SALE! SALE! SALE!

Gotta check this out!

The Angry Teacher

The Angry Teacher Store on TeacherspayTeachers.com is having a TEACHER’S APPRECIATION WEEK SALE! Stock up on items you need for the end of the year, summer, and beyond! Get bargains now!

May 3rd and 4th. It’ll be GREAT!

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SALE! SALE! SALE!

The Angry Teacher Store on TeacherspayTeachers.com is having a TEACHER’S APPRECIATION WEEK SALE! Stock up on items you need for the end of the year, summer, and beyond! Get bargains now!

May 3rd and 4th. It’ll be GREAT!

6 Powerful Instructional Strategies To Use!

I’m sure you’ve been there before: students attempting to go to sleep or go to the ‘restroom” for 45 minutes or more at a time. It’s crazy! Students don’t think we know when they require more from our lessons or from us in the classroom.

Don’t worry about it! I’ll help you figure out just how to keep students involved and get students to want to come to class and want to stay once they’re in there.

Here are 6 Powerful Instructional Strategies that you can use in your classrooms. Check ’em out!

Student thinking about what he already knows.

1. ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

This is not groundbreaking information, but it serves as a reminder that this strategy is vital to classroom success. Jog students prior knowledge. Whether you challenge their beliefs, question their stances, recount their past lessons or activities, or rehash their younger days – get students to go back!

Activating what students bring to this new lesson is key because it tells you just how much you need to frontload or how many misconceptions they may already have about the content.

Here’s a few ways to have students connect with their past: do Quick Writes, Do Nows, Brain Teasers, Post a topic for them to discuss with their peers or in pairs, post thought-provoking questions, Revisit home learning, Make a joke about a topic and start a discussion, show them a video, listen to music relating to the lesson, show them an experiement that they will be able to reproduce later that day, give a quiz (no more than 4 – 8 questions), etc. Keep them guessing throughout the year, as you use several of these types. Also, remind students that we’ll validate their thoughts by the end of the lesson. This should get them ‘staying tuned’ and keeping focused.

A teacher being crazy during his lecture.

2. Lecture Less/Limited Lecture

Yes, I know rihgt. This is where we start losing students – the dreaded lecture. They either fall asleep or ‘need to go to the restroom’…again…for 45 minutes…Wait, haven’t we all been there?

Now, as teachers this hurt. Teachers Talk A lot. lol…

However, sometimes we need to talk less. Anywhere from 15 – 20 minutes of a lecture, then students are required to do another part of the lesson.

Later, you can interrupt them to continue the content, if you need to. But, talking for an extremely long time will cause restless students, misbehaviors and more.

You can have your lectures: prerecorded and have them just listen to or watch – You. Use Youtube or Khan Academy videos to assist in the coverage of the content. Have students actively listen by annotating as you lecture. Ask questions about the topic while moving around the room, stand next to students as you give the needed notes, randomly give a compliment or make statements about students and life, as you share information they need from you in this lecture.

Hmmm. one way I add spice to my lectures, especially the longer ones, is to add jokes. Yes, we all aren’t comedians nor do we have to be, but adding a bit of humor or telling short anecdotes to prove a point won’t change you, the content, or the class dynamic. As a matter of fact, students may start huddling over their desks to hear more and are now showing interest.

Bathroom visits should lessen, and if they still have to go, they will hurry back.

I do believe, however, that sometimes we cannot get away from the longer lectures where the content is tricky, nebulous, or nuanced (ergo, high school/college content); students must be prepared for the college professors who prattle on and on or the long business meetings at work, so sometimes they may have to sit and focus for longer than 20 minutes. By the same token, though, there are ways to inject yourself, humor, sarcasm, voice changes (I do a killer British accent), anecdotes, thought-provoking questions, ideas from last or previous lessons into today’s lesson.

Wouldn’t it be a hoot to have your students do this?

3. Have Students Move Around

Who am I kidding? Having students breakout in a song and dance, depending on the period, day, season, time of academic year, and lesson, could be the worse thing ever. (Definitely NOT a day for administrative observations).

However, having students move around periodically is not a bad thing. Get students get out of their seats!

I get my students to move from group to group, several Gallery Walks, come to the board to write on the board, completing chart papers and projects, line up outside to answer a verbal quiz, go to get supplies, move from station to station.

