Friday, July 10, 2020

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 7/10/2020

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels:  E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

Think Like a Coder – TED-Ed series; “This 10-episode narrative follows a girl, Ethic, and her robot companion, Hedge, as they attempt to save the world. The two embark on a quest to collect three artifacts and must solve their way through a series of programming puzzles.” (L:M,H;SA:M,S,C)

360° Videos - National Geographic – 50 videos by National Geographic (L:G;SA:A)

Graspable Math -  “Assign algebra tasks to your students and see live feedback of their step-by-step work. Discover, create, and share engaging math activities for 4th to 12th graders.” (L:G;SA:M)

To Scale: The Solar System – “On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.” (L:G;SA:S)

Sounds of the Wild West – “An audio tour of Montana’s four major ecosystems” (L:G;SA:S)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, July 9, 2020

One Year Later

My father passed away on July 11, 2019. It has been a year and I still miss him. I wanted to take the time to post this and a picture collage of him. He will be in my heart forever.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Paris Mountain State Park

One of the closest state parks to me is Paris Mountain State Park. When I was a student at Furman University, I used to go here to study. I found nature and the outdoors so peaceful. I think it is also the state park that we go to most often because it is close, and we volunteer in the park. We volunteer with the school program and lead second graders on a nature hike.


Paris Mountain State Park is located in Greenville, South Carolina. The park is 1540 acres and includes two lakes, a campground, a group facility called Camp Buckhorn, and many hiking trails. Many of the structures were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The lodge at Camp Buckhorn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


In1765, Richard Pearis settled in Greenville County and married a Cherokee woman. He was given land by the Indians. Paris Mountain is named after him.


From 1890 to 1916, the water from Paris Mountain was the water source for the city of Greenville. In 1928, the Table Rock Reservoir became the city’s water source and no longer needed Paris Mountain.


There was a popular resort on Paris Mountain in 1890 called the Altamont Hotel. The resort failed and later became the Altamont Bible and Missionary Institute and eventually became Holmes Bible College. The building caught on fire in 1920.


The state park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s when the land was bought from the city of Greenville in 1935.


The mountain is a monadnock and its elevation exceeds 2000 feet.


There are more than 73 different types of flora in the park. Possums, foxes, snakes, bass, bream, and catfish can be found in the park. I have also seen a lot of beaver activity in the park. There are also over 20 different species of birds found in the park.


There are many different trails that are well marked and of different lengths. The trails would appeal to people of all ages and abilities.


Original photo by Pat Hensley

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Teaching Online: Parts of Speech

I am currently teaching a practicum class online and we run a virtual school program. I am learning a lot of things and want to share some tips along the way.

When teaching online, I notice the students are more engaged when movement is involved and less when worksheets are involved.

One of the teachers was teaching adjectives and I was thinking of fun ways to practice parts of speech. Let’s face it, parts of speech lessons are boring anyway but they are a necessity for communication.

One day, the teachers with the youngest class had a scavenger hunt. They called out a letter and the students had to run and get an item in their home that began with that letter. You could substitute the word letter with the word noun. Have the students find a noun that begins with a specific letter.

You could also do the same activity with adjectives. Find something that could be described by an adjective such as blue. (Other adjectives could be other colors, big, small, tiny, dirty, ugly, beautiful etc.)

One activity you can do involves movement. The teacher reads a sentence very slowly. The student starts off seated. f a noun is mentioned, the students stand up. If a verb is mentioned, the students sit down. If an adjective is mentioned, the students wave their arms in the air.

Another activity like the one above that involves movement but less whole body and just hand and arm movements. The teacher reads a sentence very slowly. The students make an N letter by holding 2 fingers on one hand down in an upside-down V when a noun is mentioned. The students hold their 2 fingers up in a V shape when a verb is mentioned. The students make an N letter by holding 2 fingers on one hand down in an upside-down V and then use their other pointer finger to go across the V to make a letter A when an adjective is mentioned

What other activities would you suggest? Please share.

Photo by Sharon Pittaway on Unsplash

Monday, July 6, 2020

Thought Provoking Questions

In If you were stranded in the forest, what 3 things would you bring? From On an e-Journey with Generation Y, murcha states.

“Students never cease to amaze me with all the ideas that they might have to share in an interactive manner while remote learning.”


I thought this would be a great way to start an online class and get the students warmed up to thinking. When students are learning online from home, it is hard for them to switch from the relaxing home frame of mind to a learning school environment frame of mind. By starting the class off with thought-provoking questions, it would be a great way to engage students as you wait for other students to arrive to class. Or, this question could be used when students finish an assignment early. After everyone is finished, you could allow students to share their answers.


When you are allowing students to answer, I think it is important to limit students to a specific number of answers so that everyone will have time to answer. You might ask them to give one answer and then if you have time, allow the student to go again and give a second answer.


Questions like this could be used for any age and the situation could be adapted to fit your students. For example, you could change the question to:

·      If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring?

·      If you were stranded on the moon, what 3 things would you bring?

·      If you were stranded in the desert, what 3 things would you bring?


You could also ask different types of questions such as:

·      If you could only have 3 kinds of candy, what would they be?

·      If you could only have 3 kinds of beverages, what would they be?

·      If you could only have 3 kinds of vegetables, what would they be?

·      If you could only have 3 toys, what would they be?

·      If you could go to 3 places in the world, where would it be?


What other thought-provoking questions can you think of? Please share.


Photo by Tachina Lee on Unsplash