Thursday, February 4, 2016

Plickers {An Amazing Way to Check for Understanding}

My mind was just blown. That's right. I just experienced a #mindblowing app that will change the way you check for understanding during your lessons: PLICKERS 

Plickers is a simple tool teachers can use to gather formative assessments from their students. It's a fun, easy way to get your students' feedback, answers, and engagement.

It's pretty simple to use...

All you have to do is go to the Plickers website and sign up. 





You also have to download the app on your smart device.



Once you're connected, add your class and your students. You can do this on the app or on the website.


Then you need to assign your students a specific Plickers card that is associated with their name.



Next, add your folders and question sets.
                   

Now you're ready to start using this with your students! Make sure you give each student the correct Plickers card. Show them how to use their special code to show their answers. The answer they choose as correct (A, B, C, or D) should be the letter that's at the top of the card when they show you their card.



Show the question on your Smart Board or projection screen and students will hold up their answers. You use your smart phone or tablet to scan the room (with your camera option). The phone will pick up the card codes and register the answers as correct or incorrect for each student. 

Screen shot of Plickers in action!
You can display their responses on the board. You can show them anonymously, or with their names open for everyone to see. You can see who specifically answered which question and what their answers were to the question. 

When you try it, it's phenonomal. You'll want to spend hours making Plickers questions.

In my district, we are fortunate enough to have Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSA). Two of our Tech TOSAs came to our classroom to show us this amazing app and formative assessment tool. It keeps our kiddos engaged and is a great way to document formative and/or summative assessment results.

Get Plickering!

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Morning Work {FREEBIE}


Classroom management is the key to a successful classroom. Students learn and disruptions are at a minimum. 
Click for your FREE copy!
One tool I use for classroom management is MORNING WORK! 

I know a lot of teachers use morning work (sometimes called bell work) to get students settled as they walk into their classrooms. Sometimes it’s a sheet with a number of the day, word problem, word of the day, etc. 

I was using a morning work sheet with grammar review, math review, and writing prompts. However, I found I had a slight problem. Some of those ready made morning work papers didn’t always align with things I had taught in class. I was getting frustrated with these papers because it wasn’t utilizing my students’ skills, or pushing them to think outside of the box.  I thought about creating my own morning work for each day, but between my home life (two babies under two and a husband) and school work, I just couldn’t find the time to dedicate to creating full morning work pages. I then decided I would hold my students more accountable. 

I created a simple sheet that my students keep with them throughout the week that is labeled Monday through Friday. (I also have a flip book version!) 


I write a prompt on the board for students to answer each day. It can be several questions related to different subjects, or it can be one large question. 



It just depends on the previous day’s lesson. To save time, I write the question after school so it’s ready for the next morning. Sometimes, I’ll write it on our Smart Board in the morning too. 




The key is really just creating your questions based on something from the previous day’s lesson. I love this way of incorporating morning work into my classroom. It keeps my kiddos on task as they enter the classroom, and it is a great way of reviewing important concepts taught in class. 

How do you administer MORNING WORK?
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Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year, New Tools!

Happy New Year everyone! 


My fabulous friends and I over at SeeMamaTeach are linking up for a fun New Year blog post!

We’re sharing ideas and freebies to help you ease back into January and I’m stop number SIX!


I go back to school on January 11th. One more week!!!

I really love to get my students excited about being back at school (especially after a LONG winter break). I want to get them motivated to start off the new year with a positive vibe. One way I like to do this is celebrating and ringing in the new year with my kiddos.

I try to gather as many New Year decorations as I can from party stores, Walmart/Target, Dollar Tree, and any other store with fun, eclectic decorations. I usually do this after the new year because everything is ON SALE! This year, however, I didn't have much luck finding some deals. According to the Party City employees, they save the New Year decorations for the following year! Who would have thought! LOL So anyways, instead I made these (FREE) little hats that my students can use to party it up! 




I also grabbed some regular birthday poppers and noise makers (they still get the job done).





I set up my classroom the weekend before I go back to school with poppers, New Year’s hats, noise makers, etc. When the students walk in the first day of school of 2016, they’ll be surprised by the party atmosphere. You can use the first day of 2016 to get your kiddos excited!



