Sunday, September 30, 2012

Useful Tech Tools + Global Read Aloud 2012

The Global Read Aloud kicks off this week.  This year one of the books is Charlotte's Web, which our class will be participating in.  We are connecting with other classes through Skype, Edmodo and voicethread to discuss the book together and do projects with a global audience.  You can still sign up to participate!

Here are a few tech tools I've found very useful lately:

*Trackstar- This website allows you to quickly and easily create a webquest for your class.  Here is my trackstar on Apples, which we used on Johnny Appleseed day.  

*Voicethread-  One this site you can take a picture of student work and then record them explaining it.  My favorite feature is the social aspect- other students can comment.  Also, you make want to check out  Screenchomp App if you are just interested in the voiceover and picture- it does the same thing.

*MasteryConnect- I'm thinking of signing up for the paid version of this and I would love feedback from people who already have it!  There is also Gradecam, but with MasteryConnect, you get the same features for a little less.

*KeepVid- Want to show that amazing educational video, but your school blocks YouTube?  Here's your solution!  Thanks to the Darling Liberian for her always fabulous comic tutorials:

An upcoming great resource that you should watch for:
Claco- This website is currently in Beta testing.
You can upload all your lesson files to share with others.  I'm planning on having all of my content on here week by week so all my digital files will be ready to go- plus my team and global users can share and collaborate together!  If you are teaching a certain topic, there is a search engine that finds lessons for you!  Love it!  Check out my profile here.  Want in?  Leave me a comment with your email!

What tools are you using in your classroom?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Infographic for the Chicago Teacher Strike

Chicago Teachers Strike By the Numbers
Presented By:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tell Me Something Good

My Something Good from School:
Two things:  Tomorrow we are starting our Daily 5 rotations for real!!!!!!!!!  Woohoo!
I've been holding off because I didn't have all the equipment I needed for Listen To Reading (aka Ipads).  I didn't have any headphone splitters.  I was planning on purchasing the Belkin Rockstar.  However, I found out today that our library has headphone splitters!  For free!  Two sets!  Stop. the. world.  {abby moment!}  :)

With this setup you can actually have up to five kiddos listening to one device, but I'm keeping it limited to pairs.  I am very ready to have a normal rotation schedule up and running!  Whole group stuff was driving me crazy!

My Something Good from home:

Well, lots!  My husband has a new job where just works 9-5, which is a real blessing for us.  He was working seasonal part time jobs that usually involved holidays, weekends....  I love having him home on the weekend!
We are constantly planning our future vacations :) and we are thinking about going to L.A. & San Diego this summer.  <3

Take a moment and share some of your good news with Rowdy in First Grade!

Discovery Educator STAR

Do you like: 
  • getting free educational resources?
  • growing your PLN and connecting with inspiring educators?
  • attending useful PD like virtual conferences from your couch (for free)?
  • access to lesson plans and common core resources?
Discovery Educator's Network (DEN) is a really great online resource that I recently found out about.  If you use any of their products (like United Streaming) than you are eligible to join.  

I'm really looking forward to their upcoming Fall Virtcon, and their are constantly things going on.  This week they have 7 webinars!  

I recently became a STAR Discovery educator (this is the more active position of the DEN), and look what came for me in the mail today:

Things included in my free welcome pack: Acrylic STAR (this thing looks so cool!), USB Hub, Pin & Sticker, Lanyard, Luggage Tag and trading cards.  The trading cards have the contact info of a few other STARs (like their website & twitter handle).  

I've got a training kit ordered as well, which comes with a bunch of free stuff for my co-workers if they come to a brief meeting about DEN.  

If you are looking for more ways to connect, or you want a leadership role in your school than I would highly recommend checking out Discovery Educator Network!  I know I could use a lot more help in the upcoming months with transitioning to Common Core, and I will be relying on DEN to help me out.  See ya there!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Everything September!

Interactive Math Journals, New Anchor Charts & Bulletin Boards, and a brand new Reading Assessment Notebook are all included in this post!

Anchor charts really show what we are working on in class and we refer to them often.  The Metacognition chart comes from Tammy McGregor, ThinkMarks from Fontas and Pinnell, and Writing from Lucy Calkins and The Sisters.  I love being surrounded by the gurus!  :)

I am absolutely in love with our Math Notebooks this year!  I had a lot of inspiration from Runde's Room and Yvonne Crawford's presentation at the Back To School Expo.  I LOVE the left hand side thinking page for our math journals!!! 

 Notice the big green dot?  That is the student's self assessment based on a traffic light- red: still needs work; yellow: starting to get it; green: understands and could teach it to a friend.

Reflection: It help(ed) me out because when you choose a number do it goes "Whoo" or "Whee" 

hahahaha! We made  number line Roller Coaster for Rounding... complete with sound effects, as evident in this student's reflection!

I love glueing the foldables into the math notebook.  Author Dinah Zike has some amazing resources you should check out if you haven't already!

Here is a peak into our math notebooks.  The money printables come from Tales of a Traveling Teacher.  She has a whole section of Math Notebook printables and Literacy Journals.  Great idea!  Check out all of her TPT notebook resources here.

Sorting & creating charts

Word Problems
Sorting by addition property

I've been trying to get my reading system down for a while now.  We FINALLY got the ok from our new curriculum instructor that we didn't have to follow the basal so strictly!  My county was big on that for a while- remember when I had to get rid of the Daily 5?
Well, I'm bringing it back!  (WOOHOO!) Plus, I'm really teaching flexible strategy groups this year!  I'm so excited about it!

One of my FAVORITE teaching bloggers, Beth Newingham, inspired this binder.  She has lots of great freebies for you to create your own assessment binder!
This little chart is how I plan to keep up with my strategy groups.  Strips of velcro allow me to easily move the groups.  It's on a laminated piece of scrapbook paper, so I can write on it with dry erase markers!

What are YOU doing in your class that is new this year?