Friday, August 31, 2012

Prezi Webquest

Last semester I had the opportunity to create a 4th grade Social Studies unit plan about Florida explorers with a group of my peers. We created a Webquest using Prezi (one of my favorite presentation tools). To kick off the unit, we created a Prezi on Christopher Columbus, a familiar explorer for many 4th grade students. During this presentation, the teacher will also model important presentation skills that the students will be assessed on when they present at the end of the unit. After the Christopher Columbus presentation, the students will break up into groups and learn about a Florida explorer. Students will use teacher approved websites using diigo, graphic organizers, and various multimedia tools to create a presentation about their explorer. Throughout their learning journey the student groups will follow the step by step directions stated on the Prezi Webquest. The entire unit plan, including printables and other resources can be found here: Although we tried to plan our activities across the curriculum, looking back it is apparent that we had too many activities for a 5 day unit plan. In the real classroom this unit would require 2-4 weeks. Overall, completing this unit plan was a great experience. I learned so much from this project and my peers. I cannot wait to put these ideas into action in a real classroom.

UPDATE: After completing our course, my peers and I had the opportunity to present our unit plan at our university. Below is the Prezi we created for the workshop.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Make a Cloud in a Cup Lesson Plan

A second grade science lesson inspired by The Schroeder Page and based on the National Science Education Standards (NSES), Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSS), Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Florida Educators Accomplished Practices (FEAPS).

Island Inequality Mat Lesson Plan-Modified for English Language Learners

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vietnam, A Cultural Handbook

As an educator it is important we become aware of the wide diversity within various cultural groups. Teachers must utilize cultural information without depending upon stereotypes and preconceived ideas concerning cultural characteristics to instruct students. I had the opportunity to work with a group of my peers to study one of the fastest growing populations in Central Florida, the Vietnamese culture. This Cultural Handbook is written for educators about the Vietnamese culture.

The Florida Consent Decree: A Summary

We are obligated to provide an equal education to all children living in the United States of America. The Florida Consent Decree states the provisions and requirements for providing an equal education for limited English proficient students living in Florida. This is my summary of this important legal document.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

FCRR: Florida Center for Reading Research is another fantastic website for teachers. This site provides a lot of information on best practices used to teach and assess reading it. I've found the intervention strategies for struggling readers very helpful. However, my favorite resources is the student center activities page. Lots of printables for centers and all of the activities are aligned to the common core!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fun Math Website...

Big Brainz is a great website for multiplication practice!



Have you been to kb...konnected? It's one of my favorite teacher blogs! KB is constantly posting useful teacher resources. Many of educational websites she has shared have become my kid's favorite places to play online. She also posts tons of freebies and great printables. Check it out!

Read, Write, Think

ReadWriteThink is one of my favorite websites for teacher resources. There are tons of great lesson plans and activities for specific books or learning objectives. They also have online activities to engage students and fantastic printables to use in the classroom. 

I've found their Strategy Guides to be extremely helpful for a student teacher. The Strategy Guides provide information on great teaching techniques and key concepts that I can teach to help my future students become effective readers.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Water Cycle Wheel

Make a Water Cycle Wheel here.


Library Thing is a fantastic tool that allows you to keep track and share books that you own. I’m using it to help me organize and build my classroom library. I love that you can easily view your library by book cover, subject, tags, title, author, even Lexile Classification. Also, you can embed a widget of your library into your blog.
Entering the books is simple, but time consuming. So far, I’m using the tags to help me sort my children’s books into categories such as award winners, themes, and genres. I’ve even created a separate wishlist library for children’s books that I want to purchase. 
Teachers how do you keep track of your classroom library?

Cheers for your Peers

Promote positive peer responses using Dr. Jean's Cheer Cards. A great activity to use during student presentations. Student groups can select a different cheer (our teacher used a Cheerios cup to pass out the cards).

After a student presents, one of the groups teaches their cheer to the rest of the class. Then the whole class performs the cheer to celebrate the student presenters success! We did this in a college classroom and had a blast. I think any elementary group will get a kick out of it. It also helps students to blow off some steam between presentations.

You can find the Cheer Cards here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Setting personal goals in the classroom with Daruma dolls

Daruma Dolls
Students can learn about customs from another culture in this fun goal setting activity.

Daruma dolls are a Japanese good luck symbol. They stand for the spirit of courage and determination. The weighted bottoms and rounded shape forces this ancient cultural doll to right itself after being knocked over, teaching us to be dedicated and persistent and symbolizing our recoveries from misfortune. The Daruma dolls are often given to someone when they start something new. The dolls come with both eyes blank. After purchasing or receiving it as a gift, you paint one eye and make a wish or begin a new project. The second eye is painted when the wish comes true or the project is completed.

In my of my courses the professor invited each of us to set a personal goal for the class using a Daruma doll worksheet. We recorded our goals for the course on the back of our "doll" and colored in one eye. At the end of the course we revisited our goals and if we were successful in accomplishing them we colored in the other eye.

I thought this was a great activity for any age to set personal goals while learning about an interesting Japanese custom. Below is a Daruma doll worksheet.

Directions: What is your goal for this class? Think, decide, and record it on the back of your “doll”. Color in one eye.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox: A Storytelling Prezi