Tag Archives: classroom

We Have Much to be Thankful For…As We Celebrate Our Three Year Anniversary, We Take A Look At Some Of The People We Have Met, Who Also Strive To Make A Difference

As we celebrate our third year as a company, we have much to be thankful for.

Over the past three years, we have written a handful of academic eBooks that continue to sell…thank you to our readers ūüôā

We have been blessed to have met wonderful people and companies via Twitter and Facebook and this blog, that have an amazing impact on education like Ocean House Media, @Pragmaticmom , @MovingSmartNow, and Writers Digest to just name a few.

Fortunately, we have been asked to provide professional development numerous times throughout the school year these last three years and we have almost reached 35,000 views on this blog and our website receives thousands of hits per week…thank you!

More recently, we have struck¬†up some good dialogue with people in the publishing industry who are giving us good advice and recommending agents for us to seek out for our Unlock the Teacher series we have been collaborating on with Dr. Lick, M.D¬†and Dr. Letscher, Ph.D.¬† We are quite grateful for all the advice and recommendations…thank you!

As we prepare for this Thanksgiving holiday, we want to say we are THANKFUL to each and everyone one of you, who allow us to do what we love and encourage us to do more.

May your holiday be blessed!

Denise and the rest of the Unlock the Teacher LLC team

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100 Positive Comments to Utilize when Speaking on Students’ Behavior

100 Positive Student Comments to Utilize with Parents

http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/profdev/profdev148.shtml  (Jan. 23, 2012)

Recommended by Jen J., a third grade teacher in Michigan.

Attitude

The student:

  • is an enthusiastic learner who seems to enjoy¬†school
  • exhibits a positive outlook and attitude in the¬†classroom
  • appears well rested and ready for each day’s¬†activities
  • shows enthusiasm for classroom activities
  • shows initiative and looks for new ways to get involved
  • uses instincts to deal with matters independently¬†and in a positive way
  • strives to reach his (or her) full potential
  • is committed to doing his (or her) best
  • seeks new challenges
  • takes responsibility for his (or her) learning

Behavior

The student:

  • cooperates consistently with the teacher and other¬†students
  • transitions easily between classroom activities¬†without distraction
  • is courteous and shows good manners in the¬†classroom
  • follows classroom rules
  • conducts himself (or herself) with maturity
  • responds appropriately when corrected
  • remains focused on the activity at hand
  • resists the urge to be distracted by other students
  • is kind and helpful to everyone in the classroom
  • sets an example of excellence in behavior and¬†cooperation

Character

The student:

  • shows respect for teachers and peers
  • treats school property and the belongings of others¬†with care and respect
  • is honest and trustworthy in dealings with others
  • displays good citizenship by assisting other¬†students
  • joins in school community projects
  • is concerned about the feelings of peers
  • faithfully performs classroom tasks
  • can be depended on to do what he (or she) is asked¬†to do
  • seeks responsibilities and follows through
  • is thoughtful in interactions with others

Communication Skills

The student:

  • has a well-developed vocabulary
  • chooses words with care
  • expresses ideas clearly, both verbally and through writing
  • has a vibrant imagination and excels in creative¬†writing
  • has found his (or her) voice through poetry writing
  • uses vivid language in writing
  • writes clearly and with purpose
  • writes with depth and insight
  • can make a logical and persuasive argument
  • listens to the comments and ideas of others without¬†interrupting

Group Work

The student:

  • offers constructive suggestions to peers to enhance¬†their work
  • accepts the recommendations of peers and acts on them when appropriate
  • is sensitive to the thoughts and opinions of others¬†in the group
  • takes on various roles in the work group as needed¬†or assigned
  • welcomes leadership roles in groups
  • shows fairness in distributing group tasks
  • plans and carries out group activities carefully
  • works democratically with peers
  • encourages other members of the group
  • helps to keep the work group focused and on task

Interests and Talents

The student:

  • has a well-developed sense of humor
  • holds many varied interests
  • has a keen interest that has been shared with the¬†class
  • displays and talks about personal items from home¬†when they relate to topics of study
  • provides background knowledge about topics of¬†particular interest to him (or her)
  • has an impressive understanding and depth of¬†¬†knowledge about his (or her) interests
  • seeks additional information independently about¬†classroom topics that pique interest
  • reads extensively for enjoyment
  • frequently discusses concepts about which he (or¬†she) has read
  • is a gifted performer
  • is a talented artist
  • has a flair for dramatic reading and acting
  • enjoys sharing his (or her) musical talent with the class

