Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Goulish Sale!

It's time for a goulish Halloween sale!  From October 30-November 1st, The Teacher Lady will be having a 20% off Halloween sale!  All items in my store will be on sale! 

Here are a couple of highlights:

My 4.0 rated Read Like a Detective Presentation introduces students to
close reading for the CCSS.  It's normally $4.00, but it will be $3.20 during the sale!  Here's what previous users have said about it:

"Super resource!  Thank you so much!" - Wilds24

"Very helpful and easy to follow.  I love it!" - Silvia

"Enjoyed the poetry and the fact it continues with your writing like an investigative reporter."  - Cat66
Speaking of my 4.0 rated Write like an Investigative Reporter  Presentation, it is sporting a new and improved look!  It introduces students to writing with evidence, a critical foundation for argumentative writing.  It's normally $4.00, but will be $3.20 during the sale!  Teachers have said that it's a "great resource" and that they "love the fact that [it] uses poetry!"  This is one of my favorite resources; in fact, I'm using it tomorrow!


My 4.0 rated Characterization Graphic Organizers include 7 CCSS - aligned graphic
organizers that can be used with any short story or novel.  They're a bargain at $4.50, but with your 20% off, you can get them for $3.60! Want to know what teachers are saying about this product?                                                                                                                                                                         "Great ways to get students thinking about characters in different ways." -Natalie                                                                                                                                                                              "These graphic organizers are going to get much use as I work with my students. I've always struggled with helping them see all the aspects of the characters and these will really help." - Marynell

My 4.0 rated Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Unit is Common Core aligned. 
One of my colleagues just used it with her special education 10th grade Language Arts class, and she couldn't stop raving about how easy-to-use it was!  It's usually $7.00, but during the sale, it will be $5.60!  Imagine the time you'll save during the course of the 4 week unit!

Other buyers have said: 
"Can't wait to use this! Looks great." - Cindy

"Great resource and presentation. Thanks!" - winpiazza

I hope you check out The Teacher Lady during my Goulish Sale from October 30-November 1!



Sunday, October 27, 2013

Product of the Week: Write like an Investigative Reporter Presentation

This week, I'm highlighting a product that addresses a huge component of the Common Core State Standards: argumentative writing. The CCSS require students to move from writing based on solely on personal opinion to supporting claims with evidence.

This shift to argumentative writing has been a huge topic of conversation at my school -- probably at yours, too! Last weekend, I went to a fabulous AP Language workshop (presented by the College Board) that had a focus on argumentative writing and I was truly relieved and happy to discover that I've been laying a really solid foundation for my students to master argumentative writing!

One of the tools I've used the last two years (and, in fact, will be using this Wednesday!) as a foundation for teaching students to use textual evidence in their writing my Write like an Investigative Reporter Presentation.  In it, I break down using evidence into three easy steps, easily remembered by the acronym ICE.
1. Introduce a claim.
2. Cite textual evidence to support your claim.
3. Explain how your evidence supports your claim. 

I originally intended this presentation to be used with middle school students, but I am planning on using it with my high school freshmen this Wednesday.  I think it will still be a terrific introduction for them as well! The presentation follows a typical "gradual release of responsibility" model: teacher example, student practice, reflection.  It also includes Cloze notes for students, and a rubric for evaluating student work.

I just updated the clip art in this presentation, using products from Blair Turner and Digital Divide and Conquer, and it looks great!  Here are a couple of sneak peaks:

Check out this presentation at my Teachers Pay Teachers store, and let me know what you think of it!

Happy teaching and happy writing,


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Keep Calm and Be a Blazer: Tips for the Best School Year Ever!

As a former high school newspaper columnist (shout out to the LCHS Hilite!), I was thrilled when the newspaper staff at my new school asked me to be the first teacher guest columnist of the year.

I thought I'd share with you what I wrote: 

Keep Calm and be a Blazer

Can you smell that?  Fresh pencils, crisp paper, falling leaves – a new school year has begun.  With new classes and unfamiliar teachers, it can be easy to panic.  As a teacher new to Timberline, I’ll share my game plan for the best school year ever: Keep Calm and Be a Blazer! Huddle up, and I’ll give you the details.

Control what you can.  As much as we might try, we can’t control our parents, friends, teachers, coaches, or classmates.  However, there is someone you can control: you.  Like a wise colleague told me, “Let problems roll off your back like water off a duck’s back.” That’s what you can control.   Trying to control everything else will just frustrate you!  Be the duck.

Aim high and work hard.  What do you want to accomplish by May?  Is it a grade or SAT score?  A leadership position in a club or sports team?  A commitment to a college or workplace?  Pinpoint your most important goals and focus your energy like a laser beam.  If you don’t succeed at your first attempt, keep trying.  After all, Abraham Lincoln lost 8 elections before becoming president!

Learn something new.  A few years ago, my dad decided to take piano lessons.  As any daughter would, I teased him relentlessly (“Were there pianos in the Paleolithic Age, Dad?”), but it was inspirational to watch him learn something totally foreign.  It’s never too late to try something new.  Audition for the musical.  Join a club.  Try out for swim team.  You never know what may spark a new passion. 

Meet people.  I heard a statistic once (I don’t know if it’s true because 73% of statistics are made up) that most people spend 90% of their time with the same 10 people.  That’s fine, but there are many interesting people walking the halls of Timberline who you don’t yet know!  Start a conversation with someone new.  I did during my freshman year and met Mr. Groen (Side note: he didn’t go by Mr. Groen back then.  That would’ve been weird)!  

While this advice is aimed at students, it can absolutely apply to teachers, too!  What are your tips for having the best school year ever?