Our Awesome Adjective Adventure Starts Here

Image

Adjective Name Tags

Image

Mrs. Marino’s 4th Graders

Adjective week is always so much fun.  There are so many different things that you can do and create.  I change things up every year, but one thing remains the same…my students adjective name tags.  They love them.  We add a little alliteration in with them as well.  Not only do my students get name tags but so does any faculty that will see them that day.   This includes the principals, RTI teachers, the computer teacher, the librarian and our awesome PE teachers.  Sometimes I think the faculty enjoys them as much as the students.  For the whole day we call the students by their adjective name:  Mighty Michael, Kind-Hearted Kamrie, Noisy Noah, Beautiful Brianah….it really is a ton of fun.  This year, of course, I wanted to add technology into the lesson.  I am going to break it down as easily as possible.

Day 1: My student teacher and I passed out adjective name tags to our students and staff.  We then introduced the lesson with a beautiful picture of a field of flowers.  The students gave examples of adjectives.  We then took it further by changing those adjectives into a synonym.  When finished we all grabbed our iPads and headed out on our Adjective Hunt.  We stopped at five spots throughout the school where the students had to take a picture.  We went to the cafeteria, the library, the gym, a 2nd grade classroom, and then of course to the infamous turkey bulletin board.  When we returned to class we took out our Writer’s Notebooks and charted 4 adjectives for each picture.

Day 2:  We started off by reviewing adjectives.  When finished we took out our Writer’s Notebooks and iPads.  We then went straight into our Write About This app.  My students are extremely familiar with this app.  We use it for a ton of different projects.  In fact, they beg to use it during class time.  Today they took a “selfie” and then uploaded it into the custom category.  Instead of typing in an actual prompt with their picture, we typed in “Adjective Adventure”.  The students then simply begin typing in their ten sentences.  They had to type in two sentences per pictures using their adjectives.  I had to leave out during the end of the class for a meeting.  My student teacher finished out the end of the lesson.  Let me tell you what was awesome though….as I was sitting in the meeting I started getting email after email of my students’ writing!  So even though I had to step out for the last twenty minutes, I did not miss a thing.  With this app students are also able to email their work to their parents.  I can imagine how excited parents are when they receive an email from their child during the work day.  They open it up and see some really cute and creative writing.  That has to brighten their day.

Adjective week is not over.  Stick around for Monday as I throw a little Augmented Reality into the mix.  This will be one of the best ways I have ever taught adjectives.  Talk about bringing them to life!

Advertisements

Techer Testimonial – Angela Moses

20140126-210108.jpg

Angela Moses is currently a 2nd grade teacher at Warren Elementary. In a few months she will start a new chapter in her educational journey, her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with Technology. She is blessed to have a wonderful husband and two handsome boys that believe in her, and will be with her in the next steps of her career.  She wants her students to always push beyond the boundaries of the classroom. She loves the “WOW” moments when a student realizes new concepts and a love for learning. She is not your ordinary 2nd grade teacher. Her class is full of imaginations and “Out of the Box Thinkers!” Her true spark for integrating technology began when the SMART Board was rolled in her classroom. Learning at their fingertips! It changed the learning atmosphere of her classroom. She truly feels that teacher collaboration is the answer to keep educational technology moving forward! She loves her students and wants them to gain a love for learning! She also hopes for more teachers to gain this spark! She joined Twitter last year and it changed her as an educator. Twitter is collaboration, resources, and educators that just get each other! She has helped moderate for #Reg5Chat. It is every Thursday at 8 CST. She is helping plan @EdcampESC5 on March 29th. Edcamps are free PD for teachers learning what they want! She loves to connect and grow her PLN! Follow her at @AngelaKMoses! We are better together!

My favorite tech tools: Write About This, Educreations, Remind 101, Magnetic ABC, QR Codes, KidBlog, Aurasma, Popplet, Voice Thread, Book Creator, Animoto, Google Apps, Groovy Grader, Touchcast, Kodable, Today’s Meet, and Twitter!

Upcoming Projects: She will be starting a Lego Robotics Program this Spring for the GT Program. Also, she is getting ready to launch #hourofcode with her kids! She is looking for more collaboration and @Skypeclassroom to connect her 2nd grade classroom.

Paperwork with a Side of Teaching!

