Sunday, January 19, 2014

Assessing Multiplication Facts

I am so excited to announce
that I have just made my first
QR code product!!! 

QR Codes:  Area and Perimeter Task Cards

If you have a QR Reader on your phone or tablet, you can even scan the QR Code on in the image above and it will give you the answer to the two task cards on the front cover. 

As I've posted earlier, beginning this Wednesday, our school will pilot our BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program, as we continue to bring technology into the classroom.  My daughter cannot wait to bring her iPod Touch into her classroom.  My students are so excited to begin this program, so I wanted to make something fun for them to use.

These QR code task cards have the same problems on them as my earlier two products, so you'll be able to use them with the board game if you choose. You might want to shrink them a bit, but try the QR code to see if it will work for you at that size.  Optimal size for QR codes is 1in x 1 in, so anything much smaller might not be detected correctly.

If you do not have a QR code reader, I can tell you that I searched the App Store on my iPhone, and downloaded Scan Lite for free.  It is very dependable and super easy to use.  I just click on the app, and when it comes up, it is in the scan mode already. I just point it in the direction of the QR code, so that it appears in the window on my phone.  Its that easy. 

Be one of the first teachers to begin using QR codes on your grade level.  They'll all think you are on the "cutting edge of technology!"  Ha!  Ha! 

If you grab a set of these for your kiddos, I would love to know how they worked for you.  Just put your comments in the section below.  I usually respond fairly promptly.     
Here is a FREEBIE just for you.  We are in full swing trying to get our students to learn there multiplication facts.  I can't do without these fluency assessments. We assess every Friday (if possible).  I'd love to know how these assessments work for you.

Multiplication Fluency Assessments
Here is a copy of the assessment form I use.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Presidents Day will Be Monday, February 17th

Presidents Day will be here before we know it. I always love playing a little trivia with my kiddos! 

I will read to them from a book of funny historical trivia, including facts about several past Presidents. The title of this book is The President Who Pardoned a Turkey. Click on the title or the image to get your copy from Amazon. 

  Since Lincoln and Washington have birthdays in February, we discuss what life would be like today without their contributions.  It really gets my kiddos to thinking. 

If you want to add to your fun,
you may want to download a copy of
This fun holiday packet includes...
  • a non-fiction article on Presidents Lincoln and Washington, and a double bubble graphic organizer to compare and contrast the two presidents. 
  • The game cards have fun trivia facts on several popular presidents to be used in the board game "President's Day Presidential Race".
  • A Presidents Day Word Scramble
  • Posters of the coins in our monetary system featuring the silhouettes of several past presidents 
  • Directions to make two fun crafts:  Abe Lincoln's Hat and Abe Lincoln's Log Cabin

Of course my kiddos say the game is the best part!

Here is a more detailed preview.

Since we study FDR and learn that Kennedy's death is what put LBJ in office,
they are interested to see the faces of FDR and Kennedy on coins as well.

Click on the image below to grab your FREE copy of Presidents Day Coin Charts.

Enjoy, and have a great President's Day!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, January 12, 2014

BYOD - Bring Your Own Device to School

Technology is definitely everywhere and
ever changing! 

I remember, not to long ago, when cell phones were not allowed in school, and understandably so.  Kids seemed to know way more about them than most adults, so many misuses might have gone unnoticed.  In addition to that concern, these devices could have been used to cheat on assignments, by kids texting questions and answers to each other in the same class or in different classes.  These devices had cameras and there was a concern that these too could be misused.  The threat of increased crime in the form of theft also seemed an inevitable possibility, with any electronic device.  At the least, the concern was that these devices would distract from the learning environment and the very purpose for the reason kids were at school in the first place.   For these reasons and I'm sure more, they were banned.

However, times... they are a changing!!!

Our school system has decided that the benefits outweigh the risks, and have decided to pilot a program, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) that would allow students to bring their electronic devices to school for a very limited and controlled purpose.  Presently, I am not sure what procedures are set up for middle and high school, but I can detail these for elementary. 

So, here's what we're doing...

We sent home notifications to parents along with technology agreement forms (contracts) and waivers for parents and students to agree to and sign, before their student can bring their device.  There were parameters spelled out as to what kinds of devices were to be brought.  The devices need to have internet and word processing capabilities, as well as a camera.  So at least this will weed out simple gaming devices. 

Beginning Wednesday, January 29th, students who have returned those wavers will check those in at the door of their classroom with their teacher when they arrive.

