February 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Women's History Month FREEBIE


What is Throwback Thursday? How does it work, you might ask? Simply look through your PURR-fect Previous Posts, perhaps a particular favorite of yours, and re-post it! Purr-fectly easy and simple! Your post doesn't have to be from LOOOONNNGGG ago; it can be from last month or even earlier this week. And if you don't have a post to share, perhaps an old photo or two from WAY BACK will do! Even a favorite pin is PURR-fect! Just join in the Throwback fun!


This post first appeared on The Teacher's Desk 6 2/28/13.

March is hailed as Women's History Month. In celebration of this, I have my sixers complete a mini-research project in which they are required to locate biographical information about ten women. I call it mini-research since they only have to provide a sentence or two of information for each of the women. They also must provide the citations for the webpages from which they gathered their facts. I do review lessons about using internet search engines and the authenticity of information as well as introducing how to properly write internet citations.

When I first began this March activity, it was just a topic for Paragraph a Week. As the years have gone on, I've added additional parts to it until it became this mini-research project. In the past I have had my students expand their research into full-fledged, five paragraph or more reports. They have published the reports on a wiki and even created their own webpages. This year I am going to have them create video reports using the website Animoto. They are comfortable with Animoto, having done a book trailer earlier in the year.

I'm hoping to create some support materials to go along with the project in the future and offer the complete packet in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. Meanwhile, I'm offering the original mini-research worksheet as a FREEBIE. You can download it HERE or by clicking the link directly below the graphic.


Frame graphic courtesy of The Sweet Berry Patch



Now it's your turn for a Throwback Thursday post.





February 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Return to Normal?

Didn't think I'd have a pic to join Miss DeCarbo this week for...


because we have been out of school like FOREVER! Seriously, we had class on Feb. 12th, then again on Feb. 18th, and not again until today! It's been so COLD and SNOWY here in NE Ohio that schools have been out of class nine days since we returned to class after Christmas break. Unbelievable!

My sixers are SOOOOO happy to be back in session today!





February 24, 2015

Tuesday Writing PaWs 2.24.15

PaW (Paragraph a Week) was a wonderful, collaborative project for us internet newbies in mid-1997. Thirty or so 5/6th grade teachers, full of ambition and excitement, met daily via email messages, sharing ideas and laughter, issues and problems. I remember how thrilled we were when we discovered how to send a "group" email message, saving us the bother of typing or copying/pasting a batch of addresses. We felt so techy accomplished!

I was honored to be the "keeper of topics" and happy to be asked to format and house the materials on my website. As time progressed, the number of PaW topics grew from the original cache of about 30 to nearly 100, and all were free for teachers to use.

This week's FREE PaW topic is rather appropos, at least for those of us in the northern climes. You can download "Journey of a Snowflake" HERE.


Other PaW FREEBIES currently available can be downloaded below.
Leprechauns
Earth Day
Mother's Day
Finish the Phrase
Nice
National Pencil Month
Favorite Valentine Memory
Bird's Eye View of Spring
Abe and George
Topics soon to appear during the Tuesday Writing PaWs:
Color
My Favorite Outfit
School Uniforms
Don't forget! Tomorrow is the big day, the first TpT Sale of 2015!




February 23, 2015

Mind-Boggling Monday 2.23.15 Final Day for Giveaway

So what's mind-boggling this Monday? I'm afraid that it's the weather again! It has been so cold...


We only had one day of classes last week! Granted, Monday and Tuesday were scheduled off days, but Thursday and Friday were good old calamity days, not for snow, but for cold, like -30 degrees cold! The week before that we missed a day for snow and then had Friday as a scheduled off day. Can you sense a pattern here... missing lots of days. We have used EIGHT calamity days since Christmas break! It is difficult to get a routine going.

