Showing posts with label students. Show all posts
Showing posts with label students. 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


3.01.2014

Classroom Organization Update: Make-Up Work


Classroom Organization: Make-Up Work Solution www.traceeorman.com

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My biggest challenge with staying organized is paperwork. Even though my students have laptops and we do much of our homework/classwork online, I still have several students whose laptops are "in the shop" or they have lost their privileges, so I must provide paper copies of the work we do. This includes copies of presentations, bell-ringers, MLA cheat sheets, etc. And students who are absent for online quizzes, tests, and journal prompts have to use the paper copy because our online program locks them out.

It gets to be overwhelming keeping it all straight.

I finally just started using my magnets (click HERE to see how I made all my classroom whiteboard magnets) on top of different stacks. But you all know what happens next: a student lifts the magnet to grab a copy and the rest of the papers fall to the floor. Some students had the foresight to set the magnet aside and hold the papers with the other hand, but—based on their furrowed brows—this was such an inconvenience.

I have stackable trays and paper organizers that I can put on my counters or a table. I've tried this method in the past and have found that I really don't like them. They take up a lot of room and don't have a prominent place for a label. I need a label that shouts to my students so loudly they don't have to ask me every. single. time.
I hate these stackable trays. Click for a better, cleaner way to distribute paperwork.
Clearly, I'm doing this wrong.
Stackable trays don't allow you to display prominent labels. Click to find out my solution to this...
Epic label FAIL on stackable trays.

So as I saw another stack of make-up work fall to the floor, I thought, I need a strap to hold those papers in. 

My first thought was to use a magnetic curtain rod (I use one for my daily bell-ringer signs* and I love it), but they are not close enough to the papers to keep them flat.
Classroom organization: Love using magnetic curtain rod to hang bell-ringers.  www.traceeorman.com
Love my magnetic curtain rod for my bell ringers, but knew it wouldn't work to hold make-up work handouts*.

Then I tried taking a folder and cutting it in half so the papers just go right in the pocket.
Paper load organization fail: My first attempt for de-cluttering make-up work papers.
It was okay until...
That was okay, but they still flapped over, so students couldn't read the labels on the pocket.
Prototype #1 Fail for organizing/distributing make-up work.
Prototype #1 FAIL!
To combat the flapping, I folded a piece of paper lengthwise in threes and secured it with magnets on the sides to keep the handouts from flapping.
Prototype #2 Fail for organizing/distributing make-up work.
Prototype #2 FAIL!
It worked, but it looked like overkill. Like the folder pocket wasn't even necessary. And it wasn't. So I ditched that and just used the paper.
Easy classroom organization for make-up work and other handouts. www.traceeorman.com
Finally! Third time's a charm.

How easy is that? And cheap.

Easy classroom organization for make-up work and other handouts. www.traceeorman.com
Why did it take me three attempts to figure this out?? 
And I really like how "clean" and uncluttered it looks. Much better than the trays. What do you think?

Another installment in my organization journey: managing the make-up paper distribution.
I am making progress with my classroom disorganization problem, my friends. But I still have a long way to go. Thanks for following me on my journey to organizing my classroom!

Mrs. Orman's Classroom ~ www.traceeorman.com


*Bell ringer signs are found in my Bell Ringer Bundle. "Motivational Monday" quote signs are found in my bundle of Inspirational Quotes Classroom Posters.

10.24.2013

Test Time #TeacherProblems

...student didn't read the book but expects an A on the test. #TeacherProblems
Hey kids...it's called READING. Pick up a book and try it sometime. :)


Do these images look (or sound) familiar?


There's nothing worse than a student who never pays attention in class, doesn't read the book, doesn't take notes or study for the test, then complains that the test is too hard or they didn't have time to study or it's the teacher's fault they fail.

This goes out to all those teachers who've had to deal with unmotivated and irresponsible students. I feel your pain!

Blames teacher for failing; didn't study or pay attention in class. #TeacherProblems

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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.



