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Thursday 31 May 2012

Writing Prompts and Mini-lessons for June 1

Tomorrow is June 1st... and it is a Friday...

It seems nowadays there is some kind of holiday or celebration every day of the year. June starts the countdown to the end of the school-year (okay, so some started their countdown weeks ago) but as a TTOC it is nice to have some kind of writing prompt of mini-lesson handy, especially during the chaotic month of June.

To kick off June 1st, here are some ideas:

1. National Doughnut Day in the USA is June 1st:
National Doughnut Day is on the first Friday of June each year, succeeding the Doughnut Day event created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.
* Try: The Teachers Corner Writing Prompt to write about donuts as a breakfast food, or a favourite breakfast food. Or Cut out paper donuts and decorate them, or have them write a poem about donuts on the shape.

2. International Children's Day is celebrate June 1 in China, and some other countries:
Children's Day is celebrated on various days in many places around the world, in particular to honor children. Major global variants include a Universal Children's Day on November 20, by United Nations recommendation.[1] Children's Day is often celebrated on other days as well.
*Try Reading: Barefoot Books: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush which looks at children around the world and their different ways to do their morning routines.
3. Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street celebrates his birthday:
June 1st is Oscar the Grouch's birthday - the day when he is at his absolute grouchiest. In episode 3866 of Sesame Street, after Oscar reads a birthday card from his mother, and after hearing Oscar tell the viewers that it was his birthday, Telly Monster tried to give Oscar a grouchy birthday party, something that Oscar thought he couldn't do. In the end, however, Oscar was proved wrong. He received many grouchy rotten gifts.
*Try: Writing about what makes you feel grumpy, or how you deal with a bad day.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Game: Sentence Race

Sentence Race

Level: Any Level
A good game for large classes and for reviewing vocabulary lessons.

Prepare a list of review vocabulary words.
  1. Write the word list on two pieces of paper (One per team).
  2. Cut up the words and organize the pieces into two bundles (One per team).
  3. Divide the class into 2 teams.
  4. Distribute a bundle to each team, distribute one word to each student on their team. Both teams have the same words.
  5. When you call a word fromt he list, the students with the words race to the blackboard (one student from each team) The students must then race to write a sentence using their word.
The winner is the one with a correct and clearly written sentence. (You can do who ever is first, or give points to both teams if the word is used correctly)

This is always a hit with kids. For more advanced students, use tougher words.


Short activities to do using a newspaper

I love the idea of using Current Events in the classroom. I really love the "What in the World" series that some schools subscribe to. But, when you don't have access to that, this is a great way to use newspapers for numerous activities.... This website had some great ideas...

Before class begins, select an interesting or timely newspaper story or editorial.
Make copies of the article and place one on each student's desk.
As students arrive, have them read the article.
After a few minutes, open a class discussion about the article. Encourage lively conversation, allowing students to interject their own ideas and opinions.
After a brief debate, ask students if they read the newspaper each day.
Remind students that the newspaper can be an exciting and thought-provoking source of information. Tell them that they can also use the newspaper to practice and review grammar skills, as they will be doing today.
Stress Reliever:
If the class energy level rises too high, give your students an opportunity to relax and read a newspaper for pleasure.
Encourage them to select articles or features they find interesting.
They can look at advertisements, read advice columns, study editorials, solve puzzles, or skim the day's news.
After reading, students can share with the class what they have read.
Encourage them to tell why they selected the sections they did and what they learned.
If you have a few free minutes, you can challenge students to newspaper grammar searches, such as the following:
Copy a sentence and highlight its subject and predicate.
Find a sentence in the past perfect tense.
Find a sentence that has a subordinate clause. Find the subordinate conjunction.
Find a fact and an opinion in one article.

