Thursday, March 26, 2015

Technology in the Classroom

Friends~I am so thrilled to share some new technology that I am using in my classroom!                              Touchtronics!!!! 
As soon as I saw this product in action, 
 I knew it had to be mine!  I love that it combines two of my favorite things.  Technology and hands on learning!
Touchtronics is available for the iPad.  It includes 26 letters, consonants in blue and vowels in red.  The supporting apps are available in the iTunes Store for FREE!  Yep, all you need to purchase is the letter pieces.  
  

It is so simple to use.  I love that it starts by having the student unlock the game using the letters so that they are familiar right away how to work through the game! It is filled with eye catching visuals and pictures.  

I just got 6 new iPads for my classroom and I am hoping that we can purchase a larger set like the class set below! Each classroom kit comes with 10 sets of 26 letters and storage trays for each set.  
Click the picture to check it out! 

Check out one of my firsties building words with Touchtronics!  It has been such a hit in my classroom.  They all want to get their hands on the letters!


The funny thing about this video is he was sitting on the vowel O:)

They even have a math app with numbers to work on basic addition, subtraction, and place value!  

  

The place value app is in my rotation for next week's centers!  I just know it is going to be a HUGE hit! 

The best technology I have purchased for my iPads!  I love that Touchtronics brings the physical and digital world together in a must have learning tool!  




 photo signature-39.png

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Zaner Bloser I Read to Write

Friends~Do your kiddos love to read but struggle with writing?  Do you kiddos love writing but never want to read?  Well, I found a great resource to pump up both areas and make amazing connections! 

This week in guided reading groups, I have been using I Read to Write Responding to Sources by Zaner Bloser. Check out this introduction video below!

I love that this program teaches students to read like a writer and think like a writer.  It introduces students to the world of how reading and writing are connected.  
I can Read to Write covers not only reading and writing but also math, science, and social studies! 

This week, I used the first text included in I Can Read to Write for grade 2. 
It is titled: Earth Water Planet!
I love that it is set up in a predictable sequence for the students to follow.  
The students first READ the text and answer the questions by citing from the text.   
They then THINK and answer the comprehension questions. 
Finally, students WRITE
They are able to choose from 
NARRATIVE, INFORMATIVE, OPINION.  
I love that the text offered a variety of writing graphic organizers as well as close reading prompts for citing text evidence. 
I am so impressed that there is a Narrative Traits of Writing poster in the back of the book for students to use as a resource.  
I can't wait to see how my kiddo's writings turns out.  They are loving being able to go back to the text to add details! 
Good NEWS!  You can request a FREE sample of the booklet by clicking HERE!

Click the image below to check out the booklet that I used in my classroom! 



 photo signature-39.png

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Teacher Must Haves: EDExpo Atlanta


Friends~I can't wait to share all the fun goodies I found at the EDExpo in Atlanta.  I had the best time connecting with new bloggers and exploring the huge selection of teacher products. 




 Check out my top 10 Below!
1. Touchtronic Numbers and Letters from Junior Learning 
This game is amazing!  I have access to ipads in my classroom and I just know that my kiddos are going to be sooooooo engaged using Touchtronics.  I am totally pumped to add it to my math center routine. You can click the video below to preview and the click the image to head to Junior Learning. 




2. The Reading Game
I am currently using this game in my classroom in a small group and my firsties LOVE it!  I love that they are able to be successful very quickly.  The repetition is a key component!  Check it out below in action! 
3. Say It! from Felix LTD. 
4. Fidgets from Endless Possibilities
I love the fact that the Fidgets help with the "fidgets" in any classroom.  They supports self regulation and attention.  Plus, they are just plain fun!
5. The F.U.N. Empty Numberline from Learning Advantage
Absolutely AMAZING!  This product is all about fluency and understanding numbers.  It taps into student's thinking about number sense.  I love the visual display of numbers and the representation of them with this simple tool.  Made for grades K-8!
6. Ultra Safe Scissors
No MORE haircuts in class!  The Ultra Safe Scissors put a sharp cutting blade into a safe cutting tool for students.  Perfect for grades PreK-1!  Be sure to check out the fantastic pencil grips too! 
7. Cool Circuits
Do your kiddos love puzzles????  Well, here is a show stopper!  Cool circuits tap into spacial reasoning and abstract thinking.  There are 40 different ranges from student to expert.  I am going to be honest in saying I struggled with the student version and used the cheat mode a bit:)  Be sure to check out the online game too! 

8. FlipChex 
I love that these FlipChex cards are self checking.  
Their science systems are just perfect for little learners.  I can't wait to get my hands on the body system one! 
9. Grotto Grip
The Grotto Grip was my favorite pencil grip from the whole EdExpo!  It was created by an occupational therapist.  It is perfect right down to the grove for your nail to rest.  

10. Spot It
This game is serious FUN!  I love that they have the game for letters and numbers too!  Students can even work on basic sight words.


