Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Days, Holidays & Professional Days

One of the biggest challenges I find in my teaching is implementing my lessons around days off. Don't get me wrong I enjoy the days off. The difficulty comes when a class misses 2 classes in a row which sets that class behind the other classes in the same grade level. I find it easier to keep my grade level classes on the same lessons but missing days or shorten class periods due to delayed starts & early dismissal makes it impossible. Should I shorten & speed up the lesson for the class that has missed or slow down the lesson for the other classes? Often I choose to add a short enrichment lesson for the classes that are ahead.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

January already!!!

I can't believe it is already January! As one teacher said "It's all downhill from here!" There is still so much to do. This past week I did a fun lesson with 5th Grade. I divided them into groups of three or four. I had them brainstorm one or two word phrases describing things that we can do in the library, things that happen in the library and things associated with our library. Once they created their lists they gave them to me. I showed them the site www.wordle.net and began to create a word cloud. So that the students were not just sitting around waiting as I typed, I let them check out. Once check out was done, we created our word cloud. They thought it was cool. Then I began to click randomize and different word clouds appeared. I chose 5 that they seemed to like. I used the print screen button to capture the image and then pasted it into Microsoft Word. Then they voted on which they liked the best. The one pictured is the one my Thursday class liked the best. I also gave them a slip that had the website listed.

As I was typing I did do some editing, if one group had word learning and another then had the word learn I change learning into learn. This was just so there would be similar words. The kids had fun with this lesson. I noticed when this class went to the computer lab later that day, most went to the Worldle site and explored.