Dare to Care

create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically

08/Jul/2017
by Denise Krebs
2 Comments

Teachers Write is Here

Yay, I’ve been looking forward to this!

#TeachersWrite with Kate Messner, Jo Knowles, Gae Polisner, Jen Vincent, and other professional authors is coming right up. It officially starts on Monday, 10 July 2017. Gae started Friday Feedback yesterday, with guest author Nora Raleigh Baskin.

On Fridays, Gae and her guest authors, share one excerpt of their writing and elicit feedback from the Teachers Write participants. It not only gives them feedback, but it helps us learn to give feedback–What works? What doesn’t work? Do you want to keep reading?–they start with what works to honor the risk the author takes in sharing their work. This Friday, they were so timely. In 24 hours they have read and responded to scores of comments on their post, even though they are also participating in the Nerdy Book Club’s nErDCamp in Michigan. Here is a link to my comment, and you can scroll down to see their fabulous feedback on yesterday’s post.

This summer, I will try to act like an author and be disciplined to write for this significant writing teachers’ summer camp. I’ll post my attempts here at my student portfolio sample blog at this link: http://testblogscs.edublogs.org (NOTE ABOUT THAT NAME: This was the very first blog I ever made, almost 8 years ago–thus the name, it was a test blog for my school at the time, SCS. And that is why I hang in there with it–sentimental value to me, but it also reminds me to choose names carefully.)

Did you know this great writer’s camp is all free to participate? The authors only ask that, if possible, you add four books to your library this summer–one each from Kate, Gae, Jo, and one of their guests. We are buying books anyway, so why not? Read more about this, and to see the many books they have written here or here.

Here is a quote from Gae Polisner about MAKING time to do what you want and need to do.  (Read more inspiration at her 2015 Feedback post here.)

Have you heard of Teachers Write? Have you participated?
Are you planning to? Will you make time? It’s not too late to join.

27/Jun/2017
by Denise Krebs
2 Comments

Summer’s Here

Well, I haven’t written since the 9th of May. In April, I had determined I would keep up writing on Tuesdays with the Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life challenge. My commitment lasted a few weeks.

Today I’m back. No promises for the future of my Tuesdays, but the summer looks hopeful. This is my first summer since I moved overseas that I won’t be going back to the U.S. for most of the summer. We took our trip home in May for my daughter’s wedding, so I’ll be in Bahrain for the whole hot summer.

I’m actually looking forward to the time to:

    1. Read Bible stories and pray more than I watch political news
    2. Participate in Teachers Write – I’ll join a community of teachers who write together this summer. Starts on 10 July.
    3. Read! I have a pile of more than a dozen elementary, young adult and professional books to read.
    4. School work! It will be my first summer in years that I like take time to really reflect on last year and then do what I need to do in order to make next year great.
    5. De-clutter one cupboard or drawer each day. (Where did I get this list? I’m afraid I don’t know.)
    6. Walk 10,000 steps on as many days a week as I can–at least 4 a week.
    7. Cook and bake more than I get to during the school year.

What do you have planned for the summer?

I checked out library books for the summer! Looking forward to some reading and writing time.

A post shared by Denise Krebs (@mrsdkrebs) on

09/May/2017
by Denise Krebs
7 Comments

I Am Denise and Other Poems

I am open and questioning

I wonder why I’m so tired

I hear Inshallah and Shukran

I see the turquoise glittering buildings in Manama

I want to know the Truth

I am open and questioning

I pretend to know too much

I feel like screaming into my pillow

I touch my badge and shine it up

I worry that I can’t communicate with my students

I cry at night when I think too much

I am open and questioning

I understand that God is gracious to me anyway

I say God is love

I dream of a world of peace

I try to love

I hope for a bright future

I am open and questioning

I am Denise

 

I’m working on a variety of poetry formats with my class these days, so I’m making sample poems. The one I wrote today, I notice is a bit dark, but ‘I hope for a bright future,’ at least.

The “I Am” poem is an old form I used to use that was published by the ETTC (Educational Technology Training Center) of New Jersey. Does anyone know what happened to these great online poetry forms? Here is the BROKEN link that doesn’t work any longer. (And thanks to the tweeter at @RWTnow, here is a link to the archived list of the poems. They are even better than I remembered! However, beware–if you create a poem on one of the forms, it won’t be able to show it to you. You’ll have to screenshot it. Or just use the ideas for each poem.)

I typed up the “I Am” form for anyone to use. for their class. Click here for my Google Doc–just go to File > Make a Copy.

Found Poetry by Read, Write, Think, using the Word Mover Student Interactive.

You can choose one of the Japanese images that they provide. Or…

You can even add your own image. This is a picture I took from the Bahrain Bay.

Another poetry writing resource–writing a haiku on Read, Write, Think’s interactive Haiku form.

One last poem. Prepositional Phrase Poem

Beside my dying mom

During her last days

In her rock house living room

Next to the rented hospital bed

Because of my great love for her

With sadness in my heart

Without fear, but with God’s peace

Good-bye, Mama

 

23/Apr/2017
by Denise Krebs
2 Comments

What’s My Teacher Doing Here?

“Miss, I saw you yesterday at City Centre!” my student shyly said to me this morning.

After yesterday’s Labor Day national holiday, we came back to school and I was greeted by two children telling me something very similar about our separate chance meetings at the mall yesterday.

“Yes, I did see you yesterday in the food court! It was so nice to see you and your family at the mall. Did you have fun?” I responded.

