Tag Archives: Middle school

Great pictures and good utilization of adjectives…hint for all of you middle school and high school ELA teachers…very compelling blog and make all of us on the Unlock the Teacher team want to visit the Blue Lagoon!

Have Baggage, Will Travel

You can’t visit Iceland without checking out the Blue Lagoon. Oh, I’ve heard all the arguments against it: It’s a tourist trap. It’s a manmade attraction. It’s expensive. All these claims are at least somewhat true—but that doesn’t detract from the fact that the Blue Lagoon is still pretty freaking awesome.

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Educational Online Resources Recommended byTeachers

Summer Resource Guide

Provided by the St. Regis School and Academy Faculty


 Critical Thinking and all Core Subjects

www.iknowthat.com  Critical thinking and activities in all core subjects

funbrain.com   all sorts of educational fun

www.nick.com/  Nickelodeon/kid games

http://www.learninggamesforkids

http://students.discoveryeducation.com/ Digital media content aligned to state standards and common

Brain Builder Links

Grade 3 http://www.puzzles.com/projects/LogicProblemsArchive.html Logic Puzzles to Play Online or Print Out! http://www.neok12.com/ Educational Videos, Lessons, and Games: Covering all Subject Areas: Grades K-12 http://www.kidskonnect.com/ Kids Konnect: A Safe Internet Gateway for Kids http://www.sikids.com/ Sports Illustrated for Kids http://www.funbrain.com/kidscenter.html Cool Games for Kids: Searchable by Grade K-8 http://www.playkidsgames.com/ Games covering a Wide Variety of Subject Areas

Improve Study Skills

http://www.how-to-study.com/study-skills/en/index.asp  Includes links to numerous articles about study skills

http://www.infoplease.com/homework/studyskills1.html

Includes helpful tips for effective note taking, test prep, writing essays, reading comprehension, and more

http://www.ucc.vt.edu/stdysk/stdyhlp.html  Provides self-help information for improving one’s study skills

Grammar

Grades 6-8

www.eduplace.com/kids/hme/6_8/grammar/ www.sheppardsoftware.com/web_games_vocab.htm www.ask.com/English+Grammar+Games www.funenglishgames.com/grammargames.html www.english-online.org.uk/games/gamezone2.htm – 21k www.harcourtschool.com/menus/preview/harcourt_language/grammar_park.ht

Language Arts

Grade 1 http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities.html

Grade 3 www.abcya.com  Grade level lessons in math and language arts. starfall.com   a phonics practice website http://www.k12reader.com/why-read-20-minutes-a-day/  Read 20 minutes a day (at least)

Grades 6-8

www.sadlier-oxford.com For previews of the vocabulary units we use “Vocabulary Workshop – Level C” www.literacyworks.org/learningresources For activities in reading comprehension, vocabulary, and sequencing using real news stories, www.learn4good.com/kids/index.htmlanguage arts skill practice, be sure to click on the first tab –“Languages” http://languagearts.ppst.com power point presentations and practice games on grammar and literary terms.

Math

Grade 1

http://www.mathplayground.com/

Grade 3

www.fun4thebrain.com  Math practice for grades k – 8.

www.gamequarium.com  Practice more than 1,000 different math topics in grades

www.abcya.com  Grade level lessons in math and language arts.

Grade 4

www.mathcafe.com  Basic math practice and worksheets www.softschools.com  Worksheets and practice of basic math facts www.math.umass.edu/diehl/mysteries.html  Math mysteries www.brainquest.com  Brain teasers www.onlinemathlearning.com  Math learning http://edheads.org/  Logic puzzles www.aplusmath.com/games/index.html  Math games K – 9

Grade 5

https://www.xtramath.org/  assess and track student’s basic math skills by grade level

www.ixl.com  assess and track student’s basic math skills by grade level

http://www.mathplayground.com/  fun math games, puzzles, and videos

http://www.helpingwithmath.com  math skills and worksheets based on Common Core Standards for Mathematics

http://www.mathsisfun.com  math skill explanations, dictionary, worksheets, and puzzles

