Saturday, January 11, 2014

My Best Idea Ever! Freebie

My Best Idea Ever!

       I figured out a way to pre-teach, teach and re-teach without actually doing any direct teaching! It's a great way to maximize every minute of student learning with no extra work for you.  If you have a smart board or Promethean board, it can be working for you even when you are not actually using it.

       What I do is use the slideshow background feature on the desktop of my computer and project it onto my Promethean board. I do this while I am running small groups or working with individual students. I have compiled hundreds of photos of the following:

 Anchor charts from Pinterest

 Inspirational Quotes

 Character Counts

 Funny photos

 Grammar mistakes

 Educational cartoons

 Class rules

 And More!

       I set up these photos in a file that shuffles on my desktop background.(PC instructions included)  I control how often it stays up. I find 3 minutes per slide works best, engaging but not disruptive to seatwork.  The best part is that students never know what is going to appear next. Having an occasional humorous photo or cartoon keeps the students' interest. If it were just a rotation of educational anchor charts, students would just tune them out like they do bulletin boards. They love it so much that I have to make sure to turn it off when I’m teaching!


Follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers  to get the photos that I have been compiling for years! Each week I will add another 20-25 photos to the collection. You’ll get a Teacher Pay Teacher message that I’ve added more photos to the file. Fill in every available moment to reinforce your teaching with my educational screen savers!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr. Read Aloud and Writing Activity

Problem: Students sometimes have trouble relating to historically significant people, places, or events. I wanted to make sure my kids had a basic understanding of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s work and his important contributions to civil rights. I also needed a lesson that was flexible enough to fit various time constraints.

Solution: I wanted to approach this subject from a child's point of view. If students could connect to Martin's anger and humiliation in the shoe store incident and his daughter's disappointment and "unconscious bitterness toward white people" about the amusement park, then they would understand why the Civil Rights Movement was such a vital step in our growth as a country and a united people.

We created a short article of kid-friendly basic background information. The anecdotes were chosen to resonate with children. A writing prompt gets kids thinking about the kind of America Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned for all children. Discussion questions are a jumping off point for a guided class conversation or they can be completed in writing in class or as homework.

Results: My students connected more this year than in previous years. It made it real for them in a way I hadn't previous taught. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us a lesson that should never be forgotten.