Archive for January, 2011

Friday Find II

Friday just got a little bit better because of this fabulous find:

Introducing: Storyline Online

Storyline Online is an amazing website featuring members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) reading contemporary children’s books! Each book featured on this site has activities & lesson ideas included! Now that is fabulous!


Boasting over 20 books, this site answers a need for substitutes who are scrambling to find an engaging Language Arts lesson. Whether students listen to it individually at a lab or as a class on a screen projector, this site is fun & entertaining! It also provides all you need to make it a complete lesson, with enriching materials to increase interest in the material and learn more about the story itself!

After selecting a book, you are introduced to to content & author. To Be Adam is read by James Earl Jones — pretty neat!

Notice the tabs at the bottom of the screen: clicking on “Let’s Read it” opens up a screen showing the pictures as the story is read (not just the author reading for the duration of the book). Below, you find two ways to find content for the rest of your lesson: Related Activities & More Activities.

So next time you find yourself with extra time on your hands, turn to this site for some [famous] reading fun! Go check it out!

Here is an example of what students will view on StorylineOnline with Elijah Wood:

 

enjoy this treat!

miss miller

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Changes to No Child Left Behind?

“No Child Left Behind, which launched an unprecedented expansion of standardized testing, was widely acclaimed when it was enacted in 2002 under President George W. Bush. There were pledges that schools would get serious about closing achievement gaps, while helping every single child reach grade level in reading and math.

Now, the United States may be on the verge of another cycle of reform as schools hit an achievement ceiling. Lawmakers are calling the law rigid, punitive and unrealistic.” [washington post]

2014 is approaching & so is the surmounting goal of reaching 100% proficiency for all students.

one third of u.s. public schools failed in 2009.*

However, it appears that President Obama is looking to make changes in No Child Left Behind, aiming to make AYP (adequate yearly progress) more flexible while still maintaining high academic standards. This announcement came after expressing interest in replacing NCLB during the President’s State of the Union address.

Teachers nationwide are sitting with fingers crossed and questions still remain: How will low-achieving schools be held accountable? How would improvement be implemented? Will achieving schools and teachers be rewarded? What makes a teacher ‘highly qualified?’

Will we see an end to the looming 2014 deadline?

Though a clear cut answer is not in sight (just yet), lawmakers have been meeting for months in attempt to have a bill passed this year.

The Huffington Post states Obama’s focus is: “… for states to adopt standards that ensure students are ready for college or a career rather than grade-level proficiency.”

Other plans that would utilize the proposed increase to the educational budget include: implementation of programming to help train & recruit teachers, aid offered to ailing schools, and encouragement for charter schools.

Other political figures have noted a desire to have other subjects, not just math and reading, to be included in the evaluations of school achievement.

Others want a change in the name.

But overall, it is clear that the amendments made to NCLB will focus on the positive growth & success of schools rather than the current negativity and fixation on failing.

I guess that is encouraging & a much needed outlook for national education.

Stay Informed,
miss miller

To read more on this topic visit these articles:
Obama makes Education State of Union Centerpiece
Bipartisan Group of Senators Pledges to Work on Revamping ‘NCLB

Obama Seeks to make NCLB more flexible
‘NCLB’ facing changes

*according to the independent Center on Education Policy

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((inspiration)) for your week

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Aristotle


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a hello & an [extra] time saver: swat it

Hello & a warm welcome to friends from
The Bus Stop Blog!

It is so good to have you here. I would encourage you to take a look around, leave a comment or two & join this fabulous community of substitutes surviving this crazy adventure together!

[[feel free to subscribe to my blog & find me on twitter @missnmiller!]]

I have been updating with some [extra] time savers & fabulous finds — sure to help you out in your day to day activities.

Since I have some special visitors, I thought it would be fitting to share one of my favorite fillers!

swat it.

Yep. That’s right. Fly swatters + chalk board = a sweet [extra] time saver

Plus! Fly swatters + decorative flowers = an even sweeter [extra] time saver. [[just hot glue flowers to one side of swatter]]

Ok, I know what your thinking — “How can this be used in the classroom?”

