The Next Page Entry 58: Word clouds and class rules–perfect partners

The Next Page Entry 58: Word clouds and class rules–perfect partners

classroom rules for respect word cloud gif

Gotta say, I’d be in dire straits without ol’ Beth and Sanjay looking after me. At least when it comes to technology. These kids know everything, and not just about the inner workings of the equipment.

They showed me a site that makes word clouds.

I love the randomness and freedom these things give the kids, who can still show what they know in their own personal style. And when it’s something new, it’s easier to sneak in an actual lesson, some valuable content, without them realizing I’m actually assessing them. They see it as more of an art-type project. Perfect.

Note to self: Ask teachers if they’re open to giving up their designated bulletin board month. We won’t need to let Mrs. Nix know…

***

And so, why not keep up the momentum on mutual respect [I prefer that topic to ‘bullying’.].

Simple: Make a word cloud of rules or guidelines focused on courtesy and consideration of others.

List your guidelines on paper. [At least five.]

Throughout the day, take turns with the iPad to use that list to create your word cloud from your list.

At the end of the day, we will create a whole-class word cloud so be ready to contribute one of your guidelines.

[This journal is turning out to be a good way to think through activities.]

***

I wonder if I can use these things for math…

Science would be a breeze. And it’s time for another field trip to our park…yes, our park. Hey, why not give the kids a little sense of ownership when it comes to a study site? They like that phrase, ‘study site’. Makes them feel all ‘college-ish’, to use Beth’s word.

The Next Page Entry 54: Bullying…fill in the blank

The Next Page Entry 54: Bullying…fill in the blank

bullying prompts word cloud
Click for ‘special effect’.

Re: the bullying activity…

Three additional bullying prompts…more like ‘treating others decently’ prompts, actually.

This time, I asked them to fill in blanks.

I created groups of three for them to share their answers.

I didn’t require them [though I encouraged them] to share their answers.

Sanjay was in Jeremy’s group. Yes, I engineered that. It was to be a test for both of them. If Sanjay could at least address the peripheral issues of bullying, with Jeremy in the group, that would be a step forward for him. 

At the last minute, I switched cards. I decided ‘too much too soon’. And instead—wonder of wonders—Beth ended up in the group with Jeremy.

Here were the prompts I provided:

—By standing up for a friend, I learned to…

—Knowing what’s right is meaningless unless you…

—Respect others, so that…

I was tempted to linger/lurk near the Beth-Jeremy group, but that would have been too obvious. So I circulated and watched from afar.

Beth read her answers and I noticed she went wellllll beyond short phrase fill-in responses. And she looked right at Jeremy as she read, with an occasional glance at Annie. Jeremy sat with his arms folded, looking elsewhere as Beth read, but watching Annie as she read. Watching her intently, in fact.

Hmmmmm…

young black haired girl looking skyward wondering

Do I possibly have another ‘ally’ in my search for justice in Room 36?

The Next Page Entry 53: Thoughts on bullying…

The Next Page Entry 53: Thoughts on bullying…

When I see one classmate…

So, yes, I need to be more proactive with this bullying thing.

And yes, it does stem from one person, but anybody who acts as a fan, follower of, or ‘lieutenant’ for, that person is a bully as well. They seem to get a charge out of seeing someone with less power than they have.

Today, I wrote a couple of story starter journal prompts, but then I drew a horizontal line underneath those and added these two:

  1. When I see one classmate mistreat another classmate…
  2. Some ways kids mistreat other kids include…

I reminded the kids that they were welcome to drop their journal on my desk for me to read and left it at that.

Just out of curiosity, I’m making a point of not using any form of the word ‘bully’. Plus, it’s such a loaded term nowadays.

Next will be a short classroom activity.

A fun writing prompt tool

A fun writing prompt tool

16 emojis

From byrdseed.com called Emoji Prompts.

The site starts a visitor with an emoji. As I’m writing this, the opening emoji is a beaming face with hearts as eyes.

Ideally, the visitor writes or speaks the beginning of a story based on that emoji.

With a click of the ‘AND THEN’ button, another emoji pops up [in this case, a face with a disapproving tongue-sticking-out expression] and the ad libbed story continues…

Check out the short demo.

The Next PageYet Another Chat with Mrs. Nix

The Next PageYet Another Chat with Mrs. Nix

man on tightrope over canyonMrs. Nix: So you’ve been busy.
Joanna Page: We’ve all been busy, right? Kind of comes with the job.
Mrs. Nix: Even after school.
Joanna Page: Yeah, I’ve met with a few kids about photography.
Mrs. Nix: In the parking lot.
Joanna Page: Oh, that.
Mrs. Nix: What got into you?
Joanna Page: I’d just seen one too many close calls and I just kind of snapped.
Mrs. Nix: Any way you could have handled it differently?
Joanna Page: You, and probably the parents, wouldn’t have appreciated my other ideas.
Mrs. Nix: Which were?
Joanna Page: Let’s just go with ‘more extreme’ and leave it at that.
Mrs. Nix: So, are you done with your little venture into law enforcement?
Joanna Page: Yes.
Mrs. Nix: So on to other things…how’s the instructional schedule going in your room?
Joanna Page: From my viewpoint, it’s going fine.
Mrs. Nix: What exactly is your viewpoint?
Joanna Page: I would think we are meeting instructional minute expectations.
Mrs. Nix: You would think?
Joanna Page: I don’t watch them too closely, but I feel there is plenty of learning and skill practice going on and throw in a little creative and divergent thinking.
Mrs. Nix: That all sounds nice, but is it fitting in with the Common Core?
Joanna Page: Well, I haven’t exactly checked it word-for-word, but I think there is a standard or two that applies.
Mrs. Nix: How about posting your daily learning targets?
Joanna Page: Not exactly every day.
Mrs. Nix: Hardly ever, from what I can see. Remember that term we talked about as a staff–‘laser-focused’?
Joanna Page: Okay, I guess I could use a little work on that…
Mrs. Nix: Do you even want to be at this school?
Joanna Page: Whoa! Where did that come from?
Mrs. Nix: Well…
Joanna Page: No need to answer that. But yes, I love my kids and so, yes, I want to be here.
Mrs. Nix: There seem to be more times than not that you seem to be paving your own way.
Joanna Page: Which means?
Mrs. Nix: You’re hardly following our routines.
Joanna Page: Routines…
Mrs. Nix: I have another meeting, but think about my concerns and check in with Mrs. O’ Brien to schedule a short meeting for tomorrow.
Joanna Page: It will have to be after school. We have a field trip to Safeway tomorrow.
Mrs. Nix: Safeway…
Joanna Page: Yep, a little ‘math and writing in the real world’ activity. You should come.
Mrs. Nix: Thanks, but I’ll stay where I belong.
Joanna Page: Okay…anything I can pick up for you at Safeway?