Poetry About Sound

Here are several poems that feature sound written by familiar poets whose books, if not already on your shelf, might be found at your local library or poems online! A Light in the Attic, Shel Silverstein “DEAF DONALD” “MY GUITAR” “ROCK ‘N ROLL BAND” Every Thing On It, Shel Silverstein “HORN” Falling Up, Shel Silverstein “MUSIC LESSON” “NOISE DAY” “SCREAMIN MILLIE”   Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein “WHAT A DAY” The Butterfly Jar, Jeff Moss “The First Musician” “Rachel” A Pizza the Size of the Sun, Jack Prelutsky  “We’re Loudies” Something Big has Been Here, Jack Prelutsky “Benita Bean” “Don’t Yell at Me” …

Quick Demos for Sound

You’re starting or finishing a unit on sound and you need a fun demonstration to share with students. Maybe parents are coming for an open house and you want to impress them with a science activity. What will get kids excited about sound? How can you integrate science into an open house conversation about school? Consider these suggestions from SteveSpanglerScience: Singing Glasses Singing Glasses Toothpick Mover – video Musical Straw  –  video Screaming Cup Talking Cups –  video Water Whistle – video In addition to Steve’s resources, here’s a few great videos you might add to your sound unit. I actually own a Chladni Device and, …

Sub Folder

You’re really, REALLY sick! You arranged to get a substitute teacher who needs information so your students can have a successful day and you can take care of yourself and feel better. Instead of laying in bed at home feeling sick AND guilty because you’re not sure how the day is going for your students, feel a bit better because you’ve left a sub binder for the teacher who is taking care of your students while you take care of yourself. Create your sub binder with enough information for a successful day. Try to avoid too many words that would require a lot of reading …

Is Your Energy Sink Coordinating a BIG Event?

Is there a large event you’re responsible for planning? A math night? A science night? A reading night? These events are great at creating memories that last for a lifetime. Does it seem to take a lifetime of planning to coordinate activities, gather materials, prep volunteers, hold the event, and then clean it all up?   I have some advice for you to consider. Recruit colleagues, capable students, and parents to help with the event. That might be obvious but my suggestion is give each person just one task to do – this can avoid anyone feeling expected to “do it all” or wondering …

Ask the Parent

At the beginning of every school year I would ask my parents to fill out a survey that gave me very important information. It was sent to parents separately from the packet of papers the office needed completed and returned, usually on brightly colored (yet easy to copy or read) paper. I bribed my kids to get it back to me promptly. Why send out a separate survey? Some of the information was redundant with the information the office wanted but this way I had it for the file I created for each student in my class. I didn’t always get information about health or …

You’re vacationing without me?

Sometimes I have parents who pop into my classroom and announce an impending trip. They need me to provide them with a packet of work for the student to do while on the plane, when there’s a few minutes of spare time, or to keep up the routine of practicing skills while on the trip. I’ve found that the trip is usually pretty exciting, time gets away from everyone, and my carefully constructed packet of activities takes much more of my time to prepare than my student has time to complete while on the trip. And, I wasn’t even invited!!  😉 …

Is Your Energy Sink Implementing New Curriculum?

Are you implementing new curriculum? As an author of science curriculum, I’m sure I need to explain background and activities very clearly and that takes a lot of words. I try to save time by including videos in my materials so teachers can listen to me instead of reading all the text in their teacher guides and students books. What might you do if your energy sink is implementing new curriculum? Can you clearly identify what makes this curriculum different from what you have been using? A unique approach? A refocus on learning strategies? Different content? Does that help you …

Is Your Energy Sink the Weekly Newsletter?

images by Education Graphics Group Do you want to publish a weekly communication? Parents say they appreciate it, kids love seeing their names mentioned, and it can keep everyone up to date on coming events. What can you do to keep it from taking two or more hours to write, print, and distribute each week? Focus on why you are writing a newsletter If you write about every subject, mention many students, give a detailed overview of the curriculum, AND a preview of coming events your newsletter will be L-O-N-G. It takes time to write and may not be read by parents. Define the purpose of your newsletter. Is it reminders, …

Is Your Energy Sink Grading Papers? Kids can help!

Students need timely feedback. While a student is wondering “I’m not sure about that last question” you have a great opportunity to capitalize on this interest to review answers. Tomorrow or the next day that student might not remember the assignment or the quiz. If you don’t need the information from the assignment to assess student understanding or plan activities here are a few suggestions for giving feedback quickly. Here’s your obvious choice: Project the answers or hand out answer keys. Students correct their own papers. This can be an opportunity to discuss an answer that students identify as needing clarification. Note: I usually avoid …

Is Your Energy Sink Grading Papers?

  Does it seem like there’s always papers to grade? Are there stacks of paper on your desk and a few more on the shelf? What information do you need to adjust your teaching and plan future lessons? Students need timely feedback, does it take an hour or more every day? Here are a few suggestions: Grade one assignment each day and set up the other assignments for students to grade themselves Plan ahead so you have time to grade an assignment that needs more time, like an essay Learn to quietly grade papers during a staff meeting IF your attention …