Thursday, May 20, 2021

It's that time of year again! STATE TEST TIME!

  Do you have a state mandated reading comprehension test for your course?  At this point you have done everything you can do to increase their ability to read, now it is time to supercharge their test taking ability!

There is no charge for this activity, just download it from the Extreme English Teacher Teachers-Pay-Teachers store.  If you like it, I would appreciate a positive review.  Those really do help!

Standardized reading tests are a joke, if you ask me.  We are requiring students to spend an hour and a half to two hours focusing on boring reading passages. What this activity does well is to give students the ability to focus a little longer to get another passage in before their brain fries from your oh-so-wonderful state test.  The methods in there were honed in my classroom and I consistently had my non-motivated non-readers score higher than expected on the NC English II EOC and the NCFE for English IV (my scores were in the blue repeatedly, if you are a fellow NC teacher and knows what that means).  The method works! 

If you used it, let me know in the comments and again - positive reviews on Teachers-Pay-Teachers is ALWAYS APPRECIATED!

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Merging Quizzes in Quizizz

 It's no secret I love this website (check out why it is a great site here) and with remote students, I have found myself relying on it more and more.  It is the easiest way to give a remote test plus it is grade immediately and I can easily reset it for makeups and retests.

But now I am looking at making an exam for my mythology class to take remotely.  Unlike my more involved English IV exam, I don't mind this one being multiple choice.  So I'm looking to Quizizz.

It's a good move for me since they have taken all their tests in Quizizz, so they are used to this format, but I am busy grading research papers, so the idea of taking more time to create a new exam that will only be used this one time is less than thrilling.

That's when I found that you can merge different Quizizzes together.  To do this, create a new quiz and find the TELEPORT option at the top of the screen.

Next you can search your own Quizizzes or any of the public ones by typing in a search keyword.  Unclick the PUBLIC QUIZZES option if you only want to search your Quizizzes.  

Once you select a Quizizz, then you just choose which questions you wish to add.  You can always go back later and re-order the questions to fit your new format.

Do you have a different way of remote testing?  Leave a comment!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Inference Using "Ordeal By Cheques"

We are doing the research paper, so I am strapped for time to update the blog right now, but here is an oldie that you might not have seen.

One of my son's middle school teachers gave this to him and I think it is absolutely brilliant.  I've used it ever since in my ninth grade short story unit.  Students who do not read well, can handle this one.  It is an excellent story to work inference skills.  I like to put it on the SmartBoard and do the discussion about what is really happening and who are the characters.  I do have to review a little bit about what are the components of a check, since these objects are becoming obsolete.

"Ordeal by Cheques" by Wuther Crue is a visual story that must have the entire plot inferred as we only get to see a series of checks written over a period of 28 years. The checks look like this:

Over the course of the story, little things change, such as the name that signs the check, the date, etc.  The students are left to figure out why these check are being written and who these people are that are having checks written to them.  Certain people get checks in the same amount while some checks are way too high for the time period.

Here is a copy of the story.  It is not long and if you teach inference skills or short stories, I encourage you to give it a shot in your class.  Let me know if you have any stories similar to this.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Archie the Future-Telling Oracle

 I'm sure by this point you've seen this little gem. I have verified with Archie Comcis that it is indeed true and not Photoshopped.  

Look at the following panel:

Veronica and Betty skip school, making sure to fool the teacher first:

Ah, for the days when thought and care was put into deceiving the teacher.  So much more respectable than just logging in and walking away.

The kids even have detention rooms in their house (their closets) in case they get into trouble!

You may see a similar panel but with the year 2104 AD on it.  That was in a reprint in 2015.  I guess the publishers wanted to to still feel futuristic!  The comic originally ran in February of 1997 in Betty #46.  If you want to read the whole thing, Archie Comics has you covered on their website!  Read it here!

Monday, April 26, 2021

Norse Mythology

 If you have a chance to teach Norse mythology in your class, do your best to get your hands on a copy (or even class set!) of Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology.

It's Gaiman, so you know it is fantastically written.  Should you do this, you are welcome to use my Quizizz questions to give a story check up:

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Dally Not, Sirrah! Talk Like Shakespeare Day Is Upon Us!

Tomorrow is Shakespeare's birthday - and TALK LIKE SHAKESPEARE DAY!  Aye, a great day to annoy thy students, indeed!

Let them insult each other with Shakespearean insults. You probably already have a version of this pdf somewhere.

And for your own enjoyment, here is a comedian doing the Shakespeare version of Three Little Pigs:

Monday, April 19, 2021

Blooket: An Update


A few months ago, I published a review of the gaming site Blooket.  I cannot tell you enough how awesome this site is for alternatives to Kahoot!  I have explored it a bit more and want to point out two more features.

1. You can give students a link to let them practice on their own time.  This is pretty neat way to encourage them to study.  You can also increase the chances to study for a test by maybe giving a few extra credit points if they can send you a screenshot of a particular score or higher (if you are into extra credit points, that is).

2. We tried out a few more of the games in my Mythology class (I always use them to test run material before using it in my English IV class):

  • Tower Defense - You know those mobile game ads where you have an army approaching your castle and you have to build turrets to stop them?  That is what this is.  My students were not as thrilled for this one as the others.
  • Gold Quest - THIS IS AWESOME!  Students answer the questions and when they get the right answer, they get to open one of three chests.  The chest will either give them gold, allow them to steal some gold, or allow them to swap with any player.  What makes this amazing is that the game is on a timer, so they can go for as many questions as they can within a certain minute limit (that you set) or you can say until someone gets x-amount of gold.  This allows slower students to move at their own pace.  It also inflicts a bit of randomness to the game.  Since players can swap gold, then it is possible for the kid who only knows one answer to be able to steal all of the gold away from the number 1 position.  I thought my kids would get angry at that, but they loved it because now my smartest student isn't always winning.
  • Racing - The students liked it, and I was surprised.  It's just a game where when they get an answer right, their character moves forward and when they get it wrong the character moves backward.  First one to the finish line wins.
  • Battle Royale - My favorite - either individuals or teams have lives and they are paired up with another individual or team.  First to get it right keeps the life until finally on one remains.
  • Tower of Doom - A Pokemon Go meets D&D - not my favorite because it is all individual and not class-wide play.
  • Classic - It is you run of the mill online quiz game format.

So, if you haven't yet, give a try.  If you have a Quizlet list, you can just import those terms in and make it even easier on you.