Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday! WBT Blogs

     As I was sitting on my couch this weekend I came up with the perfect idea for this Wednesday's Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday post! I spend a decent amount of time  ok A LOT of time on education and WBT blogs and as I was making my way through Google Reader I realized that I should share some of these great blogs with you!

     Volia! I have created a detailed list of the WBT blogs that I follow. This amazing group of guys and gals have provided me with invaluable support and information since I began this journey and I hope you take the time to visit each and every one of them! Not only does this group include some of the WBT presenters and Training Team members but also all (to my knowledge at least) of the WBT Interns for 2011/2012 and three of the WBT Interns for 2012/2013!! If there was ever a time where you wanted to learn about WBT, these people would be the place to start (in addition to the WBT website of course)! In addition to some amazing content, photos and videos, most of their blogs have blog rolls too that could lead you to other WBT blogs as well.

** The information I provide about each blog has been taken from Blogger profiles and blog posts so if anything is incorrect please let me know ASAP so I can correct it :)

A Whole Brain Teacher (AKA a Wibbeteer)
- Allison teaches in a 2nd Grade class in Texas, United States. Alison discovered
  WBT in 2009 and is an official WBT Intern for the 2011/2012 year!

A Whole Brain Teaching Journey with Mrs. Harding
- Mrs. Harding is a 3rd Grade teacher in Oregon, United States. She found WBT
  in the spring of 2011 and has been hooked ever since!

Aud's Whole Brainer Blog
- Aud has only blogged twice and I don't have any information for him/her but I keep
  this blog on my list anyways!

Charles Huntley's Whole Brain Teaching Classroom
- Charles is a 4th Grade teacher based out of Florida, United States. Charles has
   been using WBT since 2009 and is a leader in his school, assisting other teachers
   with WBT strategies.

Chris Rekstad & WBT
- As one of the founders of WBT, Chris has been there since the beginning! He is
  now teaching at an Elementary School in California as well as still actively
  presenting WBT seminars.

EduKate with Whole Brain
- Kate is a 3rd Grade teacher in Deloware, United States. She has been using WBT
  for over 3 years and has been selected as a WBT Intern for the 2012/2013 year!

Heather Hansen 2011/2012 WBT Intern
- Heather teaches in a 3rd Grade classroom but also has experience in Kindergarten
  to Grade 6. She has used WBT since 2010 and, like her blog states, she is a WBT
  Intern for the 2011/2012 year!

Joy Button's Amazing Journey with WBT
- Joy has been selected as a WBT Intern for the 2012/2013 year! She is new to the
  blogging world and I don't have any information on her but I'm sure her blog will
  soon fill as she becomes an intern!

Joyful One
- Even if you haven't visited her blog before, you'll probably recognize Deb Weigel
  from many of the WBT videos on the WBT website or on their YouTube channel.
- Deb teaches in Yuma, Arizona and is a great resource when it comes to learning
  about WBT; she even presents WBT seminars!
Kelli's Whole Brain Classroom Experience
- Kelli teaches Kindergarten and although she was working towards being a WBT
  intern, her most recent blog post shared that her school was against blogging about
  the classroom. I am keeping her on the list anyways because the few posts she has
  shares some good information.

Laura's WBT Journey
- Laura has taught everything from K-12 in her 18 years as teacher and has been
  using WBT since early 2010. She is a leader in her school as well as a WBT
  Intern for the 2011/2012 year!

Luria Learning Blog
- Sacha Luria has been a teacher for over 10 years and has done an incredible
  amount of research and observation to discover what works well in classrooms.
  She now share this information on her blog.
- Although her blog is not devoted to WBT like the rest of this list, she often
  shares her experiences with WBT in various blog posts.

Mrs. Crooks WBT Experience
- Mrs. Crooks teaches Grade 3 & 4 in Pennsylvania, United States. She discovered
   WBT in August of 2010 and hasn't turned back since! Her WBT posts are very
   detailed and I find them really helpful when I am learning about a WBT strategy that
   I haven't tried yet.

Mrs. Norton's Whole Brain Teaching Journey
- Mrs. Norton teaches Grade 5 in California, United States. Mrs. Norton's principal
  actually introduced her to WBT (yay for administration support!) in 2009 and she
  is serving as a WBT Intern for the 2011/2012 year!

Mrs. Shipley's Fabulous Firsties
- Mrs. Shipley and her husband co-teach in a Grade 1 classroom in Texas, United
  States. They have been using WBT for over 4 years now and she has been part
  of the WBT Training Team for 1 year!

