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Five Week Summer Syllabus for Social Studies

Week of July 15

Create a graphic organizer on Africa and cite or describe the following:

Website Resources

Week of July 22

Create a graphic organizer on Australia and cite or describe the following:

  • Three major religions, population, three major trades, type of government, natural resource(s)

Website Resources

Week of July 29

Create a graphic organizer on Europe and cite or describe the following:

  • Name the countries that make up Europe, identify and describe three major religions, population, three major trades, type(s) of government, natural resource(s)

Website Resources

Week of August 5

Create a graphic organizer on Asia and cite or describe the following:

  • Name the countries that make up Asia, identify and describe three major religions, population, three major trades, type(s) of government, natural resource(s)

Website Resources

Week of August 12

Create your own world map that displays the location of Africa, Australia, Europe and Asia.

  • Include the countries that make up Africa, Europe and Asia
  • Map must be hand-made and not computer generated

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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Common Core State Standards Math Overview-Easier to Read and Utilize as a Teaching Resource

As Unlock the Teacher works with a few schools this year in aligning their building curriculum to the Common Core State Standards Model (CCSS) for ELA and Math, we are having some great discussions about these curriculum documents.

I have not been shy with stating that I am a fan of the CCSS documents. As a curriculum writer and having earned my BS and MA in Curriculum and Instruction, I find that these documents take out all the fluff and redundancies that can be seen in some state standards.  During my years as a classroom teacher, I utilized the state standards as a tool, a guide to create my overall curriculum maps. I would have loved to have the CCSS documents as a resource when creating my curriculum shell, filled in with the many creative best practices learned over the years from many great educators I was fortunate enough to collaborate with.  Given that, I am now happy to go into schools and get teachers excited about mapping out their teaching ideas and best practices while looking at and interweaving the CCSS into their overall teaching vision.

The math portion of the CCSS, is well laid out and easy for educators and educational trainers to understand, manipulate and interpret.  The mathematical practices offered/suggested per grade level is a helpful guide.  This portion would also be a good guide to distribute on Parent/Teacher Night or post on school’s website for parents to be able to see and feel buy-in as a stakeholder in the life of their child.

The Grade Overviews are Simple and to the Point

Grade K

  • Counting and Cardinality
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Measurements and Data
  • Geometry

Grade 1

  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Measurements and Data
  • Geometry

Grade 2

  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Measurements and Data
  • Geometry

Grade 3

  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Numbers and Operations-FRACTIONS
  • Measurements and Data
  • Geometry

Grade 4

  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Numbers and Operations-Fractions
  • Measurements and Data
  • Geometry

Grade 5

  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Numbers and Operations-Fractions
  • Measurements and Data
  • Geometry

Grade 6 (Notice the Change in Concepts)

  • Ratios and Proportional Relationships
  • The Number System
  • Expressions and Equations
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability

Grade 7

  • Ratios and Proportional Relationships
  • The Number System
  • Expressions and Equations
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability

Grade 8

  • Ratios and Proportional Relationships
  • The Number System
  • Expressions and Equations
  • Functions
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability

Mathematics Standards for High School Grades 9-12

This segment is broken down not per grade but by standards:

  • Number and Quantity
  • Algebra
  • Functions
  • Modeling
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability

These are just the overview concepts advised, with the CCSS documents providing a more in-depth breakdown for the educator to interpret and utilize as a tool. Notice that K-5 have the same concepts titles with a few additional concepts given based on development. (e.g. Grade K-counting and grade 3-fractions etc.) The document is written as such to allow a scaffolding process to occur within the curriculum. This is to ensure learner success across the grades. (REMINDER: This is a tool…as an educator, you are the subject matter expert of the students in your class.)

Grades 6-8, and 9-12 have their own set of concepts following the same scaffolding thought process as K-5. regardless if you teach math or not, it is a good document to familiarize yourself with, so if questions are asked (and they will be) you can speak with some authority that you have read them.

A Short CCSS Story

I was asked to assist at a Curriculum Night Open House for one of the schools we have been assisting with their curriculum alignment.  Unlock the Teacher created documents demonstrating all the curriculum alignment the staff had been working on and how the educators were reading and interweaving the CCSS into the building’s curriculum. One parent, a very learned individual within the field of mathematics, was at first very skeptical about the CCSS Initiative.

However, once I began to ask him questions about why, and had he read the document and seen the scaffolding effects and just how great that can be for the learning process? He had to admit that his opinion was solely based on what he was reading in the media; he did not read the document for himself.  The principal had anticipated this, and Unlock the Teacher  created a “Nuts & Bolts” version of the CCSS documents for parents. This wonderful parent, truly invested into his child’s learning experience, paused and began to read. He took the information home for further review and was thankful for the explanation on the CCSS Initiative in such a positive light.

I believe in education as in all aspects of life, communication is key.  It is our responsibility as educators to ensure our parents and community are given opportunities to ask questions and to seek answers in a positive environment. Isn’t this is the expectation we also have for our classrooms?

