Travel with Mrs. T.

School Edition


Mrs. T.’s Week in Review: September 14-20, 2015

food spread buffet for name day celebration in GreeceI’m still on vacation in Greece, so much like this assortment of delicious foods at my husband’s Name Day celebration, there was also a hodgepodge of posts on Travel with Mrs. T. this week.

Keep reading to see how you can you use information from the various posts in your classroom.

Let’s get started.

Monday, September 14, 2015: Check out 268 Reasons to Join the 30 Day Blogging Challenge on Travel with Mrs. T. No, you don’t have to be a blogger to find something useful in the post!!

I love challenges. Julia Skinner, one of the bloggers I mention in the post, also founded 100 Word Challenge: Creative writing for young people. Check it out. You can join and post online, OR just use the writing prompts in class.

Question for reflection: How do you select writing prompts for use in your classroom?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015: Check out Mrs. T.’s 25 More Instagram Accounts to Follow on Travel with Mrs. T.

Pic stitching. Segmented panoramic photos. If I was in my previous classroom, I would use this technique to project a panorama across the three Interactive White Boards in the room! Very effective visually, in my opinion. Students can create their own, or you could reveal one section at a time, and ask students to hypothesize about the final photo!

Question for reflection: How can you use pic stitching in your classroom?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015: Check out Guess Which Park on Travel with Mrs. T.

When you think of park, you probably were not expecting the Archaeological Park pictured in this Travel with Mrs. T. post! I took The Science of Happiness edX course last fall, and parks, specifically any green spaces, have been shown to positively affect happiness. Often, it’s just the congregation of people under trees, on park benches, conversing and appreciating nature. On a nice day, if there’s a green space at your school where you could conduct a class or part of a class, go for it!

Question for reflection: How can you use parks, including neighborhood, National, and World Heritage parks, in your classroom?

Thursday, September 17, 2015: Check out Always Awesome Adventures in Athens on Travel with Mrs. T.

Alliteration. I love it. Have students rewrite famous titles with alliteration, or create titles with alliteration for their own writing assignments. In this post, I also recalled the many times I have visited the same place. For older students, this can be an excellent discussion topic. Many will have visited relatives at holidays or during summer vacations; discuss what has changed, and what has stayed consistent. Looking at how they feel emotionally upon revisiting the same place can be revealing.

Questions for reflection: How can you use alliteration in your classroom? How can you use students’ own repeated trips to places to your advantage in your classroom?

Friday, September 18, 2015: Check out Maryland Crabs in Greece on Travel with Mrs. T.

This was my first recipe on a Feast On It Friday post. Recipes are excellent writing prompts and can be used in math for practical fraction practice. Having measuring cups in your classroom can help students visualize 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 and 1! Plus, tell the students that you’re having a party and need to double or even triple the recipe for crab cakes (we actually had to double)–what does that mean in terms of ingredients? Involve the parents, and have them send in their favorite recipes. Ask the students to determine how much of each ingredient they would need if the recipe needed to be adapted to feed the whole class!

Question for reflection: How can you use recipes in your classroom?

Saturday, September 19, 2015: Check out Celebrating a Name Day in Greece on Travel with Mrs. T.

If you’re teaching in a parochial school, this is an excellent topic to consider with a unit on Saints or Feast Days. If you teach in a public school, finding out more about students’ names and why their parents chose their names would be an excellent writing prompt, or interview activity. Inquire about middle names too–they can be even more interesting, as well as nicknames and their origins!

Question for reflection: How can you use your students’ names in your classroom?

Hopefully, you’ve found at least one idea to use in your classroom.

Let me know in a comment below!


Mrs. T.’s Week in Review: August 31-September 6, 2015

Greek Flag and Gavrio Andros Greece 2015I’m on vacation in Greece this week, so not many posts on Travel with Mrs. T. But as always, my mind was filled with ideas for future posts, and I was taking hundreds of photos, including this view of Gavrio on Andros island, taken from a ferry boat!

Let’s get started.

Thursday, September 3, 2015: Check out 3 Reasons to Take Ferries at Night in Greece on Travel with Mrs. T.

Chances are many of your students have never taken a ferry. When discussing forms of transportation in primary grades, include photos of ferries. Have students compare and contrast ferries with other types of boats, including cruise ships. In Greece, I have taken ferry boats that also allow cars, trucks, and motorcycles on them, and ferries that are considered ‘fast ferries’ since they are smaller and allow no vehicles.

