- Making Predictions
- Authors Purpose
- Cause and Effect
- Figurative Language Power Point
- Context Clues
- Generalizing Power Point
- Onomatopeia Power Point Lesson
- Personification Power Point Lesson
- Drawing Conclusions
- Hyperbole Power Point Lesson
- Main Idea
- Story Elements Bundle
- Friendly Letter
- Test Prep/Comprehension
- Animal Adaptations
- Classifying Animals
- Food Web/Chain
- Solar System
- Rocks and Minerals
- Electricity and Magnetism
- Heat Energy
- Simple Machines
- Earth Science
- Solids, Liquids, and Gas
- Water Cycle
- Christmas Addition and Subtraction Basic Facts
- Free Winter Holiday E-book
- Gift Exchange Ideas
- Ultimate Christmas packet
- Christmas Math Packet
- Christmas Author’s Purpose Power Point
- Primary Christmas Math Packet
- Holidays Around the World Power Point
- Christmas Reading Comprehension
- Holiday Puzzle Pack
- Under The MistleToe Comprehension Worksheet
- Christmas Ornament Comprehension
- January – Martin Luther King Jr.
- February Page
- Valentines Day
- Winter Olympics
- Groundhogs Day Power Point
- President’s Day
- Leap Year Power Point
- March/St. Patrick’s Day
- September Resources
- Math Scavenger Hunts
- Mean, Median, Mode
- Rounding Numbers
- Place Value
- Test Prep
- How to Eat Fried Worms
- Reading Group Activity Guide SUPER Bundle
- Sign of the Beaver
- Reading Group Activity Guide SUPER Bundle
- My Side of the Mountain
- Ramona Quimby, Age 9
- 4th Grade Rats
- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
- Maniac Magee
- In The Dinosaur’s Paw
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Bridge to Terabithia
- Indian in the Cupboard
- Island of the Blue Dolphin
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
- Cricket in Times Square
- Magic Treehouse Dinosaurs Before Dark
- Stone Fox Reading Group Guide
- The BFG Reading Group Activity Guide
- KINDLE STORE
- African American History
Happy Fathers’ Day! I’m so appreciative of the many great fathers out there, and especially the great father figures in our education system. I have a five year old son and a five month old son!
Fathers are under attack in our country today. Some of this is warranted because of the amount of dead-beat dads and fathers who give up their responsibility, but not all dads fit this description. Our culture seems to be fueling this idea. If you are not sure what I am talking about, check out some of the family sitcoms on TV today. Modern Family, Three and a Half Men, Rugrats, and practically every Disney Channel show has the same character: the goofy dad who acts like an idiot, is a pushover, and gives the kids everything they want. This character completely leaves it up to the mom to be responsible, handle all the discipline, and clean up all of the dad’s mistakes. I grew up watching Married with Children, Home Improvement, and Everybody Loves Raymond. Don’t forget the classic example of Homer Simpson! I don’t think anyone would argue that this pattern holds true for these shows as well.
Unfortunately this is slowly leaking into Young Adult and Children’s books, and the movies that are associated with them. Consider a recent entry in the Knuffle Bunny series (Hyperion), by Mo Willems, which revolves around the obsessive relationship between Trixie, a Brooklyn girl, and her plush bunny. Trixie, beginning school in Park Slope, discovers that another girl owns the same toy. They accidentally switch bunnies. That night, Trixie wakes up and realizes that her comfort object is an alien impostor. She flips out—she wants Knuffle Bunny, now! Her dad sheepishly requests a reprieve: “Trixie’s daddy tried to explain what ‘2:30 A.M.’ means. He asked, ‘Can we deal with this in the morning?’” Trixie’s fixed stare makes clear that the answer is no. Salvation comes in the form of a ringing phone: the other girl’s father, equally cowed, has called to propose a handoff in Prospect Park. There’s an element of satire here, but the idea that children have complete authority is now so normal that many readers, old and young, are likely to consider a moonlit stuffed-animal exchange an ordinary turn of events.
The other day in my classroom I turned off the newest movie version of “How to Eat Fried Worms” because of its portrayal of parents and teachers. I then went on to explain to my students that not all parents and teachers act like the adults in the movie, and we had a nice conversation about it.
You may be asking, “What does this have to do with me?” I would like to ask that in your influential role as an educator, parent, or adult, you make a point of picking some books that portray fathers as heros, or books that show a father as a firm, but fun-loving dad who is not an idiot, and doesn’t skirt all of his duties. Do you teach Pre-K to 2nd? You may want to consider Kevin Henkes, a Wisconsin author, who uses some of his Midwestern good sense to make the parents firm and consistent. How about 3rd – 7th? One of my favorite series to read aloud is the Adirondack Kids series. These kids know how to be respectful to their dads. As educators and parents let’s help change this stereotype, and celebrate dad as a hero and for goodness sake turn off the Disney channel!
