Sunday, July 31, 2016

LANGUAGE ARTS - "BINGO with Vowel Digraph & Diphthong Words"

by Reading on Strawberry Lane 

Grades 1-3

This fun game of BINGO gives students practice differentiating between vowel digraphs and vowel diphthong syllables. A vowel digraph is a syllable that has two vowels glued together whose sound will say one of the vowel sounds. A vowel diphthong is two vowels glued together or one vowel glued to the left of the letter -w whose sound will be unique to the combination of the two letters. After playing a few times, the students will catch on to these two different syllable types and will begin to quickly identify them and their sounds. There are two different bingo cards for the students, and there are 96 word cards--48 vowel digraph words and 48 vowel diphthong words.

Am I a Drill and Kill Teacher? Are you?

The makers of Prevnar 13 are asking:
What if one push-up could prevent heart disease?
What if one stalk of broccoli could protect you from cancer?

My adopted textbook company seems to be asking:
What if one long division problem could instill mastery?
What if one practice with the correct use of an apostrophe could instill mastery?

The answer to all the above questions is the same, "AWESOME!" But we all know that each of the scenarios is ridiculous, so what do we do?
The American Heart Association recommends that we get 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 times a week.
And, according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we should consume between 5 and 13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
But what about repetition in the classroom?

Our students  are in desperate need of repetition.  Repetition of spelling, capitalization, and punctuation rules, repetition of math facts and processes, scientific methods, and names and dates of historical events.  But, forcing our students to 'memorize' conjures up horribly negative memories for us all.  When I hear the phrase, 'Drill and Kill,' an image comes to mind of students struggling through pages and pages of math problems, students assigned to write spelling words until their little hands ache, and my own sixth grade memories of late night homework sessions making sure that my ruler lines were straight while diagramming enough sentences to rewrite Gone With the  Wind!

As educators, we are required to differentiate our instruction to meet the needs of all different learning styles in our classrooms.  We have students who will learn a new skill with minimal instruction and very few independent practices.  Our state and district adopted textbooks seem to cater to these particular learners.  Great!  A couple of guided instruction problems, a couple of independent practice problems, and a new skill is mastered.  Begin learning extensions!
But for the majority of my students, 4-5 repetitions of a new objective is a very long way from mastery.  Those problems are merely an introduction.  So, when my textbook leaps directly into extensions or inverted uses of the newly taught skill, and application level problem solving, my low to average ability students are definitely being 'left behind.'  Therefore, while the vigor is available to my gifted students, what has been left out is the number of repetitions needed for the rest of my students to successfully master their new skill.

So as a classroom teacher our quandary is this:  How do we get our students the repetition they need without the 'drill and kill' that squelches their desire to practice and learn?

Bruce Lee said,  "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."

Just like the karate star, we would never hear a football coach after seeing one perfect pass from his quarterback to a wide receiver say, "Great!  We're ready for the big game!" Instead he would undoubtedly shout, "Great!  Do it again!  And again!  And again!  And again!  And his players, whether they are pee-wee or professionals, would gladly practice their play until the quarterback's arm is too sore to throw another pass and the receiver is too tired to run down the field just one more time.
But if teaching long division and the correct use of apostrophes was approached in the same manner, students would refuse, parents would complain, administrators would question our techniques, and our jobs might be at stake.  Then how are we going to get our students enough repetition to master the academic objectives needed to advance to the next grade level?

This is where I believe that TeachersPayTeachers has the most powerful influence on our student population.  Teachers across the globe have developed an overwhelming abundance of teaching materials that allow students to see, use, practice, and play with their new objectives until they are successfully mastered in such a way that students don't even know how many long division problems they 'had' to complete!

This young girl thinks she is playing a game, while in fact she is reviewing what she's 
learned about numerators, denominators, parts of a whole, and parts of a group!