Grammar Hunt:
Materials: newspapers, What's In the News? Activities
Give pairs of students a newspaper or a section of a newspaper.
Tell students they will be using the newspaper for a grammar scavenger hunt.
Pass out the What's In the News? Activities and read the rules.
Review the grammatical elements in the chart and provide examples. You may wish to have students use their grammar textbooks as references.
Have pairs search for about 20 minutes. Be sure to assist students when necessary.
At the end of the hunt, have pairs total their points. If possible, provide a small reward for the winners.
Encourage students to share the examples of each grammatical element they found.
You may wish to provide additional rewards for teams that found especially difficult or unique examples.
The Proofers:
Materials: newspapers, highlighting pens
Tell students that the newspaper is carefully proofread before it is printed. Explain, however, that even the best proofreaders occasionally make mistakes.
Give each student one or more articles, preferably ones that have grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors.
Instruct students to proofread their articles, asking questions such as:
– Do all sentences have a subject and a verb?
– Do all subjects and verbs agree?
– Are possessives used correctly?
– Is there an antecedent for every pronoun?
– Are there any unnecessary or confusing shifts in tense?
– Are all words spelled correctly?
– Are all sentences punctuated properly?
Have students gather in groups to decide how to correct the mistakes.
Materials: newspapers
If your students need practice diagramming sentences, direct their attention to the front page of a newspaper.
Select the lead sentence in one of the stories.
Write the sentence on the board, and model diagramming as appropriate.
Have students gather in pairs and select their own sentences from the newspaper to diagram.
If necessary, use appropriate pages in a grammar textbook to review diagramming.
Walk around the class, guiding and prompting students as needed.
Mixed-Up Articles:
Materials: newspapers
Invite students to play Mixed-Up Articles, a variation of the popular fill-in-the-part-of-speech game.
Ask each student to copy the first two paragraphs of a newspaper article on a sheet of lined paper. Be sure they are using pencils.
Have students erase a word from each sentence and draw a write-on line in its place. Then have them write the part of speech of the erased word below the write-on line. Encourage students to erase words that represent a variety of parts of speech.
Ask students to work in pairs. The first student should read the missing parts of speech and ask the other student to provide words.
Once the words are inserted, the first student should read it aloud. Students can then switch places.
Encourage students to share their funniest mixed-up articles with the class.

There are many more great ideas, Read more on TeacherVision: http://www.teachervision.fen.com/current-events/curriculum-planning/6215.html#ixzz1wKG3V7LQ

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Poetry Jam

I am in a temporary highschool English position until the end of the year and I am planning the poetry unit. I came across this awesome site with some poetry infused mini-lesson plans, activities and classroom management strategies.

I love poetry and trying to make it fun for students, so these activities were right up my alley. They are great for classroom teachers and TTOCs who are in for a day or more.

Poetry in the classroom:

Before students arrive, write your favorite short poem on the board.
As students enter the classroom, direct their attention to the poem. Explain to them why this poem is important to you. Point out the language and imagery that the poet uses and explain why it appeals to you. If the poem reminds you of a particular feeling or experience, share that with the class as well.
Ask volunteers to tell the class about poems they enjoy. (If students are stuck, remind them that song lyrics are also poetry.) Encourage students to tell what they like about their favorite poem. What do they think of when they read or hear it?
Then point to the poem on the board and ask, "Are you sure this is a poem? How do you know?" Invite students to brainstorm answers to the question. List student ideas on the board.
After students generate a short list of poem characteristics, ask students to work in pairs or small groups to think of more poems they like. Where do they see and hear poetry? How is poetry used in the world around them?
Stress Reliever:
If the intensity level gets high, you might want to encourage relaxation and good listening skills by having periodic "poetry breaks."
Invite students to get comfortable and listen as you read a soothing poem.
Encourage students to pay attention to the images in the poem. Ask them to visualize the scenes and feelings that the poem describes. You can also have students sketch what they "see" as they listen to the poem.
Ask volunteers to share their ideas and drawings with the class.
Poetry Bank:
Create a poetry bank in the classroom! [or as a TTOC on your USB drive or binder/bag of tricks] Collect books of poetry and copies of poems and lyrics that students might enjoy. The class can use these poems as models and read them when they have free time.

Ask the school librarian for suggestions. Good starting points include:
The Norton Anthology of Poetry by Margaret Ferguson
100 Great Poems by Women by Carolyn Kizer
The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes
And Still I Rise: Poems by Maya Anglou

What Is a Poem, Anyway?
Materials: research materials, tape or CD player, and audio recordings
What is a poem? Invite students to think about this question. Encourage them to use textbooks, library books, and other sources to help them explore.
Write the question on the board, and ask the class to brainstorm a list of ideas.
Divide students into pairs or small groups. Give each group a different writing sample. Examples include: a journal entry, a narrative poem, a limerick, a letter, an e. e. cummings poem, a short biographical sketch, and several jazz and hip-hop songs. (If possible, provide students with lyrics and recordings.)
Have each group work together to decide whether their writing sample is a poem. Ask them to list reasons for their conclusion.
Have each group present their ideas to the class.
Finally, write a class definition of the word "poem."

Cracking the Code:
Materials: a poem of your choice
Choose a poem that has lots of interesting language and imagery, such as Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" or Rudyard Kipling's "If." Then invite the class to work together to "crack" the poem's "code."
Distribute copies of the poem or display it on the overhead projector. Ask students to work in pairs or small groups.
Ask students to use what they know to answer questions such as:
  • What type of poem is this? How can you tell?
  • What is the poem about?
  • How does the poet feel about the topic? What point is the poet trying to make?
  • How does the poet use language? Can you find rhymes, alliteration, similes, or metaphors?
  • What kind of images does this poet use? What do you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel as you read it?
This site has many more great, simple ideas to try. Read more on TeacherVision: http://www.teachervision.fen.com/poetry/curriculum-planning/6218.html#ixzz1wKDVDcri

Monday 28 May 2012

B.C. teachers warn threat of legislated contract amounts to fighting words

Vancouver Sun
Canadian Press
May 28, 2012

VANCOUVER — The BC Teachers' Federation says it won't back down despite threats of back-to-work legislation if a bitter contract dispute is not resolved by the end of June.

