Friday, September 30, 2011

All Spanish Products on Sale until Oct. 4th!!

In Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, I decided to put ALL of my 19 Spanish TPT products on Sale until Tuesday, October 4th as a little gift to Spanish teachers.  Here is some information about my Top 3 Selling Spanish Products:

Remember playing MASH when you are in school? Have your students play in Spanish in order to practice the future tense, profession, residence, and transportation vocabulary. This activity will get your students' interest and they will enjoy sharing their future with the rest of the class!

Show "Casi Casi" in your Spanish classes! Your students will love it! The activity includes 17 fill in the blank comprehension questions in Spanish and also includes an answer key.

Teach your students some new vocabulary for Easter in Spanish! This document includes Easter vocabulary and expressions, and a crossword and word scramble with answer keys. Feliz Pascua!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

French and Spanish Halloween Vocabulary and Activities!

 I posted a new Spanish Holiday product today! Go to Teachers pay Teachers or Teacher's Notebook to see Spanish Halloween Vocabulary and Activities. The product includes 35 vocabulary words with clipart, blank Halloween Bingo cards and directions for how to print off your own Halloween bingo cards online, bingo word list, wordsearch, word scramble, and directions for making virtual Halloween Greeting cards in Spanish. Feliz Halloween! 

There is also a French version of this product on my page that I posted a few weeks ago. 

TPT 10 Free Downloads featuring my "10 Active Games" Freebie!

Make sure you stop by TeacherPayTeachers to check out this week's 10 Free downloads. You will see that my "10 Active Games" product has been featured this week. I posted the product for grades 6-11, but I received some feedback from an elementary teacher that they are also applicable to lower grades. I edited the grades to now show 3rd-11th grade. 

Incorporate movement into your class to increase learning! Games that incorporate movement can help increase academic performance and long-term memory, help awaken the mind, and are fun and engaging. Includes explanations for how to play the Plunger/Flyswatter Game, Concept Relays, Paper Basketball, Catch and Throw, Snowball Fight, Hot Potato, Tic-Tic-Boom, Spelling Race, the Circle Game, and Magnetic Darts. These games were some of my students' favorites!

(Linking up to Mind's in Bloom "Get Those Kids Moving Link Up!"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Technology Template Bundle on Sale for National Keep Kids Creative Week!

My 3rd best selling item is on sale for only $6.50 for the next week for National Keep Kids Creative Week! Teaching with technology has many great benefits such as making assignments more engaging and interactive, increasing interest and motivation, facilitating the transfer from teacher-centered to learner-centered environments, enhancing the authenticity of the learning process, and helping develop 21st Century Learning Skills. All of the activities in this bundle also give students the ability to be creative as they choose the design for their final product! 

This document contains student instruction sheets/templates for eight popular websites used in education: Wordle, Glogster, Wallwisher, Stripgenerator, Bombay TV, Blabberize, Voicethread, and Xtranormal. Just write in the concept students should demonstrate understanding of in the assignment and you are all set! The document also contains a list of links for teaching ideas for the sites, and checklists and rubrics for most of the assignments. Checklists can be used as a formative assessment check on a rough draft, and rubrics can be used for the final summative assessment. 

Go to the Teacher 2 Teacher Blog to see more creative thinking assignments on sale on Teachers Pay Teachers, or add your own assignment!

Hispanic Heritage Month Resources

As you may know, Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15-October 15th!  I have been coming across many activities online for Hispanic Heritage Month that you can use across the curriculum, so I put them all together in one spot for you. Here are they are- 

September Instructional Resource Update

Each month as Student Achievement Coach, I send an email to the teachers in my building that includes some of my favorite resources for teaching that I have come across recently. Since I now have the Blog, I'll be sharing those updates with my followers as well! I have already blogged about some of the items below in the last month, but in case you missed them, or prefer to see them all together, here they are!

Useful Documents:
1. FREE Facebook "Like" Comment Notes - Fun for Everyone! 