Grade 1-8

http://www.math-play.com/

http://www.aplusmath.com/

http://www.oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/Mathmagician/CATHYMATH.html

http://illuminations.nctm.org/ActivityDetail.aspx?ID=12

http://www.aaamath.com/fra.html

http://www.visualfractions.com/

Religion

Grade 7

http://www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer.htm   For a daily 3 minute retreat http://www.catholicdoors.com/prayers/   3433 Catholic Prayers for all needs http://www.usccb.org/   daily mass readings and many other resources from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

Science

Grade 1 http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities.html

Grade 3

EARTH SCIENCE

http://www.scholastic.com/kids/weather/  Interactive Weather Maker

http://www.quia.com/custom/29main.html  Earth’s Physical Features Games

http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/earthguide/diagrams/watercycle/  Water Cycle Animation

http://www.epa.gov/safewater/kids/flash/flash_watercycle.html  EPA: Water Cycle Interactive Learning Experience

http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/watertreatmentplant/flash/index.html  EPA: Tour a Drinking Water Treatment Plant

LIFE SCIENCE

http://kidshealth.org/kid/htbw/htbw_main_page.html  Kid’s Health: How the Body Works Videos and More!

PHYSICAL SCIENCE

http://www.edheads.org/activities/simple-machines/   Ed Heads: Simple Machine Interactive Learning Experience

http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/states_of_matter/ States of Matter Activity

SPACE / TECHNOLOGY SCIENCE

http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/Weblessons/AsTheEarthTurns/default.htm

As the Earth Turns: Causes of Day and Night: Interactive Learning Experience

http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/ess05.sci.ess.eiu.seasonsgame/

Earth in Motion: Causes of Seasons: Interactive Learning Experience

http://esminfo.prenhall.com/science/geoanimations/animations/01_EarthSun_E2.html

Earth’s Revolution Around the Sun and Seasons Interactive Animation

http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/index.html NASA Kids’ Club

http://moon.nightskyobserver.com/  Night Sky Observer: Moon Page

http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/moon_phases/  Moon Phases Interactive Learning Experience

http://www.astrocentral.co.uk/starting.html  Star Hopping Guide with Animations: Finding Constellations

http://www.kidsastronomy.com/solar_system.htm  Kid Astronomy: Facts about Planets, Moons, and other Objects in Space

http://stardate.org/  Current News and Information on Viewing the Night Sky

Grade 4

www.sciencekids.com/gamesactivities.html  Science activities for Elementary levels

Grade 5

http://www.education.com/activity/fifth-grade/science/   hands-on activities that explore 5th grade science topics – plus other subjects as well http://www.chem4kids.com/   basic chemistry information and activities http://www.kidsgeo.com/   geology topics and games and other science topics Star Walk app for iPad – awesome interactive, astronomy guide

http://www.brainpop.com  animated educational site – all subjects also – subscription required

http://science.discovery.com/interactives/literacy/newton/media/newtonfinal415.swf  fun presentation on Newton’s laws of motion

Grade 7

http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/ http://scienceclub.org/scifair.html http://www.sciencebob.com/sciencefair/ideas.php http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities.html

Grade 8

http://www.learner.org/interactives/parkphysics/carousel.html Amusement Park Physics

http://zonalandeducation.com/contents/contents.html Zona Land Education

http://www.neok12.com/ Educational Videos, lessons, and games

http://illuminations.nctm.org/LessonDetail.aspx?id=L639 Make your own cool Tetrahedral Kite

http://www.khanacademy.org/ Khan Academy is your friend!

Social Studies

Grade 1 www.Kids.nationalgeographic.com/ Kid’s games, animals, pictures, stories

www.bensguide.gpo.gov/ U. S.  Government web sites for kids

http://bensguide.gpo.gov/  US government websites for kids

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/  Kids games, animals, pictures, and stories

Grade 3

http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/michigan/  Information on Michigan’s Native American Tribes

http://www.historyglobe.com/jamestown/  Jamestown Interactive Online Adventure

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/games/interactiveadventures/john-smith/

National Geographic for Kids: On the Trail of Captain John Smith Online Adventure

http://www.americancivilwar.com/civil.html  Information on the Civil War

http://www.civilwar.com/component/option,com_battlemap/  Interactive Civil War Battle Map

http://www.coolmath-games.com/lemonade/  Economics: Lemonade Stand Game

http://www.coolmath-games.com/0-coffee-shop/index.html  Economics: Coffee Shop Game

