Showing posts with label common core. Show all posts
Showing posts with label common core. Show all posts

3.29.2014

Five Ways to Use Memes to Connect With Students

Five Ways to Use Memes in Class  - from www.traceeorman.com

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Students love funny memes. Here are five ways you can bring that humor into your classroom (and school) to connect with students:

Use memes for your class rules and expectations  {from www.traceeorman.com}


1. Class Rules, Expectations, and/or Procedures: Instead of your traditional class rules poster, use memes to deliver your message with humor. Better yet, have students create what they think proper rules and regulations should be. In memes, of course. You or your students can use a website like http://memegenerator.net/.

Use memes for an ice-breaker activity  {from www.traceeorman.com}

2. Ice-breaker or "Get-to-Know-You" Activity: Memes are perfect for getting to know your students better. Break the ice with a "What I Do" meme or funny eCard. For a full lesson with printables and digital templates you can share, click here.

Promote your curriculum in your classroom using memes {from www.traceeorman.com}


3. Promote (and Reinforce) Your Curriculum: Generate excitement with memes or use them to spark discussions. Posted around your room, they are sure to catch your students' attention. You can find hundreds of images on Pinterest.com with a search in your subject area. Or create them yourself.

Have your students create a meme relating to your unit of study. {from www.traceeorman.com}


4. Creative Activity: Students will practice both creative and critical-thinking skills while creating a meme related to the unit you are studying. It seems very simple, but coming up with appropriate wording to convey the right tone is definitely a higher-order skill. Then students have to make sure they use the right meme correctly. Without even realizing it, they will be making connections with the material while having fun. To read a more detailed post about making memes a class assignment, read more here.

Use memes for orientation, open house, or advice from graduates.  (from "5 ways to use memes to connect with students")


5. Freshmen Orientation (or Open House): One of my colleagues came up with the brilliant idea to have our current students create memes for next year's incoming freshmen for orientation. The meme content varied, covering advice, warnings, and plain old high school humor. The eighth graders and their parents perused the memes during their orientation in March. The images always seem to generate questions they may not have asked otherwise. You could also use this for an open house discussion-starter. Graduating seniors can also leave legacy memes with words of wisdom for future seniors.

However you use memes in your classroom or school, one thing is certain: your students will love it!

Feel free to use and/or share the following memes 
(created using the Meme Generator application):

Five ways to use memes to connect with students...

Five ways to use memes to connect with students...

Five ways to use memes to connect with students... (from www.traceeorman.com)

Five ways to use memes to connect with students (from www.traceeorman.com)

Five ways to use memes to connect with students (from www.traceeorman.com)

Five ways to use memes to connect with students (from www.traceeorman.com)

Five ways to use memes to connect with students (from www.traceeorman.com)


The following images are from our most recent freshmen orientation, created by students:
High school memes - www.traceeorman.com
When teachers tell you there's a test today - classroom humor

What is it called when you don't have to study? Imagination.  (classroom humor)


Classroom humor - high school memes - www.traceeorman.com

So a senior said hi to me... high school humor

Why are you packing up already? Classroom humor

We trust you on your laptops...said no teacher ever. Classroom humor

Romeo and Juliet - Shakespeare humor

High school memes - classroom humor


2.25.2014

Common Core Argument Writing

What's the difference between a persuasive essay and an argument essay? Click for more...

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Implementing the Common Core State Standards doesn't have to be difficult, though many teachers may be intimidated by the language used. For instance, we used to categorize our writing prompts by "persuasive," "expository,"  and "narrative." The Common Core State Standards changes the wording to: "opinion," "informative/explanatory," and "narrative" for grades K-5 and "argument," "informative/explanatory," and "narrative" for grades 6-12. But that doesn't mean that the writing process or the types of prompts need to be changed.

Persuasive vs. Argument Writing

So what's the difference between persuasive writing and writing an argumentative paper? Both rely on the opinion of the writer. An argument, however, uses facts and data to support the opinion expressed. Students need to research to find evidence rather than rely on opinion alone to support their opinion (or "claim").

