September 20, 2015

Daily 5 October Work on Writing and Work on Words

Happy Fall Y'all!!!  Can you believe October is just around the corner, and fall will officially be welcomed this week?  I wanted to share one of my latest TPT products with you, my October Writing Activities bundle!  Regardless if you are a Daily 5 teacher or not, these writing prompts can be used in any ELA classroom throughout the month of October!  This product is currently on sale in my TPT store!

Each monthly bundle will include 20 seasonal writing prompts with graphics from TPT's most popular clip artists (Krista Wallden, Melonheadz, Graphics from the Pond, Scrappin Doodles, and more), seasonal word cards with colored graphics which can be displayed on a bulletin board or available to aid your students with spelling, a thematic writing menu for your writing station, a student friendly writing rubric, as well as a checklist full of successful writing tips that will insure your students are on the "WRITE" track as a young author!  

I have also have available in my TPT store an October Work on Words bundle which includes three different products!

This Work on Words product can be used in a variety of ways.  You could use it with an RTI group, Whole Group Instruction with your favorite Kagan Structure, a Scoot Game, literacy groups, or simply add them to your Work on Words station!  

Do you ever feel as though you get so caught up into teaching "standards" through boring worksheets, and then you look up and the holidays have come and gone?  Why not achieve those standards by breaking away from the same ole boring worksheet by using fun, seasonal activities to teach those skills.   My goal this year is to incorporate more seasonal activities into my classroom this year!  The kids love it and student engagement is so much higher!! :)

September 19, 2015

Kahoot! in the Classroom

Have you ever heard of Kahoot?  For the love of Pete (whoever Pete happens to be), I have never seen as much excitement and student engagement in all of my life!  If you are searching for ways to conduct an engaging, informal assessment at the conclusion of a lesson or a particular skill, LOOK NO MORE!  Just take a peek at the photograph below, and tell me what you think!!  
Kahoot! is a FREE online resource that allows teachers to create, play, and share fun learning games for any skill, grade, or age.  A classroom without Kahoot! is like macaroni without the cheese! FYI...it's rather difficult to contain the excitement and volume, notice I didn't say NOISE; however, whoever said LOUD LEARNING was a bad thing!!   
  video
As the teacher, you will want to first create yourself an account 
Ideally, you want each student to have his/her own personal electronic device.  
Any device that is capable of connecting to your school's wifi will work.  
I even sent a Remind 101 message to my parents letting them 
know that I would gladly take any old smartphones that are 
just laying around the house off of their hands! 

I first sent a message to all of my parents letting them know (straight from the horse's mouth) that it was okay for their child to bring a Smartphone, Kindle, iPad, iPod, etc. from home.   I would strongly encourage you to create a document for your parents to sign before their child brings an electronic device which states that you, your school, or your district will not be responsible for any damages or theft.  I also encouraged my parents to place the "Find my iPhone" or "Find my iPad" app on their device if it was an Apple product.  Heaven forbid one of your students would use a "FIVE FINGER DISCOUNT" and steal one, but you never know!  I'm sure other brands have something similar!  The first day was amazing....all but about 7 of my 23 students brought their personal device, and I was able to supply the others with my Google Chromebooks or an old iPhone of mine.  
video
Because we had completed our first Pearson Reading Street Benchmark
 test this week and we had some time, I decided to introduce my 
students to their first Kahoot!  The grammar skills that are 
drilled in the 2nd Grade, Unit 1 series is TYPES OF SENTENCES!  
Therefore, I chose a "Public Kahoot" (one created by someone else) 
on types of sentences.  As you watch the video, listen carefully to 
the exhilarating music as the timer counts down.  
BEWARE:  YOUR STUDENTS ARE LIKELY TO SELECT 
AN INCORRECT ANSWER SIMPLY BECAUSE OF 
FEELING THAT PRESSURE FROM THE MUSIC!  
However, if you feel that it creates too much anxiety and 
your students are getting frustrated with selecting incorrect answers 
haphazardly, you can adjust the settings which will take away the time and/or music.  
video
As you can see in this video, the students are anxiously 
awaiting for the results on the ActivBoard which will 
provide the students' score and class placement which is 
based on accuracy and the amount of time it takes them 
to respond to each question.  As mentioned above, 
the game can cause an increase of volume, 
but I'm quite okay with that!!!

I've just created my first Kahoot! and uploaded it!!  
It was super easy and the website is so user-friendly!  
You have the options of including your personal clipart 
you have on your computer as well as videos.  
 Once you select a Kahoot! to play, your students will be 
provided a Game PIN that is specific for that Kahoot!.  If for 
any reason during the game your students lose connection, 
they can always rejoin the game because the 
Game PIN number stays visible on the screen.  
After your students log in with the Game PIN, they are then 
asked for a "Nickname"; however, I require my students to use their first 
name only so that I can assess the data upon completion 
of the game.  I also remind my students that we are only 
in competition with ourselves, and always trying to improve 
our score from the game before.  If I run into a student demonstrating 
poor sportsmanship, they know they will lose their device for the next round.  
It truly squashes the poutiness and disrespect towards other students.  
The game begins and the students are given time to read and 
respond to each question.  I remind them that "Slow and steady is the 
pace, slow and steady wins the race."  This cuts down making careless 
mistakes, but as you know we all have THAT student!! 

video



Game on and as you can see from below, just because a 
student's name is in first place, doesn't mean they will stay there!  
It keeps the game exciting and students from giving up!


The best part is the teacher has data that is able to be 
downloaded into Excel if they choose to evaluate!  

No doubt your kids will be BEGGING daily to play Kahoot!

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September 18, 2015

FRIDAY FREEBIE-PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE FORMS

Are you feeling as though your calendar is being consumed with parent teacher conference appointments?  After being in school for five weeks, parents are beginning to respond to their child's progress report like a two alarm fire!  Today, I have these teacher-friendly conference forms available in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop!  Please go see what other teachers have to say about these and grab yours while they are FREE!  I hope you enjoy!!  HAPPY FRIDAY!!  :)