Friday, July 18, 2014

New Tech, #Geniushour Set Up, & Trace's Room

Are you familiar with Trello? I found out about it from What's Going On in Mr. Solarz' Class? passion time (genius hour) resources. He has his students use Trello to plan their project for genius hour. Want to see work from his class? Click here!

When I saw this I knew I needed to use it with my class when I start genius hour this year. I love the way it is organized so I set up a board with instructions and a sample for my students to see. Here is my board if you want to take a look!

If you think this is something you might use and you are going to sign up for a free account please use this link:
This will help me get free gold access.

Here are a few other Trello Genius Hour examples I found and thought I'd share with you.
Genius Hour Projects on Trello
Status of the Class Trello

Have you ever used Pic Collage?
I saw an idea on Pinterest and I fell in love with it. I'm going to use this to have students made a collage about themselves to start school. I am planning to have them use Play Doh the first day to make something that represents them. So I will have them make a picture of it and a selfie. Then I'm going to have them use the Pic Collage app to create a collage to share things with their classmates. I made one myself so I have an example to show them.

Of course, I've worked a little bit in my room this week. I have dedicated my new cabinet space to Genius Hour. I plan to have my students post their wonders on the cabinets on the left side. I think I'll use post it notes for them to do that. I found the quote that I added to the top of the cabinet- "Wonder is the beginning of wisdom." I also found a place for the poster I ordered from Vistaprint. I love the way it turned out. I'm not exactly sure what I'll put on the long cabinet doors under Genius Hour but I'm sure I'll need space for something else. 

I printed and laminated new signs to post outside the classroom. I've been using the set I had before for 3 years so the old ones were well worn. Want to get some of these for your classroom? Head on over to my TpT Store and purchase a set. I love them because it is an easy way for the kids to change the sign to let anyone know where we are. Where Are We Signs ($2.00) 

Monday and Tuesday I helped my friend Trace get her room ready. She is an awesome 3rd grade teacher and this year she decided to change her theme. She is doing the super hero theme so I asked her if I could take a few pictures of what she has done. I wanted to share them with you so you can take a peek into her classroom too!

MARVELous Math Wall

The Spidey sign flips over and the other side says science. She uses the pocket chart for vocabulary words.

Ironman's Intentions- will be used for students to post goals.

Captain America Can- place to post rules

Incredible Habits- this is still a work in progress but I still had to post it. She still has to add border. 

Dash's Data- This is where her class will graph their test, attendance, and behavior data. 

Wonderful Work

She is super talented because she painted and made all the super hero posters! My personal favorite is the Wonderful Work board with Wonder Woman. 

The days of summer are ticking down! I can't believe it but teachers start back July 30th. I'm excited to start a new school year.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Tech Presentation & Room Work

This week I started off by presenting about Technology I Use in My Classroom at the North Alabama Technology Conference.

I was super excited to be able to share a lot of the tech tools I use in my class. There was no way I could share everything but I did share the things that I use the most.Click here to download the pdf of my presentation!

I've also been working on putting the finishing touches on my classroom. I've been looking and deciding exactly what I want to put up and what I'm leaving down this year. I was able to move my bulletin board to the front of my room for the math wall. I'm planning to use this board for our daily math board.

I also purchased a couple of floor lamps for my room!

Here are the cabinets that were added to my wall (top cabinets). They are not brand new, just new to me but I am so happy to have the extra storage space. It helped me to clean some of the clutter off the filing cabinets.

I moved my meaningful mistakes and number crunchers signs to around my door. I'm planning to use my back wall where the new cabinets are to display stuff for the genius hour I'm planning to implement this year!

We have to keep a data wall inside our classroom this year. Last year we tracked data in the hallway but not in the classroom. I didn't want to call it my data wall so this is what I decided to use! 

We only have 2 more weeks of summer before school starts back for the teachers. We return July 30th and the students return August 5th. I can't believe it is almost time to start back but I think I"m ready!

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Wow! This is the first time I was able to go to ISTE and there was an overwhelming amount of information available.

The Expo was like Tech Nerd heaven! They had all the latest and greatest technology and I wanted one of everything. Too bad I'm not independently wealthy!

Have you seen the newest Smartboards? They are like a television screen with 2 pens stuck to the bottom. If you have a SmartBoard you probably know you can only write with one pen at a time. Well, the new one allows you to write with more than one pen at a time! That's great when the kids come up to write on the board!

I also ran into Mobi and had my picture made with him. My students will think I saw a celebrity because we use BrainPop all the time in my classroom.

The one thing I know I'll be doing next year is Genius Hour. Guess I've been under a rock because the first time I heard of this was during #5thchat on Twitter before leaving for Atlanta. So imagine my excitement when there was a session about it. Have you heard of it? Do you use it in your classroom? I'd love to hear from some of my followers that do this in the classroom. I just have to figure how to work it in, but I'm going to do it!

I could go on forever about all the new things I saw but I'll just share a few. The first is a website called Click the image below for the site. It allows you and your students to create an infographic. I haven't used it yet but it seems pretty straight forward.

There were several groups who talked about having students serve at the tech support for teachers at school. I love this idea because I'm the Technology Integration Mentor (TIM) for my school and there isn't enough time to show them things I'd like and teach my class too. I would love to train student leaders to help with technology.

#MathPhotoaDay- Victoria Olson has her students do a photo that relates to math to contribute to #MathPhotoADay on Twitter. I love this idea because they could use several different apps to create their own photo a day. Want to see some from her classroom? Check out this link. 

Now my mission is to find someone to sponsor or let me pilot standing desks in my classroom. Can you imagine how amazing it would be to have a classroom full of these? I know I hate sitting all day and my students do too. I do a lot of brain breaks but this would help as well. Standing helps them focus more.

 They are adjustable so they would work well for students of any height. They are crazy expensive for a classroom teacher and I don't see my parents paying $500 for one desk. So I'm on the hunt for a sponsor. This would be part of my dream classroom!