Monday, December 31, 2012

Subplanner Tips for Teachers #2

Click here for a New Year's Word Puzzle and Word Puzzle Blank for you to personalize.

How many ways can you practice a new vocabulary word until it's learned?  Teachers know that every individual  student presents a different answer to that one!  Some kids respond to incentives, some kids like to play word games, some kids thrive on competition, and some kids don't thrive on competition!  Even though wordfinds are not great tools in and of themselves because they don't extend word meanings, they CAN provide practice with exposure to new words and spelling.   They also provide a filler for almost anytime of the classroom day, and they're so easy to make!

Use your table option in Word and choose how many rows and columns you will need.  Add your vocabulary list in any random order inside the boxes.  Fill in the other boxes, print, and ready to go!

Students in 3rd grade and up could take turns making  weekly wordfinds and then distributing to the rest of the class.  Could be a Friday afternoon review of vocabulary learned during the week!   Allowing the kids to help make classroom materials is always a motivator.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Subplanners Tips for Teachers #1


When in doubt, act it out! 

There are always times during the day when kids (of all ages!) just have to get up and move.  Keep a jar full of "quick acting" ideas in the front of the class.  These ideas could range from action verbs ("shovel the front walk"), actions/events from a story you're reading, famous people or events in history, school activities,....whatever  makes sense to your classroom and teaching.  Ask a volunteer to pick an idea (perhaps without looking) from the jar and take a few minutes to prepare the action.  1. Act it out  2. have kids guess the action  3. take a minute to discuss its connections to your teaching and learning  4. move on!  This quick break in the routine energizes everyone, including you.  You'll find even your shyest kids will want to try after the routine is established.