Saturday, August 3, 2013

Classroom Pintrest Wish List

Since my graduate work ended on Thursday, I've spent way to much life time on Pintrest... Pinning everything imaginable, but mostly things for my classroom.

Here is my own Top 10 Classroom Pintrest Wish List:

1. Fabulous First Day of School Activities: Awesome Acquaintance Alliteration Activity (no alliteration intended)  and Meme Syllabus (see my post on Memes

2. Better Planning and Organization (although, I think this is on every teacher's wish list):


3. Parent Communication: I've already submitted a P.O. for 4x6 cards to make this mini-binder (don't always have up-to date info in our schools progress book so these cards are great for a quick look up and a place to document contact).

4. Creative activities for my Freshmen's first unit on conflict and plot:
     A: Popsicle Stick Activity

This picture will take you to an elementary teacher's site where she has taken the date night popsicle idea to the classroom - students identify character, setting, conflict, and a "special idea" from different books on colored popsicle sticks, then you add to it  your own sticks with other possible characters, settings, conflicts, and "special ideas."  Students then pull one of each color from a jar and create their own story based on those ideas.  I love this idea for students to generate creative writing as well as practice elements of a story.

      B: Story Bags
I've know about story bags since working with some middle childhood majors during my undergrad, but I'd never thought about using them with high schoolers until I read this post by a parent encouraging creativity.  Fill the bag with items and students have to create a story using those items.  Students then identify setting, characters, conflict, resolution, etc in their own stories!

5. Anchor Charts
I'm officially obsessed with anchor charts on Pintrest (see my Schoolie Stuff board for all my anchor chart loves).  Many of the charts need amped up a bit to be more rigorous for my students, but the basic concepts are fabulous.

6. Evidence
I believe students need to support their answers with evidence (usually from the text), but many of my students balked at this last year.  My plan is to immerse my students in the idea of always citing and supporting your opinions and analyses. I'm going to make a bulletin board or anchor chart similar to this one for my students to know what I expect:

I'm going to change the "it said so on page" to "[author's name] said, '.........' (pg #)." and omit"from my reading, I know that..." .  I may also add some other ways to cite evidence on there.  I want my students to write and speak like scholars and well-rounded knowledgable high school students.

7.  Hitting all of Bloom's Levels/ Extension activities 
I've found somewhere in the world of TpT and Pintrest a set of cards that have "generic" literature questions aligned with Bloom's levels.  If I do not find them, I plan to make my own cards, color coded and laminated, to use for students who finish an activity early.

8. Fabulous Standards Based Grading Methods
This year, I and another teacher are integrating standards based grading with in depth rubrics from every standards and I discovered these small rubrics made on labels that would be fabulous for grading in student notebooks or formative grading instead of pulling out a giant rubric to grade on each time.
9. Bulletin Boards
I stole this one from M*Print's Pintrest Finds.  I loved it so much I had to share!  How cool is a board where students are encouraged to compose in their free time.  It just will require some monitoring, and high expectations, to make sure all things posted are appropriate.

10. Blog Loves
I've been struggling to find well-rounded secondary teaching blogs... and throughout my pintrest addiction moments these last few days, I found two awesome ones!

M* Print : Megan is new to the blogging world (like me!) and shares all sorts of lovely, nerdy English teacher things on her blog.  Just spending 5 minutes scanning her recent posts I found 11 Tips to Using a Classroom Facebook Page and Setting Soft Goals for Students (goals that are not linked to standards or tests - like passion, etc.).  She really wants her students to succeed and seems to love things like memes, vintage fashion and photos, typewriters, and poetry.  I think I've found a kindred soul.

E, Myself, and I i: Elizabeth is a blogger who shares about teaching high school English, but also focuses on real life ... and she has a real heart for her blog audience, not just freebies, etc.  I really enjoyed her posts on classroom organization and Classroom Organization Facts - she uses a "Missing Work" sheet in her classroom to help encourage students to complete missing work, remind students that more points get taken off the longer they wait, and to help her organize her classroom (the paper is yellow!).  I made my own version of this "Missing Work" sheet.

I've copied these on bright yellow paper, but I changed a few things from her original.
1. I asked students to give me the reason they've not turned it in.  I teach inclusion and often have students who feel overwhelmed by the project or who just need that extra time (all students, not just students with special needs).  I wanted to give them an open spot to let me know that they need extra time (if they have been faithfully working in class).
2. I gave the reminder to students that they will have points taken off the longer they wait; however, I did add that prior approval by a teacher for those students who need that extra time.

I'm excited to implement this in my classroom!  I hope it helps me avoid losing late papers and it encourages my students to complete their missing work sooner!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your kind words about M*Print! I think you've nailed my personality in your description, and I agree that we may have both just found a kindred spirit. Happily following you now! Hope your new school year is fantastic.


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