To make a long story short, LOVE my husband of 18 years, LOVE my 2 cool kids, Dylan 14 & Holly 8, LOVE hanging with family and friends, LOVE teaching 2nd grade and most importantly, LOVE my Savior & Lord Jesus Christ!
I recently started a "teacher" Instagram account. FOLLOW ME! @iheartteaching :)
I can't believe how many teachers out there have accounts! You know you're a teacher when you love seeing pics from other teachers classrooms!
In the process of setting up my account I discovered that Instagram does not support multiple accounts. Phooey. I don't want to bore my non-teacher friends with teacher stuff-so I went on a quest to find a way to make it work without logging in and out all of the time.
I found a pretty good solution-not a perfect one-but good enough!
I found Instagrab.
It's $.99. I can manage both of my accounts. The main downside is I can only post pics to the account that I'm signed into through the Instagram app. But other than that it's working pretty well. Here's the screen where I can choose which account to view.
If you're a teacher and have an Instagram account leave me your name below so I can follow you!
I've had a classroom blog for years. But when my school told us that we had to send home a paper newsletter, meaning it couldn't be exclusively online, I felt that I would be doing double duty. Why would parents go online for information if it is handed to them on paper? I noticed that I would have 3-5 "regular" visitors and the rest of the parents stopped by so infrequently that I couldn't justify spending the extra time. But for some reason I just couldn't give it up.
Enter Remind 101 to the rescue.
Not only is Remind 101 great for general communication with my parents, but I found that it increased my classroom blog traffic.
If you're not familiar with Remind 101, here's a little promo video. It was super simple to set up and I have had only positive feedback from parents. They love the communication!
(I'm not explaining how to use Remind 101 in this post, but rather how I use it to get traffic on our class blog.)
I keep the app in my school folder on my phone:
When I'm ready to send a text and share about a blog post I click on my current class:
Here's an example of some of the texts I've sent with this app:
Here's how I use it to promote traffic on our class blog/site:
I always text the parents to say "Pics are posted on our blog" or "A new game has been posted"
or whatever the new post is about. I put a link in the text so the parents can quickly access the post. It takes 5 seconds to send the text. As a result about 90% of my students' parents regularly visit our class blog using this method! It has made the time I spend on our classroom blog worth every minute!
Kids love playing with dice-but give them dice on the iPad and they are giddy.
Today for math centers we used these fabulous dice games from The Lesson Plan Diva. You can download her free games by clicking on the pic below.
I gave each pair of students an iPad with the free Dice app installed (there's a few of them in the app store). It was pure center success.
My favorite part about this center is the ability to differentiate so effortlessly.
With a swipe I am able to change the amount of die each center uses. I had some students using 2 dice and some using 3 to compare 2 or 3 digit numbers.
It's Black History Month, so my class is doing a cool project courtesy of a great idea that I got from FETC.
First, we started our research. I used this awesome packet with thinking maps and organizers. (Click the pic to see find purchasing info)
My students used iPads and books to research.
Then, the REALLY fun part! The students are drawing their "person"'s head. They are recording themselves speaking in first person telling about themselves as if they were the historical character. We turn the video into a QR code and presto! A Talking Head!!
At the end of our research the posters will all be displayed as a museum of sorts and each student will take an iPad and scan the code to learn about each African American.
Have you heard of Stixy.com? I recently had the privilege of attending FETC 2013 and I came home with a plethora of technology resources. I immediately came back to my classroom and implemented several of them. This is one that I couldn't wait to try. Stixy.com is an online collaboration tool.
You have to sign up and create a free account but your users do not. You can password protect it. I made a simple password that my students will use for every Stixy that we create.
When setting it up you can add pictures or prompts. This one I used this week for my Bible lesson. Students go to the unique web address for the Stixy you created. They can then login with the password. The students add sticky notes and type whatever you tell them.
In my Stixy above, I used it as review. Students worked in groups to write what they remembered about the previous day's lesson on Nehemiah.
This is a website not an app, but it does work on Safari on the iPad. You could assign this as homework and let students add stickies from home if you don't have multiple computers in your classroom. You could also make it a center and students could enter their responses on your classroom computer.
The beauty of this is when you refresh your browser you can see the responses in real time.
I've been trying to think of a different theme for our party on Friday (only 32 school hours left-but who's counting?). I wanted to keep it "Jesus" centered but I didn't want to do the whole "Happy Birthday, Jesus", since many classes seem to do that every year. So I decided to use the Tale of the Three Trees theme. Here's some of the ideas I've collected so far:
We're going to have breakfast.
Tree shaped pancakes will be perfect. I'm going to use this method and make them tomorrow night. Then I'll put the pancakes in the slow cooker to heat them through the morning of the party.
We're also going to have muffins. I'm going to create these but I'm going to use green paper for the tree look.
My Favorite Thanksgiving Books:
Below are venn diagrams to use with Sarah Morton's Day and Samuel Eaton's Day. Enjoy!
Sarah Morton's Day Venn Diagram:
Sarah Morton's Day Venn
Samuel Eaton's Day Venn Diagram:
Samuel Eaton's Day Venn
Make-up Work-BAh Humbug-Oops, did I say that out loud?
Here's one simple way I keep it organized. I made these folders (and laminated it) that I put on the absent child's desk first thing. Their "neighbor" is usually oh, so helpful to make sure all the papers make it into the folder.
I put a note on the inside of the folder that says
"Please return this folder AND your makeup work by _________________"
The folder is waiting on their desk upon the child's return the next day.
I am now the proud owner (term used loosely) of 8 iPads in my classroom and while it's super exciting, it's a little daunting. I'm the only one at my school who has more than one, so I have a huge responsibility to set the bar. But, crazy me, I love the challenge!
One of the ways that I've been using the iPads the most, is in centers.
So, I share a no prep center (aren't those the best ones? Just bein' honest!).
Our reading curriculum provides retelling cards. They're great and necessary, but to put the kids at a center with them just doesn't work. They're done in 5 seconds flat. Enter iPad. Now they have to lay them out in order, practice their retelling, then they get to video each other doing the retelling. I can watch each child's video to assess them. PRESTO, instant, engaging, common core aligned center!