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Resources for Teachers

I'm always looking for new ideas to use in my room. I've found a few websites that I use for supplementing lessons, and units. I'd like to share a few more with you.

Please share any good lesson websites you have with me as well. Anything to improve my instruction is always welcomed.!/

Those are a few good sites. Share some with me if you have any great ones!


Readers are Leaders!!!!

This year I have taken on the goal of reading every Newbery winning book from 1970 on. That's 35 books to read in one school year. Some may think that is easy enough, and others of you may think that'd be insane. It depends on how much a person reads, and again how much a person reads.

I started out great. I had a good handful of the books done by our first break at Thanksgiving. The main problem after that was that I continued to add other books into the fray that weren't on the list. After reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, which I had read numerous times before, I followed by reading all the follow-up books that he wrote as a "sequel". That numbered about 5 books alone, but I ate them up like chocolate chip cookies. This really slowed me down, but I have still been trying to get the stack that I have waiting at home down to a few (so I can add more that my students are telling me to READ!!) I started with Bud, Not Buddy. I decided that I'd use that in class. During the first part of the year I also read A Year Down Yonder, Because of Winn-Dixie (not a Newbery, but still outstanding) Tales of Desperaux (Fantastic), Sounder, Walk Two Moons (Another I'll be using in class later this year), The Giver (In my top 10 now), and the Whipping Boy. Not bad, and I know that I'm forgetting some non-Newbery winners.

From the list of winners since 1970 I had already some of them as well... Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Maniac McGee, Bridge to Terabithia.. to name most since 1970. The exciting part is, I have many "outstanding" books left to read!!!

I may try to read some of them over the summer, but I have also some major plans set aside to begin writing my first novel. I am so enthralled with books dedicated to this age level, that it has consumed me to the point of no return. I am going to write a book. I am currently working on my story-line, and building up finances to get the things I'll need to get this project underway. If you wanted to assist me on this quest, I've added a donation bar on the links column. I'm saving up for a quality printer, writing supplies, and I'm sure some other unforseen costs that go along with the whole process. I thought at first about doing a picturebook, and I did do a simple one in my college teaching course, but I enjoy letting the words take the story more now than the pictures. I guess since I've taught at the sixth grade level for quite a few years, that has focused my brain.

Anyway, if you want to help me on my way, I would be very appreciative of your generosity. I would also like to hear from you about which books you have enjoyed, what you've been reading, or anything related to the whole concept.

My top books, in no particular order:
The Giver
The Harry Potter series, mainly books 2-5 (the first one was good, but more an intro)
The Hobbit
Tales of Desperaux, Because of Winn-Dixie(Kate DiCamillo is wonderful)
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry
Where the Red Fern Grows
Bud, Not Buddy
Tuck Everlasting
The Root Cellar
Walk Two Moons, Love That Dog (Sharon Creech is marvelous)
Hatchet, and the sequels... Brian's Return, Brian's Winter, Brian's Hunt, The River

I know I'm omitting many, and the list keeps growing, and growing. I'd like to hear what you think about these books, or any others that you've enjoyed!


Light at the end of the tunnel

Most public schools must be in the final marking period. How do you survive when students are ready for vacation? Or when you are ready for vacation...?

Come up with some fresh ideas!

One thing that I usually do every spring is reorganize my classroom. Sometimes I do this part of this during the school day, so that students are involved in any decision-making. I sometimes set up the desks differently, or maybe just putting up a new bulletin board. This gives a fresh atmosphere to the room, and to the minds of those who are in it.

Another thing that I try to do is have a class discussion about where we're at and what we need to do. I try to be upfront and tell them "As of today we have 40 days of school left. In Science we still are going to cover 4 chapters." I've found that heart-to-heart talks about many topics throughout the year enhance the connection you have with your students. Keep in mind I'm working with 11-12 year olds. That may not work quite as smoothly with a 5 year old.

One final thing that I'll mention today that I try to do during the last two months of school is recapping. I review all that I've done for the year in certain subject areas. With the new expectations and "No child left behind," educators need to follow the curriculum.

To close, I offer you this great link of lesson plans for educators ---> Lesson Plans for Teachers

I would appreciate any comments from the readers, teachers or not.