July 19, 2014

Assess for Success with PLICKERS App

I have an awesome {easy} TECHIE way to assess my students...

Welcome to a FREE app called PLICKERS.
 It is an awesome way to assess quickly with only one smart device in your classroom.

Here is a video I made for you guys to SHOW you this app and 
how to USE it with your Kindergarten students successfully.

 But guys...
I have actually used this app in my classroom.
The first time we did it, it wasn't good....
So I made some changes to make it successful for littler learners.
Here is the breakdown of TIPS to make the use of this app successful in your classroom.
1. The app goes on your smart device for free. 
You want to make sure you have a device with a camera function 
because it uses the camera to "read" the Plickers.

2. You log in on a computer to website to get your paper clickers 
{hence the app name of plickers} like the ones shown in this picture.
Each sheet prints two plickers so you will need to cut them in half.

3. I ALWAYS print off the Plickers onto cardstock.

4. Here is my TOP TIP to make these cards successful in a kindergarten classroom.
LABEL the Plickers for your students.
In the computer site, you make a class list and assign each plicker to a student. 
Since each card has the number on it, it is easy to give the correct student their numbered Plicker.

I write my students name on the BACK of their Plicker 
AND I take colored markers and label their choices with the markers for A, B, C, and D.
The letter the student holds up is their answer. So they need to do it the correct way.
This allows the smart device reads their answer, 
hence why you have to label the Plickers with the colored marker.
I want my students to see their answer on the back of the card, 
which allows ME to see the correct front to scan and INSTANTLY get their answer,

5. Make a few extra cards and label them as LOST
If a student can't find their Plicker, you will make a note of it for your assessment records 
and allow them to borrow a lost card. Problem solving before you need it.

6. Premade questions save time!
You can enter in the ANSWER to any question ahead of time on your smart device. 
I love to take a few minutes to enter in the question and answer into my personal phone,
 the smart device I use. It makes it easier for me to focus on grabbing the data I want to use first.

 7. I use these question cards to assess my students. 
Did you notice how the colored letters from the student Plickers match the colored answers for the multiple choice question? 
That is on purpose because I want to get the right answer quickly and easily.  
I also make sure I am prepared to ask my students to answer questions in more than one way.
8. You can use card or project the question on your projector for larger display. 
I love using the projector and putting one question on each slide. 
These are just great ways to assess easily and for the whole class at one time.

9. Place students in an oval or a circle for assessing.
It makes scanning their Plickers easy and helps stop cheating, if that is an issue.

You CAN scan easily without using an oval or circle, because I have done both.
{But, lets face it... those who cheat will always cheat... 
and they are only cheating themselves. 
I don't think this app makes it easier or harder to cheat.}

This upcoming year, I have to assess my students twice a year to track their growth.
I made these packs of Assess for Success to help me do this.
Each pack contains directions, a pdf version of ALL the questions to print out and 
show your students to assess them.
AND an IMAGE version of each question so you can compose your own assessments 
easily on your computer's format. 

I practiced using the Plickers with my students this Spring using the Time to the Hour pack.
I also made an Initial Sounds Pack 
with multiple choice questions that are ready to go.

 But, I want to offer this pack, Assess for Success Time to the Hour
 to you for free for you guys to try it out for yourselves.
 {This pack is a Facebook FREEBIE since so many of you guys have been asking me for one.
I am only offering this to Facebook Followers.
You can purchase this pack to TpT if you are not a Facebook Follower.

A sweet blogging friend of mine has also posted about this app...
head {here} to read her post as well.

What questions do you have about using this app?

July 18, 2014

The Daily 5 Book Study {Chapter 9}

Hello Daily 5 fans!
Now that the FL gals are back from Vegas, we are ready to proceed with our book study.
This week we are diving into...
Sadly this is the last chapter of the book and hence the last chapter in our book study.

This chapter discusses ways to ultize parent volunteers, guests, new students,
and those challenging students we all have.
{Aren't those the "friends" we all worry about when we talk about using this structure!?}

They suggest ways to work with students who disrupt the flow of the classroom which building stamina in very specific ways. 
Level 1: Reflection
Level 2: Extra Support
Level 3: In Class Modification
Level 4: Gradual Release of Class Modification

I will not tell you all the details about this elements because I think they wrote it so clear and exact that you really need to read their words to see how to handle our needy friends using this structure.