So what's a teacher to do when her mind is so boggled? Have her students play Boggle, that's what! Boggle is a great morning work activity, it's good for brain breaks, and even works well for indoor recess. Haven't tried it yet with your kiddos? Here's a board to download and project for your students to play. They will think it's a game, while you know they are practicing word skills, AND while they are PLAYING, you can catch your breath and plan ahead. WIN-WIN!


Not sure how to play Boggle? Click HERE for the original game rules.

Need a Boggle board that you can edit yourself? Click HERE for a free editable board.

Want a variety of editable boards to change with the seasons? Click HERE for a bundle of fifteen.

Before you leave, just a little reminder: Today is the LAST day of my Blogiversary giveaway. Hop on over to this BLOG POST and enter to win a $25 TpT gift certificate just in time for the Teachers Are Heroes site sale starting Wednesday... perfect timing!



February 22, 2015

Sunday Scoop 2.22.15

Time to join the Teaching Trio for...


Here's my scoop for today, all quite typical and rather routine, especially the shoveling! Blech!


Before you head over to the Teaching Trio for more Sunday Scoops, stop by this BLOG POST to enter a great giveaway going on until Feb. 24th.





February 20, 2015

Five for Friday 2.20.15

Time to join Doodle Bugs for Teaching for...


This was an interesting week! We only had ONE day in session! Yes, ONE! Monday was Presidents' Day- scheduled off; Tuesday was our comp. day for p/t conferences- scheduled off; Wednesday- GREAT DAY for learning; Thursday was bitterly cold- calamity day off; Friday was frigidly cold- another calamity day (total of eight thus far this year).


 We did manage to get some great learning done this Wednesday! We finished up a project started the week before. Our Science Coach from the local university stopped in and spent the morning working on mixtures and compounds as well as building atomic models. So much fun, so much learning!


My beautiful, 16 year old girl had been quite ill last week and had spent time in the fuzz child hospital. We (the vet) are not quite sure what the problem was. I am positive it is a chronic problem with her teeth. When she came home I had to give her an oral antibiotic... OH MY! We finished her course of treatment this week, and she is feeling much better. Next week, weather permitting, I take her back for a follow-up visit.


That one day we had in session, Wednesday, was Ash Wednesday. Because I teach in a Catholic School we had Mass on this day. What a beautiful liturgy it was! Here is a photo of the display in front of the altar. It contains our Lenten theme... Pray, Fast, Share.


I'm celebrating my second blogiversary this month. In fact, TODAY is exactly two years from the very first post here at The Teacher's Desk 6. I'd like to thank all who have participated in and helped me grow my blog . I'm inviting you to help me do a little celebrating. I'm giving away a $25 TpT gift certificate! Who doesn't like these? Especially during those great sales that TpT OFTEN hosts... wink! You have until Feb. 24th to enter my giveaway. Hop on over to THIS POST before time runs out!




February 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Blogiversary Gift


What is Throwback Thursday? How does it work, you might ask? Simply look through your PURR-fect Previous Posts, perhaps a particular favorite of yours, and re-post it! Purr-fectly easy and simple! Your post doesn't have to be from LOOOONNNGGG ago; it can be from last month or even earlier this week. And if you don't have a post to share, perhaps an old photo or two from WAY BACK will do! Even a favorite pin is PURR-fect! Just join in the Throwback fun!


This post first appeared on The Teacher's Desk 6 2//20/13, the very first blog post here at The Teacher's Desk 6.

For years I hosted The Teacher's Desk website. I hosted Paragraph a Week and housed an archive of 100's of classroom ideas for teachers in grades 5 and 6. It began as a small website on a local ISP in late 1996 with a goofy web address. Then along came Geocities and I uploaded my site there. Still called The Teacher's Desk, it still had all the same content and a goofy web address. Sometime around 2003 Geocities combined forces with Yahoo and personal websites were not going to be accorded the same luxuries without a price. It was then that I invested in my own domain teachersdesk.org and began paying a monthly fee to house what for years had been free. Great!