Parents are instructed to close out all apps prior to school and were notified about free apps to download at home, specific to their child's grade level.  These are the apps to be used in the classroom. Additional ones may be added later. 

This is strictly a voluntary event, and no child will be penalized for not having a device. 

As with anything new, there are so many unknowns and questions.  For me, one basic concern, is will this add to my instruction, or simply take up our valuable time?  I am, of course hopeful of the former, realizing that there will be a bit of time necessary to make this adjustment.

Another concern...will there be enough participation to make this beneficial?  Many of us already have an Ipad in our classroom, so that will serve as the first device.  And of course we have a smart board, and students desktop computers, and I'm not sure how or if they will be integrated.

Security is another issue, but we've been instructed to have a paper list to check in each device, then put them in a bag and lock them away until time to use them.  Although the waivers the parents sign release us from responsibility if they are broken or stolen, we still want to do our best to take care of them. 

One more thought...Will students abide by the rules set forth in their contracts?  Of course there will be some that will not, but if caught, their devices will be sent home and they will not be able to bring it any longer.  I am most confident that this will occur, just knowing kids.  However, I really do feel that once they see some students not allowed to have them any longer, there will be fewer misuses.  I am going to stay positive on this issue for now!!! :-)

Now to the good stuff...
How will we use these devices?
The first app we've asked parents to download is a QR code reader.  As teachers, on our devices, we downloaded this and a QR code generator.   We've typed up math problems for students to use the code to read.  I like to post them around the room, which allows my kiddos  to get up and walk around to solve these problems.  We've also generated reading passages and questions.  Our school as many e-books, which can be accessed through this QR reader.  I haven't tried this yet, but another teacher has.  I am eager and excited at the possibilities.  I will continue to blog here and let you know how our apps are working in the classroom, and let you know what new ways we've learned to use our group devices. 

Here is a blog post by Teaching Third in Georgia I stumbled across that has video posted of her kid's efforts using the app Puppet Pals, for digital storytelling.  They're really cute.  Here's one of the videos made. 

If your school has already started allowing kids to bring their devices to school, I'd love to hear from you.  Tell me how its working.

If you have found great apps that you want to share, I'd love it if you'd leave it in the comment section below as well. 

Thank you.  Have a great week!

On another note...
If you missed my Valentines' Day freebie I posted earlier, here it is...

If your like me you have so many students that don't know their facts and need practice.  My daughter had been reluctant to learn her facts as well.  Then I made a set of flashcards that she enjoyed using. I also added a game that we could play together.  My students love it as well.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Valentines Day Will Be Here Before You Know It

It seems the holidays creep up on me faster than I realize.  Does that happen to you as well.?  

If so, that is the reason I am posting a Valentine freebie now in January.  This will give you plenty of time to copy, laminate and cut out in time for your kiddos to enjoy playing all February long. 

"Claim Your Valentine" is a great game for practicing those difficult multiplication facts.  Use it as a center activity or whenever your kiddos finish other assignments early. Click on the picture below to grab your freebie now. 

I'm curious, do you use games like this in small group centers with other tasks too?  Or... do you use this in a whole group, when everyone is playing the game at the same time?  I'd love to hear from you.
Freebie Fridays
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year Resolutions for 2014!

I wonder how many people really make new year's resolutions.  I think we all mean well, but my guess is... most are forgotten about.  However, the way I look at it is... even if most people don't follow through with all of them, these "better efforts" are usually a step in the right direction. 

Well this year, I have several, some pertain to home life like, cooking dinner more often, clearing out and organizing various spaces, and scrapbooking more regularly.  Other resolutions involve blogging more regularly and making new products.  I have so many new ideas and many new products in the works.  As I complete these new projects, I will post them here and on my Face book page,  Mrs. Hardin' Class, I hope to have the next newest product finished in the next couple of weeks. 

Well, today I am headed back to school.  We will start a fresh grading period and I have so many exciting things planned for them.  One really fun game I will introduce, which happens to go perfectly with our snowy forecast for most of the U.S., is my Adjective Snowball Fight.  This is one of the many activities in my Snowy Adjectives unit.  My kiddos will love getting a chance to interact with their classmates after the long Christmas break, and the snowy theme will get these Georgia kiddos hopping for the rarely seen snow down here in the deep south. 
Here's the unit if you want to take a look more closely.

In the spirit of celebrating the New Year, here is a favorite of mine, that you can grab for free.  Valentines Day will be here before we know it. Get a jump on planning and grab this great multiplication game.  Have it copied and laminated and ready for your kiddos to enjoy by the time February rolls around.

Happy New Year!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Blogging tips