Media Matters

October 2014

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Lovecraft Middle School Series

Want some good read-alouds for October? Tales from Lovecraft Middle School is a series about a school that was built where a bizarre house used to stand. Now, there are portals in the school, gateways to another dimension where this house once stood. And sometimes strange, terrifying creatures come through the portals. Not everyone knows about them, but Robert and Glenn do. These are fun, slightly terrifying tales for middle grade readers - think a modern day take on Lovecraft for the Goosebumps set. Check them out from the media center!

About the Series: http://www.lovecraftmiddleschool.com/

Classroom Discussion Guide: http://lovecraftmiddleschool.com/extra-credit/classroom-discussion.html

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0sYsb46INo

Need Help Maintaining Your Classroom Library?

Maintaining your classroom library can be a sticky situation for some. How do you make sure that your books (probably mainly items that you have found and paid for with your own hard-earned cash) are returned and in one piece? You want to encourage reading at home, but it gets tough if the books you loan out don't come back. Here are a couple ideas that may work:


  • Booksource is free! You can add new titles, a class roster, run assessment reports on student and/or title activity, and allow the students to check in/check out books. Looks pretty cool, but of course, you will need to import all the titles and students to get it set up. http://classroom.booksource.com/
  • If you are not super keen on setting up an electronic classroom library checkout system, then maybe something simpler would do? Using your iPad or iPhone, simply snap a picture of the student with the book he or she is taking home and then delete the image when it is returned. If you have a function where it allows you to add a date so you know how long it has been out, even better!
  • Last idea is even simpler - how about a paper and pencil checkout sheet? Have the students fill out the form with the title and date the book left. You can glance it is periodically to see who still has a book out and make sure that when it is returned, you initial. Better yet - put a student in charge as a classroom job! For the week, they are in charge of sitting and checking books as the "classroom librarian."

From The Organized Classroom Blog by Charity Preston

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Trading Card Creator

The Trading Card Creator is a fun learning tool offered by Read Write Think. The Trading Card Creator allows students to create trading cards about people, places, and events both real and fictional. Students can get the iPad app in the App Store for free! To see the many lesson ideas for using the mobile app in the classroom, click on this link:

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/trading-card-creator-30056.html

App Store: Students should search for "Trading Cards"

Grammar Bytes

Grammar Bytes is a great website for teachers of Language Arts to share with their students. The site offers teachers and students a glossary of terms, handouts, interactive exercises, and slide show presentations. Instructional slideshow presentations are available to download for free. Each slide show is accompanied by a handout for students to complete as they view each presentation.

The interactive activities require students to do more than memorize the rules of grammar. They also require students to read sentences and identify errors. In some of the activities students have to correct errors in a sentence. Each interactive activity is accompanied by a handout on which students can record their scores and measure their progress.

http://www.chompchomp.com/menu.htm (no need to register)

Math in Real Life Series

Math in Real Life is a series of 33 TED-Ed lessons. These consist of short video lessons on many interesting topics, such as:
  • How does math guide our ships at sea?
  • Why do competitors open their stores next to each other?
  • Pixar: The Math Behind the Movies

Each video lesson has a quiz, discussion questions, and additional resources to explore.

http://ed.ted.com/series/math-in-real-life

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Mission U.S. (iPad App)

Mission U.S. is a series of interactive, educational games about U.S. History (free in the App store). Topics include: For Crown or Colony, Flight to Freedom, and A Cheyenne Odyssey. The Mission U.S. website offers an educators section that includes printable lists of vocabulary terms, writing prompts, activities, and post-game discussion prompts.

http://www.mission-us.org/

Untamed Science

An extremely passionate group of scientists, educators, and filmmakers have created a series of Untamed Science videos to make learning about science fun and easy. They have videos on biology, chemistry, physics and physical science, earth science, science music videos, filmmaking how-to's, and more! You can access their YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/UntamedScience
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Why We Crave Sugar (and How Much We Consume)

With Halloween and the holidays quickly approaching, we will soon be bombarded by lots of sweet things! Untamed Science gives us a video that explains why we crave sugar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64PxduSvSYU

This is the perfect opportunity to examine our own personal sugar consumption habits. Sugar Stacks is a good website for understanding how much sugar is in the food and beverages that we consume. Sugar Stacks lists popular food and beverage items in ten categories. Every item is pictured with a stack of sugar cubes. Each sugar cube represents four grams of sugar. This is a great way to see just how much sugar you really consume in your favorite snack or beverage. http://www.sugarstacks.com/

Sugar Hiding in Plain Sight is another great TED-ed lesson/video on this subject:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4CZ81EmAsw#t=229

15 Signs You're Teaching in 2015

1. You giggle when you recall how you used to simply give tests at the end of a unit.
2. You google before you even try to remember.
3. You begged your school accountant for an iTunes card instead of your annual classroom fund.
4. You’re in bad shape if the internet goes down during a lesson.
5. YouTube makes more sense than television.
6. You forgot what chalk does to your skin.
7. Flipping the classroom is an instructional strategy rather than a response to misbehavior.
8. You’re sure Vine is rotting your middle schooler’s brain.
9. You trade rooms with another teacher for a better Wi-Fi signal—and don’t tell them why.
10. You plan lessons assuming that every student has Wi-Fi broadband access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
11. Students blame passwords and log-in issues rather than the dog for eating their homework.
12. Your students have to explain certain technologies to you, but you pretend you already knew.
13. You seriously consider that if it’s not being talked about on twitter, it may not have happened.
14. You’ve spoken more recently with the tech leader in Mumbai than the new 10th grade Math teacher down the hall.
15. You’re energized–and absolutely fatigued–by the rate of change in your craft as an educator early in the 21st century.


By TeachThought Staff (http://www.teachthought.com) - condensed

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