Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Coming Soon...

I am resetting this blog.  There will be new posts coming soon.  These posts will be aimed at giving you lesson ideas, plans, analyzing resources available, and more all specifically aimed at those teaching students who struggle for any reason - learning disabilities, lack of motivation, low ability, no support at home, etc.

I look forward to this new start for the Extreme English Teacher Blog!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Candy Heart Activity

BoomWriter recently used my candy heart creative writing activity in their newsletter.  The short version - using Valentine's Day candy hearts to create a writing activity for your students.  I use it for mythology (Zeus and Hera on a date).  My students love it, plus they get to eat those nasty chalky candy hearts.  It's a win-win!.  Find out the details by reading the article (it's short!):

Be Mine Lesson Plan

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Advertising in Class

I could also name this post: Making Use of Useless Tech

Several years ago, a company called Channel One installed TVs in all the classrooms in the school.  All we had to do was watch Channel One for the first ten minutes of class (it was some school based news show).  Either our contract was up or they went defunct, I don't know which (this was before I got to this school), either way the TVs are still in the room, but not being used.

Then someone had the great idea of using cable for these TVs.  Since the devices were all connected together, we would have to request that the TV be set to a particular channel in the library (we could only watch what the library was watching).  This worked out great for anyone who was teaching history in the making when something big was happening in the news and for a few other things.  Then cable decided that they wanted to charge the school for every TV in each classroom, so we dropped cable.

Now there is a useless TV in every classroom.  So I decided to turn it into advertisement.  Ads for my class, that is.

What This Is

I used a Google Slides Presentation to pull this off.  On each slide I put something I wanted them to see.  There is a list of Achieve 3000 articles they need to complete, the schedule (especially during the early days when the schedule keeps changing to accommodate homeroom), where we go for fire drill, a grammar lesson, a word of the week, a literary term of the week, homework assignments, and ad for a book we have available for check out in class, ads for upcoming assignments, something weird about an author we will read, etc.  I also put in a meme and an image just to keep it from seeming too educational. 

The slides change up every week.  If I were more on the ball, I would pick a day to switch out different slides instead of changing them all at once.

How I Did This

There is no option in Google presentation to have it automatically run, but if you choose PUBLISH TO WEB, you will be able to set up the time for each slide and have it loop.  So each morning I publish it to the web and put it on my TV, which is now my third display. 

To get the TV to be the third display, I did have to spend a little money.  I paid $30 to get a 75' HDMI cable.  I ran that from the TV, across the ceiling, and down behind my computer.  The only problems I've had with doing this is that sometimes my SmartBoard gets confused on which monitor it should work with.  That's an easy fix.

Other Uses

Now that I have this third display, I can post notes on it while students are watching a movie, put other images or web pages on it that I want them to look at while I'm giving a presentation, stream news on it if something big is happening in the world while we keep class going, and I'm sure there will be other things I'll experiment with as I continue this.

Look - kids are going to get distracted by something.  I would rather it be something I want them to learn.  And it works, too!  The other day, I opened the door for a female teacher who was leaving my room.  When I did, one of my students yelled out, "Chivalrous!" which is our word of the week.  So they are seeing these words, terms, and grammar lessons.  One more way to teach!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Welcome to Extreme English

What is this blog all about?  It's about the greatest teachers in all of academia - the high school English teacher!  Those who read and (hopefully) contribute back are the ones who have raised their already high level to the extreme.

The posts here are to be practical lesson ideas, things English teachers find funny, tech tips, web site reviews, and anything else that we find interesting and useful.

One series of posts I hope to get to and hope to get your help on is Movies Reviewed by Teachers.  We will review movies with the eye of whether or not they are useful to show in class.

Unlike other blogs, this needs to be more interactive.  Comment.  Agree or disagree.  Offer your own ideas.  Tell how you tweaked it.  Submit ideas to be discussed.  Even think about writing a post or two.

So brace yourself, Extreme English Teacher is coming!