-->

Theme Layout

[Leftsidebar]

Boxed or Wide or Framed

[Framed]

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

[Boxedwidth]

Display Grid Slider

Grid Slider Styles

[style2][caption2]

Display Trending Posts

No

Display Author Bio

yes

Display Instagram Footer

Powered by Blogger.

Using Podcasts to Generate Deep Discussions in the Classroom


Listening to, dissecting, and responding to topics via podcasts can be a great way to get kids to engage in important discussions.  As an audio-only medium, podcasts also foster listening skills.

Listening to, dissecting, and responding to topics via podcasts can be a great way to get kids to engage in important discussions.  As an audio-only medium, podcasts also foster listening skills.  You can have a class-wide discussion about the selection, and/or whip up some reflection sheets to help focus your students and get them thinking critically about what they heard.  In addition to listening to podcasts whole-class, they can also be added in as an independent choice station.  


You can find podcasts on just about any subject!  A quick Google search for podcasts to use in the classroom will provide dozens of curated lists to get you started.  Alternatively, search for something specific by using wording such as “[subject] podcast for [age range]”.  Kids Listen is also easy to navigate, hosts podcasts all in one spot and if you click “Find Podcasts” it will categorize them into the age levels.  You can look for guidance on a podcast review website to get a feel for whether or not a podcast will be appropriate for your classroom.  If you’re unable to get good information about a podcast, you can always preview it for suitability by having it on the background while you grade, have lunch, or even on the drive home.  


Here are some of our favorite podcasts, loosely organized by topic and accompanied by a suggested age range:

  

Storytelling 

Primary - What If World, Circle Round, Story Pirates  

Middle/Upper Elementary - Storynory, The Story Seeds Podcast 

Middle School/Early High School - Eleanor Amplified, Flyest Fables, Book Club for Kids, StoryCorps

High School - This American Life, Welcome to Night Vale, Serial 


Science/Discovery 

Primary - But Why

Middle/Upper Elementary - Brains On, Tumble, Wow in the World, Flash Forward    

Middle School/Early High School - StarTalk, Science Friday 

High School - Freakonomics, Stuff You Should Know, Radiolab 


History 

Middle/Upper Elementary - The Radio Adventures Of Dr. Floyd, The Past and The Curious 

Middle School/Early High School - Stuff You Missed in History Class 

High School - 1619, Code Switch  


Current Events 

Middle/Upper Elementary - KidNuz, Short & Curly  

Middle School/Early High School - Listenwise, This I Believe, The Way I Heard It

High School - Youth Radio, Criminal 


Other Notable Podcasts

Primary

  • Pants On Fire seeks to help young students how to sort out truth from “fake news” using a fun game show format. 

Middle/Upper Elementary

  • Smash Boom Best is a kid-friendly debate podcast you can use in your speech class, or any class in which you want to teach your students how to defend their arguments.

  • Fate and the Fablemaidens or Dungeons & Dragons & Daughters are family friendly podcasts following Dungeons & Dragons games, which not only provide imaginative storytelling but also highlight ingenuity and creative thinking on the part of the players as they seek to meet challenges that arise in the game.  You may find one of them to be a great addition to your language arts or drama class.

Middle School/Early High School 

  • The Allusionist explores the roots of words and phrases that we use every day in a fun, humorous way.


Pin this post to get back to later:
Listening to, dissecting, and responding to topics via podcasts can be a great way to get kids to engage in important discussions.  As an audio-only medium, podcasts also foster listening skills.




QuickEdit
Brittany Washburn
0 Comments
Share :

Free Online Games that help make Reading Fun


Want to make reading fun in your classroom?  Here are some games to help you out.  Games can also help your students with various computer related fine motor skills such as clicking and dragging, typing and hand eye coordination.

Want to make reading fun in your classroom?  Here are some games to help you out.  Games can also help your students with various computer related fine motor skills such as clicking and dragging, typing and hand eye coordination.

Education.com

Games with verbal instructions for struggling or pre-readers, encompassing a wide range of game types and reading skills.  You can gain additional functionality with a premium teacher account if you’d like to create a class and assign different games directly to students.


Room Recess

A variety of game types, with a refreshingly heavy focus on games for mid-upper elementary reading skills. 


Mr. Nussbaum

A wide variety of game types that nevertheless remain focused on reading skills rather than game mechanics. The site also includes online reading comprehension and skill practice that is less game-based, but equally helpful and convenient.


Arcademics

Fast-paced, engaging games with multiplayer options on race-style activities to let your students challenge each other.


Primary Games

Several game types, including a focus on holiday and seasonally themed games.


Starfall

The primary classroom’s go-to, with sections to take students sequentially through ABC’s, Learn to Read, It’s Fun To Read and I’m Reading.


