Thursday, May 27, 2010

Antiques Roadshow – In the Classroom?

Alright, let me say… very excited about this post. I love, love, LOVE the Antiques Roadshow. Not for the reasons you might guess of instant riches. But, instead… I love to hear about the history of each and every piece – and how the folks featured happened to have a connection to its history.

So – how does this make ANY sort of sensible connection to your classroom? Glad you asked! Think about it like this - Short history lessons can be invaluable for your students!

Straight from the Antique Roadshow’s website…. “If you are looking for new ways to get your students excited and engaged in history, geography, the arts and society, and a range of other topics, you've come to the right place. Integrate the study of material culture (artifacts and objects) into your teaching, using objects appraised on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. Through questions, activities, and other resources, students take a closer look at the "things" people have used throughout history to create history…”

Don’t have a clue what TV show this is? See for yourself… Watch this short appraisal video clip referencing a Marine Chronometer, ca. 1815 (used for measuring longitude). History AND Math. Oh my!

Check out this Antiques Roadshow link just for teachers…

BTW, I am keeping my eyes and ears open for how HGTV's “If these Walls Could Talk” makes its way into the classroom. History teachers… watch and wait with me. In case you couldn't figure out my excitement – history is something I consider to be way cool. Want more history links/resources? Check out some of my previous posts.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Post EOG Creativity

Whew! End of Grade Testing is over. Finally. Now what?

The students may feel like they have used every morsel of energy trying to recall all they have learned throughout the course of this school year. What can you give them that will get those creative juices flowing again? Something to get them talking. Help relieve the long awaited build-up and the stressful anticipation of test-taking all week… have them visually and literally share what they felt, what they thought their experience was like – and how they feel now that it is over.

Well… how do you get them talking about all of that? Visually inspire them with photo prompts. And, most importantly, make it fun!

Here is a picture/prompt to get you going….

The EOG tests gave me a lot to think about and showed me how much I had learned. I am glad it is over but I think…..

Photo Courtesy of

Want to just give a photo and let them simply be inspired visually? Free writing will help the students get started…

Photo Prompts are GREAT for any subject – and most importantly, prompts increase writing skills and gives students practice in literacy and expressive communication.

Check out this link for more photo prompts. Be sure to include copyrights for everything you use!

Simply an interesting read to take photo prompts further:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Technology and our Environment

Going Green. Environmentally-Friendly. Eco-Friendly. There is much to think about and consider when we are outside. But inside the middle school classroom, students can learn a lot!

Take a look at some of these links that give absolutely awesome explanations, activities and information on how technology and our environment can work together. There are various assignments that will surely get the students’ creativity going!

Aquatic Environment

Wastewater Treatments

Challenging Pollution

Globe Program

*Middle School Portal (for Science and Math!)

Want more info about technology and a green society in general? Check out these informative and simply interesting links….

Environment Virtual Interactives for Students:

Air Quality:

Energy Quest:

Water Cycle:

NASA Climate Change:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Learning at a Glance

Webinars. Online Courses. Face-to-face workshops. eBooks. Digital papers. Websites. Podcasts. The list goes on and on for ways 21st century teachers can learn new skills. But, for today, if you are short on time – check out these quick presentations that give some pretty valuable and useful information at a glance.

Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers

100 Sites for Teachers

Surviving with Only One Computer in the Classroom

Technology for Teachers

Teacher’s Guide to Web 2.0 at School

Like the actual presentation tools? Check out this link that gives an inside scoop on several great presentation resources – for teachers and students alike.