Background Music During Lessons
Having calming music playing while you are running small groups is another way to use music in the classroom effectively. Classical music or nature sounds are good choices for those times, but it really depends on your students.
For some students, the background music may be more distracting than not having any music playing at all. Take a poll of your students and see what works best for them. Playing music that distracts them is definitely not ideal.
Lessons On Copyright And Digital Rights
Now is the perfect time to teach a lesson about copyright and digital rights, as well as the difference between sharing and taking credit for all of those photos, videos and music files.
Todays students are digitally literate and were born into a different technological landscape than teachers. Its easy for them to think that the material they find on the Internet belongs to them, all the more so if theyre pinning it, which makes that material feel almost like something they created. It might also be helpful to direct students to a few sites where they can reprint materials for free, like the Library of Congress or Flickr Creative Commons.
Pinning Stuff From The Web
There are two main ways people find useful educational resources to pin. First, you may be on the Internet reading a great news article or blog and decide, I want to keep this for future reference. In most cases, the website will have a pin it button right on their site. All you have to do is hit the pin it button and another window will open. You choose the board you want to put it on, add a comment, and hit pin. Notice the Open Colleges pin it button is on the left near Facebook and Twitter.
But what happens if the website you are viewing does not have a pin it button? You have two options. You can upload the website manually or you can get a pin it bookmarklet for your Web Browser. Lets walk through how to add the pin manually.
If youd rather get the Pin It bookmarklet, go to About on the top of the screen and choose Pin It Button. Follow the instructions and it will put a bookmark on your browser. Whenever you are on a website that you want to pin, click the button and it will take you through the steps.
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Example B My Whole Group Area
I do have a jungle theme as you can tell, and I love this area too. I think my room is pretty early childhood friendly in its setup, and we love meeting here on the carpet to sing, work, talk, and more! In my room we do play every day and we have block areas, home living, and more!
Here is a closer look at our block area from my feed my kids do truly love that dollhouse!
How To Use Interactive Notebooks For Grammar
Grammar is one of my favorite things to teach! Therefore, our grammar notebook plays a big role in our everyday routine. Every week we focus in on a new grammar skill, such as contractions, complex sentences or types of nouns. On the first day of the week, my students add a page to their notebooks focusing on that grammar skill.
They are able to highlight, annotate, and design their page in a way that will help them visualize whatever the skill is that week. We discuss examples of the skill as a class and add them to our notebook page.
On Tuesday, students complete a paired activity and glue it into their notebook. Students now have a reference tool that they can use throughout the week and throughout the course of the school year.
Want to try out an interactive notebook page with your students? Grab the Parts of Speech activity for free by clicking below!
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How To Sign Up For An Account
Before signing up for a Pinterest account, be sure to check your schools social media policy. Some schools may require parental permission for students to follow Pinterest boards.
Under the category education, for example, you can follow boards such as Early Literacy Activities or Teaching Tidbits. After confirming your email, youre ready to start pinning.
How To Use Music In The Classroom
Music can change the feel of a classroom and make learning more engaging for students of all ages. Using it in ways that benefit students the most is key. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to use music in the classroom that will make learning more fun and your teaching a lot easier.
We asked the veteran teachers in our group, Mrs. Ds VIPs, what their best tips were for using music in the classroom. As always, they had some fantastic ideas and were generous with their suggestions. Read their ideas below and check out the original post here.
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Show Off Student Work
If a class or a pupil has done particularly well on a project, teachers can pin their work to a special board to celebrate their achievement.
Likewise, Pinterest can be used to create an online portfolio of student work. Art and Design teachers, in particular, can use Pinterest to help prepare older students, with the creation of online portfolios to show university admission officers and future employers. Check out these student portfolios for inspiration.
Ways To Use Screencastify Or Loom
One: Weve already talked about using student-created screencasts to present, but why not have students teach each other about a topic? Yes, yes, you can absolutely do this! Heres where you can add some spice, though.
Have students develop inquiry questions, engage in research, and share their thinking with each other as speakers in a virtual conference. This would require you to set-up a web page, link to student videos and give students time to attend the conference. Just like a regular conference, each student would submit a brief description of his/her session presentation, along with a title and author bio. This is really fun!
Four: Have students practice nonverbals by creating a lip sync video to a song. This is a fun icebreaker or team-building activity you can use at any time of the year. To do this, have students turn their webcam on, their microphone off, and their tab audio on.
Sharing is caring!
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How To Introduce Interactive Notebooks To Your Elementary Students
After using interactive notebooks for many years, there is one major thing Ive learned:
Set the Expectations!
I have my own neatly-organized notebook that I use for modeling purposes. Before diving straight into notebooks at the beginning of the year, we spend 2 weeks doing the following:
Practicing how to properly cut pieces of paper
Practicing how to properly apply glue to a piece of paper
Modeling how to add headings to our pages
Numbering each of our notebook pages
Adding a table of contents to the beginning of our interactive notebook
Discussing WHY maintaining a neat notebook is crucial
Creating an Interactive Notebook Rules page as a class and gluing it inside our notebook
We were able to get started with interactive notebooks once my students understood why we would be using these notebooks and how they should be properly used.
There Are Many Student Project Examples
Pinterest is full of student project examples and lesson suggestions, like ideas for poetry lessons or teaching equivalent fractions. Many educators use this platform and add pins to lots of teacher-friendly resources. Heres an example of one of my pins connected to virtual reality lessons. A quick search for the type of project, subject area, and even grade level can bring up oodles of pins to search through. Even a quick search using the words water cycle projects 5th grade can bring up visuals to go along with blog posts, lesson plans, and multimedia resources.