Mrs. Stoltenberg's Second Grade Class
- If you have been on the WBT Forums you are probably already familiar with
  Mrs. Stoltenberg!
- She is a 2nd Grade teacher from California, United States and serves as a
  Director of WBT Certification.

My Whole Brain Blog
Carole Seubert is an Elementary teacher from Maryland, United States. She
  discovered WBT a few years ago and has been selected as a WBT Intern for
  the 2012/2013 year!

My Whole Brain Teaching Blog
- Liann is a 1st Grade teacher from British Columbia, Canada, making her the only
  other Canadian WBT blogger (besides me) that I have found so far! She has been
  using WBT since 2010 and is serving as a WBT Intern for the 2011/2012 year!

Room for Improving
- Dave is a Multi-Grade teacher in the United States and only the 2nd male blogger
  on the list! He has been using WBT for a few years and is serving as a WBT Intern
  for the 2011/2012 year!

Teaching - Another Day in Paradise with WBT
- Another male WBT blogger! Jason is a Middle School teacher from New Mexico,
  United States. He has been using WBT for a few years and uploads really helpful
   posts that describe what worked/didn't work in his classroom.

WBT with Scrapbunny
- Melissa is a Grade 1 teacher from California, United States. She has used WBT for
  over 4 years as a technology teacher and then a classroom teacher and always has
  great posts about what is new with WBT!

Whole Brain Teaching with Roxi Shayne
- Roxi was the FIRST WBT blog I began following! She is a Grade 9 teacher in
  Louisiana, United States. Roxi has been using WBT for about 2 years and has
  shared some wonderful WBT videos from her own class.

A BIG thanks to all the wonderful WBT bloggers out there that are sharing their ideas and experiences! 
I will be adding this list to the BRAND NEW Whole Brain Teaching Resources page under my Fav Websites page!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Resources to Start Off Your Week 19

     Whether you are just entering your last month of classes or are getting ready for your next year of classes, here are some great new Resources to Start Off Your Week! As always, I will be adding these to my Fav Websites page.

1 ) Pinta
- This website is a FREE photo-imaging software that almost resembles
- Pinta is really easy to use and offers special effects and unlimited layers!
  It can be a great resource to share with your students who don't have
  programs like PhotoShop at home.
- I had some difficulty downloading it the first time but on the second try it
  worked perfectly.

pinta painting, free photoshop programs, programs like photoshop, what to use if you don't have photoshop

2 ) Mind Maple
- This website allows users to create simple and attractive mind maps.
- Mind maps can be made by teachers, by students or collaboratively.
   They can introduce ideas/units/themes to students, can be made as a
   means of taking notes for visual learners and/or can be used as a
   review tool.

mind maps, mind mapping tools, using mind maps in the classroom, mind map tools for students

3 ) Google for Educators: LiveBinders
- This website is the be all end all of Google! Everything an educator
   would ever want or need to know about Google is summarized in
   this LiveBinder!
- From the basics of search engines and Google Docs to hidden tricks
   and tips for students this has it all. Users can even chose from basic,
   intermediate or advanced lessons.

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 - This website can be described as a "Google map" of the Roman
    Empire, it is so neat! Users can pick locations in the Roman
    Empire (at it's height)  and calculate the time and cost of various
    methods of travel that would have been used at the time.
- You can even calculate how much it would cost to travel by donkey,
   including the costs of feeding your donkey's along the way!
- ORBIS is perfect to accompany a history lesson, geography lesson,
   or math lesson. You could even use this to map out the setting of
   novels such as Spartacus.

     Check out this video on how to calculate routes using ORBIS.

5 ) Darwin, A Naturalist's Voyage Around the World
- This website is an amazing virtual tour of Darwin's voyage on the
   Beagle. The tour showcases diagrams and maps from the voyage
   itself as well as images and readings from Darwin's personal journal.
- This website is great for not only learning about Darwin himself but
   about different plants and animals as well as social issues like slavery.

Charles Darwin, best resources to learn about Darwin

Happy Monday everyone!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Back to Work

     I missed posting this week but that's because I was busy starting my job for the summer! In addition to working as a substitute teacher, on an as needed basis, as well as a cashier at a local gas bar I am also working full time as a Child Development Worker through the government of Manitoba. Since all provincial programs are different, here is how ours is set up.

