“…regard them as either silly or threatening.”
In the past 24 hours, countless wildfires have started in southern Colorado. Homes have been lost, the Royal Gorge is evacuated, and the sky is smoky. The devestating Waldo Canyon fire was pretty much exactly a year ago. We had a dry winter and spring—we’ve been in a state of drought with severe water restrictions for the past few years.
I’m safe, but please keep my state in your thoughts.
Yep, we could use the positive thoughts out this way. (Also some rain, if you’re so inclined, but sadly I doubt that’ll happen any time soon.)
As I revamp my entire ELL delivery model, I’m seeking food for thought.
If you are a U.S. K-12 mainstream/content/classroom teacher of any number of students who qualify for ELL services, could you please answer a few quick questions about your experience?
The survey is anonymous, and I’ll share the results with anyone who might be interested.
Take 5 minutes and help this amazing teacher out!
Trogdor never disappoints his fans. In honor of the earlier dare I bring you: Dogs in Outfits!
Booties keep my feet warm!
This devil costume is the devil.
Do I LOOK like a dinosaur?! No, I am a TROGDOR!
You ask an impossible question!
Ok, let’s try these:
Our field trip to the zoo had 2 moments.
- Walking towards one of the animals I heard some of my kids behind me say, “Aww man, I wish S were here! She would love to see those!!” This was a really special moment for me because S was our extremely high needs student this year. The kids had their struggles, rightly so, in handling S and some of her outbursts or behavioral challenges. I know it wasn’t always easy for them to be in her class, and some of them have been in classes with her since 2nd grade, but they really learned how to take care of her without coddling. They started to look out for S in a way that is endearing but doesn’t lessen her ability to do things on her own. They treat her like a peer but recognize that she needs additional guidance or someone to “have her back” in situations that are hard for her to handle. When she was absent for 2 days in a row the kids asked if she was ok because they became a family and when 1 member was missing they noticed. So, this moment spoke to the way my kids really take care of each other and were determined to reach the finish line of the year, even if it meant having to physically drag each other forward sometimes.
- At one point my entire class was leaning against the railing watching 2 monkeys. They were enthralled for a good 10 minutes and all I could hear was their giggles, questions, and commentary about all the things the monkeys were doing. As a warm breeze blew over us I could feel the love I have for this group of kids and the closeness we share. Even though I wasn’t looking at any of their faces it felt like we were embracing in a huge group hug, and I got teary as we stood there enjoying this beautiful moment together. I really feel like the intense year and challenges we’ve had have also brought us so much closer, and these kids will always have an incredibly dear place in my heart. They really did build an amazing community and I know they felt it too, because many shared that something they’re nervous about next year is not being in the same community or knowing if they’ll feel like a family. They have really good hearts, and I know that will always help them find their way.
- Throughout the last day of school we played all our morning meeting songs and sang as we worked on various things. At one point I was bopping around the room, singing New York State of Mind and dancing on tables (the legs were taken off and kids sat on the floor so they were low) with various groups of kiddos. There was also a large glue stick microphone that we all took turns singing with. The best thing is that this was a fairly ordinary thing for us. We sang lots of songs, we practiced our Mexican folk dance or our Beyonce flash mob dance a lot, we choreographed our own hip-hop moves so we could perform Hot Cheetos and Takis, and we just generally enjoyed some crazy fun moments. Music was a very powerful part of our year, and different songs really had an impact on the kids. We learned multiplication, the 5 themes of geography, how America was colonized, colors of the rainbow, all about NYC, what paleontology is, what the elements are… all through songs. Our theme song became Wonderwall and I think in different ways we all felt that our class and experiences together this year became our wonderwall. I will forever get choked up hearing that song and thinking of these kiddos, and aptly it was the last song we sang during the final 4 minutes of our time together as I hugged each one of my babies and sent them off to 5th grade.
Education-related or not.
This is a tiny list that I can think of off the top of my head. Not all iPad apps, and probably not relevant for your kiddos because I am in the mindset of 1:1 management and implementation of tech right now. I need to be better about posting apps as I find them, but here goes.
Curation or Sharing Related:
- Pearltrees, IFTTT, Hojoki, Buffer, Mentor Mob, Learnist, Storify
Learning Management Systems:
- EdCanvas, Schoology
- CK-12, AdaptiveCurriculum, Learning.com, CommonSenseMedia (digital citizenship & family tech education)
Misc / Blended:
- Nearpod, Evernote
BabyJDR with mumma.
YoungJDR with my Meme, the great-grandmother I was named after.
Oh this is so loaded, especially since we just wrapped the school year up on Wednesday!
Hrm. I would have to say I love teaching whatever it is that lights the fire of my students. When they want to know more and are excited about the learning, it gets me excited and wanting to learn more with them. The coolest thing is that each year your class takes on a personality based on the kids’ interests and your thought processes at the time, and a natural theme emerges that you never would have expected.
For example, this year my students were fascinated by civil rights and moral issues. It isn’t a specific part of our curriculum, but it kept coming up again and again. I love this because we have such rich, deep discussions that tie directly into my favorite thing about being a teacher: character ed and helping my kids to become great people. My kids also got really interested in endangered animals and wanting to get people to take action, and that was neat as well.
How’s that for a non-answer answer?! ;)
Since the end of the year is fast-approaching, I wanted to do a project that combined reflection and art. This is what I came up with…
First, students brainstormed their memories for 4th grade. They then traced the state of California (here, 4th grade is all about California history. You could use any shape, or even the number of the grade). Using a ruler and a black sharpie, they broke it into about 15 “pieces.” They then used a thin sharpie draw one memory (words, pictures, or both) per box. Lastly, they used water color to paint each box a different color.
This is a fabulous way to reflect on the end of a year. Could also work well with our regions unit as a KWL or end of unit assessment piece.
Hi Tumblr friends! I recently posted a project on DonorsChoose.org.
I am looking to get a brand new document camera for the classroom. The one we have is out of date, does not zoom, and has an inaccurate color display. We use it several times a day, and it’s time to get a new one for the new school year. The total cost of the project is $225.
If you would be interested in giving or just want to look at the page, please send me a private message and I will send the link. Thank you!
If you can help this amazing teacher and her kiddos it would be fab! She definitely deserves to have functional technology in her awesome classroom.