Grade 5

http://www.educationalrap.com  core subject area topics presented in rap songs – Redcoats vs. Rebels is great!

http://www.kids.gov/k_5/k_5_social.shtml

view the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights; excellent resource for 5th grade S.S. topics

Grade 6

http://games.pppst.com/socialstudies.html

http://www.softschools.com/social_studies/

Grade 8

Colonial Williamsburg

http://www.history.org/almanack/tourTheTown/index.cfm http://www.history.org/history/fife&drum/about.cfm http://www.history.org/history/fife&drum/redregimentals.cfm http://www.history.org/Almanack/life/index.cfm http://www.history.org/Almanack/places/index.cfm

Revolutionary War

http://www.ushistory.org/march/phila/background.htm

http://school.discoveryeducation.com/lessonplans/programs/therevolutionarywar/q.html

http://library.thinkquest.org/10966/index.html

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel03.html

War of 1812

http://miwar1812.weebly.com/games–activities.html

http://www.asailorslifeforme.org/

http://www.aacps.org/aacps/boe/INSTR/CURR/comed/es/webquest/1812/indexjh.html

http://www.usd281.com/warof1812/index.html

http://www.ehow.com/info_8033481_civil-war-camps-kids.html

http://www.ehow.com/video_4874464_civil-war-costumes.html

Civil War

http://www.ehow.com/way_5261035_civil-war-activities-middle-school.html

http://www.shermansmarch.org/index.html

http://www.neok12.com/quiz/CIVWAR04

http://www.kidskonnect.com/subject-index/16-history/264-civil-war.html

Spanish

Grades JK-5

http://www.homeeducationresources.com/FREEspanish.htm

This website has many basic topic worksheets.  Great for all students.  Parents can help younger students with worksheets.

http://www.quia.com/shared/spanish/

This website is a search engine for games made by teachers around the country. One can search for any topics covered in Spanish. Great for all students. Parents would need to help their younger children navigate the site.

http://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish/spanish_for_children  Games on many topics http://sracaldwell.wikis.birmingham.k12.mi.us/file/view/The-10-Best-Spanish-Websites-for-Kids-12.pdf

This is a pdf file that has active links to many other sites broken down by level.

http://www.kidsspeakspanish.org/esp_Songs.shtml  This website has fun songs that students can sing along with.  Great for JK – 3rd grade.

http://www.spanishtown.ca/spanishforkids/spanishforkids.htm  Great for 1st – 4th grade students.  Covers basic concepts. http://www.abcteach.com/directory/languages/spanish/  Great for 1st – 5th grade students. Parents may need to help younger students navigate site. Many different topics covered by worksheets

http://www.studyspanish.com/

This website has a plethora of topics. One can choose Pronunciation, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Verb drills. Pronunciation would be great for middle school students.  Grammar would be great for 4th – 8th grade students.  Vocabulary would be great for 4th -8th grade students to review and expand their word knowledge. Verb drills would be great for 4th -8th grade students to review and expand their verb knowledge. http://www.spanish.bz/learn-spanish.htm

The topics are found at the bottom of the page. There are many topics. Great for middle school students and grades 4 and 5. They are presented in a lesson format: instruction – worksheet – quiz.

Grades 6-8

www.classzone.com (click on our Avancemos book) www.spanishspanish.com

http://www.uni.edu/becker/Spanish3.html http://www.digitaldialects.com/Spanish.htm http://www.literacycenter.net/lessonview_es.php# http://www.quia.com/shared/spanish/

From the Media Center

Local Libraries Bloomfield Township Public Library hosts summer reading programs for all age levels. Print titles are available through the children and youth departments and eBooks are available through their web portal.

Bloomfield Township Public Library: http://www.btpl.org/

Getting Started with eBooks: http://www.btpl.org/node/5312

Baldwin Public Library hosts summer reading programs for all age levels. Print titles are available through their children and youth departments and eBooks and eAudio books can be accessed online.

Baldwin Public Library: http://www.baldwinlib.org/

Baldwin Virtual Services:  http://www.baldwinlib.org/eBooks/

Religious Books and Media Christian books are available through this site and are grouped according to age.