BCTF president Susan Lambert warns her members will be ready to fight if Education Minister George Abbott makes good on suggestions that a new contract could be imposed over the summer.

Abbott says he would be ready to act if a government-appointed mediator can't reach a deal with teachers before June 30.

Lambert responds by saying the union has a court-mandated order for the right to free collective bargaining, something she says the B.C. Liberal government is continuing to ignore.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/teachers+warn+threat+legislated+contract+amounts+fighting+words/6690521/story.html#ixzz1wCtTpWfG

Questions Students Ask Teachers-On-Call

I read a great post over at Sub Hub about questions TTOCs get from students. The questions are the same as the ones I hear day to day but my answers are a little bit different....
No matter if I am subbing for an afternoon, a whole day, or an extended stay, not a day goes by that I don't hear these questions. I have gotten to where I have some fairly standard responses to them.
1. Where is Ms. So-and-So?
I usually say, "I am not sure, but they should be back tomorrow (or whenever I am scheduled until, if I don't know I say "soon") Sometimes it is fun to use a silly response. Here are some I read on another blog:
She's visiting Candyland today; she's spending the whole day doing nothing but eating cotton candy; she's auditioning for American Idol... anything crazily outlandish, and the sillier the better. Sometimes the students even get a kick out of trying to figure out if I am kidding or not.
2. What time is recess/lunch/specials?Usually I tell them how long, but I like this response:
It doesn't seem to matter whether it's kindergarten or fifth grade, someone always asks about times for standard parts of the schedule. In that case, I always have the same response. "It's the same time it's been all year." I know, it's sarcastic. But I always follow it up with a correct response.
3. Is this for a grade?I always tell them that their teacher asked me to collect it, so I would guess it is for marks. This is because if it isn't for marks, they tend to not put forth any effort.

4. Can we use markers? (or some toy, game, book)I ALWAYS say, "what is the usual rule?" Generally I try to stick to the regular classroom rules, if they aren't sure if they are usually allowed, I say no. Here is the subhub's response to this question:
Oh my, how those elementary kiddos love their markers! It makes them positively giddy if you say yes to that question. If it's something I know is a graded assignment, I ask what the normal rule is in the classroom. If it's something I know is enrichment or extra practice, I might say yes just to make them happy.
5. Can we work in partners/groups?
Depending on the class, I usually say yes, but that if it becomes too loud/off task/disruptive, the privilege is lost.
I also hear this a lot:

Ms. So-and-so does this....
I often look around and ask if I look like Ms. so-and-so... with younger children I usually start my day letting them know that while I love to learn how they do (this and that) in their classroom, that I go to a lot of different classrooms and I may do things a little bit different, just for today. Calendar time tends to be the thing most Primary classes need to be "exactly the same" every day, every teacher, no matter what.

I think it is important children learn to adapt to new faces and routines, but also to keep them feeling safe and comfortable. I try to have a helpful student run the show. Luckily, most primary classes have a "special friend" of the day who gets to run calendar and they usually know EXACTLY how it is done!

What questions do you hear often? How do you respond to those questions or any of these questions?

Sunday 27 May 2012

Midsummer Night's Dream Facebook Assignment

So I decided to do fake facebook accounts with my Grade 9 Highschool Class for Midsummer Night's Dream. I saw "Shakesbook" and "Fakebook" assignments online and used them as inspiration to create this project. Students had 2 computer lab classes to complete the assignment and most finished easily in that time, while some needed to take extra time at home to finish.

Below I have posted the instructions, marking rubric and sources as well as some links to a few samples from my students.

Fakebook Profile for a Main Character
1. Choose one of the main characters.
2. Create a "fakebook" profile for the character that reflects what you know about them.
3. Write 5 status updates for the character that relate to major events in the plot and
    accurately reflect the characters personality.
4.Create 10 or more responses to the statuses from other characters.
5. You may have MORE posts if you wish.
6. Ensure the statuses are in reverse chronological order with most recent at the top.
7. Include your name and block at the bottom of the page.
8. Save a copy for your files and print a copy to turn in.
Marking Rubric

Minimum 5 Status Updates that reflect characters personalities and refer to major events in the
plot in chronological order. /5

Minimum 10 replies reflect characters personalities and relationships. /5

Profile details reflect character and show understanding of character. /5

Creative, correct formatting, appearance resembles template/examples. /5

Total:    /20


You may use any of the below resources to create your page or create your own as long as it
contains all the criteria:

1. Fakebook is an online ap. You can click to edit and create a page then save and print.
2. Facebook template for Microsoft Word.

