I’ve used flashcards / study-cards with students for years so I was really excited to find a great online flashcard creator. Imagine my joy when I discovered Quizlet can track progress, isolate problem areas, create matching games, connect images to terms, display terms, definitions or both simultaneously, administer tests, read out loud to you, and probably more.
Here are some ways I’ve used Quizlet with students:Creation of Cards
Just the simple act of creating cards with terms, definitions, and images can help a student study. Creating them online means they have access to them at school and at home and they can’t say they’ve lost them. As they are creating the cards, students can write their own definitions or choose from a bank provided by Quizlet. I found it was really helpful for students to read multiple definitions and evaluate which one fits their term best.
Studying the Cards
You can set it up to study with the definition displayed first and the term on the back of the card, vice versa, or you can start out with both the term and definition shown on the front depending on the confidence level of the student. Clicking on the text on the card More >
Who doesn’t love to squish around with play-dough. Add a timer and some competition to the mix and you’ve got a great way to jazz up grammar.
I wanted to do a review/check-in of the basic parts of speech to make sure my students had them really solidly but I didn’t want to give them a worksheet. I love anything that makes their hands busy so I pulled out play-dough and a timer.
They each had a blob of play-dough in front of them. I called out a word and they had 1 minute to create a representation of that word. (I used an online random word generator for an added bit of fun). When the timer dinged, they revealed their play-dough creations and animated them if necessary. They took turns with their opponents and got a point for naming the part of speech of the given word. They also received a point for the best representation of the word (as voted by me)
We did nouns, adnouns (adjectives), verbs, and adverbs but I’m sure prepositions would have been fun too.
Word: munch (verb) Word: slimy (adjective / adnoun)A More >
The two presentations below define and give examples of Puns and Oxymorons. If you are a teacher, author or student, then this is the post for you. These two literary terms can be useful when writing an essay or short story to provide humor and contradictions to traditional writing styles. If you’re an author, this is a bit of a refresher course if you’ve forgotten how to use these literary terms. If you’re a teacher, these prezis would be very useful as teaching examples. In case you’re a student, they can be useful for taking your writing to the next level. I found making these presentations really fun to make and research.How do you use these terms to enrich your writing?
I think that most of us are clear on the fact that Alanis Morissette’s song “Ironic” got it wrong. But I have always found irony to be a difficult literary device to teach and most students have a hard time understanding it. The video below is a great place to start to show what irony is.
It’s really clear about what irony is and there are a few other videos on different types of irony at TED Ed’s The Writer’s Workshop.QUESTION: What do you do to help your students understand irony?
A great way to tie together the meaning, keyword, and examples of a newly learned affix in a creative visual way.
I taught -ium with the keyword radium to help my student prep for her upcoming chemistry unit. We started with the meaning, talked about elements, explored the periodic table, learned the new suffix, and practiced some decoding with some of the more challenging elements.
The following class, I wanted to reinforce the learned concept and give her more practice spelling with -ium so I drew the outline of the suffix and passed it over to her. She then filled in the meaning and keyword, and began spelling words all over the diagram. After she had perfected the placement and spelling of every word, she added color and made sure to always highlight the suffix with the same color. This reinforces the placement of the suffix, its spelling, and connects it to the meaning. Best of all, she had a blast spelling and decorating!
*I got this idea off of Pinterest but could not trace it back to the original. If anyone has seen it before, let me know as I’d love to give credit to the incredibly creative individual! You can follow my “OG Ideas” Pinterest board through the link on the header.
Visual: The frame itself reinforced the suffix as did More >
I wanted to find a simple, fun, and hands-on way to help my student practice and develop her understanding of the different types of sentences and improve her sentence variety in her writing. So rather than putting a pencil in her hand, I chose to use simple cue cards and sticky notes so that she could physically build different combinations to create different sentences and see how conjunctions “stick” sentence parts together.
First we started by reviewing the concepts we would need.
She needed to know what a dependent and independent clause was and give me an example. She also needed to be able to tell me the difference between conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions. As we reviewed these concepts I made cards and sticky notes to visually represent the ideas.
Once I knew she was confident enough to identify and give me examples of each, then we started to put it together with the different types of sentences. I put a card in front of her that said “simple sentence“, “compound sentence“, or “complex sentence” and she needed to use the clauses and conjunctions to build them.