These teacher created materials are available to anyone and everyone at the click of a mouse.  Users search for their desired topic and thousands of entries appear.  Whether an educator is looking for a set of lesson plans, a worksheet or cut and paste activity for more repetitive practice, a project to further explore the topic, or a game to instill cooperative learning and application of a new skill, he/she will find it all and much more!

Remember:  Albert Einstein said, "Play is the highest form of Research."
So, let's let our students play!!

Area & Perimeter Bingo was the first powerpoint game that I created.  My students loved it and begged to play again!  But, they weren't just playing a game.  When I looked around at their desktops, I was amazed at the number of computations each one had completed in my 30 minute review session!  They had added sides of polygons to find perimeter, multiplied to find area, and divided and subtracted to find the lengths of missing sides - all while playing their favorite game!  It didn't take me too long to figure out that my students were actually looking forward to their test reviews when I made them into game format.  Hence, many other Bingo review games have followed!  

So whether we are all using materials found on TeachersPayTeachers, or creating our own, or finding them elsewhere, let's get our students all the repetitions they need to successfully master their assigned objectives.  And because learning should be fun - let's allow them to enjoy the process!

Teaching Tolerance During this Election Season

 By Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern

I don’t know about you, but this was the first political convention I’ve followed with interest and a great degree of concern.  We need to embrace our diversity, to look for the good in each other, and notice the positive things we see happening every day.  I was appalled by what I saw occur during the Republican convention. It was shocking to witness such divisiveness, hate, pessimism and fear mongering. Everything was dark and ominous.  Our country wasn’t built on that. It was built on faith, optimism, a genuine caring for each other and working together for the greater good. That is the American way!  We teach our children to be compassionate, to respect each other no matter their race, or religion, and to find something positive in everything and everyone. How can we expect them to believe us when they see a bully running for president, an individual who has no respect for women, disabled people, minority groups, immigrants, even experienced judges, let alone heroic veterans and those in the military who have dedicated their lives to serving our country and protecting our freedom.

What if this irresponsible, inexperienced, bigoted person, whose only accomplishment is enriching himself while cheating and taking advantage of others less powerful, were to become leader of the free world? Will he stop and erode all the hard fought progress made by honest, hard working champions for our way of life?

So how do you respond when a young person asks, “Why is this bully running for president, I’m afraid of him,” or “Why doesn’t he like Mexicans, is he going to send us back to Mexico? We have to let our kids know that just because he has succeeded at something, doesn’t mean he’s someone to follow or vote for.  That freedom of speech is part of our constitution and the law of the land allowing anyone to exercise it freely. Sadly, has taken advantage of this.

Let your kids know that anger is a normal emotion, sometimes we all feel this way. The main goal is to allow one  to express his/her feelings and not to keep them bottled up inside.  We need to let them know that sometimes people say hurtful things when they are frightened, unhappy, immature, and jealous of those who have been successful in their lives. Bullies often feel threatened by the accomplishments of others so they lash out.

1. Parents and/or teachers should ask questions and listen to what the kids have to say.
  Here are some tips.
· Ask what they think about the presidential nominees
· Who are the candidates?
· What kind of people are the candidates?
· What are some of the things they’ve been talking about?
· Who would you vote for and why?

2. Express how you feel and give clear reasons why. This will help children learn coping skills when they feel unhappy, angry and fearful. These actions will aid them in understanding that they have choices, are connected and empowered.
· This is an opportunity to hold a discussion about differences of opinion, how to debate respectfully, and how to fight for a cause. Create various scenarios that they can role play.
· Use historical events to help make sense out of what is happening today. Spend classroom time talking about current events on a daily basis. Do not try to sway their opinion with your own.
· Parents should also join in with a statement of how they feel about the election.
· They could do the following with their children, view anti-racial speeches. attend a rally, write a letter to the candidate, take their child to vote with them.
3.  Last, but not least, allow the children to speak freely about anything that is
    on their mind. Be honest and sincere when answering their questions.

