I have started using music as a study tool. By asking the students to rewrite the lyrics to their favorite pop tunes, The students are more than willing to go over the content that we are studying again and again. Here is an example of their hard work.
Below is the file for the instruction for how to mummify a chicken
When dealing with discipline issues in the classroom it can be difficult to know what is worthy of removing a student to the hallway or sending them to the office. Many times, sending a student into the hall is enough to remedy the situation, but there isn't documentation of the behavior that sent the student into the hallway. When interventions need to be created for students who are habitual offenders (and the thing to remember is that it does not have to be major offenses), there needs to be a paper trail. One of the things we have instituted at my school is a relearn behavior desk. If a student is becoming disruptive in the classroom, simply send them to the relearn behavior desk. This desk is in another teachers room, hopefully in close proximity to yours. Each teacher has a relearn behavior desk in their room. At this desk, the students will fill out a behavior report. The behavior report asks the question, "Why are you here?" This gives the student the opportunity to write out the reason they have been sent to the Relearn Behavior desk. This can help the student calm down without the need to send the student to the office. There is also a place on the behavior report for the student to write about how they are going to correct the behavior so that they do not need to be sent to the Relearn Behavior desk again. At the end of the period, the student may move on to their next class. Now the question of "What if the student does not fill out the paper and becomes disruptive in the other class. If a student becomes disruptive in the classroom they have been sent to, the student is immediately removed and sent to the office. This will put the decision about going to the office on the student. In order for this to be effective, make certain that you give a student a verbal warning about their behavior. This can be enough for some students. If the behavior continues, then send the student to the relearn behavior desk. Because you gave the student a verbal warning, they know why they have been removed from the room. By having the students sent to the relearn behavior desk, you are able to continue to teach while the student is supervised in another room. The student has filled out a paper, calmed down, and can move on to their next class at the end of the period. Try it out, and let me know what you think.
Finding ways to incorporate as many different content areas into one lesson is a major challenge. Because I use project based instruction, I am always looking to see how I can work as many of my Language Arts standards as well as my Social Studies standards into the same unit as possible. When composing my units, though, I do try to see how I can integrate the arts or other subject areas that I don't teach into my lessons. This allows me to work with other teachers to collaborate on lessons. This is my way of "killing two birds with one stone". When writing my lesson plans, I started putting in a section dealing with Bloom's Taxonomy. I wanted to see if I was really getting at the multiple learning styles that my students had. This truly pushed me to create a more developed unit or project. I have recently found a manner of covering material that incorporates any content with Language Arts, Music (instrumental and Voice), Art and Dance (Physical Fitness). Have your students rewrite the lyrics to their favorite song using the material you are studying. This is an extremely engaging way of covering the material. And what the students don't realize is that they have to immerse themselves into the content in order to be able to write lyrics that make any sense. The students all of a sudden start spend a great deal of time looking through the content being studied, memorizing it, and committing it to long term memory. One of the other great things about this lesson is that no matter how inappropriate the original lyrics to the song are, the students can still use the instrumental version of the song. This allows them to actually use music that they connect with. Once the students have written the new lyrics to their song (Language Arts skill: Poetry), they are asked to make a recording of it. They do not have to perform it in front of their peers, but they do have to make a recording for me to listen to. I give bonus points if they choreograph the song as well (Dance: Physical Fitness). I have told the students that the best ones will be posted to this website, and we will use them as a class to help us prep for a test. I have never seen students so excited and ready to moving on an assignment than when I first assigned this to them. One of the last things that we are going to do is create an album of the top ten songs from the class. The students will have to compete to design the album cover (Art). The best one will be printed and thus a tradition is born. I will be able to have a collection of albums from each year for the different units that we cover in class. I guess you could call it a "Cover Album". Know that the more you can bring your students world into the classroom the bigger hook you will have. You need to hook them into the unit, project, lesson, or activity that you want them to do.
This is a behavior management program that encourages positive behavior instead of focusing on the negative behaviors. You, as a teacher, are still able to deal with the negative behaviors with whatever consequences your school policy has determined. This program encourages students to behave in a positive manner because there is a possibility of a reward for doing so. It is very difficult to instill positive characteristics in students when they are not given a reason other than “you’re supposed to behave this way”. The students will feel good when they are recognized for helping someone, encouraging someone, showing kindness, and much more. Students will begin to want to do nice things for others because there could be a benefit for doing so that goes beyond just being nice because.