However, some folks recommend movement every time you see the students IN EVERY CLASS FOR EVERY ACTIVITY. I have problem that because I believe in novelty. If students are always moving around, everything, including the movement becomes quotidian and trite and the fun in learning is lost.

Knowing that they have to move sometimes and not knowing just what type of movement is coming, adds interest to the lesson…your lesson; this piques their interest.

Ooh, while typing this, I thought of a reason for my students to get up and move: A Selfie Break! Students must take a selfie with teacher, another student, or group of students; I will try to include this this upcoming semester. (If you want to try this one, make certain you have classroom management because things can get hairy and scary).

Students working in groups answering challenging questions.

4. USE H.O.T.S [higher order thinking]

Yes, we’ve used these before, so it’s not mind-blowing, but there is so much value to this!

Getting students to move beyond the face-value questions of definitions and fact-based answers is needed to get students critically thinking.

So we need to get students from focusing on the Remember and Understanding levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, and moving up to Applying all the way up to Creating. Now, obviously, we have to see if they understand the basics, but we cannot let them live in that moment; growth and advancement (higher order thinking) is expected.

As you create lessons for your students, include questions to evaluate their comprehension, assign projects that allow them to analyze, create and synthesize things that reflect their comprehension.

Include question starters and verbs like: How, why, Prove, Disprove, Evaluate, etc. These move students to the next level. YESSSSS! It gets them thinking.

A Students figuring out a part of the lesson.

5. SUMMARIZING

Sometimes getting students to recount a part of the lesson or previous lessons will make their day; they feel they have accomplished a lot for the day.

Being able to summarize accomplishes a lot: (1) it proves they were paying attention (2) it proves (to you) that they were paying attention, (3) it allows others to see how ‘smart’ they are, (4) it gets those who would have problems with the H.O.T.S. questions to still be involved with the lesson and content, (5) it provides a means of class participation, (6) it gets students to be proud of themselves (I’m sure some run home to tell mom that they answered a question in class today).

With that said, allowing space for this banal, yet vital part of analysis in your classroom will do wonders. Yes, you may not even need to have asked for a summary, but you’ll get Little Suzy in the back to have something to contribute to the class discussion.

Here are a few ways to get students to summarize, if you don’t just want to ask them outright: ask them to draw a picture, complete a fill-in-the-blank exercise, reenactments, write instructions for a method or experiment, ask “so what did we do last class?” or “does anyone remember what Josiah did when we watched that video?”, tell your partner what last class’s lesson was about, revisit and share out your Exit Tickets. Then ask “is Henry correct, class?”, ask students to give parts of the summary to by saying, “and what else happened, Tony?”

Some of these ways get you to recalibrate and check for comprehension for the whole class. It also reminds you where you left off…(*I know it does for me). Kids love acting like they know more than we do. 😁

Serious determined student when given rigorous and challenging work

6. RIGOROUS AND CHALLENGING WORK

So this really sounds ironic and confusing since I put #5: “Summarize” right before giving #6: Giving Rigorous and Challenging Work, but hear me out. 😁

Assign work that gives students a level of difficulty. Make them think more and longer, make them ask new questions, let them disagree with each other, allot additional time, make them choose task cards [HIGH SCHOOL QUESTION STEM TASK CARD [MINI-BUNDLE#2] , make them work together, make them realize their theories were not correct and more investigation is needed…indeed, make them sweat.

Know, however, that the above things come with this caveat – some may not do the challenge work because it may be too hard, they’re intimidated, or both. So you must use your discretion, peer assistance, differentiated instruction, teacher one-on-ones, etc. It is important to note, though, that these students can get there, if pushed and supported.

Hey, Summarizing might be challenging for some, and this would be their rigorous, challenging work. You know your students – what they can and cannot handle.

Hey, check out and enjoy this video for more clarity.

Let’s go out and there and BE GREAT! Let’s just go out there and TEACH!

LOVE and HISTORY are taking over The Angry Teacher Store!

Hey Angry Teachers,

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It'll be an AMAZING MONTH, Angry Teacher Fam! Let's go out there and BE GREAT!

7 Ways To Teach Writing

When students need help with their writing, HERE are 7 THINGS TO DO!

It’s that time of the year where you’ve bonded with your students, they understand your class rules and how it functions, and now – now the tests are looming.

We need to prepare students for their standardized exams which usually incorporate some form of writing. So let me share 7 quick tips on how to get the most out of student writing.

