Saturday, 18 April 2015

Managing Technology in the Classroom

Over the past few weeks I have been working with teachers from other neighbouring schools on purposefully integrating more technology into our teaching. It has been a great learning experience for myself and I am excited to share a mix of my ideas and theirs for managing tech in the classroom.

Many of my students bring their cellphones or iPods into the classroom. I have them immediately put them on the top left desk corner during my lesson. Once my lesson is over they can flip over their phones and use them as calculators, music machines or research tools.

As students are working and you need their eyes on the speaker call out "45" as in a 45 degree angle. Students then flip their screens down part way, to focus their attention on you and not their screens. 

If class is over, or you need technology to be closed completely call out "180" as in the 180 degrees in a straight line. Students then close their technology completely, and focus on the speaker. 

Once you are ready for students to resume using their technology, call out "90" as in a 90 degree angle. Student will know from this cue that it is time to start using their technology again.

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook,
Teachers Pay Teachers or Pinterest for more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below
and choose a topic/grade level that interests you.

Thanks for visiting!
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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Who is the Dog in 2 Peas and a Dog?

How can you not love this little face? Normal puppy and super puppy her alter ego.
Hello and Welcome to 2 Peas and a Dog! 

This week I am linking up with some great teachers to share our "Teacher's Pets". My dog is a huge part of my teaching and non-teaching life.  She is often used in word problems on quizzes and tests. Riley has quite the talents in shopping, baking and any other human activity that is just more fun when my dog is doing these things on assessments. I also love to snuggle with her when I am lesson planning or marking. She is a perfect snuggler. 

My dog Riley. She is a four and a half year old Shih-Tzu. 
My dog likes to sleep and be silly by pretending she is from Star Wars ... ok maybe that is just me. 

This is my class pet Dino-Friend.
I am a firm believer in not having a living class pet as it puts too much stress on the animal. You can see my thoughts here. However, a class pet is a great unifying and community building tool. Enter Dino-Friend. He is portable, and cool enough for my 8th graders. Anyone who wants can take him home, show him off, the only requirement is that he needs to have his photo taken for our year end slideshow. Students like to post photos of Dino-Friends' adventures to Twitter. Last weekend he helped some students bake to practice their Fractions in real life. My class is too old for a Flat Stanley project, so I had to make something of my own, but cool enough for Middle School.

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Monday, 23 February 2015

What's New in the 2 Peas and a Dog TPT Store? Bonus TPT Sale!

We have been busy creating resources for our students and have put them up on Teachers Pay Teachers to share with all of you. The great thing about 2 Peas and a Dog is that:

  • We use what we sell because we are classroom teachers. 
  • We do not create products without using them in our classroom. 
  • Our products have been used by real middle school students and teachers.
  • Check out our new products below. All the photos are click-able links.

What's New In Literacy?

In this very detailed assignment students will select a novel to read that has been turned into a movie. They will have a series of assignments to complete that demonstrate their understanding of both the novel and the movie as well as their differences. Each section of the assignment includes a due date option to ensure that the assignment is presented in "chunks" to students and to space out your marking load. 

Want students to be informed about important social issues in ANY content area? Try this Hot Topics Oral Presentation assignment from 2 Peas and a Dog. This can be used with any type of non-fiction text, news broadcast, documentary or video on any topic in the content areas Science, Math, History, Geography, World News. 

What's New in Math?

This product is a unit rates final project. Students are given a real chocolate fudge recipe, prices from two different grocery stores and asked to find the better buy for their employer "Sweetness Bakery". Students will use their basic adding, subtraction, multiplication and division skills as well as decimals, rates and unit rate to solve all the math questions in this package. 

What's New in Social Studies?

This American Presidents Monologue Assignments students are asked to: 
-select a president of their choice (or teacher's choice), 
-research the president 
-create a 1-2 minute oral monologue presentation to present to the class 

This Canadian Historical Figures Monologue Assignments students are asked to: 
-select a Prime Minister or Father of Confederation of their choice (or teacher's choice), 
-research the person
-create a 1-2 minute oral monologue presentation to present it to the class 

Oldies But Goodies - Our Best Selling Products

All math strands in one complete package! {231 Words}
Keep your math classroom decorated and ready for learning at the same time. Use our rainbow colour word walls to brighten up your bulletin boards. This is a complete mathematics word wall for Grades 1 to 8. If you change grades all you need to do is print off the words applicable for your grade level. You will not need to purchase another math word wall set! 

