Saturday, April 8, 2017

Is your teenager being taken advantage of by their employer?

A summer or part-time job is a rite of passage for most teens. I've watched my three kids gain confidence and experience through an assortment of minimum wage positions. What I've also watched is each of them get screwed by their employers, either accidentally or on purpose.

It really burns me. Teens are often not in a position to question their bosses, are afraid of losing their jobs if they complain, or are simply ignorant of their rights. Here are a few of my kids' experiences:

·        Had a shift cancelled last-minute because work was slow, with no pay

·        Had to work without breaks or meals

·        Mislabeled as an independent contractor to benefit the employer

·        Underpaid for hours worked

I am convinced that if teens and their parents knew workers' rights, this illegal behavior would not be tolerated. We developed a Jeopardy game based on 2017 California labor laws to teach kids their basic employee rights. The game "Employee Rights Jeopardy" is a perfect end-of-the-school-year activity for any grade or subject that has students in or entering the job market. It is also great for generating discussion about how to handle work-related problems.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Free Back to School Game!

Freebie Alert!!!! Get our latest back to school game that your students will love! Go to our Teachers Pay Teachers store,
follow us and email us at Tell us what number follower you are and we will email you directly our newest game! A $3.00 value! Thanks! Jody & LeAnn

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

4th Grade Common Core "I CAN" Tags

I love to use brag tags in my class. This is an easy way to reward behavior, motivate, and celebrate achievements. My students put them on a chain or a binder ring and collect them all year. These also are a reminder of the fun and learning we experienced together throughout the year.

Now I have available all the math, reading, and writing standards  in a discounted bundle. I also have made trophy tags for completing all the standards and student check off worksheets. Students can keep track of their progress through out the year, and see a visual representation of their progress!
Discounted Bundle Common Core Brag TAgs

Discounted Bundle Common Core Brag Tags

Discounted Bundle Common Core Brag Tags

Check these out at our store at TPT!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Must Have for Your Emergency Kit

           Our district has been plagued with lockdowns. After my high school niece got stuck in one and told me her experience I thought this is a practical solution that you can do inexpensively, even if your school won't get the supplies for you.

             What is it? A portable toilet! My niece said students were using the classroom trash can as a toilet with no privacy after hours in a lock down.

Here is my simple solution:
1. Home Depot 5 gallon bucket $3...
2. Camping toilet seat (Amazon) made to fit 5 gallon bucket ($15)
3. Plastic garbage bags (tall Kitchen size)
4. Toilet paper
5. Duct tape
6. Tarp
All supplies are kept in the bucket.
Great for emergency kits too!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Celebrate With Us At Thank A Teacher!

Over here at Thank A Teacher, we are feeling a lot like The Little Engine That Could. We've been a-chuggin' and a-chuggin' away for over a year and just looked up, amazed at how far we've come! Here's what's going on at the corner office in the corporate tower of Thank A Teacher. (Ok, it's more like a cell phone in the driver's seat of the minivan...but we can dream!)

Good News #1

Sometimes it pays off to be mouthy. Our Letter to the Editor was just published in the March 2015 issue of California Educator magazine. The issue was teacher of course we had to chime in with our own experiences. We think blogging has made teaching less isolating and more rewarding in so many ways. To see the original article and our follow-up response, click here­­­­­­­­­ ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ . Then forward it to all your teacher friends and your mom and the cable guy and that jerk who keeps stealing your parking spot at school...This could be viral!

Good News #2

Yippee! Teachers Pay Teachers has recognized our TPT store for hitting a major milestone. No, we haven't made a million dollars or we'd be writing this blog from a cute little café in Paris instead of the couch where a pile of laundry is waiting to get folded. But still, we like any excuse to cue the confetti! And while TPT didn't offer us a photo op with Brad Pitt, they are doing something pretty special...

TPT is going to promote our store on their website ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­  and Facebook page . Considering that there are more than 50,000 sellers and over 13 million products on the site, it is like getting to cut to the front of the line at a Taylor Swift concert. Whoo-hoo! In celebration, they are offering buyers our wonderfully creative and creatively wonderful Mother's Day Art Project/Gift FREE for a limited time.

