Posts

Then There Were Two!

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Have you heard the news? The NEW Student Stories is coming to Class Dojo on Sept.15th. I must admit when I first started tweeting about the release, it was all about trying to win a Chrome Book. Then I messed around and actually watched the video! And my mind started reeling! Literally...

You see, I've been trying to streamline the technology I use in my class for ever! For obvious reasons parents can get overwhelmed when there is too much technology. Students can get overwhelmed. Let's be real...I can get overwhelmed.

I always tried to make sure each piece I used had a specific purpose: I used Remind for reminders, Edmodo to share content and make assignments, Class Dojo to communicate social and behavioral skills, and Seesaw to share academic progress with my students' families.  Each of these programs is great and I have used them all for several years!  But a little birdie (actually, it was our County's Technology Director) kept telling me that I needed to streamli…

Global Learners

Are you a global learner?  Are your students? Technology can connect people who under normal circumstances would never cross paths.

This year I have had the privilege of introducing my students to students across the globe through Mystery Skype. What is Mystery Skype? Check out this post by Mr. Solarz for a great explanation.

When I look back, I think it all started a few years ago with The Global Read Aloud. I saw then how my students looked forward to using technology to connect with other students. This year (through Twitter and Mystery Skype) I was introduced to World Read Aloud Day by a wonderful teacher in Wisconsin, Jackie Trebiatowski.

Together our classes created a book using the app Book Creator. Students worked to photograph their school and interview staff members. Once each class had their portion of the book completed, I compiled the two books for our final book, A Tale of Two Schools. We each read the book to our class and then met via Internet to learn more about our n…

Ready, Set, Flip!

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Here's an oldie, but a goodie. Click here to listen to the podcast with Jon Bergmann.



Celebrate!

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As of today we have officially been in school for 4 weeks! Fourweeksmind you! And today was actually the first day that I have felt like we had it together, or maybe I should say "I" had it together.

We have been fine tuning some of our procedures since Day 1 and I really mean fine tuning. Like only 4 feet on the purple carpet at one time. That means only 2 people can be in their cubbies at the same time....all about crowd control. And stacking chairs and balls BEFORE specials rather than rushing afterward made a huge difference. My personal favorite was what to do while we are waiting for everyone to come to the carpet to share after Reading Workshop.  That proved to be the perfect time for kids to update their reading logs in their Reader's Notebooks; something that was never done consistently in the past. It's the little things!

It is soooo important to take time to teach procedures at the beginning of the year.  Someone (can't remember who) said "If you…

Lights, Camera, Action!

If someone would have told me that me that my third grade students would not only record a green screen movie using DoInk, but would then upload that video to iMovie to edit (add titles, credits, and background music) and finally post that movie on Seesaw for their parents and other classmates to enjoy I probably would not have believed it. Heck! I didn't know how to do all that myself!
My students used Do Ink to record public-service announcements about recycling. We were having problems with some of the videos.  I wasn't really sure how to use the app, let alone how to edit the final product, but I knew it could be done; my fifth graders had just done it just a couple of years ago. They were pros at it.  They did it all, recording and editing. They did it so well that I didn't pay attention to HOW they did it.  They seemed to figure it all out. Now as a third grade teacher I needed know "how" they did it. . . or did I?
That's when it hit me.  I flipped my …

OneNote: Organizing Your Table of Contents

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It's the little things that keep me excited!  I just found out today that if I make subpages in OneNote, then I can organize my Table of Contents.  Let me explain.   After adding so many different things to my student's notebooks it was becoming a little overwhelming, especially for third graders!   Things were starting to look a little cluttered.
So I starting adding dates to the titles to make it easier for them to find stuff.


A little better, but not so much!  This was actually my first attempt at trying to organize the Table of Contents. I even thought about just deleting pages we had already used and starting fresh each marking period. I didn't want to do that because there are some entries I wanted them to refer to time and time again. I also wanted them to have a record of their work and their growth throughout the year.
So I kept playing around with the TOC and I literally just discovered that if you make subpages you can collapse the different sections. So how d…

A Perfect Fitt

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I am so excited!  My wonderful administrative team was awarding two $1,000 grants for a class makeover.  I applied and I won!  What did I win?  Only something I have wanted for almost 5 years . . . a class set of Wittfitt Stability balls. There is lots of research to support using stability balls in the classroom; especially for students with attention related challenges. Click here and here to read more. There are 3 main reasons for using stability balls and incorporating movement into your classroom: Movement increases blood flow to the brain, which is better for brain function and learningMovement helps children "get the wiggles out" which aides their natural need to move.  This actually helps them focus by expending the excess energy they build up throughout the day.Sitting on a stability ball supports and builds their core muscles. This also helps develop large motor muscles, which support small motor muscles (writing and hand strength).Of course, you will need to teach p…