Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Senior Skip Day

 Ah!  That magical time is upon us (may have already come and gone for you) when all the seniors disappear leaving your classroom lonely and quiet!  It's the most wonderful time of the year and my second favorite holiday (right after Free Comic Book Day which is coming soon!).

I always have about two or three seniors that show up on these days and since it is during research paper time, we just use it to work on the paper.  One thing I do do with them is a Kahoot! I made just about this special day.  I'll be glad to share it with you here:

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

CCG Buzz


A while back, I showed you a classroom buzzer website called Cosmo Buzz. I like it and the guy who created it is super helpful.  Unfortunately, my school Internet filter (placed on my computer for my safety by the all powerful IT department in my district) doesn't like it.

My DLC shared with us a different site called CCG Buzz.

Start by going here: and enter in your game name.

This will generate a game code that students will need to enter.  Students then go to and enter the code and their name.  They can also enter a team name along with their actual name if that fits your purposes.

They just hit the big circle on their screen.  Red is unbuzzed and green shows buzzed in.Once you open it up for buzzes, it lists the names of your students in order that they buzzed in.

It's nice and simple.  You can keep track of points if you are keeping score.  You may also want to vary it up a bit since the same three kids will constantly buzz in as fast as they can by doing it the radio station way - I'm taking buzzer buzzer 5 this time!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Thesis Statement

My class is in full research paper mode and my class is about to work on their thesis statement today.

I have, for the past several years, relied on this video, which is not mine, to help my regular ed students to understand what it is all about.  Thought I would share it with you.

I also pair it with this worksheet I made using the concepts of the video.  

Happy research paper writing, folks!

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Can Your Students Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?


This activity is not mine, but rather came from the big, juicy, delicious braaaiiiinnnnnssssss of Rob Bowman & Molly Fleming Schauer.  To my knowledge, it is an activity they willingly shared.  The person I got it from got it from another person. I could not find it on Teacher-Pay-Teachers either.  If you know these individuals or know that they sell this activity, let me know, please, so I can take it down.

I did modify it slightly to fit my classroom needs.

The idea is to get your students to write a paragraph on how to survive the zombie apocalypse.  The student is able to take one person they know with them, two objects from their house, and declare a destination where they are headed to survive.  The students must explain why that person will help them survive and what is it about those two objects that will help them survive.  The location also needs to be thought out and explained how it will help the student survive longer than their classmates.

At this point, the students should then get into groups of three or so and decide which paragraph has the best chance of survival.  Give that student some prize.  The group will then clean up the paragraph, fix the grammar errors, and fix the holes in the survival plan.  Each group will then either present their paragraph to you, the class, or some crack panel of judges you assembled from asking other teachers or admin staff (it's a good lesson to do while being observed and make the ap a part of the judge crew).

I have two versions of it.  The first is closest to the original and is designed for AP Lang (fun practice in arguing a point).

The second link is for a regular ed class.  You can use either one for an honors class.  The regular ed one just extends the time allowed to compose the paragraph and gives more guidance to the number of sentences needed for each section.  I know there are differing opinions on guided writing, so if you don't like it, remove that text box.  Personally, my students need the extra guidance.  

This is great to help students understand giving supporting details.  The genius of it is that it will work on almost all age groups.  The original was designed for AP Language and Composition.  However, I mention the idea to my 6th grade daughter (who is not into zombies in the slightest) and she got excited about figuring out who and what she would take.  The she started texting her friends who all got into and tried to be the one who came up with a better solution.  I somehow became the judge when they couldn't decide if something was "doable" or not.  These sixth graders were spending their time thinking out the situation and supporting their assertions like champs.  I may be a bit biased, but I do think my daughter came up with the best location - a high school. Her thought - easy to block off hallways to prevent zombies from getting in, plenty of room, food supplies in the cafeteria, and medical supplies already in the nurse's office.

I can't wait to try it out on my seniors.