By Diana Knudson January, 2015
WELCOME BACK. The first semester is almost over. The school year quickly slides away.
On my mind—although you all know I believe in the Montana Common Core Standards, they do soak up many more dollars with the cost for the testing. I personally would like to see most of that money go to other places. As schools come up with money for better technology and resources, we do need to remember that our libraries are still important, living parts of our schools. There is substantial evidence that libraries can improve achievement and encourage avid reading. Even with all the focus on e-books, our libraries are important and need to be supported. Librarians have an eye on the needs of the whole staff and their students for improved literacy and improved love of reading. We need those supports now more than ever.
Are you interested in improving VOCBULARY in your students? Language Standard 4 gives three word-learning strategies for meanings of unfamiliar words. The first is using sentence or passage level context to infer meaning. Another is to use the meanings of prefixes, suffixes, and roots including Greek and Latin roots. I know that my own children were so thankful for the focus their science teacher had on these meanings. Many tests they took to get into PA school, medical school, and chemical engineering certification focused on their ability to know words based on the roots and prefixes and suffixes. The third strategy is the use of reference materials, such as dictionaries, thesauri, and glossaries. One benefit of using real books for this practice is that students need to practice alphabetizing. Maybe that is a dying skill with all of the hand-held and other tech devices we use now. What do you think?
Have a great end to the semester. Hope to see all of you soon.
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Upcoming Committee Meetings & Events...
World Language Committee
for Music, Drama, or Library
Please notify Music Instructors, Drama coaches, and/or Librarians within your district.
The Montana Masonic Foundation (MMF) would like to offer an opportunity to enhance educational opportunities for Music, Drama, or Library students. Grants of upwards of $2500 will be awarded to approximately six Montana school programs to improve student achievement in these targeted areas. Please complete the MMF Grant application available at this link:
Please direct inquiries
Thom Chisholm, Superintendent Plains Public Schools
Mobile Phone -- 406-396-9208
Email -- firstname.lastname@example.org
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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