Saturday, December 22, 2012

Classroom Kindness Ornaments

After searching the internet for an ornament activity to do with my middle school students, I was unable to find anything that wasn’t geared towards younger children. So, I decided to create a lesson to do with them that could be educational and also create a keepsake to hang from the tree.

Students write compliments to their classmates, and their words of kindness are turned into an ornament.

My 8th grade students loved the lesson and ornaments, and I was able to work out all the kinks before sharing with you!

I am also excited to announce that I have joined the world of TeacherspayTeachers.  I originally had the opinion that teachers should just be generous and share their work with others for free, out of the goodness of their hearts.  Surprisingly, A LOT of lessons are free (including this ornament one), but the ones that do cost are definitely worth it.  After seeing the quality, I now understand the time and effort that went into the activities, lessons, posters, etc. and definitely think the teachers who created them deserve to be compensated. 

I doubt  I will be charging for anything anytime soon, but am kind of excited to have a new outlet to possibly earn some extra moula.

~Mrs. Scott

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Online Games for Middle School Language Arts

I love having student computers in my classroom, but because there are only two, I have been at a loss with how to let students use them so that they are relevant for 8th grade English.  Anytime a student finished early the only website they knew to go to was, and while I am sure there are great math games, it just didn't feel appropriate for them to play during my class. 

I found tons of elementary-oriented website for helping with reading, spelling, and phonics, but secondary games are hard to come I searched harder.

I have spent some of my free time  (hah!) during the past few weeks looking for games that are fun to play, but also address objectives my students need to know and may also struggle with.  I added my "finds" to my classroom website for students to access and thought some of you may want to use them as well without having to do the legwork. ;)

So, here they are...  If you know of more please share with us in the comments!
For each answer you get right, they donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, and grades.

It's Greek to Me Game:
Identify definitions by using clues found in words' roots while playing in the Olympics.
Professor Garfield Reading Ring:
Wrestle your opponent by answering comic strip questions.
Professor Garfield Learning Lab:
Watch videos and play games from Garfield.
Interactive mysteries teach problem solving
Rooting Out Word:
Help Remainder the Dog gather enough mushrooms to sell at the market by uncovering the roots of words.
Plural Girls:
Twin sisters Pearl and Flora lost their friends in the bubble machine. Help them get their friends out by choosing the correct plural form of the given word.
Word Confusion:
Help Regan the Vegan make fresh salad. Choose the correct word to complete each sentence.
Grammar Gorillas:
Our friends, the Grammar Gorillas, need help identifying parts of speech. If you click on the right word in the sentence, our friends get a banana. And you know, a gorilla with a banana is a gorilla with appeal.
Spell Check:
Can you check the misspelled word??
~Mrs. Scott