Tag Archives : #socrateslantern

We Teach So Hard…Episode 26… Finding the Bootstraps When Staff Morale is Low

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s at a state, community or building level, things happen that affect our morale. Sometimes, it’s really hard to come to work. When we’re down, it affects our whole learning community, including the students. How do you bounce back when everything or everyone around you is in the dumps? This episode is for YOU!

Click here to Listen on iTunes.

Like what you hear? Visit us at:

Tracy @ https://mossyoakmusings.blogspot.com/

Retta @ http://rainbowcitylearning.blogspot.com/

Kathie @ https://www.triedandtrueteachingtools.com/

Deann @ https://socrateslantern.com/

We Teach So Hard……Episode 17 Stem…Steam…PBL? Decoding the Acronyms

STEM? STEAM? PBL? What’s the difference? Give us a listen as we discuss the differences, the reasons for incorporating it in your classroom, as well as some practical tips and tricks for success. Let us entertain you with a few fails of our own, as well!

Take a listen on iTunes

Like what you hear? Visit us at our blogs below! We promise, you won’t be sorry you stopped by! Don’t forget to comment or rate our podcast!

Tracy @ mossyoakmusings.blogspot.com/
Retta @ rainbowcitylearning.blogspot.com/
Kathie @ www.triedandtrueteachingtools.com/
Deann @ socrateslantern.com/

Would you like to take a look at some of our PBL Resources and Activities? Just click the images below.


We Teach So Hard…Episode 16…It’s a Teacher’s Thanksgiving

Mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries and TURKEY! It’s a buffet of Thanksgiving topics for teachers! We’re laughing and crying our way through Thanksgiving cocktails, teaching ideas, sing-a-long songs, culturally responsive teaching, and more! You don’t want to miss this episode…we PERFORM a head banging rendition of our favorite Thanksgiving song! The words are included for you below! (To the tune of Frere Jacques)
Turkey dinner, turkey dinner,
gather round, gather round,
who will get the drumstick…
yummy, yummy yumstick?
All sit down, all sit down.
Cornbread muffins, chestnut stuffin’
pudding pie, one foot high.
All of us were thinner,
’til we came to dinner,
me oh, my…
me oh, my.

Take a listen on iTunes

Like what you hear? Come visit us at the links below!
Tracy @ mossyoakmusings.blogspot.com/
Retta @ rainbowcitylearning.blogspot.com/
Deann @ socrateslantern.com/
Kathie @ www.triedandtrueteachingtools.com/
And don’t forget to enter our giveaway! It closes this Sunday. You could win $100 for Amazon, Tieks, Starbucks, or Teachers Pay Teachers! Check out the link below!

We Teach So Hard…Episode 15…Attitudes of Gratitude

Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Do your students? How do you teach gratitude? Join us as we explore books and resources for teaching gratitude, not just in November, but all year long! The research says our brains and our bodies are healthier when we learn how to incorporate gratitude into our daily lives.

We end this podcast by THANKING YOU, our listeners, with a $100 giveaway! We’ve got big things planned. 
Join us!

Take a listen on iTunes
And visit our blogs! We’ve linked up to offer some free teaching resources!
Tracy @ mossyoakmusings.blogspot.com/ 
Kathie @ www.triedandtrueteachingtools.com/ 
Retta @ rainbowcitylearning.blogspot.com/ 
Deann @ socrateslantern.com/

Click below to enter our giveaway and find out how to win your choice of a $100.00 gift card! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We Teach So Hard…Episode 14…The Election: Teaching With Intention to Work Through Contention

Join us as we explore approaches to use when you teach about the election. What happens when students have questions that are difficult to answer? How do you remain neutral? How do you discuss American politics today? DO YOU discuss American politics? This podcast can be a starting point for your classroom lessons!

Catch us on iTunes by clicking this link 

Like what you hear? Visit us at

Kathie @ triedandtrueteachingtools.com 
Retta @ rainbowcitylearning.blogspot.com/ 
Tracy @ mossyoakmusings.blogspot.com/ 
Deann @ socrateslantern.com/ 

End of the Year Musings


By Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern

Baby Canada GeeseI always approach the end of the school year with mixed emotions, though I’m ecstatic to be out for summer vacation, I always feel a little sad saying good-bye.  Many of my soon to be 7th graders hug me and leave with tears in their eyes, knowing that our little family will no longer be together. All the trials and tribulations, the challenges, the fun times and sad times will be always be with us, but it will never be the same.