In addition to kicking off the new year with my students,  I also take the opportunity to practice the writing process by having my students read about what resolutions and goals really mean. I teach fifth grade, so I try to kick up the goal writing a notch by having my students think more cricitally about what a new year can really bring someone. You can tailor this lesson to fit any grade level you teach.





Here's a flashback to last year's example with the girl option!







You can enter to win this fun writing craftivity by entering the Rafflecopter on SeeMamaTeach
Just keep on hopping through to grab some more tips and freebies! 



Don't forget to enter to win this resource, a stitchfix.com gift card, and a bunch of other great teaching resources!


Click the button below to hop on to the next blog!



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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Halloween Art Project and Writing Piece

I saw this fabulous art project in my friend's classroom the other day. She had taken this idea from our other friend's classroom! Nothing like grabbing ideas (especially great ones) from other teachers! So, I grabbed it too and completed the project with my fifth graders. It was SO much fun! 


You'll need the following supplies:
11x11 white construction paper 
12x18 black construction paper
10x4 white construction paper (for the writing)
Blue, purple, turquoise Tempera paint 
Paint brushes 
Either black markers or black pastels 
Haunted house outline on yellow construction paper


First, start with white paint and paint a circle. 


Use another color (blue, purple, or turquoise) to continue painting. 
Mix it with white to keep it light. 


The circles will get darker and darker as you go out to the edge of the paper.


You'll have to copy a black haunted house outline onto yellow construction paper. This will give light to your house's windows!

                                     


Cut out your haunted house outline. Glue it onto your painting.

Use the black marker or black pastel to draw birds flying over the house. Also draw a tree and a tombstone.

Now for the writing part!
Brainstorm a list of ideas with your students about what you might find, see, hear, smell in a haunted house. Tell your students it's their job to make these descriptions into something positive. They'll have to take their positive description and turn it into a persuasive paragraph to try and SELL the house. 

Your kids will have a blast with this! Paste both the painting and the writing on black construction paper. Display and enjoy!



Happy Halloween!
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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

YES Goals {You Establish Success}

It’s always important to empower your students and promote a positive classroom environment. One way of doing this is by using YES (You Establish Success) Goals in your classroom.



YES goals are student created goals in three areas:
  • Scholarship/Academics
  • Citizenship
  • Effort/Work and Study Habits

Read more about them and grab copies for yourself here!
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Monday, August 31, 2015

Teacher Week 2015 {Monday Five Fun Facts}

Happy Monday!

It's Teacher Week 2015 with Blog Hoppin', and BOY AM I EXCITED!

Today I'll be sharing FIVE fun facts about ME!



1. I am Cuban. I am very proud of my family's heritage.
2. I love to dance! I actually studied ballet (tap and jazz too) throughout my whole childhood and well into college. I taught little ones ballet when I was in college. It was so much fun!
3. I have two boys under the age of two! It's a busy household, but I wouldn't have it any other way!
4. My sister and I are eight years apart. She's younger and she doesn't let me forget that!
5. I love country music and line dancing. YEE HAW!

Join Teacher Week 2015! Head on over and read about some other fabulous teachers! Pin It Now!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Five for Friday {8.28.15}



YAY! It's Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!


I uploaded this fun Accelerated Reader Clip Chart and Individual Goal Tracker this week!
Check it out!


I also blogged about something I think every teacher should say..."our classroom."


Check it out and grab a FREEBIE!


Hispanic Heritage Month is coming up quickly!
I created some Fact Folds to honor some special people! It's half off just for the weekend!


I am transitioning my youngest baby to his crib this week. He was sleeping in his swing because of his reflux. I was nervous to transition him, because I was worried about his reflux bothering him.
He seems to be doing pretty well (knock on wood)! He's in the pack and play in our bedroom. Next step, crib in his own room! Now...here's my new fear: waking up his older brother if he cries for a late night feeding!


I can't believe this is the last week of August. Time just goes by too quickly!

Head on over to the link up and visit some other bloggers' awesome posts!

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