bills

Students will analyze the songs, determine the messages delivered and choose one to write an informational essay on the power of boy band conformity vs girl power and sexuality.

4) The Counterculture of 2000 – Eminem – Lose Yourself, Green Day-basketcase
Students will analyze the informational/explanatory writing assignment and determine the messages delivered and discuss how these bands rejected the conformity of the previous boy band discussion

5) 9/11  – Where is the love? Black Eyed Peas Students will analyze the song, determine the messages delivered and discuss what happened during 9/11

rap

Let’s hand it to all the teachers who taught before the internet.

Saturday Morning Musings.  This is how I feel about teaching and parenting.
How did you do it before the internet and Pinterest? Honestly? It’s amazing! Its hard enough to do it now.

That is what tupperware parties were really for right?

Cheers to you and thank you internet.

I always love a good teaching meme!

Let's hand it to all the teachers whotaughtbefore theinternet.