The way influential adults act and talk about women, immigrants and each other is important. It is the basis for how our kids view the government, society and relationships. If this negativity continues, it will change our world for the worse and we don’t want to go to a place that we will never be able to return from. As adults, it is our responsibility to say what is on our mind, to let our voices be heard by voting, and to be role models for our charges.

I have strong feelings this election season, and I hope that I haven't offended anyone with this post.  Thanks for reading....

Back to School Activities

Please visit Socrates Lantern’s Social Media Sites


Remember to enter TBOTEMC’s Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $100 gift
 certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers. Please remember to enter my name Deann Marin and my Tpt store Socrates Lantern on the referral section of the registration form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is part of our August Teacher Talk, so head on over to the other posts to see the tips/ideas from all of our educators.

August Teacher Talk

Posted by Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern

It's August Teacher Talk Time.....Hopefully many of you are still enjoying your summer
vacation. Some of you are back to school already, while others are getting your classrooms ready for an exciting new school year. We have so many great tips and ideas for you from awesome educators. Be sure to take a look at what everyone has to say.

If you're interested in joining this unique group of teacher entrepreneurs, blogging buddies and/or our blog linky, sign up here....The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative. If you decide to join, be sure to mention one of our names.


Teaching Tolerance During this Election Season
By Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern
I don’t know about you, but this was the first political convention I’ve followed with interest and a great degree of concern. We need to embrace our diversity, to look for the good in each other, and notice the positive things we see happening every day.


Some tips for bringing respect back to your classroom.


Setting Up Your Classroom With Style
This time of year I love to find new ideas to make my classroom functional, yet cute. The way I figure it, I spend more awake hours in my classroom than any other room in my house. So, why not make it visually appealing! Here are some ideas that are functional, yet adorable at the same time.

5 Teacher Must-haves for Back to School: Working on a Budget
My top five must haves for the classroom teacher!

Back-to-School Ice Breaker
Do you hate ice breakers? Me too. That's why I created something a little different for grade 4 - 8 to enjoy!

Using Productive Struggle to Promote a Growth Mindset
By Shametria Routt of The Routty Math Teacher
“Using Productive Struggle to Promote a Growth Mindset” is the second part of my Summer PD with The Routty Math Teacher blog series. In this four-part series, I define productive struggle, advocate for its purpose and usefulness in the classroom, illustrate how it is reflected in a teacher's instructional decisions, offer a list of expectations for both students and teachers during productive struggle, provide an opportunity to see productive struggle in action via a Teaching Channel video, and connect productive struggle with growth mindsets. 

By Gini Musmanno of Reading Spotlight
Are you tired of the same old question/answer format for reading comprehension? Try these different techniques to asses and improve student understanding of text.

 It's Back to School Time! Have fun with the Marshmallow Tower Project!
By Mary Moore of Moore Resources
I will be implementing a project the first week of school, "The Marshmallow Tower Project", shared with me at a Teaching Summit in June. Materials needed are: A box of....


Using Handwriting Without Tears to Teach Printing
By Thia Triggs of Print Path
Most every Occupational Therapist that I have ever met loves the Handwriting Without Tears© [HWT] program to teach handwriting. But not every OT, and many teachers and school districts do not use this program. Why not? I would like to discuss what I have observed about advantages and disadvantages of using HWT. 

Tips For Teaching The Presidential Election
By Michelle Webb of Teaching Ideas For Those Who Love Teaching 
Tips for teachers to use while teaching about the Presidential Election.

What Happens When a Classroom Theme Drives Instruction?
By Tracy Willis of Wild Child Designs
When teachers talk about themes, they're usually talking about classroom decor. But could they be missing out on some real instructional power? Let your themes drive your instruction for the entire school year!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Be sure to enter TBOTEMC’s Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $100 gift
 certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers. Please remember to enter one of our names and Tpt store on the referral section of the registration form.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Be sure to visit these blogs from other teachers in our cooperative