(By Rachel Lynette of TPT) Bring Facebook to real life!  Fill in the blank on the card with your name. Write a comment about something that you like that one of your students did. Give them the note. Great positive behavior support technique. You could also have the students write them for each other. 

2. The Learning Pyramid. Check out this Pyramid of Average Learning Retention Rates based on the learning activity. It is interesting how lecture comes in last at 5%, and Teaching Others (90%) and Learning by Doing (75%) come in the highest.

Great Websites!
3. Mastery Connect makes it simple to share and discover common formative assessments and track mastery of state and Common Core standards. Built-in grading tools save teachers time. Looking for an assessment based on the new common core standards? Search for assessments that other teachers have already made! This is also a great way to share common core common assessments in your PLC and across the district. FREE to join!

4. Stroome Web's first collaborative online video editing platform! Mix it up. Mash it out. Edit videos online anytime, anywhere with anyone. Upload your own footage or remix thousands of user-submitted -- for free.  Work on projects alone, or with others. Kind of like Google Docs, but with videos. This is a great site for group video projects because students can collaborate on the same video.

5. Class Dojo Manage behavior and keep your students engaged with ClassDojo. I think this system would be especially good for Freshmen Experience Teachers and 9th grade teachers. I think that our students will enjoy it, and it is a good tool for positive behavior support. It is also a good way for teachers to track student participation.

Class Dojo Tutorial on YouTube

6. Online Stopwatch
Do you need to keep your students on task? Try putting this digital stop watch up on your projector screen. It is nicer than a regular time because your students can see how much time is left. Good for pacing individual, pair, or group work.

7. Differentiation Sqworl Sqworl makes it easy to organize and share multiple links with just one url. Easy and clean visual bookmarking. I created this Sqworl on Differentiation for one of the PLCs here. It contains 13 useful sites related to differentiation. Using Sqworl in the Classroom YouTube Video

Educational Apps:
8. Common Core Standards App-FREE

Educational Articles:
9. 5 Simple Steps to get Students to do Work (even if they don't want to)

10. 6 Traits of Quality Pre-Assessments These tips might be useful for teachers of honors classes, or classes with a wide range of mixed ability.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Google Voice and Remind 101-Options for texting students and parents

There are a few great options out there for using text messages to communicate with students and parents. I know that it is not something that many of us ever expected doing in the past, but it does have a lot of advantages. Students are always looking at their cell phones and other mobile devices more than their school planners. Why not take advantage of that and remind them of important tests and project due dates on their phones? Also, it is a helpful option for shy students to have the opportunity to ask questions that they were afraid to ask in class. I know we have all also played phone-tag with parents, and always have work email coming out of our ears! Texting with parents can save you time making phone calls and sending emails. Here are a couple of videos to tell you more about Google Voice and remind101.

Remind101 from remind101 on Vimeo.

Monday, September 19, 2011

20% off my Technology products on TPT! One day only!

I very recently started getting more involved in the Twitter educational community, and I love it! There are so many great tips being passed around that it is difficult to keep up. If you have not already joined Twitter, I highly recommend it to all educators. You can follow me @LizsLessons.

As a way to celebrate reaching 100 followers on Twitter today, and to thank them, I decided to have a 20% off sale for one day only on Tuesday, September 20th. Twenty-three of my TPT products will be on sale! All of my products involving technology, as well as my number one selling product "Texts & Tweets-Fun Formative Assessments, and the Spanish version of "Texts & Tweets" (French Texts & Tweets is Free!). 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Favorite Free Download of the Week!

My favorite freebie from this week's Top 10 is FREE Evaluate Functions 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe Game by the Enlightened Elephant! If you are a secondary Math teacher you should go check it out. Here is the product descriptions:"Your students can practice evaluating funtions while having fun with this 3-D tic-tac-toe game! This 3-D game is challenging and fun; Students will ask to play again!Players must evaluate functions correctly before marking an X or O in a chosen square. Printable game board comes in color and black and white. Directions and answer key included."

