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Showing posts from 2015

Organizing with WSQ

Note: This is a repost of a previous page.

My WSQ chart has changed throughout the years.  This was the latest version I used as a fifth grade teacher.  Even with the form I would get a message on Edmodo every day from at least one student asking "Mrs. Fisher, do we have to do a WSQ?" UGH!  Are you kidding me? What was I doing wrong?

After chatting with Crystal Kirch online, I realized what I was doing wrong. The WSQ (watch, summarize, question) is the format for watching the videos. It's not what you do after you watch the video! That simple change in thinking ade a huge difference! Thanks Crystal!



After completing their summary, the students answered questions about the video on a Google Document. I could quickly check before class to see who understood the material on the video.

Then I switched to using the calendars you see below.  The chart would let them know when their video responses were due.  I stapled the chart into each child's math folder. This  really h…

Microsoft Office 365, Oh My!

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I've been missing in action for a minute.  This has been a busy year to say the least!   Last year, without being a Google classroom, I used Google Docs, and Google Drive with my students.  This year our county began using Microsoft Office 365, so that meant learning something new - ah-gain! I must say that OneNote has great professional development videos to help you set up your class notebooks.  But I tend to like the personal touch.
In walks Sandra.  Our school was chosen to begin taking quarterly tests online this year.  The good thing about that is we have a tech consultant based at our school for the first part of the year. How sweet is that? Sandra has been sooo helpful.  Whenever she comes in our class, the kids give her a round of applause! She was there to help me walk my students through the process of logging on to their OneNote accounts. Now instead of 6 notebooks, there's just One Notebook . . . OneNote... Get it! :-)
I still use interactive notebooks; I haven&#…

Follow Your Gut!

Just this week alone I have read 3 different posts on Twitter about how Minecraft, @MinecraftEdu, has improved students' reading comprehension or math skills. Every time I read one of these posts I can't help but think about Isabel.

To say Isabel LOVED Minecraft would be an understatement.  It was her passion. I don't believe a day went by without her trying to convince me that I should let the class download Minecraft on our iPads. She even enlisted some of the other students to try and convince me. And each day my response was something like "let me look at it" or "we'll see".

If I were to be completely honest I'd have to admit I was afraid.  Yep! I was afraid what other teachers would say if they ever found out I was letting my class play a game on their iPads. I was afraid that I couldn't justify why I was letting students play a game when they should be working. I didn't really understand the game myself. I, I, I--I wasn't think…

Awesome Apps

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I wanted to share 3 awesome apps that I started using towards the second half of the school year: Book Creator, Seesaw, and Shadow Puppet EDU. All of these apps were easy for my 3rd grade students to use, but are also appropriate for older students. Basically I made the apps available and they did the rest! I'm calling them "take it and run with it" apps! I have been able to learn more abut the features of each app by following them on Twitter. For that reason, I am including their Twitter handle.
Shadow Puppet EDU
This app was a great way for my students to share what they learned with others. The only prep on my part was to give my students a story board to help them plan their slideshow. They used the storyboard to record their voice over. At first they wanted to include a lot of text on their slides, so I had to back up a little to talk about making more effective slideshows.  You can use Shadow Puppet's storyboard or you can easily create your own specific to yo…

My Summer PD

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Today was the beginning of my summer break and after I woke up naturally (no alarms going off) and took the dogs out, I sat down at my computer; just to see what was happening in the world. And I am so glad I did. First, I ran across a post about the different types of blended classes, which got me thinking about my flipping experience.

When I first started flipping, I taught fifth grade and I flipped my math class in the traditional way: students watched videos at night, took notes, and completed an online quiz or used Google Doc to show their understanding. Then in class we were able to spend time doing more hands on type activities. Later, I added science to the mix.

Flipping math and science gave me so much time in class to do hands on activities and labs. After doing it this way for a couple of years, I found myself moving to 3rd grade; with a much younger bunch of students. How would this work with 3rd grade students?  I must admit I was a little worried. But I knew the valu…

You Are Appreciated!

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You Are Awesome!

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Someone recently told me I was an awesome teacher.  I said that to say most days I don't feel so awesome! I haven't won any awards, or published any books; which is something I have wanted to do since I was in the fifth grade.  In fact most days I feel overwhelmed.  I feel like there was something else I should have done or could have done to reach my students. It seems there is always a lesson that I didn't get to, something that will have to wait until the next day.  It goes without saying that most teachers probably feel overwhelmed at one time or another.  Don't they?

I also think there are a lot of wonderful teachers who don't hear how awesome they truly are.  So the next time you get a chance, take a moment to tell another teacher how awesome you think they are. They will appreciate it, even if they don't happen to be feeling it at the moment!  

The Biggest Loser

For some strange  reason I was laying in bed thinking about dresses.  I don't own many dresses and the few I do own are all different sizes reflective of (how shall I say this?)  how large or small I have been throughout my life. Even though I have donated a lot of  my clothes from time to time, for some reason I still have different sized dresses hanging in my closet.  The problem is they simply don't fit.

I'm beginning to think this describes me teaching third grade. Like my dresses, I have taught a lot of different grades. I've actually taught all grades from kindergarten to fifth.  And like my dresses I have loved them all.  Except this one!

If I may be honest this has been a difficult change for me: moving from fifth to third grade.  When I think about the other times I have switched grades, they were gradual changes.  I didn't notice them as much.  I moved up or down 1 grade at a time.  From first to kindergarten, K back to first, then K-1, even K-1-2, I sk…