Thursday, February 25, 2010

Give without Spending a Cent!

There are some websites I have come across that allow you to give without giving a cent! By simply using them, they will donate to charitable foundations. The one I like best is a search engine powered by yahoo called You pick the charity and every search they donate one cent. The other two are education based: and At each site they donate either water or rice to countries in need. All you have to do is correctly answer questions. This is a great tool to use for extra practice in the classroom! Plus it promotes helping others out.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blogging and Podcasting in the Classroom

So I am planning on integrating blogging and podcasting into an activity post Illinois State Achievement Tests. It will be in conjunction with our unit on regions of the United States of America. Hopefully the integration of technology will excite the students and give them that drive to want to learn (that is so hard to achieve sometimes).

How do I feel about this? I had a professor that required us to respond regularly on a wiki and blog as a part of the class (the blog was apart from this one, and actually inspired me to begin this one). So I feel I have some experience with this. But enough to teach students how to do it? I will do my research, set everything up ahead of time and all will go well, I hope. I do realize restrictions will need to be placed on the blog so that all the postings are monitored. But all in all, this should be an exciting endeavor and I will keep you updated as to our progress in this exciting step forward.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Celebrations and ISAT prep

Today I looked through practice ISAT tests that the students took last week. My focus was on extended response for the mathematics section. It is good we are going over this again this week, as many of the students did not do well. But there was one student who was a pleasant surprise. On the second extended response, most students tried really hard and explained their reasoning; unfortunately, it was incorrect or only a partial explanation. This particular student does not do exceptionally well at mathematics, but he doesn't struggle either. He figured it out and wrote the best explanation of them all. I was so proud of him! When I asked him if I could use his answer as an example when we talk about them later this week, he seemed shocked that I wanted to show his. He said he didn't think he did well. After assuring him that I wanted to show it because it was great, he agreed. I don't think he understood my excitement. Upon showing my mentor his work, she laughed because of my excitement. It feels good to know they can do it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Teacher Discounts

I recently had heard from another teacher that you may obtain a teacher's reward card at Office Max. This got me wondering how many other places offered discounts to teachers, unbeknown to us. So I did about a 15 minute internet search to compile as many stores as I could and what their discounts are. Most also include home school teachers, as long as you can verify it with paperwork.

JoAnn Fabrics-15% must apply for card within store
J Crew 15% with authentic paperwork
Staples teachers rewards card
Office Max teachers perks card
Ann Taylor Loft 10% with authentic paperwork and ID
Barnes and Noble 20% (not sure if this is a card or just proof)
Bookwarehouse 15%
Dell 2-4%
New York and Company 15%
Dollar Tree (ask for discount)
Hobby Lobby 10% (ask for discount)

Happy shopping to all educators!

One more to add:
10% off at The Limited

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I have always known that counselor was one of the many hats teachers wear. But I didn't know how difficult it was until this week. It seems that in our class it was a fourth grade drama production. Some had more of the lead parts in the play where others just had minor aches and pains. A few students chose to remain out of the spotlight (thank goodness), but I think that over half of my class had some sort of ailment, either emotional or physical this week.

I am now confident that I can teach a lesson, deal with some pretty major name calling, comfort a student crying student (because her leg hurts so bad), keep another student (who is on the verge of tears because of her broken finger's pain) calm, and motivate another student who prefers not to do schoolwork all at the same time. With all that accomplished, bring on Illinois State Achievement Testing!!