The Dog Project

Great Dog Projects for the Classroom

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. – Man’s Best Friend. – Dogs come into out lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog. It merely expands the heart. – Love is a four legged word. – The road to my heart is paved with paw prints. – If you’re lucky… A dog will come into your life, steal your heart and change everything! – The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.

Mattel Foundation Grant

A few years back, a small group of teachers at our school were awarded a grant through the Mattel Foundation. The grant money promoted technology in the school including computers for a lab. The teachers involved in the grant shared the lab by taking students in 45 minute blocks each day. Continue Reading

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Collaborative Discussions

Teaching Students to Use Ground Rules During Classroom Discussions

Classroom discussions are an important part of learning. The Common Core State Standards, address discussions with under the Speaking & Listening strands. This list shows the main standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. Continue Reading

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Stargirl Book Teaching Ideas

Stargirl Teaching Ideas, Free Activity, Book Unit Samples

Stargirl starts on the first day of eleventh grade for our narrator, Leo Borlock. The buzz around the school is, “Did you see the new girl?” Stargirl goes to school for the first time as a tenth grader. Up till then, she had been home schooled. Due to Stargirl’s unusual behavior including carrying her pet rat to school, singing while playing the ukulele at lunch, wearing strange clothing, and so on, most students peg her as an outcast even though she is extremely friendly to everyone. Leo develops a crush on Stargirl. He even follows her one day after school just to see where she is headed. He discovers that she is delivering a congratulations card to a stranger.

After attending a football game in which Stargirl runs across the football field playfully cheering and stirring up the crowd, she is asked to join the cheer leading squad. Students began to like her. At this point, students love Stargirl’s upbeat, quirky actions.  People begin attending the football games, not to watch the game, but to see Stargirl’s playful antics including cheering for the opposing team. By Thanksgiving, Stargirl is the most popular person at the school. Continue Reading

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Malaprops – Humor in Mistakes (A Mini Lesson)

Malapropism - Mini-Lesson including Activities

In 1874, Knowles Shaw wrote the famous hymn “Bringing in the Sheaves.” It was inspired by a verse in Psalm 126. “Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” Most adults know that sheaves are bundles of cereal plants such as wheat or rye. A youngster, however, has never heard the word sheaves. SO, just imagine the youngster singing this hymn in church bellowing out “Bringing in the sheets.” Smiles, chuckles, and out and out laughs can be heard in the church. This is an example of a malaprop.

A malaprop is a mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with an amusing effect. The term came from the eighteenth-century play The Rivals by Richard Sheridan. Throughout the play, Mrs. Malaprop purposely made blunders by mixing up similar sounding words for humor. From this came the new words: malaprop and malproposims. Continue Reading

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Famous People Interviews

Famous People Intertervies

‘Famous People Interviews’ is a hugely successful activity to use in the classroom. During this activity, each student ‘becomes’ a famous person and is interviewed by another student in the class.

This activity not only teaches students to recognize many famous people, but also covers a large number of Common Core State Standards. Students must research, prepare a presentation, speak publicly, and so on. Continue Reading

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Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster

Sweep: the Story of a Girl and her Monster Free Book Unit Samples

  Activities for Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster
from the Reading Crew’s Link-up
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I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944

I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944 Teaching Ideas

In I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944, eleven-year old Paul lived a carefree life until the Nazis invaded his town in Normandy, France. Soon, his father and best friend Gerard were sent to work camps in Germany. Paul sees his favorite teacher, Mr. Leon, get shot and killed right before his eyes. Food and money are scarce. Nazi soldiers are everywhere and life is difficult.

The novel opens at the climax… Continue Reading

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