By Diana Knudson May-June 2014
The end of another school year is approaching. Many of you have made such strides with the Montana Standards in reading, writing, and math. It is exciting to have high standards with great expectations of our students. One thing I have learned over the years is that our students rise to what is expected. They are so capable, especially when they are challenged and can tie what they learn to the real world. Our Summer Institute is designed to take us forward with the challenges of teaching math where understanding comes first. Reading and writing are so connected that students will understand how to use evidence from text to back up their opinions and go on to produce writing that is organized with strategic ideas. Keep up the great work, take some of the summer to relax and rejuvenate, and meet us at some of our excellent offerings this summer. As always I am here to serve you and your schools. Stay in touch.
We will have three drawings this summer at three of our summer classes. Each will reward one of you with a $100 gift certificate to WalMart. Brianna will design a random drawing to decide which of the three classes win this drawing. Your attendance in Summer Institute automatically signs you up. You may be a BIG WINNER.
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Have you struggled with a student who openly defied your authority, became aggressive if confronted or was a threat to other students? Do you feel that you have been seeing more of these students recently? Much of what you may have previously thought about oppositional students may not be completely accurate. For example, rewards and punishments typically don't work. Nancy Hall's Educating Oppositional and Defiant Children combines research with teacher-tested tips for working with these students. (ASCD Books)
Check lists of standards that you can print off and sign and date for when each student mastered the standards...
Wonderful website for teachers.... Choose the 'iPads in the classroom' on the left
Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV—of inspiring and
effective teaching practices in America's schools. They have a rapidly growing
community of registered members who trade ideas and share inspiration from each
Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV—of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America's schools. They have a rapidly growing community of registered members who trade ideas and share inspiration from each other. www.teachingchannel.org
Do all your students look forward to each grammar lesson? We didn't think so. With NoRedInk, your students will get differentiated instruction based both on their skills and their interests. (So Miguel Cabrera and One Direction may show up in questions.) If students get stuck, they'll see tutorials to help. You can get charts showing your students' strengths and weaknesses. You can also view their quizzes and homework. The site offers free content for everyone. (www.noredink.com)
Learning about simple machines is a way to introduce students to basic physics. Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry has created Simple Machines, a game to help students learn about of levels, pulleys, planes, axles and wheels. A robot named Twitch roams the museum collecting the parts needed to create a simple machine. But that involves climbing over things (inclined planes), lifting (pulleys and levers) and moving heavy objects (wheels and axels). (www.msichicago.org/play/simplemachines/)
Text messages to parents can be efficient--and more reliable than crumpled messages at the bottom of a backpack! But you may not want parents to have your cell phone number. ClassPager provides you with a free way to contact up to 25 parents. When you register on the site, you will receive an enrollment code. Share it with parents, who then send a text message to opt in. Every text message will go to those who have joined your group. (www.classpager.com)
The Library of Congress should be your go-to site for primary sources. From photographs and films to maps and books, you are sure to find material for your students. The Library has also developed a series of resource guides to help students understand how to use each of these documents. The guides suggest questions to ask students about documents, sound recordings, political cartoons, images and more. All are available online or as PDFs. (www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/guides.html)
There is no question that today's kids aren't active enough. Rates of childhood obesity are skyrocketing. That's why the National Football League launched NFL Play 60. It encourages young fans to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. The Play 60 website has a collection of ideas for how teachers and schools can be part of the effort to get kids moving. The site also includes fun activities targeted especially at children. (www.nfl.com/play60)
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