29 Aug

gjmueller: Violence concerns persist amid CPS school closing…


Violence concerns persist amid CPS school closing plan

As Chicago prepares to close 54 schools in an attempt to rescue an academically and financially failing educational system, one of its greatest challenges will be safely maneuvering thousands of students to and from class through the patchwork of rival gang territories that cover large parts of the nation’s third-largest city.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his schools chief, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, have acknowledged the danger of mixing young people from different neighborhoods.

photo via flickr:CC | duncan

24 Aug

Super Bowl Fun in the Classroom + FREEBIE! #4thchat #5thchat…

Super Bowl Fun in the Classroom + FREEBIE!

#4thchat #5thchat #literacy #superbowl 

Party planning can develop many skills.  Party planning teaches: how to organize, communication skills, new vocabulary, creativity (art and writing), attention to detail and so much more. 

I put together this “Super Bowl Party Planner” booklet so that kids can create their own “virtual” Super Bowl party. It incorporates all of the skills listed above. Kids can really get creative with this one.

Who knows? Their families (or teacher) may even want to use it for their own party. Wouldn’t that be cool?


  1. Directions for assembly
  2. 4 Covers (2 color & 2 b/w)
  3. Booklet includes (half pages, b/w)
  • My Invitation List (writing)
  • Invitation (writing/art)
  • My Menu (writing)
  • Halftime Game (writing)
  • Jersey (art)
  • Cheer, Chant, Rap (writing)
  • Party Scene (writing/art)
  • Word Bank

image4 covers included (2 b/w, 2 color)


This booklet covers multiple intelligences. Of course it covers the linguistic intelligence, but it also covers a few others. Once completed you can play the games students create (kinesthetic intelligence), have them perform their cheer, rap, or chant (musical intelligence), and interpersonal intelligence is covered because students must think of others while planning their party.


I would also like to share some football freebies with you. Below you will find 2 football themed writing templates and a word bank. Hope you can use them.

image  image  image

Remember to follow me at TpT so you are updated when I post products and freebies. Thanks!

23 Aug

March Madness hits the library!

Here’s another great idea for a library display that goes along with March…or rather March Madness.  I swiped it from a librarian friend of mine, Susan R. Meyers who works in a neighboring district high school. Of course she credits her intern for the concept.  So go on over and read and see their set up.

Dorman High School Library’s March Madness 2013

It’s going to be a fun project.  Here’s how I came up with our version of a Library March Madness.

In our Destiny Program, I ran a report for the Top Titles (Reports–>Library Reports–>Top/Bottom Titles). I adjusted the time frame to use one year as basis for the report.

Reading the report, I eliminated those titles I knew had inflated circulations due to in-library use with classes in the library.  Once I had sixteen titles, I set out to create the brackets.

I found and printed the covers, seeded them (numbered them one through sixteen) and then worked out the brackets.  Yes, I had to research seeds in a sixteen-team tournament, but luckily our library assistant is a high school softball coach (and middle school basketball coach) so she is well versed in tournament brackets and how they work. She sketched out the brackets and where to place seeds.

Our Tournament of Library Books will be decided using voting.

  • For our “Sweet Sixteen” Week during week one, students will use a ballot to select a winning title from the paired books for each of the eight “games.”  This will determine our “Elite Eight” that will compete in week two of our tournament.
  • The ballot for the “Elite Eight” in week two will feature the four pairs competing in the quarterfinals, and students must select one from each pair, narrowing it down to the semi-finalist titles. 
  • Week three’s ballot will feature the semifinalists, aka the “Final Four,” and students will be invited to vote to narrow us down to the two books that will be squared off for the Finals.
  • Week four’s ballot will only have the two finalists on it, and students will decide using votes which book will be declared our March Madness Champion.

Prizes: I haven’t really come up with a great plan to reward students, but I think during Week One, we’ll ask students on the ballot to predict the champion title, and then all who predict accurately get in a drawing at the end to win our school’s “Cafe Coupon” on “Cavalatte Coupon” and a free book of their choice.  We’ll fund these with fine money–> twenty or so fifty cent coupons.


Want to know which titles are in our Sweet Sixteen?  Head on over to the library blog Cavaliers Read to see.

22 Aug

Super cool! PULP-O-MIZER Create your own “Pulp Magazine…

Super cool! PULP-O-MIZER

Create your own “Pulp Magazine Cover

#edtech #literacy via @edtechchic Blog: EdTech Chic

Lots of customizations can be made (text, backgrounds, images). No registration required. Kids will love creating covers to go along with their stories, poems, projects, etc. I had fun creating the one above.

Created image can easily be saved to your computer.

Added to Write On! 4 Kids under the tab “Book Cover Creator”.

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21 Aug

U.S. History: Free streaming history videos & activities

See on Scoop.itKB…Konnected’s Kaleidoscope of Wonderful Websites!

American History Videos

KB…Konnected’s insight:

Unique resources. Plenty to discover and share with students.

See on havefunwithhistory.com

18 Aug

What Is Your School District Waiting For? GetEdFunding

What Is Your School District Waiting For? GetEdFunding :

“GetEdFunding is a free, curated database of more than 750 active grants and awards that are currently available to public and private pre-K–12 schools, districts and educators, higher education institutions and the nonprofit organizations that work with them.”

16 Aug

Ultimate Writing Resource List

Ultimate Writing Resource List:

Superb categorized resource for #writing resources!


100+ resources. Click here for the entire list.


a massively extended version of ruthlesscalculus’ post

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