Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Classification Unit for Google Classroom

Science hasn't typically been my favorite subject to teach in the past, but this year I've been trying to make it more fun.  I decided to try something new when planning my unit on Classification.  In previous years, I have read through the textbook and given the test from the book to my kids.  Boring!  Keep reading to see how I made this unit interactive and engaging through the use of technology, specifically, Google Classroom!

I have written out explicit lesson plans for introducing the unit with the class as well as how to incorporate each of the components below:

Before you even begin the unit I give my students a pre assessment.  The pre assessment allows me to see what my class already knows and exactly who knows what about classification.  The pre assessment is in a google form that I send out to them in Google Classroom.  It's incredibly easy, it grades their assessment right away, and it gives me instant data!
Classwork and Research:
First, your students will use links in their directions page to research the different types of Classification.  They will fill in their Google Doc with information they gather from their research.
Students will show what they know from their research by creating a Google Slides presentation.  I have provided a pre-made presentation that you can give them as an outline.  For students who struggle with organization, this is a great way for them to know that they are on track to having all slides required for the project.  Students may use the slides provided and add their information, or create their own slides.
Presentation:  I have my students present their presentations when they are all finished.  This is a great way to have students practice public speaking and for them to show off their hard work to their peers.  My students LOVED doing this.  While they present, I'm able to quickly grade their presentations with....
Each student will receive a copy of a digital blank rubric in Google Sheets.  It's already formatted, so all you have to do is open that child's copy, add the scores, and it calculates their grade on the bottom!
Post Assessment:
After the unit is over, I give my students a post assessment, which is similar to the pre assessment but with different questions.  This is also in Google Forms so the grades and data are generated immediately.
This unit has been one of my most successful as a teacher, and one of the most fun for my students.  Their growth from the pre to the post assessment was outstanding and a great data piece to show administration.

Find this pack HERE.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Task Tents™

Are you looking for a fun resource for reviewing various skills and content with your students?  Look no further!  Check out Task Tents™!

Task Tents™ are a fun way to get your students moving around while practicing, reviewing, and assessing their mastery on specific skills and standards. Students will move around with a partner answering questions on one side of the Task Tent™. They will record their answer and have it checked by their partner, who has the answer on the other side. Each pair will keep track of their correct answers and total them up at the end.

Task Tents are currently available for 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade in the following subject areas:

Check my store, or search Task Tents on Teachers Pay Teachers to find more Task Tents as I continue to add them.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Using Quizizz with Google Classroom

How many of you love to use technology in your classroom?  I feel like I'm always searching for new, innovative ways to engage my students in our curriculum as well as finding opportunities for assessment.  I can't wait to tell you how I'm using Quizizz and Google Classroom with my students this year.
Quizizz is a great online assessment resource that allows your students to complete quizzes interactively, either live with the rest of your class, or on their own time.  You can have all students taking a Quiz at one time and view the results as they are taking it, or you can assign it in the future and download all the results when they're complete.  It's also really easy to customize quizzes already made and make your own new quizzes specific to what you're doing in the classroom.

My favorite part?  Did you know that if you assign a quiz for homework, you can connect it to Google Classroom?  Now I'm able to assign digital homework and set it up so that it's scheduled to send out to my students each day.  It sure beats making copies of assignments and having them get left either at school or at home.

Check out my tutorial video to see how you can utilize Quizizz and also incorporate it into Google Classroom:

Monday, September 5, 2016

Target Adhesive Labels for the Classroom

As a teacher, I think there's no denying an unhealthy obsession with Target.  My shopping cart seldom passes the Target Dollar Spot without stopping and raiding the shelves.  Recently I've seen a lot of educational products in the Dollar Spot and I fell in love with their adhesive pocket labels this summer.  You know, those clear , square pockets with a peel-off back that can stick to anything?  Well, it turns out that they're very sturdy.  I can't wait to tell you how I've decided to use them in my classroom.

Check out a Facebook Live video I did that explains how I use them in detail:

One way that I've been using them is for book bin labels (see the yellow labels on the bins in the picture):
I've also been using them on my students' desks to help them with things like organization and providing resources in different subject areas.  I have created various types of checklists (morning and afternoon routines, Daily 5) and resources such as an editing marks cheat sheet, multiplication charts, and more.  It's been very helpful with students who may forget to pack things before going home or who need a helpful reminder about our morning routine.

I have created a packet of various types of inserts for these pocket labels that you can find HERE.  The file has EDITABLE checklists, so you can customize them to meet your students' needs.

These have been so awesome for my students and I can't wait to see what I can create from my Target Dollar Spot finds next!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Google Forms for the Classroom

Are you looking for a better way to communicate with and get information from parents in your class?  If so, I'm going to share with you how using Google Forms has made my life so much easier in the classroom.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Google Forms, you will be happy to learn how easy it is to use.  Google Forms is an application from Google that allows you to create your own surveys online.  You are able to create your own questions, question types, and even include pictures and videos into the survey.

Once you've come up with all of the questions you'd like to ask your audience, you can share the survey either by e-mail, or by providing your audience with a link.  Once they start answering your questions, you're able to see all of the responses and even export them into a Google Sheet (similar to Excel) where you can sort your data.

Check out my video tutorial on how to use Google Forms:
Here are some examples of when I plan to use Google Forms in my classroom this year:
  • Back to school student information forms (now I don't have to type it all up after they've written it down)
  • Emergencies, such as early dismissal due to inclement weather
  • Parent interest surveys
  • Student surveys in the classroom 
  • Staff interest surveys within the school
Google forms was a huge help to me last year when we had a last minute early dismissal due to weather, and it saved me a ton of time not having to call every single parent.  All I had to do was forward the survey to all of their e-mails, post it in our private class Facebook page, and I was able to know exactly how all of my students were getting home that day.  It was fantastic.  I hope that you're able to find a way to use Google Forms in your own classroom!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Creating a Bibliography

I love giving my students the opportunity to do a fun project during the year.  In 5th grade it's important to start paving the way for our students to include a bibliography in their projects/presentations so that they get into the habit of giving credit to the resources they have used.  I remember vigorously memorizing the format for citing a source into MLA format and how complicated it was!  Luckily, there are now some great websites that make this process so much easier!

My class is currently working on their WWI/1920s Important People Project in which they are essentially writing a biography about an important person during this time period.  I normally give them the option to either write a biography or create a Power Point.  This year, I am having all students create a Power Point so that they learn about incorporating multimedia components into their projects.  The last slide of their Power Point is the bibliography.

I have created a quick video to show you how to use Easybib ( ) to have your students cite their sources.  It's INCREDIBLY easy.  I have actually shared the video with the parents from my class and will have it available for my students to reference as they continue to work on their projects.  They will definitely be ahead of the game when they get to middle school.

Check it out here: