Writing my way through the school year!

Posts tagged ‘K through 12’

“Flocabulary” Vocabulary, “Week in Rap Jr.” AND a Giveaway!

I’ve always been a fan of Flocabulary, ever since I played the “Five Elements of a Story” video for my class for the first time. They have evolved so much since then. They offer songs and videos in every subject,and so much more.READ MORE

“If You Give a Teacher a Free Day…!”.: Allowing Professionals to Develop Independently!

This year, Monday and Tuesday were designated as Parent-Teacher Conference Days. If you didn’t get a large turnout, you had some down time. What’s a teacher to do?

If you look at PD days that are scheduled throughout the school year, you would be under the impression that teachers did not have a clue with what to do with “free” time. We are treated like children, and every single second of the day is booked. There is no “free” time given to the teacher, as if without the PD Agenda, our day would be a complete waste of time.Which is funny, because I feel like that at times, even with an agenda. READ MORE

 

Vocabulary and Spelling City: Lovin’ It One Year Later!

It’s been a year since I began using SpellingCity. I have to say that my students and I really enjoy using it. Not only that, but SpellingCity keeps finding new ways to keep my students engaged with added features, all beneficial to the classroom.

These are the features I loved a year ago, and thankfully, still exist today:READ MORE

Are School Field Trips Becoming Obsolete?

The 5th grade went to the Blue Rocks baseball game today and we had a blast! I loved interacting with my students outside of the classroom. It’s rare that we get the chance to do that anymore. We sat in the stadium, talking, laughing, and cheering. It was as far from standardized testing as you can get!:)READ MORE…

The “Disrespectful Student” Dilemna!

 

 

 

I’m trying.

I am really trying.

I am trying not to let one kid ruin my enjoyment of my class.

I refuse to let this student get on my last nerve to the point where I lose my cool.

But, it is hard.

And everyday, it gets more difficult.READ MORE…

 

 photo credit: Wendy Copley via photopin cc

 

What’s the Point of Being “Smarter” Than a 5th Grader?

 

I used to play the game, “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”, on my Iphone. But than I realized that I really didn’t have enough hours in the day, and quickly gave it up.

However, I do know how it works. And if you provide me with any device that can grant me access to the Internet, than I can defiantly state that, “Yes, I am smarter than a 5th grader!” READ MORE…

photo credit: TZA via photopin cc

 

#Why I Don’t Use Technology: Anti-Tech Teachers Lament Has No Standing!

 

The conversation went something like this:

Teacher: Do you know he suggested using Tagxedo at Reading Night?

Me: What a wonderful idea!

Teacher: I don’t see why they want to use technology. (said with disdain)

Me: Why not? The kids and parents would have a good time.

Teacher: What if it doesn’t work? What if it doesn’t print? Then what are we supposed to do?

Me: What do you mean doesn’t work? It’s really easy to use.

And the conversation continued...READ MORE

 

Popular Posts of August 2012!

 

And the top 5 are:

Fabulous Phone Call!: Go Ahead, Make Their Day!

While attending the 2011 PLC summit, one of the presenters told us about an experience he had while watching Family Feud. The question was, “What is the reason your child’s teacher is calling your house?” Not one of the “right” answers were positive, not one! Two of the answers were, “Your kid is failing” and “Your kid skipped school”. These answers only served to reinforce the stereotype of parent/teacher communication; we’re the bearers of bad news. 

 
After reading numerous articles and tweets over the past year, I am getting an idea. An idea, that may be a misconception on my part. Is there a belief that teachers who are passionate about tweeting and/or blogging, are considered “better” teachers??? Are we considered “better” than the ones who don’t?
 
I resolve to:
  1. treat all students fairly, regardless of race, gender, age, behavior, a parent’s nasty attitude, the comments from last year’s teachers, or seemingly lack of interest in learning 
  2. to realize that all children can learn, but not always at the same pace
  3. stop using sarcasm as a disciplinary tool, no matter how effective it may seem. 
I remember when I began using Discovery Education. It was years ago, and I was excited because they had great videos per United Streaming,  that I could show my students!
Well, Discovery Ed has come a long way baby, and it’s not just about videos anymore! 
 
 
I found FotoBabble in The Alice Mercer Daily. The one I made below will be embedded on our class blog and Edmodo. My students will create one as well. I will use their Fotobabbles to produce a slideshow. They can also post them on their blogs on Kidblog. A great way to get my students feet wet with the tech I will be using in my classroom!
 

 

Burned-Out? Please Reignite the Flame Or Get Out the Kitchen!

Usually what happens on Linkedin, stays on Linkedin, but this discussion topic warranted a post.  A teacher started a discussion regarding 50+ educators and survival tips. Many, many 50+ educators responded with wonderful, positive, ideas and comments about what they do in order to “survive” teaching. As a matter of fact, the responses weren’t even those of educators who are just “surviving”. Most of the teachers who responded, like me, are still passionate about teaching.

Somewhere along the line of reading the comments, one of the comments really bothered me, and this was my general response:

I think, as a teacher, when you reach the point where you can’t stand your job, you should find something else to do. I know it sounds harsh, but we are dealing with children…Read More

Merit Pay for Teachers? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Bribe!

COMING SOON?

And you know they would! 🙂 Merit pay, how realistic is it that our pay could actually be tied to test scores? Very realistic!

What is merit pay?  Noun :extra pay awarded to an employee on the basis of merit (especially to school teachers)

What “think tank” thought up this idea, maybe the same one that stated that smaller class size doesn’t matter? I am amazed by what people (non-educators) come up with in order to hold teachers “accountable.” Or is it to make sure that the “better” teachers get what they deserve? No matter the reasoning behind this premise, it is ridiculous!   I know it probably sounded like a good idea, but it is difficult to come up with criteria in the education field that would allow this idea to work.

Tie our pay to test scores? Are all students equal? I don’t think so. If that was the case, why would we need differentiated instruction? If Teacher A works  in a school with struggling students and Teacher B works in a school with high achievers, does that make Teacher B a teacher who is deserving of merit pay, and Teacher A is not?

If Teacher A and B engage their students, and provide ample opportunities for their students to learn, but Teacher B has enough students that pass the test, does this mean Teacher B is a better teacher?

Or what if Teacher B does nothing but teach to the test, while Teacher A works to establish a well-rounded student?  Is Teacher B going to get paid more if more of his/her students pass?

I believe that most teachers are dedicated, hard-working people, who don’t need to be “bribed” to do their job. Teachers don’t do what they do for money, that is obvious from the salaries we make.  I partially agree with Arne Duncan, teachers should be paid up to $150,00. But pay them for all that they do, not because their students scored high enough on a test!

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