Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Bucket List

Since moving to Morocco, I have officially begun homeschooling my two older sons in Summer Experience Scavenger HuntEnglish.  They both go to school all day in Arabic and French, but I don’t want them to lose their academic English level, so we also do English activities throughout the week, including reading, writing and math.  Over the summer, I plan to work with them on each of these activities, and then I plan to use a lot of experiential learning.  In past summers, we have used my summer scavenger hunt to guide our experiential learning.  (Grab this summer scavenger hunt for FREE from Google Docs.)  But, this summer, my kids and I made a “Summer Bucket List” of 60 things to do this summer, and we’re going to try to do one a day.  My kids and I came up with the list together, with each of us taking turns.  Some of my favorite items that made the list are:

7.  Camp in the Living Room

23.  Use the Scale to Weigh Things in our House

26.  Clean the Whole House (yes the kids added this to the list!)

35.  Do Science Experiments (My oldest son really wants to be a scientist!)

38.  Have a Records Day (Who can bounce the ball the longest?  Who can stand on one foot the longest? etc. – My oldest son is obsessed with World Records right now. )

40.  Play Souk (My kids are obsessed with traditional Moroccan Markets.)

46.  Learn Everything we can About Another Country

54.  Write letters to family

59.  Put on a Puppet Show


To view the complete list – feel free to stop by Raki’s Rad Resources.  In the mean time, please tell us - What’s on your Summer Bucket List?



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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kids Say the Darnedest Things - Part 4

The other day we were doing “popcorn” reading where the students take turns reading a paragraph out loud. After their paragraph is over they get to call on another student to read the next paragraph by saying, “popcorn” and then the next reader’s name. Some of my kiddos have been getting silly with “popcorning” other students by saying, “popcorn with extra butter” or “popcorn with extra corn” before calling the next reader. Well, one of my students was in the middle of saying “popcorn with extra butter” when another student did something that distracted him, so he stopped in the middle of his sentence. Instead of what he meant to say, we all heard, “popcorn with extra butt...”

Of course we all burst out in uncontainable laughter and the room filled with “ews” and “gross.” Needless to say, it took a minute or two to redirect the students, but I eventually got them back on track.

Click here to read Kids Say the Darnedest Things Part 1
Click here to read Kids Say the Darnedest Things Part 2
Click here to read Kids Say the Darnedest Things Part 3

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Monday, May 28, 2012

What Will Make You Sick?

imageLet me start out by saying that I respect everyone’s rights to believe as they wish about anything and everything.  (With that kind of disclaimer, you know there’s a but….. coming, right?)  But, I have been highly intrigued recently with certain believes that I have come across, here in Morocco, regarding what will make you sick. 

First, my son read a story in his Arabic text book that told of a little boy who exercised and got sweaty, then went and took a cool shower.  After he took the shower, he got sick, because (according to the story) the went from being too hot to too cold too quickly.

Then, my son had an allergic reaction at school.  He has a history of food allergies and they were cooking at school, so we believed that he reacted to something he ate, or at least some pollen in the air if not that.  No, his teacher told us, his eyes puffed up because it’s hot outside and the heat will cause you to get sick.

Lastly, in my class, we were trying on outfits for our International Day presentation.  The little girl whose turn it was had on 5 shirts (My students often dress in many layers, especially in the winter, as there is no central heat in most buildings in Morocco, but this occurred in early spring.)  I tried to get her to take off a few layers, so that she could try on her dress on top of only her bottom two layers, and she told me should would absolutely get sick if her skin got goose bumps.

Now, I am a person who believes that only bacteria and viruses can get you sick.  I do think that things like extreme heat, extreme cold or extreme stress can intensify the effect that bacteria and/or viruses have on your body, but I do not believe that these elements on their own generally make people sick, unless they are extreme (frost bite, sun poisoning etc.).  It has been interesting for me to come across these other view points, and a good reminder to me that everyone does not think as I do.  In our classrooms, we often have children who come to use with many different view points on many different topics – including what makes them sick, so it is good to be aware of those points of view, even if we don’t agree with them.

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

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Sale-ebration

I’ve joined with many other teachers in offering a discount on all my products - THIS WEEKEND ONLY!  I went through each and every item in my store and marked down all my material.  And because I don’t use Teachers Pay Teachers, you may find that my prices are even lower because I keep all my profit!  Happy shopping, teachers.

Click here to visit my teacher store.

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Teaching about Our Community

model of community

When teaching about 'My Community', I have found that field trips have worked the best with my students. They may see familiar surroundings as well as territory that is new to them. They get to learn about the important landmarks and the history behind each one. After this, I help them to create models of our town. The one above was created for our school. It covers a wide area and shows the main landmarks. The one below was created by a student using 3D shapes.

