Wednesday, April 16, 2014

If Pigs Could Fly and Other Deep Thoughts

If Pigs Could Fly and Other Deep Thoughts is collected by Bruce Lansky.  Most of the poems are very short (four lines or so).  If you decided to have a poetry slam in your classroom to celebrate Poetry Month, this has some great selections for reluctant readers.

I love sharing poetry in a poetry slam.  It gives all my students a chance to practice reading fluently for an audience.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

How Writing This Blog Saved My Career -- Thank You

Eight years ago I went to the union sponsored retirement seminar to see how many more years I needed to teach in order to walk away with something.  I had been teaching fifteen years and I was so sick of it.

I learned that making it to twenty years would give me more benefits than if I stopped teaching before then.  So, I kept going, maybe not for the best reasons, but I kept going.

Six years ago I learned my school was closing and we would be moved to neighboring schools.  I've read several bloggers whose careers have been through this transition.  It's difficult. 

Five years ago I moved to the school where I teach now.  It was a rough move.  I had transferred schools before, but not with 200 students transferring with me.  My coworkers were fabulous and supportive.  We survived that first year, but it did nothing to convince me to keep going.

About the same time, our district adopted highly scripted curriculum in both math and literacy.  I felt asked to set aside everything I know about teaching and moving into a tiny box.  "Keep to the pacing guide."  "Follow the script."  Don't they realize what happens when you tell someone to just sit there and wait for instructions?

Three years ago, I submitted my first product to Teachers Pay Teachers and started blogging and writing my own curriculum in a systematic way.  I found the creative, caring teacher again.  As the holes in the highly scripted materials became evident, I had a world-wide set of tools to use. 

I know that when I'm bored, I'm not an effective teacher.  I love the exchange of ideas teacher bloggers have.  I know this has been the best professional development, I've ever had.

I guess I just wanted to say "Thank you."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Quote of the Week -- April 13, 2014

“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” Stephen Covey

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Newly Released Products

I have been adding some paid products in my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook Stores:

Pet Poems for Poetry Notebooks TPT & TN

I have been writing poetry for several years and now I am collecting them by topic into eBooks.  My students wear my poetry books out.  This way I can print out a new copy as needed.

Geometry Vocabulary Activities TPT & TN

This 22 page unit covers the vocabulary: line, line segment, angle, ray, polygon, congruent, parallel and perpendicular.  It includes a pre- and post- test and several activities where students learn and use these words.

Sports Poems for Poetry Notebooks TPT & TN

This eBook contains 27 original poems with a sports theme.  You can print them out or have students read them on any device that supports pdf.

Games to 300 -- TPT & TN

This 15 page product contains eight activities with suggestions for variations.  I use these activities as math stations in my room or as interventions as needed.  All you need to use these lessons are counters such as beans, buttons, or math cubes.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Poetry Printable #7

It's almost the end of week two of Write Poetry Month.  I hope you are finding a way to participate.

Poetry Printable #7 teaches how to write two poetry forms: a lune and a cinquain.  To download a free Google doc of Poetry Printable #7, click here.

If you missed the previous Poetry Printables, I have listed the original posts here:

Poetry Printable #1 -- Alliteration
Poetry Printable #2 -- Beginning Rhymes
Poetry Printable #3 -- List Poems
Poetry Printable #4 -- Noun Verse & Hay Na Ku
Poetry Printable #5  -- Talk Like Yoda
Poetry Printable #6 -- Senryu and Tanka

Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
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