3. I have several templates I will share with the class.


*Please note at the time of posting these links are active and accurate, but may become unactive or edited in the future without my knowledge. These are a random selection of examples.

Demetrius: http://www.classtools.net/fb/31/BCYd7a

Nick Bottom: http://www.classtools.net/fb/36/WUbGMA

Puck: http://www.classtools.net/fb/56/JegDDX

Hermia: http://www.classtools.net/fb/17/g8mU4D

Lysander: http://www.classtools.net/fb/35/hHdYTW

Nick Bottom: http://www.classtools.net/fb/25/hKJDeB

Helena: http://www.classtools.net/fb/74/BgUNgi

Helena: http://www.classtools.net/fb/67/3Ee2Ci

Two students paired up to use twitter to create their own version of the project:

Helena: https://twitter.com/#!/helenalovesdem
Demetrius: https://twitter.com/#!/2cool4helena

Saturday 26 May 2012

How B.C. tuition fees compare

Vancouver Sun
May 25, 2012

Students in Quebec have been striking for more than 100 days over increases to post-secondary tuition; this week in B.C. only several dozen students appeared at a rally in support.

Yet, as Sun reporter Janet Steffenhagen reported, B.C. students pay higher tuition than Quebecers attending post-secondary schools in their province, a yearly average of $4,852 compared with $2,519. Quebec's fees are the lowest in the country, where the national aver-age for tuition at public post-secondary institutions is $5,366.

Tuition for an under-graduate arts student at the University of B.C. has quintupled over the past 30 years, rising from about $900 a year to about $4,600. At the same time, the minimum wage has increased threefold over the same period, to $10.25 an hour this year from $3.65.

B.C. fees have been climbing steadily since 2002, when the newly elected Liberal government killed a six-year tuition freeze introduced by the previous NDP administration. Tuition soared as post-secondary schools tried to cover lost revenue: the University of B.C. boosted undergraduate fees by an average of 22 per cent, while the hike at Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria was about 30 per cent.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/tuition+fees+compare/6677126/story.html#ixzz1vtxHoNyz
I still can't believe how much tuition has gone up even in recent years and am not afraid to admit I still owe a lot in student loans. It is unfortunate that after going to post-secondary for so many years (I did two degrees before I became a teacher) that I am still in an unsecure, on-call, position with no steady income or pay. TTOCs with student loans, many who are on-call for more than a year or two as used to be the case, struggle to repay the money used for their education. It is frustrsting that one of my sisters, who didn't finish highschool until she went back in her 20's, makes more than I do and has no student loans to worry about. What kind of message are we sending out youth when post secondary education becomes so expensive?

Friday 25 May 2012

Sexism Tinges Criticism of Teachers' Job Action

The Tyee.ca
Charles Bingham
May 25, 2012
I am highly supportive of the current teacher actions, but I must say that I cringe whenever a teacher strike, or teacher limited actions, are called.
Why do I cringe? Because I know that my social life will become unbearable for a few weeks or even a few months. It's about to be "let's talk about how I feel toward those striking teachers" time. When the neighbours get together for dinner or drinks, everyone (everyone!) has an opinion about those striking teachers.
I can't think of another single profession that resides so clearly under the magnifying glass of public opinion. Even when it comes to general elections, people are reserved about talking politics. You know, keep religion and politics off the table if you want to have a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Yet everybody has something to say about teachers, and especially in times like these. People say things like, "These teacher actions are not good for children," or, "The extra daycare costs are not fair to parents."
To view the rest of the article, click here.

Province will not allow another year of teacher job act

News 1130
Dave White
May 25, 2012

SURREY (NEWS1130) - Your kids may not have to worry about another year with job action by teachers.

Education Minister George Abbottsays he will bring the teachers' job action to an end in time for the 2012/2013 school year, if a resolution has not been found by the end of the cooling-off period.

"We'll need to have some kind of an agreement in the absence of a mediator agreement, of course we have to look at legislating a solution, it's been done many times over the past 30 years, but it's not something I want to do at all. If it's absolutely necessary to do it, then we would of course do it."
Abbott hopes both sides can reach an agreement, and notes they are still talking, but the minister admits there has not been much softening nearly one year after the dispute started.

Teachers staged a three-day walkout in March and are currently refusing to perform extracurricular duties.     