The visual aspect of Pinterest makes it a great place to quickly gather ideas. Search results can include a photograph someone posted as a student work sample or simply an eye-catching graphic that confirms what the link behind the pin will take you to, and offers a quick peek at whats covered in a blog post. As with any search engine, the results that come back from your search will vary in quality and quantity. Pinterest has content that connects to blog posts and podcast episodes that are free of charge, as well as material thats behind a paywall.
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So What Exactly Am I Trying To Say
I used to see classrooms on social media and think mine needed to look like that and that something was wrong with me because it didnt.
So, if you are like me and struggle with feeling inadequate, and feel like perhaps your classroom isnt pin worthy just know you are not alone!
Keep looking at beautifully designed classrooms and always let them inspire you, but never let them make you feel less than.
The truth is, the majority of us are fabulous teachers who want our students to succeed and always try our best in everything we do.
Nothing. Because it still IS pin-worthy, in its own way, and when your students are old they probably wont remember your matching labels, but they will remember how you made them feel when they remembered that c says /k/ and figured out how to read a word they thought they couldnt.
Teachers blessed with a design gene?You inspire me every day keep doing your pin-worthy pics and posts, and I will keep reading them and enjoying them. Maybe someday it will rub off.
Maybe The Soundtrack To Halloween Is Better
I dont have a desk but I have a standing teacher area in a back corner. This photo was taken after a day when someone handed me a box of donated books, my lunch was eaten in 3.5 seconds because there were too many things to do and a child got a dramatic play cookie jammed so far in a play water pitcher that I couldnt even dig it out with scissors .
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How To Keep Interactive Notebooks Organized
This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may make a commission. This is at no additional cost to you.
Some interactive notebook activities may contain many pieces. Here are some ways to help your students stay organized:
Request each student to bring an empty pouch at the beginning of the year. This is a great place to store pieces that have been cut out and havent been glued yet. I tried using ziplock bags for these pieces, but my students kept losing their bags.
Get a small garbage can for each table/group. I bought mine at the Dollar Tree and theyre great! The table captain gets them from the shelf whenever we start a cutting activity.
Fill their caddies with supplies. This way, students do not have to get up to get glue, scissors, crayons, etc.
Have students record the skills on a Table of Contents glued at the beginning of the notebook. Every time they are creating a page for a new skill, they will record the name of the page along with its page number.
How To Use Google Forms In The Classroom:
1. For assessment tracking.
2. For behavior tracking: Similar to how I use Google Forms for Assessment tracking, I also use it for behavior tracking. I often have behavior consultants come into my classroom for various students and every single time they ask for the behavior to be tracked using an ABC tracking chart . Its so easy for me have a form opened on my laptop, chromebook or bookmarked on my ipad. Then I just go through the drop down menus that I have set up for that particular student and I can add a comment if needed. The best part is that when you go to the responses section it shows the data in a graph so you can visually see how often a particular behavior is occurring. You can read more about it here and get a free google form template for behavior tracking.
3. Get to know you survey for back to school: At the beginning of the year I always have students fill out a get to know you survey at home with their parents. It asks about how they learn best, their strengths and areas they feel they need to improve on. I send the link via email to parents but you can also send the link on paper .
4. Reading Interest Surveys: I also do a reading interest survey at the beginning of the year but I get students to fill this out at school. I ask about how they see themselves as a reader, what genres they like, whether they read at home etc.
This is the short and sweet video:
This is the more in depth look at the resource:
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Following Other Pinners For Inspiration
When youve found a pin that you like by searching for keywords, chances are the person who pinned it might have a board you are interested in. Lets pull up this image again and explain what all those follow buttons do.
So in review, to find something interesting type in a keyword in the search bar. Scroll through the result until you find one you like. Click on it. If it is noteworthy, pin it. But dont stop there. Follow the trail underneath the image to find more pins and boards similar to what you were searching for.
Following other teachers
Give Your Brain A Break
Learning is hard work, and it is essential to give students a chance to breathe and give their brains a break. Using music for brain breaks helps stimulate different areas of the brain and improves students moods before they need to concentrate again. When the songs are over, their brains are ready to learn.
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How To Use Interactive Notebooks In The Classroom
If you are wondering how to use interactive notebooks in the classroom, youre in the right place: Interactive notebooks are a staple in my class! I use them across subject areas reading, grammar, math, and science. They are perfect for note-taking and direct practice. Plus, theyre an amazing reference tool generated completely by the student!
Use Pinterst For Group Projects
If youre working on a group project, you can use collaborative boards that enable multiple users to pin ideas and resources in one place. This can be useful during the brainstorming process, but also makes it easy to keep track of all relevant information, like videos, images, and articles within the group.
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Best Ways To Use Screencasting In The Classroom
Are you looking for ways to effectively use screencasting in the classroom? Whether youre new to using technology with your students or an old hat with this sort of thing, I know youll find this post valuable!
Im about to talk about seven different ways Ive implemented screencasting in my English language arts classroom to save time AND help students to be responsible for their own learning.
Student-led learning is the real deal. I first started using screencasts in my classroom four years ago when I came back from maternity leave to discover a classroom set of laptops just waiting for me to use.
From here, I quickly discovered Screencastify, a web-based platform that allowed students to record quick videos of themselves and/or what was on their screens.
I began my screencasting in the classroom journey with student-created presentations. It was basically a way to get through 25 presentations in one day. Students created a slideshow and recorded a video presentation. Then, students watched other students presentations, gave feedback, and reflected.
This was a simple 1:1 substitution. Live to pre-recorded presentation.
But soon I started wondering. Hmm, what if there could be more to screencasting? Could it be cool? Cool, of course, meant student engagement + enhanced learning as a result of technology use.