If you are interested in playing Tic-Tac-Toe in your French class, and you are looking for a fun way to get your students to practice conjugating verbs, try my French Verb Tic-Tac-Toe activity! Students conjugate verbs instead of using X's and O's. The document comes with a blank template that you can use to create your own game using the verb tense and verbs of your choice. It also includes 14 pre-made templates for French I verbs in the present tense including -ER verbs, -IR verbs, -RE verbs, accent verbs, and irregular verbs.

"Like" my Facebook page Liz's Lessons!

By following other teacher's Blogs, Twitter feeds, and Facebook pages I have gained access to so many great resources, and found out about some amazing websites to use in education! If you have not done so yet, I hope that you will stop by my Facebook page and "Like" it :) You can check out my Facebook page here! If you want to find out about even more great teacher Blogs and Facebook pages join the Linky Party that "The Lesson Plan Diva" has going right now.

10 FREE Downloads in TPT Newsletter Vol. 69 and New Buyer Rewards Program!

Check out this weeks Top 10 FREE Downloads on TpT in this week's newsletter.  In the newsletter you will also find information about the New Buyers Reward Program the site is working on called TpT Credits.  The program will be retroactive to purchases made since August 1, 2011 so you can still go back and earn points for your August purchases. Here's how it will work:

  • You'll earn 1 TpT Credit for every $1 you spend on TpT. 
  • You only get the Credits after you Provide Feedback--both a fair rating and a fair comment--on the items that you purchase. We will round up for you, too!
  • Every 100 TpT Credits is worth $5 that you can apply towards future TpT purchases. 
(Image by Ocal )

ClassDojo for Realtime Behavior Management

Wow! The website was shared on TpT this week and I'm super excited about it!  It looks like an amazing tool for classroom management, and for positive behavior support. I think that students will really respond to it. It can be used to:

  • Improve student behavior and engagement by awarding and recording real-time feedback.

  • Print or email beautiful behavior reports to easily engage parents and staff.

  • Save time by recording behaviors and accomplishments right in class, with one click: NO extra data entry required.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

FRIDAY FREEBIE! 10 Active Games-Incorporate Movement into your class to increase learning!

I posted a new Free product, "10 Active Games", for you this week that I hope you will enjoy! Movement in the classroom can help increase academic performance, long-term memory, and participation.  It also helps awaken the mind.  Most importantly, our students find games fun and engaging! The product includes explanations for how to play the Plunger/Flyswatter Game, Concept Relays, Paper Basketball, Catch and Throw, Snowball Fight, Hot Potato, Tic-Tic-Boom, Spelling Race, the Circle Game, and Magnetic Darts. There games were some of my students' favorites! 

(Linking up this activity to Minds in Bloom "Get Those Kids Moving Link Up!")

4 Free Websites to Use for Voice Activities in the Classroom

Earlier this week I shared some information with you about the website (1) Blabberize that students can use in your classroom in order to create talking images.  They can record their voice through a microphone on the computer, upload a voice track that they have already created, or record their voice from their phone! Here are four more sites that are great for voice activities:

(2) Voki With Voki students can create a free speaking avatar.  They can customize their avatar and add their voice via phone, microphone, text to speech or by uploading a file. Then they can post their Voki on any blog or website.
(3) A third option is Fotobabble which students can use to make their photos talk. They can share their own story about a personal photo, or information they have learned about an educational topic related to the photo.  Like many of these other web pages, students can share the talking photos they create on Twitter, Facebook, or via email or other social networks.

(4) Google Voice is another good site.  For Google Voice you will first need to have a Gmail account (unlike what it says in the video below you no longer need an invitation to get an account). Once you set up Google Voice, you can give your students your Google Voice phone number. Students can then set up their own Google Voice accounts in order to call you or text you at that number for free from their computer.  If you had an assignment where you wanted students to respond orally to a prompt, they could call you and leave you a voicemail on Google Voice. You have the choice to listen to the voicemail, read the script from the voicemail in your Google Voice account, or have the script from the message emailed to you.  You can also use this site for games in class. Students can text you answers to questions from their phones, or from computers and you can project them up on the screen.  Google Voice is also a great way to keep in touch with parents and students without giving out your main phone number.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Teacher-Centered vs. Student-Centered Classroom

This year I would like to continue to support some teachers in moving from a teacher-centered classroom to a more student-centered class.  I feel like this tends to more challenging at the high school level than at the middle school, or elementary level. There is still a lot of lecturing going on in high schools, and it would be great to see more student inquiry.