I will also add that I was doing these steps in my classroom myself,
so I was glad to read that these are the ways they also suggest to help support students
in using their structure successfully.

I loved one thing they said...
on page 142, 
"Children will rise to the expectations we set for them."

The last part of the book details how to handle subs, new students, and even gives and
AWESOME sample letter to send to paretns explaining The Daily 5.
I know I am going to use their sample letter and make it my own to share with parents to help them gain understanding about the structure we are using.
I loved this chapter because The Sisters kept it real.
Real Students can sometimes have Real Problems conforming to systems.

I was thinking about the Level 1:Reflection section.
 It is for the teacher to SELF reflect on how he/she set the students up for success or not.

Level 2: Extra Support suggests sitting a child out of recess to practice
 some Daily 5 elements that they are struggling with in the regular classroom.
 I have also made a {as in one time, one single student}
sit out at recess for a small amount of time to practice Read to Self.
I hated doing it but this student's behaviors were not acceptable to myself or even himself.

We had to force this student to THINK about why he was going the wrong behaviors
 and allow him to make the choice to do the correct behaviors. 
I am more than happy to say that using recess to practice our stamina ONE TIME was all it took...
he did so much better from that day forward. 

I also like how the sisters discussed behaviors a student CAN and CAN NOT control.
We, as teachers, have to determine between these two behaviors and work with that student where they are. Let's face it- we teach REAL students who may not have self control.

The Level 3: In Class Modifcation are real life things we do to support our students.
Reading rugs, offices, and even laundry baskets can help with boundaries.
Giving student kinestic materials can also aid.
 Teachers have been sharing these tips and more on Pinterest for years, but this book does a great job of collecting all those "teacher tips" that actually work and sharing them.

Level 4: Gradual Release is another way you teach students then pull away support as they grow,
 but give them more support as they need it.

I am a HUGE fan of this.
I support my students and pull it away slowly and then return the support as they need it.
By March, I provide almost NO additional support for any students...
they have it.
Smooth sailing through May... AND
since all our grade levels use Daily 5,
 I have set my students up for success for future years.

One way I support my students is with cross off sheets.

These sheets allow my students to track where they have been or where they have to go easily.
Using them isn't the modification...
but some students struggle with self selected choices.
For those students who don't finish their station or work, 
I modify their cross off sheet and TELL them where to go.
After a few weeks of this, I change their sheet to where they have to go first, 
then they can chose a station, then I choose, etc.
If that works, we leave it for a few weeks.
If not, I go back to making their choices.

After a few successful weeks of a combination of choices, 
I start them off at a station, then they choose.

As you can see I tamper off the help as they grow and change.

Check out my other Daily 5 Book Study Chapters by clicking on the chapters below.

July 16, 2014

QR Codes in the Classroom

Little learners are AMAZING at using technology to LEARN.
Sometimes WE as teachers are the ones who limit them.

One of my passions is using technology in the classroom to LEARN... 
not to just use technology.

QR stands for Quick Response.
They are an easy way to get anyone to an EXACT place you want them to go.
Meaning, you can control content while your students can control their learning.
This just might be a perfect combination to allow teachers, 
who want to control learning,
 to let go and let their students grasp more responsibility for their learning. 

If you have ever read my blog, you already know I love to use technology in different ways. 
One of the ways I love to use technology is with a series of activities called
"QR Scan & Learn." I had an "ah-ha" moment a few weeks ago and got the idea to create an INTERACTIVE sight word book.

The best thing about these activities is...
You only need a smart device with wifi and a camera function...
{iPhones, iPads, iPods, Android, ect...}
whatever device that can use a QR Reader and has internet can use these!

Watch this video and see what you think!

and here is the second part.
So essentially...
When a student comes to a SIGHT WORD they don't know, 
they can use this sight word book and a smart device to learn it.
Once they find the word, they scan it and HEAR the word and sentence being read to them.

These packs include:
 You get HOW TO pages to learn how to scan, play, and use these word walls.
 As well as a test to scan to make sure it works at your school.
(The PrePrimer version has PrePrimer words and the Primer version has Primer words.)

And you can use this 3 ways.
The Easiest is the premade Sight Word Book. 
You just print the pages and place them in a book at a station.

Another way it to use these ABC Cards and QR cards to create 
their own sight word book using Trading Card pages.

 And last, you can use the blank pages and QR trading cards to make your own!
This way you can include the words you and your students need. Each student can have their own or you can change it as needed.