To view the article, click here

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Final Projects - Midsummer Night's Dream

I really enjoy giving students choices for final projects. I am in a temporary position until the end of the year and we are doing Grade 9 Midsummer Night's Dream. I believe final projects can be a great way to assess learning in a variety of ways. For my groups I have set-up their final project, which I will share in a future post, but for now, here is a list of ideas that helped motivate me to create some cool options for my class.....
THE DAILY NEWS: Imagine you are an Athenian journalist who wants to report the events of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in your newspaper story. Apply the information given in the play to your story and design an appropriate layout for your newspaper.
THE EVENING NEWS WITH ________________: Write a script for a news broadcast which reports on the events in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Include a weather report, a missing person report, a fast-breaking story, a human-interest angle, a "strange but true" feature, etc. Use at least two anchors to present the broadcast. You may videotape or perform your broadcast for the class.
A BUSY DAY AT THE CASTING AGENCY: A casting agency is where actors are selected to play parts in movies. Suppose you are the head of the largest casting agency in Hollywood, and a large film studio that wants to make a new movie version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream has contracted you. Make up the casting list by deciding which roles will go to which movie or television actors. Decide during what time period your production will take place. Also, write a short synopsis on why you think each actor is "perfect for the role."
YOU’RE THE TALK SHOW HOST: Imagine yourself as a popular talk show host. Your producer tells you that next week you will have the characters of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on your show. As you plan your show, consider such things as the show’s title (for example, "Runaway Athenian Kids"), whom to have in the audience (Athenian teens, nobility, etc.), and your own angle on the story (Fairies and Sprites: can they be trusted?). Write a script, and act it out or videotape it for the class.
COMIC BOOK CREATOR: If you have a natural talent to write a comic book, or you have ever wanted to try to write a comic book, try reproducing A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a comic. Remember that you must use the actual dialogue of the play in order to write your comic; you may edit the text, but you must use enough of the main story to keep the plot true to the story as told in the play.
WANTED: Create a "wanted" poster for Puck, the mischievous sprite. You must include an illustrated "photo," a list of his criminal activities (mischief-making), physical description, aliases, where he was last seen, his probable whereabouts, and any rewards being offered. Who is offering the reward for his capture (think about who in the play might want to capture Puck to keep him from further mischief)? What punishment might he receive if he were captured?
FLOWERS FOR SALE: Create a commercial and print ad campaign for Oberon’s magic flower, the "Love-in-idleness." You must come up with a pitch, a slogan, and one unique way to market your target audience. Who would be the most likely to buy such a product? What would be the best ways to reach this audience—radio, television, direct mail, billboards, magazines, newspapers, Internet ads? Would getting testimonials from several "satisfied customers" be effective? Create your campaign and present it to the class.
FASHION DESIGNER: Fairy Wear is the latest fashion! Create sketches of clothes fit for Titania and Oberon, the Queen and King of the Fairies. Remember, they are the rulers of the natural world, so the clothing should have a "natural" appearance. Then, plan a fashion show to unveil these designs: write a descriptive plan of the show including the brand name, the theme of the show, music used during the show, a script for the host to use to describe the fashions, etc. Then videotape the fashion show using "live" models or dolls!
WEDDING PLANNER: Imagine that you are in charge of the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. There is no limitation on the budget, so you have unlimited resources. What would you plan for the wedding ceremony? The wedding reception? Prepare a detailed schedule and a budget of the event.
CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR: Create a children’s story about the fairies in the play. They can interact with characters from the play or with new characters that you create. Keep in mind the personality of each fairy so that they act in ways that are true to their characters. Illustrate the book with your own drawings, pictures from magazines, or from pictures you design on a computer. Create a cover that displays the title of your book, a scene from the book, and your name. Find a creative way to bind the book together!


Death of generosity

Death of generosity Vancouver Province - Letter to the Editor Ernie Gorrie May 23, 2012 In arguments at the B.C. Labour Relations Board, B.C. Public School Employers Association lawyer Delayne Sartison claimed that if a teacher agreed to a volunteer position after hours "it's part of their work." Employers may regret it if the LRB upholds that claim. Telethons, fundraising runs and other events generate goodwill for sponsoring businesses who rely on their employees volunteering. Imagine if employees believed that such volunteering would constitute "work," which they could not subsequently decline. The well of volunteers could quickly dry up. Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/business/Death+generosity/6664401/story.html#ixzz1viK3NKak

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Free ride over for some adult ed classes

Free ride over for some adult ed classes Vancouver Sun Janet Steffenhagen May 22, 2012 A government program that offers free courses for high school graduates who want to upgrade their skills has been radically scaled back after the Education Ministry decided it had expanded far beyond its original intent. Under the program, tuition fees were abolished in 2008 but the mandate was left openended. That allowed B.C. school districts to offer free online courses for adults in a range of subjects such as photography, hair design, drawing, guitar, film and television, outdoor pursuits, computers, cosmetology, horsemanship and more than half a dozen languages. Education Minister George Abbott said the program, called the Education Guarantee, was never intended to provide "personal interest" courses. "There's been a huge proliferation in personal-interest courses like rock-and-roll history, body toning, hip-hop, Latin and ballroom dance. I mean, these are fine things in their own right ... [but] are they consistent with an education guarantee? I don't think so." The ministry could not confirm that all of the online courses mentioned by Abbott have been offered tuitionfree but said they were among 3,000 permitted under the Education Guarantee. Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Free+ride+over+some+adult+classes/6657316/story.html#ixzz1vfP65M13

