Friday, October 23, 2015

Fall classroom decor

My mom made this for my classroom!

The Crucible portion of my American Lit board.
This guy greets my students from the door window
One of the things I was happiest about when I moved back to San Diego was that I got my own classroom!

When I taught in Mexico, I split my time between the college and high school building. While I had my own beautifully decorated office, I ran around from classroom to classroom.

Now that I have my own classroom I definitely splurge and decorate. I'm not able to decorate by class topic, because I have different classes on different days. So I dedicate a small portion of the room to class specific information / decor (the bulletin board in the back is divided into three parts.  Nonetheless, for the most part my classroom is pretty class neutral. You'll see above I have included a small section of my American Literature board. Each book or short story that we read gets represented in some way on the board, but right now The Crucible is the most seasonally appropriate.

My podium and the jack-o-latern lights!
Close-up of my lights!
Now that it is October it means I have the opportunity to put some of my Halloween Thanksgiving and overall autumnal stuff up. I teach at a Catholic school so I was a bit worried about getting in trouble, but I figured skeletons are biological right? Can't get in trouble for biology!

Finally my lights! I don't light them up much, but when I do I sure to feel happier for some reason.

If you have fun decorations in your classroom give me a link in the comments I'd love to check them out. I got most of my stuff from The Dollar Spot at Target, or the Dollar Tree. It keeps me living within the means of my teacher budget while still decorating my class.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fun Fall Finds- The Crucible and Ergotism

Fall always reminds me the most of school. Even though my school year seems to start earlier every year (we start at the beginning of August!) 

San Diego hasn't felt much like fall (we've had TONS of hot hot heat) but my school year is definitely in full swing.

This fall thirteen bloggers have come together to offer you the chance to win 13 different products  or a TPT Gift Card.

In October, I get to teach one of my student's FAVORITE stories to discuss: The Crucible!

Click above to find it on Amazon
Students LOVE the blame game, the sexual scandal, the girls being crazy, and of course, they all love to hate Abigail.

The play is also a GREAT chance to bring some non-fiction into my classroom. We read real tales of persecution that happen worldwide now. We look into the effects of peer pressure and authority. We investigate the real identities of the names that Miller borrowed for his characters.

At the end of the year students select where the blame for the witch trials goes using evidence from the play. While many students usually take the easier root of placing the blame on Parris, or Abigail. However, a surprising number of them choose to place the blame on ergot!

Ergot is a fungus that  some researchers have found could be the source of the accusations in Salem. Students really connect to this opinion. It is physical enough to make it easy to understand, yet the science of it makes them really work at it.

For this blog hop I am offering the chance to win this worksheet to help your students learn about this strange fungus and apply that knowledge to the Crucible. It includes a graphic organizer to help them organize their thoughts to answer the prompt, and multiple choice questions based on those seen in the 2016 SAT. This is especially a nice topic since the SAT is integrating more science based texts.

My junior students find it challenging, but it is the one that resonates the most with them. Plus, it involves crops and witches; perfect for the season of fall.

For those of you not lucky to win the contest (which runs from the 20th-25th) you can buy this on TeacherPayTeachers for just $1.50!

Enter the contest below, and then check out some of the other blog contributors to see their great stuff!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

How to manage fidgeters?

This is going to be a super quick blog post! It has been awhile since my last update but I found something that works really well with some of my more active students and I'm hoping it might help you as well.
To start, in this case not all of the students are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. However, all of the students are super super active. They are BIG fidgeters. They like to walk around the classroom (so much that they need to sharpen the pencil fifteen times a class, or go to the bathroom just to walk). They also, like to be the center of attention (not exactly related to being active but important).

As a teacher, I do try to keep them moving, but sometimes I need them to be at their desk and I need them to be focused. I occasionally receive products for free in exchange for leaving an unbiased review on Amazon.  I had the chance to receive some of these hand exerciser thingies (officially called Hand Grip Strengthener. I realized these were GREAT for my students. The two I use in my class are pictured here and if you click on the picture it will take you straight to their Amazon page where you can purchase them.
Why do I like them so much:
1. They are affordable. I know some classes have pedals for their students, but that just isn't in my class budget.

2. They are low-key. Some classes use those big exercise ball? Remember how I mentioned my active students like to be the center of attention? Those balls can bounce pretty loudly when they want to! And students can fall off and make a big fuss getting back on and announcing they're OK. Yeah, those are a no go (in this case).

3. They keep them moving. It is a small movement, but the moving helps. Plus, you can adjust the resistance on these things making it great for ANY student (from the weakly weak student, to the one that spends more time working out than they do sleeping).

Seriously, I have seen great results (and less random walking around the room)! I'm not sure if this would work with younger classes, but if you teach secondary I'd look into it.

If you use something with your students I would love to know about it. I always love to find new ideas that I can try in my classroom comment below,  Tweet me, or contact me on Facebook

UPDATE Lifestyle lite has offered to sponsor a giveaway for one educator to receive a free strengthener.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...