But we can't wait! We wanted you to have it FREE before everyone else. So here it is! Enjoy!

Problem: Some years Mother's Day just sneaks up on you and you need a great project fast and with supplies on hand. Other years you want to have the students make a gift that will be kept and remembered.
Project 1- No prep, easy doodled handprint with watercolor background for the front of a card. Inside the card is a Report Card on Mom. On the back of the card is babysitter information if mom wants to hang the card on the refrigerator.
Project 2: Same doodle handprint taken to the next level! Shrinky Dink it and make into a keychain for mom! Recreate the famous Picasso flower bouquet with the key chain attached. Inside the card has the Report Card for Mom and the back has babysitter information.
On a year you have time to order the supplies, allow 3-5 days, or check your local craft store, and the funds (about .30 a child) do the fun keychain! I order enough supplies for at least two years. Other years you have all the templates ready for the handprint card!
My students loved the project! I brought in the toaster over and we had a blast! The key chains turned out great!

We love our followers! If you haven’t followed us yet we’d love to make you part of the Thank A Teacher family! Join us for more educational fun!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

California Panama Expo and the Age of Innovation

        As far as many 4th graders are concerned, California history stopped at the Gold Rush. Nothing significant has happened since. 
       The problem is many teachers run out of school year before they run out of history! Gold Rush gets covered, the transcontinental railroad and westward movement gets mentioned, and the 20th century gets ignored.
       We wanted to create a lesson that would hit the highlights of the early to mid-twentieth century in a quick and entertaining way. Since this is the 100th anniversary of two major expositions in San Francisco and San Diego, we decided to take students back in 1915 and the Age of Innovation. Kids will view California through the eyes of a visitor to the magnificent California Panama Exposition and Panama Pacific International Exposition.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Awesome New App Makes Us So Appy!

Feb. 23, 2015

Technology is supposed to make our jobs easier, but often teachers find it can be more hassle than it's worth. Take assessment. There are lots of student clickers or responders that gobble up so much time logging in that there is no time left to assess! But now there is a better way that is so easy, I had to pass on the good news! Plus I wanted to share 3 ways I found to extend this app beyond the classroom. 

In her blog Minds in Bloom!, teacher/entrepreneur extraordinaire  Rachel Lynette recently wrote about an app that I just had to try out with my fourth graders. Plickers is a free app that gives teachers instant assessments for the entire class. How is that possible?

Once you complete the quick registration, you are ready to go. Set-up is as easy as 1-2-3! Print a class set of the unique cards, register, and add in student names. The teacher must have a smart phone, but that is all. Rachel Lynette gave a great overview along with fabulous suggestions for use in the classroom. Be sure to read her blog entry!

I was so inspired that I started to look for more ways I could incorporate Plickers into my school day. Here are some ideas beyond the classroom walls:

  1. Field Trips   Why do students think that a field trip isn’t a school day? Plickers puts the education back into field trips. By making lanyard name tags with the student name on one side and the Plickers code on the other, you can easily assess your students in front of an exhibit, while riding the bus, or after a demonstration!
  2. Outside the Classroom Learning shouldn't stop when students exit your classroom. Plickers offers accountability no matter where your kids happen to be. If they are wearing their Plickers name tag, the library, auditorium. school garden, computer lab, or even the P.E. field becomes a opportunity to question, assess, and even re-teach. For example, in P.E. I can tell who can correctly identify the rules of a game. Or in the school garden, I might ask about the life cycle of a butterfly. At the library, I can check for understanding by asking the location of fiction or  biographies.
  3. Wait Time  Have you ever been stuck in the auditorium waiting for other classes to arrive and the program to begin? This is a great opportunity for some quick review-if your students have their Plickers name tags. I’m always drilling multiplication facts. Now I can ask the whole group instead of one student at a time. That means 34 kids are engaged instead of one. I like those numbers!

Those are a few of my ideas to extend Plickers outside the classroom. I’d love to hear yours!