Monthly Archives: June 2013

WE ARE TEACHERS (Twitter Resource)

While looking for people to follow on Twitter, I came across We Are Teachers. They are an online community specializing in teacher social network. They have such interesting and informative tweets that I love reading into. Plus, I can connect with other teachers and share information, ideas and comments.

They tweet about everything that has to do with education, resources for teachers, and miscellaneous information to better yourself. It’s definitely a must look for anyone interested in the education realm. Below I share a few tweets that stood out and might help other upcoming teachers with their lessons.

1. What is the best part of yourself? — A picture was tweeted about an example of a writing prompt for early elementary school. I love this child’s response.

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2. 15 Musical Instrument Crafts for kids

This site tweeted by We Are Teachers gives you ideas on how to make awesome craft instruments using various craft materials! I LOVE THESE CRAFTS. Can you tell how excited I got when I saw these? I absolutely love anything to do with music so it was no surprise that I was gravitated towards these crafts. It’s summer camp at my preschool and I just might try these out with my students. YAH!

3. Ice Breakers for Middle School.

Check out these ice breakers for the first week of school to get your kids to open up. Informative and could be modified to fit any grade!

4. Building a story activity. Below is the picture tweeted that gives a writing activity. Yellow = character, Red = conflict, Green = setting, Blue = “Special”. The student would choose one of each and then make up a story based on what they got. AWESOME IDEA!

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5. Teach punctuation using post it notes!

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Those are just a few of the many informative tweets We Are Teachers posts for their followers. Check them out. Follow them. You won’t be disappointed!

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The Nuts & Bolts of 21st Century Teaching

Nuts and Bolts

I admire teachers who take risks. Instead of teaching a boring lecture on the Holocaust that students will probably forget, Shelly Wright, a 10th grade teacher allowed her students to learn about the Holocaust through project based learning. Instead of being the “knowing guru,” she became a co-learner with her students. That to me, is very powerful. To be able to learn with your students provides a much more effective way of teaching. The way Shelly allowed her students to take full reign of this project makes me wonder if that is truly how we should be teaching. To allow students to take over is very effective in student learning. The student will feel a sense of responsibility and pride, in a way.

This Holocaust project based learning was not individualized work, but instead it was a collaborative effort. Everyone was learning from each other and utilizing their teamwork strategy. When students want to learn and literally research without the teacher informing them, then you know you’ve done something right as a teacher.

Like Shelly said,  “It doesn’t get much better than this: Collaborating. Communicating. Connecting.” It sounds like a tagline for a new electronic gadget, but no, it’s how Shelly believes educating students should be done. And frankly, I agree.

Wordle? Count Me In!

When I first heard about Wordle, I was instantly drawn to the idea. Just a simple idea that could work. (aren’t those the best?). Wordle is essentially a word cloud tool that I believe will be so effective in the classroom.

How it works: Simple. You paste the words you want in your word cloud clicking, “create” and voila, they appear in a word cloud. Simple, right? (Keep in mind that the words you use the most will appear the biggest in your word cloud.)

Ideas for implementing in a classroom : 

– Get the student to paste their own paper in the word cloud. They can create something visually for their classmates to see.

– Wordle could also be a paper editing tool. A child can paste their paper in the word cloud and see what words are being repeated the most. Their final edit will consist of using alternatives for those repeated words.

– Get students to form an about me word cloud for the beginning of the year to get acquainted with other students and the teacher

– Brainstorm with the class about a specific topic and paste it in wordle to see the students thoughts in a word cloud.

– Let the student do a creative project with their favorite poem.

Just a few ideas that could work. Feel free to add any you guys think of!

Wordle: Bob Marley

 

^^^ Click above. I made my own word cloud with Bob Marley’s – Everything’s Gonna Be All Right.

Twitter Can Be Educational…Say Whaaaaa??

Oh Twitter.

What a very simple concept. It’s a great social learning website that is gaining so much popularity. I have been using Twitter for entertainment purposes for over two years. It’s a great place to just post opinions and/or musings you have. However, I didn’t realize all the education you can get from following the right people. When I started my new twitter account, I literally sat with my phone for about an hour and reading articles that educators or bloggers post on their page. I was fascinated by the amount of information I could find by putting in the right hashtag. I always like to look up popular hashtags such as  #thewalkingdead (love that show!), but now I search #elementaryeducation and find so much useful information. I always knew I could, but I guess I just never looked at twitter as educational. I guess I looked to it as a mindless tool I use when I’m bored. Nevertheless, I see myself keeping the new account as my professional career progresses. I can see myself connecting with a lot of other educators and picking up information from them along the way.

Oh Twitter. You’re one of a kind.

Follow me! 

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