I came across this Learning Pyramid today that includes average learning retention rates from seven different types of learning. I think that it is a great visual for teachers to keep in mind while creating lesson plans. This chart showed a low 5% learning retention rate from "lecture" alone. The highest learning retention rate was 90% for "teaching others", and the second highest was "practice by doing" at 75%. 

We often use the "learning by doing" technique for learning outside of the classroom. For example, I know that if I want to learn how to make a new recipe, I need to actually make it myself and not simply watch someone else make it, or it will not stay in my long term memory. In addition, when I want to learn how to get to a new location, I have to drive the route on my own, and I will not remember the way if I am just watching from the passenger seat. I think that if we put our students in the driver's seat more often in the classroom it will increase learning retention rates.

I also liked to see that "discussion group" came in as the third best technique with a 50% retention rate. Many students love to work in groups, and to have the opportunity to discuss and share ideas. We need to capitalize on this technique that seems to increase student interest and motivation, and that also increases learning. I think this technique is used more often in some subject areas than others and it would be great to see it used in all courses.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Examples of Glogster Projects in Biology

If you have not tried using Glogster in your classroom yet, I would definitely recommend it! You can find a Glogster Template and Rubric on my TPT page. Here are a couple of examples from one of the Biology teachers in my school-Hemochromatosis Glog, & Progeria Glog.

FREE Blabberize Template and Example from Spanish Class

 If you have not downloaded it yet, be sure to check out my FREE Blabberize Template on TPT! It's a great activity to use in any course, and would help you to meet the speaking standards for the new Common Core. I also included an example of student work from a Spanish III class. I passed along the template to another teacher in our building, and her students used the site for a unit on the environment and the subjunctive tense. They turned out very cool!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Arte / Música Lady Gaga vs. Salvador Dalí (Comparaciones)

¿En qué se parece Lady Gaga a Salvador Dalí?  Great FREE compare/contrast activity by Zachary Jones.

Differentiation Resources

I made a "Differentiation" Sqworl this week for the Biology PLC at my school. I thought I'd pass it along in case you are interested in some good websites for differentiation! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Student Achievement Coach Website

In addition to my Liz's Lessons Blog where I post tips and documents for teachers everywhere, I have a Student Achievement Coach website,,  that I use as a resource for the teachers at my school. The pages that might be most useful to you are the "Documents and Templates" page, and the "Resources" page. On the "Document and Templates page", I post free resource, including links to great free products on TPT! On my "Resources" page, you will find links to great educational websites for all subject areas.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

FREE Graphic Organizers in English and Spanish on EduPlace!

Help your students children classify ideas and communicate more effectively. Use graphic organizers to structure writing projects, to help in problem solving, decision making, studying, planning research and brainstorming. Research shows that using graphic organizers leads to an increase in student achievement. Check out the sites below:

Graphic Organizers in English: 
Graphic Organizers in Spanish:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Stripgenerator Comic Strip Activity Templates

If you are interested in trying comics in your class, I have Stripgenerator Activity Templates available on TPT for only $1.50 in English, French, and Spanish!

Try Online Comics in your Class!

Ideas for Using Comics:
  • Have students practice vocabulary or grammar concepts in a foreign language class.
  • Students can make the comic strip characters act an important scene from a novel in an English class, or an important period in history in a Social Studies Class
  • Your students can have the comic strip characters explain a concept in a Math or Science class
  • Have students use comics are a beginning of the year activity to tell you about themselves. 
  • Use comics for student goal setting. They can have the characters explain their goals.
Advantages of Using Comics:
  • Comics are a great way for your students to practice digital graphic writing skills. 
  • Comics are helpful to visual learners.
  • More advantages-
  • Comics are FUN! 

