Sunday, July 6, 2014

iPADS FAD: Reading Unpacked

It's July!  And my summer is already half over!  I have been super busy settling into my new apartment in Yorba Linda (now my daily commute to work is 30 minutes and I have to leave at certain times to avoid longer traffic), dancing (you can find me every weekend at the local honkytonk getting my line dance on!), and visiting my family in Bakersfield, CA and in Yuma, AZ.

Isn't my 1 year old nephew the cutest? This a picture from Friday. :)  He's getting so big!

Anyways, here is a continuation of my post series from March.  The following are some reading apps that I absolutely LOVE and my students LOVE too!  

DDM Reading is a really great app for teaching the students letter sounds.  They can play a series of games that reinforce and reteach letters that they may have difficulty with.  It works at their own pace and I can check to see what they are struggling with.  Love this app!

Monkey Word is another great app that my students use.  It introduced blends and digraphs as well as sight words.  They beg me to give them time on this app.  The monkey and other characters are the cutest!  The kids can also earn little rewards which keeps them engaged the entire time.
Raz Kids is a great app that the students can use on their iPads, other tablets, and computers at home as well as at school.  It offers hundreds of leveled readers that the students can choose from to read.  They can listen to it being read to them, record themselves reading, and take interactive quizzes to check for comprehension.  I can then listen to the recordings on my computer to check their comprehension and even do running records of their reading!  

One of my goals this summer is to play around with some more apps that my students can use in the classroom.  Right now my kids use the iPads during their center time but I'm curious to see where else I can plug in use of them.  The first grade teacher at my school uses QR codes and recordings of the students for projects and writing they do...SO I'm wanting to incorporate that somehow this next year.  Anyone use any other neat apps?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

iPADS FAD: Math Unpacked

I need to stop making promises...because then I always break them!  Every day this week I've come home and it's dinner, answer emails, then bed.  Then I wake up and repeat the whole process.  Anyways, here are some of the math apps we use in my classroom that the kiddos absolutely ADORE!  And the best part is, I can look a progress report of what they've accomplished while "playing."  It's hands-down fabulous!

Monkey Math
Monkey Math provides practice in sequencing, patterning, counting, adding and subtracting.  The activities are fun and centered around a beach theme.  There is also a cute little sea turtle that my students absolutely adore!  This app even got the approval from my 18 year old brother! (That's when I know it's a hit! ;))

Moose Math
Moose Math is fantastic!  I almost wish I made myself a username to play it myself, it's that fun!  This game has several games built into it that help students work on solving word problems, number patterns, counting up to 100, counting by 1's, 2's, 5's, and 10's, adding, subtracting, shapes, comparing lengths, and more.  The best part is I can log on any time to review their progress!

Splash Math
Splash Math provides practice with numbers 0-20, counting, comparisons, addition, and measurement.  It also keeps track of each student's progress so that teachers/parents can see what concepts the child needs extra practice with.  You can also control what skills the student focuses on by and on/off switch.  I love this tool! The game also uses fun incentives and some free play as well to give children the feel that they are playing a game.

Counting Caterpillar

Counting Caterpillar is a pretty basic game but my students beg to play it over and over!  My students can start with easy mode and practice with numbers 1-10 at the beginning of the year and quickly move onto numbers 1-20 & then 1-100!  And they get to pick beautiful butterflies as "prizes" when they are finished.  Super cute game!

Here are some other great math apps that my students have used throughout the year: Motion Math: Hungry Guppy, Motion Math: Pizza!, Marble Math, Grandpa's Workshop, Bugs and Buttons, The Math Tree, Bugs and Numbers, Bugmath, Playful Minds: Math, and Cash Cow.

What are some of your favorite Math apps that you use in the classroom?

Okay so I have a fun day of lesson planning ahead but my next post will be all those amazing reading apps that I have found out there!  Happy Sunday! :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The iPad Fad

Hey ya'll,
Where does the time go?  This year has been full of crazy, "busy"ness and I CANNOT believe it's already mid-March!  This year has been full of changes for me and every time things seem to slow down a bit, they just pick right back up!

Anyways, one of the biggest changes to my classroom this year has been our class set of iPad minis.  Well it is technically a set of 10 that I share with the TK, 1st, and 2nd grades,... BUT since I have been using them the most so far this year, I have 5 that pretty much live in my classroom (jackpot!). SO, I started integrating them into my Math & Literacy centers throughout the day.

THEY HAVE BEEN A HUGE HIT!  Looking for new ways to keep your students in line (and super quiet)?  Two words: iPad time!  I'm just kidding...okay maybe only a little...

The great thing about the iPad is that I only let them use apps that have educational value to them...and most of those apps give me a progress report on how they are doing.  AND that's not all....A lot of them are CCSS aligned! Yep, you heard (or read) that correctly.  I'm in love. :) 

Here are some of the apps I use:

I will unpack more about each of these apps and others that I use in my classroom tomorrow.  Bedtime for this kindergarten teacher!

