Thursday, October 11, 2012

What I'm Doing Digitally- 10.11.12

I am so excited to share with you that I have finally gotten my class blog started!
I had posted about doing that this summer, and I ended up using Kidblog. It's a site that my district already approved, and they are supposed to be coming out with an app very soon.
Of course, I got tired of waiting so long for the app to come out... so I just created a QR code for my kids to go to instead so they could log in easily.
Today we did our first posts. I wanted them all to experience how to post, and so we just wrote about our favorite part of third grade.
Some kids went on and posted about inferring or summarizing a story they were reading, but most have yet to do that.
I don't even have buttons ready to share, but I am so excited (and they are so excited) about having people besides the class, me and parents to read what they have to say. I just had to share it with you before I had any pictures, buttons or anything! I'd love it if you could read a couple of posts and comment for for one or two of my students. My expectation is that they will post something at least once a week. I'll also be including class photos of some things we were working on, too.
My first group's blog is here.
My second group's blog is here.
Please let me know if your class has a blog I can comment on. I'd love to support them and maybe even share it with my kiddos, too.
Let me know if you check it out. I would really love for my kids to realize how global their learning can be!
... and please share if you have any ideas about what you would blog about with your kids. Right now, I'm kind of using it as our digital write about reading notebook.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rounding with a Free Extension Project

Has the year been flying by for anyone else? I feel like I just blinked and we are already at the 7th week of school!
Our school is doing a book study on the book called Making Differentiation a Habit  by Diane Heacox. It really is an easy read with lots of practical ideas. I don't mind reading the theory behind things sometimes, but I really appreciate when books like this one give you plenty of ideas that you can implement right away.

Anyway, after reading the first 3 chapters I was inspired to think about my kiddos who would get rounding really quickly. They had never been taught how to round before, but I knew that there would be a handful after a mini-lesson or two who would already get it and be ready for a challenge. So, I created a little test (very short, but covered the things they needed to know) for those that wanted to try and test out of the rest of the rounding lessons. If they did it all correctly without any help, they could work on our MacBooks on the ToysRUs project.
I created a project (inspired by something the 4th graders at our school were doing with where students were to imagine that an 8 year-old was coming to a new family in the US and had no toys yet. They were supposed to figure out what the parents should buy within their budget and use rounding to come up with the total cost and a calculator to compare the rounded total with the actual total.
My students who did the project really enjoyed it. They wanted to work on it any chance they had. 
You can download it for free here!
I plan on making more of these projects to go along with addition/subtraction, geometry and other units we cover in math. My kids keep asking if they will have another chance to work on an extension project.
I'll be sure and post the rest here and on TPT. If you don't check blogger often, you may want to follow my TPT store to stay updated!
For my students that didn't test out of rounding, I was able to spend time with them as a smaller group working on the areas they were still confused about.
One of the games they still ask to play is my Robot Rounding Bump. It comes with 4 different game boards and is only $2.50.
Have a great weekend!