  1. START FROM THE SMALLER PARTS TO THE LARGER PRODUCT

In order to get your budding writers to understand the writing process, I suggest getting them to understand the foundation of an essay. Yes, parts of speech and parts of a sentence.

Let em have it: subject and verb. Instruct them on how it works, then have them stack ’em up and turn them into paragraphs. Finally have them move on to essays.

Some teachers do this in the reverse: from whole to small parts of an essay [an inverted triangle], but working from sentence structure to a full-blown essay works easier for me and my students; chances are it’ll work for you too! Try it!

2. USE MENTOR TEXTS

Show students what good writing looks like? You want them to write good fiction, good letters, good speeches, good technical essays? Then, show them! Get exemplars for students to read, analyze, and mimic!

You can always use these for references once students have moved on. “Oh, do you remember how Martin Luther King, Jr. used X?” “Do you see how Thoreau started off with X?” These remind students of where their writing should be and how to get them back on track.

Show students how to write: DEMONSTRATE IT!

3. DEMONSTRATE THE WRITING

Show students what you want them to accomplish. Yes, you’ve used MENTOR TEXTS, but now they’ll see you writing with them.

One way I demonstrate how I want students to write is to write on my whiteboard as we brainstorm new ideas. Students see what I’m doing and they’re involved in my stylistic, diction, and content choices.

Another way I demonstrate writing is to THINK ALOUD. As we work on the chalk, white, or SMART board, students hear me ask questions and think about my next writing moves; they get to see and understand – and participate – in my choices to make the writing better.

4. USE SENTENCE STARTERS

Can you imagine not knowing where else to go with your ideas? Our students run into this all the time, so we need to help them out! As they’re writing, we encourage and propel their thoughts though providing SENTENCE STARTERS and STOCK LANGUAGE.

Brandon could never get his thoughts out. He’d be able to get a few words on the page, but after I taught him how to use STOCK LANGUAGE and vocabulary, his thoughts started flowing. I’m telling you – it works!

5. INTEGRATE VOCABULARY

Many times as English Language Arts [ELA] teachers, we limit the vocabulary we teach to what’s available in students’ reading. Students would then only be able to use those few words in those limited contexts.

Adding a regular list of VOCABULARY WORDS to their curriculum gives students a better chance to understand what they read and how they write.

Remind them to include, include, include as they write for you, whether it be bell ringers and class openers, assignments, essays, short response assignments, or exit tickets, let them use the words. Guess what?! Sometimes, you don’t need even check each and every proper use of the words, as the students use it, they’ll start to realize the proper usage. They’ll be so excited as they learn new words!

6. USE A RUBRIC

As we foster budding writers, students will need scaffolding! They’ll need to know how and where to place words and punctuation; this is where a template comes in. This empowers students, as they fill in their words and produce a product for you!

Rubrics also make our reading of student work easier. Utilizing these rubrics allows both students and teacher to know when the writing is great or not up to par.

Does this evidence make sense here? Did Sally answer the prompt? Is the use of the semi-colon correct? All these questions can be answered swiftly with a rubric.

Watch out, however, rubrics may limit creativity and have students only giving what’s on the list of ‘right’ things to do; they may limit their own writing greatness!

7. USE WRITER’S WORKSHOPS

So I walk around and meet them where they are. You! You guessed it! I sit with them sometimes. Also, I have workshop style essay exams. I would literally help them structure their introductions, body, and conclusions as they test.

“Nope, that can’t work there!” “Yes! Your second sentence works better here; I love it!” This can be heard in my class as students all work individually.

As well, Writer’s Workshops projects allow students to use what they’ve learned about writing in a fun, adventurous way! Our students don’t have to be relegated to only writing essays to show their mastery of writing skills, they can actually utilize their skills in projects that cater to them and their levels of interest and writing! Watch your students become WRITING SUPERHEROES!

Successful hero wears red mask and cape, raises arms, shows biceps, demonstrates courage and strength, looks serious and confident, poses against blue wall. Real superhero ready to help you.

Can we get our students to write and write well? Most definitely! Scaffolding from parts of speech, sentence structure, and paragraph building to full-blown essays and research papers can happen! Use these tips as I did and you’ll see greater writers develop right in front of your eyes!

Maximize Your Prep Time

Making the Most of Lesson Planning Time

Confused bearded teacher. Unsure of what to do once his planning period has begun. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how:

We’ve all been there – the wanting to get something accomplished, but nothing comes to us to get anything productive done? We have the time and the desire to do it, but we are just overwhelmed and aren’t sure exactly where to start. Well, here are a few things I do that could help you tremendously.