Participation

The student:

  • listens attentively to the responses of others
  • follows directions
  • takes an active role in discussions
  • enhances group discussion through insightful¬†comments
  • shares personal experiences and opinions with peers
  • responds to what has been read or discussed in class and as homework
  • asks for clarification when needed
  • regularly volunteers to assist in classroom¬†activities
  • remains an active learner throughout the school day

Social Skills

The student:

  • makes friends quickly in the classroom
  • is well-liked by classmates
  • handles disagreements with peers appropriately
  • treats other students with fairness and¬†¬†understanding
  • is a valued member of the class
  • has compassion for peers and others
  • seems comfortable in new situations
  • enjoys conversation with friends during free¬†periods
  • chooses to spend free time with friends

Time Management

The student:

  • tackles classroom assignments, tasks, and group work¬†in an organized manner
  • uses class time wisely
  • arrives on time for school (and/or class) every day
  • is well-prepared for class each day
  • works at an appropriate pace, neither too quickly or¬†slowly
  • completes assignments in the time allotted
  • paces work on long-term assignments
  • sets achievable goals with respect to time
  • completes make-up work in a timely fashion

Work Habits

The student:

  • is a conscientious, hard-working student
  • works independently
  • is a self-motivated student
  • consistently completes homework assignments
  • puts his (or her) best effort into homework¬†assignments
  • exceeds expectations with the quality of his (or¬†her) work
  • readily grasps new concepts and ideas
  • generates neat and careful work
  • checks work thoroughly before submitting it
  • stays on task with little supervision
  • displays self-discipline
  • avoids careless errors through attention to detail
  • uses free minutes of class time constructively
  • creates impressive home projects

Positive words goes a long way in educating a child and building relationships.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Educational Websites to Utilize in the Classroom for Grades 4-12

At a recent principal’s meeting, the Web 2.0 presenter showcased some fabulous online resources that any 21st century educator could utilize to enhance classroom instruction.

www.qwiki.com

This site includes multimedia components and visual displays for presentations.  *Very user-friendly.

www.lessonstream.org

Present information to students integrating a multimedia format.

www.vocabahead.com

Identify real-life connections between words and their use.¬† *This is a great tool…words with videos!

www.khanacademy.org

This is a site where students can retell stories to demonstrate an understanding of concepts.

www.bitstrips.com

This is an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G site for teachers to utilize really grades 2 on up.¬† Students can create animated cartoon strips by utilizing a combination of drawing, dictating and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events. This site also has a homework component…great vocabulary builder and speaks to the visual learner.

www.60secondrecap.com

Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings or events in a story or drama. *neat site

www.visuwords.com

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

www.owl.emglish.purdue.edu

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

www.froguts.com

Great virtual dissects to utilize in class with students.

www.jeapardylabs.com

Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

www.storybird.com

Add drawings to displays and stories.

This is just a few of the many resources available online.  I will post some more here next week as Unlock the Teacher continues to find ways to share the good!

We would love to share some of your sites, so please email us or send them in via a comment. ūüôā

 

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Themed Lessons Online for F-R-E-E…When we Share the Good in Education, we ALL Benefit

Given all the many online resources available to both educators and parents alike, one can spend a whole week educating our youth on days like today…President’s Day and answering the who, what, where and why questions that arise.

The Teacher’s Guide is a fabulous resource site, that provides lesson plans, tips on integrating technology, White Board lessons and so much more.

Hot Chalk is another amazing online resource.  This site is broken down by Classroom, Community and Lesson Plans. One can even sign up for a free eNewsletter too.

A to Z Teacher Stuff is a neat site that has theme-based puzzles, lesson plans and great educational resources to utilize at home or in the classroom.

Education World is one of our favorite online resources.  This site offers lessons broken down by discipline and has a wealth of lessons to choose from.

Here are four of our favorite online resources.  We would love to hear from you, what sites you find valuable when planning your lessons at home and in the classroom.  When we share the good in education, we all benefit!

