Relieve Some of the Stress of Parent Communication: Reasons Why High School Teachers Need Twitter

Thanks for joining our end of the school year blog hop today. We had a great turn out of hoppers. The prize pack part of the hop is now closed. Stay tuned for blog excitement in mid July!  

Two years ago it was suggested. I've been fighting it ever since. Then I went to a professional workshop at Rider University where the focus was on technology for teachers. But this was different. The technology presented was to make our lives as teachers easier, better, and more efficient - rather than technology for our students to use.

In one hour, the presenter had me convinced, "I need Twitter. And I need it NOW!" Why you ask...? Here are my reasons why a high school teacher really should utilize this amazing tech tool. I believe Twitter will eliminate some of the chaos and stress of reminding and posting information for parents and students.
1. Your students and parents are already on Twitter. So, there's no additional class time to have anyone go through the sign up process. If there is someone who does not have it, a student peer expert can assist others in the sign up process. You can email your students' parents the Twitter handle. Ask your students to help their parents to sign up. Offer extra credit for doing so!
(Most likely your school district already has a twitter handle. So be sure to get their Twitter and technology policy.)

2. Students and parents can follow you on Twitter and you do not need to follow them back. EVER. Students will never have to be followed back in order to get your tweets. Other platforms such as Remind 101 require you to collect phone numbers that you enter into the app. With Twitter you eliminate that step. This is  very important to me. 

3. Allow your students one more way to access information. This can actually be tied in with the CCSS and the standards for College and Career Readiness. From my research and higher education professors and their assistants use Twitter. My previous thoughts on this was, "I am enabling my students by using Twitter. Why am I reminding them and providing them with another opportunity when they should be accountable in school?" -My new thoughts, "Twitter will create more accountability and give me peace of mind that my students and parents are given another way to access our class' information."

4. Students and parents love to be connected. You're not requesting students and parents to collaborate. You are requesting them to connect. 


5. How many connections should you make? I would say with every homework assignment and upcoming graded assessment a Tweeted message is necessary. Consistency is key. So if you are going to commit to using Twitter don't start and then stop. It will "bite" you. Your audience will look for your Tweets.


My Twitter handle is Study All Knight. Come September, follow me for my classroom updates. Tweet Tweet:)  https://twitter.com/StudyAllKnight
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Get Your Students to Complete Their Summer Reading

TpT Blog Post, " Avoid the Summer Slide: 21 Red-Hot Reading Resources..."


#21 Danielle Knight’s Summer Tutor Task Cards: Summer Reading, ELA Grades 7-12 (grades 7-12) and A FREEBIE! Summer Reading Bookmark: Guided Reading Journal Questions

ALSO **BE SURE TO CHECK OUT!**


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Want to Instantly Create a Student Centered Classroom? 5 Tips to Using a Novel Flip Book

Study Guides. A necessity? Yes, they are. But, they are not an active guide to reading. 

Actually, a study guide is a very  passive guide to reading. Don't get me wrong, without a study guide you would go completely wrong. I am just saying there is something better.
So what can a secondary teacher do to create a more active student centered experience while reading literature? Today's inclusive classroom has students at all skill levels. Differentiation is the key to our instructional success. 

         
         
A flip book is a fresh approach to run-of-the-mill study guide. All the sections are visible, easily accessible, and engaging! Secondary students experience some frustration in a flipped classroom due to, "not knowing what to do next." With a flip book your students will own their learning experience and take pride in their outcome. 

When teachers take direct instruction out of the equation what do our students have left? Self direction. According to my esteemed media specialist at my school, "students cannot be self directed entirely unless the task is clearly defined." Any teacher can throw together task cards, foldables, and flip books and stack them on a student's desk. 

For the last two school years I have been involved in my school's initial team of teachers for a pilot program. In the training we focus on differentiation and flipping the secondary classroom. We create center and problem based tasks. 

What happens next? This is up to the facilitator. Modeling (not the fashion kind). The question is, "What should it look like?"
For Teachers:
1. Have the copy machine collate the flip book.
2. Print and assemble one to show them what it should look like.
3. Print the answer key and keep it on hand at all times. I also print one for my teacher cadet and instructional para(s). 
4. Go through the collated copies and "pre-staple" them. -This way your students will only have to cut along the guidelines an the next page of the flip book will be exposed.
6. Announce, "5 extra credit points if you come in tomorrow with your flip book tabs colored in..." -and then show them yours:)
5 Tips to using a novel flip book...

First---before you attempt anything--Do a flip book walk through. Go look! Flip! Explore!
1. Instruct your students to keep it out on the corner of their desk. You'll be in it everyday so keep it alive and handy at all times!

2. Refer to it often. Use the flip guide as your students guide to the universe (at least for the novel unit).

3. Use it as an assessment. Assign a due date for their completed reading guide pages and give your students a grade. Today's are not willing to any more than expected. You have to grade the flip book. At the end of the unit, maybe the day of the test or final project is due, have them turn it in for grading.

4. Don't forget to allow your students time for color design. Studies show that once your student's materials are color coded or are presented in color retention of concepts increase.  And, their organizational skills will improve. Visually, color creates fast recognition and they will remember the pages better.

 
American Literature, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving . This flip book is a craftivity reading guide. Your students color and cut out the headless horseman, attach it to the cover using the guidelines and you'll see it come alive!
5. Create engaging activities utilizing the flip book. Example- Have your students use a character chart from the flip book to create a written character sketch body biography, character map, or Venn diagram. Another example is creating a center task where students have to cute evidence from the novel that supports a themed writing. Using the theme page from the novel flip book your students will get a jump start and good direction from the flip book.
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TpT Sale Extended. Ends May 8th at Midnight

There were some technical difficulties. So TpT decided to extend the sale through May 8th. Shop another day. Visit me today for:




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For Those Teachers That Rock! We Salute You!

Getting up at dawn. Lesson plans. Common core. Evaluations. Students. Parents. Essays. State standardized tests. Copies. The salary. Relentless coughs and colds. Patience. Love. Intuitiveness. Grading papers. Motivating. Fun. Understanding. 
YOU ARE APPRECIATED!

May 5th through May 12th is Teacher Appreciation Week. To celebrate, TpT is having their annual sitewide sale on May 6th and 7th. So load up your wish list and during the sale use the promo code TPTXO to get your additional discount.

I teamed up with super secondary teachers who want all teachers out there to know, "Your lessons SHOOK us all year long...and we salute you!" (ACDC songs reference).
Here are some stores on TpT that bring you awesome secondary teaching materials for grades 7-12.

Connie
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Connie

Have fun shopping! My cart is filled with classroom decor, CCSS organizers, fonts, clip art, plan book, IEP snap shot, and task cards for September. Thanks for stopping by!
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