The end of July is fast approaching. I have seen back to school ads already and I am guilty of back to school shopping for my own children. With only a few more weeks until school starts, now is the perfect time to start thinking about first day of school ice breaker activities. A favorite of mine is playing a game that requires the students to listen carefully. I begin by having the students form a circle in the room. Next I hand out an unsharpened pencil or a wrapped Twizzler. Standing inside the circle I instruct the students to pass the pencil to the left every time I say the word left and pass the pencil to the right every time I say the word right. We practice passing the pencil left and right slowly. After a few minutes I read a short story to the class about the Wright Family and how they left to go on vacation. Long story short, after reading the 3 paragraphs the students are giggling and having a great time. It leads to a nice discussion about the importance of paying attention and listening in class. I will post the story as soon as I can get into my class.
So here goes round two of professional development this summer. I have been in Washington, D.C. for a workshop called Teaching with Documents and Works of Art. This professional development had been sponsored by the NCSS and has been conducted by the National Archives and Records Administration as well as the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Day one was fabulous. We looked at government issued photographs on Japanese internment. ( Not that the subject was fabulous.) We learned a lot of strategies to incorporate visuals into the classroom. Today we focused on the art side of using photographs. At one point in the day we were instructed to go out and take dome pictures of Chinatown in D.C. Tomorrow, our instructors will be tying it all together. I am looking forward to the session. Here are some of the images I took today.
Today was my last day of the Place Based Learning workshop that I participated in with the NPS in Salem, MA. It was was wonderful week filled with a nice balance of hands-on learning and guest speakers. Today a speaker came from kids consortium to talk about service learning. This person was very knowledgeable. Kids Consortium does a lot of service learning training. It was a very valuable experience.
This week I have been attending a workshop in Salem, MA that has been put on by the NPS there. It is on Place Based Education. Yesterday we visited the the Custom Store House and participated in a hands-on activity involving trade. I have been thinking of how to adapt this activity to use in my class in the event that I cannot get my class to Salem. Today we went geocaching. For those who don't know what geocaching is it is kind of like a scavenger hunt using a GPS device. There are many applications for the classroom using this, but we used the GPS to find historical sites in Salem.
Ok, so I am very excited today. I found out I sold something on teachers notebook.com . I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to my first customer! I really appreciate your business. I am also excited for this upcoming week. I am participating in a workshop this week in Salem, MA. It is on Place Based Learning. There will be more to come on this.
This reading strategy has students engaged in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Assign a section of text for a pair of students to read. Instruct one student to read aloud to his partner 3-4 paragraphs. Once the first student is done reading the second student is instructed to orally summarize what his or her partenr read aloud. Both students then jot down the information in two column note format. The main idea is on the left hand side and the supporting details are listed on the right. Instruct the students to continue reading, this time switching roles. Continue this strategy until the assigned section of text is completed. The students can then use their notes to write a brief summary of the reading or particpate in a whole class discussion.
It is July 8, 2013 and I have been out of school since June 19. I have been enjoying my summer vacation, but I am having a difficult time turning off my "teacher brain". I thought that blogging might help. I began by up loading some of my graphic organizers that I use in my social studies classes to www.teacherspayteachers.com . I think that when I finally get my "teacher brain" turned off completely, it will be the time that I actually need to turn it on and gear up for the new school year. I will put the visual literacy graphic organizer up here for you.
I am an empty-nester with two boys, a husband and a passion for writing, creating and teaching. I teach 7th and 8th grade Social Studies in Massachusetts. I am a self proclaimed history geek and proud of it! In my spare time ( Spare time, ha ha that's a joke! ) I enjoy photography, reading and hanging out with my family.