Friday, July 3, 2015

Making Sense of Math Linky Week One

Growing up, I never really “got” math! 
Teachers tried to explain the content, 
but it was never in a concrete format that I truly understood.  
Most of the time I just memorized and moved on. 
Consequently, during my first years as a teacher, 
math was the subject I liked teaching the LEAST! 

Skip forward about “XX” years and now I LOVE teaching math!
More than that…I LOVE sharing activities and ideas that 
help students understand math better with other teachers!

I’m linking up with some awesome eTeacher friends 
to participate in a Summer Post series about Number Sense.

Using Marilyn Burns 
'7 ways that teachers can directly impact a developing sense of numbers'
our posts will cover the following topics 
over the next 8 weeks…
(cause we’re creative and we can always find at least 
one more idea we want to share about!).

This first week we're discussing how we 
Link math to Real-World experiences...

In Marilyn Burns terms....
'Present students with situations that relate to both 
inside and outside classroom experiences. 
Students need to recognize that numbers 
are useful for solving problems.' 
- See more at: 

One of the best ways to connect math to the real-world
was through Twitter Math Tasks for me...
I had my students Tweet tasks on Tuesdays 
to see if other classes from around the world
would be able to solve their questions.

Read more about our 
Global Connections through Twitter

I challenge you to connect your class globally..
choose your grade level to share with 
Mrs. Ladd and I in 
Math Task Twitter Challenge
You can read more about the challenge 

I hope you'll follow 
Mrs. Ladd
on Twitter

Hop over to Mary Lirette's Blog
to read more about 
Making Sense 
Linking Math to Real-World Experiences

Don't forget to 
check out the app giveaway
for Bright World eBooks
Ocean Forests.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

GIVEAWAY for the NEW Bright World eBooks "Ocean Forests"!

I LOVE engaging and effective apps to use with my students in the classroom!
Bright World eBooks has just released
one of the best non-fiction story/interactive apps I've come across.

The app takes the reader INTO the ocean while they are reading the story.
Students can tap on a word to find out more information or how to read the word as well as tap on the blue book to find the vocabulary words that are explained in detail. 
If you tap on one of the highlighted yellow vocabulary words a new screen appears and the definition is read to give students a more clearer picture of what the word means in this environment! 

It also has options for the students to have the story read to them as well
as allowing the students to record their voice while they read...
talk about engaging and fluency practice all rolled into one!

Click on the picture below to go to the 
website and view the quick video on how the app works
for yourself! You'll be glad you did!

This 3D environment allow the kids to read and tap on the animals or plants that are swimming on the page to get more information as they are reading.
They can also explore the Ocean Forest and learn more about each animal as it swims by...or play a game using the information they've learned in the story to check their facts.

At this time, the app is only available through iTunes.
Hop over and check it out for yourself!

I'm so excited with the potential for this engaging & effective app
I'm giving one away!
Use the Rafflecopter options below and join me in a chance to win!

I know the app says it's geared for ages 5-8, but I'm thinking even the older students I'll be working with this year are going to LOVE the interactions and informational content!

Be sure to leave a comment below to open up the other 
options to win an app for yourself!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Global Connections with Twitter

Making global connections using Twitter was an
Engaging and Effective way of showing my 
students that the things we learn are important in "real life"
AND the classroom!

One of the favorite connections we made this year was our
Tweeting Tuesdays
We made a global connection with Mrs. Ladd's class.
Our goal was to take turns tweeting out Math Tasks every Tuesday.
Problem solving is soooo very important in Math...
 some students had the blues about working on the problems..
add in the idea of sharing a problem with another class
better yet...trying to solve on of their problems ...
No more boredom! Total engagement and energy!
The kids "begged" to check the Twitter feed for a
task to solve and answer.
@swampfrogkids can you show an array and multiplication problem for this repeated addition? #Clara #mathtask
Mamaw even got in on the fun!

Tweets don't have to be elaborate...
Just a quick task for the kids to think about and solve
using the strategies we're working on in class.
My high kiddos took off on creating tasks for others to solve.

Beverly and I had the opportunity to meet up this summer 
and decided we wanted to share the connection with others!
We created the 
What's the Goal?
We want to connect teachers across the globe
to share relevant learning and activities going on in their rooms!

How Can I Join?
Click on the link to
Global Math Task Twitter Challenge
When you've click on the yes and submitted the form,
you'll be given access to the google sheet to sign up for 
your grade level and week(s) you'd like to 
Tweet a Task.

On the spreadsheet, you'll be able to view all the 
teachers in the different grade level bands that have signed up to participate.
Choose your grade level and the week(s) you want to be in 
charge of tweeting out math tasks using the hashtag that is 
specific to your grade level group.
You can also follow some of the classes to see what else they're 
sharing on Twitter.

Tweeting Tuesdays was "hands down" one of my favorite ways
that I globally connected my students! 
We felt like we were engaged in "real time sharing" with 
students from all over!

If you have any questions, please contact us
Beverly Ladd         or      Heidi Samuelson
(@BevLadd)                  (@swampfrogfirst)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Get Connected with your Parents

How do you connect with your parents?

