Saturday, January 3, 2015
So, how will I make 2015 the best year for my students? Simply, I will continue to ENGAGE! I will continue to get my kiddos out of their seats and help them interact with their learning. Im going to accomplish this in two ways:
1) Simulations and Labs: I’m going to add even more activities into my class to help students experience history. We will continue to act as detectives and solve history's mysteries as well as take part in labs that help reinforce key concepts and let the kiddos understand what daily life was like for people of the past!
2) Extend their Learning: I have so many kiddos that are begging to be challenged! Technology can truly help me do this. For the rest of the year I need to enrich their learning by continuing to implement my Google Classroom extension assignments, have them play more with video using websites like Zaption and EduCanon, and utilize those amazing phones they have in their pockets for response systems and classroom videos (blog post coming soon on these amazing vocabulary videos we made with their own phones and editing apps of their choice!!!) As usual they taught me a thing or two!
So, comment up people! How are you going to make 2015 the best year ever for your students? I’d love to hear your ideas!!!
Saturday, November 1, 2014
So I gave myself a goal this year. I want to add as many hands on, experiential activities into my class as possible. So far, they have been an amazing success! I blogged about this activity last month.
This week my kiddos got to experience what it felt like to be a hominid. They looooooved it and beg for more labs!!!
|Homo Erectus building their tower.|
|Neanderthal and Cro Magnon|
|Homo Habilis very proud of their horrible tower and their lack of fine motor skills.|
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Friday, October 10, 2014
1) I'm still totally in love with Plickers!
Plickers is better than ever and just did some amazing upgrades to their website. You can now make multiple choice questions and create the questions online to save for later. I use these a lot in class and was trying to find a streamlined way for us to use them at the beginning of class. Voila!!! I had them paste them in the back of their interactive notebooks.
2) I have a huge number of ELLs in my class and they are amazing. We are noticing that they really don't like to speak academically. I've decided that is one of my focuses this year and employed a trick from last year. The kiddos did an awesome activity on the possibilities of what may have happened to the inhabitants of Roanoke. In the end, the kiddos had to make a claim about what they thought happened. Before I sent them to pen and paper I wanted them to be able to discuss their ideas and get feedback from others. So I did the only thing that made sense....
I made them SPEED DATE!!!!!
I partnered up the kids and gave them questions that would help them solidify their claim.
3) I created an amazing History Lab for my little ones. We were learning about the types of government and I decided to focus on just monarchy, dictatorship, democracy, and monarchy. The students had the task of building the tallest freestanding tower with minimal supplies. Each person, though, was given a task and role that mimicked a different type of government. The kids experienced each government and played roles such as monarch, dictator, elected official, heir, and average person. To add to the excitement of the building the tower, I played this music in the background (after being inspired by my Thursday night #sstlap Twitter group to add more music to my classroom.)
If you are interested in this activity in its entirety, click here and check it out!
Lastly, I've been dipping my toes in Whole Brain Teaching and would love any feedback/suggestions middle school teachers have about implementing it in the classroom.
Have a great 3 day weekend!
Friday, September 19, 2014
Ha! I make myself giggle sometimes! Seriously, that is my pile of grading. Google Classroom is amazing and fabulous and I'm a school girl in love.
I told the kids that this year I wanted top go "paper light". All assignments would be in paper form and online. Students could decide how they wanted to complete them. I also have the luxury of 5 old laptops, 2 beautiful macs, and one iPad in the classroom and a study hall time for kids to accomplish assignments.
About 70% hand the assignment in digitally. Interestingly enough, they still prefer to have the reading in paper form but love to do their writing in digital form.
The second week I used Newsela to organize three articles at three different Lexile scores.
For bonus, I put reading comprehension questions in the comments based upon the reading level of the article.
Voila! Instant reading groups, leveld discussion, teacher feedback and read alouds to meet every IEP.
Have I reminded you how much I love Google?