Monday, May 8, 2017

Teacher Appreciation

Here in paradise we appreciate teachers and TpT. In honor of the TpT Teacher Appreciation Sale May 9 - 10, we are giving away a $10.00 TpT gift card to 2 lucky winners. Just enter to win on the Raffle copter below. After entering, make sure you stop by our stores (links are below) and enter the promo code: THANKYOU17 at check out to receive some AWESOME deals!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to Mia and Caroline who are the big winners! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Motivational Testing Notes: Let’s Change the Conversation

A few years ago when my daughter took her first “high stakes test”, I wrote “A Letter to My Daughter About Testing” and blogged about it here. Many of my ideas and feelings about testing shifted when I was the parent of the child testing and not the teacher. 

It made me realize that we need to change the conversation we are having about testing, at least on the day of the test. It made me even more aware of the need to uplift students before the test. 

I created a motivational craftivity called “I-Cans”. It is great to ease classroom testing stress and I blogged about it here.

Then I thought about all the teachers who might not have time to do the “I-Can” craftivity. I know somedays, I get so tired that the thought of scissors, glue, and a cute craftivity makes me want to hide under my desk and eat M&Ms. So I created a series of testing notes for students on the day of the big test. These are perfect for teachers (or parents) for that extra push right before testing!

The story of these testing notes is kind of like “If You Give A Moose a Muffin”. I started out making 1 cute note to go with gum, then I realized kids with braces can’t have gum. So I created a note to go with candy, then I realized that some schools might have a no candy rule. Then I created a note with fruit, but then I thought that fruit is pricey and can get messy. So I created a note to go with a cheese stick, then I worried about food in the classroom. So I created a note with a glow stick theme. It went on from there! What resulted was a a whole lot of options for testing notes. I wanted to offer these to as many people as possible so it is a FOREVER FREEBIE in my TPT store found here.

Here is a fun sampling of the testing notes:

Click on the cover to link to this FREEBIE in my TPT store!

Happy testing!

Monday, February 6, 2017

TpT Love Giveaway

Here in paradise we love teaching, teachers, and TpT. In honor of the TpT Be Mine Sale February 7th and 8th, we are giving away $10.00 TpT gift cards to 2 lucky winners. Just enter to win on the raffle copter below. After entering, make sure you stop by our stores and enter the promo code: Lovetpt at check out to receive some AWESOME deals!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 16, 2017

Easy Ways to Use Higher Order Thinking in the Classroom

Lately, it seems like everyone in the world of education is talking about higher order thinking. Bloom’s Taxonomy, Revised Blooms Taxonomy, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge, the Hess Matrix, the Cognitive Rigor Matrix, and many others are suggested and required reading. I think we all can agree that thinking deeply is important. 

Here are a few simple examples of how I would like to encourage higher order thinking in my classroom.

Expect the unexpected and use it as an opportunity for higher order thinking.

There are times when it is absolutely necessary to veer off the teaching roadmap. When that happens, the probability that an administrator will pop into the classroom increases exponentially. So, be prepared with HOT stems or questions. For instance, a messy project is over and a full out desk and room cleaning is taking place. In walks your principal. Pause and pose a HOT question for students to discuss.

HOT is also for teachers! Here are a couple of examples to share with your teaching friends.

The above also works for:
•The last period of the last day before Spring Break
•Immediately following a tornado drill, fire drill, lock down 
•while recovering from laryngitis

Imagine you stay up too late:
•watching the Super Bowl
•binge watching a favorite series
•caring for a sick child
•grading and planning

Think about this:

Seriously, I really do understand and agree with the importance of higher order thinking in the classroom. In fact, HOT stems are posted in my classroom for students and me to refer to. This display is also a visual reminder for us to ask HOT questions throughout the day.

HOT question card packs are a class favorite. These are perfect for students working in pairs or small groups. The question stems help students take ownership of asking and answering HOT questions. The cards are color coded:

Knowledge = red
Comprehension = orange
Application = yellow
Analysis = green
Synthesis = blue
Evaluation = purple

Download this file FREE during the week of 1/16/17 – 1/23/17!