Sunday, January 4, 2015

A New Take on Reading Rotations and some PD Shares

Break Time is officially over for us as teachers head back to school tomorrow for some Professional Development Presentations!

I'm excited to be able to share some technology with my fellow "Rams" tomorrow during this day of reorganizing and prepping for the second semester of school to begin.
I love using technology with my second graders and enjoy sharing about our successes with others as well...So....
I've started a new page on this blog to house some of the 
shares I'll be reviewing tomorrow. 
You should be able to see the new link in the page tabs under the blog heading :) 
I'll leave the page static and add to it from time to time with more things I find to share :)
Hope you'll hop over and check out some more information on 
Kahoot
Padlet
Kidblogs
Google Drive to Create Online tests
Mystery Skyping

On a UPDATED note...
I'm working on rearranging my Reading Rotations and Stations...
 yet again...
You'd think by now I'd have things roaring and going....
NOT...soooo
...I've updated my reading rotation maps ...again...
I LOVE the graphics from mycutegraphics.com so I kept them for each rotation label on the map
I added a technology station and combined read to self and listen to reading as a choice station
and instead of Word Working station....I've got some drawers to use....
I'm trying some new ideas with the word working stations from 
Jen Ross at 
Teacher by the Beach
Here's the packet I picked up to check out for this month...
She's got a variety of station ideas, but I LOVE the Station Map idea she uses to have kids be more accountable with the work they're doing.  I'll be honest..
.I'm not a worksheet time person, but my friends this year seem to "need" that accountable component to use the stations the right way...
I did some modifications to Jen's station map to come up with my own version...
My thought is to keep the same map for the whole month of January and see how things roll through stations.  I read a GREAT post over at Second Story Window titled 
I love the suggestion of planning for only 3 days of stations...
So...we'll see how the "new year" goes this week as we take some time to reassess and discuss our new procedures for the reading block :)

Enjoy your New Year!
May you find something fun to do each day that makes you smile and
remember that teaching is a joy and you make a difference!




Friday, December 26, 2014

Brain Challenge

Trying to encourage a little brain engagement with my frogletts over the holiday break...
Here's a brain challenge I sent to them today.
There's a printer friendly version as well.
I post the challenge on our KidBlog and they can respond as a comment.
I also send it out via email....then they can email me back or 
print and bring it to school when we return.
Enjoy this Freebie HERE...

I'm thinking about changing the design for this blog as a birthday present from my family...
If you have any suggestions on blog designers you've worked with and would like to share their contacts with me, please leave a comment.
If you are a blog designer, please comment as well.
I'm horrible at figuring out color choices and would appreciate any 
suggestions on what might work for the Swamp Frog theme...
I'm thinking blues, greens, and tans with some bubbles, lilypads, and frogs...
but....decorating scares the snibblets out of me!
Enjoy your day!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Melting Math Word Problems with QR Codes


Merry Christmas Eve...
In honor of my sister's birthday...
I'm sharing a new set of task cards for 2-digit addition and subtraction word problems.
Each mug has a math word problem displayed with a QR code for self-checking.
Simply print and use these easy on the ink cards for stations, small groups, or a game of scoot!
I'll keep them free until December 26th...hope you enjoy! 
Just click HERE or on a picture to download from my TpT store :)



Have a wonderful Christmas Eve 
and a Merry Christmas as well!





Tuesday, December 23, 2014

QR Snow Problems for Math

Here's hoping for some snow this new year with darling little snowmen from 
mycutegraphics.com





Simply scan the QR codes, read the math word problem and solve.
The QR codes are static codes...soooo...you shouldn't have to be connected to the internet for the scans to work.


Use as a Scoot Game
Center activity
or Small Group resource

You can pick it up in my TpT store for Free til December 26th.
Hope you enjoy,

Monday, December 15, 2014

Published on iBooks!

YES!!!! 
Our book was published!
You can click HERE
to download our work for free!
We had a ton of fun app-smashing to create the final project.
Hope you enjoy our work!
Enjoy,
PS...I'll post how we were able to do this soon :)


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Grinch Day 2014....Gettin' Techie!

I LOVE Grinch Day!

This year we took it up a notch and worked some techie elements into our day!
First, we discussed synonyms for the word smile....
we found a whopping 3 in our thesaurus...
grin
beam
smirk
...smirk...really???? That word alone sparked a 10 minute discussion on what a smirk looks like....when do we smirk...what did the Grinch look like when he was smirking...where in the story would the Grinch be smirking...at the beginning....in the middle....at the end...
whew!

Then came the discussion about "How to make the Grinch Smile....or Grin....or Smirk...or Beam!
We wrote out our thoughts in our journals and were ready to begin the 
non-techie portion of the day...
drawing the Grinch...
Here's the steps I used to do the directed draw...I'm not an artist...but I do like to dabble and try to use wording that will help the kids create the objects that we're discussing in their portraits...
First and foremost....
WE GET RID OF THE ERASER!
That's right....NO ERASING AT ALL during our drawing!  It's daunting....it's terrifying....
but it's also freeing!  If I allowed erasers, I would seriously have students that spent the entire lesson erasing something they've already drawn in an effort to perfect it....we got too much to do to be erasing and we can always work through our boo-boos....it's a learning curve :)

