Archive for April 2015

Animal Farm Novel Study

April 7, 2015

Thriving LjL

Our newest product is out: Animal Farm Novel Study Discussion and Activity Guide. Animal Farm by George Orwell is a staple on middle and high school literature reading lists.Animal Farm Novel Study

If you haven’t read Animal Farm with your students you should. It is a great book to engage student interest and teach important concepts.

This novel study for George Orwell’s novel, Animal Farm, includes a Discussion and Activity Guide, accompanying PowerPoint Presentation, a Literary Log for students, optional homework assignments, summative assessments and rubric, animal cards for forming groups, and bookmarks. The Discussion and Activity Guide is comprised of questions, prompts, and/or activities for each chapter and offers teaching suggestions, vocabulary, and suggestions for a variety of ways in which students might respond to prompts: Teacher-Led Discussion, Pair-Share, Write-Pair-Share-Class-Share, Individual Student Response, and Small Group Mini-Projects. Questions, prompts, and activities are designed to increase the relevancy of the novel and…

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Spread a Little Kindness and Avoid Teacher Burnout

April 6, 2015

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According to Ben Johnson, author of 10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout, making someone’s day by extending a small kindness is another step to avoiding teacher burnout. His suggestions include calling a parent or guardian to share something good about a student; complement a struggling student on something he or she is doing well; or just show gratitude to a staff member with a note, hug, or even a small gift. Here are 11 more ways to spread kindness for you and your students:

  1. Set up an appreciation day for custodians, school secretaries, bus drivers, or administrators.  Ask your students to write a thank you statement.  For example, thank you Mrs. Smith for keeping our classroom clean; thank you Mr. Brown for getting us to and from school safely; thank you Miss Thomas for saying hello to us when we come to school, etc.  Place all the thank-you statements in a large envelope and deliver them.
  2. Bring treats in for the staff on a Monday morning.
  3. Buy a dozen roses from the grocery store and give 12 staff members each a rose.
  4. Send a note to someone on your staff that has shown you kindness or has helped you.
  5. Surprise your students with a fun activity.
  6. Explore the resources listed below and commit to doing some of the acts of kindness with your students.
  7. Smile at your students and your colleagues.
  8. Organize your professional books and materials and give a new teacher books or materials you no longer need, but still have professional value.
  9. Leave a generous tip the next time you dine out.
  10. Call someone who has been in your thoughts.
  11. Watch the movie, Pay It Forward.

Below are some excellent resources and ideas for you and your students to consider when choosing kind. Wonder is a great novel that deals, among other things, with the power of kindness. Consider it for a read-aloud for your students. Check out our unit and read-aloud guide on Teachers Pay Teachers.wonder book bites

Resources for Spreading Kindness

15 Random Acts of Kindness

The Great Kindness Challenge

Conspiracy of Kindness

134 Random Acts of Kindness

Acts of Kindness Student ActivitiesSurviving to Thriving TPT

50 Random Acts of Kindness

Poetry Journal (April is National Poetry Month)

April 1, 2015

Thriving LjL

Ideas for National Poetry Month.

Introduce poetry to your students by reading poems aloud that they are interested in. Poems by Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein are all-time student favorites.

Ideas for sharing student poetry:

  • Have students keep a Poetry Journal.
  • Write poetry with your students and share all the poetry on a bulletin board or publish a class poetry book.
  • Introduce a new poem each day.
  • Have students create poetry collages.
  • Cut words from magazines to make poetry posters.
  • Consider having a poetry slam, a “competition” at which poets read or recite original work.
  • Host a poetry café and invite parents. (Serve hot chocolate.)
  • Video students reading their poetry.
  • Include music. Remember lyrics are poems.poetry journal

Celebrate with our Poetry Journal.

Our Poetry Journal for the Classroom  includes a reproducible student poetry journal, a variety of poetry forms, sample poems, practice pages, and final student poem pages.

The Student…

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