School Craft my community
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Division Flip Books

Here are the Division Flip Books my students created to help them with division.  When teaching division and long division with my students, I teach them to memorize the steps: Divide, Multiply, Subtract, then Bring down (or up).  Making these flip books allows students to see each of the steps on individual pages.

Here is a Division Flip Book I created to show simple division.

This Division Flip Book shows long division.

(I didn't include every page of the flip book)

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Ni Hao from China

Hello, my name is Jessica Caldwell. I am a teacher at an international school in China. I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher, and I am constantly looking for new and interesting ways to teach my students. This is my first year teaching, but my third time teaching in China. I have taught two ESL summer workshops. Now I teach science, drama and English to middle and high-school students. Trying to get past being a student and now being a teacher has been daunting. I have a lot of growing to do, but I am determined to always do my best for my students. I hope that I can share some of my experiences and resources with you here on Global Teacher Connect. Today I would like to share with you three tips for teaching ELL students.

A Group of my Middle School ELL Students Reading to 2nd Grade

One of my Middle-School ELL Students Teaching 5th Grade

 I have taught ELL students for the past eight months. I have had my ups and downs, epic failures and moments of awesomeness. Here are some quick tips that I have gathered on my journey teaching so far:

 1. Speak Slowly - Lets face it we all have our own unique way of speaking -At the beginning of a class or when you get new ELL students train yourself to speak slowly. This will help students learn the pattern of your voice and your mannerisms. It may seem like a hassle at first, but it will help you tremendously in the long run.

 2. Mistakes are Okay - The class erupting into laughter as a student sounds out a word is the last thing I want to happen in my class. I try to create a classroom atmosphere where it is okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn. I would not have learned half as much if I were a perfect person/teacher. Students need to understand that. I would suggest pushing this at the beginning of the year as it is much harder, though not impossible, to do this later.

 3. Know Your Grammar - I cannot tell you how often students come up to me with grammar questions. It is very important to know grammar in my school so that I can help students as they study English Language Arts and ESL. Chances are if you don't know your grammar your students will (just food for thought). 

***Another Tip for Grammar - Choose your top ten grammar rules to focus on this year. There are hundreds of grammar rules and everyone has their pet peeves. Sometimes students get bogged down by all the rules. Make it easier for them and focus on your top ten. It will be better for students in the long run to know ten grammar rules well, than to not understand any.

 So there you have it three tips for the ELL classroom. I hope that they do not seem redundant and that they help you in your classroom! Do you have any tips for teaching ELL students? Please share them in the comments section below!

 Have a great week :)

 Jessi C. ~ Visit me at Life on the Fourth Floor
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The colors of the rainbow

We are finishing our review for colors and I chose this song to sing with my niece.

I can sing the rainbow
Red and yellow and pink and green,
purple and orange and blue
I can sing the rainbow, sing a rainbow, too.

After watching the video and singing it in English for a while I invited her to sing the song in Spanish.

Yo puedo cantar el arco iris
Rojo y amarillo y rosa y verde
violeta y naranja y azul
yo puedo cantar el arco iris, cantar el arco iris, tambiƩn.

Then we went on a color hunt at home singing the Spanish version of the song.

Beforehand I printed and laminated these cards for sorting the small objects she found.
Pics are from the English version of the cards, but below you will find the Spanish version of the cards.

We practice the sound of the English and Spanish word for each color. She wanted to sing the song again and to finish the activity she draw and color a wonderful rainbow.

just in case you want to download the English version

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Using Resources - Encyclopedia & Atlas

This week in English, my students learned how to use references to locate specific information. Today, our Friday Fun Day activity involved the use of Encyclopedias and Atlases.  The students worked in groups to research a state. Each group researched a different state from the United States of their choosing.  Their research packet included specific questions about the state, and students were required to use the encyclopedia and atlas to answer the questions.

Once they answered the questions, they created a poster which includes some of the facts they researched.  At the end of the day, students presented their poster and research information to the class.

Here are some pictures of the worksheet they fillled out.  You can download this worksheet here.

Here are the kids working on their posters.


These are the finished posters.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Grab a Teacher Gift From Around the Globe

I hope that you all were able to grab your teacher resources from our Global Giveaway.  Here are two ways to make sure Global Giveaway E-Book Free Teacher Resourcesyou got all of the downloads:


1.  Download our Global Giveaway E-Book from the Global Gifts tab above.


2.  Visit the posts by each author with their individual files:

Safari Math from South Africa

Elapsed Time Cards from the United States

Middle School Math & Science Activities from the United States

English Vocabulary about Mexico from Argentina

ESL Speaking Activity from the United States

Addition Game from Canada

Reading Log from the United States

Spanish Vocabulary from Argentina

Paper Bag Book Report from Canada

Neighborhood Discovery Journal from Morocco

signature    NEWLOGO

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