        NEW SPANISH FREEBIE! Toy Vocabulary, Online Shopping, and Bingo!

        Have your students practice and expand their toy vocabulary by "shopping" on the authentic Spanish website! Students imagine that they have participated in a fund raiser to collect money in order to buy toys for children in need. They have been put in charge of picking out and buying the toys online. The document also includes tips for using the activities in the classroom, a vocabulary sheet with 21 words with images, a bingo word list, a blank bingo board, and instructions for making your own FREE "Ninez" Bingo cards online! Great for intermediate classes during a unit on childhood and the imperfect tense.

        Friday, September 2, 2011

        FREE Item! Think-Pair-Share Formative Assessment!

        I recently updated and added to one of my free items. It now has information about formative assessments, and ideas for doing the activity with white boards or online. If you have downloaded it in the past and want the new version, or if you would like to get it for the first time please go visit my store!

        19 Ways to use Wordle in the Classroom!

        Since I have a new Back to School Activity out right now that uses Wordle, I would like to give you some more ideas for how to use it in your classrooms this year.

        El Imperfecto

        Here is another great slideshare presentation by Paloma that uses the imperfect tense.

        Errores Comunes en Espanol

        One of my former Spanish colleagues helped to make this presentation on common errors in Spanish. It looks great! You might also want to check out her Blog at if you are a Spanish teacher that likes to teach with technology!

        "Teaching the iGeneration"-More ideas for Diigo in the classroom!

        So earlier this week I mentioned how Diigo can be a great tool for teachers and students. If you are interested in using Diigo, or more technology in your classroom you definitely need to get the great FREE online reproducibles from the book "Teaching the iGeneration"! They include information on judging quality websites, using Diigo for research, blogs, wikis, persuasive writing, asynchronous conversations, and more! Here are some examples of the free reproducibles from the chapter Managing Information in the 21st Century: 
        Using Feed Readers to Organize Student Thinking
        Diigo Social Bookmarking Directions for Teachers
        Diigo Social Bookmarking Directions for Students
        Social Bookmarking Roles
        Diigo Shared Annotation Directions for Teachers
        Diigo Shared Annotation Directions for Students
        Shared Annotation Roles
        Additional Information Management Tools and Resources

        Thursday, September 1, 2011

        New FREE item on TPT! French Texts & Tweets, Fun Formative Assessments!

        Check out my new French FREEBIE! The English version of this product for all subject areas is my #1 selling item.

        Labor Day Sale! 15% off all of my TPT Products!

        I'm throwing a Labor Day sale this weekend from Friday 9/2-Monday 9/5! All of my products will be 15% off  so don't miss this chance to save some money. I know it will also be a good chance for teachers to get some more back to school items for the districts that start after Labor Day.

        (Image Labor Day By: Mohamed Ibrahim)

        Diigo Video Tutorial

        Diigo V5: Collect and Highlight, Then Remember! from diigobuzz on Vimeo.


        What is Diigo? It's is social bookmarking website which allows signed-up users to bookmark and tag web-pages. It also allows you to highlight any part of a webpage and attach sticky notes to specific highlights or to a whole page. These annotations can be kept private, shared with a group within Diigo or a special link forwarded to someone else.

        Diigo  is a great teacher tool and student tool. I use it to be able to access my educational bookmarks whether I'm working on my school computer or my laptop at home. Students can also use it for research papers and projects to keep track of all of their resources. I love it and highly recommend becoming a member. You can join as an educator and also follow the group "Diigo in Education" and get daily email updates on great websites to use in your classroom!

        Here is the link to my Diigo Library. Yesterday as I worked on my  new blog I bookmarked some good websites that I found for clipart and photos. Most of them are royalty-free and for commercial use. If you search for the tag clipart you will be able to see all the sites I saved yesterday.

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