A new school year. Do you know where your students stand on Digital Citizenship and Digital Research? Don't expect it to be natural.
Here are some lessons:
Digital Citizenship means THINKING when you act on the internet, whether that is scholastic or social.
What is website Credibility?
When Why to use Credible Sources:
Cite those credible Sources once you find them!
create their IB Electronic Portfolio
finished early? Clean out Google drive.
veteran oral historY
"Every veteran has a story. Go find that story."
I didn't even have to go find the story. The story came to me at dinner tonight.
"Where are you from?" the retired major general asked around the table at the Korean War Veterans teacher conference.
"Where in North Carolina?"
"In Mecklenburg County?"
"Garinger High School?"
"No, but I know people at that school" (shout out, Mr Tornfelt!)
"I'm a graduate of Central High School in Charlotte, North Carolina class of 1954."
"I know that school! It's Central Piedmont Community College now but Central High School is still chiseled into the stone of the building"
"It used to be on Elizabeth Avenue."
"That's the one!"
"I quit high school in Georgia and joined the army. When I returned from the Korean War, my mother had moved from our small town in Georgia for a better job in Charlotte. She worked at a place called Belk's"
"We still have that. Don't you have a Belk's here?"
"Yes. She told me, 'Look, when you come home, don't come home. I've moved. Come to Charlotte.' So I got off the bus and knew no one. I lived at 1021 West Trade Street. I delivered the morning papers for a paper called the Charlotte Observer."
"We still have that!"
"The paper's still there? The editor of the sports section was a man named Furman Fisher."
"He's probably long gone."
" He later became the editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I delivered the Charlotte Observer 6 days a week plus Sundays and I charged my customers 40 cents a week for home delivery.
I went back and got my high school diploma from Central High School. The principal's name was Mr. Ott. He saved my life. The little town in Georgia where I'm from didn't offer courses for college prep. I wasn't prepared and I was two years older than all the other students. He took me under his wing and he called Georgia Tech and he said, 'Look, I've got a Korean War veteran here and he still needs college prep Algebra and Chemistry and I'm gonna give him a semester of each and send him to you and you admit him.' He knew the man, see? And that's how I went to college and it saved my life."
Major General John McWaters went on to earn his engineering degree from Georgia Tech and then returned to the army to serve another 38 years as a combat engineer.
"I built a lot of floating bridges. Distinguished visitors crossed my bridges. Eisenhower went across my bridges. You know the bridge that got blown up in the movie The Green Berets with John Wayne? We built that bridge."
What stories are your students missing out on? Get them involved in oral history.
Below are get started links from the conference. Sample questions, interview and filming tips and permissions and waivers are available from the organization.
ReadWorks is a free site that lets you choose and use readings for your students that relate to your subject and at the lexile you choose. Even better, you can sort by skill! Perfect for thinking skills, close reading, content-based reading, and more.
To use Readworks
So many choices. For example, here are 7th grade life sciences readings
if you are a sixth grade teacher you can use any of the other blue tabs as well since they are K6, but only the Reading Passages tab is grade K-12
Perplexors are word puzzles that require close reading and or math skills plus deductive reasoning to solve the problems.
Introduce Perplexors the first weeks of school next year as group activities, then you can incorporate them into your lesson plans throughout the year any time you need:
Since my last lesson idea post was very standardized EOG prep, I thought this was a good time to mention two math and reading skills resources you can incorporate into class that will help your student not just with standardized testing skills but also with logic and higher order thinking skills that will help them well past the time their standardized test taking days are over.
Ms. Lyttle and Ms. Malone saw Perplexors in use during their PL visit to Park Road Montessori's sixth grade.
Perplexors offer free samples and here is the Link To Purchase if you like the samples. Specific types of perplexors such as Grid perplexors, Venn Diagaram perplexors and more books are available on Amazon and elsewhere.
Perplexor Tutorials are available on Youtube:
Basic level Math Perplexor Sample:
Expert Level Math Perplexor Sample:
Basic level Perplexor sample
Level D Perplexor Sample
Here's an embedded perplexor for you to see:
Operation Pirate STEAMship STEAMcarts
Reserve one today!
Besides our Collaboration Station, Craft Makerspace, GreenScreen and 3D printer, housed in the media center, we have several mobile maker carts for your use!
Each of the "STEAMcarts" listed below is NOW available for classroom, academic enrichment, or club checkout at Piedmont! We hope to expand our offerings with new materials and a summer program as the program expands and as budget allows. See the Research and Inspiration page or specific topic pages at left for ideas on how to use these carts. Note: some of these items are consumables, so check to make sure they are still available.
Design and Build STEAMcart
Power Up Electronics STEAMcart
Creativity and Relaxation STEAMcart
Visual Arts STEAMcart:
Contains various art supplies and resources for connecting Science Math Tech and art including:
Tech Theater: Photography and Videography STEAMcart
Logical, Critical, Mathematical, and Scientific Thinking STEAMcart
Physics of Movement STEAMcart
Music Math STEAMcart
Our iPads are equipped with STEAM apps and can be used in conjunction with any of the other "STEAMcarts" above to augment the STEAM experience with apps and webtools specific to each STEAMcart theme.
More Carts Coming Soon?
Keep thinking and planning because we hope to purchase some more materials for our Operation STEAMship program like:
FREE Access to Ready-made EOG TEST PREP For YOur course
FREE Ready-made EOG AND EOC TEST PREP courses
http://www.Edgenuity.com (log in at top right)
CMS Teacher Username: State ID (same as PowerSchool)
Teacher Password: request access to the password here -(only requests coming from CMS teacher Google Drive accounts will be granted) or email me
CMS Student Username: ID# or cmsID# (12345 or cms12345)
Student Password: Birthday YY/MM/DD (include the slashes)
Let me know what you think!
