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Showing posts from April, 2013

Teaching about the Holocaust

This week we observed  the USHMM National Days of Remembrance , so to honor the victims of the Holocaust and formally introduce our final unit of the year, I showed a presentation to give background knowledge of World War II and the Road to Genocide. At the end of the presentation, I instructed students to head to Edmodo, where I had uploaded lists of victims from  . Students were instructed two pick two (or more) people from the list and put each of their names on a candle. Here's a free download of the template I used. Then, students put their candles out on the bulletin board in the hallway. The result was breathtaking, and I just wanted to share! Do you observe the Days of Remembrance with your students?

Bulletin Boards for 8th Grade

I'll admit it...bulletin boards are NOT my strong suit. I leave them up for WAY too long, and I hate putting them up, even if I feel like I have a good idea. I guess that is the secondary teacher in me :) That being said, I did do a few bulletin boards this year, with the help of my Silhouette Cameo! At the beginning of the year we focused on genre and previewing text, so I had students create frayer models for various book hooks: During NaNoWriMo  this year, I created a "Countdown" bulletin board to keep them motivated and track their progress as a group. They especially liked "Now Panic and Freak Out"  Every 4th quarter we do a unit on the Holocaust, reading Night  by Elie Wiesel, and "The Diary of Anne Frank". I usually only do one bulletin board...the same one I have been doing since I student taught in 2007! This year I decided to also cover ALL THREE of my whiteboards at the back, which means I have to cool i

Monday Update! New Classroom Layout

So I promised to post some pics, and I thought I'd upload a whole bunch from what we've done this year! Today I'm going to focus on my classroom layout changes. I currently have them in groups for Lit. Circles, even though I am usually NOT a fan of small groups. First, my clean desk area. Usually, I have papers piled up everywhere, even underneath my desk, so I am feeling great! :) Classroom Layout So I started out my year with my room looking like this... It was great in theory...but the students kept kicking the bookcases, and they quickly fell apart. To see more detailed pics, click here  and here  :) So, I rearranged a bit, and I am really happy with the results! This table houses the ISN master copies, my suggestion box, CICO box, and lost and found underneath. To the right is my "Golden Recommendation Shelf" with new and recommended books for kids to read during SSR. I cleared out the area underneath my whiteboard, just so I

Virtual and Paperless Classrooms?

Hi everyone! I have been so absorbed with my classes the year that I have no time at all to blog, but it has been a great year! Recently, I have been devoting the majority of my time to Edmodo, and getting my students comfortable and situated with it. I'm sure you are all familiar with Edmodo, but if not, it is basically a virtual classroom environment, and it looks like Facebook. I hear, "Should we log out of Facebook?" many times a day when we use Edmodo in the classroom. Students can earn badges (which they love!), and I post polls, discussion questions, and sometimes useless trivia. Once students were comfortable with the idea of posting, we moved on to having them "Turn-In" assignments through Edmodo. This ended up going so well that I had 125+ Argumentative Papers assigned, done on computers, and uploaded to Edmodo. What does that mean? No paper used, no big bags for me to drag home and grade, and no more "My Printer Broke!" excuses :)