August 25, 2015

More Banner Making Ideas

How to create {another} classroom banner
I am slightly obsessed with making classroom banner is this year.
I am loving the look of banner and I love how easy they are to create.

I found an additional way to make another banner so I want to share it with you.
First, I printed out these white banner pieces.
I didn't want the dark, ink rich versions for this project.
classroom banner

Then I took a hole punch and put circles inside the existing circles.
This is a great way to make sure all the whole punches are in the exact same spots.
how to create a classroom banner

 Next, I took the same string I used before and weaved it in and out of the hole punches.
stringing a banner

 See the end of the banner piece?
I let the string hang off going UNDER.
stringing a classroom banner

When I start the next piece in the banner,
 I want it to be going OVER.
how to make a classroom banner
When they come together, it looks good with a layered look.
See how they look overlapping?

For my school walls, I used these Clear Command hooks.
And I used the concrete blocks lines on the wall to make sure I put them level for both ends.
command hooks for hanging banners

Then, I put a loop at the end of the string and hung the banner up using the hook.
hanging a classroom banner

Then I trimmed the string last.
classroom banner making

Check out my end results.
example of a classroom banner

Here is another banner.
See how the command hook is at the same place on the wall?

I also wanted to create a double banner.
So I put on on banner and I had to let the banner HANG from the hook 
while I was working on the other side.
This helped me a lot when I was creating a double banner.
This banner will say "social" on top
then 'studies" on the bottom.
hanging a double banner

It seems scary but the ends are tied so it is safe. 
This helps to figure out the arrangement of the banner on the other side. 

I hang up the bottom part first,
then the top.
This allows the top word to be layers on top.
And here is the double banner FINISHED.
how to hang up a double banner
You can get this set of colorful premade banner letters in 6 colors
{yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue and green NEON colors.}

And if you missed my original post about making classroom banners,

August 20, 2015

Little Learners LOVE QR Codes

Little Learners LOVE QR Codes...
and you should too. 
QR Codes are an highly engaging, customizable tool
 you can use to provide technology learning tools with your students.

Qr codes are also a great method of instructional delivery 
without YOU repeating yourself over and over again.
They can also be used for self checking work.
And I know that QR Codes can help your students to learn!

Why do QR Codes work with little learners?
At first, I believe it has more to do with the "mystery" of what they will scan at first.
And they love to get their hands on any sort of iPad or iPod.
Once students learn to scan their first code and
grasp the world of technology in their hands, 
the fire starts!
They are engulfed with a passion and their eyes twinkle with joy.
You did that!
You helped get them excited about learning.
And those simple QR Codes helped. 

The biggest questions are...
1.What are QR Codes?
2. Why should I use them?
3. How do I start using QR Codes with little learners?
4. Can I see examples of ways to use QR Codes in the classroom?

So... lets get busy!
What is a Quick Response Code?
A QR Code a short way to say Quick Response Code.
It is a bar code looking square that hold information that you scan 
with a smart device to "read" it and tells you what it is. 
You can have QR codes that take you to text codes, audio files, videos, website, 
or almost everything else not listed.
Simply put... it is a smart, fun, 
way to direct student learning to exactly were you want them to go. 
Insanely smart.
You will need smart devices with a camera function. 
You will also most likely need wifi. 
And you will need to download a few FREE QR Code Scanners to each device. 
I love the app i-nigma the most. It is my favorite.
 Here is a picture of the bottom "dashboard" of an iPod 
with three types of QR Scanners ready to be used.
You should use QR Codes because...
They direct students learning to exactly were you want them to go.
Which is insanely smart and FUN.
Using technology engages your learners.
And it actually makes your job easier because you can use these codes to never repeat yourself.

Should I even mention that technology is a HUGE component in requirements for daily teaching?
Every lesson plan template I fill out has a spot for technology componets.
Each evaluation I use has a spot for technology.
Your students NEED to be using technology on a regular basis.

How Do I Start Using QR Codes?
In my opinion, figuring out how to start using these codes with little ones is the KEY to success.
Your students do not need to know what type of code it is before you scan it.
They all scan the same.
But sharing with you 

I always suggest starting with TEXT codes.
Using text one codes does not require wifi and the text codes pop up quickly.
Using these codes first allows for easy success scanning.

The negative aspect is that text codes are usually rather small.
Think about typing letters, number, or so on that are on a computer screen.
There isn't a way to make them larger that I know of.
But, if your students are on an iDevice like an iPad or an iPod...
 they can easily pinch the screen and increase the size of the text.

Once we scan TEXT Codes, we can easily move onto to image codes and audio codes. 
(Remember, once your students know how to scan, it doesn't matter to them.
ALL QR codes scan the same, regardless of the type of code it is.)

