Posted tagged ‘Middle School’

Z is for Zing!

June 20, 2017

tagedo kids want teachers to beZ is for zing. Synonyms for zing include energy, enthusiasm, and liveliness. These are traits that we found middle school students want in their teachers. “Ask the Real Experts about Good Teaching,” an article published in the April 2014 issue of AMLE magazine, elaborates on these traits. And that’s what we think about when we are designing discussion and activity guides, lesson plans, and units—what will engage students and make learning fun and meaningful. And, so we are guided by our vision that our professional work is motivated by the possibility that every child will have great teachers.

ALL OUR PRODUCTS ARE ON SALE 20% OFF JUNE 21-23!

Surviving to Thriving TPT

Y is for Yummy Cranberry Learning Centers

June 18, 2017

Y is for yummy because two of our products focus on food, the Enrichment Activities for Esperanza Rising and Crazy for Cranberries Cross-Curricular Learning Center Activities.

Crazy for Cranberries has eleven hands-on learning center activities. In addition to being an outstanding cross-curricular unit, it’s a blueprint for how to set up and use learning centers. This product includes:

19 page Teacher Guide including materials list and picture guide for each center
Answer Key for Student Journal
Optional QR Codes or Print Resources
14 page Student Journal
11 Center Signs
Optional QR (Quick Response) Code Reader

Just a reminder, these learning centers require fresh cranberries, which makes it a great activity for November—just saying!

SALE 20% OFF June 19-20

Crazy for Cranberries and Enrichment Activities for Esperanza Rising

X is for Xerox

June 16, 2017

X is for Xerox because all of our products comes with reproducible components that can be adapted to teachers’ styles of teaching, content, and/or students’ needs. And, if paper copies are not needed, components can be loaded on tablets—whatever the need.  

1280px-Mimeograph.svgWhen I started teaching, schools were still using stencils and mimeograph machines (I do miss the pleasant aroma of the mimeograph purple ink). Then copy machines started popping up and what a godsend they were, although no more purple fingertips—a badge of teaching! Now we have super-duper copiers and kids have tablets—what’s next?

SALE: All of our products are 20% off June 17-18

W is for Wonder

June 14, 2017

W is for Wonder, one of our favorite novels, recommended by my granddaughter, 5 years ago, shortly after she came into our lives. Her third grade teacher started reading Wonder aloud in the last few days of school. Since Taylor was hooked, I thought it would be great if I read it too and that way we could talk about the book together, which has become a long-standing practice—but that’s another story.

I wanted to do something for the teacher who introduced Wonder to us and a tradition for sharing books, so I decided to create a literature unit for the novel.  As I created questions, prompts, and mini-projects, I prevailed on my granddaughter’s expertise as a kid to determine if all of this made sense to her.  It did! Taylor is in high school now and we still share books and she still is my number one expert on kids!

From there we created four products:

SALE 20% OFF June15-16 Wonder Unit Plan, Wonder Discussion & Activity Guide, Wonder Mini-Unit (English Only) and Wonder Mini-Unit (English & Spanish Activities)

 

V is for Vocabulary

June 12, 2017

V is for vocabulary. Meaningful vocabulary study facilitates students learning academic language of specific content areas. It is not enough for students to copy definitions of vocabulary words; they must describe the meaning of those words, use those words in context, and draw or use graphics to represent what those words mean. Providing multiple opportunities for students to encounter academic vocabulary increases the likelihood of students owning academic language.

Colorful Word Sort (CWS) gives students an opportunity to categorize and play with academic language. CWS is a great way to introduce students to the academic language of a specific content area at the beginning of a semester or terms essential to understanding the concepts of a unit. It helps teachers gage the background knowledge of their students while students are engaged in a team activity.

