Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fourth Grade Common Core Standards Posters

Update, January 15, 2011: I added a third theme for these posters. Some very cute illustrations by Whimsy Primsy.

I recently created a poster kit for the fourth grade Common Core Standards. A co-worker needed something that was colorful and kid-friendly, but that wouldn't require a lot of color ink (ink jet printer ink is expensive!) We came up with the idea of making the poster "modular." The kit is made of several parts. The parts that have color are used over and over. The standards themselves, which require the most printing, are black and white. All the parts can be printed on letter size paper.

The art in the poster kit comes in two three different styles. Both styles have a "school time" theme, with lots of pictures of kids writing, drawing, answering questions, and presenting, along with even more art of backpacks, books, markers, pens, and all that other fun stuff that make school such a rich and creative place to be!

If you you would like a poster kit like this one for your grade, I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below. In the comment, let me know what grade and what theme you would like to have. Or you can contact me through my store on TPT. Happy teaching!

You can download the grade 4 Common Core Standards posters at this link.

Copyright 2011 Steve Gipson

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Illustrating the Fifth Grade Common Core Standards

Update, November 20. The math and English-Language Arts standards for Grade 5 are finished! Whew! Thanks to all the fifth grade teachers who provided feedback and inspiration.

Finding products on TPT can be a little confusing, so I made a list here to make it easier.

Feedback on these posters is welcome and appreciated! Email me or comment here.

Grade 5 Illustrated Common Core Standards Posters - English Language Arts and Math
Grade 5 Illustrated Common Core Standards Posters - English-Language Arts
Grade 5 Illustrated Common Core Standards Posters - Math

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Microsoft Office Tips for the Tech Savvy Teacher

These tips for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will dazzle your students and save you time in the classroom and beyond.

Automatic Transitions on PowerPoint Slides

The show must go on! Ever been pulled into the hallway during classtime by a persistent parent or administrator? Automatic transitions on your PowerPoint slides can keep the show going even when you are out of the room. I have used automatic transitions during note-taking lectures, quizzes, and PowerPoint flashcard sessions. I get a kick out of standing in the hallway and watching students complete the work without my presence. Its no substite for spontaneous teacher input, but it keeps things rolling along when interruptions arise.For detailed instructions on automatic slide advances in PowerPoint, see this article at PowerPoint Hints

Move Anything Up or Down With a Simple Shortcut This one might be my favorite. It works in Word and Powerpoint. You use it to move a list-item, bullet point, or paragraph up or down. It's perfect for mixing up the order of questions on a quiz or test. Items in numbered lists will re-number automatically. You don't even have to highlight the item.To move an item up, just put the cursor anywhere within the item and then press Shift - Alt - Up Arrow. To move it down, use Shift - Alt - Down Arrow. See this article at How-to Geek for complete details.

Copy, Copy, Copy

Office Extended Clipboard - many teachers might not be aware that Office can store more than one thing on the clipboard. In fact, you can store up to twenty-four. You don't have to go back and forth between documents. It works for text and graphics. You can copy up to twenty-four items and paste one or all of them into any other Microsoft application. Works in PowerPoint, Word and Excel.To activate the Extended Clipboard, select anything then hit CTRL-C three times in a row. For detailed instructions, see this article in the Microsoft Help Center.

Animated Animations

Most of us know how to use PowerPoint's built in custom animation like Fade, Fly In, and Grow. But did you know you can create custom motion paths that any object will follow? Just go to Add Effect > Motion Paths > Draw Custom Path > and choose from the four types of path. Then you can draw a path on the slide that the selected object will follow. You can even control repetition, speed, and easing.See custom motion paths in action on this PowerPoint slide I created to illustrate the meaning of the Latin root migr, which means "wander or move." For more illustrated Greek and Latin roots, check out my line of visual flashcards in he sidebar.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What's in a Name?

The name Gabriella means
"strong person of God."
Did you know that the name Theodore means "gift from god?" Or that Ashley means "ash tree clearing?" How 'bout this one: Jessica, which means "to behold," was first used in 1596 in Shakespeare's play 'The Merchant of Venice'.

Maybe we are all a little bit narcissistic (the name Narcy derives from the mythological figure Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection). Whatever the reason, my students love to learn about the origin of their names. Which makes the website Behind the Name my all time favorite way to introduce topics like etymology, roots, stems, and word origins. Behind the Name "is a website for learning about all aspects of given names from all cultures and periods. Names from mythology and fiction are also eligible. There are currently 17825 names in the database."

Students love it because it draws on their innate interest in their own origins. I love it because it focuses their attention and draws on their prior knowledge and piques their interest in the upcoming topic; in lesson planning this is called the Anticipatory Set.) I like to use the website before an introductory lesson on etymology or a mnemonic unit on Greek or Latin stems. It can also be used to fill up small pockets of time when a lesson ends a little sooner than anticipated.

Materials Required
A computer connected to the internet and projected to the screen in front of the class.

How to do it:
Just browse to the Behind the Name web site. Ask the students, "Have you ever wondered what your name means? Ashley, do you know what your name means? Eric, what about you? Well you're about to find out." Then type in one of their names in the field provided, and click SEARCH.

