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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

ClassDojo Student Stories

Hey everyone!

ClassDojo is doing some changing and I am pretty excited about it.

The Student Stories tab is a place where students may post pictures or write a little something to their parent.  Similar to an online portfolio for the student.  Well, I didn't use it a ton this past year because...I teach first grade and it was not the easiest for them to do independently.  So, it would end up taking about 3 minutes per kid.  When you have 27 just don't do it because how on Earth are you going to keep all the others busy for an hour and a half!?!  Now it will be so much easier.

Now, I will be able to show the steps to the kids as a whole group and then have them complete it independently.

Check out what is changing...

  • Upgrades to Student Stories! 🙌

  1. Post with any app: students (and teachers!) can post photos and videos to their Story from other apps directly, or by uploading from the camera roll. “App smashing” becomes a reality!
  2. Any device: students can post from any device: iOS, Android, Chromebooks or web
  3. Easy and secure access: no need to remember usernames or passwords - students can log in instantly by scanning their secure class QR code
  4. Journal entries: the easiest way for students to reflect on their work, they can now create written journal entries
  5. Draw and annotate on photos: students can add more context to entries with drawn or typed comments
  6. Record and upload videos: students can record and share video up to eight minutes in length, or upload saved videos from other apps
  7. Drawings: when words fall short, students can let their inner artist shine by creating a drawing all their own!
  8. Filters, frames, and stickers: students can add a dash of fun to their posts, creating portfolios as unique as they are
  9. Voice notes: students too young to type? All they have to do is speak into their device and add a voice note to their work

I am most excited about the voice notes. This will make it so much easier for my little ones to draft up a cute message to go with a picture of their work.

I am excited to get started. I am trying to think of a first day or first week Student Story that we could do....
Any ideas? Our grade is starting the year with a camping theme, so I thought maybe a picture of them in a tent and they could record a voice note like "I'm loving Camp Roadrunner," or something like that.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Monday Motivation, Word Walls

I am joining Jen over at Teacher by the Beach (click button below to join) for a fun weekly link-up.  
Teacher by the Beach
This week is all about word walls.  I missed last week's post on center management.  I may go back and write about that later as I have a lot to say about stations/centers.  That is basically how I teach all day long.

Word Walls:
Well, I read a couple of the blogs that posted on this too and feel similarly about it.  I found that my word wall can be a waste of space.  There are always a good chunk of kids that use it consistently but it takes up such a large space and doesn't feel really useful.

Then, similar to A Teeny Tiny Teacher, I found that I was not proactive about getting the words up on the wall as we were learning them.  The word wall above is on the right...and it is January!!!  We knew way more words than the above by January.  
I work at a STEM Magnet elementary school and this year we are integrating more than we have before.  So, my word wall plan is changing.  I still need to teach the "trick" or sight words from Fundations that our district uses.  I still will have the kids write their words in their "dictionaries."
Related image
The change will come in how I organize the wall area/words and how I will integrate it into our STEM learning. 
During our math block, I will be using STEAM stations.  Each letter stands for a center rotation.  Stem bins (from Brooke Brown), Tech time, Enrichment (hands-on games), At your seat (interactive notebooks), and Meet with the teacher (differentiated lessons from the curriculum that is required of us).  During the STEM bins time, the kids have a science notebook that they will be using to complete an activity or job.  They will need to use the sight/trick words from their dictionary in their writing. 
Image result for stem bins brooke brown
I will also have a small area to post on the wall, just a few of the words that we are learning (maybe a 2-3 week's worth of words) as a resource.  They will need to highlight those words with highlighter (that's the part that will make doing that fun) in their notebooks.   
I will also have a STEM vocabulary area that I will need to organize.  I already have a math vocabulary wall section too!  Phew.  Too much.  I will need to rethink all of those to make them less busy and overwhelming.

Sidenote- I have been purging my house this whole summer.  I'm going through my home, room by room and trying to get rid of as much clutter and unused things as I can to simplify our life at home...because it is really overwhelming for much of the school year.  I am feeling the need to do the same thing at school.  I always have lots of things on the walls and stuff set up in the room to make it "cute" and coordinated.  I am now trying to change that to be more purposeful than ever before.  I want my classroom to feel calm, spacious, and homey.  I need it to be easy to navigate and for everything to have a very specific purpose, use and place...or it needs to go!!!  

Link up with Jen and tell us about your word wall(s).  Maybe it will help people like me who are always looking for new ideas.