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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Music in the Classroom Link-Up

I love, love, love using music as both a learning tool and a brain break in the classroom!  So when Alana at Special Teaching in the Middle created a link-up for showcasing this, I was all about it!

I'll start with a few science videos with catchy tunes that I use as anticipatory sets:
Hurricanes and Twisters

Biomes and Ecosystems

Phases of the Moon

Why Seasons Change

Now, here's the list of songs I use to reinforce math concepts. 

Nonagon by They Might Be Giants: geometry/polygons

Geometry Quiz by Obie Leff

6's Song by Rockin' the Standards (6 multiplication facts review)

Seven Tables by Mr.G. & the Kiddie Crunk Crew (7 multiplication facts review)

Let's Do Them Eights by Math Man (8 multiplication facts review)

Aint No Party Like a Number Nine Party by Math Man (9 multiplication facts review)

Quadrilateral Dance by Rockin' the Standards (quadrilaterals)

The Place Value Rap by Rockin' the Standards

Perimeter Area by Rockin' the Standards

Measurement Song by Rockin' the Standards

How do you use music and videos in your classroom?  I'd love to hear your creative ideas!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Classroom Book Basket Labels Freebie

I might have mentioned before, I am a huge fan of polka dots.  I am in the process of making my classroom more cohesive-looking.

One thing I am proud of, and yet constantly working on, is my classroom library.  For example:
  1. How to group books so they are easily found by myself and my students.
  2. How to level my books (colored dots and numbers for now).
  3. How to make my buddy books more accessible for students.
So in my quest to find the perfect harmony with this, I am starting with the book basket labels.  I created a customizable PowerPoint of classroom book basket labels. The frames are polka dot, and contain images and abbreviations for each of the categories.  

I'm sure the quest will continue.  I'm already wondering if I should have a basket dedicated entirely to horses since I seem to have acquired a large amount of books on that topic somehow!

Do you have a theme for your library?  Do you have a system?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Parent Volunteer Appreciation

I got this great idea from Crystal & Co.

Except, I want to use it for Parent volunteers.  So, here's what I cam up with:

How cute and easy is that?  Now I just have to keep myself from eating the yummies before I can make them into gifts!

What are you doing for your life-saving parents this year?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Using Multiple Intelligences to Group Students

How do you group/pair students when you have a cooperative learning activity?  To be honest, I usually just pull Popsicle sticks, but that seems a bit boring sometimes.

I was reading a post by Nancy at Teaching My Friends! about how she uses Howard Gardner's Learning Styles/Intelligences to group/pair her students.  She groups her students based on the learning styles that are best suited for the task she gives them.  It really got me thinking.
So I did some poking around, and found this cool website that neatly describes each learning style and gives practical examples of each in the classroom.
Then I had a few questions for myself:
  1.  How can I collect this information?  Would a survey at the beginning of the year be helpful?
  2. How can I display this information so it would be easily accessible?  A laminated checklist perhaps?

This is what I came up with:

This quiz asks several questions such as: "Would you rather work in pairs/small groups or by yourself?"  It is a great tool to use at the beginning of the year to get to know your students' learning styles and how they will interact with others.  It has an answer key at the end and a chart in which you can tally students' answers for quick reference throughout the year.

You can pick this up at my TpT store.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Good Fit Books Freebie

I know I should be gearing down for the year, but I'm already thinking about the posters and anchor charts I want on my walls next year!

I don't know about you, but my kiddos had problems with picking "just right" books all...year...long.  It has been a constant struggle.  I think these visuals might help!

This is a 2-page PowerPoint that can be printed and used for a visual or poster. It explains "good fit" books and the "five-finger rule." It would be a good introduction to reader's workshop.

You can download a FREE copy at my TpT store.

What do you use to introduce reader's workshop and finding good-fit books?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Teacher Resume FREEBIE

This time of year, resumes are a hot topic.  Whether you're planning a move or it was more of a surprise, you're going to want to polish up that resume.

Some resume tips:

·         Do use 12-point font.  Times New Roman is preferable.  Don’t use anything that resembles cursive.

·         Do use 1 inch margins

·         Do keep the length to 2 pages if you have more than a year’s experience, but don’t exceed 2 pages.  If you’re just entering the teaching profession, it’s best to keep the resume to one page. 

·         Don’t exceed 2 pages no matter how extensive your experience could be.  Employers often scan a resume for a total of 20 seconds, mostly looking for “buzzwords” that fit what they’re looking for.

·         Don’t put “References Available Upon Request” at the bottom of your resume.  Employers already know you are going to give them a list of references.  It’s kind of a redundant idea that’s more annoying than unacceptable.  Do, however, have a list printed and ready in case they ask for it during your interview.

·         Do use a “skills” or “objectives” line at the top of your resume. 

·         Do make sure to do your homework/research.  Check out the school’s website as well as that of the county.  What kinds of teaching skills are they expecting?  What qualifications do you possess that they are wanting?  What teaching methods do you already use that are backed up by research?  For example, Understanding by Design, Daily 5, etc.

·         Do have a portfolio with ready-to-recall examples of experiences to back up the buzzwords on your resume during the interview.  Have each section labeled with tabs so you can easily access what you’re looking for.

·         Don’t bring more than 1 or 2 examples of each concept.  You will get lost looking for things and may come off as disorganized.

Here's a peak at the resume I will be posting on my TpT store as soon as it is back up:

What suggestions can you make?  Do you disagree with what I've found?  It's okay to disagree with me.  I welcome all viewpoints!