Hello, Friends! Thank you for not giving up on me. It’s been an all kinds of crazy start to the school year. I have 21 new friends who are determined to give me gray hair, j/k. Actually, not really. Let’s just say I’ve had smoother starts to the school year than this year. I’m hoping things settle soon or I may have to start cracking open all the Riesling bottles I got at my housewarming party. Oy!
So, I was hoping to have posted a few of my back to school ideas that were new this year. Considering it’s September, I’ll just hold onto them until next year. I was also hoping to post pictures of my classroom this year because it is WAY different than last year, but the current state of Room 19 is chaos. Desks have gone from clusters, to row, then back to clusters with a few islands. Yes, islands… sigh. I will post some soon once I update my writing wall, and the desks make more sense.
Tonight I thought I’d answer the most common question I get asked. So many of you have asked me what program I use to create my products. Though I’ve been using Power Point a lot more lately, my go to program is
By far the BEST $50 I have ever spent. I originally bought the program to be able to open up files on Beth Newingham’s site. I’ll be honest… I’ve been working with this program for 6 years and I feel pretty comfortable with it but the first year or two I had trouble maneuvering much. It’s definitely the type of program you have to play with to get better. I have been using PowerPoint a lot more lately because you can save to pdf and the file size stays small. I hope this helps!
I realize that today is September 11th, but if you like this idea you can tuck it away for next year. To honor this day, my students and I started by watching the BrainPop Video about September 11th. Then, I allowed them to ask questions. I was actually impressed by the maturity they showed during this discussion. (there’s hope) Then, I read this book to the class.
It’s a beautiful story that leads itself perfectly into talking about country pride. After we read the story, my students and I brainstormed reasons why we are proud to be American. Here are a few pictures of their final projects.
Last year (I ran out of time this year) I really focused on 9.11 since it was the 10th anniversary. After we worked on these projects I took things a step further and had the kids complete a September 11th Scoot. I found these awesome task cards on ProTeacher, created the scoot answer form below, and had the kids scoot around the room answering 30 questions about 9.11.
If you are interested in downloading the project template and/or the scoot form, click on either of the pictures below and download your own copies from GoogleDocs.
And, on one final note for tonight… I’m sure many of you have heard about the teachers of CPS striking this past week. Please keep them in your thoughts as they are fighting for their students and hopefully paving the way for the rest of the country.