Question for Reflection: How can you use information about ferries in the classroom?

Friday, September 4, 2015: Check out O Kossis Taverna, A Meat Lover’s Dream on Travel with Mrs. T.

Though the post is about a restaurant known for its meat dishes, my husband and I both commented how restaurants in Greece are also well suited for vegetarians. (We have friends and family members who are vegetarians.) I have a huge collection of paper menus that I have collected over the years from the U.S. and Europe. Ask students to write an order for a meal, add up the prices, and for older children, calculate the tax, and determine the grand total. Food allergy awareness is also a prominent concern in classrooms. Propose questions such as: If you were allergic to eggs, what items on the menu would you need to avoid? I’m allergic to shrimp. To my surprise, when I ordered a crab cake at a restaurant once, it included shrimp, but that fact was not included on the menu. One of the reasons many restaurants ask patrons to report any allergies to the servers when ordering!

Question for Reflection: How can you use menus in the classroom?

Sunday, September 6, 2015: Check out A Soothing Sunset in Batsi on Travel with Mrs. T.

Giving thanks isn’t just for Thanksgiving. Why wait until November to ask students what and who they are thankful for? Ask them the question from the post: What faraway relative or friend do you wish you could visit today? A writing prompt could be: Describe your future conversation! Would be excellent practice for punctuation, including quotation marks and question marks! For older students, the writing assignment could take the form of a script.

Question for Reflection: What activities can you use in the classroom to include the topic of giving thanks?

Hopefully, you’ve found at least one idea to use in your classroom.

Let me know in a comment below!


Mrs. T.’s Week in Review: August 24-30, 2015

GiethoornFor those of you who don’t know, I’m currently living temporarily in the Netherlands due to my husband’s job. This photo is from Giethoorn, one of the 8 day-trips in the Netherlands that I describe in Monday’s Travel with Mrs. T. post. But, we’re traveling to Greece on Friday for vacation. So, this week was a mixture of both countries!

Let’s get started.

Monday, August 24, 2015: Check out 8 Places to Play for a Day in the Netherlands on Travel with Mrs. T.

My husband and I have both said that we are going to start taking more day-trips in Florida, once we return to the United States. To develop students’ writing skills, have them create a travel guide for their home town. Each student could write about a different place–one that is their personal favorite. Places could include beaches, restaurants, museums, theme parks, farmers markets, playgrounds, etc. Combine all of the entries and distribute to new students that come from another city or state!

Question for Reflection: How can you incorporate neighborhood pride and local tourism into your classroom?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015: Check out 10 Tips for the OV Chipkaart in the Netherlands on Travel with Mrs. T.

Raise your hand if you’ve taken a bus…a train…a tram…a cable car…a metro…a subway! When you start off a class like this, you may be surprised at the number of hands! When I first rode a bus in Baltimore, Maryland, you placed your coins in the top slot of a small machine next to the bus driver in order to ride. Procedures for riding public transport can be quite confusing, as evidenced by this post. When including an assignment that has students write the directions for doing something, consider public transportation!

Question for Reflection: How can you use the different forms of public transportation as a resource in your classroom?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015: Check out Guess Which City in the Netherlands on Travel with Mrs. T.

Where Oh Where Wednesday posts are my favorites to create. Consider asking your students to create their own for places they’ve visited, or places you’re studying in class. I’m looking forward to trying this myself when I move back to the U.S. and have my own classroom again! Moving from the common to more specific as photos progress, in addition to limiting the number of photos, is not as easy as it looks! This would be a fun assignment when discussing copyright issues. When students (and teachers) use photos that are not their own, it is so important to give the proper credit.

Question for Reflection: How can you use Where Oh Where Wednesdays in your classroom?

Thursday, August 27, 2015: Check out Your Name in Greece–Rocks or Sand? on Travel with Mrs. T.

Sand castles and writing in the sand–have you or your students ever taken a picture of the result? There are some fabulous sand castle contests, and as a back to school/end of summer activity, projecting a few pictures of the spectacular sculptures on your interactive whiteboard would be a wonderful source for discussion, or even a writing prompt.

Questions for Reflection: Primary teachers, how can you use various media (including sand, rocks, shaving cream, etc) in your classroom to practice handwriting? Seconday teachers, how can you use online apps and graphic arts computer programs to encourage student creativity in your classroom? (Think graffiti but IN a computer or iPad, not ON a wall or other object!!)

