February 7, 2014

Five for Friday

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a Five for Friday fun blog post!

So far this week, we had a two hour delay on Monday, an early release on Tuesday, and snow days the rest of the week.  Our final day of school is now June 12th (puke), and I just can't believe it.  Mother Nature has not played nice this year!  

These snow days have allowed me to finish some classroom stuff that usually would be done last minute though.  I put the finishing touches on my Valentine's Day literacy stations last night, and I have to say, I love them.  

They are on sale through the end of the night in my TPT shop, but you can enter to win your own copy right now!  

Yesterday was Digital Learning Day across the country.  I am so fortunate to have six iPads in my classroom and a cart of MacBooks at my disposal pretty much every day.  I love teaching with technology.  Tech integration is really simple once you wrap your mind around it.  Here are some of my favorite activities from the past couple of weeks:

Integrating technology into math instruction can go so much farther than giving the kids an app to "play" with!  Here, my kiddos used the Geoboard app to create self portraits.  So much better than rubber bands flying through the air.  Can I get an AMEN?!?!  

We also like to go on shape hunts, number hunts, etc., take pictures of the items, and create a PicCollage of our findings.  100% kid friendly, and they can absolutely do it independently after a couple times of whole group.

Some of my favorite math apps are Counting Caterpillar, Math Bingo (just have them play it on mute...the music will haunt you in your sleep), and of course, the Geoboard app.  There are tons of great math apps out there, so if you have one, please leave it in the comments below!

I don't know how you organize your themes in your classroom, but I teach around a theme each week.  This crazy short week was supposed to be Dental Health week.  I had big plans.  We were going to FaceTime with my kids' dentist.  We were going to make an iMovie of the steps to taking care of your teeth.  Big plans, I tell ya.  Then snow and ice came and it was all off.  Oh well....  

One of my favorite stations during station time is the Research Station.  My teammates and I create a bundle of videos, pictures, and websites about our unit on My Big Campus, we create a QR code for the kids to scan, and voila!  The Research Station is ready to go!  I have included thinking maps at this station so students can show me any new learning.  It's a favorite of my class.  During iPad free time, they ALWAYS want to scan the QR code.

My class began using KidBlog after Christmas during writing time.  We are still prewriting prior to blogging, but the kids are getting better and better at writing on their blogs all the time.  I created this hallway display (inspired by Tech with Jen) so that visitors to our classroom and other students can access our blogs.  I plan to keep this up the remainder of the year, 1. because they will give easy access to our work, 2. because it will help my kids stay accountable of their digital footprint, and 3. because they are just too stinkin' cute.  

I got an email from one of our district administrators yesterday (Digital Learning Day) that reminded me of something I was able to participate in last year.  the Indiana Department of Education featured a Pinner a Day during the month of February (they are doing it this year, too), and I was a featured Pinner last year.  

If you want to see some great pins from other Indiana Pinners, check out their Pinboard!

Since we've been out of school more than in school this month, it has been vital to have my students working on things at home.  I communicate with my parents on Facebook a lot.  Some districts frown on this, but my district is very supportive of it.  I think they realize that most parents will check Facebook well before they listen to messages or read newsletters!

I sent out a message on Facebook for a few resources that we have in our district.  Parents sent me pictures of what their kids were doing while off.

{insert pic here}

In the top left picture, this little guy was working on our spelling list with the Spelling City app.  It's free and GREAT for little ones to use to practice spelling words.  In the top right picture, this guy is working on MyOn.  MyOn is a resource that our district purchased for every elementary teacher to use.  It's basically an online library.  The non-fiction selection is fantastic!  The reading levels are a tad high for independent reading in kindergarten, but MyOn allows the reader to listen to the story.  It's not a free resource, but if you have any say in programs your school purchases, I would highly recommend MyOn!  In the bottom picture, this sweet one is working on Reading Eggs.  Again, this is not a free resource, but it is FANTASTIC.  My kids think they are playing a straight-up video game when they are playing Reading Eggs.  It's definitely a class favorite.

Today, I am posting a challenge on my Facebook page for kids to log into their Kid Blog accounts and post a snowy day post.  It obviously won't be mandatory, but I don't want my little ones to get out of the habit of learning.

Seriously?!?!?!  I can't believe I have that many followers on Instagram.  It's by far my favorite form of social media these days, mainly because it's instant. :)  Instant is good for me.  I don't have time to blog every single day.  I don't even have time to post to Facebook every single day.  I do have time to take a picture of my students and post it right away.  I love it, and I love looking at your pictures, too!  So, when I hit 1200 followers, I plan on doing a big giveaway!  Products, gift cards, and all that jazz! Just follow me on Instagram and help me get to that point, and then I will post the giveaway!

Follow me on BlogLovin' so you can know when the giveaway is posted!

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