Friday, May 31, 2013

Final Exam Review Web

Overload on the posts. Sorry!

In the spirit of finals, I thought I'd share what I did with my kiddos one day to help them get a start on preparing for their final. The Friday before, I gave the kids a blank web. On the web, I started them off with each of the units that we covered. Their instructions:

-Add the "Big Ideas" or "Topics" stemming off of each unit.
-Add details or steps or helpful hints stemming off of each of these big ideas or topics.
-Add at least 3 questions about a topic on your web.

As a class, we created a class size web where the kids first added the big ideas and any necessary information they felt was important. Then, the kids took sticky notes and wrote their questions on their sticky notes. These were then stuck next to the big idea in each unit. After the questions were placed on the board, I had the kids answer each other's questions on the sticky notes, holding them accountable for teaching someone else a topic or concept.

Overall, I liked the activity and it got kids thinking about what all we had done throughout the semester. I have done reviews kind of like this before but I liked the addition of post it notes to create anonymous questions so the kids were not  to ask them out loud. :)

BEFORE: Blank board with the units listed

AFTER: Board COVERED in concepts and questions answered by their peers
Last week, I had a birthday. Now the kids had been reminding me of this for weeks since I was getting "older, but not that old." My students from last semester kept bugging me about what all I wanted for my birthday to which I continued to respond, nothing, nothing, nothing, then I finally told them that I wanted a dog.

The day before my birthday was a Friday and the school had an adjusted schedule for our Teacher Rap Battle (that I was a part of) and for our field day. That morning, my students provided me with a lovely birthday card signed by as many kids they could find and a cute gift. It was such a sweet gesture, especially since I was laying the hammer down that day after a not so pretty test.

Oh, and that rap battle. Definitely one of the highlights of my year. I am A$AP Rudolph and also the reigning champ of the teacher rap battle. The kids' applause was measured in some sort of science piece of equipment that measured sound level. Only at my STEM school :)

I love my school. I love my kids. And I can't wait for next year (I take the invites from my principal to next year's staff days in August as a good sign :) ).

A$AP Rudolph, out. Oh, and I'm still waiting for the video of me rapping. Once I get sent that.... it will be posted.

Remind101 - Using this next year!!

Hello all!

Long time no post! I'm currently staring at my children as they take their final, so I figured, the time has come. I shall return!

A colleague of mine was telling some of us about this technology she found for the classroom during one of our teacher outings. It's called Remind101. It's a text based service that students can sign up for so that they can be sent reminders regarding your class. Now here's the best part, they can't respond back to the reminders! Woo hoo! There is an app for it on my iPhone so you can literally just log on and send a group reminder.

For example, "Don't forget that you have a paper due tonight at midnight!"

or even..... "PEMDAS has not left the building!" (that's a favorite of mine as they always seem to forget that....)

I love the fact that I can do this all from my iPhone app, so I don't have to be right next to my laptop or hooked up to wifi to do it. Plus, you can sort it based upon which class you are teaching so that you only send the information out to that class. Even parents can sign up for the reminders if they want to make sure their child is staying on the ball :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

May is not a good month for teachers....

Have you ever noticed how the month of May is unexplainably busy? At lunch, the veteran teachers were telling us about how this is one of life's greatest mysteries but May is not a teacher's friend.

Any who, I owe you all like a million posts but I think I will delay these every so slightly.... but here are their topics :)

- Formative Assessment Lessons (professional development that focused on these lessons)

- Angry Birds Level

- Conical Art

- Identifying Conics investigation leading to group work leading to fun with fly swatters

- Real World Racing to solve work rate problems

my brain is dead at the moment as I only got 4 hours of sleep after a 12 hour drive home from South Carolina but I'm sure I have other ones coming.....

Thanks for your patience!!!
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