SALE 20% OFF June 13-14 Colorful Word Sort

Vocabulary Sort

U is for Understanding Friendship

June 10, 2017

F is for understanding friendship. Friendship plays a part in many of the novel studies we constructed and so we developed a stand-alone lesson plan about friendship. In Friendship Investigation Lesson Plan, students identify elements and benefits of friendship as they analyze their own friendships. The purpose of this lesson is to enhance and extend students’ understanding of what it means to be a friend.Friendship

 

SALE 20% OFF June 11-12

Friendship Investigation Lesson Plan

S is for Student-Led Conferences

June 6, 2017

S is for Student-Led Conferences, for both elementary and middle school. One of my responsibilities while transitioning a junior high school to a middle school was the implementation of student-led conferences. I admit I was worried that teachers, parents, and/or students were not going to be happy with this new concept, but the feedback we received from teachers, parents, and students was overwhelmingly supportive of student-led conferences.

From this we developed student-led conferences in three easy steps followed by guidelines for implementing student-led conferences at the elementary level. We also knew there was a need for some practical guidelines and advice regarding parent conferences at the elementary level. All three guides are complete, practical, and ready to go with everything you need for conferences.

 

SALE 20% OFF June 7-8

Student Led Conferences for Middle School: A Guide for Planning & Implementing

Student-Led Conferences for Elementary – Guide for Planning & Implementing

Elementary Parent Teacher Conference Packet – Everything You Need

Q is for Quick Mini-Lesson Plans

June 2, 2017

Q is for Quick Mini-Lesson Plans. Sometimes you need a mini-lesson plan, ready to go, to add to or introduce a larger lesson or unit. These three mini-lessons came out of some of our novel units, but really adapt easily to other topics or novels, so we created mini-lesson plans, ready to go. Whether it’s character analysis, point of view, or a mini-lesson in economic systems—these work!

SALE 20% OFF June 3-4 Character Analysis Activity Packet, Point of View Lesson, & Economic Systems Lesson Plan

N is for Novel Studies

May 27, 2017

Teaching a novel effectively is challenging, especially if you want your students to engage deeply with the themes the authors are presenting and discover how novels can connect to their lives and perhaps show them how to cope with life’s challenges. And, above that, we want students to experience the pleasures of reading. The units and discussion and activity guides were intentionally designed to do all of the above while allowing for choice for students and teachers.  Another goal was to design the discussion and activity guides for independent study or for small groups, to help differentiate and to meet the needs of students. Here are the five novels that are popular with students and teachers.

Hunger Games: Unit Plan and PowerPoint Fact Game

Catching Fire: Discussion and Activity Guide

The Giver: Discussion and Activity Guide

Son: Unit Plan and Discussion and Activity Guide

The Fault in Our Stars: Discussion and Activity Guide

SALE 20% off May 28-29: Hunger Games: Unit, PowerPoint Fact Game. Catching Fire: Discussion & Activity Guide. The Giver: Discussion & Activity Guide. Son: Unit & Discussion & Activity Guide. The Fault in Our Stars: Discussion & Activity Guide.

 

 

 

 

H is for Homework

May 17, 2017

Homework has little research to support its use or its connection to learning. When I first started teaching, I used the worksheets and quizzes that came with the anthology with one exception. I did the worksheets and took the quizzes and found for the most part they were definitely lacking. Then, I would ask my students why they did not do homework—responses included lack of time, redundant, boring, and just plain stupid. So, I started creating my own assignments that connected to the learning goals I wanted students to attain. I focused on creating assignments that included choice and personalization, that were fun, novel, and interesting to students and me. It worked and now our products reflect those very same tenets.
Meaningful homework assignments should engage students and be fun to do. We have compiled creative alternatives to traditional homework assignments that can be adapted to a variety of content areas along with a list of alternative homework assignment ideas. This product includes:

-Name Lists
-Rounding Up: Adjectives and Adverbs
-Survey. Note. Conclude! Homework Assignment
-8 Alternatives to Traditional Homework Assignments

-Teacher Bookmarks with Homework Quotes (8 reproducible bookmarks)

SALE 20% off May 18-19 Homework: Show What You Know

We also created eight reproducible bookmarks designed for teachers with quotes about homework that are ready for copying, cutting, and distributing. These are included with the homework packet, but are also FREE as a stand-alone. Consider sharing these bookmarks with your colleagues and parents to start the conversation about the value of traditional homework.


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