Sixth Graders Design English Vocabulary Games

English Classes at Cygnaeus School


English Classes teacher, Ms. Sandra, was literally over the moon (delighted) this week with the efforts of sixth graders as they demonstrated the exceptional games they had invented and developed for teaching English vocabulary to younger pupils. A couple of the games were so cleverly designed that they could be played incrementally at ever more challenging levels. All of the games were tested by playing and the overall feeling was one of deep satisfaction because the playing rules worked and the games worked.

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3 Picture Books to Love Right Now (plus a giveaway!)

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

If you read my recent #ReFoReMo reverie, you know that I go out on a lot of dates. No, I’m not trying to relive my college days. I’m taking myself out on these dates…TO THE BOOKSTORE. There I get to sip a half-caff vanilla chai latte with a twist and pore over the newest picture books. Of course, I love the ones with a twist. Twist is the word-o-the-day, boys and girls!

So here are three books that I just had to buy. And, I’ll tell you why. PLUS, I’ll even chat with one of the creators and give away his book. Because it’s just that “special.”

In no particular order…

by Todd Tarpley and Danny Chatzikonstantinou


Why I love it:
It’s absurd—imagine an elderly lady in pearls and readers with a stealthy, drop-from-the-ceiling approach. Her grandson Ethan is dubbed the cool kid for his zip-lining…

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Creating Infographics

Smart Chick Teacher's Blog

We are currently studying space in science and I found a really cool new book about it!   Information Graphics: Space, by Simon Rogers.


This book got me thinking…I’ll bet I can do this with my kids!  Infographics are all around us nowadays and I know my students will love making their own with paper piecing and other art supplies.

What is an infographic?

An infographic is an artistic representation of data and information using different elements, such as:

graphs, pictures, diagrams, narratives, timelines, checklists, etc.

Here is one example I found on-line…


Infographics allow us to give information in a more engaging way. There are even free sites where you can make them on-line and then print them.  Click here for just one of these sites!

We are going to get to work making our own inforgraphics about space and I will be sure to share them…

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The Essay Emporium: crowdsourcing English essay titles

Pragmatic Education


See a world in a grain of sand

And a heaven in a wild flower

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand

And eternity in an hour.

William Blake, Auguries of Innocence, 1803


Like a butterfly or a wild flower cupped in your hand, essay titles are small and delicate. Seen differently, though, they are a microcosm of our entire subject.

Chris Curtis eloquently makes the case for the humble essay. Essays are not only a sleek way for teachers to assess understanding; expressing ideas both extensively and concisely sharpens pupils’ thinking and helps them remember what they’re learning.

I began thinking: how might I craft my essay titles a little more deliberately?


So I asked English teachers on twitter to share essay titles they’d recommend. It’s quick and easy to share a question or two, so crowdsourcing seemed a good way of comparing lots of…

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MIDL321 Diversity Awareness VoiceThreads for Teachers


To create equitable and socially-just society teachers need to take responsibility not just for their own learning but also that of their peers. The VoiceThreads below reflect MIDL321 students’ attempt to engage pre-service teachers in the U.S in a professional development activity that will benefit not just the teacher, but also the students they will eventually teach.

1. If you are a pre-service teacher please create a VoiceThread account for yourself at If you are using VoiceThread for the first time you might like to create a cryptic login id, something like Teacher123. Once you get more comfortable with the technology you can use your own name. Similarily, you might like to use a picture of an image, rather than your own picture.
2. Use the links below to access each thread. Listen to the presenter, as well as the comments made by others and leave 2-3 comments on…

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