This product is a compilation of all my independent monthly genre based assignments into one complete year long reading package for Upper Elementary to Middle School Grades. There are 12 different assignments in this package based on Fiction and Non-Fiction Genres. This package includes the same assignment with two different names: "Month Name" or "Genre Name" Reading Assignment.

On Wednesday February 25th Teachers Pay Teachers is having a one day only site wide sale. 2 Peas and a Dog store will be 28% off if you use the code HEROES when checking out. Click here to go to our store and start adding things to your shopping cart for the big sale day.

Don't forget to check out a lot of other great Middle School and Secondary sellers who are having a sale Wednesday as well. I love this amazing group of secondary sellers who create quality products. Click on their names below to check out their stores.

Danielle Knight (Study All Knight) 
The Classroom Sparrow
Michele Luck's Social Studies 
Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy

Mad Science Lessons 
Juggling ELA
Krystal Mills - Lessons From The Middle 
Teaching High School Math 
To the square inch- Kate Bing Coners 
Charlene Tess 
Pamela Kranz
The Creative Classroom

Kristin Lee
Mrs. Brosseau's Binder 
James Whitaker's SophistThoughts

Darlene Anne
ELA Everyday
Lessons With Coffee
Teaching FSL
Room 213
Lindsay Perro 
Liz's Lessons 
21st Century Math Projects

The SuperHERO Teacher
Science Stuff 
Kate's Classroom Cafe 
A Space to Create

Addie Williams 
Created by MrHughes

Leah Cleary
Secondary Solutions
All Things Algebra
Tracee Orman
Live Love Math

Ruth S.

2 Peas and a Dog
FisherReyna Education
Rachel Friedrich
Linda Jennifer
For the Love of Teaching Math
The Career Ready Teacher 

Mrs S's Health and PE Resources

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Saturday, 21 February 2015

5 Reasons to Use Success Criteria in Your Classroom

I am linking up this month with a great group of teacher bloggers for our monthly Bright Ideas Posts.

I will be the first to admit when success criteria became popular, I did not understand why we needed this as we had rubrics. I kept saying "this is just fad it to shall pass." How naive I was!

Now, I actually really enjoy using a mixture of both teacher created success criteria and co-created success criteria (teacher/student brainstorm together) depending on the topic etc.

Here are five reasons why I use success criteria in my daily teaching practise.
  1. It gives students a sense of ownership and control over their learning and assessment if you co-create and use it to assess their work. 
  2. It clearly outlines the difference between an A and a B or Level 4 and 3. 
  3. It helps students understand an assignment and think through the expectations before they start to create something. I feel awful when students bring me an incorrect assignment because they have not read the assignment sheet, success criteria or rubric correctly.
  4. It is written in student and parent friendly language. No more teacher jargon filled rubrics (I still use rubrics, but in combination with success criteria or I make my success criteria into rubrics).
  5. Success criteria can be written up in a large format on chart paper, which makes it easy for students to read and reference during their assignment creation process. Could you image writing a rubric up on chart paper? My printing is just not that neat!
I usually find the student with the neatest printing to help write my anchor charts and success criteria. If you saw my penmanship you would ship me back to the pioneer days.

Join us on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter for more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

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Saturday, 14 February 2015

You Live With A Teacher When

  1. During the school year they have two moods: complete exhaustion or super stressed. 
  2. During assessment and reporting cycles you find a lot of reasons to leave the house. 
  3. They continuously refer to their class as "my kids", but you don't remember having thirty kids. 
  4. Every time they leave the house the morning they take more bags with them, than moving day. 
  5. When their friends come over they speak in a secret language using words like: Behaviour Plan, IEP, Duty, Supervision, Success Criteria, Anchor Charts. 
  6. They complain about not being able to go to the washroom during the day -even though they really needed to. 
  7. Has not eaten lunch in years. 
  8. Part of your monthly house budget goes to school supplies such as stickers, pens, paper, glue and art supplies.
  9. They are only able to take vacations three times a year: Christmas Break, Spring Break and Summer Holidays.
  10. They leave the house looking clean and proper, and return covered in dust, chalk, vomit, whiteboard marker, pen ink or paint. 
If the person you live with matches most of these descriptions, congratulations you live with a teacher!
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I am linking up this month with ELA Buffet and Desktop Learning Adventures for their Secondary Smorgasbord Link Up of Classroom Funnies.  I hope you enjoyed my post.


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