Sunday, April 22, 2012

Online reading homework! Help save a tree!

So, it is a beautiful Sunday afternoon and it is Earth day!  I just got done giggling at my students' weekly reading discussion question answers and I was thinking about ways to help the earth!   At our school, we are not allowed to send home leveled readers from our literacy library or our adoption.  This forces us to either print all of our homework books or send them digitally.  For a long time, I was printing the books but do to some budget restraints at my local campus this year,  I switched to a digital format.   I do this by assigning their reading books on .  Each week, I upload a pdf copy of their leveled reader and then I enter discussion questions into a short answer quiz.  They go on each night and read their book to someone and on Thursday, their parents help them read the discussion questions, type the responses, and submit the quiz.  I think this is a great way to get parents involved in discussing their child's reading rather than just listening to them read and signing off on it.  When I get the quiz,  I go in and look at each answer and it allows me to comment if I wish.  This is my favorite part.  I love to show them that I am giggling at their answer or to ask them follow up questions.  It also allows me to add the "grade" to my gradebook.  We don't keep numerical grades in kindergarten but it does help me see who is on track doing their homework.  If I don't want to assign discussion questions, I can upload a multiple choice quiz or some other printable like graphic organizer for them to fill out and return.  I also love that edmodo is available not only on a computer but also as an app for the iphone/ipad or android devices.  I have a few students who do not have a computer but their parents have an iphone or ipad...My answer to that..." No problem!  Have your child read their book to you from your phone!"  It allows me to create groups within my class and give only certain students certain assignments.  Perfect for differentiated reading and a way to go green!  Happy Earth day everyone!  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Great Math Resource!

Does anyone else feel like they have language arts/reading homework under control?  Reading homework that ties to guided reading is something that I really feel is "all together".  I have even switched to giving my leveled reading homework via online books and the kids/parents love it!  But...I have always struggled with what to give my kinder kiddos for math homework.  I want them to practice their math skills at home but I also want them using hands on activities.  I send home alot activities from Building Number Sense and other resources but I wanted to incorporate some digital options for my little digital natives.  I also wanted them to have a resource that didn't need too much help from mom and dad.  Enter....  the nctm website!  I love their online math activities.  I use them constantly.  I have linked them to my smartboard calendar lessons,  I have used them for whole group teaching, small group teaching, and now, I use them as homework practice.  I send the link to my parents and some of the games such as Concentration and Okta's rescue can be downloaded as android or iphone apps!  Both of the games that I mention practice subitizing and recognizing numbers in a variety of formats (ten frame, word, numeral, pips (dot/dice formation).  Other games such as five and ten frame are great for teaching composing/decomposing number!

Illuminations/ NCTM math games

I love this website and I hope that others will find it useful.  If you use some of these activities or have other resources, please feel free to  share!

Keep in touch!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cool way to publish kids' writing

Woo Hoo!  I finally got the flip books made!  It turned out to be my phone pdf scanner that was the problem. Once I scanned them at school... no problem.  They turned out sooooo cute!  The kids were tickled to see them.  I ended up using flipsnack and it was super easy. Let me know what you think.