Research can be a daunting task, especially for middle school students. I created a student-friendly argument guide you can share with your classes.

In ninth grade, students are required to address the opposition's opinion, which is called the "counterclaim." My students struggled with this at first, but after explaining it and showing them examples, they grasped it and had no problem writing their essays.

I created two more detailed products to help you teach argument writing and practice the skills with your students.

Argumentative Writing for Grades 6-12 {blog post}


My Argument Writing for Grades 6-12 pack includes the student guide, teacher's guidelines, handouts, and grading rubrics (all aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Argumentative Writing). It has over 60 pages of visually-stimulating and student-friendly graphics to explain each part of the essay process, including citations.

For high school teachers, I have an even more detailed guide that includes alignment with the PARCC guidelines for quarterly assessments.

High School Common Core and PARCC Writing for Argumentatives {blog post}

You can purchase these resources, plus many more in my teacherspayteachers store. And the best part? You can get them on sale (30% off) Thursday and Friday! Use the promo code TPT3 at checkout!

SALE! TeachersPayTeachers site-wide sale Feb. 27-28.


Thanks for stopping by my blog!





12.08.2013

To Kill a Mockingjay (When Two Worlds Collide)

When two worlds collide: To Kill a Mockingjay


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My students recently finished reading Harper Lee's classic (and my all-time favorite) novel To Kill a Mockingbird. We happened to finish the novel the day "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" movie was released. Perhaps it was in the spirit of excitement to see Suzanne Collins' novel Catching Fire played out on screen that I created this typo on my students' To Kill a Mockingbird short answer test.

Free Activity Download
Literary Mash-Ups: The Potter Games Choose Your Adventure Game
http://thepottergames.com
I guess it was only a matter of time before my love for The Hunger Games collided with my love for To Kill a Mockingbird. But mashing up literary works can actually be quite fun...when it's done on purpose, of course. One of the greatest experiences I've had since reading The Hunger Games trilogy was being one of the writers and editors of The Potter Games, a fun choose-your-adventure mash-up of the Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games trilogy. Students, fans, and bibliophiles can still visit the site today and play the original game or try any of the newer spin-offs. It's a great exercise for your students because it involves reading and critical thinking skills to actually become a victor of the Games.

I have a FREE download to accompany the website. It includes directions for your students to create their own literary mash-ups. Try this activity out when you have a few minutes left in class or want a fun pre-holiday interactive and technology-driven activity your students will love.
Free download lesson http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Potter-Games-Using-Interactive-Fiction-to-Improve-Reading-143795

Common Core Skill: Literary Allusions
Of course, literary allusions are nothing new. In addition to creating their own mash-ups, students can try to identify examples of literary allusions in any piece of fiction or nonfiction. Identifying and explaining allusions is a Common Core skill your students should be practicing while reading (in grades 8-12).

For instance, To Kill a Mockingbird is chock full of literary allusions. The first chapter makes reference to the novel The Gray Ghost by Seckatary Hawkins and the Tom Swift books by Victor Appleton. Some allusions are used to enhance and clarify the time period, while others play a greater role. Stoner's Boy in The Gray Ghost becomes an important thematic link between the characters and the two main plots of the novel.

If you are looking for a resource to use while teaching To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hunger Games, or other novels, you can find materials in my TeachersPayTeachers online store.

10.14.2013

Common Core Skill: Show Evidence From the Text

Common Core Skills: How to show evidence from the text. From www.traceeorman.com

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One of the most important reading and writing skills students should practice is showing evidence from the text to support their answers. However, many of my students struggle with this. In the past, our students have been programmed to fill in a bubble answer on a standardized test that shows the evidence rather than try to find it themselves.

Show your students how to give evidence by demonstrating it (see visual aid, above).
My example question is from Divergent by Veronica Roth. It asks: “How does Beatrice’s mother feel about her? Give evidence from chapter one to support your answer.”

In the past, students may have just given me short answers like, "She cares about her daughter." 
By asking for evidence, students can't just give their opinion. We know their opinion is based on something, so they have to be further prompted to tell us what they based it on. Therefore, the student's answer should include not only their opinion, but one or two examples from the text that show this. Their answers should be paraphrased, but they still need to include the page number. 

