Monday, November 21, 2011


So last year our principal went into high gear about technology integration. She was able to get us about 40 ipads and a technology integration specialist! We now have meetings every few weeks called Tech Café after school where our specialist, Francesca either shows us cool stuff to do with our kids or we share what is really working in our rooms (or NOT working at all)! Haha. It has been so awesome! 

A few weeks ago Francesca shared an ipad app called ShowMe. OH MY WORD!! This little app has changed my teaching in such a fabulous way! You can take a photo (if you have the newer ipads) and record the kids’ voices sharing about their work. The kids can also “write” on their work by using their fingers. HOW FREAKIN’ COOL?! It is easier to explain if you just watch this little ShowMe presentation I had 2 of my kids make.

I’ll wait until you are finished watching…. ;)

Awesome- right?! I love ShowMe SO much that I wanted to share the kids’ learning process at Parent/Teacher conferences. I was able to use this as an assessment AND I could show parents during conferences exactly where their children are. It was fantastic! It helped me to see where I had lost the students who were struggling. It also showed me how their little minds were working. The best part about ShowMe is that you can play it back again and again to improve your teaching and lessons. Parents LOVED that they could hear their kids explaining their work. I would definitely recommend this app and plan on using it again! Oh I almost forgot to mention something super important!! ShowMe is FREE!! That's right my of my favorite words- FREE! 

Here is also an article on how another teacher is using ShowMe in the classroom. Interesting stuff! 
What are your favorite apps?!

Hope everyone is having a good start to the week! :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shape-Tastic Turkey!

Thanksgiving already?! REALLY?! In my mind we are just coming off summer vacation and I am still tan -- then I looked in the mirror...AHH! is all I have to say! haha... Here is a little something that got me in the holiday spirit! 
Totally stole this idea from The First Grade Parade. OMG they came out SO adorable.

We are in the middle of our Making Shapes and Designing Quilts unit (my school uses investigations) and I was trying to find a way to assess if my little friends know the names of the shapes we have been working on (trapezoid, thin rhombus, thick rhombus, square, triangle, and hexagon). We are also working very hard on finding the sum of multiple addends with small numbers. Sooo I created this little bad boy to go along with it.

I didn't use the shape pictures, but instead I used the words. I thought this would be more challenging for my students, and I was curious to see how they would do with it. I color coded the words according to the pattern blocks -- except silly me mixed up the triangles and squares! Don't worry a little boy corrected me in about 30 seconds. ( I fixed it before uploading it on here) This little assessment told me SO much about each child's thinking! I could see who was using the strategies we have been working on in class like making 10. I could see who organized their thinking and how their minds were working. I was AMAZED at my little people!! Of course there are some who are still counting one by one on and on...and that was apparent, but now I know who and what I need to zone in on...tomorrow is another day, right?! 

I hope you can use this in your classroom!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Transitions (in more than one way) ahhh!

OMG we got engaged!! I am the luckiest girl in the whole entire world! However, I am super stressed and busy as all get out trying to find a reception venue to fit about 170 people in Manhattan for this August. Oh did I mention I can’t spend $100, 000,000?! Let’s be real people I’m a teacher! Can you say anxiety attack?! B has been super helpful about the whole process, but it is a full time job! I refuse to let it take over my life and keep repeating “it will be fine, it will be fine…”

us minutes (maybe even seconds) after! Say CHEESE!!!

On another note- I have been using this really cute song I randomly found on youtube to transition my kids from an activity to the carpet. They LOVE it! I hear them singing it all the time! Plus it really works…they hear the first few beats and get so excited that they actually come straight to the carpet! How do you transition your little people?

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