By: Angela Moses

It can be overwhelming sometimes…the daily grind of a teacher! Our plates are a lot fuller or maybe we are just trying to put too many things on our salad plates! Let’s be honest, teachers get overwhelmed and leave within the first 5 years. Why? I think it is something that we need to address. One works hard to become a teacher, and it’s sad that their dream falls through due to issues that can be resolved! It seems like the paperwork keeps adding each year. When are we going to teach? We will be filling out paperwork or meeting about paperwork. Don’t get me wrong, I know we need documentation! We need to be able to show the growth for each student, what interventions does that student need, and goals for success. I know our administration has our students educational success in every decision that they make! Our administration has their hands tied when it applies to a state decision. We all agree that growth is needed for success. I have been teaching for 12 years and I have seen a huge change in the process of documentation. I have had file cabinets full of folders to show documentation on my students. It seems more frustrating for teachers when it is a tested grade level! How many assessments are adequate to monitor a student each year to show growth in reading and math? I feel like we need as much time as possible with our students for teaching. I want the best for my students! I also don’t want to see good teachers that are learning and growing with technology quit because they get bogged down with too much on their plate! How do we learn to balance the plate?

Socrative + Students = Success

Image

Mrs. Marino’s 4th grade class

Do you ever get tired of grading paper after paper after paper?  Be honest.  Especially when you have to turn those grades into data.  Well, here is the perfect app for you.  Socrative.  Socrative allows you to give students quizzes through the iPad.  The app then takes all of the data and emails you a report. The report contains a grade, the number correct, and even the questions that each student has missed.  You can give students pre-made quizzes as assessments, or you can just call out questions and have the students send answers in right then and there.  The thing that I really love about Socrative is the ease to sign into the room.  I teach 4th graders, and sometimes log in names and passwords are hard to keep up with.  All my students have to do is type in the “room” number that I write down on the board.  Their first question is where they type in their name.  This app is a teacher’s dream.  It is easy, flexible, and can be used in any subject and any grade level.  Today was the first day that I implemented Socrative into my lesson, and I loved it.  My students thought it was really cool, too.  My student teacher is even going to use it for her lesson this Thursday.  I am pretty excited about this app and all the possibilities that it presents.

A little Sunshine in my life!

daisy-dropletsWWW-72

Daisy and I started this journey together to share our classrooms!  Daisy is always full of positive ideas and looking for more.  I am blessed to be able to work with her.  We can bounce ideas off one another, and know something great will be the outcome!  We are better together!  She is always willing to help, and is an inspiration to many teachers.  She was named our District Teacher of the Year.  She has worked very hard.  I am very proud of Daisy.  Our journey to help teachers will continue,  and she will add a  little sunshine to brighten the path ahead!

Techer Testimonial – Terri Eichholz

Image

@terrieichholz

Bio:  I started teaching when I was 5.  My stuffed animals were great students, but definitely needed more intrinsic motivation.  The pay was awful.  Once I got my teaching certificate 16 years later, the pay microscopically increased, but the feedback from students became a bit more rewarding.  I taught 5th grade for 8 years, then moved to teaching elementary Gifted and Talented students, which is my current position.  This is my 23rd year of teaching – if you don’t count the Stuffed Animal Years.  I’ve lived in San Antonio, Texas since college, but was born in New Jersey and lived in Kentucky and Louisiana, too.  According to a recent online quiz I took, I speak Boston, Wisconsin, and Idaho.  I guess that’s what you get when you mix Yankee, Cajun, and south Texas…

 

Favorite Tech Tools:  Whatever works and isn’t blocked in my district 😉  Currently, these are: Google Docs, Aurasma, Haiku Deck, Hopscotch, Kodable, and Scratch.  I don’t know if these count as Tech Tools, but we are using Cubelets, Little Bits, and 3Doodler in our Maker Studio, and the students love them.  We are also beta testing some cool interactive games from Tangible Play that are very popular in my classroom.  For me, personally, Tweetdeck, Dropbox, Flipboard, and IFTT are my go-to tools for productivity and learning.

 

Upcoming Projects:  We are just getting started with our new Maker Studio (named B.O.S.S. HQ by the students – Building of Super Stuff HeadQuarters.)  The GT students are piloting it this semester, and we hope to open it up to the rest of the school next school year.  I am implementing Genius Hour with my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  One group of 5th graders is preparing an Aurasma scavenger hunt to present their research.  All grade levels are learning more programming skills (1st-5th participated in Hour of Code and I have plans for extending their learning in each grade level). 

 

I am hoping to get several of my grade levels to do Mystery Skypes this semester.

 

I am organizing our 2nd summer of fun, free, online courses that 3rd-5th GT students in our district can take to enrich themselves during the break. 

 

Hope to see some of you at TCEA in February, or SXSWedu in March!

