Sunday, September 25, 2016

Words their Way in a 1:1 Classroom

Words their Way in a 1:1 classroom has never been easier for student success and ease of instruction.  Each word list can be completed during a five day cycle or it can easily be adapted to ten days of lessons.

Day 1 - Student Self-Paced Lessons

Students watch an interactive self-paced video lesson for the new sort of the week. Students can stop the lesson at any time to review the concepts and patterns being taught. After completing the video lesson, students write their new word list in their planners.

I love using Explain Everything to record weekly lessons.  Explain Everything is easy and quick to use. Once the videos are complete, I upload them to YouTube as an unlisted video.  Remember to create play lists to keep videos organized. Below an an example of a lesson that I created.

Within Word Pattern - Sort 8 Short u - Long u

Day 2  Word Sort / Speed Sort

Students open their Word Sort and Speed Sort  in Schoology and send it to Notability. When completed, they send it back to Schoolgy to be checked.
Word Sort
Students write their Word Pattern in the top highlighted box.  They sort their words under the correct word pattern. Students write each word under the correct word pattern. 

Speed Sort
Students set the timer on their iPads and then sort their word list three different times. After each sort, students record how long it took them. 

Day 3 Buddy Sort / Tic-Tac-Toe Choice Board

Students download the Buddy Sort from Schoology to Notability. They work with a partner giving each other the words. When finished, students check each other's work. They turn in their assignment after it is completed.

Giving students a choice is one of the best ways for them to take ownership of their learning.  Students are also engaged and have the opportunity to show their learning and thinking.  This board may be used for several days as an extension of the weekly lesson. Feel free to copy the link and change it as you feel appropriate. 

Stick Around
Tips for using Stick Around by iPad Educators
 One of our favorite apps to use with Words Their Way is Stick Around.  Students can create puzzles that tie in with their weekly word pattern. They send their puzzles to Schoology to share with classmates. Students can then solve and play each others' puzzles.

+Ann Feldmann created a video on how to share Stick Around Puzzles to Schoology.

Since I have different groups in Words Their Way, I am able to create specific groups and assign their weekly words in SpellingCity.  You are able to search for word lists already created to import to your class.  Another great feature is the vocabulary component that reinforces and helps teach the meaning of each spelling word.  It is a great tool to use to differentiate spelling instruction and students are engaged.  You can get test results for each child, and it also has a writing component.  Students can also use it at home.

In Popplet students create word maps of each spelling pattern.  They can also write the definition and part of speech to each word.  Popplet is a great app for students to visually learn their word patterns.

Doceri is a free interactive whiteboard for the iPad.  There are so many possibilities in using this app with Words Their Way.  Students can show their learning and practice placing their words in the correct word pattern.  After they have saved their recording, students can view their video from their camera roll, send it directly to YouTube, or app smash it to iMovie to create their spelling video.  Each student listens to him/herself to critique their fluency and understanding of their spelling words and patterns.  This is another powerful way for students to self-assess. 
Created by Brie

Explain Everything
Explain Everything from MorrisCooke
Explain Everything is an app we use in all curricular areas.  Students can create a video of their spelling sentences using Explain Everything. They can record themselves reading each of their sentences. Students can send their work directly to YouTube, or they can app smash it to iMovie and create a movie video.  
Here is an example on how students can create spelling sentences using Explain Everything and app smash to iMovie. 

Students can create their Words their Way list for their classmates to play.  It's simple and easy for students to use.  They just type each word and record.  An added bonus, they have to record themselves using each word in a sentence.

Using TeleStory, your students can creatively show the word patterns for their weekly list. It is a fun and engaging way for students to create a quick video showing their learning. 

Macie's Video - Plural Endings -s and -es

Alex's Video - Present and Past Tense Verbs

By using ChatterPix, students can show their learning of their word patterns by creating talking pictures. Students have the ability to bring stories to life. All you have to do is upload your image, draw a mouth, and record. 
Richard Byrne ChatterPix

Bayler's Video - Short o - Long o

Andrew's Video - Unusual Past-Tense Words

Day 5 - Words their Way - Testing Day

All groups take their WTW test at the same time. This is such a time saver!! I record the weekly lists on QuickTime Player and simply upload to Schoolgy.  All groups can easily take their WTW simultaneously. 

I would love how others are incorporating Words their Way into the curriculum.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Making Daily Connections with Students

As educators, we know the importance of connecting with each student in our classroom on a daily basis.  It is the meaningful relationships we develop with students that make all the difference in the world. Just like we love to share, our students do even more. The beginning of each day sets the tone in our classrooms. 