BCTF Provincial Specialist Associations Speak Out Against Bill 22

Midsummer Night's Dream - 2 fun games

I have been seeking ways to do more engaging activities during our Midsummer Night's Dream unit. I found these awesome activities and although i was reluctant to try them with my chatty, mostly male, Grade 9 English class (last block of the day also!!!) I gave it a shot and was pleased with how into it they got (ok, they prizes helped motivate them) I was also super excited to discover how much they had retained from the play thus far!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Scavenger Hunt

Part One:
Discover how your classmates’ opinions and experiences relate to the play! Walk around the room and find a student to which each statement applies and ask him/her to initial the square. Students may initial each paper only once! The first student to complete all 25 squares wins!! Share your findings with the class and discuss the situations to which you can relate and why.

___ has played a trick on somebody
___ has "loved" someone who didn’t return the feeling
___ has felt jealousy
___ has envied a friend’s good looks
___ has had parents disapprove of a relationship
___ has tried to run away from a problem
___ believes in love at first sight
___ has fought with a friend over a boy/girl
___ regrets falling in love with someone
___ has had funny or bizarre dreams recently
___ believes that looks don’t matter when in love
___ likes to tease or mock others
___ has disobeyed a parent
___ has been annoyed by a persistent admirer
___ has had a crush on the friend of a boyfriend/
___ enjoys magic shows or tricks
___ has gotten completely lost
___ is sometimes fickle about love
___ has told a friend’s secret
___ has been spoiled
___ enjoys plays and shows
___ has rudely insulted a friend
___ has refused a loved one’s demands
___ likes to play "matchmaker"
___ has performed on stage

Then on a BINGO sheet have students write out these names in random order:

Demetrius Hermia Oberon Snout

Egeus Hippolyta Peter Quince Snug

Francis Flute Lysander Philostrate Theseus

Helena Nick Bottom Puck Titania

Bingo Directions for Teachers: Use the following descriptions or quotes to test your students’ knowledge of the characters of A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

1. wants to take the changeling child from the Fairy Queen (Oberon)
2. falls in love with a mortal while under the spell of a love potion (Titania)
3. the Duke of Athens (Theseus)
4. the Queen of the Amazons (Hippolyta)
5. says the "Prologue" of the play Pyramus and Thisby (Peter Quince)
6. plays the lead male role in the play Pyramus and Thisby (Nick Bottom)
7. plays the lead female role in the play Pyramus and Thisby (Francis Flute)
8. is worried about learning his lines for the play Pyramus and Thisby (Snug)
9. plays the Wall in the play Pyramus and Thisby (Snout)
10. asks the Duke to force his daughter to marry Demetrius (Egeus)
11. the man Helena loves (Demetrius)
12. the man Hermia loves (Lysander)
13. reveals her best friend’s secret to the man she loves (Helena)
14. puts a love potion in the wrong man’s eyes (Puck)
15. runs away with her lover against her father’s wishes (Hermia)
16. does not think the Duke will enjoy the play Pyramus and Thisby (Philostrate)

1. "The course of true love never did run smooth." (Lysander)
2. "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind." (Helena)
3. "Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art translated." (Peter Quince)
4. "I am that merry wanderer of the night." (Puck)
5. "The villain is much lighter-heeled than I. I followed fast, but faster did he fly." (Lysander)
6. "Yet marked I where the bolt of Cupid fell. It fell upon a little western flower, Before milk-white, now purple with love’s wound" (Oberon)
7. "I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream." (Nick Bottom)
8. "The object and the pleasure of mine eye, Is only Helena." (Demetrius)
9. "I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again: Mine ear is much enamour’d of thy note" (Titania)
10. "Nay, faith, let not me play a woman; I have a beard coming." (Francis Flute)
11. "Lovers and madmen have such seething brains …" (Theseus)
12. "A play there is, my lord, some ten words long … But by ten words, my lord, it is too long." (Philostrate)
13. "… I present a wall: And such a wall, as I would have you think, that had in it a crannied hole or chink, Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby, Did whisper often very secretly." (Snout)
14. "Four days will quickly steep themselves in night; Four nights will quickly dream away the time" (Hippolyta)
15. "Have you the lion’s part written? pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study." (Snug)
16. "You thief of love! what, have you come by night And stolen my love’s heart from him?" (Hermia)
My grade 9s did really well with the descriptions. The quotes were a bit harder, but they still did a good job!