I'm trying to get a step ahead for next year's 
parent communication connections :)

I've decided to use one of my favorite tech tips on 
creating slides to embed in your website from 
It has been "DA BOMB" in helping simplify my newsletter updates
as well as adding information into my sidebar for my class website!
If you haven't had the opportunity to check out 
Tabitha's need to hop over and jump onboard!

I created informational slides in Google Slides and published the slides to the web
so I could get a URL address to create a QR code.
(Sounds confusing...but really very easy!)
If you're not on the online google slide bandwagon yet...
Jump...NOW! soooo much you can do with this tool!

Then I used my trusty PowerPoint Program and created a 
set of "business card" images to print for 
my welcome to the class meeting.
I inserted the QR code into the card.

Now...the idea is my parents can scan the QR code on the card
to have instant access to all the ways to connect with our class!
The beauty of using Google Slides is that all the links are LIVE!
Yep...just click on the blue link and it'll take you right there.

The beauty of it is....
I can modify the slides at ANY time and the QR code stays the same.
I can add more informational slides and
my wonderful parents, 
who have this engaging little card on their refrigerator,
can scan the QR code for information update.

I can also copy these slides and add them to my sidebar
slideshow on my class blog for information overload all the time!

AND...I use the Remind App
to send out weekly reminders to my class...
I can just "Remind" them to scan the code for something 
special or a new set of information :)

If you'd like to connect with me...
Here's my new "business card".
Scan away! I'd love to collaborate with you and your class!

Here's one way you can collaborate with me this year...
no matter what your grade level...
@BevLadd and I are hosting a 
We'd LOVE to have you join in.
Just scan the QR code below to sign up for a week to 
Tweet out Math Tasks to your grade level and 
watch what wonderful learning takes place when you
connect your class with others around the globe!

Want more connections?
Join in 

I'll be hosting a Twitter Chat 
on August 1st 
@1:00PM CST
on Effective & Engaging Apps
Log into Twitter and join in the fun using
the hashtag #appengage

Can't wait to see what you have to share!
I LOVE integrating technology into my teaching!
Don't you?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Global Collaboration Success!

Friday, May 22nd was our official last day of school! 
We had an AMAZING year of collaboration and global connections!

Our final project this year was to create a Fractured Fairy Tale
by collaborating with another class in North Carolina!

Using GoogleDocs


 Voxer helped the writers in both classrooms
communicate ideas and create a tale that
combined characters from familiar fairy tales.

Because our school year ended before their year has finished,
we took on the job of illustrating and creating the
final book using Book Creator.
We had 3 groups working together on different days to create
3 amazing Fractured Fairy Tales...

You can download them on iTunes
to read on iBooks by searching for my name

Read more about our adventure over at ...
I'm so excited to be Guest Blogging to tell you more 
about how we collaborated

Hop over and check out how our  
collaboration to create eBooks and improve our 
writing with another classroom in another state worked out for us!

Click HERE for Link!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hop into a Twitter Chat !

Do you have a Twitter account? Have you joined in a Twitter Chat before?

Hop over to Twitter on Tuesday and join me for 
an inaugural chat on 
Engaging & Effective Apps to use in your Classroom!
Here's a list of questions for the chat.

Never joined a Twitter Chat before? No worries...
Just search for the #appengage in your twitter search line
or follow my twitter account for updates and invites.

You can lurk in the background and see what apps 
are being shared...or join in the fun and share something that
worked for you this year!

Join me in the 
to share apps that are working for you as well!

I look forward to finding more 
engaging & effective apps to use in my class!

I'm also linking up with 
Monica from "I Heart Grade 3"
for her summer weekly series link ups...

This week is all about the
"Why I Started Blogging!"

The Swamp was created during a family Thanksgiving trip to 
Washington, D.C. back in 2010 as a way for me to 
share some of the games and activities 
that were working for me in the classroom.

I've always been a "journaling" kind of blogging has 
helped me create a virtual journal of the things that are 
working for me in my classroom!

I LOVE sharing ideas with others .... I hope you find 
something useful as you hop around "The Swamp".
I'd love to know what's working for you as well!
Let's connect through Twitter or Instagram or Facebook!
Becoming a Global Learner has become a 
passion of mine! I'm so excited to see what's going on 
around the world in the teaching realm!

I'll be learning more through 
July 31-August 1, 2015
24 hours of Global Sharing using the EdCamp format online!
Check it out and join in the fun!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Want to Kahoot with Us?

Four point Five Days 
and the Countdown is on...!
How much can I squeeze into these last few days to make
their Second Grade year full of memories
to last through the Summer????

Kahooting and Skyping have been two of our
favorite activities this year!
We'd LOVE to have you join us for one last game!

Hop over to the googleform and fill out your info to join in with us!

I'll send out info about the game so everyone
can join contacts and we'll be able to see your class during the game!

I'm also in the process of putting together a 
Math Resource Blog
for our District's Second Grade Teachers.

My goal is to include links and activities for each quarter to make it 
super useful for everyone!

IF you have a freebie or a blog post you'd like me to link to...
please comment below or email me!
I'd be happy to share your ideas and 
give you a spotlight in the blog.
You can find the blog below...
but please remember...
it's a work in progress...
just a skeleton with ideas 
scattered everywhere right now...
Math Resources for Second Grade