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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

@Flocabulary Rocks (or raps)! Free Trial

Have you ever used music in your classroom to help your students connect to content?

Then you MUST check out Flocabulary. This is an amazing site that my kids love. Check out the link below to get an extra-long trial access (75 days). By using the link I'm sharing you'll gain free access for your school, so take the time to check it out. 



My kids love the Week in Rap the most! There isn't a Friday that goes by where they don't ask to watch the Week in Rap. This is a weekly rap that is posted to share the current events from the week. We take a little time to watch the Week in Rap and talk about some of the current events shared. I often get my students to watch for something they didn't know about and then they turn and talk with each other about those events.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen the video post a few months ago where my students were singing "Cooking With Nouns" (noun song).

One of my favorite songs, which I'll be sharing with my students soon is "Keep, Change, Flip" (Dividing Fractions Song). Last year my kids were singing the song while taking their math test!

I love using songs and music to help my kids remember content and Flocabulary is one of my favorite sites for this. So what will you get? Is it worth it? Here is a run down of the facts about Flocabulary: 

Flocabulary is a web-based learning program for all grades and subjects that uses educational hip-hop music to engage students and increase achievement.
- Teachers in more than 50,000 schools have used Flocabulary’s standards-based videos, instructional activities and formative assessments to develop core literacy skills and supplement instruction across the curriculum.
- With new and expanding resources for writing and project-based learning,Flocabulary is a springboard into student-centered instruction. Check out our Writing Academic Rhymes resources to lead students in their own educational rap-writing! https://www.flocabulary.com/warp/intro/
Flocabulary offers more than 700 videos with accompanying classroom resources and formative assessments to support instruction in math, science, social studies, ELA, vocabulary, current events and life skills, with new content every week.

So what are you waiting for? It is free! Take a minute, click the link/picture, and sign up your school. You won't regret it!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Spheres of Earth Island Challenge

My classes have been learning about the spheres of the Earth. To make this fun, I had each group create a deserted island.


They had to list all the plants, animals, soil type, water, weather, etc. they would have on their island. I reminded them that they would need to have more than one plant and one animals. I told them if I created an island and said I had pine trees and polar bears I wouldn't have a good change of survival. Here is a screen shot of the padlet before they started drawing fate cards.



 After the islands were created they jumped in their boat to take a break. While out in the boat a storm came up and they were stranded on the deserted island they created.
 

So they created their island and added all the information to their group's Padlet. Then each day they drew a fate card. The fate cards can be positive or negative. It has been fun watching them come up with solutions to problems they encounter. Some wouldn't work in real life but I can see some misconceptions that we can study soon. 


 








Some of the groups were able to find their background a take a picture in front of our green screen to make it look lik they were really on their own island. 


Here are a couple of screen shots from the group Padlets. We are almost finished with this simulation but this is one I'll do again for sure!










#MESShowYourSnow Challenge




Saturday, January 16, 2016

Geek Squad- Student Tech Team

This year I decided to start a student tech team. We have teachers in our building that don't know how to update iPad software and apps. I knew there was no way I could teach in my classroom and have the time I need to make it around to do those updates for everyone. So I created a student team that does that for our school. So far they have been updating iPads and helping to set up the new K-2 computer lab.




Each morning we have ipads to update I tell the kids they can come to my room before school. They come in to do all their tech duties before school. It has been working well so far! The kids aren't afraid to get in there and play around with technology to figure things out. I have a great group that are working hard. I'm super proud of them.