For kids: http://www.christianbook.com/kids

For tweens: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/cms_sp?sp=102367

Caldecott Medal and Honor Books Awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecotthonors/caldecottmedal

Newberry Medal and Honor Books Awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberyhonors/newberymedal

Reading/Writing Websites for Kids Great Websites for Kids is sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children and provides engaging links to a variety of subjects for all grade levels: http://gws.ala.org/

Book Adventure from Sylvan Learning: http://www.bookadventure.com/Home.aspx

Interactive Writing Games: http://www.funenglishgames.com/writinggames.html

Educational Apps

Reading and literacy come in a variety of platforms, and educational apps are on the rise. Parental discretion is advised when choosing an appropriate educational app for your child. Here are a few links to get you started.

Best Kids Apps (select age):http://www.bestkidsapps.com/category/ages-5-8/

Scholastic Apps: http://www.scholastic.com/apps/

Apple in Education: http://www.apple.com/education/apps/

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

Please note, we would love to share your favorite educational app or website. Just send us an email or leave on our “comments” here and we will be happy to share it with our readers.  When we all share the good in education, we all win!

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Wonderful 8th Grade Literature Scrapbooks through the Eyes of the Characters

Utilizing Character Journals/Scrapbooks in the Classroom
Sue Martin, a middle school language arts/literature teacher has allowed us to utilize these great pieces of student’s work.  Students were given a rubric to create a scrapbook/journal in the eyes of one of the characters in the book they were reading.  As the pictures demonstrate, this is a unique and fun assignment for student and teacher and can be modified for various age groups.

"The Lying Game""The Lying Game" scrapbook on the inside"Wait till Helen Comes""Wait til Helen Comes" scrapbook on the inside

"Wait til Helen Comes" Character Scrapbook"Harry Potter" Character Journal

 

"Wicked" Character Journal

 

"Wicked" Character Scrapbook on the inside

 
I find these pictures creative and I have no doubt that the students had a great time identifying with the characters in the books they read as they created these wonderful assignments.
 
If you would like to share your Best Practices, we would love to read them and share them with our readers.  Please email documents to denise@unlocktheteacherllc.com
 
May we seek knowledge in all things,
Denise
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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6th Grade Teacher Makes Science Fun with Cell Process Cartoons

Who said science wasn’t fun?
While in a school today (St. Mary School Royal Oak, Michigan), I stopped to look at these fabulous displays of creativity.  Not only was this hallway display colorful and creative, it was educational and funny!
 
 A simple, yet effective and creative way to teach the process of a cell.Students after reviewing lesson with their teacher Mrs. Lapenta, they were given the rubric for a “Cell Process Cycle Cartoon”.  Students had to incorporate the vocabulary given and create a cartoon strip displaying the process reviewed in class. Thinking “Outside of the Box” can take learning to new and exciting places for you and your students.
 
We would love to share your classroom Best Practices with our readers. Please email me at denise@unlocktheteacherllc.com a brief synopsis of lesson and a jpg or two.  It is in this collaborative process, that we all grow as educators…as parents…as a society!  Good ideas are meant to be shared.  We try to share them as often as we can!
 

"Outside of the Box" teaching is good for all stakeholders in the learning process!

 

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,
Denise
 
Join our Conversation:
Twitter~ unlockteacher
 

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Wire Sculpture Activity for Classroom and Home~Grades 4-12~Teachers Sharing Best Practices

Wire Flower for Wire Sculpture Activity

Activity/Lesson: Wire Sculpture Activity

Submitted by: Linda Irwin~ Middle School Social Studies Teacher

School:                St. Mary School, Royal Oak, Michigan

To get to know my students and to do a quick assessment of writing, I utilize this lesson on the first day of Religion class. (Note: This lesson could be utilized for any class.)

  1. I give each student a piece of floral wire. (NOTE: Wire ends can be sharp, so be careful.)
  2. I ask students to think about their lives.
  3. Using wire, students create a design that represents them and their lives.  (e.g. a musical note~if your musical, a tornado~if you feel at times your life is spinning too fast, a flower~if you feel you are growing and changing etc.)
  4. I remind students that there are no wrong designs, that we are all unique.
  5. Once students have created designs, they write/type a five-seven sentence summary, describing why this given design represents them.

