caffeinatedteaching

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iPads for Literacy February 4, 2013

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ImageA BIG PUBLIC THANK YOU TO GAHANNA-JEFFERSON EDUCATION FOUNDATION!

We are so excited for the arrival of our new iPad Minis later this week!  We will be utilizing these iPad Minis exclusively for the literacy development of our first grade students that have been identified as “at risk” under the new definitions for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.  

We will be loading them with literacy building Apps that provide audio and visual support to literacy development, writing creation and just-right books.  

We will be allowing movement of the iPad Minis between intervention teachers so these students have the additional supports with them in all of their learning environments.  

I am so excited for this project to begin!  Thank you Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation for making it possible!

 

 

 

 

 

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GarageBand Fluency December 11, 2012

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I am very excited to share this with you!  A sample can be clicked at the bottom of this post…

We created read-a-loud books to help develop our fluency.  Each student in my first grade classroom are making their own GarageBand read-a-louds.

This is a project I did with my class several years ago, but it required me bringing in my MacBook from home and then editing and burning CDs at home for parents.

This year I was able to use GarageBand for iPad and then email parents the completed sound file.

After modeling how to use GarageBand for this activity, my first grade students were able to record their voices independently and manipulate the sound effects to complete their stories.

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They love their finished projects!

We used two lines of sound in GarageBand.  The top line is their audio recordings for each page with a page turn sound effect between pages.  The second line holds background music as well as a final sound effect.  Image

The smiles on their faces are worth every moment I spent preparing this activity for them! 🙂

Here is a sample from one of my students!  STUDENT SAMPLE

 

Angry Birds Do Math November 27, 2012

 

In my quest to utilize technology and keep learning relevant to my students, we subtracted with Angry Birds today.  It was a hit!  We recorded how many birds and piggies we started with on a level.  Then we subtracted to discover answers to story problems as we played.

Here are some story problems related to Angry Birds:

We started with 4 birds.  We now have only 1 bird left.  How many birds have I used?  (4 – ? = 1)

We started with 4 birds.  We used 2 birds.  How many birds do we have left? (4 – 2 = ?)

There are 8 piggies.  We hit 3 piggies.  How many piggies are left?  (8 – 3 = ?)

There were 8 piggies at the start of the game.  There are now 2 piggies.  How many piggies have we been able to hit? (8 – ? = 2)

We have 10 piggies and 6 birds.  How many more piggies do we have than birds?  (10 – 6 = ?)

 

And using other math concepts:

How many piggies do we have to get?  How many birds do we have at the start of the game?  Do we have more birds or piggies?  ( >, <, =)

We have 4 birds.  How many are red and how many are yellow? (number combinations)

We have a little blue bird.  When I hit the screen, the bird multiplies to 3.  How many birds were added? (1 + ? = 3)

How many birds and piggies are there in total?

If I have 5 birds and 10 piggies, how many piggies do I need to hit with each bird to win the game? (multiplication)

 

Have you used Angry Birds in the classroom?  Please share your thoughts and ideas!  🙂

 

 

Online Learning with ScootPad October 19, 2012

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I was introduced to this site by Kelly Tenkely, the author of  iLearn Technology blog.  I read her review and opinion and checked it out for myself and am now sharing it with you!  So thanks Kelly for sharing!

The site is ScootPad and it offers online practice for students in grades K-5 based on the Common Core Standards in Reading and Math.  And….it’s free.  Yes…..it’s free!

Update:  ScootPad is now offering Premium Features at a monthly rate of $4.99/classroom.  Their basic features are still FREE!  If you are interested in joining, please use this link and help out our classroom in the process with our monthly fees and hopefully someone down the road will do the same for you! The link takes you to my teacher page with ScootPad and then you click on the Sign Up button on the top. 

http://scootpad.com/60487

Then, once your account is created, go to your Settings Page, Under Profile Tab click the Referred By link and enter  my name – Betsy Spence –  It should let you find my name at Blacklick Elementary.  It’s that easy!  Thank you!

I am using ScootPad in my first grade classroom. ScootPad also has invitations for parents so they can also see their child’s progress.  And remember, since this is an Internet based program…once you have established a log in for your students, they can log on at home and practice there as well.  ScootPad works at their individual learning pace and your set learning achievement goals so the more they practice, not only will their skill base grow, but they will move onto other learning targets.

It is also very easy to view data on your students and create practice lessons in areas you determine they need more practice on.

ScootPad also offers homework integration.  For example your could have your students complete their reading logs online through their ScootPad account.