We started with a half sheet of drawing paper. Put our pointer finger at the bottom for a guide and drew up the sides to create the neck of our Grinch.
 Then we created a hill to go behind our neck to form the Grinch's Santa suit.
 We put a cloud around the neck and didn't worry about the pencil marks showing through....we're going to add cotton to the end project so they'll be covered up...
 Next, we added a very wide U with a pointy part on top of the neck to create the bottom of the Grinch's face. We almost touched the sides. When I do a directed draw, it's all about the listening as well as the viewing...so I talk it through while I'm showing it on the screen and then I give them a code word...like GO or Grinch It...when I say the code word, then they draw the step the just saw me draw on the board. (or under the projector)...I use an iPevo for directed draws...shows up clear and can be adjusted to get closer so they can see....
 Next is the j shape added to the wide U to create the cheeks of the Grinch.  We put our hands under our chin and then curve our fingers up and around our cheeks to feel the shape before we try to draw the shapes...I also talk about forward and backward shapes.
 To the cheeks, we add a forward and backward....stretched out....c shape to form the forehead of the Grinch....again....we feel for the part of our face that's between our cheeks and our hair.
 A cloud of fluff is added to the top of the forehead we just drew to create the brim of the Santa hat. We don't worry about the pencil marks, these will be covered with cotton as well...so if they dip down and into the face a little...no problem.
 Next is the wide triangular shape that almost touches the top of the paper and spreads out to fit on the cloud we just drew for the brim.
 Then we add two lines to create the part of the hat that flops down.
 Add a fluff ball to the end of this ....we're going to add cotton to this so lines don't matter.
 To add detail to the Grinch's face, we talk about the shape of a mushroom and then draw a mushroom between the cheek area of the Grinch's face.
 We added a V shaped smile with slight c shapes to the ends.
 Then a curve line from under the mushroom nose to the point of the V.
 The eyes are next with a forward and backward L that are linked together with a curve line.
 Two ovals for pupils are put inside the eye shape.
 The last details are the curved lines for eyebrows and eyelashes.

Then the coloring begins....we used crayons to color as dark as we could. 
I wanted to talk about the word resist...so we talked about the wax in the crayons and how water doesn't stick well to wax....the harder and more crayon wax you put on the picture, the better it will "resist" the watercolor paint that you're going to wash over the Grinch to get the background.
We talked about starting with the lightest color first....yes...the white has to be colored...
then the yellow for the eyes...then the green for the face...red for suit...and black for pupils and the outlining of the completed Grinch.
Then 2 by 2...cause I only had 2 paintbrushes that were big enough...we painted a wash of blue color over our Grinches....and AUGHHHHHHH!!!!
Acrylic paint mixed with water doesn't exactly repel the waxy crayons....either that or we didn't press hard enough....quick....get the paper towels and blot them dry....WHEW!!!!!
That worked! See...told you I wasn't an artist! An artist would have probably said to use watercolors!
But me, the wanna be, didn't have watercolors...I had acrylics.....just saying... :)

Let the Grinches dry and then add the cotton .... yes... ONE cotton ball per student was all it took to create the adorable embellishments needed for the brim, tassel ball, and collar... 
Add a black background paper and we're ready for the techie part....

We used the app
It's a $2.99 app, but has a ton of useful ways to be used!  
Besides....I bought it last year and haven't used it yet this year....so this was a perfect way to get the kids used to a different way of creating and allowed them to use more tools like pens and color changing in their work.  So...I gave up a cup of coffee from Starbucks and purchased the app... well...okay...let's be honest...I'll STILL get a cup of coffee from Starbucks, but it sounds better when I tell myself I'm getting something that's longer lasting than my coffee for the kids.

The kids then opened the app, took a picture of their adorable Grinch, manipulated the picture to be the size and shape they wanted and then added text for how they would make the Grinch smile...or grin...or beam...or smirk... Lastly, they signed their work with the pen portion of the app and saved a picture to the camera roll on the iPad.

Now....I'm in the process of creating a book with our project using another app called
There's a free version of this app that will allow you to create one book....but since I have been using it, I took the plunge and purchased the full fledge app for ..... gulp....$4.99....and NO, I am NOT in the habit of spending that much money on an app...I mean...that's like TWO cups of Starbucks....but totally find this app to be worth it as each student can create as many books as they want AND I've recently discovered that we can publish our books on iTunes for free downloads to iBooks...or send it through EPUB files so that parents can read on adobe readers...
too cool, but a totally different post...

....back to the techie project....
I'm uploading their finished pictures to the Book Creator app to complete a book for publishing on iTunes as a finished project.

They can also publish their pictures on their blog posts using KidBlog
which is another free app as well as a free website service for creating kid blogs for students to update throughout the year.
You can checkout our blogs 

Hope you're having a fabulous holiday season!
I'll post when our book becomes available on iTunes so you can see our final production.!
I love the Grinch and how he works into our Techie scheme this year!

I'm linking up with Meg over at ...."Loved That Lesson"
Hop over and see some of the cool ideas HERE...
Enjoy,





Saturday, December 6, 2014

Shining Elf Subtraction with Regrouping



I'm back with Week 2 of 
another sELFless challenge from Krista Wallden's


I totally adore her cute graphics and had a great time creating this little elf
in a subtraction with regrouping paper for my kiddos!
You can grab it for FREE in my TpT store for awhile :)
Just click HERE to download.

Hope you enjoy your weekend!




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