July 14, 2014

Educents Back to School Bundle

Wal-mart is getting stocked... the calendar is counting down...
We all know it is coming.
And so me and my girls at Freebielicious have teamed up with Educents with some instant downloads for you! Loaded with great products for back to school including book studies, craftivities, classroom prep, and content materials for back to school!  With 23 instant downloads... you have to check it out!  


My product included will surely be loved by your students!

I contributed the If You Take a Mouse to School Unit, 
which is ideal to use at the start of the year.

Let me break this pack down for you...
There is a reading comprehension game to play with your students.
 with tons of great questions to ask your students.
 This is a fantastic pre-assessment you can use with your students.
 And a reader you to use with your students.
 Here are the sequencing cards.

 I love to use these with the book and with the writing prompt.

 And for this sequencing sheet...

For a limited time it is $34.99 from Educents which is 69% off!  
Twenty-three products for your kinder and first grade classrooms and 
over 1200 pages of materials from some of your favorite teachers!  
It's a bundle you are sure to LOVE!


Take a moment to take a PEEK at some of the other teachers featured in this bundle - 
what that have going on for back to school and what they are featuring in this deal too!

July 08, 2014

Because I Love APPS... I am going to let you WIN one!

On Thursday I get the HONOR of presenting at I Teach K.
My first session is all about APPS...

I LOVE technology and I love using apps as a tool help guide learning.

I am constantly trying out apps and seeing which ones work for me.
The current app I am using with my own daughter is...

FIRST... I love the graphics.
ANYTHING different catches little learners attention.
And all the graphics match the words and the story so well.
This is great for reading strategies... like using the picture clues.

Also, students read basic sight words WITH word families and rhyming words!
And we all know how confusing and SKILL BUILDING
reading rhymes is...PERFECT for Kinders.

I also think the price on this app is crazy GOOD.
Each book is $1, but all the book are $10. 

My daughter really enjoys this app. 
She is a good reader to be starting Kindergarten, 
but this app allows her to grow into a better reader.

She can read the books by herself, or get audio support from the app.
I also LOVE that we can review the rhyming words on the left side FIRST.
She has gotten into the habit of reading the rhyme list to me before I even ask.

(And remember I do not get paid or get any incentive to talk about any app...
I just share the ones I use and love.)

I really feel that this app is good for beginning readers and worth the $10.
But I am going to GIVE AWAY one of these apps!
a Rafflecopter giveaway So, were is a collection of the Tech Tuesday Videos I have published...
ALL in one place!

July 07, 2014

Viva Las Vegas

Elvis is calling me...
He misses me...
He NEEDS me!

Here is Elvis and me in my office...
We were having a little conversation...
Seriously this picture hangs in my office 
and has for years.

{I have more than a little crush on Mr. Presley... 
in fact I wanted to name BOTH girls Presley... 
and that name was vetoed BOTH times.}

I mean... look at his eyes, he face!
Who doesn't adore his voice!!!

So off to Vegas I go for the AMAZING

The Freebilicious gals 
 and I will be at booth #115.
We would absolutely, positively LOVE to meet you, hug your neck, and give you some candy.
Why do you want to stop by? 
{I mean, besides the FREE candy???}

We aren't selling you ANYTHING.
Our blog is FREEBIElicious after all.
And you can enter to win an iPad mini.

I will be at the booth on Monday and Wednesday
AT LEAST with my own giveaways.
I am presenting almost all day Thursday...
and I have more stuff to giveaway then.

You will want to follow me on instagram
because I have these cards:
 I will post on Instagram a question AND where I am...

Then, you find me at ITK...
and answer the question first you get the freebie.
But I have plans for you guys at home too...
I have freebies for you too!
YOU answer the question on Instagram and
I will pick a random winner from there too!

AND My hot hubs is coming in so you might get a chance to see him.
{And YES he know about my Elvis obsession and married me anyways...
Our wedding song was Can't Help Falling in Love With You though...}

PLEASE come see me and say hi. 
I get a little shy around people I don't know, but please know it is just me. 
{Middle child syndrome... you know!}

I am just like you! 
AND I want to see each and every one of you because YOU are special to ME!
And I want to give free stuff!

Last by NOT least...
HEAD to FREEBILICIOUS NOW to enter to win an iPad mini.
That is right...
ONE for the conference and ONE for you folks at home!