Children's disability services, manitoba government, programs for students with disabilities
Check out their phamplet to learn more.
For the past four summers I have been employed through Children’s disABILITY Services (formally Children's Special Services) developing and administering effective programs for children diagnosed with a disability. The position is two-fold. For the first two months of employment I am responsible for effectively reviewing my 6-8 assigned case files and meeting with parents/guardians, school officials and necessary healthcare professionals. From the information obtained through these meetings a program is then developed and tailored to the individual child’s needs and abilities to ensure a positive developmental, social and/or physical goal is met by summer’s end. Once the child is out of school for the summer, the last two months of employment are spent administering the program in the child’s home community.  Through this position I have worked closely with several schools in and around our region, sitting in on classes and IEPs (Individual Education Plan), as well as actively participating with Resource Teachers in efforts to accommodate the child. Essentially we set up programs to ensure that students do not regress or lose the skills they worked on during the school year.

     This year I have seven students that I am working with that will require me to drive anywhere from thirty minutes to over an hour to administer the program in their home communities once school is out. I feel quite lucky because one year I had one student one hour drive to the east and another student one hour drive to the west so it was a lot of driving!

     I strongly feel that my position as a Child Development Worker has helped me to be more prepared to assist my future students who may have a disability. I really enjoy the fact that I can find a summer position that allows me to still work with students and do some of the same things I do when I am in the classroom.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Resources to Start Off Your Week 18: May Long Weekend Edition

Happy May Long Weekend! 
Here is a longer version of Resources to Start Off Your Week to celebrate. Like always, I will be adding all of these to my lists on the Fav Websites page.

1 ) Teachers Printables
- Need organization? Then this website is your answer.
- This website offers free printables of everything a teacher needs to stay
   organized including lesson plan templates, parent-teacher communication
   logs, grading book templates and so much more.
- This could be your one-stop show if you are getting organized for next
  year or need to refresh your current setup.

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2 ) Science Fix
- Operated my a middle school science teacher, Science Fix, is a great
   resource for finding materials for your science lessons. Not only does
   it include actual lesson plans that you can modify but it also provides
   video demonstrations as well as webquests.
- Users can search through the blog posts for resources or use the search
   feature at the top of the page.

science resources for the classroom, science resources for students, science resources for educators, science in the classroom

3 ) Mini Page Archive
- Mini Page was a 4-page children's newspaper insert that ran in the United
   States for almost 40 years and is now archived digitally!
- Each edition covers a different educational topic presented through text,
  images, word puzzles, games and recipes. 
- This could be the perfect thing to have available if students are done their
   work early, could be used to introduce a topic, or could be used as a
   starting point for research projects.

mini page, using mini page in the classroom, using newspapers in the classroom

4 ) Science Friday
- Science Friday is a weekly talk radio show that has now been adopted
  as a great website database as well!
- An easy to access topics list on the left hand side allows users to search
  by topics such as the earth, space, the body, math, chemistry and much more!
- In addition to having some great audio and video clips to use in the classroom
   they also have a comprehensive "For Teachers" sections that lists detailed
   lesson plans.

science resources for the classroom, science resources for students, science resources for educators, science in the classroom

5 ) Tech-Ease
- With all of the technology we use in the classroom we also need something
   to help troubleshoot when we run into difficulties.
- Tech-Ease in a great online tech support website specifically designed for
   educators. The main page first allows users to pick their system: Mac, Windows
   or Accessibility Uses. After that this user-friendly website has options to search
   through any types of problems you may run into!

Tech ease, for all your classroom technology needs, tech troubleshooting in the classroom

6 ) Smart History: Khan Academy
- This website is a video website meant to add to many art history textbooks
   that are being used today. Users can pick a time period on the left hand side
   menu and scroll through short videos about prominent pieces of art from that
- Not only can it be used for art, but we know that art is a reflection of what was
   happening during the time so it can be great for showing different interpretations
   of major events.
- Maybe it is just the History major in me but I love this website!

Smart History by Khan Academy

7 ) I Witness: Holocaust Video Archives
- I Witness is the perfect resource to bring history to life!
- This website is an archive of 1,000+ one-on-one interviews with
   Holocaust survivors and other witnesses.
- This website is specifically designed for educators, allowing users to
   not only watch videos but edit their own video projects, browse the
   encyclopedia and create secure accounts for students.

video testimonies from holocaust survivors, the holocaust, videos about the holocaust, primary documents on the holocaust

8 ) Nature Works Everywhere
- Organized by the Nature Conservancy, this website is an amazingly
   user-friendly website that houses an assortment of nature-based
   lesson plans covering everything from water and clean air to protection
   and food.
- There are videos to add to lesson plans as well as information on the
   scientists behind the website. Their biography videos are perfect for
   students who want to learn more about careers in science!
nature conservancy, science websites for the classroom, nature resources for the classroom, ecosystems resources for the classroom

Happy Monday Tuesday everyone!

