Saturday, June 18, 2016

Notebook Know How by the Pool!

So here's my take...

I have a great book recommendation 
for your pool bag this summer! 

I found this book, Notebook Know How by Aimee Buckner, about six years ago and I still have it prominently sitting 
on my shelf behind my desk. 

I refer back to it constantly! 

Here are my top 3 reasons 
it should be in your pool bag this summer!

1. Motivating:

I don't know about you, but summer time is the best time to read a professional book. I become energized and excited and can't wait to get back in the classroom to try things out.It is a quick read at only 125 pages!

2. Ready to use: 

I use to struggle with how to incorporate a writer's notebook with mini lessons, journal writing time, and grammar during my Writer's Workshop. Aimee has many practical strategies and shows you step by step how to get a notebook up and running.What is nice about the book are the quick reference charts so you don't have to waste time re-reading sections! If you are a fan of Ralph Fletcher's, Craft Lessons, then you will love this book!

3. Comprehensive:

This was the biggest selling point for me! This book helped me to understand how and why to set up a notebook, how to develop and mold the notebook so students could see the connections from our lessons to their writing, and Aimee's book explained how to assess their notebook. Aimee's approach to the notebook gave my Workshop a soul. The student's notebook's became a part of them. I loved watching their proud faces as they protectively would bring their notebooks to our easel area for a mini-lesson or their eager faces when they would scatter around the room to get started on a piece. 

Of course I need something in my pool bag this summer too! I've decided to read Aimee's book on Nonfiction! I will be teaching Science and Math next year and I already know that I want to see students writing in their Science journals. I am hoping to get great ideas from this book! I'll let you know what I find out!

Happy Learning!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Breakout of Your Normal Routine with BreakoutEDU

So here is my take...

Do you love cooperative group work and engaging activities to foster inquiry based learning and problem solving skills? If so, then you must checkout what Breakout EDU is all about?

So what is Breakout EDU you ask...

Breakout EDU creates ultra-engaging learning games 
for people of all ages. Games (Breakouts) teach teamwork, 
problem solving, critical thinking, and troubleshooting by presenting participants with challenges 
that ignite their natural drive to problem-solve.

Watch this video on how it works!

 I am so fortunate that my school has purchased a kit! The students in my class beg for all their lessons to involve a Breakout EDU activity. When I first started, 
I used a game that was already constructed. 

I highly recommend The Candy Caper 
as an introduction 
to how Breakout EDU's are used. It truly fostered 
the collaborative learning environment 
I was wanting to create so students could dig deeper with the concepts they were learning! 

Once I felt comfortable, 
I began to create games based on the concepts and skills 
I was wanting to work on. It was soooooo easy 
and didn't take much time! 

If I haven't piqued your curiosity yet, checkout the top ten reasons you should be using BreakoutEDU's below:


I hope you have fun creating your own Breakouts! 
I would love to hear your ideas! 

Happy Learning!!!
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