Word of the Day: Kind

Posted November 14, 2016 by Neiman
Categories: Uncategorized

I was at Trader Joe’s the other day, looking for red roses that were advertised. I needed them for my granddaughter’s 15th elegant birthday dinner. Colors were black and white, with a pop of red–the roses. My husband asked someone while I was checking out. I found my husband with an employee opening boxes of red roses–I said, oh I have already checked out And with that, the Trader Joe person presented me with a bouquet of red roses and said, no charge. Now some might say it was just good customer service, and it was, but it was also an act of kindness. Be kind!

From Surviving to Thriving

choose-kind

kind

adjective

Simple Definition of kind:

having or showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others : wanting and liking to do good things and to bring happiness to others

Synonyms: attentive, considerate, thoughtful

merriam-webster.com

How can you be kind today?

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Word of the Day: Civility

Posted November 14, 2016 by Neiman
Categories: Uncategorized

Model civility!

From Surviving to Thriving

civility

noun ci·vil·i·ty sə-ˈvi-lə-tē

Simple Definition of civility

:polite, reasonable, and respectful behavior

civilities: polite actions and words

Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary

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Learning Stations and Cranberries

Posted November 10, 2016 by Neiman
Categories: Best Practice, Classroom Community, Constructivism, Cranberries, Cross Curricular Learning, education, Learning, Learning Stations, Lesson Plans, Resources, Surviving to Thriving LjL, Teachers Pay Teachers, Teaching Ideas, Uncategorized

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cranberriesLearning stations engage students in active learning. “Learning stations can be used for myriad purposes—to teach concepts, integrate subject matter, build interest, and allow for inquiry—the possibilities are limited only by the imagination of the teacher and the supplies available” (Jarrett, 2010, p. 56).

Learning stations are designated areas in a classroom, hallway, cafeteria, or community room where students complete tasks. Everything the student needs is available at each station, which could include handouts, activity sheets, experiments, photographs, videos, music, artwork, food, cranberries, etc. There are step-by-step directions at each station. Students move from station to station individually, in pairs, or small groups. The number of stations can vary as well as the time estimated at each station for students to complete the station task. And, students can work at their own pace.

Learning stations work for all grade levels. Consider inviting parents, older students, or preservice teachers to help with setting up stations, guiding students through stations, or even be part of a station, giving interviews, clarifying instructions, doing demonstrations. For example, a parent helper might serve samples of cranberry juice at a tasting station.

Check out Crazy for Cranberries Cross-Curricular Learning Center Activities to use as a template for developing and setting up learning stations in your own classroom. It’s a great example of the types of stations you might set up as well as what you need for each station. It’s a delicious example of using learning stations!

Crazy for Cranberries Cross-Curricular Learning Center Activities includes

  • 19 page-teacher guide
  • Materials and picture guides for each center
  • Answer key for student journal
  • Optional QR codes or print resources
  • 14-page student journal
  • 11 center signs for each learning station

Jarrett, O. (January 2010). Inventive learning stations. Science and Children 47.5: 56-69.

Visit our Teachers Pay Store and look at the products we have available–you just might find something perfect for you and your students.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Son by Lois Lowry

The One and Only Ivan

The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla

Surviving to Thriving TPT

Building Positive Relationships with Support Personnel

Posted August 19, 2016 by Neiman
Categories: Bookmarks, Building Relationships, Building Trust, Collaboration, education, Homework Alternatives, Homework Bookmarks, Kindness, Professional, Support Personnel, Surviving to Thriving LjL, Teachers Pay Teachers, Uncategorized

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Schools would not run smoothly without the secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, security team, or 728d6ee6ea0b81a533d0f45ed29dae10food service staff. Often their support is so seamless, we almost forget that they exist and we often take for granted, all the glitches they unglitch. So, as you are thinking about building a classroom community, take a moment out to think about how you might build positive relationships with your building’s support personnel. Here’s a few suggestions from our books, Thriving in the High School Classroom and From Surviving to Thriving: Mastering the Elementary Classroom.

  • Acknowledge support personnel with a smile, a nod, or short conversation.
  • Turn in paperwork on time. If it’s going to be late, let the secretary know.
  • Communicate with the custodian when a class event is going to result in extra trash or your classroom furniture arrangement may impede cleaning.
  • Don’t forget to let the food service staff know when your students may not be dining in the cafeteria.
  • Take time out to introduce yourself to the security team and find out what you can do to make their job easier.
  • If you have bus duty, connect with the bus drivers.

And, as we all know, it is the school secretary who really runs the school!

Check out our new products at Surviving to Thriving LjL:

mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine Discussion and Activity Guide

Homework: Show What You Know

FREE Teacher Bookmarks with Homework Quotes

FREE Bookmarks with Quotes for Teachers

Lesson Plans for the First Week of School: The Crayon Box that Talked

Seven Ways to Use Free Bookmark Quotes for Teachers

Posted August 3, 2016 by Neiman
Categories: Best Practice, Bookmarks, education, Professional, Quotes, Teacher Appreciation, Teachers Pay Teachers, Teaching Ideas, Uncategorized

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To me the sole hope of human salvation lies in teaching.  George Bernard Shawbookmark

Even teachers need reminding of how critical they are to the education of students and to maintaining a democratic way of life. We collected 16 quotes to share with teachers that reflect just how important teachers are.

