Friday, August 12, 2016

10 YEARS?! Flexible Seating and Daily 5

Today was the first day of my 10th year teaching! I think every year it gets a little easier, but I am always learning something new. This year, I really want to embrace flexible seating, Daily 5, and CAFE.

For the first time in 10 years, I did not assign kids seats. They got to pick, and will get to pick each day! I can already tell they are going to love it! One of my kiddos has a lot of energy, without asking, felt comfortable moving for each activity we did. He was on the floor, at his desk, and at the writing station. My flexible seating includes: A $10 loveseat, low tables with pillows, crate seats, yoga balls, IKEA benches, a re-do foot stool, more pillows, clipboards, desks, a circle table with cushions, and a few other chairs. I found the hashtag #starbucksmyroom on Twitter and really wanted to go for that vibe.

I turned the desks the other way and won't let them put stuff in them.  Instead, they have plastic shoe boxes that can move around with them. I also made book bags with my new heat press!


You will also notice, I took out a lot of the bright colors I have always had and made it more neutral with a little inspiration from Joanna Gaines! ;) The wood is fadeless paper I bought off of Amazon. I had fun re-doing the old $6 window from Re-Store to make a memo board.

This summer I participated in a Daily 5 and CAFE book study. I am excited to implement both this year. I did a modified Daily 5 last year and LOVED it!

I'm excited to begin this journey with a new teaching partner too!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Flipped Math

This year, I started "flipping" my math class. Next week, I am doing a professional development and created this document with some resources and what my flipped class looks like and what has worked for me.

What My Flipped Class Looks Like

At the beginning of the year, I had them doing the “Flipped” part at home, but more and more were having wifi issues, or didn’t do it, so I started offering time in the morning for them to finish it if they hadn’t. Each child has a Math Journal, which they are to take notes in. Some do a MUCH better job than others! Each page has an “I Can Statement,” vocabulary, notes from the video, and some examples.  

8:00-8:20 Morning Work – choices- read book, ScootPad ELA or Math, Flipped lesson if not completed if it was assigned as homework.

8:20-8:30- Flipped lesson on Sophia (watch video and take notes) or check District Daily Math

8:30-9:00- Direct Instruction Lesson- Students are actively participating in interactive learning using iPads, white boards, manipulatives, or paper.  Take quiz on Sophia to check for understanding.
*I start my lesson with the “Interactive Learning,” sometimes, my flipped lesson ends with the first questions you ask in interactive learning.   
*My favorite thing to do is put up the EnVision Premium- Guided Practice questions and have the students complete them on a white board. This gives me a good idea of who has the concept, and who does not.
*Then they take a quiz on Sophia. I tell them what to do, based on their quiz score (which they show me) You can also look it up in Sophia.

9:00-9:30 - Independent Practice/Small Groups- students participate in individual or group activities which consist of practice worksheets, teacher time (small group instruction and practice), games, enrichment activities, flipped lesson for following day, Xtra Math, daily math, IXL, or project based learning.

What’s in my “Flipped” Classroom

  • Each lesson is titled with the EnVision lesson number and the title of the lesson.
  • “I can statement”
  • Vocabulary
  • Video
  • Worksheets (I don’t always use these, but I always upload them to the classroom.)
  • IXL links
  • PBL
  • Games
  • Interactive Learning attachments
  • Websites I think are helpful
  • Khan links (to videos and quizzes)
  • Quiz
  • PDF’s of notes
  • Anchor Chart photos

**Whenever I find something good, that might work for a lesson next year, I go back and add it to the classroom. This way, it will be there, and I won’t forget! I’m constantly adding new things, so I can differentiate learning as much as possible.**

Bits and Pieces

This year, I didn't grade their notebooks. I had wonderful intentions to with rubrics and everything, but it didn’t happen. I think for the accountability piece, I am going give at least a few points for watching the video (you can see if they spent time watching it via Sophia) and having notes.

I like not spending a ton of time having them take notes or having to explain and not have kids listen. It works well with our iPads, they can watch the videos, have the PDF’s and links all right there, so it makes it easy to download and get going. Kids who get the concepts right away, can take the quiz and be on their way with a fun project, instead of doing more problems. I get more small group time with kids who don’t get it. My kids are not afraid to “come to the circle table” for more help. Often times, I find kids there who get it, but want me to confirm answers.

A lot of times I use the Quiz from EnVision and screenshot it, or the Quick Check. Why reinvent the wheel?! If I was running short on time and didn’t get the quiz made, I would add the link for a Khan quiz or use IXL. Students who take more than 5 minutes on a quiz, are automatically with me, they obviously need the help or need me to keep them on task.

High Kids
I try to find a big project for each chapter, that they can work on together or independently. This way they are thinking a little deeper and can learn from each other. If they get to something they don’t understand, they can ask me, but usually I show them once, and they get it!
-TPT projects
-Illuminations Math

Resources for Math Videos

I Flip 4 Math (5th grade EnVision)

Playposit (Formally Educanon) (Add comments to a pre-made video and search a huge bank of videos) sign in for this can be annoying

EdTed  (see below)

Pinterest or Google can lead you to some pretty neat stuff too!

