" Addie Education - Teacher Talk: March 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

April Freebie - Earth Day Activity

I love April for a number of reasons... the days are noticeably longer, spring flowers are in their full glory, there's a hint of summer in the air.... AND we celebrate EARTH DAY on April 22nd!  It's a great day to focus our attention on the environment and to think what we can do to reduce our "ecological footprint".  

In order to understand the importance of preserving and conserving, students need to understand the unique qualities and characteristics of Earth that make it habitable. 

Here's a fun and educational activity to get students thinking about Earth and what makes it stand out within our solar system.  Students pretend to be aliens visiting from another planet (a great hook for students of almost any age!) and they must send back a report to their home about what makes Earth unique.  It's a fun group activity that asks students to work collaboratively to come up with a Top 10 List.  




This is also a great activity at the start of a geography unit or science unit on biomes, landforms, or ecosystems.

Here's another Earth Day Freebie available on my blog.

Check out more April Freebies at The Cornerstone for Teachers - an amazing blog full of incredible classroom management and teaching tips. 


The Cornerstone For Teachers


Happy Earth Day!
Addie


Friday, March 23, 2012

Wow... I Can't Believe It!

This week I was so excited to find out that my blog was named one of Education World's Top 25 Blogs for Educators 2012!  Never, in a million years did I think my blog would make the list... in fact when I saw my blog name in print I just about choked on my juice!  I had to close down the webpage and re-open it just in case my eyes had failed me.... or I was seeing things.

There are some amazing and inspirational blogs on the list and I'm truly in fantastic company... so if you've got some time to do some "blog-hopping" I encourage you to check them out.  You can see the list HERE.


Although I'm fairly new to the blogging world, I'm amazed at the world that's been opened up to me! I've got friends from all over the world who share ideas, stories and tips with me and other teachers.  Not only that, but I really believe it's made me a better teacher in the classroom...  I discover something new for my classroom almost weekly.  My high school seniors never know what to expect when they come into class as I often try lessons or techniques with them. (Often it's an "Elementary" idea that with some tweaking, works really well with my older students.)

I'd also like to do a special blog "shout-out" to my blogging "teacher" who has taught me and many others so much about blogging and social networking.  Please check out Charity Preston's Organized Classroom Blog when you get a chance - it's a great blog full of teacher tips and ideas.  

AND... if you're thinking about starting your own blog Charity runs an amazing program called Teaching Blog Traffic School where you can learn all the tricks of the trade, network with an incredible group of educators, get support when you need it and quite often share in a laugh or two. 

Thanks so much!
Addie

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Poetry Terms Freebie

In honor of World Poetry Day on March 21st I thought I'd post a quick review activity for poetry terms / figurative language.

You can use this worksheet as review for a quiz or as an introduction to poetry terms (just work on one term at a time).

I often have the students work on their own examples and write them on the board at the front of the room.  My students (I've done this with grades 8-12) love the chance to write on the board and share their poetry prowess with others.  I usually have 4-5 whiteboard pens out at a time and once a student has written their example on the board, they must pass the pen to a new student.  There's less pressure on the students if there's more than one person writing on the board at the same time, and they can write their ideas anonymously.  I usually end up with a giant free-flowing board of really great examples and the kids love to read what others have come up with.

Have fun!


Thanks,
Addie

**Check out the ESOL Odyssey for a fun Linky Party for National Poetry Month.  Lots of great FREE and paid products linked up.




Saturday, March 10, 2012

Playing With Whiteboards

I've been having fun lately thinking about the differences between teaching in an elementary school and teaching in a high school.  I haven't taught in an elementary school in a while, but I have fond memories of colorful displays on the wall, interactive activities, group work and games.  So in an attempt to engage some of my senior students who aren't as interested in school as I'd like, I'm having fun integrating some "elementary teaching techniques" into my classroom.  And... believe it or not... we're having a ton of fun and I do believe that there's some real learning happening as a result!  

My next few blog posts are going to highlight some of the tips and tricks I've been implementing lately.  Best of all... most of these techniques are easy, take little prep time and don't cost very much (if anything).

Here's my tip for today...

Personal Whiteboard
I've seen lots of different ways to create individual whiteboards lately on all sorts of websites... everything from laminated paper to plastic picnic plates.  After a bit of trial and error I've discovered that the white plastic (melamine) platters from my local dollar store work the best!


I have a set of 20 in my classroom that I mostly use for group work and a review / quiz game.  My students (especially the boys) love them!  I often play a game where I ask them to draw and explain a concept - they work in groups and I love listening in on their conversations as they figure things out. As well, the students like the fact that I'm not looking for something technical, just a quick and easy explanation of an idea or theory.  

Ideas for your class...
- use them to practice math concepts
- vocabulary review
- spelling practice
- foreign language vocabulary
- poetry / figurative language
- drawing science concepts (phases of the moon, cells...)
- chemistry formulas
- I'm sure the list is endless!

I quickly discovered that white board erasers are very expensive ($5.00!!!) so I went to the Dollar Store (what did we do before they were around??) and bought a child's fleece scarf and cut it up into 8 little "fleece erasers". They work really well and every once in a while I bring them home for a wash.  I store the plates, pens, and erasers all in a plastic bin that I got at (you guessed it!!) the Dollar Store!


Anyone else use these or something similar in their classroom??

Thanks,
Addie




Saturday, March 3, 2012

Leapin' Lizards I'm A "Liebster Blog"!

I am so excited to have been awarded the Liebster Blog award recently from two great bloggers!!  So huge thanks to JD's Rockin' Readers and Kids Cogworks!
The Liebster Blog award is given to new bloggers that have 200 followers or less.  Here are some great new blogs to check out!




Here are the rules:
*You must thank the person who awarded you.  So thank you Debra at JD's Rockin' Readers and Adrianne at Kids Cogworks!
*You must link back to their blog in your post.
*You must copy and paste Liebster award button
*You must award 5 other bloggers that qualify (200 followers or less)
*You must notify the ones you chose by leaving them a comment on their blog so they can do the same!
Have fun blog-hopping!!
Addie
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