Thursday, March 10, 2016

Febuary/March Freebies


Leone LessonsA freebie from Leone Lessons Grades 6-7

Students use the familiar story of Little Red Riding Hood to identify & accurately apply plot elements.

Laura Torres

A freebie from Laura Torrres     Grades 5-8

This packet includes an informational article about five parts of the body that humans don't need and why we might have them. After a close reading of the article, students will answer questions on main ideas, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. A coordinating creative writing prompt will help develop critical thinking skills on the topic.

Leah Cleary 


A freebie from Leah Cleary Grades 6-12

Introduce three major Muslim Empires--the Ottomans, the Safavids, and the Mughals--with this webquest. Use the short PowerPoint as a visual when reviewing the answers with students.

History Gal 


A freebie from History Gal         Grades 6-11

Presidents' Day Coloring Page and Word Cloud Activity

Stephanie's History Store



A freebie from Stephanie's History Store  Grades 8-12

Students match a historical woman to an aspect of her life she was known for, use a word bank to match the women and a famous quote of theirs, match the woman's name to her image, and lastly answer two opinion questions. The file includes two versions of the activity, one for US History and one for World Civ/European

Fun ACT Prep


A freebie from Fun ACT Prep         Grades 10-12

Interested in showing the critically-acclaimed film "12 Years a Slave," but worried about its R-rating? This detailed guide will help you to plan a worthwhile viewing of the film.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The In-Through-Out Interactive Notebook Model

by Danielle
TpT Store: Nouvelle

I’m super excited to share how my students use Interactive Notebooks in my 9th grade ELA classroom. I am late to the Interactive Notebook game, but I knew that I wanted to try them this year. I looked around at all of these great middle school products on TeachersPayTeachers, and asked myself how I could get my high school students to “interact” without having them feel like I was babying them.

I read extensively about the left-side/right-side set up, and worked on applying it to my notebook. What could the mnemonic “the left side LOVES student work and the right side is RESTRICTED to teacher input” mean for secondary students? Moreover, how could I decrease the general amount of time lost to cutting and gluing?

I decided to set up every lesson using the In-Through-Out model. This means that my students work in a backwards C on a spread.

The IN (upper left) is a bell-ringer or anticipation activity that helps students focus or activate prior knowledge about a topic. Here are some activities I’ve used with amazing results:

*Explain why “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Disney’s Mulan is ironic.
*Write the first paragraph of a story that starts… (use a prompt for whatever genre you’re studying)
*Defend (character)’s actions in the chapters you read for homework.
*Create a plot diagram of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”.
*List three causes of World War II.

The THROUGH (right side -> teacher input) can be any number of things: scaffolded notes, in-class group work, graphic organizers, annotated close reading, and structured writing practice. I do give my students some foldables because they love cutting and gluing, and these can be easily completed while listening to an audio book. Here are some things we’ve done on the right side:

*Identify the elements of Dystopian fiction and characters.
*Review/Learn drama terminology using a foldable.
*Analyze the diction in a Sandra Cisneros story using an organizer.
*Create a glossary of words found in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
*Annotate an Emily Dickinson poem.
*Analyze a political cartoon using the SCIM method.

The OUT (bottom left) is independent practice or homework. This has really helped focus the work I give students – I have to choose the most important part, because it’s got to fit on the bottom half of the left page. I know that seems like a silly, self-inflicted rule, but think about it: if a student can identify irony in four or five well-constructed examples, do they really need a two-sided worksheet? Here are some quick and effective ways to use the OUT section for independent practice:

*Identify three literary devices in a text.
*Compare two political figures’ opposing views on a given topic.
*Describe the Pathos used in an essay.
*Analyze the meaning of a given quote in a piece of fiction.
*Create three metaphors for school.

The IN-THROUGH-OUT method of setting up the notebook has also helped me with my lesson planning. There is a natural beginning, middle, and end of the spread, and so it’s easy to tell if I need to add more independent practice or add more structure to my input.

I have also facilitated the notebooks in my classroom by taking pictures of my model notebook for our class website. I use sticky notes to put the various task descriptions on the page, and I go ahead and paste in all blank organizers for students. I’ve also started giving students a unit overview that includes what we’ll put on each page.

Next year, I’m going paperless, but I will still stick to the same format as I move to Digital Interactive Notebooks. I think it’s a great way for students to visualize how the pieces of the lesson connect.

This has been a game-changer in my classroom. Students are more focused than ever, and I love that they have an artifact of their learning that endures beyond the end-of-semester paper toss.