4.06.2013

Seven End-of-the-Year Writing Prompts for High School Seniors

Writing Prompts for Seniors www.traceeorman.com

As your seniors begin the last few weeks of their high school careers, they will probably be experiencing many emotions. Excited to graduate, stressed for finals, anxious to begin a new life. To help ease their anxiety, carve out a little time for a meaningful writing assignment. Try one of these short prompts:

1. "Remember when..." - Who doesn't like to reminisce once in a while? Have your students write as many "Remember when..." statements about their school days and classmates. Allow them to share with their classmates. You could also collect their writing and make copies for each student. For a paperless option, create a Google Document and share it with them. Each student can contribute their own "Remember when..." statements.

2. "My Favorite Quote..." - Have your students share their favorite quotes. Prompt them to elaborate on why that particular quote speaks to them. Some will already know their favorite quote, but others may need help. Here are some websites with compilations of quotes that may help:
  • Brainy Quote
  • Good Quotations by Famous People (Compiled by Dr. Gabriel Robins)
  • A Collection of Quotes and More Pinterest Board
As an enrichment, students can type their favorite quote into a word-cloud generator (try www.wordle.net or www.tagxedo.com). They can print the images and hang their quotes in the classroom as a reminder of the inspirational words they have chosen.
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Live & Learn End of the Year (or Anytime) Activity for All Ages Freebie
3. Live & Learn and Pass It On: "I Have Learned..." - I've written about this activity several times; it's no surprise that it is one of my favorites each year. Based on H. Jackson Browne Jr.'s book, students write a "life lesson" they have learned. Examples include: "I have learned that being nice to the lunch ladies pays off with extra helpings of food," and "I have learned that my senior year went by way too fast. If I could have a do-over, I'd enjoy it more and stress less." If you want to use the lesson I created for this assignment, you can download it free here: Life Lessons Writing Freebie

4. Best Advice Received &/or Best Advice to Pass Along - First, students write about the best advice they've received in the past four years. What made it the "best"? Did they follow it? Or wish they had? Next, or as an alternative prompt, they write a message of advice to incoming freshmen. What do they wish they had known? Would they pass along advice they had been given? How would advice to an incoming freshman differ from advice they would leave to the current junior class?

5. "My Legacy..." - Ask students, "What is your legacy?" What are they leaving behind for others? This is a good reflective prompt because it makes students think about how they have impacted the lives of others. Perhaps it is a memory of something they did in school--an accomplishment they achieved or how they made a group of students laugh. Maybe they served as an example, whether it was positive or negative (one of my former students who had been expelled for a year wrote about that experience and hoped others would learn from his mistakes). Maybe it is a tangible item, such as a trophy in the cabinet, a seat in the cafeteria, a parking space, a locker, or a tree planted on campus. How will others benefit from their legacy? If they struggle with this, ask them what they would like to leave behind if they had no limitations. Or maybe the underlying question here is: how do they want to be remembered by future students? Or do they want to remembered at all? If not, why not?

Senior Wills and Six Other Writing Prompts for the End-of-the-Year
6. Senior Will - I remember my old high school year yearbook printing up "senior wills" on the last page of the yearbook. Each senior "willed" something to another student, a teacher or staff member, or the administration. Perhaps the reason it was dropped before I entered high school was that some responses like "Jack wills his sense of humor to Mr. Doe because he clearly needs it" were not appropriate or respectful. But some of them were great, like "Jane wills her artistic abilities to the incoming freshmen so they can beat the other classes in the Homecoming float-building contest." If you think your students can handle this (as far as maturity), it is a fun activity. But if it becomes a way to make fun of others, move on to a different activity.

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7. "What's Hot? What's Not?" - Another favorite activity, have students create Hot/Not lists for their high school career. They could start a list on the white board (or on a shared Google Doc) of events or happenings that were "hot" (or great) and "not" over the past four years. "Hot" items might include winning a championship, filming a "Harlem Shake" video, or participating in a poetry cafe. "Not" items may include state testing/final exams (or any high-stakes test), losing a close game, or perhaps losing a classmate. The lists they generate are great discussion starters, but also help students cope with feelings they may still be holding on to. I use my "What's Hot? What's Not?" activity in class for additional purposes, as well. You can download it free in my teacher store.

You'll also want to read:
Thoughtful and Inexpensive Gifts for Graduates

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