Like these resources? Check our last week's post on "The Best Resources for Finding Resources".

Friday, 18 May 2012

Substituting in "T-Division" 2

     Yesterday I was very happy to be substituting in "T-Division" again. I was actually able to be in the same small school as I was in on Tuesday, only this time I was in a Grade 2/3 split class of 10 students. After my substituting experience on Tuesday, @MsBarteaux shared with me that when she was working as a substitute she would take photographs, with permission, of all the things she loved in a classroom to keep for future reference. I thought this was a wonderful idea! I mean, in the past I would take note of things that I liked or didn't like but I had never consciously organized my ideas like that. I wasn't able to take photographs of the class I was in, but here are some of the things I liked from the Grade 2/3 class:

Organization! Organization! Organization!
classroom organization, how to organize your classroom, classroom organization tips, classroom storage tips
One my favourite classrooms from "Dandelions & Dragonflies" blog
This teacher was definitely one of the most organized teachers I have ever seen. Everything was well placed, easy to find and easy to work around. Even with everything being in French I was able to figure out where things were.
Each student also had a brightly decorated burlap bag hung off the front of their desk where they would put papers/assignments/books/etc that were to go home at the end of the day. No more looking through your desk at the end of the day, just grab whats in the bag and you are good to go!

Making Do With What You Have
creating displays in the classroom, working with the layout of your classroom
It reminded me of a display case like this one!
 It was clear that the classroom had previously been designed as a science classroom and the back of the room housed a large glass-enclosed work counter with hookups for gas and water for science experiments. I imagine that those hookups are now turned off because the teacher had used the area to highlight the theme or unit they were working on at the time.
It worked perfect because the area was enclosed and had a separate set of lights right above it so with the lights turned on it almost looked like an interactive museum display showcasing all the things needed to explain the unit. It looked really neat and was a great way to work with the preexisting set-up of the classroom.

Spelling Pre-Tests
using whiteboards in the classroom, whiteboards to engage everyone
Students in the Netherlands using whiteboards in math.
Our afternoon consisted of a weekly spelling test and the introduction of a new spelling unit. Before the new words were introduced I was instructed to give the students a pre-test to see what words they were already familiar with. I was surprised when each student took a small whiteboard out of their desks and used them for their pre-test!
Each student would write the word to the best of their ability and hold it up for me to see. I thought it was such a neat way to give the test without wasting paper! Plus the students LOVE the opportunity to use their whiteboards so they were all working very hard.

Hope you like these ideas as much as I did!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday: WBT TV!

Have you had the chance to check out Whole Brain Teaching TV?

WBT TV, whole brain teaching professional development credit, whole brain teaching, whole brain teaching videos

If you are interested in learning more about Whole Brain Teaching and/or discussing ideas and strategies with other educators then Whole Brain Teaching TV is the perfect option for you!

Found on the Whole Brain Teaching website homepage as well as it's own page, WBT TV is an online interactive stream where users can tune in to a live show to learn all about a variety of WBT strategies.
The video library also allows users to scroll through previous sessions to view at their convenience if they are unable to tune in on time.

The next scheduled WBT TV Show is on Tuesday, May 22nd.
"Want to be a Board Certified WBT Instructor?"
5pm            Western time
6pm          Mountain time
7pm             Central time
8pm            Eastern time

Thanks for checking out Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Substituting in "T-Division"

     Its been a week and a half since I left "C-School" and I've been missing the classroom so much! Thank goodness I got called in to substitute teach in "T-Division" for today and Thursday. I had never been to the town before so, like I always do, I left waaayyy too early in an attempt to give myself enough time to find my way around. Fortunately I was only 20 minutes early this time and not 30+ like when I visited "C-School".

     The school is a French-immersion school but fortunately I was substituting for the English teacher; which worked out perfectly as my French is quite minimal. The school itself is the epitome of why I LOVE rural schools. I was immediately welcomed by the students, given a tour and met the seven staff members.... yes that includes the administration (altogether I believe there is approximately 45 students from K-8). The Grade 5 class at "C-School" was 28 students! There is definitely something to be said for small class sizes. You can accomplish so much when you only have 7-14 students!

Cast away lesson plan
I was first with a Grade 7/8 split class of 9 students. They were in the middle of watching the Tom Hanks movie, Cast Away, after completing a survival unit. Good thing this was one of my favourite movies; I LOVE Tom Hanks. As we watched the movie the students completed a review sheet answering comprehension questions regarding how the survival experience affected the character's personality. It was interesting to see how the students reacted to his relationship with the volleyball, Wilson. Although they all laughed when he spoke with him as if he was real they were all truly saddened for him when he lost Wilson as he left the island. This lead to some really good discussion about the importance of relationships in our society.

