Middle school students love catching my typos and grammar mishaps on assignments and tests. They also love competition. In the fall, I’m going to implement “The Great Editing Race.” Students will need to submit pictures of typos and grammar mistakes they discover in their everyday lives (billboards, menus, letters, etc.). In class, they’ll share them, and explain why the writing is erroneous. Each marking period or semester, I will recognize the top scorers. Perhaps we’ll even keep a score sheet in class.
Maybe bonus points for students who notify the establishment of the error and offer the correction? That could be cool.
This would stress the importance of attention to detail in editing their own work and their peers’ and provide substantial practice. Hopefully, it will be successful.
Let me know if I made any mistakes…
I love this idea.
Over 800 people showed up, and I’m sure many more came today. It was a true testament to the wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, and teacher that she was. While strolling past pictures of her with her children, it was obvious that they were her focus in life well before her illness. She never felt sorry for herself (and if she did, she didn’t show it). She approached this cancer with humor and without allowing it to define her. She was gracious in the years she fought it, and the community that supported her by supplying daily dinners, yard work, and more was blessed to be able to give back a little to her what she gave to all of us.
As I met the family, I had a very hard time holding my tears in. However, I truly believe the most important purpose of wakes is to support the family. I smiled as I told them that she was the reason I teach, majored in English, and loved Shakespeare enough to insist on seeing his birthplace and the replica of The Globe Theater. I told her kids about how excited she was to have them, as I was in her class when she was pregnant with her oldest son. I greeted him by telling him we had sort of met before, when I felt him kick her stomach in class. Her husband began growing out his hair when she lost hers, and I wish I could have expressed my gratitude that she had such a loving husband who supported her in every stage of her life — daring to live each day with passion and laughter. I did tell him how when we played a senior prank we blocked all the parking spots of the staff, but left one spot for her because we did not want to make her walk all that way. That she was a favorite among every class that graduated from our high school, and it showed.
In the whirl of packing for my move, I didn’t really get a chance to process everything. But now, as I read the comments on the wall of the facebook group (that has over 2,000 members) that kept alumnae informed of her condition, needs, and provided us with ways to wish her well — now I grieve. I grieve because not only have the people in her life lost an inspiration at far too early of an age, but because the world lost a teacher who inspired, allowed herself to be human, and noticed every individual that crossed her path.
In her class, I shined. Mrs. Neville encouraged my interests. She called me at home over the summer when the sub for her pregnancy leave gave me a grade lower than she thought I deserved (I was shocked that a teacher would do that). As a senior, she invited me to help with freshmen on understanding Romeo and Juliet and allowed me to get my teaching wheels wet.
Mrs. Neville told funny stories. Threw a shoe at a cantankerous co-worker once she left the room. Told us that some rules were meant to be broken, and encouraged us to be informed and speak out about different various social justice issues. She told us the time she felt most awkward — 5 years before she was my teacher a student had been excited to show her art work. Mrs. Neville was excited the student wanted to share… only to discover they were nude drawings of Mrs. Neville and she wasn’t sure how to respond because they were done in an artistic way. She told this story way better than I am, because that day I laughed so hard I cried.
It didn’t matter that I was awkward. That I didn’t always have a filter before I said things. That the first time I read a Shakespeare play I was in the 4th grade. I felt special in her class, I felt loved, and I can guarantee that each of my classmates did as well.
So, I am very sad that she is gone. But I am determined to be the kind of teacher she was. Loving. Fair. Going the extra mile. Positive. Hopeful. Persistent. Funny. Observant. Joyful. With a little sass.
Goodbye Mrs. Neville. We’ll take care of your family, the way you took care of us.
- The day J. finally came to school without things in his pocket. Oh, how we celebrated.
- The day M. realized a black man was running for president, and that meant HE could be president.
- The first time G. sounded out a word, and we ran and showed every teacher in the building.
- When I didn’t feel well and K. told me to make sure I ate broccoli and carrots.
- The field trip, when my class collectively stopped on their own, to dance to the steel drum music.
- Watching Obama’s inauguration with my class, and they looked to me during every period of clapping so I could explain what was being said. That these little kiddos gave up their recess to continue watching.
- When A. connected what we were learning in math, to fantasy football.
- When B. stood up to a 6th grader for picking on her friend, used her words, and got a teacher.
- The first time M. read a book to her mom.
- The time I had to buy the groceries for L.’s family
- The look on T.’s face when I bought him some school pants that actually fit him.
- Counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s while exercising.
- Jump Rope songs.
- Making boats and studying why they sank or floated
- When my students wanted to write letters to thank Rosa Parks
- When R. said he kicked butt at math, and to “bring it on”
- When my class beat the rest of the school in their martial arts tournament — and we were the youngest
- Y’s face when I really showed up at his basketball game, even though his dad did not
- Making sure H got the accommodations that were appropriate for his disabilities
- When my students learned that yes, they did live in Ohio, even though the name of their city was different
- Students at-risk of joining gangs, coming to my room in the morning to ask for advice, students that were never in my class
- The pride my students feel when we celebrate their progress
and so much more.
What’s on your list?
haha, great! Any idea which software to recommend to make a digital storybook? My teacher recommends Koobits, but only a premium account gives you the full features.
Without knowing the perimeters of you assignment, this is what I can come up with.
Hope one of these will work for you!
We used to use software called Storybook Weaver, but I can’t find any versions of it that are less than 5 yrs old.
You might also check out these resources:
My students that come to me for math on Mondays, usually understand the material by the time they take their tests. However, they often make simple mistakes which lowers their grades.
With multiplying double digit numbers, they had 3 common mistakes.
The first was carrying the wrong number.
PPT’s Solution: The number in the back of the line goes on the bottom. So if they multiply 29x32, and they start with 2x9= 18, the 8 is in the back of the line and it goes on the bottom and they carry the 1.
The second was adding a number that they carried in twice. This would happen, for example with the above problem, when they multiplied 3x2, they would add in the 1 from the 18 they had when they multiplied the one’s place numbers.
PPT’s Solution: After you’ve added a number that you carried, cross it out so you remember that you used it. It will still be there for you if you check your work.
The third mistake was less common. When moving to the 3x29, some students forgot to put their 0 before multiplying (since the 3 really represents 30).
PPT’s Solution: Leave some space under the equal line, and put the 0 on the second row (where you would do the 3x29 part) in before you do any multiplying.
They understood why they needed the zero, but they occasionally forgot it.
I also told them they could write “Back on the bottom” on their tests. I’m looking forward to seeing their grades after their classroom teacher grades it.
I wish I could give potential employers all of them.
PEOPLE LOVE ME, THEY REALLY LOVE ME. You should too!
But I’m guessing I should probably limit it to 3, or 3 colleagues and 1 parent letter.
- If you surround yourself with teachers who are regularly negative, they will bring you down as well. It will affect your teaching. Be professional, but stay out of negative discussions when possible.
- Always, always communicate with parents about the GOOD things. If a problem ever arises, they aren’t so much on the defensive if they know you like and respect their kid.
- Document, document, document. Any important notes that go home, I make photo copies of first. I keep e-mails I have sent to parents. I document meetings and phone calls as well on a communication log.
- Find a good lunch group. They will be professional and personal support. They will provide comic relief, and always be people you can count on. Some of my best friends are the teachers that I eat/ate lunch with.
- Make time for yourself. This is very hard to do, especially in your first year. However, if you are not taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of the kids.
- Personally, I almost always wear my hair up. I’ve never gotten lice. Lice like clean hair, so if there is an outbreak in your school use lots of gel and hairspray.
- What works once, might not work twice.
- Run things by your principal. Keep that door of communication open. (This will also help you be less nervous during observations).
- Ebay can be your best friend.
- Praise. Praise is the key to even the toughest kids.
- Being fair does not mean everyone gets the same things. It means everyone gets what they need.
- When a kid thinks he/she is dumb, use the theory of multiple intelligences to explain that they are not.
- Incorporate their strengths into their weaknesses.
- Be happy to see your students. Tell them that you are.
- Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Use it as a learning opportunity. Especially for those students who think they do everything wrong. ”See, even *I* make mistakes sometimes.”
- Be joyful.
- Especially in the younger grades, the more excited YOU are about an activity, the more excited your kids will be.
- They all become *your* kids by the end of the year.
Here is a comprehensive list of things I can’t live without in my classroom:
- Sticky Notes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Paper Towels
- Purple Pens
- Pictures of my cats
- Clipboard (this is actually number 1. I should actually have about 12 just placed around the room)
- Paper Clips
- Index Cards
Reply or Reblog with answers. What do YOU need?
Dry erase boards and markers for my students
zip lock bags
anti-bacterial wipes for my table
pencil boxes to hold various supplies and easily use to pass out materials