Posts tagged teaching

G.I.F.T. (Great Idea for Teaching) No. 2: HOMONYM TARGET PRACTICE!

After subjecting my ELA 7 & 8 classes to a booklet of homonym worksheets I rewarded them with something a bit more “hands on”…

Overlooking their poor aim, this activity had great results. Under pressure the students sometimes chose the wrong homonym target but they were quick to realize their errors.


  1. One students keeps score and draws the homonym targets.
  2. Students are grouped into teams, each with a colour coded dodge ball.
  3. Students take turns calling out a sentence using a homonym.
  4. Ready… aim… review FIRE!!!


Correction: as a couple people have pointed out, the video features homophones. I taught these along with homonyms because my students seem to have the same issues using them.

Who Teaches Who? (by sojbanks)

My VP needed to do a black and white video for his masters project. I wanted to brush up on my knowledge of filming techniques for an upcoming unit with my ELA 7’s and 8s’.

We both wanted to test out the new OWLE Bubo adapter that the school purchased. Students can use the Bubo to turn their iPhone 3-4S’s into a really decent video camera with widescreen and standard lens adapters.

It was a snow day and we had a small handful of 7’s and 8’s show up. We call this gang the Breakfast Club because they are the first to arrive at school every morning (blizzard or not).

This is a story about teaching. You know, the part where the students teach the teacher. Isn’t that how it usually goes?

Teachers: 1 Droids: 0
My Gr. 10 CALM student makes the case for why she’d rather be assessed by me than a computer!

Teachers: 1 Droids: 0
My Gr. 10 CALM student makes the case for why she’d rather be assessed by me than a computer!

My ELA30 students are writing their Diploma Exam right now…

The classroom is a shell.

I hope they feel like dragons, not chicks.

310 plays

Two ELA 30 students do a lovely job of reading “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. Invictus is Latin for “unconquerable”. With diploma exams coming up, my ELA 30’s need to remember all that is unconquerable about themselves. No silly exam will ever measure the growth that I have seen in them or the value of some of their ideas in class. We’ve come a long way together and as they leave class I hope they feel that they are the captains of their own souls.


GIFT No.1 (Great Idea For Teaching)

The “Build Your Own Hero Kit”

My students shortened it to BYOH (bye-oh) kit. This was an intensive project that took about 3 weeks to complete with my group of Grade 7s but in the end they thanked me. THEY THANKED ME! How often do junior high students thank you for lesson planning?!

The essence of the project was this:

  1. Recognize some of your most unique or important qualities and amp them up to superpowers.
  2. Identify some personal goals and turn them into heroic missions.
  3. Create a 3D cut-n-fold action figure of yourself.
  4. Design a promotional package or poster.

That’s what the students were told. But really…

  • Explore identity, self-empowerment, and goal setting.
  • Create visual representations of written work.
  • Learn about stereotyping, symbols, onomatopoeia, and hyperbole.
  • Use graphic organizers to plan and complete a complex project in steps

The level of creativity, problem solving, and co-operation that my Grade 7s demonstrated was amazing! All of my students shone in different ways: Visual learners created brilliant action figures. My tactile learners quickly figured out how to assemble their figures and then helped others. My auditory learners followed directions very carefully and filled out the planning booklets in great detail.

That’s me at the front of the class photo! Yes… I own that garish sweater in real life.


Miss A, you are a TOTAL cougar!

WHAT. I’m not even in my thirties yet!!!

Oh yeah… You have to be in your forties to be a cougar. You’re more like… a jungle cat.

Why is this conversation happening?!

Gr.10 boys discover that women are NOT receptive to feline comparisons…

Ms. A can you help me with this kinetics graph?

No… And I am not going to pretend I know how to. What is that even?

WHAT! If I showed up at MY job and didn’t know how to do it I’d get FIRED!

Oh, for the love of— I’m a HUMANITIES TEACHER!

The day I got duped into subbing Physics 30…

My Glamorous Life as a Substitute Teacher: TTCI Time!