Except that after time that monthly fee began to weigh on me, especially after I saw that there were new companies offering FREE websites with terrific features. In 2012, I took the plunge. I closed the teachersdesk.org and began porting things over to Google. The classroom website came first. Many of the once free items from The Teacher's Desk are now being offered on Teachers Pay Teachers, some still free; some for a price (reasonable, I might add). Still other items are being updated and will be featured here on the The Teacher's Desk 6 blog.

I started out creating this blog as a means for parents, students, and me to be to discuss the books we were reading in my Language Arts classes. I didn't like this really but it was a blog topic and I wanted a blog; however, I just let it be for quite some time. Today was a snow day for St. John School. I puttered around the house, finished all the chores, and started playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook when it occurred to me: Why not update that blog you opened last year?

Here it is! I'll be posting classroom ideas and activities on a regular basis. Feel free to borrow and share. I invite your comments, responses, inquiries, etc. Just one rule, please: give credit where credit is due. I promise to follow the same.

Thanks for joining me here at The Desk,
Angela
teachersdesk@yahoo.com



It's hard to believe that that first post appeared two years ago...  many linky parties, special features, giveaways, blog hops, over 400 posts later, The Teacher's Desk 6 is going strong, growing new followers and gaining bloggy friends (the best part of blogging in my opinion). It's time for a BLOGIVERSARY CELEBRATION. As a special thank you to show my appreciation for your support these past two years, I am giving away a $25.00 gift certificate for Teachers Pay Teachers.
Just enter the Rafflecopter below between now and February 24, 2015, 12:00 AM when I will select a winner. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Now it's your turn for a THROWBACK POST.






February 17, 2015

Tuesday Writing PaWs 2.17.15

A few weeks ago on Tuesday I began my series about Paragraph a Week (PaW), a writing program that was first developed by a group of 5/6th grade teachers in 1998 via a listserv. Since that initial post I've shared the background of the program, a listing of topics, and a bit about its growth. Let's look now at the very first item of the program: a sample parent letter.



This letter is meant as a sample. Each teacher should tailor-make his/her letter to suit his/her expectations and requirements. For instance, my assignments were given on Monday but due on Thursdays, and as time passed I did not use the five elements of good writing but rather the Six+1 Traits of Good Writing. This served as a communication and accountability tool. I kept the signed returns on file and made sure that I had one from each student's parent/guardian. If you opt to utilize PaW Writing, I advise you to begin with a parent letter or communication of some sort: email, classroom blog post, text message, etc. Keeping parents informed and involved always adds to student success.

This week's PaW FREEBIE is in honor of Presidents' Day and incorporates using dialog. You can download your copy by clicking HERE.



Other PaW FREEBIES currently available can be downloaded below.
Leprechauns
Earth Day
Mother's Day
Finish the Phrase
Nice
National Pencil Month
Favorite Valentine Memory
Topics soon to appear during the Tuesday Writing PaWs:
Journey of a Snowflake
Color
Signs of Spring

February 16, 2015

Mind-Boggling Monday: Indoor Recess

So, what's mind-boggling this Monday? It has to be the weather! Here in NE Ohio we are experiencing a winter that won't quit. The snow began falling mid-December, covering the ground and causing our first snow day. The ground? Haven't seen that since before Christmas! Five more snow days, sub-zero temps, and frigid wind chills brings us to today. Brrrr! Luckily we have the day off from classes in celebration of Presidents' Day.

With all of the cold this winter, we have had few days with outdoor recess. Sometimes it's necessary to organize activities for an indoor recess. Left to their own devices, our students might not make the best choices for indoor recess. Boggle is one activity that allows students the freedom to relax yet still engage in word skills. They think they're playing; we know they're learning! SCORE!

Here's a board perfect for Presidents' Day or other American patriotic celebrations. Simply right click on the image, save it to your hard drive, and project it for your students to use.


Not sure how to play Boggle? Click HERE for the original game rules.

Need a Boggle board that you can edit yourself? Click HERE for a free editable board.

