Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Orchestra

I am part of the Mat-Su Community Orchestra.
I play viola for it. :) 
Do you participate in any community events/groups?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tried It Tuesday- Explain Everything

I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried it Tuesday!

We started a whole new math curriculum this year. My school has been Saxon for eons! (Well maybe not, but definitely a long time.) We were told that we could no longer be an exception school and all schools were to teach the district program. 

This has done a couple of things.
1. Frustrated students… 
They knew what to expect from Saxon and it was very direct. The new way of thinking is really confusing and frustrating them.
2. Frustrated parents… 
Some of our parents chose our school because they liked Saxon math. They don't understand this "new" way of thinking and aren't able to help their kids.
3. Frustrated teachers… 
We always scored at the top in our district and those that have been teaching Saxon knew it inside and out and already had all their differentiation ready to go. We also get to work with frustrated students that may or may not have horrible attitudes about the math due to things they are hearing.

These and a couple of factors led me to want to try a modified Flipped Classroom. It's not truly flipped because the students are watching the lesson videos in the classroom on their school iPads. (We are 1:1 in grades 3-5.) 

In the process of setting up the lesson videos, I tried a couple of different ways to make the make the videos. The first 4-5 are horrible, but they got us going. I will definitely need to redo them next year. I finally remembered about a fun app that I learned about in our Apple training when we got the iPads a couple of years ago.

Explain Everything
Cost $2.99

It has a lot of features and ways to annotate or draw attention to different area on the screen.

You can go back and edit annotating and sound. 
I'm still learning and getting better at this.

This was probably the best thing for me. 
It has a direct upload to YouTube! 
It also has other export options.

I still have a lot to learn about this app and working in a modified Flipped Classroom but I'll share what I learn as I go. 
Just as some extra information, my students have a Gaggle account. This gives them an email, access to assignments and a filtered YouTube. This is the work flow I plan to use to have my students watch the video. Today was day 1 of them trying to watch on the iPads. It did not go so well, but hopefully tomorrow will go better! 

Here is one of my most recent lessons.

Here is a link to my school website {here} which will eventually include all my 5th grade Go Math lessons.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Birthdays

What do you do for your students' birthdays?
Mine get to wear the "birthday hat", candy and a card from me.
p.s. I spray the hat with disinfectant. :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Student Material Organization & Five for Friday

Hello world! I have been pretty absorbed in my own little world consisting of my classroom and my family. This year is a big change for me in school since I changed grades and math programs.

I'm going to start off with how I have organized my slightly small classroom.

First of all, I already rearranged my desks from my classroom tour. I was excited about Kagan Structures and they suggest using pods or clusters. It drove me insane! I don't think any of our upper grades ended up keeping them. We are a very structured school and a lot of us tend to like the rows of some kind. My desks are now in 4 horizontal rows with 2 outside rows facing in. I have 30 desks so each row has 5 desks. At the end of row is a 3 drawer tower.

The top drawer has the team supplies. 
It includes highlights, red correcting tools, markers (2 sets), colored pencils (2 sets), glue and a hand held sharpener for colored pencils.
There is also a scissors basket because I have the 7" blades and they are too tall to be upright.

This is also the drawer I use for my social studies class. You can see some green folders under the tub. It currently is holding the Native American packet from Rockin' Resources. These folders will change colors every 3 weeks depending on which homeroom class I have for social studies.

The second drawer is for math. 
They have their "entry folders" and their journals.
When students walk in, it the the #1s job (the student sitting next to the tower) to get out everyone's folder. The students then work on their Daily Math while I walk around and check in homework. 
You see the example says Math Minute. I am not currently do the Math Minute due to time.
They also have their time math fluency in their folder. After fluency, I have each row stack their folders into two piles, those that finished and those that did not. 
At the end of the day, I quick swap out those that did no finish and put their folders back in their tower. After I check those that are finished, I put in what they need and back in the tower. 

The bottom drawer is for reading. 
We do a lot of work in our white binders or our notebooks, both kept in their drawer.
In the white binder they have:
bell work- spelling words and DLR
fluency passage for the week
writing for their workshop time- Paragraph a Week by Teaching in Room 6
lined paper for workshop tasks
a copy of the week's story for note taking 

I received my Alaska postcards that I created thru Heritage Makers to send out!
I've already gotten a postcard from PA and CT! 
My kiddos were excited! :)


My math kids are ready to have me back in the classroom. For the last 3 afternoons, I have been able to spend the time filming some math videos. My hope is to be able to somewhat flip my math class. They will be watching the videos in class but independently on their iPads. It is definitely a chore to make the video, but I keep reminding myself that I can use these for the next 5 years since we are on a 5 year program adoption plan and this is our first year with it.

Here is what my instructional coach and I jimmy rigged to use as an iPad holder.
 One thing about technology is wait time…here's what I did while waiting for one of my videos to upload to YouTube. 
Check out my first three videos off my school website {here}. I have them unlisted so you have to have the link to view them. They are definitely rough but I'm learning!

Proud mama right here! 
My baby girl is reading to her babies. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

*GIVEAWAY* The Adventures of Ai + Bonus

I hope that you all had a fantastic Labor Day weekend (or Wattle Day in the Land Down Under from what I've seen around)! I stayed pretty busy helping our adoptive Alaska family get their home ready for sale to move back to America, AKA the Lower 48. sad face.

However, I was also able read a fun ebook geared for 9-12 yr olds. I had to opportunity to read
The Adventures of Ai by Craig Bouchard.
Ai is a young Japanese girl from the early 16th century, who sets out on an adventure to reunite with her father after he's been gone for 3 years to study with Leonardo da Vinci. Her companions include her faithful horse, a bluebird, deer and some unexpected help.

This is a great book for quite a few different types of kids, in my opinion. It is part nonfiction and part fantasy. It intermingles art, history and mathematics into the story. It is fast-paced and an easy read. It also had a FREE GAME to go with it! You know those kids who love their video games.

 The game has the same title and follows the fantasy part of the story. It is fairly simple to play, but it's slightly different every life you start so it stays interesting. I started over quite a bit at first. :) You can also join the first-ever World Charity Cup, earning a cash contribution to help sick or disadvantaged children in your country. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Check out their video trailer for the ebook and the game.

Interested yet? 
The book is available through iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. 
I read it a little on my iPad and on my Android phone. It was great. :) 
Check out the {website} for more information.

It's normally 2.99 but you can win it for free! 
I have been given the opportunity to give away copies to 2 of my readers! Yay for you and me! 
This is my first personal giveaway, so as a bonus I will throw in a 
$10 Target card!

How to enter you ask? 
Leave a comment about your favorite children's literature and your email (especially if you are a no-reply blogger) or comment on my FB post {here}
I will randomly select 2 winners on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 5pm Alaska Standard Time.

Thanks for stopping by!