Monday, April 30, 2012

Teacher Gifts From Around the Globe

Have you all seen this quote?  It’s floating around pinterest, and it’s so very true.  As teachers we know this to be true, so often teachers achieve through their hard work, their effort, and their determination - feats that seem impossible. 
This is true of teachers everywhere around the world.  There are many teachers that I am personally grateful for at the end of this school year – including the ones who have brought my personal children from speaking no French or Arabic to speaking and reading in both, in just a year’s time.  I am also grateful to all of the teachers that I have been able to collaborate with this year via blogs, facebook, pinetrest, twitter and other social media outlets.  You have all given me so many amazing ideas and perspectives to change and impact the way that I teach.
In recognition of all of these amazing teachers, I wanted to do something to say thank you for Teacher Appreciation Week.  So, I asked the Global Teacher Authors if they would be willing to Global Teacher Gift Cardcontribute to a Global Gift Giveaway.  Ten of our amazing authors have agreed, and so today I get to announce that every day from May 1st – May 11th, you will be able to come back here to Global Teacher Connect and get a FREE teacher resources, that you will be able to download directly from Google Docs.  It’s our small way of saying Thank You!  to all the teachers around the globe who are making miracles happen for their students.
Be sure to come back tomorrow to grab your first freebie – but for now, tell us about a teacher you are grateful for this year.
Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources    Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources
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Growing Trend - Are Parents Unable to Parent?

Over the past few years, I’ve been noticing a growing trend.  Let me know if you’ve been seeing this too.  The trend I’m seeing is the inability for parents to parent their child.  Now, I know that not every parent falls into this category, but it is now becoming a rarity that a parent will actually give a consequence and stick to it.

Too many parents are making excuses for their children.  I see this when I give a consequence in class for poor behavior.  Many times, but not always, I receive emails, notes, or phone calls explaining away the behavior.  Well then, of course the child keeps exhibiting the poor behavior because the parents are allowing it.  
What happened to holding children accountable to their actions?  What’s going to happen when these kids enter high school, or get a job?  If parents don’t stop shielding their children from accountability, children will never learn how to be responsible adults.

I would love to see this kind of scenario in my class.  Instead of a parent sending an email that reads, “I’m so sorry that Johnny was talking out loud in class.  He’s such an outspoken boy and just gets very excited.”   Rather I would love to see this kind of note, “I apologize for my child’s poor behavior.  We have spoken to him about this and he received a punishment at home.  We hope this kind of behavior does not continue.”

Is anyone else noticing this?
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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Teaching About Other Countries

One of the benefits of living in a country that is not my home country Egypt Research Bookis the ability to teach my children about other countries and other cultures.  I try to carry this over into the classroom by using my country books.  (You can grab all of the country books I have created for FREE in the exclusive page offered in my Raki’s Rad Resources Newsletter.)  In each country book, students list basic facts about the country they are learning about.  I make each book exclusive to the country they are learning about – in order to keep their interest and give them clues to the answers they are looking for. 

Morocco Informational GlogAs an added step, I am starting to make glogs that my students can use to help them find the answers.  Here is the glog I created for my Morocco book.  I am now working on one for my Egypt book.


If you would like to grab a “generic” country book – you can click on Country Research Bookthe picture and grab one FREE from Google Docs.  If you would like the more specific books – sign up for my Raki’s Rad Resources Newsletter and you can grab plenty more from the Exclusive Freebie Page – and I’m developing more all the time, as I have plans to do one country book a month with my students next year!


Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources    Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Allow me to Introduce Myself - Teacher Nyla...

Nyla's Crafty Teaching

Hi there, it's Nyla here from Nyla's Crafty Teaching. I teach at the primary school level in Trinidad and Tobago. "Gosh! Where's that?" you may ask. It's a twin island country in the Caribbean right above the coast of Venezuela. This little picture below is my country and our National Flag.

I made a brief introduction video. It's all about my blogging and teaching experience so far... I hope you like it!

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

What Standards Are You Teaching?

Who’s writing this blog? Lots of people – each from a different place and with a different story.

Who’s reading this blog? Lots of people from all around the world.

So, each week, there will be a Getting to Know You question posted so that we can all come together as a Global Community and get to know each other better.

Do you have a question about us you would like answered? Feel free to email you question to us at heidiraki @ gmail . com.


Common Core, AERO, Quality Core Curriculum, there are so many sets of standards out there, which do you use?

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Research Groups

I like to have my students complete cooperative learning activities.  One activity the students LOVE is when I break them into research groups. Click here to read how students work in the groups, what project they completed, and how can use these in your classroom!

The Resourceful Teacher Blog
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Feelin' A Little Antsy

Here’s a fun bulletin board I leave up all year ‘round.  It’s titled “Feelin’ a Little Antsy.”  Then underneath I have some cute ants holding up a poster that lists activities the students can complete if they’ve finished their work early. 