If you are interested in any of these fantastic products you can check them out at the EdMarket
Or just click below!





 photo signature-39.png

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Teaching about Sled Dogs and the Iditarod

Friends~I love teaching about sled dogs and the Iditarod this time of year!  The Iditarod race begins on March 7th! Check out the site above to watch the leader board and see a count down to the race.  There is even a teacher on the trail with great blog posts for students. 


This is the movie that sparked my passion for the great race!  When my daughter Lily was little,  her favorite moving was Balto.  I think I may have watched it with a thousand times over and over! It tells the journey of the famous Balto and how he and the other sled dogs saved Nome, Alaska from an oubreak of diphtheria.   Check it out below!
As a class, we began our journey reading The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto by Natalie Standiford. It is an awesome book that spreads out the tale for young readers.  I have a created a unit to go along with this book perfectly!  Check it out below!
  

I love to take this unit a step further by bringing in a real live sled dog musher!  She has come the past 2 years and my kiddos are always swept into the frigid world of -30 degrees and the dedication of the sled dogs and the mushers! 
The musher's name is Jjay Levy from Parrotsleds.  
She brings her dogs that have run the Iditarod.  Her truck that she halls them in.  You can see the little cages above.  She even bring her sled for the kiddos to try out! 

This picture gets me every time!  Below are dog tags from the Iditarod.  Each dog that races get them.  
I still can't believe my first graders is holding them!   A party of HISTORY!!!!
She even bring in musher gear for them to try on!  Those a polar bear mittens!!! 
Look at the sweet face poking out of that furry hood.  I love that she talks with the class about why mushers use fur.  She explains that when an animal is killed the whole animal is used.                    Nothing is wasted!

Just after Jjay the musher left, we had recess and it totally melted my heart to see my first graders playing sled dog musher with jump ropes and scooters at recess!  
  I totally piggybacked on their excitement with this fun musher activity from my file above! 
Be sure to grab a free copy of my huskies so that you can do this with your kiddos! Click below!
Happy Mushing!
 photo signature-39.png

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Solids, liquids, and Gases

Friends~Today we made models of solid, liquid, and gas atoms.  It was soooo much fun!  My kiddos totally got it thanks to these fun hands on lessons below!  

We started off by reading What is the World Made of? by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld.  It is a great book that explains the states of matter.  Give it a click to read about it on Amazon. 
My goal after reading was for my students to be able to understand how the atoms in the 3 states of matter move.  I gave my students a sheet that included a diagram of solids, liquids, and gases.  I grabbed the one below from Middle School Chemistry.  

I had my students cut it into squares.  We stacked them up like playing cards and I had them draw from the deck.  They met with students with matching cards and modeled.  Check them out below!  This group was a group of solid atoms sitting closely together not moving. 
We even made models of each form of matter!  I grabbed some large bags of Fruit loops and small snack bags.  We added our diagrams to each bag and created models using the Fruit loops as atoms.  
Once we finished our models, we headed up front to listen to this fun matter song. 

I had them hold their bags up each time one of the states of matter was mentioned. They did an amazing job and their excitement for science was awesome! 
You can check out some more matter fun by clicking on my matter unit below!
  


What is your favorite matter science activity?



 photo signature-39.png

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter Listening Snowman Activity


Friends~Today I am sharing my Winter Listening Snowman Activity.  You are going to LOVE it!  

The season is upon us!  The students are a bit preoccupied with something-SANTA and Christmas. We do our best as teachers to make the lessons fun and exciting but let's be honest,  you really spend your day just trying to keep a lid on things.  


This past Friday, I decided that I needed to have my firsties pay attention to their listening skills and see just how much they are needed to complete a lesson. 
So, I put together the 
Listening Snowman! 

The Listening Snowman: The Schroeder Page
It is such a simple concept but it packs a big punch when students see the finished products.  We all listen and interpret things in different ways.  Each one turned out unique and the students were so very engaged throughout the lesson.


 It was the PERFECT Friday activity.  

Here are the supplies you will need:
The Listening Snowman: The Schroeder Page

Yep!  You read that right.  NO SCISSORS allowed.  I have found that when you take scissors away during a craft you get a more authentic representation of what the students visualize.


We started by watching All You Need for a Snowman.  I had the students listen for what the characters used to create the snowman in the book.  
We then made a list together as a class.  
The Listening Snowman: The Schroeder Page
The class then followed my directions for creating the snowman with the provided cut pieces of paper.  
You can download the directions and links for the videos in this FREE file HERE
The Listening Snowman: The Schroeder Page

The best part was at the end, after their unique snowmen were created, I put on this Snowfall Meditation video and the students used a white crayon to for a winter scene for their Listening Snowmen. 
I just loved the way they turned out and the students were so into creating their scenes.  It was a calming way to end an exciting and involved listening activity. 
The Listening Snowman: The Schroeder Page


 photo signature-39.png