Friday, August 28, 2015: Check out George’s Steak House in Glyfada, Greece on Travel with Mrs. T.

What is your favorite Greek food? That question on the post is one that could serve as a springboard for talking about different cultures/countries and their common foods. For example, bitterballen are a common snack In the Netherlands, with a soft meaty center, that my husband insists is like scrapple. I grew up eating scrapple in Maryland, whereas he did not. He can not stand scrapple, hence does not like bitterballen!

Question for Reflection: How can you create lessons/activities that incorporate the various cultures represented by the families of students in your classroom?

Saturday, August 29, 2015: Check out One More Day…I Did It (I Hope) on Travel with Mrs. T.

When I was teaching technology to 6th grade students at a parochial school, their religion teacher and I assigned a collaborative activity, whereby the students researched a particular Saint, and then prepared a short oral presentation that was videotaped and shown to students during morning announcements. Using the scheduling feature on a classroom blog would enable your students to complete an assignment at the beginning of the school year, and then have the articles posted throughout the year at the appropriate time. National holidays, celebration days (ie. International Pirate Day is on September 19th this year) and even student birthdays could be celebrated throughout the year. Many teachers assign an “All About Me” project at the beginning of the year. Imagine if you use the students’ completed assignments in your classroom blog, and posted them on their birthdays for students and parents to enjoy!

Question for Reflection: How can you use the scheduling feature on your own classroom blog to your advantage?

Sunday, August 30, 2015: Check out A Wonderful Weekend on an Island in Greece on Travel with Mrs. T.

Sundays on Travel with Mrs. T. are all about finding time to reflect on all that you are grateful for, and give thanks. I recently read an article about many classrooms that are introducing meditation and even yoga into their primary classrooms. Random Acts of Kindness and Bucket Fillers are just two buzz phrases that came immediately to mind when I thought about kindness in the classroom.

Question for Reflection: How do you encourage kindness and thankfulness in your classroom?

Hopefully you’ve found at least one idea you can use in your classroom.

Let me know in a comment below!


Mrs. T.’s Week in Review: June 15-21, 2015

No, I’m not dousing you with water today! But, aOrlando Florida Universal Studios IOA Jurassic Park River Adventurefter starting this blog at the beginning of June, I realized that my posts are too long! I created this School Edition to accompany my original blog, but I can’t expect anyone to spend the time reading both posts, especially during the week, when there are so many other things to do in the daily life of a teacher, such as lesson plans, grading papers, and communication, inclduing emails, phone calls and conferences, just to name a few.

So, welcome to the first  “Mrs. T.’s Week in Review’. Each week on Sunday, I will post just ONE post on this blog that will give you ideas on ways to utilize the posts from Travel with Mrs. T. in your classroom.

Let’s get started.

Monday, June 15, 2015: Check out What’s Your Dream Vacation on Travel with Mrs. T.

Yesterday, I gave you my last extremely detailed post of ideas: Design Your Dream.

Question for reflection: How can you use students’ dream vacations in your classroom?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015: Check out Google’s My Maps: My First Map–Rome 2015 on Travel with Mrs. T.

Whether you’re studying the different states in the U.S., countries in a specific continent, or following up with yesterday’s Dream Vacation idea, you can create your own Google My Map, or have the students create maps. Great idea for back to school or in June–“My Summer Vacation!”

Question for reflection: How can you use Google My Maps in your classroom?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015: Check out Guess Which Island in the U.S. on Travel with Mrs. T.

Where Oh Where Wednesday posts are great to use for studying details. Facts, inferences, opinions, using complete sentences, asking questions–the possibilities are almost endless!

Questions for reflection: How can you utilize the Where Oh Where Wednesdays in your classroom? How do you celebrate students’ birthdays in your classroom?

Thursday, June 18, 2015: Check out Universal Studios’ Universal Appeal on Travel with Mrs. T.

What’s your favorite theme park? What park would you love to visit? Great discussion questions and writing prompts! Plus, if you’re a science teacher, design your own roller coaster is a great activity!

Questions for reflection: How can you use the universal appeal of theme parks to your advantage in your classroom?

Hope you enjoyed this update to Travel with Mrs. T. School Edition.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Also, please share ways you are using or planning to use ideas from the post, so that other teachers can ‘deposit’ some in their ‘bank’ of activities!

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