Sunday, March 27, 2011
My students loved playing Boggle so much that I made free templates to share the fun. The first one is for use with a document camera - students can write their words on notebook paper. The second is a worksheet version that allows students to work individually.
Because this is in MS Word, you can change the letters - get a whole new game every time!
Friday, March 25, 2011
Check out this great article about teacherspayteachers.com. The money I make on TpT will help pay for my son's college education. If you are a teacher or homeschooler, it is totally worth checking out.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Amazing Kids! is a great resource for you and your students! Amazing Kids! is an online magazine created for kids by kids (with a little adult help). In addition to reading some great articles on a variety of interesting and educational subjects, there are many ways for your students to get involved. Among other things, Amazing Kids! holds contests, sponsors a pen-pal program, and accepts submissions for kids ages 5-18. Kids can submit individually or as a class. Submissions include fictional stories, nonfiction articles, recipes, travel articles, jokes, poems, movie, books, and music reviews, photos, artwork, and videos. Amazing kids also features an Amazing Kid of the month to help inspire other kids to do amazing things.
The Amazing Kids! website was recently honored to be selected as one of the Top 24 “Great Web Sites for Kids” by the American Library Association (ALA), specifically under the category: “Writing by Kids.”
Amazing Kids! has high standards for writing and content. You can safely send your students to the website and be sure they will not find any inappropriate content or ads. So check it out!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Minds in Bloom is pleased to welcome guest blogger, , Charity Preston, M.A.
Authentic assessment is basically any type of assessment that is not paper-and-pencil type of testing. It can include projects, portfolios, or running records. I first really used authentic assessment when I student taught in a preschool program for my undergraduate degree. It was used mostly because traditional assessment becomes much more difficult for that age bracket. But now, as I work mostly in elementary and middle school levels, I realize that many assessments in the classroom can also be authentic, though it is rarely used.
Most teachers would justify the idea of not using authentic assessment more because of time constraints. The trick to authentic assessment is not to take on too much at one time. One type of authentic assessment per chapter or unit is fine to begin. As long as the project sheet and rubric are kept in a safe place for retrieval, adding another the following year is simple. Eventually as more is added to your toolbox, portfolios will be available to be included as a culminating assessment.
When starting out, think of the essential learning goals for the chapter or unit (or just look at the state standards being taught). Always have the end in mind first. After knowing that the project is geared toward those end goals, begin by creating a project that will reflect a student having knowledge of those end goals. Great ideas to keep in mind include using multiple intelligences, Bloom's taxonomy, as well as a variety of learning style formats to present the end result. Always leave an option for the student to create a project of choice, with teacher permission, as long as the project matches the learning goals set for all. Another fantastic idea is to create a sample project that shows students the level to which is expected, or keep exceptional projects from the previous years (with permission) to show current students examples of grades at each level so all are more acutely aware of expectations.
After designing a great project idea, make sure students (and parents) know what is expected to be turned in for a grade. If a rubric is unclear, there will be a lot of negative feedback from all involved. If the grading criteria is crystal clear, there is no room for argument and the final projects will be much better. There are several websites that offer free rubric creations, along with examples that others have created for inspiration. I suggest starting there when first beginning. Make sure the rubric is complete, but do not include more than five or six categories or the assessment becomes overwhelming.
Authentic assessment is a great way for students to really showcase talents and knowledge level of the material that has been presented. Give them a chance, and chances are you will be blown away by what students can show.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
You've read the books. You have probably seen the movies...why not try these Harry Potter Would You Rather Questions? Great fun for your and your students!
|Would You Rather...|
|1||Have Ron for a friend||or||Have Hermione for a friend|
|2||Fight the Basilisk||or||Fight a Dementor|
|3||Spend a weekend with Dudley Dursley||or||Spend a weekend with Kreacher the house elf|
|4||Be a Quidditch Keeper||or||Be a Quidditch Beater|
|5||Be sorted into Ravenclaw||or||Be sorted into Hufflepuff|
|6||Have an Invisibility Cloak||or||Have a Time-Turner|
Receive a Howler in front of your friends
Eat a vomit flavored Every Flavored Bean
|8||Attend the Yule Ball||or||Attend the Quidditch World Cup|
|9||Spend an afternoon in the Burrow with the Weasley's||or||Spend an afternoon in Diagon Alley|
|10||Have Severus Snape as your father||or||Have Delores Umbridge as your mother|
Have a pet Hippogriff
Have a pet Phoenix
|12||Take a class in potions||or||Take a class in caring for magical creatures|
|13||Have a flying broomstick||or||Have an enchanted flying car|
|14||Be a werewolf like Remus Lupin||or||Be a ghost like Headless Nick|
|15||Spend a week lost in the Forbidden Forest||or||Spend a day in Azkaban|
|16||Play Quidditch||or||Play wizarding chess|
|17||Be a teacher at Hogwarts||or||Be an Auror|
|18||Have Hagrid as a friend||or||Have Dobby as a friend|
|19||Change the story so that Dumbledore does not get killed||or||Change the story so that Sirius does not get killed|
|20||Spend an hour talking with J.K. Rowling||or||Spend an hour talking with Daniel Radcliffe|
Want more Would You Rathers? You can get 200 More Would You Rather Questions here
Are your students crazy about Harry Potter? You can get a Harry Potter Game Similar to Apples to Apples® here