Do you have iPads in your classroom?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm an aunt!! Well, for 5 months now..

Okay so I didn't JUST become an aunt...My sister had her first little guy last May, but my life has been nothing short of busy since then.  Something about being an aunt is super exciting.  It's like being a teacher.  You get all the benefits of being around kids (the fun stuff--get messy, be silly, help them discover the world around them). Then you get to hand the child back at the end of the day and go home to relax by a fire with a good book and a glass of wine (or like my fellow Californians...walk to the beach) :) 

Isn't my little nephew the cutest?  I laugh every time I look at this picture and the look on Josiah's face!

It's now been 2 months since I've seen him (you know how crazy the beginning of the school year is!) and I'm counting down the days until I get to see him next!  (2 weeks!)   So not exactly school-related,  BUT I get one blog post to brag about my nephew right?!

Hope all ya'll's Octobers are going great! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I'm back!!! with a FREEBIE!

Okay so we all get busy...but I have been EXTREMELY busy!  I think we get a Christmas break just so that we can't complain when we get back and things are hectic, rushed, and full of events, short weeks, etc. (Did I miss anything?)  

Not only does my birthday appear on the list, but I've had everything from preview days (observed by prospective families,  Kindergarten Roundup, Lutheran Schools Week (full of activities and no time to get things done!), Open House, Social Sciences Fair, etc. Whew!! I've also been trying to get services for one little boy in my class and it has definitely been a challenge...especially being in a private school.

My sister is also expecting her first baby and there is a BEYOND ecstatic auntie right here!! :)  I can't help but ask people with babies where they got their strollers, carriers, blankets, etc....I've seriously gone off the auntie deep end!  :) I now am neck deep in planning a shower for her.  Does Pinterest know I have NO time to do creative things for it?!  I seriously think its sole job is to taunt me! LOL.

Okay the rant ends....and if you've made it this far, I also wanted to touch on one thing teacher-y and leave you with a freebie. DID I JUST SAY FREEBIE?  

Our favorite little guy in my room just so happens to be a one-eyed, green jokester named MIKE.  Mike Wazowski that is.  This character from Monster's Inc is one of our "Take Home Friends" (or class mascot as some call it) that the student of the week gets to take home for some mischief and mis-adventures.  My kiddos count the days to when they get to take him home during their special week! :) Enjoy!  

Monday, October 15, 2012

October part one: Centers Reorganized

So today marks the first day of my new centers organization...yeah I know, it's already wayyy past September!  I liked the way I ran my math & literacy centers in the past but for my class this year it simply WAS NOT WORKING.  Yep, admitting is the first step. ;)  Anyways, for those of you that do not know (probably everyone) I gave the students MUCHO freedom when it came to centers.  I liked them being first thing when the kiddos walked in the door, and both math & literacy altogether.  The students had must-dos which were important centers they HAD to make time for each morning.  And they changed EVERYDAY.  It worked well, and taught them time-management skills while also giving them choices.  Me like.  Until this year.  

This year's class has a little trouble doing anything.  I'm not kidding.  Love them to pieces but they require quite a bit of hand-holding.  And the parents don't help.  SO....Now I switched to the dark-side and chose centers for them.  I have them complete 2 literacy centers and 2 math centers a day.  They can go to the free centers (i.e. kitchen, science, and blocks) after they complete their must-dos, instead of spending all their time at one center (and then arguing about who's been there too long, etc.).  I still don't use a timer (some centers just do not take as long as others) but my students rocked them today (I forgot to take a picture)! We'll see how the rest of the week looks....

Literacy Centers Management Chart
My chart...sort-of.  Minus the names and model and insert pale, white California gal with sweat dripping off her temples (no a/c in my room) and you've got it! Lol.

Five groups of 3-4 students.  Centers stay the same all week but the students rotate--Smooth sailing for me the rest of the week! :)  Ah breathing in that sigh of relief right now.  I could get used to this!

How do you manage your centers?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Spiders and Bats and Owls, OH MY!!!

I can't believe in two days it will be OCTOBER! Already?!  Weatherman says we are getting a heat wave this week...its gonna be in the 90s!! Okay so I grew up with weather this hot in the desert of Bakersfield but Newport really????  And I don't have air conditioning in the classroom.  Sommething's wrong here. LOL.
Anyways, this week my class is going to learn about apples and pumpkins..Love Kim Adsit's unit!  A Nice way to start off this busy, hectic month....
AND!! I'm almost finished with my unit, Spiders and Bats and Owls, Oh My!  I'm super excited and can't wait to show you guys pictures of my kiddos using it! :) 
Happy October All (well minus 2 days)!