Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Decorating a high school or college classroom

One of the things I miss while teaching at the college level is having my own classroom to decorate!  I really enjoy decorating but found it difficult my first year of teaching because most classroom decorations are very elementary in appearance!

I didn't want to decorate in bright primary colors and with cartoons.  I had a feeling that wouldn't jive with my students so I started searching for products that were academically appropriate AND would appeal to the aesthetic tastes of high school students.

Here are some of the products I found.  I love them, and students have responded really well.

Literary Techniques Educational Poster Series: Alliteration, Anthropomorphism, Personification, Hyperbole, Repetition, Onomatopoeia, Simile, Imagery, Metaphor and Foreshadowing

Then, using the general colors found in the posters up top I found this magnetic border to use on my whiteboard to help separate it out for my "I Can" statements, the daily agenda, and homework. I like these much more than using tape on the board.
Learning Resources Magnaborders Circles

I also used this cart- I loved that it was clear instead of the primary colors. I've used it as a turn in bin and as organization for missing work.

I used that color scheme as much as possible in my classroom and it was still bright and fun but didn't feel like a little kid room.  Now, why didn't I take any pictures?!

What do you do to decorate your room for older students?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 7, 2014

YouTube Channels to Follow for your Students!

I love YouTube in the classroom.  Several of my college students actually just told me that like how I use videos to enhance my lessons because it makes it more fun!  (I just use the same videos I do in high school.)  It does mix things up and presents information in a new way.

Here's my list of my top choices for YouTube videos.


Crash Course by Hank and John Green is absolutely one of my favorites.  On this channel, "John Green teaches you US History and Hank Green teaches you Chemistry. Check out the playlists for past courses in World History, Biology, Literature, and Ecology."  They are SO SMART and super engaging.  I love how fast moving they go and the quirky nature of it all.  Here's one of my favorites:

Thug Notes examines classic literature with an urban flair.  I will caution that sometimes the language is a little rough- but I'd be comfortable in most areas using it in high school.  Definitely in college. From their channel: "Yo, what's good? Thug Notes is yo main hookup for classical literature summary and analysis. Maybe you've read the Cliffs Notes. Maybe you even read the book. But you ain't know sh*t until you watched the Thug Notes, homie."  What I really appreciate about these videos is the quality analysis at the end!  He really does look at themes and motifs which is really important!  Here's my favorite: 

Flocabulary  has videos about lots of different topics.  To get the whole library you have to have a paid subscription to their website, but they do offer quite a bit for free on YouTube.  They describe their website as being, "an online library of songs, videos and activities for grades K-12. Hundreds of thousands of teachers use Flocabulary to supplement their instruction and engage students. Our team of artists and educators is not only committed to raising test scores, but also to fostering a love of learning in every child."  I enjoyed this one: 

Individual Videos

Here are some individual videos that I have used with success in the classroom, or plan on using soon!

I like how this covers many devices with real world examples.  I wish there was a slightly different one for Personification though.

This is the History of English in 10 minutes.  It's awesome, but definitely high school or college level.  VERY informative though.

Cute video that discusses some of my pet peeve grammar issues!

And, last but certainly not least, Kid President's Pep Talk for teachers and students!  I love this kid, and all his videos are great but this one is extra special.

What videos do you love?  Check out my post about the videos: "Pigeon:Impossible" and "The Passenger."

Thanks for reading!