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Showing posts from January, 2018

These Kids are Magical

Last week in my Creative Writing class, I introduced the idea of writing parodies of songs.  My students immediately got excited. I showed them "Word Crimes" by Weird Al and another one about algebra set to Toto's "Africa".  That's all they needed.  Within seconds, they were humming, singing, and writing. I could have gone to the gym, and they wouldn't have known I was gone!  My students know me well enough to know that I want them to take risks.  If something doesn't "turn out" they way they had hoped, big deal.  There are many other opportunities to create a masterpiece. 

Students managed to write their songs within a block period and a half.  This included practice time, as well as typing and printing their lyrics.  Then, each group shared a link to the Karaoke version with me on a Google doc. That way it was ready to play when it was their turn to perform.

After the performances (I had tears in my eyes), I had students complete a Google …

Flexible Seating and Making Kids Feel Valued

When I was in middle school and high school, I remember staring up at the ceiling tiles and trying to count the number of holes in each one.  Desks faced forward in straight rows.  There were few, if any, posters on the walls.  It was a desolate, depressing atmosphere.  

I have always taken pride in my classroom and tried to make it inviting.  I have been known to paint a file cabinet turquoise and paint my door with chalkboard paint.  Students have told me that they love my "cheesy" posters.

This year I took my classroom to another level.  I have always wanted my room to feel cozy-like home!  The newest rage seems to be flexible seating, and I decided to implement this kind of arrangement in my classroom.  
Reading The Outsiders I began by asking students what they would like.  In fact, I created a Google Form asking them to rank their top five choices.  Google Forms provide results in a variety of ways. However, the pie graphs were very helpful in this case.  Then, I began wi…