Did you get your Scholastic flyers for January yet? Did you notice the amazing offer for the book, “Stone Fox?” Scholastic is offering the book for only one dollar!! I thought, why not!?! So from now until Feb. 14th my Stone Fox Reading Group Guide will be available from both my site, Power Point Maniac’s Teaching Resources, and from my Teachers Pay Teachers store for only a buck!
This “Stone Fox” by John Reynolds Gardiner Reading group activity guide is set up so it can be used as a unit plan for the teacher, or used by students in literature circles. It is broken up into a 13 day plan, and includes chapter questions, vocabulary, projects, and reading comprehension. This would also be a great resource for a homeschooler to follow along with the book.
I realized I am way behind on updating my blog and website. Yikes, it’s been months. I took a few hours yesterday and completely redid my January Seasonal page and guess what? I added a bunch of freebies! There are now FOUR different seasonal items for your downloading pleasure including the popular “Winter Seasons Reading Comprehension Packet” found here. It’s been downloaded several hundred times already! My other very new file (which is 25% off right now) is a primary Martin Luther King Jr. Unit. This is a zipped file that includes a 30 slide Power Point lesson, a PDF worksheet packet (10 pages) and a PDF file that includes a fun craft template and directions as well as ideas for MLK books, videos, and neat activities.
BLACK FRIDAY MADNESS SALE
Everything on Power Point Maniac’s Teaching Resources is 30% off until December 1st! Use promo code “maniac” at check out! This is one of the bigger deals of the year. For example the popular Thanksgiving History Power Point is only $2.45 with the discount! To get started check out some of my Christmas/Holiday files!! Also if you haven’t downloaded the “I am Thankful” project for FREE do it now!
All Set for Halloween? Check out my site for some great Halloween printables including three FREE Addition worksheets WITH A KEY! Students will love the fun Halloween clipart. Head on over to Power Point Maniac’s Teaching Resources for more info! Thanks!
It was a simple, respectful but gutsy, short note from a concerned parent last year.
”It took (Name withheld) over an hour to do the 28 division problems tonight. Would it be possible next time to check for understanding with only 8 -10 problems?”
I sat and thought about it for about 15 minutes. I had nearly every emotion running through my head but eventually I got to, “Oh my gosh. What was I thinking? I gave 28 long division problems last night and that was just in math!” I had always given homework because I was given homework when I was in school. 4th graders should have 40 minutes of homework right? (10 minutes per grade level rule) Sometimes even when I didn’t have homework to give out I would make something up. I found my self really asking, “Why am I assigning this?” I use to make the kids write their spelling words 4X’s each and they hated it! What’s the point? (Let’s not get started on spelling!)
Now this year my family has gotten the opportunity to be involved in the life of an amazing 4th grade student. Wow – talk about busy! Soccer, homework, snack, clarinet practice, good news club, dinner, reading, and shower. Of course she would NEVER procrastinate at any of these! (I need a drink, oops my lead broke, I know I got this assignment last week, but now it’s due tomorrow!!) Students are busier than I ever was! For me, this school year is different. I’m giving WAY less homework. Sometimes the homework I do give is “Read for 20 minutes” or “study your spelling words” Homework that can be done in the car, or at sister or brother’s game. It just makes sense.
Here are a couple questions for you to consider.
Who actually does the homework and is it a good representation of what the student is capable of?
What types of students/family life really have issues with homework?
What is the real purpose of the homework? Is it just busy work?
I think the parents appreciate a little less homework this year, and I KNOW the students appreciate it!
This is a continuation of a previous post about how I incorporate iPod Touch into my students learning:
Each morning the students get to use their iPods for some morning work. The kids LOVE doing this and they are quiet! At the beginning of the year I give the students the option of doing any 3 of the apps. After a month or two I have them do all the applications. Here is a great list of the apps I use. Most are free!
Learn something different each day with the free BrainPOP Featured Movie App for the iPad, iPhone,and iPod Touch! After watching BrainPOP’s daily‐animated movie, you can test your new knowledge with an interactive quiz.
Superkids Vocab 4 – 6
A good vocab is essential to your childs future. Superkids Vocab 4‐6 provides a fun and easy way to master the words they need to excel in school and beyond.
This is the only source for truly live, local weather – providing users access to the largest network of professional weather stations in the US and thousands of locations around the world.
Today in History (lite)
Today In History is the easiest/best way to get the history information you want when you want it. We are dedicated to sharing world history, and personally significant “historical” information
Inspiring though of the day
Every day a new inspiring idea will appear on your screen, making you think about life and inspiring you to live it.
You can find all of these in the iTunes store.
I also use a worksheet to guide the students along the way. Here is the worksheet:
This is also available with a poster, worksheet, and list of apps on Teacherspayteachers.com