We live extremely busy lives as teachers and that means we sometimes forget about things that are actually very interesting to us, especially blog posts. Hey, I get it! I’m guilty of it myself. I get an email or see a post I want to read, don’t have time to do it immediately, and by the time I do have a free moment I’ve forgotten about it. Well, consider this your reminder for these ten posts! All of them had low views in 2022, but I think they deserved a lot more attention. So, in no particular order, I would like to remind you to take a look at these posts you may have missed last year.
Task Cards: Five Alternative Uses
This one really surprised me, especially since it’s sister post, Sort Cards: Alternative Uses, came very close to making the top 10 list for 2022. If you didn’t read this post because you thought it would be the same ideas as the sort card post, you were wrong. The five ideas in this post are quite different from the eight previously shared. The post also contains a couple of free downloads of game boards that can be used with any set of task or sort cards.
This post has actually been getting a little more play since the start of 2023, so possibly it was a victim of timing, but I’m not sure. In the post you’ll find links and downloads for two free vocabulary graphic organizers (not the most exciting activities, I know), a digital vocabulary glossary template, labels to create CD spinners for a word wall game, and links to five other vocabulary practice activity ideas.
This post may have also been a victim of timing as it too was released right about the time school restarted for the year. It contains the directions and cards for Outfit on a Budget Challenge (free!). This is a speaking or writing activity that is especially popular with female students, though most of my male students enjoy it as well. The activity doesn’t require purchasing any special materials and can even include some cross-curricular practice with percentages (another low view post from 2022).
The low number of views on this post really surprised me. It was shared right at the beginning of the school year, which probably had something to do with it, but it includes a free downloadable resource to practice writing from different perspectives and was reshared several times. Usually posts that include free activities (especially writing and speaking activities) and are reshared multiple times end up on or close to my top ten views list, but this one didn’t for some reason. I can’t explain it, but if you missed it the first time around, here’s your reminder!
I suspect this DIY post didn’t get the attention it deserves because it didn’t get shared until the middle of December. Talk about bad timing, but something has to get written and shared then, and this one just happened to draw the short stick. The post talks about a fun activity you can make and use with students to practice matching lower and uppercase letters. Another teacher on Facebook did have the idea of using a label maker to create very small labels and use the basic idea to practice irregular verbs. I don’t own a label maker as yet, but I might have to buy one just to try this idea out!
This is a fun activity that allows students to practice following and giving directions around town. Students use maps and brochures I get for free from the tourist information center or city maps from the local Chamber of Commerce and business cards from around town. I combine these with whatever game board and pieces I have available at the time and it is the perfect way to get in some unscripted speaking practice as well as good review of community place vocabulary and prepositions of place.
World Poetry Day: Shel Silverstein
OK, so a lot of us may not know about World Poetry Day, but how does the name Shel Silverstein get missed? He is easily my favorite children’s poet, and I suspect many of you feel the same way. I’ll never forget growing up on poems out of Where The Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, and A Light in the Attic. Then there are all the great stand alone books such as The Missing Piece, A Giraffe and a Half, and The Giving Tree. Please don’t ask me to choose a favorite, because I can’t, and neither can my students–even my adult students love when I bring one of his books to class!
I’m cheating again with this one and including two posts. I use plastic eggs (the kind you find in stores around Easter) for quite a few different activities. In 2021, I shared about how I use them to practice contractions. In 2022, it was Scrambled Words (spelling/vocabulary) and Coin Eggs (USA coins). Fair warning, another eggcellent activity is coming in 2023, this one focused on the alphabet.
Another DIY post, these boards my dad designed and built for me have a lot of uses! The building plans are absolutely free and the cards are easy to design, print, and use. I probably use mine to practice question words the most, but I also have sets to practice academic vocabulary, parts of speech, occupations, USA coins, compound words, etc. They’d also be great for practicing math facts!
If I had a quarter for every time I have seen a social media post along the lines of, “What’s your best piece of advice for a new teacher?” I could retire! Since this question can’t realistically be answered in a quick Facebook reply, I wrote this post. It’s the five things I wish someone had told me (although if I’m being honest, someone probably did tell me) when I was first starting out.
If you missed it, last week I shared the exact opposite of these posts, Top 10 Blog Posts of 2022. Stay tuned the next couple of weeks for The Top Free Blog Downloads and Top Free TPT Downloads of 2022! Happy teaching, everyone.