Reflecting back to the beginning of the year, I remember how small they were when they first entered my room, some shy and nervous about their first few days, others acting cool trying to impress their peers., especially those they don’t know. The first hurdle over, they’ve opened their lockers. Simple process for some while others end up in tears because they can’t figure out how to do it. By the end of the year, they look back at this and laugh at themselves.

How strict I am the first few weeks, trying very hard not to crack a smile. This is the time to get them into shape. so that we all have a great year. They learn the rules and always test me.  Finally, after awhile, I can let my hair down and be myself. I can crack jokes, they can joke around and we can all laugh together. This is when real learning takes place, and to see their “ah ha,” moments is what teaching is all about.

I love 6th graders, the majority are so willing to learn, that it makes teaching rewarding and enjoyable.. One of my favorite things is our morning discussions. Their backgrounds are quite diverse and I learn something new almost everyday. Many are knowledgeable about a lot of things and they’re eager to share. They can talk about whatever is on their mind, and they feel safe doing so. We are now, officially a family and I’ve become their surrogate parent.Sandhill Crane Flying

As I say good-bye, each of my kids takes a part of me with them.  I feel certain that I’ve given them the support, strength and confidence to move on to seventh grade.   The time has come for them to spread their wings a fly.

When I close the door for the final time, I take comfort in knowing that soon I’ll have another bunch of little chickadees to bring up.


Have a wonderful summer








On a closing note, please download my free, School Memories, you can use this for the last day of school.


Here are a few more items


Something for the end of the year and something for the beginning.



Please visit Socrates Lantern’s Social Media Sites


This post is part of our June Teacher Talk Blog link-up.  Please click on the links below.If you’re interested in joining this unique group of teacher entrepreneurs, blogging buddies and/or our blog linky, sign up here….The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative. If you decide to join, be sure to mention my name. 

Teacher Talk June

Let’s Go Fly a Kite

By Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern


When I taught special needs kids, each month we would do something special for those who earned enough points. One of their favorite activities was to make and fly kites in March. child-flying-a-kite smallYears later, I was mainstreamed to 6th grade and the children also loved  this activity.  After they flew their kites, they wrote two papers, one explaining how to make a kite and the other about their experience.

I am going to show you how to make simple kites that your class will love doing.

Materials for a garbage bag kite:  plastic bags, two sticks, string, a ribbon and a nice windy day.

Step 1:  Take two sticks, wooden dowels, or garden stakes and put them into the shape of a cross., one horizontally and one vertically. Place the horizontal stick about a third of the way down and tie them together with a string.

Step 2: Wrap the string securely around the horizontal and vertical sticks so that they stay together.

Step 3:  Cut the bag to fit the kite frame. Secure tightly by tying the ends of the bag to the frame at the tip of each dowel or stick.

Step 4:  Tie string from one side of the horizontal stick to the other, make it loose so that it forms a triangle, see first picture in step #4. Tie a large ball of string to thebottom part of the vertical stick. Loop under the loose portion of the horizontal string and tie a knot then tie another knot where the horizontal and vertical strings meet. You’ll know you’ve done it right if you see a triangle shape. See 2nd image in step #4.

Step 5: Tie some colorful ribbons to the end of the kite to give it balance. If it seems flimsy , you can attach washers to the ribbons to add support.

Step 6: Voila, your kites are complete. All you need is a sunny and windy March day and some space for your kids to run with their kites. Have fun. By the way, you can have a contest to see which kite flies the highest or the best.


Another fun thing that I’ve done with the kids is to take them camping at the end of the school year, but that’s another story.


Featured Items

View my Interactive Poetry Notebook at Socrates Lantern's Tpt Store

Interactive Poetry Notebook

Thanks so much for stopping by.


blog button smallest


Please visit Socrates Lantern’s Social Media Sites


March Teacher Talk.003

Before you leave, please take a look at the rest of the blog posts that are part of our March Teacher Talk blog hop.

The Proof is in the Pudding-Proof-reading That Is!

By Deann Marin of  Socrates Lantern

As a veteran English and Social Studies teacher, I’d like to share some effective proof-reading tips that I’ve used to help students improve their writing skills, and to make my life a bit easier.


This is simple but a tough one for the kids to remember. When writing a rough draft they should skip a line between sentences. This will leave room for proof-reading comments. We are programmed to finish writing one line and just going to the next, so students will really need to remember this.  I’ve often told them to use a marker or pen and put a dot at the beginning of each line that they should write on. This helps a great deal. Eventually they will get it and it will become second nature.  Also, letting them know that as  part of their final grade, they get credit for skipping lines on their rough draft.

