Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Techy Tidbit: Remind 101

My all time favorite teacher app is Remind 101. 

I cannot tell you how often I send that last kiddo out the door and then, bam! I realize that I forgot to tell them that the lunch menu for tomorrow has changed, or that I postponed their history test until Monday, or that their library books are due tomorrow.....the list can seriously go on forever. 

With Remind 101 I don't have to stress because I can easily send a mass text (or email) to the parents who have subscribed to this service.  

Your parents send a text or email to a number that has been assigned to your class. When they do that, they are automatically enrolled as a subscriber.

Here's what that looks like through the app. If you go the website you can find a cute printable to send to parents. 

Once in the app, I can create a new text message that will automatically be sent to all subscribers. The best part is that I didn't have to type everyone's email into a group or put everyone's cell phone number in my phone. No need for me to have their number and no need for them to have mine!
This is a completely FREE service that I have really enjoyed having. I get great feedback from the parents too. 

You can see a great video tutorial over at Mrs. Standford's Class.

Monday, February 25, 2013

More and Less- A Math Activity

Every year the unit on place value, number sense, regrouping (for number sense, not computation) and rounding gives my kiddos such trouble. I need a lot of resources in my aresenal to allow them to work with place value concepts. 

This more and less activity where students draw out a card, write the number in the middle column of their recording sheet, and then fill in the more and less column was a great way to accomplish this. It helps students think about how place values change and what happens to numbers when this occurs. 

And with adorable ladybugs, perfect little polka dots, and the beautiful bright red color, you can't help but feel cheery while you're doing math!


I like the idea of having those little blanks before more and less so I can decide if I want everyone doing 100 more and 100 less, 10 more and 100 less, or if I want to individualize for each student. If I don't want to use the cards I'll just fill in the center column before running my copies.

The cards can be kept in a plastic baggie or container and set in your math center.

I started creating this resource way back in the beginning of the year and for whatever reason it never got finished. Probably because life and school happened! Earlier this month I was able to put the finishing touches on it. I'll definitely be using it when we get to review math center activities.

You can check it out here

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Word Sorts

My students really needed some extra practice with identifying special sounds in their spelling words. A word sort is a quick and easy way for them to accomplish this.

And cue Word Sort 22...

I put the headers in my pocket chart and students sort the cards. When they’re done they record their answers on the word sort chart.

This word sort uses the List 22 words from the 3rd Grade A Reason for Spelling curriculum, plus three additional words. You do not need to use this curriculum in order to use the word sort. 

We're heading into List 22 this week which is why I'm starting there. It will take some time, but eventually I'll have sorts for all 30-something lists that we have.  

Pick up this word sort here and be sure to follow my TpT store if you want to be notified when I add more sorts. 

Thanks for stopping by! And as a thanks, I'll be sending this file to the first 3 sweet commenters who will be able to use this sort in their classroom.   

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Techy Tidbit: Weebly App

This year I setup a class website using Weebly. You can read about that and even watch a video tutorial by going here

I've really loved Weebly so far. It's super easy to use and my parents love having class resources at their fingertips. I had hoped to include my students more in the blogging process, but haven't quite figured out how to make that work. 

But when I want to do a quick post, this Weebly app comes in handy.  I have it downloaded onto my classroom iPad and on my iPhone. 

When I first enter the app it takes me to the home screen where I choose which site I want to open.

It will show me the list of posts I've already made. By clicking the orange Post button at the bottom, I am taken to the screen to start a new post. 

From here I can enter my post title, insert text or photos and publish directly from either device. I love the simplicity of this app and the fact that I can post from anywhere!

If you have a Weebly site with a blog, this app is a must have.

If you're still on the market for a place to host your class website, Weebly is a great one for you to check out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

FREE Reading Resources

I have some readers who really struggle with fluency so while I was searching for some ways to help I stumbled upon the Florida Center for Reading Research.

Let me tell you, I felt like I hit the jackpot! They have some really neat student activities for grades K-5. 

When you go to the website you'll see the spot on the right for Instructional Materials for Teachers. If you click on that it will show the Student Center Activities split up by grades.

I clicked 2-3 since I teach 3rd grade. You'll be taken to a page where the resources are then split up by category including fluency, comprehension, vocabulary etc. 

 Under each of those headings you'll find PDF's of several types of student activities. 

One that I found under the Fluency section was this Affix Zip activity. 

Students practices reading the affixes and they record their progress on the little chart shown below. A lot of the activities have these progress tracking charts which is great for motivating students.
This next activity is practice with common syllables. There are several pages and they can be printed, cut, and laminated into flashcards.

You may not be able to use everything from this site, but I'm sure you'll find a few resources that will be helpful. The best part is that it's all FREE! What teacher doesn't love that!?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Techy Tidbit: Skitch

Don't you love when you have one of those "wahoooo" moments in class. Ya know, when something goes so stinkin' right!?

I had one of those the other day during math. I've had the free Skitch app on my iPad for quite a while but I haven't used it in class.  I also have my iPad hooked up to an Apple TV and projector in my classroom which allows me to mirror my iPad screen through the projector. 
Skitch graphic
I was about to recreate a graph from our textbook on the board when it dawned on me that I could snap a quick pic of it through the Skitch app. 

I can project web images, photos, screenshots, or blank pages (which would work like a whiteboard app) onto the screen and then use handy tools to annotate the document. 

Here's the pic I took from my teacher book. This is exactly what the class saw on the projector. 

I was able to use the circle and arrow tools to explain how to read the graph and find answers to our text questions.  

The kids were engaged, paying attention, and participating! I'm so thankful this little app popped into mind at the right time. 

Thanks Skitch! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Friday Finds

I'm really looking forward to next week. Not just because of Valentine's Day, but because I'm hoping to be fully recovered and healthy! Can I get an "AMEN" from any fellow sniffly-nosed coughers!?

While on my little hiatus from school, I was able to find some cute resources that I plan to use on Valentine's Day. The best part of course is that they're free. 

The first one is a darling scoot activity from the Paisley Primer.

It comes with 24 scoot cards that cover a variety of skills and a recording chart with an answer key. Some of the questions might be a tad easy for my 3rd graders, but they'll have fun doing it! You can snag it here.

The other freebie I found was an activity pack from Cute Classroom Creations. The pack also includes original ideas for a container decorating contest and a writing prompt, but I'm focusing on the graphing and make words activities. 

 Thanks ladies and happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Multiplication Arrays

Bad news:  
Someone in my family has been sick with fever for the last 7 days! First my son, then my daughter, and yesterday and today the lucky one is me!! This many days with a sub and I'm afraid to go back. Yesterday I couldn't get out of bed, and today I'm forcing myself to get up in small increments simply because my body can't handle being in that bed round the clock. 

During one of my escapes from my sick bed I put some final touches on a fun multiplication array activity. 

 Students match the array cards to the multiplication sentence the array represents. You can put the cards in a center or you can post the cards around the room for a scavenger hunt.

There are two recording sheet options. One with the full multiplication sentence give and one where students have to complete the multiplication sentence. 

You can pick this up at my TpT store here.

Back to bed I go. My Tylenol Cold is calling

Stay healthy my friends!