I have found this lesson and the student-created designs insightful and have learned a lot about each student through this process.  This is a great lesson that builds self-awareness and trust.

                                                                                     ~Linda Irwin

Flower with Stem...

Wire Cat

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wire Sun

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wire Lightening Bolt

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wire Polar Bear

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We want to thank Linda for sharing this great lesson that speaks to the multiple intelligences and allows students to be creative in writing their thoughts.
 
We love to share the good in education, so please send us any lessons you would like to share to teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com or denise@unlocktheteacherllc.com
 
Have a wonderful week!
 
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,
Denise
 
 

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Anti-Bullying Workshops for Grades 1-12: “Words Hurt”, “Pick-up vs. Put-Down”, “You Can Make a Difference” and “Getting the Big Picture”

Anti-Bullying Workshops provided by Unlock the Teacher LLC

Anti-Bullying Workshops
These workshops ultimately benefit our children, our future and theirs.
We come into schools, summer camps, homeschooling groups,
youth groups and church groups to teach and inspire.

References and Background Check
Information
can be provided upon request.
Please visit our website for testimonials and more information.

Anti-Bullying “Words Hurt” Workshop Session I (Grades K-3)
This workshop is centered on identifying and discovering that  we all have gifts and talents. As a group, we discuss positive and negative words, and how when used, they can make us feel inside.  As a group, students create a “Pick-Up-Don’t Put Down” chart. (e.g.  I am strong because I am kind.”)
Session Length:         45-60 Minutes
Price:                          $400.00 per 200 Students

Anti-Bullying “You Can Make a Difference” Workshop Session II (Grades 4-6)
This is a great workshop for character building. Studies show this is the age to target to catch and dissolve bullying behavior.  Dialogue
centers on identifying appropriate and inappropriate behavior associated with bullying.  Presentation covers how to communicate when involved in or witnessing this behavior. Problem solving tips are given to help with future anti-bullying success. Students create as a group the “Don’t Be a Bully Three B’s Please” chart. (e.g. 1. Don’t be a bully “B”ecause…it makes you feel bad inside!) If time permits, students are encouraged to participate in impromptu skits and role-play scenarios. (Students usually love this portion.)
Session Length:          60-90 Minutes
Price:                          $500.00 per 200 students
Anti-Bullying “Words, Action, Character” Workshop Session III (Grades 7 & 8)
This workshop begins with a review of “You Can Make a Difference” workshop, spending the first 15-20 minutes discussing how we all can
contribute and help each other for the greater good.  In this workshop, examples are given via video clips of 11-13 year olds who have been victims of bullying, its effects and strategies used to overcome it.  Students work together as a group to create a slogan for their school environment’s
“Words, Action, Character”.  Students will identify words that empower the slogan created and words that destroy its meaning.
Session Length:          60-90 Minutes
Price:                          $500.00 per 200 students
Anti-Bullying “Getting the Big Picture” Workshop Session IV (Grades 9-12)
This workshop is designed to educate students on the legal ramifications involved with the improper use of social media tools.
i.e. Twitter, Facebook, AIM, IM, Blogs, MySpace, etc.  Examples are provided to identify improper use and the results and consequences of such action.
Leadership is highlighted in this session along with character attributes.  An overview is given along with examples of how the actions of today are judged by future colleges and employers.  (Given size of school, this session can be divided into two groups: grades 9 & 10 and 11 & 12)
Session Length:          60-90 Minutes
Price:                         $500.00 per 200 students
We work in all schools and are happy to help work out funding or help find a funding source for you.
For additional information, please visit our website at www.unlocktheteacher.com or email us at teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com
When we all come together for the greater good of our children, our future…there is nothing we cannot conquer!
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,
Denise

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F-R-E-E Educational Webinars for Teachers and Parents

Given our economy, professional development has been slim for many educators. There is a plethora of free webinars online. Have fun learning!

Life is busy and for those of us who do not have time to attend a class for learning or pleasure, webinars can be just the tool needed to achieve our goal. Given technology, webinars can be the next best thing for teachers too.

