Saturday, September 19, 2015

Let's Make Some Inferences! (Part 1)

We have been studying all about making inferences for the last week or so in fourth grade. We started with the very popular "What's in Ms. Smith's bag?" activity, and we continued through several different passages, pictures, and task cards.

This year I've been on a quest to do a better job incorporating hands-on technology into my lessons. I've ways used my ELMO and my computer at the front of my classroom, but I really think its important for students to be interacting and manipulating the technology instead of just staring at it. In my classroom I only have three iPads and two desktops, so I have to get creative. I have awesome coworkers, so whenever I ask to borrow a set of iPads, someone always helps me out. With another teachers iPads, I have the ability to break my students into groups of 3 or 4, and so far that has worked best.

Ok, back to inferencing...
I wanted to come up with some way to incorporate some fun technology into my inferencing unit so I set off to Pinterest and TPT in search of ideas. There are TONS of fabulous short Pixar films that are great for inferencing. I have shown several of these short clips on my projector (and we have discussed as a class), but I wanted to take that a step further for this lesson.

Because I only had 6 iPads (I borrowed 3 from a coworker), I knew I would have to involve some non-technology aspects of my lesson as well. I stumbled across an awesome freebie on TPT's Facebook page on inferencing and it is a fabulous resource. It is by Buzzing with Mrs. B and it is a forever freebie! How awesome is that? Check it out here! I mainly used the task cards in this pack because we had already been studying inferencing for several days when I found this pack, but I am definitely saving and using the whole thing next year!

I decided to create 5 tasks for my students to complete. I laid out the 5 tasks on a worksheet. I told my students that they needed to complete all five task cards, working on whatever resource was available. I started each group on a different task, and I told them to find an empty task to move on to when they finished the current task they were on. Three of the tasks were task cards from Ms. B's resource, and two were short pixar films from Youtube. (I must say I was worried about not having a "rotate now" system, but it worked great. I did tell students to not do both video tasks back to back so that everyone could work with the iPads.)

Y'all, my students were SO engaged. It was amazing. I felt like angels should be singing and I wanted to do a happy dance. Technology won me over and I'm now trying to figure out how many different ways I can use it in my classroom. My goal for now is to try to incorporate at least one hands-on technology activity per week. With only three iPads (and having to borrow other teachers' iPads) I feel like thats a good goal.

[Check back for Part 2... coming soon.]
Part 2 will include the AMAZING Pixar videos I used for inferencing, along with the task page I gave my students. This will be a free resource. Woot. Woot!

Until then.. how do you use technology in your classroom? I'd love any awesome ideas that have worked for you! = )

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Made-It!

I'm not sure how or why summer weeks get so crazy, but they do! Somehow I still managed to get some things done, and even made a few things! Excited to link up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for the first time in a LOOONG while! If you missed my blog post from yesterday, I am committing to getting back into blogging after neglecting my little piece of the internet for far too long. Read that blog post HERE! 
*It contains a gift card giveaway so go check it out!

Alright... on to what I made this week...

[1] Positive Notes Home
In my classroom, I LOVE sending happy notes home. 
(More on this subject coming SOON in another blog post.)
Last year I wrote them on whatever I could quickly find at the end of the day. That wasn't the cutest or most professional option, so I decided to make a fun post card I could copy, store, and easily fill out and use. Now I won't have to use a random piece of paper or sticky note to send home a happy letter. 

[2] Blog Twitter and Blog Pinterest Accounts
Even though I didn't make it to Vegas, I feel like everyone who went has been posting about the importance of a presence on social media. I'd love to connect with some of you guys on both of these new (to me) social media outlets!

*On a side note, does anyone else have a super long blog name that is too long for usernames on Pinterest, Twitter, and Periscope? SO frustrating. And, to make it even worse, my blog name can't be shortened. I had to get creative with my usernames for my new accounts. Ohhh well!

Well, thats it for this week's Monday Made-it! Can't wait to read along and see what all of you guys have made this week! 
Happy Monday! It's going to be a scorching hot week in the South!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Back at it! (Stop by for a giveaway!)

I was one of the sad Teachers Pay Teachers sellers that was stuck at home last week. Even though I didn't get to attend, I have been truly inspired by the information and ideas people have been sharing from the conference.  Because of that, I have been inspired to start this ole blog back up. It is my goal to be more consistent on this little blog of mine! I have really enjoyed it in the past and I am pumped to get started again! I have also heard about how important social media is for us, so I created Pinterest and Twitter accounts that are connected to my blog and store.

I figured as a proper I'M BACK, and as a way to launch some of my new social media accounts, I should have a fun giveaway. 
In order to celebrate, I am going to giveaway a $10 gift certificate. 
The best part is that the winner gets to choose which store...
TPT or Target.

Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends next week.

I am SO looking forward to getting back into the swing of blogging and getting to know some of my fellow bloggers. I'd love to connect with some of you! If you want a new blogging friend, let me know. = )