I was then with a Grade 4/5/6 split class of 13 students. After a silent reading period they completed a quiz on the novel, Island of The Blue Dolphins. The quiz itself was comprised of 8 multiple choice questions and 3 long answer questions. I was genuinely impressed with the level of the questions being asked; it was not what I expected for a Grade 4/5/6 class. The students, however, seemed to have a very high level of comprehension of the novel and answered the questions with ease. 

All-in-all it was a very easy day for a substitute teacher but I was so happy to be back in the classroom! I can't wait to go back on Thursday :)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Resources to Start Off Your Week 17: Best Resources to Find Resources!

     As I updated my Fav Websites page and organized all those wonderful resources I began to think of all of the places where I have found these resources. I often find great websites for ed just by browsing through teacher's blogs and seeing what they use but I have also found some great websites dedicated to finding ed resources. There are definitely some very committed people out there that are AMAZING at finding ed resources, I don't know how they do it! Here are some of the ones I check out daily:
* Pictures have been taken off the public blog profiles

1 ) Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day
- Larry Ferlazzo is AMAZING! I found his website by chance and have since been
  pushing it on every teacher and student teacher I know. Not only does he blog
  regularly on a variety of educational topics but he is continuously finding great
  resources to be used in the classroom.
- His "Best of" series can be found through his blog and archives lists of thousands of
  the "Best of" ed resources. Teachers can find anything they may need if they are
  teaching any subject or interested in learning more on professional development,
  classroom management or any other ed topic.
- Great job Larry, thank you!

ed resources for teachers, ed resources of students, using technology in the classroom, best tech resources for students, best tech resources for teachers

2 ) Educational Technology Guy
- David Andrade's blog, Educational Technology Guy, is great for finding
  the best new tech resources for the classroom. David often posts many times
  a day and not only has some great online resources but invaluable information
  on how to use them and how to troubleshoot them!
- You can scroll through the posts themselves or explore through any of the tabs
  David's included at the top of the blog to organize his resources.
- Definitely a blog to add to your Google Reader!

ed resources for teachers, ed resources of students, using technology in the classroom, best tech resources for students, best tech resources for teachers

3 ) ICT Magic Wiki
- ICT Wiki is one of the biggest ed resources Wiki that I have been able to
  find. It has countless resources that can be used by teachers or students and
  it is my one-stop shop if I am looking for last minute resources to use during
  a lesson!
- Tabs at the side of this Wiki allow users to scroll through resources
   by specific subjects (math, english, etc) or by use (animations, images, etc).
- This is a very visually busy Wiki and it can be easy to miss information but there
   are GREAT resources summarized through this Wiki if you take the time to look.

ed resources for teachers, ed resources of students, using technology in the classroom, best tech resources for students, best tech resources for teachers

Happy Monday everyone!
(I will be adding these to my Fav Websites page under "Teacher Resources")

Friday, 11 May 2012

Fav Websites: Bigger & Better!

     After updating my weekly Resources To Start Off Your Week posts for approximately 17 weeks my Fav Websites page was becoming just a little but unmanageable! Well fear no more because I have completed a total overhaul and organized all those wonderful resources by subject area.

Head over to my Fav Websites page to check out the updates and let me know if you find any technical glitches!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday! Super Improvers Wall

     Now that summer holidays have begun I have a substantial amount of time on my hands until I begin my two summer jobs (starting next week). I figured that in between setting up our home I would also work towards researching and organizing some new ideas for my next student teaching placements that start in September. I haven't completed a formal Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday post since before I was student teaching so I am happy to present you with information on the "Super Improvers Wall"!

     The "Super Improvers Wall" is a fun and long-lasting method used to increase student motivation WITHOUT pinning students against one another. I strongly believe that we, as teachers, should focus on creating respectful learning environments that not only foster a sense of community amongst our students but also ensure that our students feel safe. Although competition can be a great motivator for some students, competition amongst peers can often leave students feeling inadequate, embarrassed or ashamed. These types of experiences leave our students with a negative view of the task/subject or even a negative view towards school in general! What I like about the "Super Improvers Wall" is that it is based off of students beating their own personal goals, whether they are academic, social, or behavioural. No two students are ever EXACTLY the same at something and each student can have their own goals so competition between classmates is minimized if not eliminated. The following describes the "Super Improvers Wall" as it is stated by Chris Biffle in the free WBT e-book, Whole Brain Teaching Model Classroom (pg 7).
** You must have a free account to access and download the free e-books