Google earth TOur
https://www.google.com/earth/learn/beginner.html#tab=placemarks-and-tours follow these instructions to take a tour via google earth.
So, you've decided to talk about guns, rights, and society with your middle or high school students. I commend you as a Deep South child of a hunter, as a social studies teacher, and as a person who was shot long ago by a fellow 16 year old showing off a handgun to impress a friend.
I don't do the usual gun control issue tack, (but if you want to do that, I have a good Socratic seminar start for you linked below) I tease out more"life advice" than "political stance". I like to get students thinking deeply about social issues and how those social issues relate to our personal lives.
I start with my scar. I tell my "getting shot story" to my students every year for a few reasons. It's a good story, it serves as a cautionary tale to guard against several common mistakes teenagers make, and , honestly, my scar gives me some street cred with my classes. Plus maybe it helps them see me as human, and gives them a moment of respect for the awesome gift and ephemeral frailty of life of all of us, which I can tell you for sure is a great way to help students pop out of their own self protective modes and realize the important life altering work that learning truly is.
My friend and social studies teaching idol Mrs Stevenson has a scar from cancer. I often wonder if the scar lends a sense of humanity to her as a teacher that helps students love her, because love her they do. I know my scar lends humanity to me.
My "Getting Shot Story" FAQ:
Did it hurt?
Usually when someone asks this, someone else in class chides them for asking a dumb question so this is a great point to bring up the failure of intuition and a little biology, because no, it didn't hurt. It knocked me to the ground but the rug burn from the carpet hurt worse. (then I explain shock)
Why aren't you dead?
Because I am lucky. Then I explain about the relativity of luck and the way you can frame an issue from your own perspective and choose to be optimistic or pessimistic. Because although it sounds odd for someone who's been shot clean through the shoulder to say they are lucky. In fact I was full of self pity for the strapless prom dresses I would never wear when my ER nurse breezed into my room, flung open my curtains and basically told me to get over myself "I got shot in 'Nam" he said. There was no pity. This was just life. That was a good lesson. I kind of hated him right then, but he is right. I am lucky. The bullet missed hitting a major artery by ONE MILLIMETER. It chipped my collarbone but did not break it. Nor did the bullet flatten like it was supposed to, like it was designed to do. It tore through close enough the the heat sealed my veins shut and was far enough from me that I didn't get powder burn.
Are you mad?
I was mad, but now I feel more sorry for the kid who did it. I got a cool scar, a cool story, insurance money that paid for college. He has to remember he shot someone for the rest of his life. He could have lost his parents their house. He could have gone to jail. He could have killed me. An instant of showing off, of not thinking, of assuming nearly ended his life and mine. He's lucky, too, but I would never trade places with him in a million years. If my students learn anything from my story, I hope they learn not to be him.
Maybe today it just got a little easier to avoid gun violence. So more kids can be lucky - potential victims of course, but potential accidental shooters, too.
Thank you Mr. Obama from me and from all of my students over my 25 years of teaching who, after I tell my story and show the scars the .45 automatic hollow point bullet left in my shoulder, reciprocate by pulling up their shirt or rolling up their pants legs and show me their bullet scars.
There have been too many. Every year.
Middle School Lesson Plan Socratic Seminar Gun Control
Even though we personalize learning, sometimes students need redirection, enrichment, or just something more constructive to do at rainy day recess than play games on cool math (most of which are neither cool nor math)
If you even encounter a student who needs something different than what they are doing at the moment, direct them here:
4 Sites for Student Enrichment
Try Siop Strategies
TRY Go Noodle
On days when seatwork or lecture might get intense, taking a Go Noodle break helps students stay fresh and actually accomplish more.
Go Noodle is a site I learned about from the early elementary teachers in my #edufam online PLC. (Check out this link for more of what elementary teachers say about Go Noodle, but don't be put off by the younger kids, it works for teenagers too!)
Go Noodle has categories so you can choose calming, stretching, educational, or other kinds of movement.
They even have an INDOOR RECESS channel where I found this gem!
I wasn't sure it would be to juvenile, but I tested it out last year in the media center and the kids were into it! I think it's great for middle schoolers, too. They think the videos are hilarious and you can gamify it by creating a class and earning points for each dance you do. The all time best earworm is probably PopSiKo
And really, how can you call yourself a true middle school teacher if you aren't letting your students get up and dance to KidzBop?! Go Noodle is here with KIdzBop Dances to rectify that problem, stat.
Are you still not convinced? Need help getting started? I will show you my MakerSpace Go Noodle Channel, I will come to your classroom to run a brain break with your class, or you can follow this script:
If dancing is just too out there for you, why not start with SECRET HANDSHAKES? If that is too ridiculous for you, you can have the students make up their own.
If you definintely want to avoid dance, try a stretching video like:
If you are all-in and have no limit, let them freestyle with these crowd pleasing videos:
VocabBall http://piedmontpd.weebly.com/lesson-ideas/incorporating-vocabulary _
Dance Your Lessons http://piedmontpd.weebly.com/piedmont-pd/1
Many More Active Learning Strategies and Active Test Prep Strategies http://piedmontpd.weebly.com/lesson-ideas/category/active-learning_
I am Lisa Gurthie the PD facilitator at Piedmont IB Middle School. She specializes in tech and arts integration, interdisciplinary, holistic education, and unschooling school to make it more real and relevant. One day I will modernize my "about" page. Check out the other blogs on this site for Lesson Ideas, Celebration of Good Teaching, and Piedmont PD