Background: Apps, Books and Cows… you are probably wondering what these things have in common. It all began back in February when we had two back-to-back non-fiction texts in our Harcourt Trophies reading book, At Home Around the World and Me on the Map. As you can probably decipher from the titles these selections had a geography focus. My passion, as you know is utilizing educational technology, so I wanted to find a project that would incorporate technology and geography. I always wanted to do a Flat Stanley project, so I started exploring my options. I found there was an iPad app that was free and and Edmodo app that cost $20.00. I figured I would try the iPad app out first to see how I liked it. Continue reading
At the beginning of the school year I created an interactive presentation for the daily calendar routine in my classroom. Included in this PowerPoint were YouTube videos of a weather song and a calendar song. Unfortunately, these songs seem to keep getting taking off YouTube. My students happened to be learning about proper nouns including the days of the week, so I decided film our own days of the week rap video. We had previously filmed a video of the Ants Go Marching which was one of my favorite projects this school year! I felt like it was time for another music project;, what better way to shake the winter blues!? I love using songs to teach concepts, because they really help to make the material stick!
My fellow building Technology Integrator and myself recently presented our favorite interactive websites to our faculty. We presented these to both our building staff, and then we were honored to share the list with the entire district-wide faculty. Our district has recently installed Epson Brightlink Interactive Projectors in the Elementary classrooms and the Junior High classrooms. We have found that many of of staff are uncomfortable with the new technology and have become overwhelmed some of our trainings on IWB software, such as ActivInspire. We compiled this list of our favorite interactive websites to provide teachers with a list of resources that they can go to for ready-made activities to use with their IWBs or on student computers. Continue reading
Implementing the Accelerated Reader Program in First Grade
My first graders begin taking AR quizzes during the second half of the year. We also participate in the Pizza Hut Book It Program, so I have students log books they read on the back of their monthly reading calendar. Then I record their AR quizzes next to the book in the log. At first glance this system seems organized and efficient, but don’t be fooled. I don’t have it all together, but I am happy to report that there is a glimmer of hope .
Preparing for the 100th Day of School
My coworker and I have been busy perusing Pinterest to help spice up our 100th Day of School celebration this year. We decided to create center activities for the students to rotate through on the big day! We celebrated our 100th Day this past Thursday!
We read the story titled On the Way to the Pond about two friends, Herbert and Tess, who want to go to the pond for a picnic! On the way they misplace their picnic basket, and Tess goes back to find it. She drops rocks along the way so she can find her way back. In math we have been working on addition and subtraction. I thought it would be cute if I sent my students on a QR scavenger hunt around the building. My plan was to attach the QR codes to rocks like in the story, and in the end they would find a picnic basket filled with treats!
Creating the QR Hunt
I used the website QR Voice that I had previously used for my What’s in the Bag? project. I typed in short addition and subtraction word problems, and QR voice generates a QR code. There is a 100 character limit for QR Voice. When students scan the code they hear the word problem read to them. I copied and pasted the QR codes into a word document. I also made a page with the word problems, so the teacher can reread the word problem if needed. Additionally, I included an answer key and a sheet where students can record their responses.
Going on the QR Code Scavenger Hunt
I printed the QR Codes and attached them to rocks with duct tape. During my planning period, I hid the rocks throughout the hallways in the school, and placed the picnic basket full of goldfish crackers at the end. I notified the teachers in my building that I was hiding rocks around the building, and asked them to inform their students. The class had tons of fun scanning the QR codes and solving the word problems. They were super excited each time the spotted a new rock! When they found the picnic basket at the end we went back to the classroom, sat in a big circle, and ate our goldfish crackers! The only snag we ran into was that one of the rocks got stolen!
Purchase the QR Code Scavenger Hunt
If you would like to use this QR Scavenger Hunt with your students, you can purchase it in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. Enjoy!
What has been your experience using QR Codes with your students?
Before the winter break I got a new student. I do a lot of getting-to-know-you glyphs at the beginning of the year, but in the spirit of getting a new student I thought it would be nice to try a winter glyph that would help him get to know the rest of the class and vice versa! All the glyphs I have seen have been paper crafts, so I thought it would be interesting to design a glyph activity for the Interactive Whiteboard.
Additionally, in grammar, we started learning about proper nouns, specifically names. I thought it would be fun to have the students make acrostic poems about their classmates using their names to go along with their glyph.
It’s a lot of work coming up with a seating arrangement! You spend a great deal of time creating the perfect seating chart before you even get to physically moving the desks! Without fail, within an hour my students have pushed their desks completely catawampus! So to combat this I came up with a solution! Are you ready?
Blog A Month Challenge
I was recently invited to participate in the Blog A Month Challenge by Tricia Shelton in her blog post. I think this will be a fun way to expand my PLN, and connect with other bloggers! Thanks for nominating me Tricia! Now that I have been nominated I will pass the torch and nominate another 11 bloggers! I am choosing to nominate 11 people that I recently connected with on Twitter, who happen to teach 1st grade like me! Continue reading
A Bit of Background
All primary teachers know that Reader’s Theater is a great way to promote fluency and expression in students’ oral reading. Recently, we read two different pieces of literature in class that lend themselves nicely to Reader’s Theater. The first story, Try Your Best, is a realistic fiction story composed of mostly dialogue between characters about kids at a summer camp. The second story, Did You See Chip?, was a play about a girl who moves to the new city, looses her dog, and makes new friends on her journey to recover her missing pup! I wanted to try incorporating technology into my students’ Reader’s Theater experiences. For these two projects I selected two different tools, Voki, a web based tool, and Puppet Pals 2, an iPad app. Continue reading