Friday, September 28, 2012

I Am a Showcase Blogger :-)

I would like to invite everyone to follow me over at
I am featured as a Showcase Blogger today!

New Technology Loves – Positive Reinforcement

 Here is the link:

 Please leave Leah a comment letting her know you followed me over there.  lol

Blog on! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

First Day of Fall - Getting Ready for Open House


In honor of the first day of fall, I have chosen to join the
Fall Blog Hop over at Teaching my 3.  

Teaching My 3

 Here in North Florida there is a slight hint of leaves beginning to change and I am thrilled.  I find myself saying, once again, that this is my FAVORITE time of the year.  Since I say that about all seasons, I have decided that I love life and the changes that it brings.  I am not one that would want it to be hot all the time or cold for that matter.  I enjoy the progression from season to season.  To commemorate the first day of Fall I hung my wreath (that I made) on my front door. 

Open House
Tuesday we will be having open house and I have scoured Pinterest and my favorite Teachers Pay Teachers contributors to see if there is something that my students could make to show their parents.  Considering this is last minute, of course, I needed something that would be simple yet meaningful to the students. 
I always like to promote good character and a positive self awareness so I wanted to share an art project that I found over at Runde's Room that does just that.  
 The title of the project is "I Am" and is a list of adjectives that describe the student.  The result looks like this:
Awesome right?
For specific instructions on this project you may click on the picture or click here.
Here is the one that Ms. Runde completed.....
I think we can paint or color them on Monday and write in the adjectives on Tuesday..........nothing like bringing it down to the wire, right?  Yeah, you know what I'm talking!
I will be posting pictures with our results.
Be sure and check out Ms. Runde's latest smART project as well, What's In a Name, another great idea for open house.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Constitution Day

Read about it:  Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) is an American federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It is observed on September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.
In preperation for Constitution Day I have gathered a few resources to help me better convey it's importance and significance.
 School House Rock!.png
First of all, I would like to know how many people, besides me, grew up watching cartoons that showed these videos in place of commercials.  The result?  I can quote the Preamble today because I heard it so many times,  I have to sing it, mind you.....
but I know it.
What do kids watch these days?  Nope, I am not going there.
Here is the video that I am talking about.

To follow-up with the same theme, I found the following
Preamble worksheet on Pinterest made by Rachelle and Natalie at

This will be a great tool to help guide the students into a deeper meaning of the Preamble.
What about an Art activity.................
Pinned Image
For the older students, it would be great to create a
classroom Bill of Rights as a reminder that ALL students have a right to learn.
Pinned Image
I just love the signatures at the bottom...............this lady, Amanda, makes some of the BEST anchor charts that I have ever seen.  Click on the picture to check it out.
Well I hope this gives you a few ideas for implementing Constitution Day in to your busy day on Monday.  It is so important that our students know everything that we can teach them about this great country. 
Blog On!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hey, if you can't be funny!

Learning 4 Keeps

  So, today I decided to link up with Leah at Learning 4 Keeps to make an attempt at being funny.  I surely must say that I am not deep.  Ummmmmm, Ok, I'll try a little harder.................

I found some of the funniest pictures on pinterest that I wanted to share with you.  Please see below and then link up to add your own "G" rated funny pix.....

Thanks Leah, I needed that.  Laughter works good like a medicine.
Have a Terrific Tuesday everyone!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cooperative Learning

This week I decided to focus my post towards a subject that is loved by many and avoided by others.  That is the subject of "Cooperative Learning."  This week I read an article, written by a student, that basically described how much she disliked cooperative learning  and how she felt that it put her grade at a disadvantage.  Her mother is a well known, awesome blogger and I happened on her story through the blog.  If you have not read it yet, you may want to check it out at Minds in Bloom
After reading the post, as well as the many comments that followed, I found myself reviewing my methods for implementing  cooperative learning within my classroom.  
One of my blogging heros, Laura Candler commented on the post and stated that " cooperative learning can be disastrous or wonderful depending on how it's implemented." 
Could it be that some teachers are using the "throw and go" method where they throw the project out there and then go sit down at their desk?   I feel that this lack of methodology can be a cop out from a teachers perspective at the expense of the learner.

 Read about it:

Roger T. and David W. Johnson (brothers, working together, cooperatively,  at the University of Minnesota) stated in their article, Cooperative Learning, Two heads learn better than one, that
There is a difference between "having students work in a group" and structuring students to work cooperatively. A group of students sitting at the same table doing their own work, but free to talk with each other as they work, is not structured to be a cooperative group as there is no positive interdependence.
They go on to say that.........
There needs to be an accepted common goal on which the group will be rewarded for their efforts. In the same way, a group of students who have been assigned to do a report where only one student cares, does all the work and the others go along for a free ride, is not a cooperative group. A cooperative group has a sense of individual accountability that means that all students need to know the material or spell well for the group to be successful. Putting students into groups does not necessarily gain positive interdependence and/or individual accountability; it has to be structured and managed by the teacher or professor.
 Hello, I am a Facilitator!!!!!!!
I looked up the synonyms for facilitate and this is what I found:

aid, ease, expedite, forward, further, grease the wheels, hand-carry, help, make easy, open doors, promote, run interference for, simplify, smooth, speed, speed up, walk through

Every single one of these words describe the necessary function of the teacher during a Cooperative Learning project or activity...........don't you agree?
Ok, one more thing.  I found a short video clip that shows a great idea for allowing everyone to share verbal input during a discussion.  It is called Thumbs Up! Signals to encourage active listening!

Have a terrific weekend everyone!  Blog-On!


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