It was fun to see my students. I was able to introduce my husband to their parents and see their sweet enthusiasm for seeing their teacher in an unusual place.

It reminded me of when I was in sixth grade and I saw my teacher at church one Sunday. It was so odd. Even though I spent hours a day, five days a week with the man, I remember this chance meeting like it was yesterday. I can picture him coming out of the washroom, and walking down the sunny corridor, smiling when he caught my eye.

We spoke very briefly, but it was so awkward for me. Even as a tween, I still had the idea that teachers belong at school. My compartmentalized life was getting shifted, like the young narrator in Judy Finchler’s Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10.

How about you? Do you have memories of seeing your teachers out of context? Or students seeing you?

This is a post for the Tuesday Slice of Life and from tell a story prompt for #edublogsclub.

10/Apr/2017
by Denise Krebs
2 Comments

Pink Prepositional Pandemonium

On Thursday I wore a pink top because I like alliteration and I had lots of pink paper.

On Wednesday, I made up my first Breakout EDU game as I sat in the hospital keeping my post-surgery husband company. Since I was there without my computer, all the game pieces were hand-written. Before I had left school for the hospital on Wednesday, I grabbed a small pile of colored paper from the cabinet. When I got started working, I realized most of the paper I took was pink, so that’s what I used for the puzzles. Thus the pink theme was born, and I added Pink to my Prepositional Pandemonium game.

I’m working on a @breakoutedu game for tomorrow!

A post shared by arsgrade5 (@arsgrade5) on

It had been several months since my class participated in a Breakout game. It was definitely time to do it again, and I wanted to leave for spring break on a high note. I created the game to use and review prepositional phrases–one of our topics this week.

I reached my goal to end on a high note! They all BROKE OUT, and we had lots of fun!

If all didn’t succeed, no one would breakout.

For this game I decided to make five separate puzzles and assign one to each of five small groups. That way the groups wouldn’t be in each other’s way, while trying to solve all the puzzles. The last time we did a Breakout, all the groups were working independently from the others, trying to open all the locks. It seemed half the time was spent in the queue to try out the combinations they were solving. Not this time. Each group was responsible for just one lock. (They weren’t told which one when they started, but as they solved their puzzle, they could figure out which lock their combination could open.)

Here are brief descriptions of the five games:

  1. Team 1 was given a sheet of sentences that they had to mark the prepositional phrases. The students were to circle the letter at the beginning of each sentence that had only one prepositional phrase. They then had to unscramble the letters to come up with something that was in my pocket, the next thing they needed to solve the problem. After they figured out it was a deck of cards, they had to find the cards that were marked with prepositions and turn those into a five-digit directional lock combination. This was the hardest puzzle for both classes.
  2. Team 2 was given a worksheet as well. They marked sentences that had two or more prepositional phrases. The letters that were circled were unscrambled into a preposition. Students then used that word as the combination for the letter combination lock. This was definitely the easiest puzzle.
  3. Team 3 had a difficult task. It had a math problem: Page 4 + Page 8 = the 3-digit lock box. Since it was page 4 and 8, they did a lot of experimenting with the four guided reading books on the ledge.  I didn’t really give them much information before or during, but eventually they found the UV flashlight. They discovered one highlighted preposition on each of pages 4 and 8 in one of the books. It took them another while to discover they needed the code that was hanging on the board. They then had to add all the numbers in each of those words. That gave them the three-digit code to open the lock box, where they found extra hint cards to help the other teams.
  4. Team 4 was given a page with prepositional phrases written all over in four quadrants. They discovered, after some trial and error, that the phrases were found in one of the books. Each quadrant’s phrases were found on a separate page in the book. They then used those page numbers to open the four-digit combination lock.
  5. Finally, Team 5 was given Hint #1 of a prepositional phrase treasure hunt. The first clue said, “in the dialogue journal basket.” They found the second clue in the dialogue journal basket and continued from there through eight not-so-easy hints. My favorites were “inside a tall desk” and “across the hall.” More about those:
  • We have about five desks that are taller than all the others, so it should have been an easy one, but I taped the clue up on top of the inside of the desk. The students in one class just kept giving up and saying it wasn’t there. I would find students falling away and start helping another group. Occasionally, I would remind someone in that group that if they didn’t break out no one would break out because we needed to open all the locks. They got back to trying, and then finally someone found it. He nearly went through the roof jumping with such excitement!
  • “Across the hall” was another good one. I have English language learners, and in one class no one in this group knew the words hall or across. They used Google Translate and the online dictionary to help them. (I had to give them the word hallway since hall was only a large meeting room in Translate.)
  • Finally, the last clue was “under the carpet,” where they found a key to the padlock on the Breakout box.

Getting Ready for the Breakout!

Here is my Google Document with these Breakout Prepositional Phrase papers. (It’s my #edublogsclub giveaway for your own Breakout game!)

I was really pleased with my first attempt at making a Breakout EDU game. I felt pleased that though I gave myself only one evening to create it, I managed to make it and pull it off without too many glitches. The videos below show the last moments for each class as they opened the box!

I had one disappoint, though. As a result of giving myself only one evening, I felt I defaulted too quickly to worksheets. Yikes! I don’t want to make worksheets part of Breakout EDU, so I am looking for any alternatives to those two worksheets.

Any suggestions on how to improve this game?

She persisted!

A post shared by arsgrade5 (@arsgrade5) on

5B figured out how to remove the clasp too!

A post shared by arsgrade5 (@arsgrade5) on

Skip to toolbar