Throw Away the Summer Reading Packet! Fun Summer Activities Kids will Love

Summer is a time for exploration, adventure, fun and freedom. However, "playtime" is learning time for elementary and secondary students. Whether you are a teacher, summer camp counselor or caregiver, what your kids play will determine what they learn. As a teacher, I was always against lengthy summer assignment packets that kept kids sitting indoors. … Continue reading Throw Away the Summer Reading Packet! Fun Summer Activities Kids will Love

Compare contrast activities with music lyrics

Want endless, free compare contrast essay activities using rap and song lyrics? Instead of boring nonfiction passages, compare and contrast theme and main idea in a rap and the original song lyrics that inspired it! Print the rap and song lyrics below and play the music aloud as students write comparative essays to compare and … Continue reading Compare contrast activities with music lyrics

IDENTIFY CLAIMS & EVIDENCE IN LYRICS

Do your students need more practice identifying claims and evidence?Instead of boring nonfiction passages, identify claims and text evidence in music lyrics! Even though identifying claims and evidence is a reading informational text skill, you can introduce, practice and assess student’s ability to identify argument, claims and relevant text evidence using any poem, song, rap … Continue reading IDENTIFY CLAIMS & EVIDENCE IN LYRICS

Identifying Claims and Evidence

Is identifying claims and evidence a challenge for your elementary, middle or high school students? My students loved using short videos and picture books instead of boring nonfiction passages to identify claims and evidence! You can introduce, practice and assess student's ability to identify argument, claims and relevant text evidence using any political speech, advertisement, … Continue reading Identifying Claims and Evidence

Elaboration Practice

Do your students need repeated, guided elaboration practice for writing, reading response and literary analysis? I found it impossible to teach my students to elaborate on their argument, to support their argument with evidence and to explictly illustrate how their evidence supported their argument. They never connected the dots between their text evidence and claim. … Continue reading Elaboration Practice

Teach Figurative Language and Connotative Language using film clips

Watch Maya Angelou’s “STILL I RISE” poem, and other spoken word poetry performances and ask students to: “Identify, interpret and analyze the poem's figurative language and theme.” Want more fun practice ideas? Instead of boring task cards or worksheets, use a read aloud video of "Where the Wild Things Are" or film clips from "The Little Prince" to teach … Continue reading Teach Figurative Language and Connotative Language using film clips

Teach direct and indirect characterization with inspirational videos for students

Why not teach common core standards for English Language Arts using Pixar short films, Ted Talks, popular film clips for students and other inspirational video clips for students? For example, have students practice CCSS.RL.1: Instuct students to watch the Inside Out Video Clip. Ask students to "Describe how the author used indirect and direct characterization to … Continue reading Teach direct and indirect characterization with inspirational videos for students

Reduce Teacher Stress and Anxiety

Want a cure for the Sunday Scaries? Meditate on inspirational and motivational quotes that will ease the anxiety produced when you worry about student misbehavior, or administrator judgments about your teaching ability. Meditate on inspirational quotes every morning to increase calm, confidence, joy and gratitude. What better way to bring this practice into your classroom than to … Continue reading Reduce Teacher Stress and Anxiety