View & Respond – #LookUp

Language Arts/Writing classes will work on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards today. I put together a view & respond about a viral video called, Look Up. As the year comes to an end and summer is almost upon us, I thought this video had the right kind of message. If you haven’t seen the video, below, the overall message is to get off social media and enjoy life. The students had a very deep discussion. The overall response was that this was a nice message for multiple reasons, but it won’t make a big difference. However, a good portion of students did say it would make them think before diving into social media and possibly miss out on the real world around them. I can accept that – small possible change is better than no changing at all…

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Grammatically Speaking Challenge

Grammatically Speaking

Grammatically Speaking

We had a little fun today in Language Arts/Writing with a game called Grammatically Speaking. I first viewed the quiz/game/challenge via my Facebook feed. I took the challenge, and I earned a 91%. I thought it was pretty fun as well as had the potential for friendly competition between my writing classes. The online quiz is provided by Staples. They prefaced the game with the following: “Whether you’re a stickler for good grammar or just curious about your punctuation prowess, test your grammar know-how with the Grammatically Speaking quiz. Use the dials to select the correct answers and then challenge your friends to beat your score.” I always tell my students that nobody has perfect grammar, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t try. I also let them know, proper grammar is the best as well as quickest way to get your point across. Furthermore, I let them know that their teacher still struggles with all the rules, so don’t feel bad if you make a few mistakes… Continue reading

View & Respond – I Hate School But Love Education


On Friday, the class worked on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards during a view & respond activity about I Hate School But Love Education. This view & respond came rather timely considering today was the day that 4th Quarter Progress Reports went home. The activity began with a handout that can be viewed [here]. I instructed students to read the news article to give the background to the poem. Students were prompted to use their active listening skills (who, what, why, where, when) during the viewing of YouTube Media clip. Once the clip was complete, I gave students about 3-5 minutes to jot down any information they couldn’t during the viewing as well as answer the questions (6 of them) to help guide the discussion. I then opened the floor up for discussion by asking initial reactions. Initial reactions were mixed. One thing students struggled with was the concept of school being slightly different than education. However, students all understood that learning does take place outside of school. All in all, some students understood the overall theme of the poem, and some students were working towards comprehension…

This is a controversial topic. That being said, I think it was important to see what my classes thought about school as well as their goals in education.I think it’s important for the students to understand the value of learning in general in whatever format it is delivered to them. Overall, the students and I had a good conversation, and that was my hope all along. One of my main objectives with this type of view and respond is to engage, effectively, in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) on topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own point(s) of views clearly. I hope to reach that outcome through the multimedia source presented as well as notes using 5W’s format, discussion, and the view/respond handout. Continue reading

Facebook Math Challenge for Bell Work Prompt >>>> 6÷2(1+2) = ?


Before we begin, I know I teach Language Arts. I also know that I am horrible at math. That being said, I think it’s good to mix things up in the class when the opportunity presents itself. I came across this on Facebook, and I thought it would serve for a good Monday morning bell work prompt. This as well as the 5W’s about their weekend activities. I digress, I posed this question in my Facebook status, and I had answers ranging from 1 to 6 to 9. I answered 9, and I’m 99% sure I’m correct. People were challenging the answer, so I did a little search on YouTube to get an evidence based correct answer. All that being said, I’m still 99% sure I’m correct. I will run it by the Math Teacher to get that final 1%.

Overall, I obtained my answer because of prior knowledge as well as knowing that I read from left to right, so that’s how I reached my answer. 6÷2 is 3, 2 +1 is 3, parenthesis indicate multiplication, so we end up with 3 x 3 = 9. Again, I could be wrong (99% sure I am right though). My wife later explained to me that using PEMDAS Order of Operations is a good way to explain it to the kids. My overall objective is to help students by reviewing PEMDAS, and hopefully having some fun while doing it. I think mentioning anything about Facebook brings a smile to the student’s faces… Continue reading

View & Respond – What Most Schools Don’t Teach [Short Film]


Today, the class will work on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards with this view & respond about teaching kids how to code on computers. From Fox News, “NEW YORK – Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter creator Jack Dorsey are among the tech luminaries appearing in a new video promoting the teaching and learning of computer coding in schools.” I literally decided to implement this view and respond about 30 minutes ago. I knew I downloaded this video for a reason, and today that reason will hopefully come to fruition. I can remember in the early 1990’s when I learned how to type. I thought it was the coolest thing. I had no idea of how it would help me later on in life. I now type around 65 to 70 words a minute. It’s not earth shattering, but it’s a good skill to have. I also taught myself how to build very modest websites by learning how to code in my early 20’s. That too was a very good skill to have. I’m hoping that I reach a good portion of students so that I may spark their interest in something that will be a very good skill to have in the future, coding. Some of the students are already interested in this because they have told me to visit their websites that they put together in Computer Class, and that is soooo awesome! Continue reading