Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Let's Go Global!



As I'm thinking about this upcoming school year, I know that I want my classroom to become more global. I've been searching the web for different projects and sites to make connections, but most things are still set up for the 2013-14 school year.

I'm a planner and want to be able to intentionally plan global lessons and projects when it's applicable, so I'd like to make some connections with other teachers BEFORE the school year begins and gets crazy.

A colleague in my district set up a google form for teachers last year to get connected with others, and I thought I'd try that again for the upcoming school year.

So... anyone out there want to Skype, blog, or communicate in some other way with classroom outside your school? If so, click the button below to fill out the form and let's start making connections!

Global Classrooms

When you fill out the form, you will have access to a spreadsheet of other teachers who want to get connected. It will update as people fill it out, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back!

If you have any other ideas or resources, please share!
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Student Driven Games

With the class I had last year, something I made a priority more than I ever had before was letting my students drive the learning. With a class of 21 gifted children, I felt that I had no other choice but to follow their lead!

My students loved playing games, especially in math. They loved when I would create games for them based on specific skills, but I didn't have time to create 21 different games tailor-made for each student. Instead, I let them create the games! With a class of so many creative thinkers, I thought it was a great way to get them to practice skills they needed to work on specifically while letting those creative juices flow.

They loved creating games, but some students who were perfectionists had a hard time finishing them quickly. At the same time, other students who wanted to finish things quickly left game spaces so tiny they could hardly fit the eraser end of a pencil in it! To help with that, I created some templates for them to make games from. They used manilla folders or construction paper for the board, and then used my templates for the spaces, dice, spinners, cards and directions if they needed the support.





They liked creating games so much that we ended up creating games for our buddy Pre-K class. They had a blast!



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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Goal Setting FREEBIE


A focus I had last year and will continue this year is goal setting. 

My students were very motivated by setting goals, and I think it is important for us as teachers to help students learn how to set realistic goals and teach them how to track progress. 

If you'd like to check out the goal setting sheet I used with my students, click here to download it for FREE


I hope you're having a great Saturday!
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Getting Organized for the School Year



Part of the reason I've been so MIA lately is this little guy:



We welcomed him in April and I'm beginning to realize how difficult it is to be a teacher and a mother. I had no idea! 

I've been using nap time very strategically lately, and have decided to do everything I can now to be as organized as possible for the school year.

There are two main projects I've been working on. I wanted to tackle these teacher binders I've seen on Pinterest from Creating, Teaching, and Sharing with Joey. Here are her newest binders:


I came up with this for mine:








I'm hoping that this will help me to be very organized for the school year. I've always wanted to organize binders like this, but never think of it until the school year has started. And let's face it... once the year gets going, it's pretty hard to play catch up! Making giant stacks of papers that are "to be filed" is much easier!

I also wanted to get volunteer project bags and gifts together from Becca Foxwell.


You can check out her blog post here. The packet from TPT is SO worth it! She does a great job laying out organization for sending home projects to volunteer as well.

Surely this will help me to be more organized this year, right? I need to do all I can with a new baby at home! 

I hope you're enjoying your summer and doing what you can to be organized as well. It sure feels good!
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Doceri... A Great App for Explaining Things

Of all the apps out there that can be used to create tutorials or explanations, I have found that Doceri is my favorite. There are a lot out there like Screen Chomp, Edmodo, Explain Everything, and more, but Doceri is my favorite free app because you can save creations to the camera roll. Since we did a lot of posting on Kidblog, this was especially important to us.

I created a few different Doceri Centers for math to let my students show me different skills. They are differentiated, so be sure to check that out if you download the centers below.

Here is an example of a video one of my students created:




Here are the free Doceri Centers. Enjoy!

Money Center
iPad Money Center.pdf

Place Value Center
iPad Number Center.pdf


Number Line Center
Doceri Number Line Center.pdf


Time Center
Doceri TIme Center.pdf

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Team Building Fun

One of my favorite things to do with my class at the beginning of the year is any kind of team building activity. We often think about it for the first week or two of school, but I think it's a great thing to do throughout the year, too. Building classroom community is important to me.

With my class of highly gifted learners, this is something we are encouraged to do as well. Luckily, I have lots of resources from the GT curriculum they would have done in the pull out program.

At the beginning of the last school year, my students worked together to complete the stack the cups challenge. It's pretty much what it sounds like... every group is given the same amount of cups and are tasked with making the tallest tower they can. The catch to this specific challenge is that they have to make a plan first and stick to it no matter what. (Even if the tower is crashing down miserably, they have to stick with it!)

I always let them try another day as well. Here are some pictures from our stack the cups challenge.



I'll let you know when I find other team building challenges!
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