This question-strategy helps those struggling readers find the right answers, as well. If a student wrote, "She's mean," he/she would have to back it up with an example from the chapter that shows Beatrice's mother is mean. When he/she can't find an example, he/she will have to re-think his/her original opinion. 

For students who are really struggling, I may prompt them orally with questions like, "Look at the non-verbal clues: what is Beatrice's mom doing to Beatrice in the first scene of the book? What does her mood seem to be? How do you know she feels this way? When a mother acts this way toward a child, what does it indicate about how she feels toward the child?" 

There are always a handful of students who complain that they can't find the answers in the book. If you have these same complainers, these are your students who are not reading the book. Because even students who have severe learning disabilities can answer the questions when they read it (or listen to the text).

So here's what I say to the complainers: "You aren't going to find a single sentence that gives you the answer to the question. And the answer isn't merely your opinion, either. The answer comes from that feeling you get about the character, or the theme, or whatever it is you're looking for. It's based on what you've inferred and gathered from descriptions and dialogue that can only come from reading it. Simply put, there is no short cut. The text must be read to answer the questions."

[Insert student groans.] After they channel their inner first-grader and throw another "I don't want to read" fit, they usually buck up and start reading.

Note: I do not mind allowing students to listen to audio of the text, especially if they follow along with their books. If this is the only way to get those reluctant readers to read, I say go for it. Today's teens are not like us. They learn much differently; we need to access and use every resource, device, and strategy to help them read on their own.

CCSS: Show Evidence from the Text  -From www.traceeorman.comIf you need handouts for instituting the Common Core standards into your curriculum, I have you covered! Check out all these great resources, ready to use with ANY text (fiction or non-fiction):
CCSS Reading Graphic Organizers, Grades 6,7,8
CCSS Reading Graphic Organizers, Grades 9-10 (Also covers grades 6-8)
CCSS Reading Graphic Organizers, Grades 11-12 (Also covers grades 6-10)

For non-fiction text and historical documents:
Analyzing primary and secondary sources - from www.traceeorman.comCCSS History & Social Studies Reading Graphic Organizers, Grades 6-12

For non-fiction and scientific texts:
CCSS Science & Technical Subjects Reading Graphic Organizers, Grades 6-12
FREE: CCSS Science & Technical Subjects Reading Graphic Organizers for RST.1, Grades 6-12

And, finally, I finished my DIVERGENT novel unit! :) It includes vocabulary/language activities, chapter discussion and critical-thinking questions, final exam, reading and writing assessments, research project, graphic organizers for reading comprehension, and creative activities. You can check it out here:

Divergent Common Core Teaching Unit

Divergent by Veronica Roth Teaching Guide & Activities

8.24.2013

Argument Essay Writing Claims

Argument Essay Writing Topics (or Claims)

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Students often struggle to find meaningful argument topics (or claims) for their formal essays. Not only do they get tired of writing about capital punishment, abortion, and dress codes, but we teachers get tired of reading the same old arguments.

TIP: To make the assignment more meaningful, ask students what THEY feel strongly about. We all know they have a million complaints because we are usually the ones they share them with. When they do, jot them down in a notebook or have them write it down. Keep this running list as a "go-to" for argument essay and/or debate topics or claims.

If your students are fresh out of ideas, here are some that seem to be "hot" topics with teenagers today (these are not my personal opinion, by the way). These are worded in statements rather than questions. Students who feel strongly about the topic can revise the statement to suit their opinion:

1. Students should be allowed to use their cell phones freely in the classroom.

2. Drivers who text and drive should be punished the same as those who drink and drive.

3. Cell phone companies should not make customers wait two years (or however long) to upgrade their phone.

4. Boys should be allowed to play volleyball on the girl's team (if a boy's team is not offered at school).

5. Energy drinks should not be sold to anyone under the age of 16.

6. Schools should ban the sales of all soft drinks and junk food in their buildings.

7. Minors should be allowed to get a tattoo without parent's permission.

8. Birth control should be free for anyone who wants to use it to help combat over population.

9. Same-sex couples should be treated the same as other couples in regards to discounts for dance tickets, meals, corsages, and any other "couples" perks.