When a QR Codes leads to an audio file or image, it requires the use of wi-fi.
It takes about 30 seconds or so for these files to pull up on a device
which can be just enough time to make little ones THINK they did something wrong
 or the internet isn't working.
Make sure you let your little ones know to be patient.

I also have a rule... scan three before me.
I download at least 3 scanners onto each device and let them get to work.
If one QR Scanner doesn't work, they can try others before they come to ask me.

Can I see Examples of QR Codes?

Let's dive a little deeper into the world of Quick Response Codes!
I can't wait to show you some examples.

Remember I start off with TEXT Codes.
 One of the tasks we do each Monday morning it to write our spelling words in our agendas.
Since this is a typical task, I use QR Codes to make it more fun.
First, I make QR Codes for each word.

Then I glue the qr code on cards.
I do make a back up regular version just because.

Here is that this set looks like.
 My students scan each code and write down the word in their agenda.

I also add QR Codes for ALL the words on one code at their tables this past year.
I did this because my class last year struggled arriving to school on time. 
Most of them did not have time to search for codes around the room. 
This is just a faster way to get their words in the agenda.

Here is a student who scanned a code and got the text up.
They are now writing their spelling words down.
Next, we move on to simple audio codes. 
My kinders LOVE audio codes because most of them are not strong readers and
using audio files is so much fun for them.
I love to use these quick Sight Word Codes to get my students reading and hearing sight words.

These audio files are quick, lasting only a few seconds.
They are PERFECT for beginning scanners or those who need to know the sight word quickly.

 I store them in a binder
Sight Word QR Codes

and use trading card pages to organize them in ABC order.
QR Codes for sight words

 I love that I can add a word as we learn about it... 
or how easy it is to pull out the words we need quickly.
So if we are working on 5 specific sight words, 
I pull them out and put them in an easy access place for my little learners to grab. 

Next, we use these Initial Sound worksheets.
QR Code activities for initial sounds
Once we scan the code, we can complete the entire sheet independently. 
And if they need to listen to it more than once, they can!

We also work to learn new skill like with this fact gathering sheet about US Presidents.
QR Codes for Presidents... your kinders will love it!

And this FUN activity for Living and Non Living things.
QR codes for living and non living things

We can also use picture codes to self check our work.
Here is one of the activities in my Sight Word Station packs.
self check work with picture qr codes

Here is another example of this.
Check out this nocturnal animal secret code word activity.
Secret Code Word FUN

Once my students complete the sheet,
they scan the code to see if they got all their answers correct.

We also use these single image QR Code self checking codes.

Here is another example using Now and Then words.
Now and Then Secret Code Words

I hope I have inspired you to starts dabbling in QR Codes in your classroom...
because your LITTLE LEARNERS will LOVE it.

August 17, 2015

Brown Bear Game

FUN interactive Brown Bear game

I start the school year off using the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You Hear?
It is just a fun way to review colors and show my little ones that they are readers!
And books can be used as a tool.
And I want my student to see that they can PLAY TO LEARN.

One of my favorite classroom games is called Fill the Ten Frame.
It comes with three versions of a record sheet.
You are going to have a huge variety of students who show up in your classroom on the first day.
You most likely will not know their exact needs when you are pre-planning.
The variety of record sheets will be a huge help and support for all your little learners.
 Fill the Ten Frame Game from Sharing Kindergarten
 One version has the color word with number writing support.
Another version has just the color word.
The third version has picture support, the color word, and number writing support.
Fill the Ten Frame Game

 There are also a variety of die inserts and a premade die.
Die Insert Options for this FUN game

 One of the die inserts looks like this.
This game is a must have!

It has color word and picture support.
After printing out and cutting out the squares, you can place them into the pockets of this die.
I like this cube option for game option because it costs the same as the other sets
but it comes with THREE dice instead of two. 
{Did you notice how the colors of the animals match the die colors.
Yeah, me too.}
Die game for brown bearthis is a fun game for brown bear
 Students use the die, recording sheet, and crayons.
Check out this FUN game that is easy to prep

You can use this die option too if you don't have the foam die.
Your students will love this game.

Each time your student rolls the die, they fill in one of the numbers on the ten frame to fill it.
Your students will practice color words, number writing, and number sense skills...
all whole playing a game THEY LOVE
Watch this video.

The end results look like this.
Fill the Ten Frame Game

And your little ones can play this game again and again...
all with different results!
They love it.

This pack includes all of these pieces!
You can pick between three die options and three types of record sheets.
Fill the Ten Frame Game

You can mix and match these pieces to fit the needs of all your students.
Brown Bear game with numbers and number sense

My kiddos ware going to play this at math centers.
I know they will love it.
My own little one loves it too!

I also made some additional Brown Bear Expansion Items.