Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday's Website: Brain Breaks with Go Noodle

GoNoOdle is a must-check-out-because-your-students-will-love-it website.  It is ideal for the primary grades where students' stamina is limited to small burst of time.  You can create an account for free and then access any number of brain break videos/exercises.  Olympians will take your students through short training sessions before leading them in a virtual athletic competition.  It is a great way to give your students a short break to get out the wiggles in the classroom before transitioning into a lesson.

For other virtual tools, check out my pinterest board of "websites useful to teachers."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fabulous Freebies: Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day coming up in a few weeks, I thought I would share some fun freebies to help you and your students celebrate!

First up is my FREE Valentine's Day drawing pack for fast finishers! All students need is a color medium, pencil and lots of creativity to complete this drawing pack. This item is based on my best seller!

Valentine's Day Activity Ideas for High Schoolers - This site has some great ideas for ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with high school students. My favorite was doing a charity drive called 'Wearing a Heart on Your Sleeve."

Valentine's Day Math Worksheets - There are lots of Valentine's Day themed math worksheets at this site that are cute to use. Even graph paper with heart clip art! It's easy to click and print.

Valentine's Day Sudoku - Cute themed sudoku sheets come in easy, medium or hard.

Valentine's Day Writing Prompts - Cute writing prompt ideas for a variety of purposes!

St. Valentine - Read and answer questions about the story of St. Valentine. For middle elementary students.

Create Heart Artwork - Artist Jim Dine is known for his artwork featuring hearts. Follow this cute lesson that incorporates other subjects as well!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday's Websites: Featuring Top Sites for Teaching English

I have a pinterest board dedicated to useful teaching websites.  Here is a list of my favorite ones to use with my English classes...

Poem Hunter will provide you with the poems from any number of poets.  I use it all the time.  Whenever I need to find a poem it is the first place I look.  It has short bios on a ton of well known poets along with online texts of their writings.  It is very handy.  The site is super user friendly and comprehensive.   is a website that allows students to make cooler versions of power points.  It takes them a class period or so to play around with it and figure out how to use all of the tools, but once they know how, they love it.  They can add videos, pictures, objects, colors, themes and pretty much everything else that they can do with powerpoint.  But, the visual effects are unique and fun to play around with.  They can save them online and share them with anyone who has an email address.  It is definitely worth checking out.

Purdue Owl is a great resource with a wide variety of writing tips.  The material is most appropriate for  students in middle school through college age students.  I use it all the time as a reference for how to create bibliographies and citations using MLA formatting rules.  Once my students have shown me they know how to format their bibliographic entries, I let them cheat by using

6 + 1 Writing Traits  is a well known writing, teaching and assessment framework.  The title refers to the traits in writing that we want all of our students to develop over time: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions and presentation.  The common language is useful in aligning teachers across contents and grade levels to provide united expectations of students.

Writing Fix and English Companion are websites that have a ton of resources for teaching writing and reading.  They include strategies, graphic organizers, etc.  They have a wealth of information and are worth perusing.

Finally, Grammar Bytes  has a wealth of grammar activities to help reinforce grammar rules with yours students.  The sentences are fun and contemporary.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Fabulous Freebies: Martin Luther King Jr.

Since it is the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday tomorrow, I thought I would share some related freebies. I have done lessons many times related to Martin Luther King Jr. and they have always had a good response since students have a lot of prior knowledge about him that they can use in the lesson.

Read With Me - For older students in middle or high school this is a good lesson that incorporates cooperative learning and discussions. Students read a letter written by Martin Luther King Jr. and discuss it in a group (using the provided discussion questions) and create something based on their discussion. Students are invited to share their findings with the Philadelphia Art Sanctuary.

The Holiday Zone Arts & Crafts - I liked the selection of ideas on this site for Martin Luther King themed art projects. There are more open ended ideas such as a black and white collage and more specific projects such as creating a timeline. There aren't materials to help but the ideas are self explanatory and work great for a variety of ages.

Write an I Have a Dream Speech - goes through step by step ways you can help your students write their own "I Have a Dream" speech. The step by step process described is a great way to help your students think more deeply about the content of their writing.

MLK Science Ideas for All Grades - I started browsing through these ideas to see what I thought and I enjoyed many of them so instead of just posting one I am posting the whole site so you can check it out and find the appropriate lesson for your age group. There are lots of scientific lessons here that have supplemental materials such as videos and websites that you can use in your lesson plan. The ideas are creative since I often see the egg yolk/egg white idea but these were all new to me!

If you have a free MLK related lesson, share it with us below. I would love to check it out!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hot Deals: School Supplies!

Since it is the time when new semester begin, a lot of office stores have great deals on office and school supplies again! Here are some of the hot deals you can get.

Office Max / Office Depot - Deals until 1/17/15

FREE after rebate:
Avery White Laser Labels, pack of 3,000!
Scotch clear shipping tape, pack of 6
Uniball 207 gel pens, black ink, pack of 12

 * For these deals you do need to scan an Office Max / Office Depot savings card!

Staples - Deals until 1/17/15

Staples multipurpose ream of paper - Use $2.99 in ad coupon and submit for $4.79 rebate for a final cost of $0.01!
Staples multipurpose paper 10 ream case - Use $10 in ad coupon and submit for $34 rebate for a final cost of $9.99!
Also, get 25% off all office supplies using the printable coupon.

 Enjoy the deals!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Fabulous Freebies for the New Year!

Happy 2015! I hope you have a wonderful year and lots to celebrate! To help you out, here are some freebies to help you celebrate the New Year with your students.

New Years Top 10 Lists - These lists are perfect for upper elementary through high school students and contain a variety of lists students can use to reflect on the year that's passed.

2015 Frame - Get this 2015 cute frame with either a blank center for a drawing/art activity or lined for a writing activity. I like that it is ready to print on a regular black and white printer.

New Years Mad Lib - Here is a fun New Years themed mad lib!


New Years Around the World Worksheets - Although this site is geared towards ESOL students, I found a lot of useful information here. Scroll down towards the middle of the page for the New Years around the world lessons.

New Years Resolution Worksheet & Time Capsule - These were made for home schoolers but I think they could work for any type of classroom! Click on the link for a PDF file.

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