10. Schools should not be responsible for after-hours dances such as Prom or other formals.

11. Schools should offer (and pay for) an online recovery course for students who fail the class.

12. Schools should not filter or block the internet.

13. Students should have to pass an exit test before graduating.

14. States should not use the ACT college entrance exam (or any college entrance exam) as a gauge for adequate yearly progress (AYP) of high school juniors.

15. Standardized tests should include all subjects that are required, such as government/social studies.

16. Teachers should not be allowed to be "friends" with or "followers" of students on Facebook®, Twitter®, Instagram®, or any other social media site.

17. All teachers should carry guns. {OR} All schools should have at least one armed police officer on duty while students are present.

18. Students should not be required to take physical education classes.

19. Professional athletes who have taken performance-enhancing drugs should be banned from that sport for life.

20. Single mothers on welfare should get free child care services so they can go to work.

21. Schools should not have to make up snow or weather-emergency days.

22. High schools should drop sports and extracurriculars and use the extra savings for educational purposes only.

23. Schools should provide more lunch choices for students.

24. Homework should be eliminated completely.

25. Corporal punishment should be allowed in schools (with parental consent).

26. Cheerleading is not a sport.

27. Basic health care should be provided for all citizens.

28. Parents should be held accountable/punished when minors break the law.

29. All schools should be year-round.

30. Students are more successful in single-sex classes (or schools).

Many of these claims may not apply to your school or students, but perhaps discussing them will lead to even more relevant topics. Students usually feel very strongly one way or the other when these are read. Have them write a couple of sentences in response. Those topics that they seem to write more about or feel the strongest about are good contenders for their argument topic.

For additional resources, you can see my argument essay pack for grades 6-12:
Argument Essay Topics at Mrs. Orman's Classroom www.traceeorman.com

8.14.2013

What Do Your Students Love?

Si says, "Welcome to class, Jack!"  Click to read more about connecting with your students.

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What do your students love? Many of mine are in to A&E's Duck Dynasty, so I made a sign for outside my room featuring the lovable Si Robertson along with my class schedule.

Find out what your students love and use it to make connections with them in the classroom. They may not admit it, but they'll appreciate it.

Would you like your own Uncle Si sign? Click {HERE} to download one FREE. 

Have a great year, Jack! ;)



And don't forget to check out my latest activities to use in your classroom! 
Here are the links:

The Ultimate Common Core Bell Ringer & Exit Slip Bundle (155+ activities)

Includes over 155 unique activities!

Common Core #Hashtags Activity - Great for Vocabulary & Reading Practice!

Work on vocabulary and reading skills using hashtags (kids love them!).

Common Core Argument Writing with Visual Aids & Graphic Organizers
Have your students follow the steps for building a powerful claim and strong essay.



7.29.2013

Who Needs Common Core Resources?

Who needs Common Core resources? Click to grab tons of freebies!

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If you've been wondering what happened to my blogs this summer, well...I've been a little bit busy. But the time spent was well worth it! My fellow online teacher-authors at TeachersPayTeachers put together these fabulous back-to-school eBooks chock full of tips for implementing the Common Core State Standards. Not only that, each page includes a link to a free download that is aligned to a specific standard (or standards). If you need additional materials, there's more links to priced products and each page states which standards they practice.

It can't get any easier than this for finding all the Common Core resources you'll need this school year. 

So click on the links below to start downloading some fabulous materials:

FREE Grades 6-12 English/Language Arts Common Core State Standards Resources eBook by TpT Teacher-Authors


6-12 Science Common Core Resources



6-12 Social Studies Common Core Resources


6-12 Math Common Core Resources


3-5 ELA Common Core Resources


3-5 Math Common Core Resources


K-2 Math Common Core Resources


K-2 ELA Common Core Resources


Special thanks to all the contributors to the eBooks and the clip artists, as well.  
We hope you all have a great school year!