Thursday, March 30, 2017

Socrative {Assessment Tool}

Socrative is a great assessment tool that can be used to quiz/test or review with students from an online platform. It is so easy to use and is quick to navigate on the teacher side. The longest part will be the amount of time you have to spend inputting the questions, but as soon as a student hits the submit button, it will grade it for you. So think about it - spend an hour putting in the quiz (that you can use for years to come with a little updating) and no grading time or still spending the time creating the quiz and making copies of it, and STILL having to grade. Please. This is just common sense. 

Once you begin using Socrative, your students will be very familiar with the interface. They can bookmark Socrative on their devices and then easily type in your class code each time they need to interact with you.

Socrative also offers these great "quick questions" that allow you to use questions that come to you on the fly or a question you encournter in a book or on an assignment and have the students answer them immediately. This involves no prep on your end and you get immediate feedback. If that's not a "win" then I don't know what is.

There are a few other formative assessment tools that I'll be discussing, but Socrative is one of my tried and true favorites.

Try it out & let me know what you think,
Mrs. Tech

*If you are more of a visual learner, check out my "how to" video on using Socrative, as well as some way to use it in the classroom.

**If you want to have your students try out Socrative, download this tool that walks walks you through the set up and where to find all of the tools that you need.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Popplet {Organizing Ideas}

 Popplet is a fantastic tool for building graphic organizers and for sorting your thoughts before completing and project or writing a paper. Popplet is very user friendly and is completely customizable so that you can map your content however your brain sees it best.

You just start with a blank screen and have the ability to drag whatever popples you like onto the screen. You can then easily add popples that come off of your first one. You can add text or pictures to popples and you can even change their color (color coding by paragraph maybe?). Think of Popplet as a more creative way of making an outline. You can add simple facts or short headings and see how they will all come together as the final product. 

You can see below one of the popples that I was setting up for my students to copy before they added all of their own information to it about their animals.

I love any activity that puts paper and pencil to rest and allows my students to create using technology and interactive activities. Popplet is one of their favorites.

Try it out & let me know what you think,
Mrs. Tech

*If you are more of a visual learner, check out my "how to" video on using Popplet, as well as some way to use it in the classroom.

**If you want to have your students try out Popplet, download this tool that walks you through the set up and where to find all of the tools that you need.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Quizlet {Flashcard Review}

Quizlet is a tool that is mainly used to review topics that are covered in class for tests or quizzes. As a teacher, you can import all of the vocabulary words that you want your students to learn and share the link to them with your students. There are multiple different ways for your students to study these words from flashcards, review games, or whole group Quizlet Live. Check out my "how to" video on using Quizlet, as well as some way to use it in the classroom.

Try it out & let me know what you think,
Mrs. Tech

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Basketball in the Classroom

So if you read my last post about why March Madness should be a topic of discussion in the classroom, then you may be wondering how sports can have anything to do with learning (besides in PE). Well here are some fun activities that you can use that are all basketball themed/related.

Basketball Review Game - go as simple as a trashcan and paper ball or as grandiose as an inflatable hoop and ball, but this game is adaptable to review any topics covered in your classroom using any of these variations (1, 2, or 3)

This Pinterest board has lots of lessons if you are looking to purchase something basketball themed

Discuss the History of Basketball and how things change with time 

If you want a low-prep resource to join in the madness, check out my March Madness bundle in my TpT store. It's a winner for sure :)

Go Team!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March Madness & Why It Should Be a Classroom Topic

March Madness is such a fun time in the year for all athletes and competitors alike. Although it is mainly an athletic focus, there is no reason that you can't discuss it in class or even participate in the madness. There are many easy ways to incorporate March Madness that are low prep and a lot of education opportunities as well.

One easy way to bring it into your classroom is to fill out brackets! It doesn't matter how much your students know about basketball, the statistics show there is rarely one perfect bracket in the tens of thousands that get filled out every year. This chart talks about how many people actually picked the final four teams correctly! See - no pressure! Just use is as a fun activity. If you want to get really deep - talk about the probability of having a perfect bracket.

Reading the NCAA March Madness page will tell you all about how you can score your brackets. One of the best parts about having the students fill out the brackets is the friendly competition that happens each morning when the students come in to update their brackets.

You could also use the March Madness schools as a geography activity. Have students research where the schools in the brackets are from and have them pinpoint them on a map. Talk about which states have strong basketball teams this year, how many schools are from each area or what states aren't represented at all.

Mascots are also a fun part of March Madness. Look up the mascots for each school and talk about how they each tie into the school that they are from. There are some fun stories behind why certain schools have the mascots that they do.

Talk about character. In all basketball games, there is a winner and a loser. How do you keep your character and be a good sport when you win and when you lose? How can you win graciously, but still celebrate the victory. If you are cheering against a friend who likes a different team than you, how can you both cheer on your team without putting down the other team/player/friend?

Start a class basketball team. You don't actually have to play basketball (but how fun would that be), but have the students name their school, pick a mascot and create a uniform - because there are some pretty awesome uniforms out there! If you don't want it to get too intense, order a little over-the-door basketball hoop and create a bracket of students in your classroom. Have them see who can make the most shots from areas all of the room. If you want to go low key, you can also just use paper and a trash can!

Speaking of shooting challenges in class - use this activity above to create a math lesson. You could create charts and graphs based on shots made. You could also turn fractions (shots made over shots attempted) into percentages to see your classes shot percentage. Learning about geometry and shapes? Talk about the surface area of basketballs and other athletic balls. Boom! Math lesson.

So throw a basketball game up on the Smart Board while your students are working and join in the fun.

Enjoy the Madness,

Monday, March 6, 2017

March - Women's History Month Activities

There are so many influential women that are worth studying throughout history. These women paved the way for us to be able to do anything that we want to in today's age. Women didn't always have the same rights as men, though. If you want to discuss this with your students, look into articles like this women's rights timeline, this short timeline, or this detailed one!

If you are looking for women to discuss in your class, you can check out the Women's Hall of Fame or check out my list of influential women.

There are also some great online activities on Women's History:
Women's History Videos & Activities
Women's Movement Videos (PBS)
Scholastic Women's Suffrage Activity (Grades 3-5)
Lesson Plans & Resources from Edutopia
Science Links for Women's History Month
Women's Suffrage Teaching Guide
Changing Roles of Women Lesson

If you're looking for an easy, no-prep activity, check out my Women's History Month Bundle for webquests for 20+ of these women (plus a blank one to use for anyone you'd like), as well and quotes and QR codes to video links about these world changers.

Happy March!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Read Across America

Read Across America Day is TODAY- March 2nd! Do you know why we celebrate this every year on March 2nd? Well because it's Dr. Seuss's BIRTHDAY of course!

Here are some last minute ideas if you want to celebrate:
Straight from Seussville - Activities, Lessons & Classroom Resources
Upper Elementary Ideas from Scholastic
Classroom Activities from Read, Write, Think
Some fabulous ideas from Teaching Blog Addict
Mommy Cracked has some awesome snack ideas
STEM Ideas (Suess Inspired)

So dress up in your best Suess outfit, read some Dr. Suess books, eat green eggs & ham, and CELEBRATE this fun day with your students!

Hilary @ Mrs. Tech