I’m linking up with Moxie for her “Teaching with Moxie” Monthly Photo Challenge!
It’s simple! Link up with a photo of something that fits the monthly theme. For February, the theme is “Love”! The picture can be anything that fits the theme and is teaching-related. Then, write a brief post about the picture, why you chose it, and Link Up! Even better than showcasing your love for teaching will be the fact that you can win a $10 gift certificate to TPT for participating!
Here are my loves (I couldn’t choose just one) 😉
We are lucky enough to have access to a netbook computer cart. Students are able to use the computers at least once a week to create assignments using Web 2.0 tools, blog, and practice ELA concepts.
Students have created Vokis, mini posters using PowerPoint, Wordles, etc.
The ActivExpression devices are mini miracle workers! They get the most off task child involved in a lesson and it gives me immediate feedback on whether students understand what we’re working on. I use them every single day! Our school district follows the EDI (Explicit Direct Instruction) model and the devices are perfect for our “Checking for Understanding” component. I embed questions frequently throughout my lessons and it makes the lessons go so smoothly! Students can answer multiple choice, true or false, sequence, and likert scale questions; they can even text in words and/or phrases!
I use Class Dojo as a part of my classroom behavior management system. What is Class Dojo you might ask? ClassDojo is an online program that allows you to provide immediate feedback for student behavior (positive and negative). It enables you to easily award and record points, achievements and rewards for behavior and performance in class in real-time, with just one click of your computer, smartphone, or mobile device.
ClassDojo provides instant visual and audible notifications for your students, in addition to allowing you to keep the feedback over a period of time. It also allows you to decide what behaviors you find important and award points that way. And it’s so easy to set up. You can copy and paste your class roster from almost any document – even a PDF!
Since my laptop is continuously hooked to my projector and Promethean board, students can constantly see their progress. And even if the screen is on something else they can hear the ding or dong that comes from points being awarded!
My ClassDojo points are connected to my Jefferson’s Bucks. Having a certain amount of Jefferson’s Bucks allows them entry into “The Jefferson’s Jam!” Every week, students’ individual points turn into money. But, I also added a component that ensures the class works together. At the end of the week, the class percentage allows them to be able to multiply their points for more money. 80-89% class percentage? They can multiply their points by 2. 90-99% class percentage? They can multiply their points by 3. 100% class percentage (which has happened once). They can multiply their points by 4.
We had our second quarter Jefferson’s Jam on Friday and the kids had a blast! Students can order subs or pizza, as well as bring in other treats for the party. It has a zero cost for me – all I have to do is set the date, determine the participants, and order and pick up the food!
Check out our party video here:
We spent a great deal of time outside, and as I looked around I was shocked at the amount of litter out there! So I created an impromptu community service project. We did a trash clean up right on the spot! I made it a competition though, because who wants to pick up trash at a party? Students were put into teams and the team that collected the most trash would get a prize. Needless to say after 3 minutes, the playground yard was immaculate, and every attendee is officially $100 richer in Jefferson’s Bucks! They all did such an awesome job, I couldn’t decide!
Our sixth grade team of teachers is a real team! We love our jobs – we love our children and we’d do just about anything to help them become successful. We work together so well – I AM BLESSED! I know that our situation is the exception – not the norm – and for that I am truly grateful.
A few months ago, I had a half day meeting at the district office. Since it is so difficult to get substitutes to agree to come in for 1/2 day, we decided to split our 110 children into three groups. So these groups were anywhere between 35 and 37 kids….in one classroom…..for 90 minutes! But it worked! And we’ve realized (after having to do it once last week and twice this week) that we’ve got some really great kids too! Our new schedule took away only two changes for the students – but it really made a big deal with their “excitedability”. (Yes, I know that’s not a real word!)
Our SS partner was our sick for two days last week. We thought it would be only for one day and I was planned for that because students were finishing up a quiz. But day two…..kinda threw me for a loop. I thought about it all night, Friday morning, well actually about 15 minutes before the kiddos got there….and Eureka! it came to me. We were finishing up Euphemisms so I created a mini project for them….Euphemism posters. Students used PowerPoint to create a poster on a one Euphemism. See an example below:
I am especially proud of this kid for many reasons….:-)
But the #1 reason there is a smile on my face is because of this: My last period class is a elective class to assist students with preparation for our standardized test. But since I had mine and my partners, I allowed students who hadn’t finished their project to finish. And I didn’t have to do a thing! I printed out multiple copies of the directions and students who had finished their projects helped those who hadn’t. I was so proud of these students!! Plus we used DropItToMe for the first time….and it was NO headache at all…. 🙂
Check them out here!
Euphemism Poster Creation on PhotoPeach
And now for my February Currently! Thanks to Farley at Oh’ Boy Fourth Grade for hosting this really neat monthly activity!
DD and I are visiting my parents today and they have no willpower! It’s been NickJr. ever since we stepped into the house. Sigh…..SpongeBob SquarePants has never been a favorite of mine….
My blog has been selected for inclusion in the list of the Top 25 Middle School Teacher Blogs of 2012. If you’re interested, click on the link here. It took me three years to even get the nerve up to start a personal blog….how excited am I that people are noticing my hard work.
I’ve talked about our 1:1 mobile device initiative in a previous post (I think?) but it’s now really becoming a reality. My team submitted a group proposal so that all of our students would get the iPads and my principal is pretty sure we’ll be approved. I also received an email complimenting me on our proposal and was even asked if I would be ok with my ideas being shared in our initiative. And the final hurrah was being asked to be one of the first teachers for our graduate school class. Now, it’s not as if I don’t have enough to do (my family thinks I do too much already), but this is a wonderful opportunity for me. I received my administration degree in 2010 and have been debating what I really want my educational course to be. Since being back in the classroom after budget cuts – I’m slowly coming to the realization that my niche is technology integration. I’ve even been contemplating getting an Ed.D in Instructional Technology. As always, I will put it into the hands of the Lord and allow him to direct my path. He has never (and will never) steer me wrong!
I want to talk about my “needing”, but I get anxious just thinking about it! I told my principal somebody better get me a prescription of Xanax. I love teaching reading and I love to write – but I absolutely hate….strongly dislike teaching writing to sixth graders. OMG….nuff said.
So anyway…I’m skipping down to my “Pet Peeves”….
#1 Lazy Kiddos – uggghhh….Middle School is hard……6th Grade is the hardest! Our kids go from having one teacher in 5th Grade to having SIX teachers in 6th Grade! Whew! And many elementary schools are fond of social promotion. I have at least one student every year who failed EVERY CLASS last year and was PROMOTED!!! What?????!!!!! So when they get to us and they have to pass aaaallllll classes it is a great shock. You should see some of those sweet little faces at the end of the year – DISBELIEF! It’s downright comical in a sad, sad, way….
#2 Tapping – More specifically tapping me on my arm/shoulder and repeatedly calling my name….Mrs. J….Mrs. J…..Mrs. J……..WHAT? Oh, I absolutely despite it…..
#3 Complainers – We are so blessed at my school and school district. Promethean Boards, ActivExpressions devices, laptops and soon (cross your fingers) iPads! But sometimes (like every day) I hear a complaint about something. “These computers are too slow” (Bring your own from home – oh! you don’t have one), “My device isn’t working right” (Ok, get out your whiteboard then), “$.050 for a pencil??” (Tell yo’ mama to go to the store and buy you some), and on and on and on. Just once I would love to hear “Mrs. J. we are so blessed!” Just once…..or maybe once a day…..
Alrighty now! If you’re going to link up remember to follow the rule of 3 – Comment on the two blog posts before yours and one after. Who knows the connections you’ll make?