I have struggled for years trying to find time as students come to school eager and excited to share the important events happening in their lives. I tried using class meetings, and Monday morning meetings where each child had the opportunity to share something about his/her weekend. 

Unfortunately, the reality is there truly isn't enough time in each day. With curriculum expectations, testing, and all the extras, I always seemed to run out of time. It wasn't fair to my students.

So True and Important - James Comer 

This year, I am trying something new that has been a huge success. I have created two separate areas in our classroom. One is "Weekend Highlights" and the second is our "Daily Updates".  Students simply stick a Post-it note to share what they did each evening and on the weekend.  It just takes a few minutes for me to read what each child shared. This gives me the opportunity throughout the day to acknowledge, connect, comment, question, and congratulate students on what is going on in their lives outside of school. As an added bonus, it is posted all day so their classmates can read what they are doing too. I love all the  connections students are making with each other.

On our Daily Update board each morning, students share what they did the evening before. Even if was was just having a relaxing evening reading a book. I have learned so much from each of my students in just a few short days. Students beam when they realize you are interested in what they're doing outside of the school day.  

Our Weekend Highlights give students the opportunity to share what they did over the weekend. It is such a positive way to begin a new week. Every student has a voice to share what is important and meaningful in his/her life.

Beth Morrow Sums it up Perfectly


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Leave Your Mark - International Dot Day

International Dot Day - +Peter Reynolds 
September 15th - ish
The Dot by Peter Reynolds is one of my favorite books. A simple act of kindness can change the lives of the children in our classroom who count on us each day to make a difference.  This picture book beautifully displays the importance of connecting with each child in our classroom. International Dot Day is an awesome way for your students to celebrate the difference they will make in the world and to harness their creativity.  There are so many fun and creative ways for students to celebrate their limitless possibilities. Our students all have the potential to soar, they just need someone who encourages and believes in them. What a great way to start the new school year! 

The Award Winning Book - The Dot by Peter Reynold's

This is an awesome video of Peter Reynolds reading The Dot. He also shares how he ended up creating the Dot

Ready Set Draw-ish - Peter Reynolds - THE DOT
My fourth graders loved this video of Peter Reynolds teaching them the importance of creativity and using your imagination!

The Dot by Peter Reynold's 

Fable Vision Learning - Free Posters to Celebrate Dot Day

The Dot Song by Emily Arrow and Peter Reynolds

Poster Creations "Our Mark on the World"
Students used Notability to create posters. Other apps like Glow Doodle or DoodleBuddy can be used too.

4th Graders "One Word"
Students decorated a dot and selected one word that described them.

Dots Come to Life

Student can color their own dot design, and make it come to life through the technology of augmented reality. It is simply amazing watching their artwork transformed into reality. The app and coloring page are both free.

Dot Day QuiverVision

Blog Posts
Leaving Our Mark on the World
So to celebrate last year, my fourth graders wrote blog posts on The Mark they Would Leave on the World.  They had so much fun, and it was a great learning opportunity. 
"My Mark on the World" Posts 2016

Kaleidoscope Dots
Students can create Kaleidoscope paintings using  Kaleidoscope Drawing Pad.  They can watch their amazing creation in "Movie" mode. You can upload the movie to Artisto -Video Editor app to create a more dynamic "Dot Day" video. 

Creating Braille Collages
Students can create a slide with their name written in Braille and include pictures that represent them and their interests. They can use Braille Bug to convert their names to braille.   Explain Everything is a great app to use for this project, because students can also record their Mark on the World.

Recording our Mark on the World
Students create a Dot in Notability or another app of their choice. They upload their Dot to ChatterPix. A mouth will be drawn on the dot and students can record themselves sharing the mark they will leave on the world.  Their recordings can be sent to iMovie to edit or sent right to YouTube.

Dot Structure Engineering Challenge

What better way to celebrate Dot Day by having students participate in a STEM activity using Dots. Instead of using gumdrops for the activity, simply substitute the activity with Dots.  Each group will need 10 Dots and 20 toothpicks. Students will create a "Dot" structure that can hold a textbook.
Gumdrop Structure Inquiry Challenge Lesson Plans and Activity

Additional Resources

Dot Day Response Activity - Teachers Pay Teachers

Inferring Activity - Teachers Pay Teachers

Response Sheet - Teachers Pay Teachers

I would love to hear how others are celebrating International Dot Day.
Our students are counting on us to Make a Difference!
Leaving Our Mark on the World Every Day

Jane Goodall