      "When you observe students improving in any classroom activity... put their name on your Super Improvers Wall. As you note continued improvement in any learning or social activity, add stars after the child's name. When a kid has accumulated five stars, then something special happens.
    Bring in your camera and take the students picture with any friends he or she chooses. Encourage the kids to make funny faces. Children love to see pictures of themselves making funny faces.
     Develop the picture and bring it to class. Do not show the child the photo but replace their name on the Super Improvers Wall with the picture, image side to the wall. At this point, the child wants, almost more than anything in the world, to have the photo turned around and see his/her funny face picture with their friends.
     As you note continued improvement... put a star on the back of the photo. When the photo has five stars, make a big production of turning it around. Viola! Announce that your Super Improver has become a Student Leader! We almost guarantee that at least once a day, the student and her friends will go up and look at the picture.
     What should student leaders do?
     Assign leaders for one day to perform, at your request, any of the following call outs: class!, hands and eyes, mirror, papers, seats, lines, switch, teach, Mighty Groan, Mighty Oh Yeah. (Depends on what Whole Brain Teaching Strategies we are using in our classrooms. You could have them be a part of any part of your classroom routine as well.) Change leader tasks daily, not everyone who has a photo turned face outward, will be a leader everyday."

     Obviously this is a strategy that is more geared towards younger-age students but perhaps there are modifications to make it more appealing/appropriate for high school age as well? I will do some brainstorming but what are your thoughts?

super improvers wall, whole brain teaching, whole brain teaching motivation, student motivation, wibbiters
Check out this awesome Super Improvers Wall from "A Whole Brain Teacher"s blog
super improvers wall, whole brain teaching, whole brain teaching motivation, student motivation, wibbiters
Love the flare of this one created by Heather Hansen a WBT Intern 11/12
 Check out the Whole Brain Teaching website to see Chris Biffle's instructions in context or check out the videos on Chris Biffle's YouTube channel to see this strategy in action

Thanks for checking out Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Resources to Start Off Your Week 16

     Even though I am on summer holidays I am still going to try to blog as much as possible. With that in mind, here are some new resources to start off your week. I will add these to my Favourite Websites list as well!

1 )Viscosity Explorer
- This interactive website allows students to explore viscosity by experimenting with
   different liquids and different temperatures. The two cylinders provide a good
   opportunity to compare and contrast the differences.
- I find that viscosity is often a term that students get mixed up or backwards, this
  website is very clear and helpful!

learn about viscosity, teaching students about viscosity, what is viscosity, viscosity interactive website

2 ) Infographics
- Everyone loves infographics and gives users the options to create their own!
  The drag and drop option is really easy to use but because it is still in beta-form
  and there are not a lot of provided options. Luckily, users have the option to upload
  their own images which allows for full customization!
- Infographics are perfect for students to use to present project information or teachers
  could even create their own for students to read over to get information!
- beta, create free infographics, infographics, infographic maker

3 )  Kids WB The Wizard of Oz
-  A cute website to accompany a Wizard of Oz unit. This website provides
   images and video clips from the original movie, activities, games,
   downloads and product purchases.

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4 )  Free Foto
- This database allows users to search through 100,000+ royalty free
   images that can be used free of charge! An amazing option is that
   users have the option of downloading entire collections to be used for
   off-line use as well.

free images, royalty free pictures, royalty free images, free pictures, free pictures for student use

Happy Monday everyone!

Summer Holidays & Substitute Teaching!

     Friday was not only my last day of student teaching at "C-School" but it was also my last day of university for this year! We finished up our classes and wrote our final exams at the beginning of March so now that our placements are done we do not return to school until the first week of September. Although I will miss the Grade 5s very much I am already excited about what is to come. I can not believe that I only have ONE more year of school before I can begin applying for teaching positions.

manitoba map, distance to manitoba universities
All together it was a very busy weekend. My fiance and I packed up all of our belongings from the university and spent Saturday moving back to our home which is about two hours away from our university. Since then I have been slowly cleaning and organizing our home. There is a lot of cleaning and freshening up to do since our home remains more or less vacant for the 8 months of the year that we are at university. Hopefully it will all be organized soon enough.