Monday 21 May 2012

I Remember When....

The BTA Blog
Jennifer Heighton
May 21, 2012

I remember when:

  • The counsellor had enough time to come into our rooms and lead lessons on anti-bullying or class meetings or whatever issue needed addressing as a group, plus enough time to see kids individually.
  • We had a school nurse, even for one day per week.
  • We had a teacher’s assistant to help with photocopying, preparing for art projects (cutting 100 stocking shapes from fabric!), making booklets, laminating…the list goes on.
  • We had clean classrooms on days that the custodian was absent, because replacement custodians were sent in.
  • There was enough learning support time to get regular support for grey area kids too.
  • If you had three designated kids in intermediate, your maximum class size would be 27 (30 minus three), so you could end up with 25 (to allow room for new kids). And this did happen – seriously.
  • We did not have a TOC shortage problem.
  • Cost-of-TOC for discretionary days was about $180 (prior to 2005), not $312 that it is today.
  • Librarians could work at one school, instead of having to take on two or more schools for full-time work.
  • There was a gifted program at each school where a teacher would provide enrichment to gifted students, once or twice per week.
  • Paperwork for learning support (ex. IEPs) did not require a time-consuming, crash-prone program like BCeSIS. Instead, hand-printed or simple word-processing would do fine.
  • Teachers were not as stressed, because the needs of their classes were not as great, since many kids were getting the extra emotional or academic help they needed. Maybe it is not our ‘demographic’ changing. Maybe what we are seeing today is the result of ten years of cuts?
To view the rest of the blog posting, click here.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Cooling Off?

I thought this was a great post... I don't see how any cooling off is happening... it feels more like a "hold teacher's unable to take any action while we hit them with bill after bill after rule to get our way"

Cooling off Period??? Following the passage of Bill 22...

The Christy Clarke Liberal Government ordered a 'cooling off period' for teachers after they passed Bill 22 that ended our Phase 1 job action. However, the following actions from the government indicates that they have not cooled off very much! First, there were two Ministerial Orders:

Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) - pitting teacher against teacher for scarce resources rather than restore struck language.

Class Size and Compensation Regulation - the 'cash for kids' program that excludes entire groups of teachers and then places a price tag on student's head teachers forced to enrol them in their program.


Based on Bill 22's narrow language, a mediator chosen by the BC Christy Clarke Liberals - Dr. Charles Jago is chosen as the mediator even though he has no experience as a mediator and no experience with K-12 education in BC. The BCTF has concerns about a 2006 report on public education in BC done by Dr. Jago on commission to former Premier Gordon Campbell’s Progress Board. The report’s findings clearly foreshadow positions taken by the BC Public School Employers’ Association at the bargaining table and also reflect policy directions laid out in Bill 22.

Bill 36 - 2012 - School Amendment Act - Promotes online courses for students as young as four, puts sweeping powers in the hands of the Minister of Education - school calendars, hours of instruction, and allows for fees for 'costly' programs.

LRB Ruling - Report cards and Struck Work - BCPSEA ensures that teachers must do Term 2 reports and our Board demands specialists reports to accompany them.

Bill 25 - Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act - attempts to limit third party activity from 60 days to 40 days and allows for a minimum window of three weeks after the legislature rises in which there is no limit on advertising - another attack on our Charter Rights to freedom of speech and expressions.

LRB Hearing - Extra Curricular/Voluntary - BCPSEA is attempting to dictate what we must do in addition to teaching, on our own time.

The BC Christy Clark Liberals Cooperative Gains Mandate - It equates to no money or benefits offered by the government, but if teachers wanted, they could sacrifice their own hard won benefits to get modest salary increases.

Feeling 'cooled off' yet? Neither do we!

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Jasper Johns Art Numbers

May 15 is artist Jasper Johns birthday.
Jasper Johns was born in America, on May 15, 1930 in Augusta, Georgia to be exact. As a boy, he knew he would be an artist one day. So when he grew up, he moved to New York and studied art. Jasper Johns became famous for painting ordinary things that people sometimes take for granted...
Flags, targets, maps and most famously, numbers. In this art project, students can decorate and design their age or any number they choose using Jasper Johns art as inspiration.

I have done this paper and paint or pastels or even just crayons if you are in as a TTOC for a one day class. The example I found online used canvas and painting for amulti-day project. But the idea is still the same. For the art I did with a Grade 4/5 class, we used Charles Demuth's 'The Figure 5 in Gold' as inspiration, but again, the idea of numbers and using white space is the same.