Video Creation

Explain Everything (app)

ScreenChomp (app) free

Haiku Deck (app)- Easy way to design slides to put into Explain Everything

PowToon - You can make awesome videos, but they aren’t Flash.

QuickTime- Record your screen (this is how I get around Flash problems)
-Search QuickTime on your computer (little magnifying glass in corner)
-New Screen Recording
-Click to record full screen, drag and drop to record small screen. Hit stop button up by the wifi signal to stop recording.
-Save into Google Drive or YouTube

PowerPoint or Keynote - use the voiceover feature

Canva- great document creator I have just started playing with this, but you can create a lesson around videos already made. Similar to Playposit  “lets you take any video on YouTube and deliver it in a private mode to whoever you choose to share it with, but its real power comes from the ability to create a quiz, supporting links, and “dig deeper” content that you can associate with the video (you can review the responses online)”

Flipped Platforms

  • Google Classroom
  • Sophia - This is what I use. I like that you can add PDF, Video, Pictures, text, and has a quiz feature.
  • EdTed
  • Edmodo
  • Playposit


Articles to support/explain flipped learning and math


Here is my “Flipped” Pinterest board and my Math one

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Crock Pot Potato Soup & Bread Bowls

This is one of my favorite crockpot meals! It is so yummy and so easy! It says that it takes 3 hours for the potatoes, but if you let it go longer... which I may have done... it still works! 

Baked Potato Soup
2 & 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 small onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
32 oz chicken broth
1 tsp seasoned salt
8 oz low fat cream cheese, let sit outside of the fridge while the potatoes cook

Toppings: bacon, green onions, cheese

1. Put the first 5 ingredients in to the crock pot.
2. Cook on high for 3 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. (or you get home!)
3. Using an immersion blender, blend the potato mixture depending on how chunky you want it,  along with the 8 oz of softened cream cheese. If you do not have an immersion blender, remove half of it and blend in a blender or food processor and then return to crockpot.
4. Heat for 30 more minutes and serve with cooked bacon crumbles, green onions and cheddar cheese.

If you want to go all out, make these bread bowls too!!

2½ cups warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup oil
1 Tbsp. salt
6-7 cups white all purpose flour

1. Combine warm water (not over 105*), yeast and sugar and let sit for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.
2. Add oil, salt, and 1½ cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Mix together
3. Slowly add the rest of the flour 1 cup at a time until 5 cups total. Mix and continue to add the flour ½ cup at a time until the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl and pulls away toward the middle. Do not add more than 7 cups of flour. Knead for 6 minutes.
4. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Make round balls. Place on large cookie sheet and let rise until doubled in size.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes.
6. Rub tops of bread bowls with butter.
Remove centers, and enjoy with soup!! 

Adapted from: 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Mr. And Mrs. Suitcase

Two nights before my sisters wedding, I finally decided on her gift! But that meant going on a hunt for a vintage suitcase. First I went to Goodwill. It was a bust. I was about to give up and just give her money, when I remembered a cute little store in my home town, Encore. I ran in and quickly looked through the store, I was on my way out the door when I spotted this perfect HOT pink vintage suitcase. 

I cut out the vinyl with my Silhouette and slowly stuck it on! For some reason it did not want to stick. I was about to give up when my mom stepped in and finished it for me! 

I put a cute little poem in it and it will be the perfect thing to keep all of their wedding treasures.

I made one for my other sister, and she said it is so handy to keep everything in and go back to look at. Here is hers!

Monday, September 21, 2015

iPad Rules

Our school is a 1:1 iPad school. Before we deployed, we talked a lot about rules and expectations. The kids had lots of questions as to what they would be allowed to do, so we worked together to make a list of rules. Then I guided them to a list of 9 rules. 

THINK before you post 
Tool, not a toy 
Keep Clean and Keep Safe 
Charge It! 
Safe, Respectful, Responsible
Balance Screen Time with Activities 
Alert Adults of Problems
Bring it in your Backpack every day 

Then students got into groups of 2-3 to design an app to go along with the rules. I made a big iPad for them to glue it on. It turned out really well, and the kids are excited that they got to help make the rules. 

APP Document I made this little PDF with the outline of the app and explanation of the activity. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Year 9!

I thought it would be fun to look back at my 9 different classrooms and how it has changed over the years! One of my favorite things is being able to re-do my year each year!

These are all 5th grade pics... hard to keep track! 

2014 Classroom
2013 Classroom
2012 Classroom

2nd Grade- My First Year Teaching

 First Grade @ Pawnee - 2nd Year Teaching

First Grade at Tomahawk 3rd year teaching

Monday, September 14, 2015

Back to school gift

Back to school gift for the kiddos that I made. It is a freeze pop and a label that says "Wishing you a cool school year!" These were simple (5 minutes) and cheap to make! The kids thought they were pretty COOL too!