ABCya!

Games cover a good sampling of reading skills all the way from letter recognition to idioms.  The site also has many just for fun games, however.


PBS Kids

Basic letter recognition, vocabulary, rhyming and writing practice themed with popular PBS Kids characters.  Several games have more theme and less skill practice, however.


ReadWriteThink

Games that act like guides to walk students through completing an impressive number of reading and writing activities.  Many tasks are suited to use by middle and high school students in addition to some for elementary.


Teach Your Monster to Read

Adorable, and the series of games cover everything from letters and sounds to reading full sentences.


Quia

Battleship, hangman, and rags to riches games made by other teachers for their reading classes and shared with the community.


Sheppard Software

A small but mighty collection of grammar games, with quirky graphics to draw in students of many different ages.


Kiz Phonics

A game for every phonics rule you could wish for.


Fun English Games

Just four games, but each is well-done and teaches a separate mid elementary reading comprehension skill.



Bonus! Let Students Be Read To:

Storyline Online

Your students can watch stories read aloud by various actors.  The stories are from a variety of genres and have suggested grade levels K-4th.  They are also starting to add some titles read in Spanish, and even have one read with an ASL interpreter. 


School Radio

Animated shorts or video series representing various stories for ages 5-11+, as well as a collection of audio only stories.


PBS Kids

Stories about popular PBS Kids characters, with words and audio.  Many stories can also be read in either English or Spanish.


Starfall

Several stories organized by genre, with words and audio. 


Pin this post to get back to later:

Want to make reading fun in your classroom?  Here are some games to help you out.  Games can also help your students with various computer related fine motor skills such as clicking and dragging, typing and hand eye coordination.



QuickEdit
Brittany Washburn
0 Comments
Share :

Classroom Management Basics for First Year Teachers


"Don't smile until Christmas."  Whether that classic adage appeals to you or not, we have some better advice to offer.  Here are some tips for new teachers on how to manage the classroom!
"Don't smile until Christmas."  Whether that classic adage appeals to you or not, we have some better advice to offer.  Here are some tips for new teachers on how to manage the classroom!


Have Clear Expectations

The biggest single thing you can do to manage your classroom effectively is set clear expectations for both students and parents.  If you have a class website of any kind, consider making a page for classroom policies and rules.  Your school or grade level team may have some policies in place already to corroborate, and then you can fill in any holes you need to.  Writing things out like this will keep others informed, you consistent, and it will also help you think through your stance on various issues (such as late homework, missed tests or consistently incomplete class work) so you don’t have to try to decide how you will respond in the moment. 


Establish Routines

Everyone feels more comfortable when they know what comes next.  Students and teachers alike benefit from having less instructions required, because they already know exactly what to do every time they need to transition from paper work to computer work, or how to turn completed work in.  Routines also help minimize the lag time between activities, which creates opportunities for students to come up with their own unfortunate methods of entertaining themselves.  If you’re looking for a place to start, try establishing routines for how class begins or ends.  When putting a new routine in place, consider:

  • Writing instructions for how to complete it on a slide you can display the first few times you go through the routine.  

  • Pairing a visual or auditory cue with the routine so it’s very clear when that routine is to be carried out.


Minimize and Deal with Distractions/Disruptions

Make your behavioral expectations clear for things like what kind of classroom volume and wiggles are okay in your class.  Think about how this will look different between test-taking versus things like group work as well.  As much as possible, you’ll obviously want to decide on and discuss these parameters with your students in advance, rather than deciding on a case-by-case basis what is disruptive enough to merit consequences.  Students testing where boundaries are (and other students watching to see how you’ll react) can waste a lot of time.


Foster a Sense of Community in the Classroom

Countries are founded on agreed upon sets of restrictions and freedoms.  Students should feel like they’re all dwelling together in the peace loving, knowledge-rich land that is their classroom.  As in any good realm, they should also feel like their benevolent ruler (you) is subject to their own checks and balances.  Let your students know what your commitments to them are, as well as what rewards they might earn for being good citizens.


Build Relationships with Students and their Parents

People try harder for the people who care about them.  Let parents know you are just as interested in their child’s well-being and growth as they are.  Show students you see the effort they put in today.  Strike up conversations with your kids too… who loves grapes, who can’t wait for the next Star Wars movie, who has three dogs?


As a first year teacher, know that you’ll make mistakes.  You’ll probably try several different things before you find a classroom management style that works for you.  


Pin this post to get back to later:
"Don't smile until Christmas."  Whether that classic adage appeals to you or not, we have some better advice to offer.  Here are some tips for new teachers on how to manage the classroom!


QuickEdit
Brittany Washburn
0 Comments
Share :

Follow @brittanywashburntech