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.