Thursday, November 28, 2013

Swamp Frog Turns 3 Years old with Horrible Harry Free Unit

Don'tcha just love being horrible? ....well at least sometimes???

I LOVE Suzy Kline's Horrible Harry character!
Her stories about this lovable yet horribly naughty little guy are some of my favorite beginning chapter books to use with my second grade readers!

We started the year with

I tried using the kindle version for a read aloud and ended up getting the audio version as well so the kids could read and listen at the same time.  It was very successful for my beginning chapter book readers!  And they LOVED using the Kindle!

During Christmas Time I wanted to try to move into...
  Horrible Harry and the Christmas Surprise

Harry's soooo horrible, yet sooo wonderfully thoughtful at the same time!  Helps remind me that even my naughtiest of froggies can be thinking wonderful thoughts in a different way!

Today is the 
The Swamp Frogs 
Third Year Blogversary

Sooooo thought I'd celebrate by 
sharing a new twist on an Literature Unit I wrote a longggg time ago for 

I've updated the word work to be used in a reading journal that will engage my students as they cut and glue the words as they put them in ABC order.
I've also added some comprehension questions that will require text evidence to answer thoughtful questions about each chapter in 

Click a picture to download a copy of this updated literature unit for this adorable 
Chapter Book by Suzy Kline with one of the most lovable, horrible characters I know...

Just a small token of ...
Thanks for all the support during the last three years of blogging and sharing!  
I've met some AMAZING teachers in this virtual world of professional development!

Enjoy your upcoming holidays!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Teaching Channel Shout Out

Have you checked out some of the new videos available on this wonderful resource?
I LOVE using accountable talk with my kiddos and this short blippity bop  (below) is a great explanation of why it works and how to use it...

The Teaching Channel has some great early childhood videos to help with the online PD as well...
Hop over and check them out as well...

What accountable talk do you use in your classroom?
Do you have a favorite Teaching Channel Video you've gained some personal insight by watching?

Leave a comment to answer one (or both) of the questions above along with your email address...I'll choose a lucky winner to send a little something special to for playing along!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Creating Online Tests using Google Drive Forms

I LOVE using Google Drive forms to create online tests to help my students practice for the upcoming PARCC testing.

I've been taking the story of the week and creating tests that go along with the vocabulary, high frequency words, and comprehension of the content.

Students use their texts to find evidence to help them in answering the questions from the test.
Some questions require them to type an answer, some question are multiple choice, and some are chosen from a pulldown list.  I always try to include a couple of questions where the students need to answer in a complete sentence or two.

My kiddo enjoy taking the tests and are actively engaged during the time they are working with the computers.  The cool thing about the tests is that they're internet based, so I can pull up the test on an iPad (using safari) and they can take the test using the iPad as well as a computer.

Here's an example of the test we took over the story of Anansi from our Scott Foresman Reading Basal this past week:

I've 'tried' to create a tutorial on youtube to help share with you the way I create the tests... you can view the tutorial here...pardon the fast talking or fluberoos...I was trying to get the video to be under 10 minutes to fit with the youtube specs...

And if you're not tooo confused so's the second tutorial on how I upload the test to my website so that the kiddos have access to it on the day I want them to take the test.


I LOVE technology! 
 But it's always good to have a backup plan if the internet is down on
 the day you plan to give the test :)

Hope you find this useful!

How are you prepping your students for the testing online?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

New Resources are "Rocking My World" !

I was recently introduced to two Awesome websites that have truly "Rocked My World"!

K12Reader has wonderful resources for small group skill work as well as formative assessment type worksheets...I LOVE the context clues worksheets and plan to use them with my reading groups this week in a game format between the group readers... 

The subcategories for Reading skills make it easy to see and read the content that is offered! part....the resources I've looked at are FREE....
of course they are a lot of ads on the page, but I'm pretty good at ignoring those when I want to :)

Arcademic Skill Builders has quickly become a favorite with my class!  It has challenging- fluency building- skill leveled games that are fun to play!

There is a sign up and login feature, however, so far.....we've been able to play the games without having to do either of those things.  

You can sort the games by subject and by grade level...
so far our favorite is Jet Ski Addition, which oddly enough is an app I've had on the iPad for a year :)

Teach Math is another resource I'm interested in finding out more about...I'm in LOVE with the open number line concept that I read about on the Math Coach's Blog...
We're starting to discover different tools to use when trying to solve 2 two-digit problems in both addition and subtraction...The open number line is a "hit" with the kids and has been very helpful with the addition .... this week we'll try the subtraction version...
Not sure I'm going to go with the huge 30 and 40 hops....but I think the ten hops would work just as well.... and I like the idea of starting at the number being subtracted and adding what you need to get to the nearest ten before adding on the rest of the numbers to get to the final answer...
We'll see how it works...

We're using Educreations and Explain Everything apps on the iPads to help us share our learning with our helps them to see how the "new math" terms and thoughts are playing out in the classroom when they're doing also gives the kids a reference for "how we did what we did in the room" :)

Educreations is a FREE app...

Explain Everything is a paid app....but for the price of a cup of coffee...I thought it was worth the outcomes...(still bought the coffee...but it's the idea of the price :)

Here's a simple worksheet that I used with small groups to help us work on the beginnings of adding with an open number line...
Just click the picture or HERE to download.

Do you have any favorite Math or Reading websites that you'd like to share?
PLEASE leave a comment with the URL...I LOVE to get resources to help me 
Reach Every Child!