Here are some basic instructions:
  1. Each student gets an 11x17 piece of paper or stretched canvas.
  2. Show examples of projects (from online) and from the artists of inspiration (Demuth or Johns) or even just different fonts of different numbers (you can type and print off word)
  3. Talk about the shapes and curves and lines of each number.
  4. Demonstrate ways to design numbers, using as much of the page as possible, paying attention to white space, shape, size and composition.
  5. "Make the numerals big so that the negative spaces around the image of your age/number are really interesting to look at."
  6. Talk about color, mizing, blending (if using paint or pastels especially) You may use the colour wheel to discuss if you wish.
  7. Be sure to lay our news paper or plastic if you are painting!

Sunday 13 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Cute craft from my kiddo - - -
Some more that I saw online:
History of Mother's Day"
Today, mothers across the country will be treated to family brunches, bouquets of flowers, and, of course, gifts. A nice day, to be sure, but the historical journey behind the holiday has been a long one. Back in 1870, Julia Ward Howe — after bearing witness to the damage of the Civil War — penned the Mother’s Day Proclamation, as a call to mothers to rally for peace. In it, Howe wrote, “Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn / All that we have been able to teach them of / charity, mercy and patience.” While Howe planted a seed, it wasn’t until decades later that the idea came to reality. Anna Jarvis vowed to create a day of recognition when her mother passed away in 1905. Her efforts picked up in 1908, and in 1912, President Woodrow Wilson signed a resolution declaring Mother’s Day the second Sunday in May. Times have changed since then, of course, but sentiment behind the holiday remains. We’ll surely be talking about mothers on cable news today, and reading 140-character thoughts online — and, for a change, it won’t be because of a snarky comment from a politician or outrage over a “war on stay-at-home moms.” Happy Mother’s Day!

Silent ABC Game

Sometimes, as a TTOC you just need a quiet, but educational game to play with the young ones.

I prefer circle games, ABC games, brain teasers, but this game helps elementary school students learn how to alphabetize words, is engaging and interactive as they move around. The challenge is the "silent" part, but with reminders, it can be done!

You can use spelling words or words from other subject areas, just make sure they are age/level appropriate.

Each student receives a piece of paper or card with one word on it.

When the teacher rings a bell, the students silently arrange themselves into alphabetical order based on the words on their cards.

Once in order, the students work together to determine if they have accomplished their goal and are indeed in the correct order.

For more of a challenege have multiple words with the same first letter, so they must look at second letter and so on.

Source: Quiet Classroom Games | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6072197_quiet-classroom-games.html#ixzz1uUZwHxoy

Saturday 12 May 2012

When did volunteering become mandatory?

Victoria Times Colonist - Letter to the Editor
Shannon Toronitz
May 11, 2011

First teachers are legislated to volunteer their time. Next, doctors will be mandated to lead support groups after their surgical shifts. Then police will be mandated to do extra investigations off duty. Soon it will be bus drivers mandated to do extra runs after their shift because they love driving so much.

What about our B.C. Liberal members voluntarily leading community meetings to enlighten our province about fair, democratic and responsible governance?

Or how about allowing Canadian citizens to choose how, where and when they want to volunteer their time irrespective of what job they do? Does that need to be legislated by the Liberals, too?


Jeopardy Unit Review

Name of Activity: Jeopardy (Test Review)
Purpose of Activity: To Studey/review unit or lesson
Suggested Grade Level: 6-12
Materials Needed: Bowl filled with water and a sponge, or a magnet,
Optional: Tape of "Jeopardy" theme music, tape player, overhead projector, and two blank overhead sheets.

Before the students get to class, draw a jeopardy board on the chalk or dry erase board. Each column on the board can represent a topic from the unit /  chapter being reviewed. Make five squares in each column and number these squares one through five starting at the top.

The students will be divided up into two teams. The first person will come up and stand 5 feet away from the board. If you are using a chalk board then use the damp sponge if you are using a dry erase board then use a magnet, both work great!

The student will toss the object at the board, and depending on where it lands, that student must answer a question from that category. The difficulty of the question will be determined by which number is hit, 1 being easy to 5 being difficult.

If the student answers the question correctly he/she will receive those points for their team. If the question is missed then someone on the other team may quietly raise their hand and answer the question for half the points.

Once everyone on both teams have gone or when all the numbers have been hit then final jeopardy will conclude the game. Both teams will get into a huddle and on the blank overhead sheet / paper they will write down their wager of points. The final question is then given, and the students write their answer on the sheet. While they are thinking of the answer, to make things even more fun play the theme music to Jeopardy. Once the music stops, collect each teams sheet. Put the team who is trailing in points on the overhead projector. Show their wager and reveal their answer, then do the same for the other team. Once both answers have been shown, reveal the answer to the question and declare the winning team.

Assessment Ideas:
Write down how many questions from the chapter the students actually got correct. This will show their grasp of the content that was taught.

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