Today we went into town and attempted to apply to substitute teach. Our home happens to fall right on the border between two school divisions so we are lucky to have more employment opportunities and wanted to apply at both. In April we had stopped in at "T-Division" and applied to substitute teach so our paper work would be ready to go by the time we moved home. The reason why we applied at "T-Division" first is because the division office is about an hour from our home but we do drive by it on our way home from university so it was easy to stop in on our way by. "M-Division" on the other hand is about 35 minutes on the other side of our home and because you have to apply in person and not via email we were not able to get into town until today. Despite working as a substitute teacher last spring we need to reapply which we were prepared to do. We did not realize, however, that our provincial Criminal Record Checks and Child Abuse Registry Checks needed to be brand new (ours were 6 months old but not expired). This was a little frustrating because they do not expire for some time and were current enough to student teach with and also current enough for "T-Division". Unfortunately, we need to get those completed before we can proceed with "M-Division". Until then, we can substitute teach with "T-Division" and hope all of our paperwork comes in quickly!

Good luck to all the student teachers who are finishing up their placements or just beginning theirs!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Last Day at "C-School"!

Friday was my LAST day of my 8 week student teaching placement in the Grade 5 and Grade 5/6 split classes at "C-School". I've learned so much during my time there and have grown so attached to our students. We celebrated my last day by having a party in the afternoon which involved lots of treats, the movie Despicable Me and a great surprise from my students!

Here are some pictures to remember the day.

gifts for students, candy bag cards, end of the year presents for students, treat bags, goodie bags for kids
 "Thank You For Being So Sweet" Goodie Bags for the Students

card for teachers
The girls presenting me with a GIGANTIC card from the whole class!
I was so excited!
Front: "We Will Miss You"
big bang theory theme song, big bang theory lyrics
Inside: Picture and their "Big Bang Theory" inspired song!
Back: Everyone's signature & my favourite team logos!

singing in the classroom
Our class singing me their "Big Bang Theory" inspired song! Pretty much the coolest class ever :)
Thank you so much for everything 5R, I will miss each and everyone of you very much.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Getting a Teaching Job

     As I finish up my student teaching placement I am already excited about the fact that next year at this time I will be applying and interviewing for teaching positions! I have many close friends who are completing their programs this year and some of them are making their way through the interview process as I type this post. With that in mind, I have been compiling different websites, articles and books that can be helpful when preparing for a teaching interview!
     I will add this list to my Favourite Websites page.

teaching interview tips, tips for new teachers, how to prepare for a teaching interview, how to get a teaching job, teaching interview

The Best Advice for New Teachers (Article)
- Larry Ferlazzo is an AMAZING edublogger that has multiple lists of resources
   that I recommend you check out. He's put together a great list of websites that
   offer advice for new teachers and people preparing to be teachers. 

The Rookie Teacher (Website)
- This website has a variety of great blog posts about everything to do with
   being a "Rookie Teacher" including subject specific information,
   curriculum, professional development and interviews.

The Hired Teacher (Website)*
- I found this website very useful and it had many examples of
  interview questions provided by new teachers who had just gone through
  the interview process.
* Unfortunately, this link now says that this website domain is now pending
   renewal. I am still included it as part of this list in hopes that they renew
   because it had some very good resources.

What Do Principal's Look For When They Hire (Article)
- Peter Jory has written a great article on his blog, "I Have an Opinion About
  Learning". Being a principal himself, I value Mr. Jory's opinion and think he
  provides some great insight on what administration looks for during the hiring

How to Find Your Dream Teaching Job (Article)


Apply to Education (Database)
- Apply to Education is an online database that school divisions and private
  companies use to post teaching positions. I check this website weekly to see
  what sorts of jobs our area has available.
- You can search through jobs from any area without having to become a
  member of the website!

Interview Questions (PDF)
- Although not teaching-specific I'm including a list of interview questions
  from my university's Career Planning & Placement Office. Most of them are
  very general so they could be a good starting base for any interview.

EduEdge (Website)
- EduEdge is an entire website devoted to preparing future teachers for the
  interview and hiring process. They have several great articles, blog posts,
  workshops and resources all designed to help you get a job.
- I've selected a few of the best articles and added them to this list.

Advice to New Graduates About to Enter the Teaching Profession (Article)
- David Andrade has put together some great points on his blog,
  "Educational Technology Guy". He touches on everything from
   staying organized, to asking for help to copyright concerns.
- At the end of the article he also includes some more great resources for
  new teachers.

First Day of School by Harry Wong (Book)
- During my first student teaching placement by principal at "S-School"
  lent me this book stating that, "It was a fantastic resource to use
  throughout your teaching career". Since then I have also seen it
  praised in many of the edublogs I follow. I definitely recommend it
  to any teacher, new or experienced.

