I found myself with a few extra minutes of class and a room full of restless seventh graders who were wiped out from a day of NWEA testing when I came up with this great idea to quickly and competitively review content. The best part is there is ABSOLUTELY NO TEACHER PREP INVOLVED!
So, that's it. That's my quick, fun, no prep way to review content with your students. If you try this out, please let me know how it went in the comments, and if you liked it, look through this blog for more quick and easy ways to review with your students along with a lot of other great stuff. And if you are looking for interesting, interactive or inclusive Social Studies resources, please consider checking out my TeachersPayTeachers store.
I like to play games in class, and I LOVE teaching content area vocabulary, so here's another quick, easy, low (or no!) prep way to review vocabulary terms with any slush time you may find yourself with!
For years I have approached learning targets with my students in the same way. We look at the target and the attached Marzano scale and I help them decide where their starting point is, then we start learning. It works fine, but I thought I could do a bit more with it. Then I tried adding a touch of inquiry...
The set up is very simple. All you need to do is project your learning target (or have it written on the board).
This is an example of what my students came up with the other day when we were discussing the Fall of Rome. They did a great job!
I've been doing this for about a week now, and I love it. I think my students do too - they like seeing when their hypotheses wind up being correct and do a little, "Yes!" and point it out to their neighbors, and I think that's really the point - students getting interested and invested in their learning.
So, if you try this in your classroom (or do something similar), please let me know about it in the comments. And if you are looking for lessons with pre-made learning targets and Marzano aligned scales, check out my Interactive Notetaking or Complete Unit resources in my TpT store - each of them comes with several Marzano aligned scales along with the actual resources.
I have a passion for books, especially books for kids. It's probably because I harbor a lifelong dream of writing them, or maybe because my wife Jen (follow her on the other half of this blog btw...) is an elementary reading interventionist. Either way, for this post I'd like to share four book recommendations for middle schoolers who are constantly saying, "I don't like to read" that I've read recently.
So, I wish you and your students a very Happy Reading Month (why aren't there Happy Reading Month cards btw...), and hope you check out or pass on some of these recommendations to your students or teacher friends. Also, make sure to checkout my TpT store for great Social Studies resources, and follow this blog for great teaching tips, tricks and ideas.
My school's second conferences were last week, and were primarily done virtually. The first time we did virtual conferences, it became a little chaotic for me - lots of tabs open, clicking back and forth between different Google Hangouts, etc. This time, I found a really easy, efficient wat to stay organized and efficient and it didn't even take that much time to set up!
For a couple of weeks before conferences, parents were encouraged to sign up for a 10 minute timeslot to talk with all four of their student's core teachers. Once our team had the time slots scheduled, we created a Google Sheet with the time, child and one of the child's Google Hangout links. We sent e-mails to the parents telling them which Google Hangout to use for the conference.
Our list of hangouts alternated between between two teachers on our team so that early parents wouldn't "crash" the wrong conference (something we learned from last year...), and it also allowed one of us to jump over to the next conference to get it going if things went a little long. It took a little practice, but got smoother and smoother as we went.
HOW I KEPT WHAT I WANTED TO SAY SHORT AND TO THE POINT
This is where the efficiency part comes in. Our conference slots were only 10 minutes per parent, so being quick and to the point was vital. My solution was to copy and paste our conference schedule into a new Google Sheet and add columns for "Positives to be Sure to Mention", and "Concerns to be Sure to Share". Then I went through each student on the list and made a quick note of the most important things I wanted to share. I also added a column for things to remember from the conference and one to record whether or not the parent showed up. This sheet wound up being great documentation of who we talked with and what we talked about as well as a record of who attended for our administration! Below is a picture of the Google Sheet (with student names blocked out).
So, if you have conferences - especially virtual conferences - coming up, or if you're looking for a way to get organized for next year, I highly recommend this method. And, if you are interested in other great teaching tips and tricks, please follow this blog and share it with anyone else who might be interested. Finally, if you have any conference (virtual or otherwise) tips or tricks you think might be helpful, please feel free to put them in the comments.
I'm an 18 year veteran teacher that loves teaching, coaching, writing, and my family.