Visit our Teachers Pay Teachers store, Surviving to Thriving LjL and download a free set of 16 bookmark quotes for teachers. And, here are seven ways you might use those bookmarks:

  1. Display the bookmark quote where you can see it from your desk to remind you your work as a teacher is appreciated.
  2. Copy bookmark quotes on colored card stock and cut out. Write personal notes of appreciation on the backsides of the bookmarks and place the bookmark quotes in faculty/staff mailboxes.
  3. Distribute the bookmark quotes at a faculty/staff meeting. Use bookmark quotes to form pairs, trios, or quads by directing teachers/staff members to find one, two, or three other teachers/staff members who have the same bookmark quote. Invite pairs or groups to discuss the quote and/or work in groups. Nice way to start a faculty/staff meeting.
  4. Make mini-posters out of the bookmark quotes and display them on a bulletin board near the main entrance where visitors will see them.
  5. Place all 16 bookmark quotes in a box, pull one out during lunch, read it aloud, and discuss the meaning of the quote with your colleagues.
  6. Challenge students to find inspiring quotes related to education or a topic related to the content area in which you teach. Make your own bookmark quotes for students, using the quotes that they find.
  7. Use as a bookmark.

Other FREE bookmarks to check out:

FREE Teacher Bookmarks with Homework Quotes

FREE Esperanza Rising Bookmarks

 FREE Friendship Bookmarks

FREE The One and Only Ivan Bookmarks

HOMEWORK: Show What You Know

Posted July 25, 2016 by Neiman
Categories: Best Practice, Bookmarks, Collaboration, Constructivism, Discussion, Engagement, High School, Homework, Homework Alternatives, Homework Bookmarks, Learning, Middle School, Professional, Resources, Teachers Pay Teachers, Teaching Ideas, Uncategorized

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I like a teacher who gives something to take home to think about besides homework.human-face-with-flower

Lily Tomlin

If you have looked at the research about homework, it generally does not support a connection between time spent on homework and grades (Kohn, 2012). The challenge for teachers is the expectation of homework from both families and students, but not all homework is created equal. Homework is appropriate for preparing, checking for understanding, practicing, rehearsing, and/or processing including analyzing, evaluating, and/or reflecting (Vatterott, 2009).

Meaningful homework assignments should:

  • allow for student choice and personalization;
  • provide opportunities for students to share things about themselves;
  • tap into emotions, feeling, and/or opinions; and
  • be aesthetically pleasing (Vatterott, 2007).

Meaningful homework assignments should engage students and be fun to do. We have compiled various homework assignments that can be easily adapted to a variety of subjects for intermediate and upper level grades. And, there is a list of alternative homework assignment ideas. Check it out on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Homework: Show What You Know includes:

  • Name Lists
  • Rounding Up: Adjectives
  • Rounding Up: Adverbs
  • Survey. Note. Conclude! Homework Assignment
  • Using Graphic Organizers to Show What You Know
  • 8 Alternatives to Traditional Homework Assignments with Mini-Activity Slips
  • Teacher Bookmarks with Homework Quotes (Something to share with colleagues and start a conversation about homework.

References

Kohn, A. (November 25, 2012). Homework:  New research suggests it may be an unnecessary evil. Huffpost.

Vatterott, C. (2007). Becoming a middle level teacher:  Student-focused teaching of early adolescents.  New York:  McGraw-Hill.

Vatterott, C. (2009). Rethinking homework:  Best practice that support diverse needs. Alexandria, VA:  ASCD.

Homework Bookmarks!

Posted June 28, 2016 by Neiman
Categories: Best Practice, Bookmarks, education, Engagement, Homework Bookmarks, One and Only Ivan, Teachers Pay Teachers, Teaching Ideas, Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

Idea BulbWhile I was teaching preservice teachers, I wanted to model another way for teachers to communicate homework assignments to their students. The homework bookmark was born. I simply started with a new word document, ½-inch margins, landscape orientation, and added a table of 1 row and 4 to 5 columns. In each column, I typed in the homework assignment and added a quote and a graphic. Copied them onto plain white paper, easily cut them with a paper cutter, and distributed them to my preservice teachers. They loved them, and better yet, they started to use them in their field placements. Their students loved them.

Below is an example of quote bookmarks from The One and Only Ivan. Homework bookmarks are similar except they also include an assignment. They really are easy to make. Try them, you and your students just might like them!

ivan bookmarks

We love bookmarks. Students love bookmarks.  And so, in many of our products, we include bookmarks.  We even offer free bookmarks to teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers. Check out our store, Surviving to Thriving LjL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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