Back to School Night is on the calendar for schools across the country, and it is time for teachers to put on our game faces. If your school is like mine, the format for Back to School Night involves a general assembly and then quick 10-15 minute stops for parents in each of the student's classes. For many teachers, this evening can be frightening, overwhelming, awkward, or incredibly dull, but don't worry! I'm here to give you my tips on making Back to School night a success that will garner you respect with parents and not run your ragged. I've even included a free Prezi template that you can download and edit to give your presentation that extra pizzaz.
With the new school year upon us, I'm forced to finally decide, to tweet or not to tweet? That is this teacher's question. I've been putting off the decision for a few school years now citing all kinds of excuses. But now, I must pick a side. Am I a teacher who tweets or not? I'm going to lay out my pros and cons, but I would really like to hear from you! Do you tweet to your students? How has it gone? Are there positive or negative factors that I'm overlooking? Are you considering making the move to the twitterverse? Help me!
1. Make the curriculum your own, but don't try to re-invent the wheel. My first few years, I had so many ideas that I started every lesson from scratch and left the crates that were passed down from the last teacher to gather dust in the corner. When I taught my English learners about science academic language, I went straight to home depot to create plaster of paris mountains with sand paper so that students could feel the words for erosion, landslides, and peaks. I made my own handouts to teach literature circles and everything else! I spent every evening and weekend creating, planning, and grading. And at the end of that wonderful year, I realized that I would never make it through a 3 year, much less 30 year career at that pace. When the next year rolled around and I was assigned to completely different grade levels, I decided to actually go through the files left behind and use them as a base. I also purchased literature guides for each of my novels. Of course I still threw in the cool inforgraphic project or socratic seminar, but I saved a ton of time not creating every single lecture, test, and activity from scratch.
As it becomes more common for schools to allow or require students to have laptops, tablets, or other devices for school use, teachers have the monumental task of researching, testing, and implementing the flood of applications on the market. Today, I want to share with you Evernote, which is one of my favorite school apps that can be used across the curriculum to help students organize resources and study effectively. Evernote is not specifically designed for students, but it is an amazing tool that they can use to transition from a successful high school career to a successfully organized college life and beyond. Check out the video tutorial below and be sure to leave me a question or comment sharing your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!
Are you looking for a quick and easy way to spice up your lectures and presentations? Do you want to engage students with the latest in educational technology? If so, you have to check out Prezi.com! Prezi is a beautiful alternative to powerpoint that allows you to easily embed images, videos, and other media to create stunning presentations sure to wow even the most surly of teens. (I also use it to impress parents at back to school night!) Today, I've created a video tutorial that goes through many of the basic functions of prezi. After you check out this video, be sure to come back on Thursday for my favorite teacher tips for creating amazing full class presentations in less than 15 minutes.
Are you ready to survive the school year? Compiled by a bunch of veteran teachers, here's a list of items you should not start school without!
There is much debate on whether a warm-up activity should be related only to previous lessons or to help introduce the day's material, or whether a warm-up can be totally unrelated to the students' curriculum. I am of the mind that if you don't have your students engaged and ready to learn, you can't teach the curriculum anyway, so I always liked to do warm ups I thought my kids would like. The choice is yours. Either way, the idea is not to take up too much of the class time, but to get students' brains moving, focused, and ready to learn!
Back to School is just around the corner. For some, it has already started! Can you believe it? Didn't summer JUST START? While we would like to continue sipping our margarita poolside, we have to pay the bills, of course. One of the first things to cover when returning back to school are classroom procedures and rules. Making sure your students know how your classroom works is an important start to making sure your classroom runs like a well-oiled machine all year long.