Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ancient Greece Task Cards

I'm preparing for my week which will include MCAs and might include a snow day.....ugh.  Before I get into the thick of it, here is a new item.  My kids looooved this task card scavenger hunt and it was challenging enough to engage all learners.


Click here to check it out!!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Zimmer Twins and Fabulous Swag

My extremely long Egypt unit is done (thank you snow days) and I really wanted to do something fun, especially since Tuesday starts MCAs. Aaaaahhhhhhh! First I decided to do a very Common Corey project. When I moved into my new classroom I found all these amazing, but singular, books on Egypt so I decided to put them to good use. I asked the kids to peruse the books and find a topic about Ancient Egypt that interested them. Once they found that an interesting topic, they were to make a claim about their interest and support it with four pieces of textual evidence.

My kids are textual evidence masters so this was easy and we could soon move to the fun! I decided that the kids would use the Zimmer Twins website to lay out their claim and evidence in a movie. My fabulous friend Tracy did a similar project and Oscar party last year so this year I decided to pillage her great idea.

Th best thing about the Zimmer Twins is its a cartoon maker where the kids can easily choose what happens next in the movie. It has tons of freedom so the students really feel like they are making their own movie. The kids loved it an we planned the First Annual Wilkie Awards for today!

When the kids entered the classroom they got to walk the red carpet and "Hooray for Hollywood" was blasting in the background;)
My fabulous boa!
The red carpet!
Yup! Lots of popcorn!!!!
My amazingly fabulous and wonderful computer teacher let the kids work on their videos during class. She said they kept working and telling everyone they were going to win that Wilkie. I looooooove these kids!

The awards ceremony is Monday so stay tuned!

 

Plickers! My new obsession!

*** I am using this entry for my school's fabulous Feedback Fair so I wanted to preface it.  This post is about Plickers, which allows me to collect data quickly and efficiently.  As I collect the data, students automatically get to see if they are right or wrong, thus giving automatic feedback.  I then use the data to immediately meet with my struggling students that same class period or the next and check for deeper understanding.


So as I was perusing my edtech blogs last week I came across a shoutout for Plickers.

It's simplicity is its beauty! It's a clicker response system without the clicker. All you need is one smart device and you are ready to get instant feedback from students.

On the website, you download up to 40 different barcodes (one for each student). They look like QR codes and each one has a unique shape. This is how the smartphone is able to recognize each student.

Each barcode has a side labelled A, B, C, or D. When you give a multiple choice question students hold up their Plickers with the answer at the top. One of the absolute perks I found when I first used this, was everyone's letters are different so one student's A answer might put the Plickers landscape while another's might put it portrait. In other words.... No cheating!!!

When you ask the kids a question, they hold up their Plickers with the answer at the top. You use a smartphone or a table to scan their answers. I find I can scan about 8 cards at a time.



The screen shows you what cards have been scanned and starts to track right and wrong at the top left of the screen.

You can have multiple classes using the same set of cards.

The kids can see totals on your computer screen.

And the data is fabulous!!!!!

My kids have fallen in love. They ask daily for Plickers and make me make up questions right on the spot. They love the engagement and really like the automatic feedback. This is an absolute keeper for my classroom!!!!!!

I showed this to the head of tech for my whole district. he was in my room pretesting our PARCC pilot and I just knew I had to show him. He was so blown away! The possibilities with only one smart device!!!

Plickers is just in its infancy and I can't wait to see more! The one thing I would love is the ability to load a question and the answer options. Right now you can only load the question so I do a split screen with Plickers and Google Drive to show the question.

I used this to finalize my academic Olympics. I asked 10 questions from the National Geography Bee and the kids answered with the Plickers and for each question they got right they got Dojo points. Oh how my kids loooooove their Class Dojo points! The next day we had our Olympic medal ceremony for our winning team and the individual gold, silver, and bronze. So of course I had to make a video for each class.....

Yeah, I thought it was pretty cool too! I made it with Animoto. For those of you that didn't know, you can get a free Animoto Plus account because you're a teacher.

And then we had the medal ceremony!

Today was our team ice cream party and the launch of our First Annual Wilkie Awards.... But that's for another post;)