 

May we continue to see knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Educational Websites and Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE, Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities

Odyssey of the Mind and Team Building Lessons for the Classroom and Home

As the school year has just begun and we are busy in schools,¬†I thought I would share a couple of great sites that offer “team buildinglessons for¬†students.¬†¬†¬†We are excited to hear from and meet new teachers this year.¬† I think that these sites provide¬† great problem-solving¬†scenarios for students to work through and can enhance any lesson in any discipline and be modified for any age to meet the needs of all students.¬† Enjoy and have a super school year full of many new discoveries!

Odyssey of the Mind

http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/

Computer Science Unplugged

http://csunplugged.org/

Computer Science Unplugged  is a great site to utilize in the classroom because it offers creative scenarios to solve or work through without utilizing a computer.  This site has various activities for both teachers and parents to utilize with students to enhance team building and higher-order thinking.

Would love to know your thoughts, ideas or lessons found successful in enhancing these skills. Together we can make a difference!

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Teachers are Planters of Seeds…What Kind of Seeds are you Planting?

What seeds are you planting for our future?

As I sit and review my notes for Unlock the Teacher‘s first professional development session for the 2011/2012 school year, I reflect and wonder, what
words can I provide that might inspire and instill hope for all the amazing teachable moments that will happen in the life of the teachers with whom I will
be speaking to tomorrow. Teaching is SO much more than a job, I honestly believe it is a calling; an urge that a person feels to make a difference, and
is played out in the classroom.

We often think about all the teachable moments that happen throughout the school year for our students, our future. However, I also think
of the amazing teachable moments that occur for the individual teacher. I hope that at this time of year, the teacher is reflecting and writing a curriculum
map for the school year that will be used as a master plan.

The teacher, who starts the school year, is often different from the one who finishes it. Hopefully, this is the case, as a true reflective
practitioner will evolve throughout the year as his/her students will…keeping in mind no two students are alike, no school year should ever mirror another for
a teacher.

In regards to a teacher’s master curriculum plan, this is just a tool that is utilized to create lessons full of discovery for each quarter,
with one scaffolding on the next to ensure that students are maximizing their potential. However, this is just a plan, as all good teachers know, true
“teachable moments” sometimes just happen and must be capitalized on in the moment.

I have chosen the theme of ‚ÄúTeachers are Planters of Seeds‚ÄĚ for tomorrow.¬† I have had the pleasure of working with this staff on curriculum alignment and I am honored to be asked back into their building on their first day back to school before their eager students arrive next week.

I think as teachers, we have the awesome power to create new worlds in our students’ minds, take them to places they might not ever get an opportunity to experience, tell them and show them how to achieve the impossible dream OR we can crush the human spirit with one angry glance or snide comment.
Actually, anyone who plays the role in the life of a child has this same awesome power and it would serve us all well to remember it.  Think about what kind of world we hope to have in the future and remember that it all begins with how we treat our children today, what opportunities we provide, what words of encouragement or destruction did we choose to utilize at the moment of chaos in the classroom, that hectic classroom greeting after driving through rush hour?

 

Children Learn What They Live

By Dorothy Law Nolte

 

If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.

If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.

If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.

If children live with acceptance,
They learn to love.

If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.

If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.

If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.

If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live!

 

What kind of seeds are you getting ready to plant this school year?

May we all continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

 

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Recommended Dolch Phonetic System for Emerging Readers

Example of Teacher-Generated Sound Chart to Help Emerging Readers with Phonics

Dolch Phonetic System Classroom Materials Organization

  1. Use a plastic file cube to store materials.  One hanging folder for each Dolch list will hold all of the game and practice materials. Add a 2nd hanging files for each Dolch list to hold flashcard sheets to give to a student when he/she moves to a new Dolch list.  The student takes this list home for practice. Keep your record binder in the cube too.
  2. It might be helpful to print the materials for each list in a particular color.  This makes it easy to get stray flashcards and other materials back into the correct folder.
  3.  laminate or use clear contact paper on the flashcards.  Laminate or contact the whole sheet before cutting. This helps, because the students love to review with them and they can go home once completed for additional review.
  4. Game boards, bingo cards etc. can be laminated or placed in plastic sleeves. Three hole punched plastic sleeves are very cheap at Costco.  They are actually a much cheaper and a faster way to protect the game boards. (I hole punch the cards to and put on ring sometimes for the students.)
  5. Give each student a practice booklet to keep.¬† The student brings the booklet to testing sessions.¬† The teacher can write helpful hints in the booklet for the student and “stamp, star or sticker” completed lists.

