Friday, April 17, 2015

Five for Friday

Happy Friday!!

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We finished up our angles. We used task cards I made throughout the unit.
Although I did run into a printing error-I ran out of yellow partway through!

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We've also be doodle noting in Social Studies with the start of our Colonial America unit!

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I did another painting-and LOVED how it turned out!
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I also went a little crazy with a yarn sale at Michaels...
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I leave you with a haiku. :)

Smiles and Sunshine,

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Notebook Evolution ~ Social Studies

As I went to do a new notebook entry with my kids, I pulled our the previous year's notebook to check what notes we had done.

I was doing it a little different this year, and me, being somewhat of a teacher hoarder, also had the notebook from the year before last.

I took a look through all the notebooks, and was interested to see how my approach to notebooks have changed, as well as what entries I've kept, modified or just changed all together.

I thought you would enjoy the process! :)

So, welcome to notebook evolution! 
Here are the table of contents-in the same order they're in above!
As you can see, we didn't get very far in year 1. We got a lot further in year 2, and even though we aren't quite done year 3, we'll go just as far or further.
We'll be on the back soon, and will probably go a little further this year-I've added in some entries!
One thing I changed was that this year, I explicitly taught the differences between human and physical features-where in previous years, we had talked about it and mentioned it-this year we did something with it!
That was part of my government unit, which has changed since the first year. We've done a lot more with state maps, characteristics of the state, counties, state symbols and more.

The first year, we used our state text book, and I didn't spend a lot of time on explorers.
Last year, I created an explorer unit, which I changed up a little for this year!

Before, I fit everything about the explorer them onto a two (or three or four) page spread with the students having to fill out a foldable.

This year, I made it a two page spread, with the article on  one side and a graphic organizer on the other.

I combined sets of maps, and we moved those to behind (or in front of in some cases) the articles. The kids still had them, but they were able to have the articles and questions side by side.

You can see the same sort of evolution in the colonial unit.

The first year, we used out textbook again as a resource.
Last year, I incorporated some interactive elements (from which the students had to take notes from), as well as talking about the first settlements.

This year, we started talking about reasons why, moved onto the first settlements, and will start talking about the different colonial roles.
I've also started some doodle notes, where I've had the students draw a picture-that has made sense to them-to represent the written notes we've taken.

You can clearly see the difference between last year and this below-and was the inspiration for the post!
They both have the same information, but I think the kids will remember better this year since we doodled it too.

Next, is my American Revolution unit.

I created the fill in the blank foldables three years ago, and I'll probably use them another year or two (we recertify every three years, and since I have a SS endorsement, I need 30 hours in SS. I'll probably recreate for my next cycle, since that will be easier than trying to find 30 hours of workshops.)

I did make some changes last year-I added a vocab sheet.
And we started coloring in the maps.
Those are my units!

We also complete an Abenaki Lapbooks, and this year I offered the option to the kids (they picked the lapbook.). I kill a few birds with this stone, finding important information, setting a purpose for reading, taking notes, main idea. This is something I will probably keep, because it scaffolds those skills that they'll need for later in their school career.

Smiles and Sunshine,

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Taming Test Anxiety ~ A Review

Since it is testing season, and even though we've finished our state required tests, we still have one more session of MAPS and NECAP Science to go, I though I would share some test anxiety resources.

*I did receive these materials free from Counseling With Heart in exchange for an honest review and post*

We started off by reading Mathsketball, which is a story about test anxiety.

It came as a power point, so I projected onto the SMART Board. The kids really enjoyed the story-and some of them could relate.

They loved the 'mathsketball' aspect of it-combining a subject with a sport.

I do wish that it had come pre-recorded, I had to read it off the power point. I think the kids would have enjoyed hearing a voice other than mine :)

With Mathsketball  came an accompanying packet that went over some of the things in the story, and had the students thinking about what made them anxious, as well as fun activities like creating a new game for studying.

We also talked about different parts of the booklet, and had a discussion of what test anxiety was.

With Conquering Test Anxiety, the students were given a packet that asked them to think about their reactions to certain things. There were a ton to choose from-I only picked a few to share!

I really enjoyed this one as it gave me some insight into my students that I wouldn't normally have.

I think both of these activities worked will in my classroom. They were interesting to my students (who are 9 and 10), and got them to think about school and the things they do a little more. It also gave them some tools to use when they were feeling anxious or overwhelmed.

To see this and other resources that deal with some of the difficult topics, head over to Counseling with Heart!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Monday, April 13, 2015

The One iPad Class ~ Standards

Today I'm going to focus on those pesky standards apps.

Of course, the first one and the biggie is the

Image result for mastery connect apps {FREE} Common Core App by Mastery Connect.

I love how I have access to ALL the standards-I can jump down to 3rd to see what they should have learned, or jump up to 5th to see what they'll be focusing on.
I do wish there was a way to see the vertical alignment a little better, and that I didn't necessarily have to click on the standard to view the whole thing, but I have found this very helpful.

If you don't have the common core-not to worry!

Image result for mastery connect apps {FREE} Mastery Connect also has your state standards up and ready to go! (and yes, I checked-all 51 states (w/DC) are there!)
I especially like this one because I can pull up the social studies and science standards that are relevant to my state.

This one is better organized-by grade-but once you get into your grade, its just a loooong list of standards-not separated out by domains.

And, if you're like my state and in the process of adopting these, you can also get the
Image result for mastery connect apps {FREE} Next Gen Science Standards as well!

We're still working out the kinks if we are going to fully align (at least my district is-the state left it up to the districts to decide if we would follow), but it comes in handy!  {FREE App/$25 Subscription} Track CC is an app that I found very recently.

One of my favorite thing about it is that you can have the "I Can" statements right underneath the standard-makes it easier to understand!

It also allows to sign up for a teacher account (free for 30 days, $25 subscription) to track your students progress towards the standards.

You can view by student

Or by standard.

I haven't tried out the assessment feature yet-I'll wait until next year before trying that out and deciding if it is worth the $25.  But I've gotten plenty of use out of the standards and I Can statements! Right now, it's only available on the App Store, but they are making plans for Google Play.

Between these four, I have all I need to make sure my planning goes smoothly!

Smiles and Sunshine,