I have seen, first-hand, this program in action. The retailer, Target, has been using this program with its employees for years. The program creates a positive work environment, as well as a sense of satisfaction that your positive efforts do not go unnoticed. This translates perfectly into the school system. The G.R.E.A.T. Student Card program will help create a positive classroom and/or school environment. The students will develop more of an awareness of self and how it impacts others and themselves. They will want to do the right thing. This program will also impact your students by helping them to understand economics as well. The students have to save for the things that they want. If a student wants to spend their cards right away, they will only be able to purchase small, “cheap” items. If they want something bigger, (i.e. gift cards [that have been donated by local businesses], games, logo wear, etc.) they will have to save for it.
I created cards for my students to use during class to help them ensure their understanding of the concepts being taught. The cards contain 4 questions. Your can include the same four questions or any variations of the questions. Feel free to add to or subtract from. I have found these cards to be helpful because they break up the lesson into piece of manageable time frames. Due to a students ability to focus for only a their age in minutes (10 years old = 10 minutes), we need to break up lessons so that they can process direct instruction. These cards allow the students to process the direct instruction or reading material for 30 seconds-1 minute. I typed the questions and printed them on white paper. I then assembled the cards so that they had a different colored background. I then laminated the cards so that they could be used from year to year. Each cards contains the following questions:
What are the most important ideas to remember?
What are some of the details related to each idea?
What questions do we need to ask so that we can understand this information better?
How is this information related to something else we know?
Magnetic Letter Game Submitted by Carol from West Virginia 4th Grade Teacher
Magnetic Letter Game - I bought 10 sets of magnetic letters (complete alphabet) at the Dollar Store. I put all of the letters in a box. To play the game, I divide the class into teams of two each. I dump the letters on the floor. I have the first two teams come to the pile of letters. When I say a word, they are to find the letters of that word and put them on the board (magnetic board, of course, but anything metal could also be used). The first team to get all the correct letters in the correct order wins. They stay, and another team is called to compete against them. Continue until time is up--the team still in is the winning one. One tricky detail--since the letters are so cheap, some of the magnets have fallen off. I didn't fix them; it makes it really funny to the rest of the class when the kids think they stuck the letter on the board, only to have it fall off! Puts some drama in the game!
Dry-Erase Activity Submitted by Sarah from Illinois 2nd Grade Teacher
I combine spelling with phonics, so I like to turn the kids into sounds!! I give them a dry erase board with a letter on it. When it's time to spell a word with their letter on it, they come to the front of the room. They all hold up their letters and must say their sound as I tap them on the shoulder. They they all blend their sounds together. It's gets really fun when the "big, bossy e" gets to tell the vowels to "SAY THEIR NAME!" In turn, the rest of the letters get to tell e to "SHHHHHHHHHH!!" The kids LOVE this activity, and I love that they now like phonics and spelling!!!
Wordo Another Great Idea Submitted by Lisa from Arkansas 4th Grade
I've made a grid, like BINGO on Excel. Across the top I've written WORDO. When the students come in, they write their list words in the boxes in whatever random order they choose. Because we can play this game a couple of times during our lesson, each student gets several different crayons to use to mark their words. The first round they use one crayon and mark one of the corners. The second round, a different color and different corner is used. This continues throughout the number of rounds you play. Because there are 5 across and 4 down on my grid, a WORDO win is always 5 across. My students look forward to Thursday since that is usually our WORDO day!
These activities were taken from http://www.superteacherideas.com/spelling18-cool.html
Beach ball review is a fun review game that allows your students to compete agains each other, appeal to the kinestitic learners, as well as allow them to study content. The following are items necessary to play the game: Beach ball, tape, and questions typed out and cut apart. Here is how to play the game: Tape the questions to the ball, divide the classroom into two teams. One student will hit the ball to the other team (I usually assign a measure of discipline to students who hit the cieling or hit the ball to hard for another student to catch). When the student on the other team catches the ball, he or she will answer the question nearest to their right thumb. If the student is able to answer the question, it becomes a volley (no point is scored, the ball is hit to the other team). Once the ball is hit to the opposing team, they have a chance to answer whichever question is nearest to the right thumb of the student that catches the ball. If a student does not answer the question correctly, the opposing team scores a point only if they can answer the question correctly. This is a very fun and interactive game at all grade levels, even high schoolers enjoy the game.
In this activity, you will be able to impact your students understanding of the mummification process in a way that they will remember it FOREVER! This becomes one of those lessons that in 20 years, students will say, "Yeah, I remember when we mummified the chicken. That was AWESOME!" Follow the link below to download the entire activity for FREE.