Tumblr Teacher Check In? What an awesome way to create community amongst tumblr teachers! Thanks teamteachers!

How it works:

  1. In a brand new post, share one thing that went well / is going well (at work or in your personal life).
  2. Share one thing that has you stressed, concerned, etc.
  3. Let us know if there is anything the Tumblr Teachers Community can do to help you with your teaching (resources needed, ideas, classroom pen pals, donors choose projects, etc.).
  4. Reblog this post so that people know that it is check-in time (if you see this late, you are welcome to check-in late).  Use the tag TTCI (Tumblr Teacher Check-In).
  5. Help any fellow teachers that you can.

1. I’ve been putting every ounce of energy I have into building repoire with the students and staff at the two schools I have been subbing for all month. Last Friday I was leaving after a day of subbing Physics (a superhuman feat for an English Major) and waved at one of the teachers. She stopped me and said “I want you to know that you are building a really great reputation around here. Students are talking about you and teachers respect that you can connect with our most challenging students”. WOOO HOOO!

2. Subbing in 2 different school divisions + apartment hunting + cleaning out my old place (2 hours away from the new place) + an LD relationship =brink of lunacy

3. Keep up the sharing and feedback. I really look forward to swapping wisdom with other educators here on tumblr.

My Glamorous Life as a Subsitute Teacher: The Automated Booking System

Setting: Starbucks with my sister

Ring Ring Ring
(scrambling through purse)
Ring Ring Ring

Me: Hello?
Mr. ABS: This is an automated booking message from Division X for ANDERSON, Megan:
(poised in excitement)
MR. ABS: You have a teaching opportunity available for October 3-
(scrambling in purse for calendar)
(the calendar is on my phone! ON MY EAR!)
Mr. ABS: Full day at School X covering for Mrs. mrrrhphmrr—
What the hell was that?!!
Mr. ABS: this opportunity will expire at the end of this recording. To ACCEPT press 1-
Me: WHAT?!!! I haven’t even looked at my calendar yet!
Mr. ABS: to DECLINE press 2…
OMG!!! (pressing 1 desperately on the keypad) ONE! ONE!
Mr. ABS: Opportunity ACCEPTED. Thank you from Division X. *click*
Sister: What was that about?
Me: I feel like I’m in an episode of Mission Impossible
(check calendar to see if it’s even possible to work Oct. 3)

Ms. A… You know how you said you taught at a jail? Which side of the bars were you on?
Gr.7 student

My Glamorous Life as a Substitute Teacher (Day 2): Apocalypse Please.

Last night I absconded with my sister’s fm transmitter. I had guilt enough to leave her ipod behind as I ditched family supper to return to Edmonton early and get a “good night’s sleep”. At some point on the 2.5 hour drive I began to wonder if this theft would affect me on some karmic level. Particularly the snide text I sent her to rub it in…

10:00PM - Return to Edmonton and shower away cow smells
11:20PM - Crawl into bed and perform nightly OCD rituals
      -set primary & secondary alarms for work (repeat 3x)
      -check e-mail and iCal
      -notice unexpected event dot on Sep-12-2011
      -what is this dot?
      -a subbing date for tomorrow at School X (2.5 hrs away)
      -the same 2.5 hrs I just drove to get home… s@$#%!
11:50PM - Call mother and deliver lamentation of self loathing and anxiety
12:00AM- Recite possible dooms to Diana until she leaves to make a pity lunch
12:30AM - Initiate sleep sequence (wake every second hour)
     -not those pants!
6:30AM - Tim Hortons: XL 1/2C 1/2HC
6:40AM - DRIVE! (Edmonton to Red Deer)
7:50AM - OMG DRIVE! (Red Deer to School X)
     -Muse: Apocalypse Please @ 100 decibels
8:00AM - Call normal job and offer pathetic excuse
8:20AM - Arrive at School X!!! Disaster Averted. Mental High Five.

This life in transition might be the end of me! 3 employers + 2 cities @ 2.5hrs apart +3 homes + (does a Ford Taurus count as home?) = …