The Behind the Name site. The Search field is circled in red.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Word Origins 101 - Entertainment

Will Law and Order prevail sans-Meloni?
Premiere season 2011 is upon us. Wednesday prime time saw the season opener of ABC's Emmy award-winning Modern Family. At the same time, NBC premiered Law and Order, sans the good detective Elliot Stadler (Christopher Meloni). Thursday will bring on a slew of other premieres, including Community, Parks and Recreation, and The Office, and debut of the new show Whitney. Showtime, HBO and other premium networks are rolling out premieres of their hit shows, too.

So it seems like a fitting time to take a closer look at a word near and dear to us all: "entertainment." 

Enter comes from the French entre-, which itself derives from the Latin inter, meaning "among or within." The root tain is also Latin, and shows up in a lot of common words like contain, retain, maintain, and obtain. It means "hold." So, taken together, the two roots that make up the word entertain mean "hold within" or "hold among." Seems kind of obtuse at first, but it actually gives some insight into the nature of entertainment. Entertainment consists of all the things that we humans hold to be true, or funny, or sad, or suspenseful, or romantic. There is a communal, universal aspect to entertainment. No one ever wrote a play to appeal to one or two people. Plays and movies and sitcoms and one-liners are all written to appeal to us all, to the collective truths that we "hold among" ourselves. When we are entertained, our attentions are "held among" the universal dramas that ring true to us all.

Vote! What was the best premiere of the week?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pediatrics can be so Pedestrian (not really)

pod, ped
foot or child

Most of the time, roots make sense. Knowledge of roots helps student decode unfamiliar words. However, sometimes they don't make sense, or they have multiple meanings that cause confusion. Ped or pod is just such a root. Its origins are both Latin and Greek. Sometimes it means "foot" as in pedal or podiatrist. Sometimes it means "child," as in pediatrician. Confusing, right?

How can the same root mean two totally different things? The answer may tell us something about ancient Greeks' attitude toward children. In Greek, child is paidos. Paidos derived from podos. Apparently, they didn't think very highly of children because the word they chose for them derived from their word for "foot." A child was thought of as someone who was merely "at the foot" of someone else.

Words in which ped or pod means "foot"
pedal, bipedal, podiatrist, pedestrian, tripod, impede, podium, pedestal, peddler, pedicure, macropod, pedigree, pedometer

Words in which ped means "child"
pediatrics, pedagogy, pedophile, pediatrician, Pedialyte, pedagogue, pedagogy, pediatrician

Monday, September 5, 2011

Greek and Latin Roots Lessons, Mnemonics and More

TPT Teachers! Post links to your Greek and Latin roots products here! They can be free or priced products. Thanks for sharing!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Troubleshooting an Ornery Computer - Quick Reference for Students and Teachers

"Teacher, my computer is broken!" If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I would have a lot of nickels. So, I created this one-page (two-sided) reference card that takes students through the steps to resurrect a frozen computer. There are two options: one process may allow them to save any unsaved work. The other process will not preserve any unsaved work. Try it out for yourself!The reference for students is designed for PC computers running Windows. Troubleshooting a Mac will be addressed in a future article.Not only will this handout save you time, it will teach students the basics to troubleshooting a hung Windows computer - something everyone needs to know if this hyper-technical world.

 Troubleshooting Your Computer - PDF

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Map of the Areas of Influence of the Ancient Roman and Greek Languages

I created this graphic to show how the Latin and Greek languages can have such a large influence on modern English and other European languages. As you can see, the two languages were spoken throughout all of early western civilization. The Latin area corresponds roughly to the Roman Empire. The Greek area is the Athenian Empire.

The graphic is sized to fit a PowerPoint or Keynote slide perfectly. Use it for your own PPT if you want. Jsut click on it to get to the full-size version, then copy and paste it into your presentation.

If you use it please consider leaving a quick comment below. 

I created this graphic for a high school level PowerPoint presentation on etymology.
You can download a PDF of the etymology Powerpoint presentation by clicking here.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

What does the most common Latin root say about us?

The most common Latin root is co. This root appears in more words than any other. Literally hundreds of words. It has other forms: con, com, and col; they all mean the same thing. Together. Or, more specifically, they mean with, together, or joined.

Kind of nice if you ask me. The most common nugget of meaning, or morpheme, means together. As in community, connect, coordinate, cohabitate, concentrate, converse, complete.

By comparison, the Latin root fract, which means break, and is found in words like fragment and fracture, is not very common (there's that "com" root again) at all.

Of course, the Latin stem im occurs in a lot of words too. It means not, and it also takes the form of il or in. It is in hundreds of words. Illegal, illicit, illegitimate, immoral, indignant, inscrutable, impossible, improbable, inconsistent, inedible, incredible, and indelible, to name a few. The list is nearly infinite. But im, though common, doesn't really have any meaning of its own. Its a negative. It negates. It doesn't have substance of its own, so its frequency says less about the human condition and more about the convenience of language. It's a convenience prefix, that can easily be tacked on to the front of a word to create an opposite.