Sunday, October 28, 2012

Integrating Heritage Week

My school recently finished up our Heritage Week where students learn about the countries they and their classmates come from.  In order to integrate this into my “regular” lessons, my students had a special packet for both vocabulary and math.  I’m offering both up free to anyone who wants them, so feel free to grab one of the other – or both, to use in your classroom.

Study countries of the world with this free vocabulary packet from Raki's Rad Resources. Perfect for English Language Learners.Country Vocabulary Packet – Since most of my students are English Language Learners, I find it important to do weekly vocabulary packets.  For Heritage Week, we focused on how to say various countries around the world, as well as to describe ourselves and others.  (ie. I am from the United States of America.  I am American.  He is from Spain.  He is Spanish. etc.)

Gather information and create graphs with this free digital download packet from Raki's Rad Resources.School Survey Graphing Packet – To cover our math standards of creating tally charts, frequency charts, bar graphs and picto-graphs, we completed this school survey packet.  The students asked the students in their class and others 4 questions:  What country are you from?  What language(s) do you speak?  How many kids are in your family?  What month is your birthday in?.  Then, they used the data they gathered to construct graphs accordingly.


I have a few more resources that we used during this week, but they are not quite ready to be “released”.  I promise another post within a week or two to give you more details!


Does your school have a heritage week?


Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources


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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Paper Plate Venn Diagrams

Here’s a fun activity I did with my students last week.  We created Venn Diagrams using two paper plates.  First we overlapped one side and used a black marker to draw the line where the other side of the paper plate would be.  Then I had the students label the information that would go into either side and viola!  Look below for a few samples.

(We're a private school so we compared/contrasted the Bible's descriptions of Heaven and Hell)

To view more ideas & activities, click here.

The Resourceful Teacher Blog
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Friday, October 26, 2012

A School in Canada~ Global School Tour

Souris Consolidated School

I'm so excited to take you on a virtual tour of my school, here in Prince Edward Island, Canada. I have decided to have my grade seven students help me out in writing this post and so the rest of this post is directly from them! Take it away, 7B!

A School in Canada~ Global School Tour

This is what the outside of our school looks like. We hang out here in the morning and at first break.

A School in Canada~ Global School Tour

We have an IT and Computer Lab. Although most of our computers work, we sometimes have technical difficulty with others (which can be frustrating). We go to the computer lab at least twice a week.

A School in Canada~ Global School Tour
When we look out the window, we see Souris Regional High School. It will be the future school for us. It will be renovated for K-12 and we should be in the new school by 2014. It is where the grades 8-12 currently go to school . Grade seven has Equity (which is Band, Home Economics, and Industrial Arts) there. We do not have an intermediate school in Souris. Souris Consolidated includes grades K-7.

A School in Canada~ Global School Tour
This is our play area. To the left is our tennis court. There we play tennis, basketball, and ball hockey! Grades K-4 go out for recess at about 11:30 and 1:30 for breaks. Grades 5-7 go outside at 10:05 and 12:00 for our outdoor breaks.

A School in Canada~ Global School Tour
These are our soccer fields. Grade 6 and 7 use these. We sometimes play Grade 7A versus 7B. 7B usually wins!

This is our gym. It's a pretty good size. All of the classes (K-7) use the gym and we actually do a lot of things in the gym like after school activities (Badminton, Inter murals, Assemblies).

A School in Canada~ Global School Tour
Here's the lobby. We come through here on our way to class after recess and our lunch break. At the moment we currently have over 340 students.

A School in Canada~ Global School Tour
This is the library used by all classes at least once in a six day cycle. We have a librarian, and fiction and non-fiction sections.

A School in Canada~ Global School Tour
A School in Canada~ Global School Tour
 This is our grade 7 class. The average class in our school has 15 to 20 students each. We have lots of informative posters in our class also we have two surprisingly comfy plastic chairs (special chairs) in the back.

So that's a look inside the school where I am blessed enough to teach. Thanks so much grade seven for putting this post together. You did a great job!

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Recursos gratuitos para Octubre

October is here and it is time to add new Spanish words to our  Bilingual Word Wall center.

I use my Word Wall Center as a systematically organized collection of words displayed in large letters on a wall in my classroom. It is a tool designed to promote group learning. 
I add the new words kids need to know monthly. Then I worked with them.

Find it. Check it

Find it. Copy it.

Read it. Trace it.

Grab your copy here
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Four Square Chart

Recently my students have been learning about the 4 regions of California: Coast, Mountains, Desert, and Central Valley Region. Today the students created a four-square chart to organize information about the regions of California. Each student chose a region he/she wanted to learn more about. The students researched their region using our history book, atlases, and encyclopedias. 

Here’s how we made the four-square chart:
The students took a blank paper, folded it in half “hamburger style,” unfolded the paper and refolded it “hotdog style.” When they opened their paper, they saw it was divided into four squares.

Here’s what info went into each square:
Square 1: The students wrote which region they chose to research. I told them to write their region in bubble letters and create a picture to go around the title.
Square 2: The students were asked to research and draw the different wildlife that can be found in their region.
Square 3: The students researched, drew, and labeled vegetation present in the region they chose.
Square 4: The students researched and drew pictures of how the region’s land is used.

This was a great extension activity that my students really enjoyed. Here's what the finished products looks like.

To see more activities click here.

The Resourceful Teacher Blog
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Have You heard of Copy-work?