The next step was to point to each element as she said a sentence that fit the model she had built. For example, for compound sentence, she pointed at the independent clause and said “My cat loves to eat goldfish”. The More >
Instead of a formal pencil to paper assessment of my students’ ability to convert fractions, I asked them to create a video tutorial for next year’s students. They needed to do an example of each conversion, from mixed to improper and improper to mixed. It had to include a visual step by step along with clear mathematical explanations of what they were doing and the thinking/reasons behind it. We also talked about the use of lines, shapes, and colors in highlighting the most important information. Then students were on their own.
For some students this was an incredibly difficult thing to do, especially when they were asked to verbalize their thinking or reasoning behind a step. However, I think this makes it an even more valuable experience and one that I will repeat often.
Here are a few samples:
I asked my students to write a post on their blogs about what Genius Hour was for them. Here are a few genius gems from their posts:
- “What is Genius Hour? Have you heard of it? Well, Genius Hour is a new thing that is inspiring kids across North America and their teachers to take an hour out of there day, at school, or at home to improve in an area they are interested in.” ~ Anna
- “Now your probably wondering what genius hour is. Genius hour is an hour where the students get to choose what project they get to work on.” ~ Graham
- “…Genius hour works on the idea implied in it’s name, that everyone is genius and has a good idea within them. It supplies us one hour (45mins) to work on anything of our choice (anything that we can show as a finished project as an end result). Personally I love the concept of genius hour and it has allowed me to finalize and finish a board game concept I have been working on for months. Genius hour I believe is the best project a teacher has ever assigned ( actually more a project a teacher never assigned) and I strongly believe other More >
A huge thank you goes out to Tracy Taylor, the grade 2/3 teacher, for being willing to jump on board and help make this happen.
I am so inspired by the thinking and learning that went on for my grade 7′s when they were faced with having to explain something to a younger student. Mrs. Taylor and I found spots in science, math, and language arts where the curriculum in grade 7 and grade 2/3 connected and set up opportunities once a week for cooperative learning and collaboration between the grade 7 and grade 2/3 students.
The “Big Buddies” (grade 7) were expected to take on a leadership role in these scenarios and their instructions were simple: “empower these younger students to think deep and encourage them so they feel amazingly proud of themselves”.
We learned that empowering does not mean doing it for them, nor does it mean leaving them on their own. The Delvers had to find a balance between the two and they noticed that this balance was different depending on who they were working with. In the midst of all this amazing learning, I noticed that in setting out to empower deep thinking in others, they became deep thinkers More >
We’ve been LOVING the freedom and ownership involved in Genius Hour. As a teacher I really appreciate the opportunity it provides students in directing their own learning. Some of them are struggling with this and I think it will be awhile before they trust that there is no teacher agenda or final picture of what it should look like. It has really got me thinking about all the ways I could offer room for different expressions of learning in other curriculum areas.
Some of our GENIUS projects on the go this week:
- designing a video game inspired board game for the whole class to play
- exploring online drawing tools to decide which would be the best to use
- researching techniques and strategies for becoming a master of Minecraft
- learning complicated hair braiding techniques
- practicing the rainbow kick for the upcoming soccer season
- producing a video on Parkour
Other GENIUS projects happening around the web:
Today’s #geniushour projects iMovie, Garage Band, building a pyramid, website design, painting backdrop, creating instruction for new game.
— Matthew Mikhaila (@MatthewMikhaila) April 27, 2013
— Mrs. More >
April 25th was International Pay It Forward Day. The term “pay it forward” is well known from a movie in which a young boy tries to change the world as part of a class assignment. He did 3 great things for 3 people in need and then they in turn were supposed to go on and pay it forward to 3 more people each.
While we did not have the time to plan anything huge to change a life, we decided to fill the day with tons of little things that might make others smile. So we hit the streets of Maple Ridge armed with balloons and high fives.
Check out this amazing list of all we accomplished:
- we wrote encouraging positive messages on the sidewalks and streets
- we left little toys and a card on the doorsteps of houses
- we greeted everyone we met with a smile and a willingness to chat
- we handed out stickers and pencils to kids we met
- we visited local businesses and complimented them
- we handed out balloons with positive messages on them
- we organized a bottle drive as a fundraiser and are planning to donate the money to a local shelter or rehab center
- we planned on picking up litter at the local park More >
Tayden found this video and shared it with the class. What do you think?