Friday, 18 April 2014

Twitter as a Classroom Tool

Ever wonder how to use Twitter as a tool in your classroom? This week I guest posted over at The Organized Classroom Blog on this topic. Hop over and check out my top 6 tips for using Twitter in the classroom.

Wishing you and your family a good Easter weekend,

Friday, 14 March 2014

New Classroom Management Freebies and Five For Friday

What a busy week it is has been. People think that all teachers go away on March/Spring Break, however I usually use this time to get my To Do list back to a manageable size. Does anyone else just take a stay-cation? I am linking this post up with Doodle Bugs Teaching Blog as part of their weekly linky party Five for Friday.

Here are the five best random things about my week!

I finally had time to sit down and make THREE new products this week! I created two new classroom management freebies and a paid ELA product.

Click on photo for free product
I created a seating plan choice card FREEBIE so that my students could have a voice in who they sit with. I use these as a guideline for making my seating plans, but tell my students I still have the final decision.

Click on photo for free product
I also created a document outlining some great ideas on how teachers can get their students using cellphones in the classroom for educational use. Cellphones today are like mini computers and need to be utilized as a 21st century learning tool. The kids got em so let's use em!
Click on the photo for the paid product
I finally got a new paid product up in my store. The Alphabet Story is all about creative writing using only 26 sentences and each letter of the alphabet. Click on the photo to be taken to my TPT store to read more about it.

I got professional pet photos done of my pets. I am very lucky that one of the teachers at my school is a professional photographer, and in need of new photos for his business portfolio. You can check out his website Winding Ways Photography filled with Canadian Landscapes, Animals and Birds. His photos would be great to show students as story starters or for practicing reading strategies (inferencing, making connections).

I had lunch with a friend a this really cool hipster cafe called the Mulberry Street Coffee House in Hamilton, Ontario. They had great vegan gluten free to suit my dietary needs and they had really yummy regular food to suit my friend's tastes. Teaching is a very busy career, and I use my holiday time to reconnect with friends who don't live close.

I have been teaching myself how to do some basic graphic design using PowerPoint. It is not as high tech as Photoshop, but I am pleased with these postcard mock ups I created as a marketing tool for the Arkansas Association of Middle Level Education Conference in May.

and just so you don't think I had too much fun on my break I also got my car serviced, cleaned my house and got snowed in during a freak snow storm. School starts again on Monday so I know this weekend will be full of marking, planning and creating assessments.

Happy Friday!
Freebie Fridays

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop - Using Google Drive (Docs) in the Classroom

I am very excited to a part of this great Bright Ideas Blog Hop for March. We have over 150 bloggers sharing their BEST and BRIGHTEST ideas to help you get over your winter blues and get energized for the year end count down. I have 3.5 months left! Where has this school year gone?

One of my favourite things to use in my classroom is Google Drive formally Google Docs. This free web based service allows students or staff to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets or upload previously created material. All of the items are stored electronically in the Google cloud and can be accessed from almost any device with an internet connection.

Google Drive has six basic apps that allow you to store and create items. My students use these apps to collaboratively create works. The best part of Google Drive apps is that more than one person can be logged in and editing the document at any given time.

This past term my grade team used Google Drive - Document App to co-create our report card comments. No more emailing files back and forth. We editing each other's work simultaneously and could tell exactly who made what changes to each section.

If you dislike emailing documents to and from work you can upload your documents to the Google Drive in the Folder App and use the search function to locate exactly what you need.

As a classroom teacher you can have students share their in progress work with you and then you can provide instant feedback on their writing from your computer while the are working.

Do any of you use Google Drive in the classroom? I'd love to get some new ideas in the comments below.

Have any questions about Google Drive? Chat with me in the comments below.

Next up on the blog hop is Katie from Following My Heart to First Grade. Katie has an great post for you all about Organizing and Storing Technology in the Classroom. Just click on the button below to check it out!


Thanks for reading,

Teaching with Technology

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Currently March 2014

I am so excited it is only four days until March Break.

Can you guess the question for the answers in the ???? box. Leave your email address in the comments sections and if you are the first one to be right I will send you my Current Events Assignment free!

Happy Oscar Sunday!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Keeping the Classroom Organized

Do you feel a constant need to keep your classroom and teaching materials organized and neat? I NEED to be organized in my classroom. If I am not I feel physically awful. 

Recently, I wrote two very detailed guest posts at Charity Preston's The Organized Classroom Blog about keeping your classroom resources organized.

It has taken me a few years of trial and error methods to finally create a system to organize my units. Click on the curriculum units link to see photos of how I keep things in order.

Wondering how to organize your literature circle sets and guided reading sets? Click on the link literature circle/guided reading novels to see how I keep organized.

Click on the photos in this post to check out my thoughts on how to organize your classroom. 

Happy Reading,


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