Student Teacher, Temporary Teacher or Substitute Teacher? What to do if a Teaching Job is Rumoured to be Available at Your School (Article)
- This article by EduEdge (also on this list) offers some great advice on
  how to get your foot in the door and start building yourself a teaching career.

Top Strategies for Selecting References for a Teaching Interview (Article)
- This article by EduEdge (also on this list) offers some pointers on how to
  pick appropriate references for your teaching application. Who should be
  a reference? Do you pick different references depending on the school?

131 Tips for New Teachers (Presentation)
- Richard Byrne included a free slide presentation on his blog, "Free
  Technology for Teachers" that highlights 131 tips for new teachers.

Best of luck to all the new teachers out there who are preparing for their job interviews!
Have a good resource to add to this list? Let me know!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday: Final Evaulation Meeting

     Being that it is my last week of student teaching I met with my Faculty Supervisor yesterday for our final meeting. I am happy to report that everything went amazing, as it has throughout my time here at "C-Shool". We went through the observations that had been completed by my supervisor as well as my cooperating teacher and we also went through my weekly goal summaries that I completed over the last 7 weeks. What I am left with is a "Final Evaluation Report" that I am very proud of (and good thing because it is added to our permanent files!).

     One conversation I wanted to share with you though had to do with my, "option to use different classroom management strategies between the Grade 5 class and the Grade 5/6 class." It wasn't a negative conversation by any means, it was just brought up that I used one classroom management strategy when I was with the Grade 5 classroom (my full-time classroom) and a different strategy when I was with the Grade 5/6 classroom (who I only see twice a cycle). Why? I specifically chose to do this because I am still learning so much as I make my way through my student teaching placements and by no means do I believe that any one strategy or any one method is the be all end all. With this in mind, I consciously decided to use some Whole Brain Teaching strategies with my Grade 5 class and what I call more "traditional" strategies with the Grade 5/6 class to see how each one worked.

     From my last student teaching placement I found that Whole Brain Teaching strategies worked much better for me in our Grade 10 class compared to the more "traditional" strategies that I used when I first began. Now when I say "traditional" I mean that I was teaching how my teachers taught when I went through the school system (this is what I was used to):
- Desks in rows
- Teacher at the front of the class at all time
- No talking between students
- Not a lot of group discussion
- No laid out strategies to gain student attention
Upon learning I was going to be in Grade 5, I was really interested to see if I would find similar results. Would Whole Brain Teaching strategies be more positive than "traditional" strategies?

     From what I have seen with my Grade 5 and 5/6 students is that, yes, I have had more positive classroom management results through my use of Whole Brain Teaching strategies then compared to more "traditional" strategies like what I experienced when I was in school as a student. The biggest change between our two classes is our ease of transitions. As I've mentioned a few times since I started my placement I regularly use the "Class-Yes" strategy in our classroom with wonderful results. With one word I am able to have the attention of our students which allows our transitions to be quick, clear and easy because every student was able to hear the directions and get on task quickly. The Grade 5/6 class, on the other hand, are by no means a disruptive class but our transitions are notably slower than the Grade 5 class.

     I've also found that our Grade 5 class are more ready to assist each other and work together during our science classes and I believe that this may partly be because of the "Teach-Ok" strategy (I say this because it is not something I see during ALL of their classes). During science our students know that they are expected to assist and support their fellow classmates as we make our way through our unit. I've found that our students pay much closer attention if they know they will be "teaching" the material to a partner or group later on. With this in mind, even if we are not utilizing the "Teach-Ok" strategy our students are willing and able to work together and make sure their fellow classmates understand the material. In addition, we've heard many times that teaching material can be a great way to ensure understanding of all aspects of a topic so asking students to put information in their own words and teach it to a partner can be a great way to assist in the learning process! Our Grade 5/6 class, on the other hand, are very much individuals when we work on assignments. Despite my assurance that conferencing with partners or brainstorming is ok, they often cover their answers or shy away from working together unless it is mandatory. I would love to think that Whole Brain Teaching strategies may sometimes assist in classroom unity. (You can read a previous post about how Whole Brain Teaching creates a culture of respect here).

     Now because of the dynamic of our classroom and the routines of my classroom teacher I was not able to utilize many Whole Brain Teaching strategies during this placement which was ok with me. I would much rather try what I can while still maintaining as much of their routine as possible so to not cause a disruption, especially since I am leaving this Friday. I am, however, very pleased with how my little experiment worked out and I am especially pleased to have such glowing reports to add to my file for when I go to apply for jobs!

Check out the Whole Brain Teaching website to learn more or check out Chris Biffle's YouTube channel to see Whole Brain Teaching in action!