Always write rough drafts with a pencil if not using a computer. At the top of their paper, the student should write each area that will be proof-read.  This depends on what you are teaching at the time. After proof-reading has been finished,each student must initial the part that they corrected.

Proof-reading is a group effort.  So I have the class get into their collaborative groups of 4.  I will direct them and let them know exactly what to do.  Each child will have a specific thing to look for, depending on the lesson. If you’re using sensory words, descriptive adjectives, topic and detail sentences, capitals and end punctuation,  figurative language etc. they will proofread accordingly. It is really up to the individual teacher.  All corrections should be written in pen or different colored pencils. Here are some examples:

  1. One child will make sure that the paper makes sense. They will read it and add corrections on the blank lines.
  2. Another child  will look for colorful words such as adjectives, sensory words.
  3. Someone else will circle spelling errors with red.
  4. The fourth child will fix punctuation and grammar.  They might underline grammar mistakes, or circle them with a blue pencil.

Each child in the group starts with someone else’s paper. I give them a certain amount of time to read and correct it, 10-15 minutes or so. After 15 minutes have passed, they give the paper to the next person in their group, and they do their specific job. This continues until all the corrections have been completed. They must remember to initial the part that they corrected see tip #2.

Once the proof-reading has been finished, I let the class know that they will be reading each other’s paper to them to hear how it sounds.  It’s easier to pick up mistakes when you hear it out loud, rather than reading it to yourself. This can get noisy, so they should use inside voices.

  1. When child A reads child B’s paper, child  B has to listen, and vica versa. You do this for all papers in each group. If errors are picked up, they can be worked on, corrected and read aloud again.

As an extra incentive, tell your kids  that if a paper that they corrected has no mistakes, they will get extra points towards the final grade on their own paper. This will get the class to take this exercise seriously.

  1. John, Sarah, Sally and Andrew are in group A. John fixed spelling errors on the papers in his group.  No one has spelling mistakes, so  I  would give him 4 extra points, 1 point for each paper that has been proof- read.  Do this for everyone in the group. Use your own discretion.

When the final drafts are collected, they should include pre-writing, and rough drafts with comments and corrections. I let the them know that if they’ve followed directions and handed everything in as  instructed, they will get credit for it.

I hope this post has been helpful for you. Would love to hear feedback.

Thanks for stopping by.



Here’s a Valentine Day Bundle with writing tasks, pr-writing activities, rough draft and more.

Recently Updated

Valentine Literacy Bundle

Take a look at my Winter Literacy & History Bundle with Items that will spark the curiosity of you and your students…..
Recently Updated1

Winter Literacy History No Prep Printables


Please visit Socrates Lantern’s Social Media Sites


This is part of February Teacher Talk. Don’t forget to read what the rest of these educators  have to say….

Back to School Binder Grades 4-7

By Deann Marin at The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs

Socrates LanternHeader Graphic small

Offering for Educators, Comprehensive Teaching Aides. If you’d like to see what else I have to offer please visit my store

I finally finished updating this Back to School Binder for Grades 4-7 and Special Education. I love music so I’ve incorporated the theme “Getting to Know You,” from Roger’s and Hammerstein’s The King and I.  You can use the included YouTube video link to the song as well as a copy of the lyrics. This binder has everything you need to begin the school year such as name tags for the bulletin board, for the kids to wear and even to place on desks. I’ve added 6 writing prompts with a grading rubric, family trees, cards with questions to answer as ice breakers, a crossword puzzle, and more. This is a growing bundle, when I think of more things to add, I will let you know. If you think of more things for this binder that would make your life easier, just comment. I hope you like it.

What’s Inside

Complete lesson plans …………………4-6

Getting to Know You,

YouTube Link and Lyrics………………7

Large apple information and

name tags for bulletin board…………8-15

Small apple information and

name tags for student to wear………16-19

Name tags for desks……………………20-32

Cards with questions……………………33-36

Apple homework questions…………….37-42

Writing prompts…………………………42-49

Writing Rubric……………………………50

Family trees……………………………….51-58

Crossword puzzle……………………….59-60

Crossword puzzle answers…………….61

Contact information…………………….62



Please visit Socrates Lantern’s Tpt store to view this binder


Please visit Socrates Lantern’s Social Media Sites