Friday, October 19, 2018

An apple for the Teacher

The gifting of fruit is associated with hardship in world history. In Denmark and Sweden during the 1700s, families gave baskets of apples as payment for the education of their children. Apples have become symbols associated with schools all over the world and most of us are familiar with the phrase that I have deliberately chosen to share my apples with teacher readers in the hope that they will provide some compensation for the hard work that goes into the job of teaching.

A handful of websites worth visiting…
This link takes you to an infographic with links to 32 sites.
This link is to a number of tools that are great for building STEAM projects  Science/Technology/Engineering/Art/Maths

Professional Reading.
Resources/ links to publications and research plus a link to a YouTube channel.
The importance of mindfulness: An article by Stephanie Tolan that discusses how a highly gifted child’s different intensity and cognitive ability affects life experiences.

TED talks are a wonderful source of inspiration. Check out these amazing talks by children and bookmark the TED blog site. Well worth the time!
A link to 10 podcasts about subjects lending themselves to STEAM  investigations. Great for kids to listen to.

Learn to differentiate.
Differentiation is giving students choice to add depth to the learning and includes the provision of  resources to match levels of understanding.
Here is a link to help out with ideas:
And many of the activities for sale on my teacherspayteacherswebsite:

Educational ideas for the classroom 
Click FOLLOW while you are there and keep up to date with new offerings.

Survival Strategies for when the going gets tough
Make a list of things to be done then categorise (chunk) them, check them off as each group is completed and give yourself a little reward.
Celebrate learning success with a powerful way to end the school year:
60 more ways to survive as your teaching year ends.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Getting ready for the Christmas Season

The end of the year will soon be upon schools and a later finish to the term is an added incentive to find educational activities associated with the holiday season that will continue to challenge students to the end.
Here are some ideas that I have been working on from my teacherspayteachers website.
The mysteries are aimed at upper primary/ intermediate level.

1. 12 Days of Christmas for the classroom

On the first day of Christmas, my teacher gave to me 
A worksheet to complete for her to see. 
On the second day of Christmas my teacher gave to me,,, 
Instructions for a puzzle on a worksheet to complete for her to see. 

2.  The Tree of Christmas Kindness
An activity designed to encourage random acts of kindness for the Christmas season. Only preparation required is to print pages for student use and provide access to scissors and glue.
3. Who is the Secret Santa? A new Christmas Mystery to solve

Mrs Scott was surprised to find that someone had left her a Secret Santa parcel on her desk when she arrived at school on Friday morning. She opened it to find a bag of chocolate candy.  Use the clues to find out who the Secret Santa could be.
4. Other Christmas mysteries to try...

Who stole Rudolph's nose?

Who pinched the Christmas pudding? 

These thinking challenges are part of a series of mysteries for students to solve either individually or as a group challenge. The clues are based on mathematical codes and ciphers and as each clue is solved it eliminates a number of suspects until there is just one possibility left. Answers are included.
In my own teaching practice students are given the booklets to solve at the beginning of the week and I do not debrief with answers until three or four days later. This challenges the students to work on the puzzles at their own rate and to think about possible strategies. It also encourages collaboration. Each mystery includes a range of problem difficulty. 
No prep. Just print and go. 

And an idea for a surprise for a teaching colleague:
Are you looking for a gift for a teacher? 
Here's an easy idea to put together for teacher colleagues or your child's class teacher that will make them smile. 
Included is a label for a gift for each of the 12 days of Christmas and all you need to do is print it out and add the small gift that it refers to, or one of your own ideas to fit.