Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Back to School Teacher Letter-GAME CHANGER!

So, I KNOW you have all seen the adorable teacher letters out there.  Especially those that have the QR codes where you read to the kids (whether it's a story, or the letter itself).  I tried to do those in the past few years, but JUST couldn't get the technology to work for me (or find the time to figure it out).

Well.  That was BEFORE I started using Seesaw!  Now-it's easy peasy!

First, type up your letter.  Create your own, download someone's freebie.  I don't currently have my particular letter anywhere to use.  I'm sure you could make your own-maybe even cuter?!

Step 2-Save it as a PDF.  I make everything in PowerPoint.  Go to File>Print>Save as PDF.  Make sure you know where it is saved.

Step 3-go to Seesaw.  Now, if you don't have a new class set up yet, start your new class.  Add one student to it (and add the rest later).

Step 4-Click on the GREEN + sign and add your file.  Once it is there, click the checkmark.

Step 5-Then you have an opportunity to record yourself reading it.  Do it!  Listen to make sure it's okay!  I had to make a few edits to mine.

Step 6-Keep clicking the checkmarks until it is uploaded.  Don't tag anyone.  Just upload with no one marked.

Step 7-click on the 3 dots at the bottom right of the picture of your letter.  (...)  It will give you an option to GET QR CODE for item.  Do this!  {It will open a new tab in your browser}

Step 8-Save your QR as an image---or I just have my PowerPoint screen open and DRAG the QR over to the letter.  Click on the QR to adjust the size.  {If you saved it as an image-find it and add it to your Powerpoint letter, then click and resize.}

Step 9-Save the PowerPoint again as a PDF-OR you could just print from there.  If you save as a PDF, open the PDF and print!

Step 10-copy and send home!  Thanks Seesaw for a great app to use in our classrooms!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Problems Solving Practice for Primary Kids

If you got a problem, yo, I'll solve it........  Problem solving is tricky.  There's just too many correct ways to solve things, that it's just about impossible to REALLY teach it once and done.  It HAS to be done many times.  In fact, daily!

Last year, when I decided to take the "guided math" route, one of my rotations was Problem Solving.  At first, it was just me trying to find worksheets for kids to do while there.  Well, that was rough!  That could potentially be 180 worksheets.  180 times to copy papers... 180 things to correct....  You know.

I needed my life to be more of a "fix it and forget it" for some things to keep me sane.  I do it in the crockpot for dinner a few times a week.  And those nights where dinner is ready for me-those are my favorite.

I had an old booklet that I created when I was in first grade for many years that I pulled out one day and we used it for the week.  Kids completed a few pages a day.  (Number of problems were determined by the number pages and days for the week-could be a math problem to solve together before starting that week!) . I was in love with the small prep work involved and the high engagement.

A product was born.  From that day on, I created a themed pack (or 2) per month.  {The one above was the first one I created when we were starting the two-step process.}  In each pack were a variety of problems for second graders (or high first/low third-depending on the month).  I tried to make more than needed so I could pick and choose what I wanted them to do.  In my room, I chose 15 for each week.  That is 3 problems a day in 12-15 minutes.

As the year progressed, the skills were harder.  At the beginning of the year, it focuses more on one and two-step problems.  By the end of the year, there are still some one and two-step problems, but there is also elapsed time, money, number patterns and much more!

Of course, grading these can be a bit of a pain...  So, a system I had in place had me checking kids' work every 2 days.  I would mark the pages I looked at as I went, so by the end of the week it was much more manageable to go through and correct the rest.  Now, I have to say I have this AMAZING para who worked in my classroom for a small portion of the day and she would help me too.  She created an amazing spreadsheet for me each week to mark the mistakes that the kids had.  She really spoiled me.

My kids truly LOVED completing these EVERY DAY!  They would ask if they could do more.  By the end of the year, they were great Super Solvers!  {Of course, with the nature of the beast of second grade, we still had lots of errors due to the FAST nature of completing work at times..... BUT, looking at performance over time, they GOT the skills needed!  Fingers crossed they still remember next year in third...}

I have individual packs in my store-or a current growing bundle.  The bundle is almost finished and is not quite at full face value.  Here are some of the reviews it is getting!

Want to see more?  Check it out in my store by clicking any of the pictures above, or by clicking HERE!

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