Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remind (101)

Here's another edition of Tech Tuesday...on a Thursday!

Our district has initiated a new copy policy this year. To help eliminate the number of copies I use, I have eliminated my weekly news letters as well as all "reminder' notes home. By doing this, I had to find a new way to communicate with families.

Luckily this year ALL of my parents/guardians have cell phones or email access. So I have implemented the use of Remind (formally Remind101).

At Open House last night, my parents were loving this new way to communicate. With today's tech savvy ways with smartphones, it makes it much more sense to use this app!  One parent said I always have my phone, so I can look at the reminders and add information to my calendar. Another parent was so happy to finally find a teacher who liked technology, used it, and tried to get parents/other teachers to use it as well.

The nice part about this app is it takes seconds to set up. I can use my iPhone app or the web page to end parents messages. They will NEVER see my cell phone number nor will I see theirs!

Some of the cool updates include scheduling notifications (I use for test reminders), attaching PDFs, documents, and even pictures. I took a class picture for on my Open House PPT and the parents commented on how cute it was...guess took my longer to walk to my desk to get my phone then it did to use Remind to send the picture to all the parents!

Click here to learn more!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Make a Ten / Ten Frame Clip Cards

I love making my second graders independent because it allows me more time working directly with students one on one. Something new I am trying this year with my kiddos is clip cards. I will be making these primarily for Math, but if I see a need for ELA, then I will make them.

Here is my first set...Make a Ten/Ten Frame Clip Cards. It is FREE on Teachers Pay Teachers!
What I like about this idea is the simplicity
Here is everything you need to make your own Make a Ten clip cards...

I have a bunch of plastic pencil boxes that I purchase and keep in stock. Walmart, Dollar Tree, and Target all have them for less than $1.00 each.  You also need dot stickers (or any sticker of your choice) and clothes pins. I couldn't find colored plastic ones so I had to settle for plain wooden ones. You could paint these or even decorate them. You will also need card stock to print the file out on and lamination. I like using my Scotch laminator because it is heavier than the school laminator.

Putting everything together is easy. Once you print the file, hold it up to the light so you can see the answers. Place the dot stickers over the answer.

Now you are ready to laminate and cut out. Storage is simple...I use blue sticky tack to hold the box label on the front. This way I can change out the Clip Cards as needed.

Then I put the clip cards, clothes pins, and directions inside. I am not sure if I will use sticky tack to secure the directions to the lid or just put it in the box. I will see what works best with the kiddos.

Your Clip Card box is now complete and you have a self checking, independent activity for  your students to use. Students will read the directions, clip their answer, and check it.

Clip Cards can be used for early finishers, for review or remediation, independently, in pairs or small groups, by study buddies, and more!  I will be making more sets soon. If you have an idea for a set please let me know!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Wordly in the Classroom

I love playing word games on my iPhone and iPad. One game I came across this summer was Wordly. There is a free and a paid version.
The app is nice to play friends or you can play the "greats" which are computer players with cool historical names like Shakespeare and Einstein. The point of the game is to build larger words and capture as many letter tiles as you can. Your tiles come up in blue, your opponents are in red, and unused are white. Once all the tiles are colored, the game is over. See the picture below.
There are also daily achievements. For example, today's was to spell three ice cream flavors.
Right now my students are using my iPhone, iPad, and two really old iPods to play each other. Due to our district's web filters, they do not have the ability to connect to Facebook users. All of the devices use our room number. If a random person happens to try to start a game with them, the students know to decline because the name doesn't have 305 on it. 

They are really enjoying it and sometimes even work in pairs to compete against each other. Students play during indoor recess, bus time, and during Daily 5 Word Work.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Getting to Know You Game (M & M)

This year I was looking for a different type of ice breaker type activity. Something simple, inexpensive, and fun. Well, Downeast Teach had just what I was looking for....The M & M Game

The game is very simple...pull an M&M out of a bag and tell your group about yourself using that color. My students really enjoyed this and had a fun snack (candy is a BIG rare item in my classroom). I didn't use individual bags of M&Ms as suggested. I went to SAMS Club and purchased a bulk bag and simply put scoops in a paper bag for the students to choose from. This cut the cost in half. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Classroom Procedures Task Cards

I have to give a big shout out to Rachel Lynette over at Minds in Bloom. I have used her Classroom Procedures task cards for the second year in a row and they are a hit! 

The question cards are awesome for classroom procedures. I use my set the first two weeks of school to help review all the classroom rules and expectations. I love independent second graders and these cards really help. I stuck mine in a jar (will post picture later). I even allow students to work on them in pairs to "quiz" each other on their knowledge of our classroom.

Rachel's task cards are always awesome...I actually have many, MANY (I may be addicted) of her task card sets. They are always excellent quality and well thought out. Here is a quick link to her TPT store.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Western Themed Clip It Behavior Chart

I loved using my Clip It behavior chart last year in my room. My students loved the idea that they could move up and down the behavior chart all day long. They especially loved earning "gems" and moving their clip to the hall of fame!

Well our school theme has changed to WESTERN this year, so I created my very own clip chart to match. Get it here at my TPT store!
If you have never used a Clip It system, it is WONDERFUL and so easy to implement. It is a great tool that allows students to be rewarded for for positive behavior, while discouraging negative behavior. Each student has a clothespin, or clip, with his or her name on it. 

Here is a before shot! BLAH! 

I had to keep the original Hall of Fame...I thought I used 3M to hang it, but when I started to take it down it pulled the laminate on the cabinet some, so I stopped. So here is how I dressed it up for our theme.

This is what the chart looks like when it is hanging. I must have made it bigger than last year because it took a lot more room up than I anticipated it to!

Everyone will start on GREEN "Read to Learn" at the beginning of each day. Clips can be moved up and down throughout the day based on behavior. 

When a student lands on Super Student, they earn a cowboy foamy for on their clip. I got these cute cowboy foam shapes from Oriental Trading. There are six different shapes in all the colors below - horseshoe, cowboy hat, sheriff badge, horse, and cactus.

I simply hot glue these on the student's clip.  Once they earn 5 foamy shapes, their clip is retired to the hall of fame! Here is a picture of how one of my helpers did their own example clip. I had students put them all over their clip...front, back, stacking...whatever they want!

It is simple and quick. Once my students move their clip to the Hall of Fame, they get to go "shopping" in my reward catalog for anything they choose. See my Western Themed Reward Catalog here. Or if you already have one of my reward catalogs, click here for the punch cards. 

Thanks so much! If you have any classroom management tips or suggestions feel free to post them here!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

TPT Back to School BOOST Sale!!!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know that Teachers Pay Teachers is having one day only sale on Wednesday, August 20. Everything in my store will be 20% off and use the code BOOST to get an additional 8% off! So get ready to stock up on any items you missed in the back to school sale! 

Click HERE to go to my store and save!
Thanks to For His Glory for the great graphic!