Have you heard of copy-work? Usually copy-work is something that is mostly done in the lower grades to practice hand writing. However, in recent years many home school moms have caught onto the idea that copy-work can actually help to improve writing.

I had the opportunity to attend training for AP Language last semester and my teacher mentioned that she used copy-work a few times each week to help improve sentence structure. As a teacher of ELL’s sentence structure is one of the hardest things to teach. Many of my student’s essays turn out choppier and short rather than fluid. So I decided to give copy-work a try.

I am now a firm believer in the helpfulness of copy work. My students’ writing has greatly improved. A few months ago I admit I was skeptical about it, but now I am amazed at the changes I am seeing in my students. By “copying the masters” my students are able to understand how to vary sentences almost as if by osmosis.

How I Implement Copy-work

According to my AP instructor there is a magical time limit to set for students to work. The magical number is 15 minutes – no more and no less. I have my student’s complete copy-work three times a week for 15 minutes each time.

I usually have them copy paragraphs from what we are reading or parts of famous essays. These are easy to find online. One website I use is Classical Essays on – it offers links to several essays by famous authors.

It sounds easy and it is. My students seem to enjoy it and I enjoy seeing the improvement in their writing.

Copy-Work Freebies!
·         Mark Twain – Advice to Youth
·         Percy Jackson Copy-work Chapters 1-3

 What are your thoughts about copy-work?

Jessi C. 
      Life on the Fourth
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences
 Some teachers dread parent teacher conferences yet some view it as a chance to brag to parents how well their child is doing in class.  No matter what category you fall in, one common thing teachers should agree on is the importance of being prepared before conferences.
For me, being prepared means I have filled out a documentation sheet, listing specific items I need to address with the parent.  It always starts with a good story I have about the student, followed by strengths, and lastly I end with the goals we agree to set for the student. I've learned (unfortunately the hard way) that this helps me to have more control over the conversation to guide it appropriately.
There's something about having that piece of paper in front of me that helps the parent see that I've taken my time and really thought about our discussion before hand.  Plus, any good parent loves hearing other people gush about and share great stories about their child.
If you're interested in downloading the form I like to use for parent conferences, click here.

The Resourceful Teacher Blog
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Friday, October 12, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month- freebie

Hispanic Heritage Month

Let's review some South America facts to help you to get acquainted with it, or simply to refresh some basic facts and figures as a manner of introduction.
The Western Hemisphere, or the Americas as they are commonly known, is composed by North America , Central and South America.
South America is the fourth largest continent in the world with aprox. 17,849,000 square km. (6,890,000 square miles) and a population of 371,090,000, estimated by 2005.
Connected through the isthmus of Panama to its northern counterpart, it is bordered by the Pacific ocean to the West and Atlantic ocean to the North and East. 

It is politically divided into twelve sovereign states: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador,Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, plus the overseas administration of French Guiana.

Download a free set of word wall cards in my  blog
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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Multiple Standards Math

I recently posted about the difference between the UK and the US standards.  One place I find the UK standards lacking iGrab all the pieces of this Problem Solving Place Bulletin Board FREE from Raki's Rad Resources' Teachers Pay Teachers Store.s in problem solving.  Math is focused much more on mental math than working out written word problems.  To be sure my students get both of these skills, I developed a program called Problem Solving Path.  This is our Problem Solving Path Bulletin Board.  You can grab all the pieces free in the Problem Solving Place Bulletin Board Kit I recently uploaded to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  The bulletin board contains 10 “stores”:  post office, pizzeria, supermarket, hardware store, police station, train station, elementary school, pharmacy, book store and bakery.  I tried to choose places that are universal in purpose to neighborhoods around the world, even though they may look different.  For example a hardware store in the the US generally means Home Depot whereas here in Morocco it means a drouGrab all the pieces of this Problem Solving Place Bulletin Board FREE from Raki's Rad Resources' Teachers Pay Teachers Store.gerie – a small local shop with building, plumbing and electricity materials.  Either way, the purpose is generally the same!

Each of the “stores” in Problem Solving place has real-life word problems that are correlated to both the UK and the US standards.  (That correlation was time consuming, but definitely beneficial to my students!)  We have completed Month 1 and are now working on Month 2.  If you’d like to join our global community on Problem Solving Path, feel free to grab the problems from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.


Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What Standards Do You Use?

All of my teaching career, I have taught off of US standards, first Georgia Performance Standards, and then Michigan standards.  This year is the first time I am using a new set of standards.  My new school uses the UK National Curriculum.  I have to say I was surprised a little when I began reading them.  I guess in my naiveté, I thought all of the standards were generally the same, but I have found big differences, especially in math.  I wrote about some of these differences over at my blog, Raki’s Rad Resources.  Feel free to stop by and see some of those standard differences.

I also found differences in the way the standards are writteUS Common Core Standardsn.  Many of the US standards, especially the new Common Core Curriculum are written to say “Students will know or Students will identify or Students will compare”.  There is a large stress of the verb of what students will be able to DO.  The UK National Curriculum standards are written to say “Pupils will be taught…”.  The emphasis then is on what is beiUK National Curriculumng taught, rather than on what students are accomplishing.  Now, this could very well be a different way to say the same thing, but for me I found the difference striking.  Honestly, I like the UK way better because it is something I have more control over.  I can control whether I teach each student each skill to the best of my ability.  I can’t always control whether each student can “identify” or “compare” due to circumstances outside of my control (language level, learning ability, home circumstances etc.). 

Anyways, this got me to thinking – what set of standards does YOUR school use?

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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