 

Ways to connect with me or my students:

Class Blog:  http://blogs.neisd.net/teichh/

Twitter: @terrieichholz

Blog: http//engagetheirminds.com

email:  engagetheirminds@gmail.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/terrieichholz/

Peanut Butter Jelly Time + Write About This = A Hungry “How To”

20140115-202728.jpg

Mrs. Moses’ Amazing 2nd Grade Class

Not another writing assignment……That’s what they say. Then you hear, how many lines do I have to write? Oh, I can’t think of what to write! It happens every time I start a new writing assignment……except for today! What was different about today? What miracle did I perform that changed 21 students to suddenly love to write? I integrated a wonderful tech tool called Write About This during my writing lesson. We are learning the process of How To’s. The students were required to write the steps of how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If you know second graders, you know a few steps will always be left out. It will get interesting when I actually follow their steps and try to make their sandwich. I had the students search and save an image of a peanut butter sandwich. It will be inserted into their Write About This project. I love the option of adding pictures because it allows students to visualize while writing. Before they write, I always have the students close their eyes and think about the process. This helps them organize their thoughts, brainstorm, and see the process. Then they were ready to write. The students were fully engaged and excited about writing. I did not have those questions of confusion! They knew exactly what to write and kept writing. Did they still leave a few steps out….yes….that’s ok! We are moving in the right direction! I can also email the projects to parents. This is a great way to communicate and share with parents.

I love watching the learning moments. I capture them in my heart and my heart is growing each day.

Techer Testimonial- Carol McLaughlin

20140112-165151.jpg

Carol McLaughlin

Carol has been teaching for 22 years. She has taught in grades 1-3. She currently teaches 2nd grade at Greystone Elementary School in Birmingham, AL. Carol is a National Board Certified teacher and is passionate about given students a voice and choices in their learning. She strives to provide engaging activities to spark the desire to learn beyond the school day. Carol believes this applies to teachers as well and is very involved with her PLN on twitter. She is one of the moderators on #2ndchat which meets by-weekly on Wednesday nights at 7 pm CST. Carol also loves to collaborate with other teachers around the world to create better learning experiences for her students.

There are many ways to connect with Carol or her amazing students:
Twitter: @missmac100
Blog: http://aneducationalphoenix.edublogs.org/
Email: missmac100@gmail.com
Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/carol100/
Class twitter: @missmacsowls
Class kidblog: http://kidblog.org/MissMacs2013-2014OutstandingOwls/

Favorite Tech Tools:
Educreations, Toontastic, Kidblog, Storybird, Replaynote, Evernote, Pinterest, Google Drive/Docs, and Bookcreator

Upcoming Projects:
Her students are about to start research to create a class magazine. They are focusing on geography such as continents, landforms and animals that are native to each area. Each student will create a page and the pages will be complied together. Here is a link to view the magazine from last year. Each magazine takes a life of it’s own but it will give you the general idea. http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/547768

Her class will write their own fairy tale and use the app Toontastic to create an animated version of their stories.

Her students wrote a list of “wonders” and will begin independent research to answer their questions. They will choose a way to present their learning to the class and beyond through the use of different apps, digital and non-digital tools.

Popplet + The Fox = Not your everyday dance party

Image

Mrs. Marino’s 4th Grade Class

So, today was great.  Really.  We had a lot of fun, and we LEARNED.  Last week on Twitter I mentioned that I was trying to decide what activities to do with quotation marks.  This is a hard concept for most 4th graders.  Especially when the STAAR test splits them into three separate sentences, asks them to fix sentence 5, and the quotation mark is 2 sentences back.  Not fair.  I digress.  Someone on Twitter sent me a lesson based on one of the Pigeon books by Mo Willems.  It was super cute, and it made the wheels start turning in my mind.  What does the Pigeon say?  What does the fox say??  The kids love this song.  So, this is what I did….I told the students that I was about to play a song for our random dance party.  While the song played they could dance, but they also had to think of why I was playing this song.  What did it have to do with 4th grade English?  As soon as the music started they knew, and they were excited.  We danced for a bit, and then went into a discussion about quotation marks.  Then it was time to move on to our Popplets.  By this time in the year they are pros at Popplets.  They know how to manipulate, design and create their own Popplets.  They were given the assignment to write five sentences about what different types of animals might say.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Owl said, “Don’t worry, owl be alright.”

Dog exclaimed, “You better give me back my bone!”

The turtle asked, “Do you want to race?”

There were a ton of cute ones.  They had a blast doing it.  When they finished they were able to email the Popplet to me, and some students even emailed their Popplet to their parents.  It was a fun day.  It was a great learning experience.  I truly believe that they will always remember what the fox really said.