Want a variety of editable boards to change with the seasons? Click HERE for a bundle of fifteen.




February 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday 2.12.15 Valentine's Day

Welcome to...



What is Throwback Thursday? How does it work, you might ask? Simply look through your PURR-fect Previous Posts, perhaps a particular favorite of yours, and re-post it! Then add the TBT badge to your post and include your link below! Purr-fectly easy and simple! Your post doesn't have to be from LOOOONNNGGG ago; it can be from last month or even earlier this week. And if you don't have a post to share, perhaps an old photo or two from WAY BACK will do! Even a favorite pin is PURR-fect! Just join in the Throwback fun!


This post first appeared on The Teacher's Desk 6 2/14/14.

SAINT Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. Many people enjoy celebrating this fun holiday; they love the chocolates, the exchange of cards, the bright colors, the flowers, etc. However, many people don't realize the origins of this "holy day". Yes, holy day. It is actually a Catholic feast day that honors a special saint whose celebration has crossed-over into commercialized society life.

Each year my sixers are awed by the story of the simple, humble man who lived in Ancient Rome and gave his life in honor and love of Christ Jesus. This year I came across an amazing picture book about this generous, loving saint.

How did Valentine's Day, one of our most popular holidays, begin? 

It started in ancient Rome when a kind physician named Valentine took an interest in a young blind girl. With his healing skill and his deep faith he restored her sight. What we now call Valentine's Day began when he sent the little girl a secret message, which she received after the Christian martyr was executed. For this tale rich in sentiment, master illustrator Robert Sabuda has created exquisite paper mosaics to suggest early Christian art that resonates with both subtlety and power
... Amazon.com

There was a stunned silence when I finished reading the book, until my student, the most unruly of them, said: WOW! I wish I could be like that dude. He was so not self-centered.

I couldn't have said it better myself. I asked them all to personally respond with why they thought Valentine was recognized as a saint by completing this simple notebook foldable.

There were such wonderful responses! Many similar to the one that my student had voiced aloud. However, one stood out. This one was from one of my boys who struggles with written communication. He has difficulty with spelling, with the act of writing, with getting his thoughts on paper, and more. In shaky writing, missing letters, and no punctuation,  he simply wrote...

he lovd everon

With just this simple story, my kiddos GOT the meaning and true message of Valentine's Day... SAINT Valentine's Day. It isn't about the chocolates or the cards or the flowers, it's about putting others before ourselves, it's about being a light for others, it's about our call as goodly(Godly) people...



Now it's your turn for a THROWBACK!



February 10, 2015

Tuesday Writing PaWs 2.10.15

A few weeks ago on Tuesday I began my series about Paragraph a Week (PaW), a writing program that was first developed by a group of 5/6th grade teachers in 1998 via a listserv. Since that time other programs similar to it have cropped up. I often wonder if that group's idea was the springboard for these newcomers.

Here are the original 70 topics of the PaW program divided into two categories: single paragraph and multi-paragraph compositions. The single paragraph topics are in the left column while the multi-paragraph topics are in the right. I screen shot the list as it appeared on The Teacher's Desk website back in 2012, thus the titles appear as links. Over the course of many weeks, nearly all of these topics will appear here on The Teacher's Desk 6 blog for FREE.


This week's FREEBIE PaW is all about the upcoming holiday, Valentine's Day. You'll notice that this particular topic focuses on several of the Six + 1 Traits of Writing all at once. The PaW program was cumulative, covering many skills over the course of two years. Now and then a topic would take on a review nature. This is one of those. Click HERE to download your copy of the PaW direction sheet for use in your classroom.



Other PaW FREEBIES currently available can be downloaded below.
Leprechauns
Earth Day
Mother's Day
Finish the Phrase
Nice
National Pencil Month
Topics soon to appear during the Tuesday Writing PaWs:
Parent Introductory Letter
Journey of a Snowflake
Color
Signs of Spring