Friday, December 29, 2006


Dioramas in the classroom can be a wonderful teaching tool. They are very cheap and easy to make. The students only need two sheets of regular (or construction paper), scissors, and glue (or staples if you want to be really cheap; staples also work a lot quicker because you do not have to wait for the glue to dry.)
When you think of a diorama you may be reminded of the old shadow boxes that you made when you were little. These shadow boxes were generally made from old shoe boxes, construction paper, and enough glue to keep Elmer's in business. However, the modern diorama is a very close cousin to the foldable. Here is how to make one.

To create a simple diorama, take a square piece of paper. (8 1/2" X 8 1/2" works well) Fold the paper diagonally, open it and fold it on the other diagonal. Then, cut on one fold to the center. Bring one of the flaps over the other flap and staple. This makes a little tent shaped space for your scene. Color the scene, add the setting, and then you can also have your students write a small paragraph about why they chose specific things.

Once the diorama is complete you can have the students combine four of the dioramas together, and they can be used to compare or contrast various ideas.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Happy Holidays!!

Cheers to whatever you're celebrating this time of year! Whether it's Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, New Years, or just enjoying some time away from work. Enjoy every moment. I will be including some great holiday activities in this post to help ease your party planning.

However, this time of year does mean one thing for most teachers. It means the
year is about halfway over. Not to be a "Grinch", but testing is right around the corner!!! I always get nervous around this time of the year. I wonder if I have done all that I can to cram as much information into those tiny little brains as much as humanly possible. Then again what if my kids just freak out once they get the test and everything that was learned just fades away. I know that I'm over reacting, but deep down many of us feel this way.

So my question is how are you preparing your students for the upcoming testing sessions?

I teach 6th grade in Louisiana so we take the ILeap, which is basically a comprehensive test which includes several constructed responses. Below are some sites that I have found really helpful in getting my kids prepared for Standardized Testing.

(Right click on the links below to open in a new tab or window.)
  1. Louisiana Pass-- A great site for Math review.
  2. PSSA Math Practice Grade 5 (PDF)
  3. Houghton Mifflin Math-- Test Prep, Brain Teasers, and Testing Techniques
  4. Brain Child-- Preparation for many different state tests.
  5. Test Taking Tips-- Several ways for your kids to stay cool under testing pressure.
  6. Leap4Fun--Engage up to four players in this interactive board game. (Perfect for the one computer classroom)
Be sure to leave comments on your favorite standardized testing tips. As a community we can help each other to reach the demands of accountability.

I was going to incorporate a "Test Prep" section into SuperTeacherStuff, but there are so many tests out there, that it's hard to easily organize them all.

Now that I have stressed you out, it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy some class holiday party plans.

Holiday Ideas

Happy Hands Wreath-- for lower elementary
  • Trace about ten hand prints on green paper. Glue them onto a wreath shaped chunk of cardboard. Decorate with glitter, fake berries, a bow, whatever...they are adorable. You can also use the same hand prints and shape them into Christmas trees with the fingers pointing down, and then let them decorate with beads, sequins, popcorn, whatever to make a cool tree.

Christmas Craft Ideas for Kids -Craft Spoon Christmas Tree

You'll Need

  1. Wooden craft spoons;the spoons that come with ice cream cups.
  2. Acrylic paint
  3. Fabric paint tubes
  4. Paint brushes
  5. Yellow fun foam or felt
  6. Craft glue
  7. Scissors
  8. Pin backs or ribbon

christmas tree craft

Step 1. Paint five wooden spoons with green acrylic paint.
It will take just a few minutes of drying time before
handling. Children can do the next step while waiting.
Step 2. Cut the star from the fun foam or felt.
I prefer fun foam. It's easier for kids to cut & glue.
Step 3. Glue the craft sticks in a fan shape to make the tree.
Step 4. Make dots with the paint tubes, for the decorations.
Step 5. For an ornament or gift tag; glue a ribbon loop
to the back.
To make a pin, attach a pin back. Pin backs can be found plain or with self adhesive strips
already attached.

Pine Cone Tree

Supplies needed:
Pinecone Christmas Tree

        • Pinecones (purchase green or spray paint)
        • Green paint
        • Mini-pots
        • Stars
        • Sequins
        • Glue
Christmas Wreath Game

Suspend a large Christmas wreath in a doorway at a convenient height from the floor. Prepare in advance "snowballs," made of cotton batting covered with white tissue paper.

The players stand about eight feet from the wreath, and take turns, one at a time. Each is given three "snowballs," and the one who succeeds in throwing all three, one at a time, through the wreath, is given the prize.

To make it more exciting, sides may be chosen, and each one of the three snowballs numbered, one being 5, the other, 10, and the third, 20. If the ball numbered 5 goes through, it counts 5 for that player's side. If it does not go through, it is a loss, and so on. The side scoring the most points is victorious.

Get free holiday clip art here

Monday, December 4, 2006

"Hello World"

This is the first program that a computer programmer learns to write. It sends a basic screen print message to the monitor the reads "Hello World". So basically this program is the programmer's announcement that he/she is on the way to becoming a fully competant programmer.

This is my way of announceing that Super Teacher Stuff has joined the blogging age. If you would like to subscribe to this blog, then please add it to your news reader or other rss reader. I will be covering many different educational topics. The good thing about a blog is you can read the stuff that you're interested, and not be worried about sending your email address to "god-knows-where". They say that they don't sell your information, yet the spam just keeps on coming.

To formerly introduce myself; my name is Nicholas Gallimore and I am currently developing two educational websites for teachers (Gallimore and Super Teacher I currently teach sixth grade in Louisiana, so I know what you are going through. My main drive for these sites is just to help my fellow educators in anyway possible. I don't ask for email addresses, memberships, or bombard you with popups. Basically, I get the space for very cheap through Sanity Internet, so I have no other alterier motives.
I just hope the general sharing of knowledge can make us better at what we do.

If you have any comments complaints, any ways that I can improve, material that I could add, or any helpful links, then please let me know.

-Nicholas Gallimore