PBS Teachers Live Should be in Every Teacher’s Toolbox

PBS Teachers Live offers a wealth of webinars in many areas across the disciplines. For example, if a teacher were interested in educating students about Earth Day in April (hopefully), then PBS Teachers Live would be
a valuable tool. Teachers sign up for free and log on to various webinars, full of ideas, lesson plans and across the curriculum connections, to name a few.

Webinars, an Awesome Resource for Educators

After doing some research, here are a few webinar sites across the Internet that is recommended by those within the world of education:

Education Week (one of my personal favorites) offers many enlightening webinars. Check out “E-educators’ Evolving Skills”…talk about relevant!

American Statistical Association offers various webinars…currently hosting a K-12 “Meeting within a Meeting” for Science and Math Teachers

Exploring Middle School MiddleWeb is a blog powered by Typepad. They are a promoter of 21st Century Learning and offer live and archived webinars. Check out the latest webinar: The National Middle School Association is teaming up with the NSF-funded Middle School Portal to offer “Free math and Science Webinars”…the goal was to not only make the training affordable but user friendly; teachers could watch from home.

Webinars and Educational Professional Development

The life of a teacher is very demanding and organization is necessary. This is also true for those entrusted to lead and provide professional development for their educational staff. Given this amazing age of technology, regardless of budget, there is no reason that professional development is not occurring within schools.

All of the webinars posted here in this article, can be utilized to strengthen and enrich any school faculty. Time can be manipulated and educators can watch at their own pace or educators can be assembled and view webinar as a whole and collaborate in groups afterwards. This type of professional development is only going to increase not decrease as we progress further into the world of technology. There are many curriculum developers/professional development trainers, who utilize programs like these mentioned to create meaningful professional development for educators around the world.

Given our economy, we are going to need to be more creative with our training. Training cannot stop due to funding. Teachers still need to be prepared to teach the 21-Century student, we just need to be creative. MSN as created a fabulous tool for any organization looking to create “living” documents. For educators, this tool can be multi-faceted and utilized with students or within a building for aligning curriculum. This is just two of unlimited possibilities with OneNote. Check out the free OneNote Webinar below for further details.

OneNote and Education:
This MSDN blog was created to have a dialog about OneNote and education, including sharing ideas, resources, and building community with teachers, students and faculty.

Parents are the first teachers. All of these webinars mentioned are open to anyone interested in learning and changing the life of a child. This will be one of many articles written on the topic of professional development within the world of education. There is a plethora of free programs out there for all of us to learn and use, to meet the needs of our children,
our future.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

 

Please visit our website for our wonderful workshops for students and teachers. Our Anti-Bullying Workshops for students 1-12 is quickly gaining steam. We will gladly provide recommendations from parents, teachers and principals.

Unlock the Teacher

www.unlocktheteacher.com

Denise@unlocktheteacherllc.com

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A Fabulous Middle School Teacher Utilizing “Out of the Box” Techniques to Teach Peace

A Fabulous Middle School Teacher Steps “Out of the Box” to Teach Peace

 Unlock the Teacher Team travels into many schools and I always enjoy going into St. Mary’s School in Royal Oak.  The atmosphere is inviting and the teachers are friendly.  We wanted to tell you about a fabulous teacher utilizing “out of the box” techniques to teach peace. Linda Irwin teaches middle school literature and even if that knowledge wasn’t known, one could tell just by walking into her cozy room! 

 
While visiting this past week, I coud not help noticing this awesome bulletin board as I walked down the hall in front of this classroom.  I walked in and asked Mrs. Irwin all about it.  The students are reading, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.
 
Students are working together by individually designing a quilt square that will be added to a “Quilt of Peace” created by the entire class.  I was fortunate to have witnessed one child designing one of these squares, it was beautifully done.  When asked, the students were so excited to share insights from book and the great discussions they were having in class.
 
As a certified ELA teacher, whenever I hear students excited about reading, my heart soars!  Great job Mrs. Irwin for passing on you passion and utilizing relevant and current books to engage your students.  Unlock the Teacher LLC salutes you! 🙂
 
 
 
 
If you ever wonder if middle school and high school students are paying attention to business, politics and world affairs, we are in various schools and take every opportunity to ask students about their thoughts…they are very aware of the world around them… AND they have an opinion.
 