 

Record Keeping:Maintain a pocketed binder for student and class records.Store testing lists and or testing flashcards in the pocket of the binder.Maintain  individual records, a class graph, and a status of the class.

Test each student every week or two.¬† They will “bug” you to test them. As a teacher, you will begin to see their confidence rise.¬† In a regular classroom setting, teachers can grab a couple of minutes here and there for testing: during SSR, during an art project, while at the computer lab or library etc.¬† Regular testing does not have to be
built into the schedule.

I prefer to do my own testing, so I can observe errors and help the student by giving little individual mini-lessons.¬† If you use an aide or volunteer to test, make sure you demonstrate to them how you want your testing done.¬† You are seeking automatically with the words.¬† If the student takes more than a count to 5 to read the word, he/she doesn’t know the word well enough.

Dolch List 1


the to and hea I you it ofin was said his thatshe for on they but had

List 2


at him with up all looks her there some out as be have go weak then little down

List 3


do

can

could

when

did

what

so

see

not

were

get

them

like

one

this

my

would

me

will

yes

List 4


big

went

are

come

if

now

long

no

came

ask

very

an

over

your

it

stride

into

just

blue

red

List 5


from

good

any

about

around

want

don’t

how

know

right

put

too

got

take

where

every

pretty

jump

green

four

List 6


away

old

by

their

here

saw

call

after

well

think

let

help

make

going

sleep

ran

brown

yellow

five

six

List 7


walk

two

or

before

eat

again

play

who

been

may

stop

off

never

seven

eight

cold

today

fly

myself

round

List 8


tell

much

keep

give

work

first

try

new

must

start

black

white

ten

does

bring

goes

write

always

drink

once

List 9


soon

made

run

gave

open

has

find

only

us

three

our

better

hold

buy

funny

warm

ate

full

those

done

List 10


use

fast

say

light

pick

hurt

pull

cut

kind

both

sit

which

fall

carry

small

under

read

why

own

found

List 11


wash

show

hot

because

far

live

draw

clean

grow

best

upon

these

sing

together

please

thank

wish

many

shall

laugh

The blends are: bl cl, fl, gl, pl, br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr, sk, sl, sp, st, sw, spr, cr, str

The vowels are: a, e, i, o, u,

 

Objective:

The students will read word cards with accuracy.

Materials:

‚ÄĘ Word cards with words that contain familiar spelling patterns (or blends, rimes, digraphs, etc.)

Lesson:

Tell the students that they will be reading cards with familiar word patterns. Then,

1. Ask a student to read the first word card. Give the student no more than three seconds to answer.

2. If the student reads the card correctly, place it face down on the table. If the student cannot read
the card, tell him or her what the word is, emphasizing the pattern, and place the unread or misread card in front of the student.

3. Show the following word card to the next student, repeating step 2. Repeat until all word cards have been read or given to students.

4. Have the students who have cards in front of them attempt to read those words again. If they are able to read the card quickly and easily, take it back.

5. If a student misreads any words again, have the student keep the card and ask him or her to practice reading it.

Adaptations:

To check for comprehension, ask students to use each word in a complete sentence.

Instead of using word patterns, use cards with sight words written on them, and have the students use the words in sentences.

This is a great activity for parents to use with their emerging readers at home too.  There are many weeks left to summer, Happy Reading!

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise ūüôā

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“Google Science Fair” Super Idea to Ignite the Imagination of our Youth

It is that time of year that reminds us just how cool science is.¬† I researched some great sites on various science projects ideas and global science project contests.¬† Most of the sites listed have teacher/parent resources and blogs for dialogue about science…how cool is that?¬† If your child or student has created a wonderful science fair project, Jennifer and I would love to post it and share.
 
Knowledge is meant to be shared and collaboration will become a necessity if we are going to raise our level of education for all and compete with a stronger foot hold in global arenas.
 
Check out article on Science Fair Projects @
http://www.suite101.com/content/science-fair-projects-and-competitions-to-ignite-the-imagination-a331534
To submit pics and explanations of your child/student science projects, please email us at unlocktheteacher@gmail.com
We look forward to hearing from you and may your Wednesday be backwards today!
Denise ūüėČ
*Shout out to “birddroppings” for subscribing to our blog…thanks and we look forward to the collaboration!

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