If you or your school has questions about aligning your building’s curriculum to the Common Core State Standards, please feel free to ask and we will try to help. We are happy to come in and work with your educators to ensure that they do not have to feel overwhelmed by adding one more thing to their already hectic schedule, so they can do what they do best…TEACH!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

denise@unlocktheteacherllc.com or teachme@unlocktheteacher.com

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Filed under Achievement Gap Blogs, Common Core State Standards "Nuts & Bolts", Curriculum Resources, Math

Unlock the Teacher LLC Student Workshops for 2011-2012 School Year

Hello Everyone,

We want to thank you for a wonderful school year.  We have enjoyed each school we have traveled to and worked with, and every class has been amazing!  To all the administrators who invited us in, thank you.  Due to your positive response(s), kind words and sharing with us what you would like to see for next year, we have created the following student workshops for the 2011-2012 school year.  We travel all around the United States and we are in dialogue with a few countries too 🙂 for future proposals.

We are provide our workshops to schools, youth groups, summer camps, church groups and within the community.  Given our focus as a company, we love to work side-by-side with charities for schools and/or communities, donating portions of proceeds to selected charities.

I am thrilled to share that we have two workshops already booked for the end of September, by two schools we have worked with on curriculum alignment this school year.

Unlock the Teacher LLC Student Workshops

All of these workshops ultimately benefit our children, our future. We are happy to come into schools, summer camps or church groups to teach. References will be provided upon request.

Teen ePublishing Workshop

Christopher Paolini, author of the popular “Eragon” series, published his first eBook at the age of 14. Could you be the next teen author? Get inspired during this ePublishing workshop for teens. Learn how to turn your original works into an academic portfolio and build your future through writing and ePublishing.  This workshop provides examples of successful teen authors, sites for teens to submit writing and poems for online contests and a basic overview of ePublishing. Note: This workshop is very popular with teens and we have received many favorable responses from educators, teens and parents.

Session Length:         90 Minutes

Price:                          $600.00 per 200 Students

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

 

 

 

 

 “ePublishing and Writing” Workshop for Grades 1-12

This workshop is a two-session workshop.

Session I:        This workshop is a fun and creative way to get students of all ages excited about writing.  We come into the classroom to go through the writing process with class.  Within this workshop, students brainstorm ideas, create an outline and write story.  Once this process is complete, students are assigned aspects of their story to illustrate on paper.

Session II:       Then teacher(s) and Unlock the Teacher LLC work together to assemble the work and prepare to ePublish.  This workshop is ideal for educators looking to find creative revenue resources for field trips, adding technology to the classroom etc. As educators, we create and write on a daily basis. Our team will come in and work with educators in your district and/or building to create ideas for eBooks that will be popular within the community and education. We will demonstrate how to utilize teaching experience and current teaching practices as ePublishing tools and ePublish with Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com.  Please see website for examples of this process. (e.g. “Katie’s Farm Adventures” eBook Series)

Session I Length:       2 Hours

Session II Length:     3-4 Hours

Price:                          $1200.00 per 30 Student Class Size

Note: Once session I and II are complete, eBooks can be published online for direct profit to classroom or school.

All of these workshops ultimately benefit our children, our future, and theirs. We are happy to come into schools, or work with summer camps, home schooling and church youth groups. References will be provided upon request.

We have worked with many school groups this years, conducting student workshops while raising money for charity.  Please visit our website for further details. Packages are availabe and are discounted.

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Companies Come Together to Make A Difference…A Great Example for Us All

"Locks for Love" at Changez Salon, Superstar Stylist Jason Rice

www.suite101.com

In Metro Detroit, a few companies and organizations have figured out how to come together to support one another to be the difference for many.

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Filed under Sharing the Good

We Have Added Many Great Educational Resources and Games…Check it Out!

From Flannagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice awesome site for tweens, teens and educators, to Christopher Paolini‘s Eragon site with games galore, we have tried to add some great educational resources for all to enjoy.

We have tried to add more educational resources to help our home school parents that write-in and ask us for resources.  We will continue to research and add.  Our goal is to have a great library of resources for everyone to utilize come summer.

Have a wonderful time exploring these fabulous sites.

P.S. The Ranger’s Apprentice site has a contest going on  now!

May we continue to see knowledge in all things,

Denise

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

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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Filed under Best Practices from Awesome Educators

Thank You for All the Support of Literacy Campaign in March

 

 

Stay Tuned~Unlock the Teacher LLC is Launching Three New Books in April

As March is coming to an end, the Unlock the Teacher LLC team wanted to make sure that everyone knows just how grateful we are for all the support of our eBooks being sold online at Barnes and Noble

  
Phonics Friends has been the hottest seller, with All Around Our Town and Katie’s Farm Adventures catching up quickly.  This is wonderful because ALL proceeds generated from the last two books, goes towards two schools and their efforts to promote literacy.
 
We are working on our calendar of events for next school year now.  If you or your school would like to have us come in and provide one of the many workshops we offer, please let us know so we can pencil you in. 🙂
 
Please check out our website for additional information: www.unlocktheteacher.com
 
We love hearing from you and sharing your ideas too.  We are creating a massive resource section on our website for educational and non-profit grants.  We will be launching this information in April.  If you or your school has a great Best Practice to share or is in need of information, we would love to hear from you.  It is through the sharing of knowledge and positive collaboration, that we will create a better tomorrow for our children, our future!
 
May we seek knowledge in all things,
Denise 🙂

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Filed under March 2011 Promoting Literacy Campaign, Promoting Literacy