We will be utilizing the month of April to shower you with Best Practices we find as we wrap up this school year.  If you know a fabulous teacher and want to tell us about it, we will share it and celebrate with you.  We are blessed to have such dedicated educators in this country. Please join us in celebrating their efforts!
 
May we seek knowledge in all things,
 
Denise 🙂 and the entire Unlock the Teacher Team
 
Email your pics and favorite teacher bios to teachme@unlocktheteacher.com
 

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Reading/Literacy Grant Sources Part II…Our Recommendation=Have a Grant Writing Party Once a Month

  1. A.     Target

Early Childhood Reading Grants

Reading is essential to a child’s learning process. That’s why Target awards grants to schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations to support programs such as after-school reading events and weekend book clubs. Together we’re fostering a love of reading and encouraging children, preschool through third grade, to read together with their families.

Early childhood reading grants are $2,000. Grant applications are typically accepted between March 1 and April 30 each year, with grant notifications delivered in September.  Submit application online: www.target.com/grants    

  1. B.     AASL Collaborative School Library Media Award

This award recognizes and hopes to encourage collaboration and partnerships between school library media specialists and teachers in meeting educational goals outlined in Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning through joint planning of a program, unit, or event in support of the curriculum and using media center resources. www.ala.org

  1. C.    AASL Innovative Reading Grant

Established in 2006, the $2,500 AASL Innovative Reading Grant supports the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for children which motivates and encourages reading, especially with struggling readers. www.ala.org

  1. D.    Adopt-A-Classroom Grants

Teachers who register at the Adopt-a-Classroom web site can be adopted by an individual, a business, or a foundation. Once adopted, teachers will receive $500 worth of credit to purchase items that enrich the learning environment, including classroom technology. Teachers help solicit their own sponsors by downloading and distributing fliers within their community or by sending out a personalized, pre-written email from the Adopt-a-Classroom web site. Every donor receives information about the classroom it has adopted, including an itemized list of what teachers bought so donors can see the impact of their donation. (This sounds SO cool!) www.adoptaclassroom.org

  1. E.     Braitmayer Foundation Grants

The Braitmayer Foundation supports programs that enhance the education of K-12 students through curricular and school reform initiatives, professional development for teachers, and local community efforts. Its grants, which range in size up to $35,000, are to be used as seed money, challenge grants, or to match other grants to the recipient organization. www.braitmayerfoundation.org

  1. F.     Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards

To honor innovative individuals who have made major contributions to transform K-12 learning in and out of the classroom, the cable industry\’s education foundation has launched the Cable\’s Leaders in Learning Awards. The competition is open to any individual working in U.S. communities who can demonstrate innovative practices or policies that have had an impact on K-12 education. Twelve winners will be selected in four categories. The nomination period opens Oct. 1. 2011  www.leadersinlearningawards.org (This organization is on break for 2010, but their site is a good resource to pick from when writing other grants.)

  1. G.    Computers for Learning

Through its Computers for Learning program, the federal government has placed hundreds of thousands of surplus computers in schools across the country on a needs-first basis. Schools register and request equipment on the Computers for Learning web site, and federal agencies match their surplus equipment to schools with those needs. Most, but not all, of the available computers are Windows-based PCs rather than computers made by Apple. Most of the donated machines are older models, but as the government continues to upgrade its computer systems, the number of surplus Pentium computers will sharply increase. www.computersforlearning.gov

Thank you for all you do in the life of a child!

Unlock the Teacher LLC

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Great New Information to Utilize in Classroom from PBS for Educators

In social studies, check out the video on the Grand Canyon. Classified under resources for grades K-2 & 3-5. Learn that natural forces carved out the Grand Canyon over thousands of years. Observe the magnificence of the canyon with Wilson and Ditch as they gaze at it from the skywalk. Teachers can share video or save for a later time.

Middle School Social Studies Teachers…check out the State of the Union Lesson Plans @ http://www.pbs.org/teachers/stateoftheunion/ Educators can also video stream the “State of the Union” video as well.

Note: Whenever this site references educators/teachers, we mean you! We are all teachers and regardless if you have children or not, we are all responsible for our future, which is our children…it is a cyclical process!

If you have a great educational tip, please share. The goal is to spread the knowledge and prosper, not hold the knowledge so that others might fail.

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise 🙂

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