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fresh Start Giveaway

It’s that time of the school year where we all start looking toward the Raki's Rad Resources - Quality Teaching Resources for Quality Teachersfuture, to next school year and getting ready for a Fresh Start.  This weekend, I am starting a Fresh Start of my own.  Raki’s Rad Resources is moving over to a new logo and a new blog – .  In order to celebrate my fresh start, I’d like to set you up with a Fresh Start Package.  I’m going to be giving away these four Fresh Start Packages, each valued at over $35 worth of Quality Teaching Resources, at the new blog, and there’s a Fresh Start Freebie for all!  One way to enter is by following Global Teacher Connect, so you may have an entry already set up for you!  Stop by and sign up!

Fresh Start Giveaway    Fresh Start Giveaway

Fresh Start Giveaway    Fresh Start Giveaway

                          Fresh Start Giveaway

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Our best Field Trip ever

I just read last post about a field trip and wanted to share mine.
This was our best field trip ever.
In Spain we always loop with our students 1st-2nd grade and I love it. So when 2nd graders end their year we try doing something special. Last year we spend a night sleeping with sharks.
We have an Ocean Zoo next to our town and we had this opportunity to spend a night 'under the see'.
We had the most amazing tour through the zoo visiting the animals at night when it was closed. And then we went to sleep under the sea.
I know that those students will never forget that experience, and I won't either.
Taking into account that our school year is coming to and end, are you planning something special?

Lita from Learning in Spain
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Taking a Field Trip in French

I have a confession to make.  I have not taken my kids on one field Amazon River Web Camera - Virtual Field Triptrip all year.  Almost daily, my students ask to go on field trips, but we have not gone.  It’s not that there weren’t any available to me, or that the students couldn’t have paid for the trips – it’s simply that I chickened out!  This has been my first year here in Morocco, and in addition to learning the school system, I have been learning French and Arabic.  I am sure that I could’ve figured out how to get my students to a bank for a field trip during our study of banks, but could I have explained to the bank tellers what I wanted the kids to know?  Could I have understood the explanation the bank tellers would have given us?  Ummmmm……probably not.

Next year, I hope to be able to brave the system, but this year I chose to “bring the field trips to us” instead, using virtual experiences.  Here are some of the virtual experiences we used in lieu of field trips:

For our animal unit:  National Zoo Web Cam

For our bank unit:  Coinland

For our neighborhood unit: Community Helper WebQuest


Have you ever used virtual field trips?  How do they help you in your classroom?  What actual field trips have you taken this year?

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources    Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Math Tools or Manipulatives

Do you use math tools or manipulatives in your math instruction?  I recently did a post about using the Rekenrek, a tool founded by a researcher in Holland.  My students love it.  I have several other tools that students can access at any time, but this one is their favorite.  I also have number lines, hundred boards, snapping cubes and other counters.  We use these a lot, especially as I teach first grade (ages 6-7).  Do you use tools to support your math instruction?

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(A late) Earth Day special

 I spent the morning after "Earth Day" at the public library, having helped organised a storytelling session with the Basadours (a local advocacy group for reading). We expected 30 children.... more than 50 of various ages (from 5 to 11) came. Hey, no one's complaining here. The more, the merrier (and noiser!).lol

We started off with a motivating activity to get the children into the session. Since we had a projector up, we played a trivia game of Amazing Earth Facts. The original version, which is in a Jeopardy game format, can be found here.  My edited version is shorter (and just plain Q & A). I added pictures and facts about the correct answer. It can be found here.

We went on to tell the story of "The Lorax". It is such a gorgeous book and I think it should be part of every teachers personal library, especially those who are advocates for the environment and  want their students to be environmentally-conscious as well. I have to say though, that the older children responded better to the book than the young ones. I had a few one my 5 and 6 year olds wiggle and jiggle through the story!

The highlight of the morning, though, was when we made our pledges to the environment. We divided the children in to small groups and had different volunteers lead the groups. We talked about the story first and then gave each child a leaf. On the leaf, they had to write or draw a promise to the environment- something the would do to "speak for the trees". After they finished, we called them to the big group once again and showed them the tree I had cut out of a box the night before. This tree looked dead and bare without its leaves, but as the children came up and made their pledges to take care of the environment by sticking the leaves on the branches, the tree grew and came to life once again.

We ended the morning by giving children certificates of appreciation which you can find here. The certificate has the groups' logo on it, but you can use photo editing tools to make it your own.

