Sunday, November 26, 2017

Epic! Books, a Teachers Vast Library of Books

Answer these questions to see if you need to be using Epic! Books in your classroom.

Are you a teacher?
Do you have students who need books to read?
Do you have a limited classroom library?
Do you have students who need to listen to books to hear fluent reading?
Do you have students interested in Dinosaurs but you only have fiction books?
Do you have students who are reading above the level you have in your classroom?
Do you have students who are learning English and need to listen to books in the French, Spanish or Chinese?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then Epic! Books is for you. And the best part, Epic! is FREE for educators. Simply go to getepic.com, click EDUCATORS and sign up.

Now that you have an account, it is time to create some collections. Collections are groups of books that you have put together. Collections can be assigned to one, two, or all of your students. 

Simply find a book you like, click on the heart, Add to, click Collection


 You can add it to an existing collection, or create a new collection. 


Give it a name and brief description and you are ready to assign it to a student profile. You can add to All Students, or select just a few, and then click Assign. 


The next time the student logs into Epic! they get notified they have a new collection with the number on the mailbox. Students can also find their collections later by clicking on the mailbox. 


You can also assign collections from you library. Click on the heart My Library and pick collections. A list of all your collections will be displayed. Once here, you click on Assign and follow the same steps as above. 


Epic! has many more features that I will share periodically. But for now, check them out. Click the first photo or the link below, Get Epic! Books and share them with your students.

Get Epic! Books


Monday, August 7, 2017

Quick and Easy Way to Hang Up Classroom Decorations

I am ALWAYS looking for easier ways to hang up classroom decorations; posters, alphabet charts, and more. We can use poster putty and Command Strips only. An alphabet chart needs a lot of poster putty, 4 corners X 26 letters = too much time. Plus it has to come off the wall next May. 

I was dreading contemplating this task today, and alphabet and a 0-20 number set needed to go up on the walls. I looked at the mess, supplies I had on the desks and got inspired. 

Step 1: Staple/Tape the cards to strips of border, I have plenty of that.


Step 2: Continue for the length of the border strip, or cut the border to the desired length. 


Step 3: Attach the strips to the wall with Command Strips, Poster Putty, or whatever you are allowed to use. 


Time saved now & Time will be saved in May. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Back To School Shopping, How to Save Money

Back to School sales have started. Blog posts with all the deals. Instagram pictures of all the cute stuff at Target, Dollar Tree, Wal*Mart, and many other stores. It is easy to get overwhelmed. Easy to think. "I must go buy THAT." Whatever THAT is. The next thing you know your trunk is full and your checking account empty


I admit to falling into that pattern many times, and still do on occasion. But after 20+ years of teaching, before I shop I ask myself one question. "What EXACTLY will this be used for?" If I cannot answer with a specific need, i.e containers for glue sponges, or activity, i.e. counting games, I put it back on the shelf. Saving money at the same time.

Because I can go shopping here....

 

This is just two shelves, I am not ready to show you my plastic container collection or my markers, not yet anyway.

I did succumb to the Mo Willems stuffed toys at Kohl's. I also ordered some new border for my bulletin boards. Otherwise I have not purchased a lot this year.

It is hard when teachers are posting all the cute stuff, but the best way to save money on Back to School shopping is not to spend it in the first place. Good Luck.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Yes They Can! Google Classroom in First Grade; Using the Insert Shape Tool

I am a 1:1 classroom with laptops and desktop computers. I currently teach 1st grade. I am always told 'First graders can't..." when it comes to using technology. Well, I am here to tell you THEY CAN!
You just have to teach them to use the tools, just like you do with pencils, scissors, and glue. 

Using Google Slides in edit mode provides the students with access to text, images, shapes, lines, fill tools, and many other tools. I incorporated learning the shape tool with our Geometry units in math. 

I assigned them a three blank slides via out Google Classroom. Then I walked them through using the Shape tool; step by step. First we inserted a variety of basic shapes. I told them the shape name. The students had to find the correct one to add. 

Next, I showed them the different types of triangles, you know they are not all equilateral. I showed the students how to change the sides, rotate the shape, and use the fill tool. 

Last, I told them to make a picture using the shapes. Here you go:

Technology, Google Classroom, Digital Literacy, Math, Geometry, Colors, and more all at the same time. 

Next time we need to add shapes or use the fill tool, the students know what to do. First Graders & Tech: You BET they can!