Well, I’m happy to share that this activity can be multi-purpose! Just read & see:

GENERIC SWAT IT RULES:

1. Select a subject: math, spelling, vocabulary, etc.

2. Write correct & incorrect answers all over chalk/white board
(ie: If you are practicing spelling words, write every word from your list spelled correctly & then each word spelled incorrectly randomly, in no order, all over your chalk board)

3. Divide students into 2 teams. Have one representative from each team come to the board & face the students. (Have their back to the board.)

4. Give each student a fly swatter & instruct them to listen to the question, wait for your call of “go!” Then, students must turn around and try to “swat” the correct answer.

5. The first to swat the correct answer wins a point (or two, your choice!)

Consequences: To avoid noise, chatting, shouting out answers, provide a consequence such as a loss of a point.

Adaptations: I know that you are most likely not going to carry around fly swatters. Hands work just as well!

Word to the wise: Make sure that you explicitly state the rules so that there is no swatting of others.

Variations:
– Math:
Put up answers (numerical) to multiplication & division questions & hold up flash cards
History: Write terms & give students definitions
Spelling: Write words correctly & incorrectly, give definitions to find
Geography: Write states abbreviations, capitals, etc & have students find the correct match to what you state. (ie: Pennsylvania – PA or Harrisburg – PA)
– You name it, it can be incorporated into a swat it game.

Have fun & happy swatting!

missnmiller

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Friday’s Fabulous Find

Happy Friday! During my time subbing, I have filled a notebook with the numerous good ideas, activities, & finds I’ve discovered along the way.  Each Friday, I’m going to showcase some of my favorite ideas as a Fabulous Find.

Today’s Find: Free Fonts!

Whether you are making substitute business cards, substitute letterhead for notes to teachers, or creating your own worksheets & handouts — you can’t beat Free Fonts!


I stumbled upon a fabulous site, Fonts for Peas, that offers a wealth of free fonts & instructions on how to download & use with your word processor.

Take a look at the gorgeous samples below!

Beautiful, right? I can just begin the long list of uses for these cuties! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Instruction for downloading can be found here.

happy typing,
miss miller

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Do you know about Rosa’s Law?

Better late than never! Thought I’d pass along an important name change that is occurring on the national level, but in turn affects the vast world of teaching students with exceptionalities.

Rosa’s Law is named after 8-year-old Rosa Marcellino, who has Down Syndrome. After starting elementary school, the Marcellino family was shocked to find her labeled as “retarded” in school documents.  Their push to have this changed ended in a new law signed by President Obama, changing the way all people with exceptionalities will be addressed. Read the statement issued to educators below:

TO:       School District Superintendents
School District Special Education Directors
Charter School Chief Executive Officers
Intermediate Unit Executive Directors
Intermediate Unit Special Education Directors
[[I’m including you, too!]]


FROM:     John J. Tommasini
Director
Bureau of Special Education

On October 5, 2010, President Obama signed into law Senate Bill 2781 (S.2781), referred to as Rosa’s Law.  Rosa’s Law (S. 2781) amends the provisions of Federal law to substitute the term “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” and “individuals with intellectual disabilities” for “mentally retarded” or “individuals who are mentally retarded.”  At this time, Rosa’s Law (S. 2781) does not require states to change terminology in state regulations for individuals covered by a provision amended by this Act.

Changes in Federal regulations will occur as they are reauthorized. Changes to both the Federal data reporting categories and Federal regulatory language is anticipated to occur with the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Subsequent to the reauthorization of IDEA, Pennsylvania will make the required changes in terminology in state regulations.  This change in terminology reflects the belief that language plays a crucial role in how individuals with disabilities are perceived and treated in society. No changes have been made in the process of determination of disability categories.

President Obama hugs Rosa after signing the law

I love the statement about the impact of language. So I hope you can begin to include this change  in your everyday vocabulary! Read more about Rosa’s Law here.

miss miller

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my new adventure: postaweek2011

Hello Friends,

In light of the new year and my encouragement to choose your own [maybe even new] adventure, I’ve decided to try posting every week in 2011!

[[I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog at least once a week for all of 2011 as encouraged by The DailyPost ]]

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way. Share it with friends & pass it along.

your savvy substitute,

miss miller

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