And yes…there is also an App for this!

This is a short video showing you some of the features of ScootPad:

 

iPads in the Classroom October 5, 2012

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I believe 100% in utilizing technology to engage my students as learners, incorporate their interests into their learning, allow for differentiation and teach/model digital citizenship.

One way I incorporate technology is with mobile devices accessing Apps.  I have been using my iPad in my first grade classroom for a couple of years now.  Prior to using my iPad I was using my iPhone with my students.

There have been many Apps through the years that my students and I have enjoyed using.

I thought I would take a moment and share some of the apps I like in the hopes you will add to my list!  Our school is looking at adding iPads into our classrooms and I would love to know what apps I might be missing!

1.  Word Wizard

    Word Wizard allows my students to build words while hearing their sounds.  It also has a spelling practice component.  

2.  Train Phonics (CVC)

Train Phonics provides sound matching with consonant-vowel-consonant words.  

3.  Lakeshore Learning Materials – I believe this company puts out quality products and have some of their software for my interactive projector.  I was elated when I discovered they are now producing Apps!

One of their Apps is Letter of The Day and we have been using it to review letters and sounds as well as handwriting to start our first grade year.  

4.  For math, I discovered Apps created by Classroom Focused Software.  Wow!  They cover many of our number sense concepts in first grade.  One of their Apps is What’s Hiding? where they utilize ten-frames to practice missing addends- if I know I have 10 and 3 are shown, how many are missing?  Some of their other apps are:  Word Problems, Count Sort, Pattern Sets, Thinking of a Number, What Time….and that’s just to name a few!

5.  Also for math I use Hands-On Math Hundreds Chart by Ventura Educational Systems which gives you an interactive hundreds chart.  They also have an App for place value using place value blocks.

6.  For Social Studies we created a Stop Motion Animated Short (very short) film using our school map.  We used the App, iMotion HD to create this:

Our Map Movie

This is a short list compared to the amount of Apps I use…but it’s a start!  Please share with me the Apps you like too!

 

Why I “Daily 5” September 9, 2011

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You may be familiar with the book, “the daily 5 – Fostering Literacy Independence In The Elementary Grades.” If not, you need to become familiar with it. The authors are Gail Boushey & Joan Moser who are known as “the sisters.”

I implemented Daily 5 into my first grade classroom several years ago when my principal strongly encouraged it. 🙂 Prior to Daily 5, I was using centers as a means for the students to have something valid to work on while I instructed reading groups. I will admit, I was never a fan of centers. They take a lot of time to set up each week and you had to have many options available for the student that was “done” by Wednesday. I felt the amount of available centers was overwhelming to students who were emergent or struggling readers to the point they didn’t even know where to begin. So I was open to a new approach when I cracked open the cover of the daily 5 book.

Simply put and in my own words, Daily 5 is a management style and not curriculum. Instead Of multiple choices, students are given a choice between 5 activities which are clearly defined, modeled and practiced.

The 5 choices or categories are:
Read to Self
Read to Someone
Listen to Reading
Work on Writing
Work on Words

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I follow the book quite closely in regard to Read to Self and Read to Someone. My students have book boxes where they keep classroom library books and books they make. They also have their reading group books with them during this time as well as their poetry folders.

For listen to reading I still have books on tape being utilized as well as listening to animated storybooks on Tumblebooks on the computers which we access through our local library.

During work on writing, my class has a journal, a book of lists, a book/movie review book and a book of friendly letters.

During work on words, there are a multitude of choices some of which include: making words with magnet letters, making sentences with magnet words, writing around the room on white boards, reading around the room with pointers, making words using set letters on a chart, boggle, letter puzzles, memory games, etc. I also have a computer dedicated to work on words where we access Spelling City. On this site I can preset a list of words and the games created use the created list.

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During Daily 5, I meet with a reading group, a comprehension group or a student one-to-one. Then, we all meet together for a mini-lesson, then the students select a new choice while I meet with another group or student. Then another mini-lesson, etc. The mini-lessons are great for comprehension or reading accuracy strategies as well as phonics/word work lessons. They also allow for time to showcase student work. They also provide a break from independent work time.

Daily 5 has freed me from weekly center creation as well as reviewing stacks of papers the students turned in from center work. Daily 5 has allowed my students to clearly know the expectations and have success at each stage of their morning choices and grow as readers and writers.

Do you Daily 5? I do! And I think you should too! 🙂

Please share some of your Daily 5 successes. I would love some new ideas! Also, feel free to ask any questions you might have regarding Daily 5.

 

 
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