Here are some pictures of what we got up to:

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Guest Blogger Contest

I am going to start a monthly blogging contest on my own personal site.  Here’s how it will work.  On my website I have a section set up for writers who wish to become guest bloggers on The Resourceful Teacher.
Each blog will be published pending approval.  Each month I will choose a “Guest Blogger of the Month” whose photo or button will be featured on my main page.  It’s not too late to get your submissions in before I choose the “Guest Blogger of the Month” for May.
Click here to submit your blog.
Also, if you have not joined The Resourceful Teacher community, click here!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

School Supply List

As with most schools – my school is preparing for next year, which includes making school supply lists for incoming parents.  Here’s what’s on the list for my first graders to bring next year:

- Pencil Case

- Pencils

- Erasers

- Colored Pencils

- Pencil Sharpener

- Scissors

- Glue Sticks

- Markers

- Chemise de Papier

- Binded Folder of Paper Protectors

- Tissues

- Copy Paper

- Canson Paper (color and white)


Many of these school supplies are different from what I was used to paper chemisereceiving in the United States.  For example the chemise de papier was very different to me than a folder as I knew it.  Both are used to hold papers (I use mine to send home graded papers), but rather than having the pockets I was familiar with, this has elastic that goes around the outside and holds it all together.  The absence of crayons was also interesting to me – while you can find “wax crayons” here in Morocco, they are rare - colored pencil are the norm and the expectation.  Construction paper is another item that is very hard to find here in Morocco – instead, we have Canson Paper, which is heavy and more like cardstock.  We also do not receive hand sanitizer or baggies, which were “normal” on supply lists I had in the United States.  After a year of teaching with these “different” supplies, I have found that at the end of the day, as long as you have something to write with and something to write on – the rest doesn’t really matter!!

Now, I teach at an “American School” here in Casablanca, Morocco.  My son attends a “Moroccan School”.  Next week, I’ll tell you about his school supply list!

While we’re talking about school supplies – what’s on your school supply list for next year?


 Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources    Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Spring colors

My name is Analia Capurro. I am a Spanish teacher who teaches English and Spanish in Argentina. Argentina is a beautiful country in South America.  I also homeschool my little niece Catalina.
I am the designer and owner of and the author of all the educational resources I sell in the website.
After 20 years of teaching children I found that the only way our children love learning is if we love learning and teaching, too. Promoting a learning environment where laugh, fun and friendship and companionship are as important as any language structure, are the things I had in mind while designed my resources.
So I am glad and honored to be part of this wonderful community!

My first post..Spring colors

Spring is here and we can take advantage of this teachable moment to introduce or review some color words  in Spanish. I made a domino to review colors with my niece and a set of Spanish colors posters for you!

Tell children they will learn the Spanish form of these words:
Red / rojo
Blue / azul
Yellow / amarillo
Orange / naranja
Green / verde
Purple/ violeta
Light blue/ celeste
Pink/ rosa

Let children form the words using the tiles in the cards.
To prepare the posters you need to print them onto cardboard and laminate for durability

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Countries of the World Activities and Copywork Bundle

One of the best things about living abroad is being able to teach my children about different cultures.  I created a packet of booklets for homeschoolers and teachers to bring the world into their classrooms so that their students could have some of the same experiences - all while practicing their manuscript or cursive handwriting.

Click the picture above to take a look at the bundle Countries of the World on TPT or click here to view it on Teachers Notebook.  Also, check out my blog for loads of free worksheets.  

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Communicating With Parents About Behavior

You can consider this blog Part 2 from my previous blog on color changes.  You may want to go back and read that one before reading this.  
Here’s how I communicate with parents about their child’s daily behavior.  At the end of the day, students get to have “privilege time” (I also have a privilege time blog you can check out to see how it works in more detail).  Students are allowed an extra 15 minutes at the end of the day to have some free time, if they have earned it.  A color change results in a loss of privilege time where the student is responsible for filling out a “Changing Your Behavior” sheet.  This sheet asks questions about why the student changed his/her color, what the child should’ve done, and what they will do next time.

This sheet is sent home in their daily folders so parents have a detailed explanation of the infraction that occurred.  This eliminates extra phone calls or emails from parents wanting to know why their child was in trouble (and frees you up for more grading... yay).  It’s also a great way for the student to reflect on their behavior, and plan ways to change it.
To download some resources on how to communicate students' behavior with parents, click here.
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Monday, April 23, 2012

What’s on your farm?

I use writing journals to help guide my guided writing instruction.  (Guided writing is just like guided reading – small groups of students grouped homogeneously by ability pulled out to work through the writing process What's on a Farm? Informational Writing for Primary Gradeswith me at their instructional level.)  Right now, we are working on my Primary Informational Writing Journal, and our topic is “On a farm, you will find…”  Now, when I created this journal, this seemed like a very straight forward question. 

What’s on a farm?  Well, in my brain, farms have cows, goats, pigs, chickens, corn, peas, carrots, strawberries, blueberries and a big red barn with a tractor.  However, I am now living in Morocco.  Not all of these things are found on a farm in Morocco, but some other really important farmthings are – like donkeys (to till the land and pull the cart to the souk), sheep (that are fattening up and preparing for Eid al Adha). peacocks (don’t know why these are on a farm, but all of my kids swear that’s where they belong!), watermelon, pomegranate trees, lemon trees and plenty of olives! 

Talking to my kids about this subject has been a great reminder of how much background knowledge can impact the picture a child has in their mind when we talk about any subject.  Since they bring this background knowledge to the books they read and the discussions we have, it is super important to be aware of our students’ background knowledge.

Now, for the all important question of the day – what’s on farms near you?

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources    Raki's Rad Resources

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