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Showing posts from 2013

A Little Holiday Downtime.....

I'm linking this post up with I'm Lovin' Lit for herThursday Throwdown!

 So.... I have about 6 hours of grading to do and at least 4 hours of planning.  Of course that means that I am sitting here putting together things for Teachers Pay Teachers and blogging.  Procrastination is my yearly gift to myself!  The holidays here were great..... lots of fun, food, family, and spoiling of my midgets.  The Wii U is hooked up and the princess costumes are strewn throughout the house!  We're probably cuddling too much and spending too much time in our pajamas when the sun is out, but I'm okay with that.

Before break we had some great work happening with my little tribe of students.  My district has started a pretty intense new teacher evaluation system and one of my SMART goals was to increase scores for nonfiction text features and structure as a support to the ELA teacher.  I was trying to find the best way to support here and I just kept coming back to entrance tickets a…

End of Year

When I find time later today I'm going to sit down and write a real blog, after I can actually see my floor under all the video games and princess costumes Santa brought!  For now, here's a little end of the year present from me.  My entire store is 20% off until the end of 2013.  I actually have two new items in the works as well.  Enjoy!

Pirate teaching and textual evidence

I have had an amazing week!  Seriously,  I am so rejuvenated and jazzed right now teaching is like my super power!  My 8th grade is a special case.  They've had a hard time of it over the years and they are just that more difficult to reach. I spend most of my creative juices on them to let them know that I respect them and want them to succeed.  This week we were discussing the Battle of Bunker Hill.  My school is situated on top of a series of hills so I knew this would be the opportunity to get them out of the classroom.  I waited till a day that wasn't supposed to rain but.....oh my!  It was cold.  I kept telling the kids, "We're from New England!   We were born for the cold!"  But really..... It was cold!   Why I wanted to do was to show them how far away you needed to be before you saw the whites of someone's eyes.  They loved it!  My boys were the British and my girls were colonists.

We came up with about 30 feet and were totally able to process the pros …

Cyber Monday..... and Tuesday!

Come on over to Teachers Pay Teachers on Monday and Tuesday, December 2nd and 3rd and save a bundle. My entire store is 28% off! Enter CYBER in the checkout for he full discount! Happy shopping!!!

Crime Scene In The Classroom!!!!

*** I have updated the resources and website for this activity.  Access the resources here and the website here!
*** If you would like to see how the simulation evolved, click here!
I had such an amazing class today I just couldn't wait to blog about it! I've been doing decent teaching since I started at my new school but every time I chat with my Teach Like A Pirate peeps (#tlap Mondays at 9 eastern and #sstlap at Thursdays at 9 eastern) I feel really inadequate. I knew I had to try to do a lesson I could sell a ticket to and even though I almost decided to scrap it five different times I finally made myself do it and it was fabulous!

I decided to create a detective agency where we were going to determine if the British soldiers at the Boston Massacre were guilt of murder or simply acted in self defense. I borrowed very heavily from this website and got a lot of inspiration from a video that I now can't find but I'll post it as soon as I find it. In the video, th…

#sstlap Chat Tomorrow Night

I'm substituting for a Twitter friend and will be hosting my first ever Twitter chat tonight. Join us at 8 pm central at #sstlap to discuss social studies, teaching like a pirate and this week's topic - how to keep the pirate alive with everything that has to be done: CCSS, vocabulary development, argument writing, close reading, etc. I would love to see you all there!

Activating their Knowledge

I've been absent because I have been on a roll!  I have totally and absolutely fallen in love with my kids and my new school and about three weeks ago it started to feel like home.  I'm finally starting to really nest into classroom and I've discovered who Mrs. Wilkins is in an urban setting.
My biggest but welcome challenge is working with my ELL students.  I have found that I don't have to change my teaching style but I definitely need to frame my activities differently.  After, what I thought, was a successful unit on the French and Indian War, one of my hardest working and brightest ELL students asked me, "So what was the French and Indian War?"  I realized I needed to front load the lesson and activate their vocabulary.  When we went to start our unit on the causes of the American Revolution I I decided to show the BrainPop before we started.   Instead of having them do the quiz,  I gave them individual white boards and asked them to write down any word…

Counterclaim Baby!

Hello blogosphere!  I have nothing especially spectacular to post but I do have a new item. I have been having some CCSS conversations and people have been telling me that they are having some difficulty having their little ones write counterclaims.  I started to wrap this around in my noggin and realized that sometimes we have them "create" a counterclaim before they can "identify" one.  Reverse Bloom's Taxonomy!!!!!  In response I created this fun Counterclaim Task Card set where students get tons of practice identifying counterclaims and then they can use these as models.  Win win!!!

Grudgeball, Text Mapping, Keep it or Junk It and More....

Three day weekend.....yeah!!!!! I actually laid down today during my midget's nap and both of us slept for three hours. Needless to say, my new job is extremely rewarding but very tiring! I have so much to tell you I'll just jump right in....

1. Great purchases

I got this...

Because I have grand plans of doing this...

Right now, it's made me a lot more organized which is really good. I'm still trying to find myself in my new classroom and at least I'm not running all around the classroom now for a paper clip or a bandaid. I don't know if mine will ever look pretty but it's extremely functional.

I also bought these at the Dollar Tree..., for a dollar each!

Earbuds!!! They are fabulous for our MacBooks and they are better than headphones because I just wipe them off with a Clorox wipe in between kids. It made doing my colonial stations easier because the BrainPop station meant a quarter of the class was independent and silent.

2. Textmapping

I did my f…