1. KNOW WHAT’S EXPECTED

Whether you prep or plan by yourself or with your grade level peers, you need to know what is expected of you. Now, this goes without saying that your state, district, school, and even your own students have requirements and expectations that you must meet.

Your state, district, and school, usually provide standards [some use the national Common Core Standards].

With this vital information, go into these prep sessions with what you expect your students to accomplish by the end of the lesson. Are are expected to teach the ‘CH’ sound, polynomials, how to sketch still life, the Declaration of Independence,’ or how to write a paragraph. Once you know what you are expected to teach at this time of the semester or year, then you have the beginning of your road map to your prep time journey.

Know What’s Expected by your State, District, School, Department, and even your students.

2. HAVE A PLAN BEFORE YOU BEGIN PREPPING

No! I am not a fan of teachers using their personal time to plan BEFORE they actually go to their planning period on campus. Can you believe that’s expected in my building? Sheesh!

I do, however, believe that you need to have an idea of what you want to accomplish in your classroom that day, week, month or the period of time you’re planning for.

When you begin planning, go ahead and write your ideas of content down, activities you plan to use or you were thinking about, materials needed, etc. This knowledge allows a more streamlined and focused prep period.

Organize your week’s and day’s agenda, either in your head or typed/written up. List all the standards, activities, time required, students needs (IEPS, lower learners, advanced students, etc.]. Having all this information ready beforehand gives you a shorter time in your prepping period.

3. BE PREPARED

hEY! gO grab your materials, your laptop, your copies, your list of standards! You don’t want to have to keep getting up and randomly opening up documents and searching emails from your lead teacher to start planning for the week of instruction.

Go ahead and bring these items or at least know where they are when needed.

Things like a calendar of school events, holidays, and activities that may impede a lesson, resources you need to scaffold instruction, list of academically advanced students, list of supplemental resources, etc. are all needed to help make your time of planning more effective and more efficient.

I once had a co-worker who always had to go to her classroom to ‘get something’ in order for us to prep our lessons together as a department [we prepped in one teacher’s classroom]. This slowed us down and inconvenienced each of us who could have been grading or completing other tasks in our own rooms. Don’t be that teacher.

Relax and relate with your Colleagues.

4. RELAX, REFLECT, and RECONNECT

WHOA! Can you imagine finishing up your planning sessions early, so you can accomplish other tasks within a reasonable time? That would be AMAZING!

Another thing that schools and districts neglect or forget is that teacher reflection is key. Teachers need time to sit and reflect on what worked, what didn’t work, or what needs to be done to improve student retention, student behavior, etc. in their classrooms.

Likewise, teachers need to reconnect with other teachers. Especially in the upper levels, teachers get so used to working by themselves, they forget that they all share the same students. Getting key information about what works with little Peter in their class could possibly help with little Peter or even jolly Johnny in other classes.

Yes, Ideas can come about from reconnect with others in your building!

Studies show that teachers feel isolated, so just shooting the breeze and interacting with other instructors while in the building without the pressure of planning a lesson garners connection and insight into the learning situation.

When teachers reflect and reconnect with other educators in their building, they can then…you guessed it…relax.

A relaxed educator always does better educating our students. When stress is alleviated, the teachers shine! Yes, Ideas can come about from teachers who are relaxed. When Ms. Smith and Mr. Thomas can sip on their coffee and catch up on the latest news item or make that phone call to secure that doctor’s appointment for an ailing spouse, it leads to a better day of teaching and instructing.

I mean – isn’t that what it’s all about?

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO AND SUBCRIBE AND COMMENT. LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION!

Encouraging Responsibility in Students

Yes, taking responsibility and developing these skills are needed today!

The Angry Teacher

So I had a conversation with some teachers in my building and some were stressed out, as we all are. So we were all comparing our reasons for the stress; these reasons stemmed from belligerent students and their parents, tone-deaf administration or more district expectations without compensation or caring. With that said, what a few of the teacher then commented, threw me for a loop.

It was at the end of the grading period, and one teacher said, she had to start filing all the students’ assignments in their classroom folders. I was like “What?!” But, that wasn’t even the clincher!

Another teacher chimed in, “I know right. I’ve gotta get that done today!”

Laides and Gents, I have a problem with teachers filing students work themselves, and here’s why: we need to teach students to be responsible.

