A quick look back at some popular articles and important personal moments. Plus, my wish for 2012!
Idioms were my next target. Houghton Mifflin spends just one week on this concept, yet the only way to learn idioms is to be exposed to a wide variety. I scoured the internet and developed a list of over 200 idioms with definitions and examples.
We begin our year with an ancient tools projects. Students build the tools that early man would have access to. Naturally, many students want to build spears. We type “spears” into Google. Guess what comes up? That’s right: page after page about Britney Spears.
Naturally, the origin of a topic is a great place to start, and the Christmas tree has quite a twisty, knotted history. Some trace the roots of the tree-decorating tradition back to ancient winter celebrations. However, the use of decorated trees as a Christmas-specific decoration is surprisingly new, appearing in the last 500 years or so.
Ever since, I’ve used Morris’ idea, and played the theme from The Andy Griffith Show as a cue for students to return to their seats. These musical transitions have saved my voice years of wear and tear. Here are some of the ways I’ve been getting music into my classroom
This year, I changed one requirement. Students had to compose a haiku as the body of their card. This gave me a chance to introduce a type of poetry that I like to use throughout the year, while still maintaining the purpose of expressing unexpected thankfulness to someone.
Teaching students about the first Thanksgiving feast is standard fare in the primary grades, yet there is a gold mine of fascinating information about the origin of Thanksgiving’s date. It’s a bizarre history that will intrigue your students and could lead down some interesting avenues!
Here’s a movie made in 1977, and its trailer is barely watchable! In fact, it almost made me not want to watch Star Wars, a movie I know almost by heart. Perhaps we’re onto something interesting for our students to analyze.
Halloween is coming up, and it’s a hard one to ignore in the classroom. Sure, you can always use the traditional cut and paste pumpkin activity, but let’s think about how we can capture students’ excitement and use it to deepen thinking and increase knowledge?
Advanced learners and chess go hand in hand. In the past, I’ve used chess to introduce systems, introduce depth and complexity, and discuss paradoxes. However, since so many of my students understand the basics of chess, I decided to expose them to some chess-like games from other cultures.