Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Leaf Center

Here's a picture of a Leaf Center that my boys and girls are working with in my room this week! We're making leaf rubbings.  We're observing and exploring leaves with magnifying glasses and measuring leaves with unifix cubes. We're also writing about the leaves and the leaf rubbings that we've done. Next week I'll add other non-standard measurement items for the boys and girls to use, such as paper clips and color tiles.  

The kiddies love working with leaves!  I love seeing them write and engage in math activities! 

Have fun in your centers this week!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Apps for Creating Online Portfolios

I'm participating in a #TeacherFriends Twitter Chat this week and I thought it would be fun and helpful to research some apps for creating online portfolios. I like the free ones!

So, here goes!

I've had some experience with:

1. Evernote:  A free app that's easy to learn and easy for students to use.  You can add photos, take some notes, add some audio recordings and link to other apps.

2.  Voice Thread:  This is also a free app that's fairly easy for teachers and students to use.  You can add images, video, work samples, documents or files.

There are lots of others as well and I think popularity of an app depends on your level of expertise, available time and experience level of your students.
Have you tried:
1. Easy Portfolios - This is not a free app, but is easy for teachers and students to use.
2. Three Ring - A free app
3. Wikispaces - A free app
4. Weebly - A free app
5. Google Drive - A free app with extra storage available
6. Paper - Another free app
7. Kidblog - A free app

Hope this list is helpful to you when you think about creating online digital portfolios for or with the kiddies in your classroom!

Enjoy your week!

Researched sites:

Teaching With Themes in the Classroom

So by now you're well into the school year and most of the kiddies are getting better at following the schedule as well as the structure and routine of the room!  It's starting to feel like Fall and you're so glad to feel the cooler weather, see the leaves begin to change and realize that we still have about 140 days of school left!  In those 20 weeks of school until the next summer break, are you teaching with themes in your room?

What is "Teaching With Themes?"  Thematic teaching is something that teachers have been doing for many years.  It's a way to organize how we teach the curriculum.  We choose a central idea, one that makes sense to the boys and girls that we are working with, grade level or classroom, and then gear our lessons around and including that broader subject theme.

For example, in my classroom this month, we're learning about Fall. Last week our theme was "Leaves, Leaves" and this week it's "Pumpkins" and then next week it will be "Bats and Halloween" and we'll follow the curriculum using these themes.

According to the website, Funderstanding, a great definition of Thematic Teaching is, "the organization of a curriculum around macro “themes.” Thematic instruction integrates basic disciplines like reading, math, and science with the exploration of a broad subject, such as communities, rain forests, river basins, the use of energy, and so on.

I think that's a helpful definition!

Do you like to teach with themes in your classroom or grade level?  Let me know what themes you're teaching with this month!

Have a great week!