I chalked it up to these teachers not knowing better, so I…

View original post 784 more words

Encouraging Responsibility in Students

So I had a conversation with some teachers in my building and some were stressed out, as we all are. So we were all comparing our reasons for the stress; these reasons stemmed from belligerent students and their parents, tone-deaf administration or more district expectations without compensation or caring. With that said, what a few of the teacher then commented, threw me for a loop.

It was at the end of the grading period, and one teacher said, she had to start filing all the students’ assignments in their classroom folders. I was like “What?!” But, that wasn’t even the clincher!

Another teacher chimed in, “I know right. I’ve gotta get that done today!”

Laides and Gents, I have a problem with teachers filing students work themselves, and here’s why: we need to teach students to be responsible.

I chalked it up to these teachers not knowing better, so I thought about it. Let me help because maybe they just don’t know.

Here are some ways to encourage responsibility in students:

Have students help each other while you attend to those who really need re-enforcement and remediation.
  1. GIVE STUDENTS CLASSROOM TASKS

Assign tasks to students, individually or even as a class. Just like my example above, when students have work that needs to be filed, I have THEM do it! I tell them exactly what to put in their classroom folders, and they are able and capable to do it.

You may want to do it by date, type of assignments, etc, but your students can and will file their own work. Yes, even the most problematic students will work for you. I teach high school, so maybe that’s an easier set of students, but I never have to stress about filing at the end of the grading period. Try it!

2. ALLOW OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS TO ORGANIZE THEMSELVES

We all know that organization is a part of growing up and adulting and a needed skill that we learn over time, so lets start our kids out with developing this skill.

Students have to remember when and where and what items to use for each class, so we’re already on our way to teaching organization.

I have my students, yes high schoolers, keep a binder that they must bring to class. They store and [ORGANIZE] their notes, handouts, vocabulary lists, tests, quizzes and exams, author sheets, project, and other important paperwork in these huge binders.

As students must organize their lives outside of the classroom with test scores, birth certificates, due dates, receipts, etc. this one act helps them to clean up theirs (see what I did there?) 🙂

Another thing I do that I suggest you do as well is have students use the same heading on their assignments. My students must place their names, class period, date, and the title of the assignment on the upper left-hand corner of their page, so that I [and them] and easily recognize the assignment and date something was assigned; I’m telling you–it’s the beginning of greatness!

Getting students to use STICKY NOTES, selective highlighting, note taking and annotation, locating designated portions of the class for supplies, dropping off homework, etc. are all ways to develop organizational skills in students.

3. ALLOW STUDENTS TO MESS UP!

Yes, I said what I said! Have students mess up! Some students will pass out, if they do something that’s not worthy of an A, or they do something that they’ve never done before and do not do their best work when completing it! However, this is something that will be good for them.

Students need to know that in the process of developing, there will be moments of messing up and doing something poorly to become better later.

For instance, as I try to get students to organize their essays, and I give them constructive criticism, they panic (oh, did I mention I teach Honors and Advanced Placement students as well?) They’ve always been great at being students, so they are on the verge of passing out when you tell them that this needs revisiting and you can fix this to get a better grade.

Hold students accountable too, when they mess up! As much as we will encourage and share our stories of failure to relate to the students, we must remind them that failure is a part of success!

I will continue to remind my students that “guys, until we learn to how to use sticky notes or planner, than we will not be perfect. The more we practice, the better we’ll get.”

Encourage students to help other students

4. ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO HELP OTHERS

Indeed, students need to help others for community service hours to graduate (at least in my district). So they tend to do this; however, they have the wrong motivation!

We need to encourage kids to want to help others from the bottom of their hearts. I believe this helps them develop a sense of responsibility to and for others.

They tend to want to keep helping even after they’ve reach their require community service hours for graduation.

In my class, I have toy drives, clothes drives, food drives, volunteering at a local homeless shelter and a local pet shelter, cleaning up the community…things that will mean something to them. They get to directly see how their help benefits someone else. That’s a good and life-changing thing.

Now, parents, older siblings, mentors, teachers, please allow students to learn to be responsible through these 4 actionable ideas. They’ll be the better for it!

Hey, did I miss anything? Drop it in the comments below.

Drop The Act!!

In England it is against the law to sleep on the streets! According to the vagrancy act anyone sleeping in a public place or begging for survival, can and will be held in custody.

Drop The Act!!