Saturday, September 10, 2016

Join me for a Webinar on Technology




Looking forward to sharing about some of the 
technology resources I use in my classroom today 
on 

Join in the fun!
Let me know if you have any questions!

Enjoy your day!
Heidi


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Napier Bones ~ A Multiplication Strategy for Large Numbers



I LOVE finding math tools that will help my students have fun and create
a sense of wonder as they use them.

Napier Bones are going to be a great way
to add some practice into our 
Multiplication of Large numbers this year.

Hop over to my TpT Store for a free download!

Getting ready to head to Louisiana this week for 
the Whole Brain Teaching Conference!
Be sure to follow me on social media for 
some "on the spot shares".

I'm kind of enjoying snapchat...
here's my snapcode if you're 
interested in following along on the journey
to learning the new WBT invincible character traits!

I'm also hosting a Google Hangout on Air
for 
Edcamp Global 
July 30, 2016
6p -7p CST
I'll be sharing some Engaging & Effective Apps
to use with your class this year to
Communicate
Create
and 
Connect!

then at 7pm CST
Join Beverly Ladd and I for a Twitter Chat
on the 
Global Math Task Twitter Challenge
just follow 
@globalmathtask
on Twitter

Two more weeks before we head back to school...
Where did the summer days go?
Looking forward to meeting my 
new frogs and embarking on a new journey this year!
Enjoy your day!




Friday, July 15, 2016

Engaging and Effective Apps TETA Summer Institute Workshop


Excited to share some ways to use
Engaging and Effective Apps 
at the Teacher Day
for TETA Empowering Connections
Summer Institute in 
Collierville, TN

Here's a copy of the presentation...
Let me know if you have any questions!
I'm super excited to use
Remind and Seesaw in my class this year!
I'd be happy to help you set them up in your class too!
Want to use Seesaw Plus for free? 
Sign up with my link and get 1 extra month of Seesaw Plus!


Leave a comment below if you have any questions :)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Are You Ready? (giveaway spoiler alert)


Are you ready for Back to School?
How about Amazon Prime Day?
I LOVE Amazon Prime!
If I need a book for Mentor Sentences, 
I can usually get it within 2 days!
And shipping is usually free! 
YEAH!

One of our first Mentor Sentence Books this year will be

Check out "Ideas by Jivey"
to see her fabulous Mentor Sentence Units
on TpT
Ideas by Jivey


Are you ready to
Stay Positive and Enjoy Teaching
again?
I think I am...but just to make sure
I'm joining in the fun of an ONLINE book study
with Angela Watson
Hop over and check it out.
You can ask to join!

Staying positive and encouraging to others is my
NUMBER ONE goal this year!
along with staying organized

....which bring me to my next question...

Are you ready to start Planning?
Meet my new (hopefully organized) teaching planner!
Don't freak out about the price listed on 
Click on the link to check out the product!
Then (if you like it) head to 
Michaels or Hobby Lobby 
and use a 40% coupon 
to pick one up for yourself!
So far....I'm loving the versatility and ability to 
add pages and folders and cutesy it up!

In reality, I use Planbook.com
to create and share plans with my team.
However, you can print those plans out and 
punch them to put in the 
Happy Teacher Teaching planner
I also LOVE the pages that will allow
for me to keep notes when my team meets to 
talk about what skills we're hitting on 
which days!
See I'm NOT really an organized person by nature
but I'm trying!

Are you ready to Be Engaging?
I've always love learning! 
So I am prepping to join in the fun 
with the hundreds of other peeps 
heading to the Whole Brain Teaching
Louisiana Conference next week!
Have you read Coach B's book?
Totally worth the time!
There's also a TON of free items to go with the 
....I'll post more about our trip and ways
to implement Whole Brain Teaching in your
room later this month!

Are you ready for a GiveAway?
I'm giving away the first book in 
The Dragon Of The Month Club is the exciting first installment 
in a new book series that tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, 
two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book 
and soon find themselves enrolled as 
members of a very special and exclusive club - 
The Dragon of the Month Club.

You can read an excerpt from the book HERE
Kind of reminded my students of
The Magic Treehouse series...
but they loved the dragons in the story and
felt the adventure was "pretty good".
(Which is a great review coming from 
a fourth grader at the end of the school year :)

I'm giving away a copy of the
first book... just leave a comment below to
let me know when you head back to school and
if you're planning on doing something fun this year!

Enjoy your day!
and don't forget to hop over to
Amazon Prime Day
and check out some of the great deals to be caught :)



Monday, July 4, 2016

Made It Monday #flexibleseating Crates



I'm linking up with Tara over at 

Fourth Grade Frolics

to share one of the
#flexibleseating choices 
in my room...
I've been using chair balls for the past 4 years with great success.
However, last year, I took the proverbial dive and 
headed into total #flexibleseating after 
watching some of Angie Olsen's wonderful periscopes 
on how it works in her second grade class.
(She has a FABULOUS resource page on her blog
dedicated to #flexibleseating. Click HERE to check it out!)

I've seen numerous crate seats that have fluff and stuff on the top
and provide for storage inside....my dad helped me create a 
modified version with just a wooden seat...
Mom helped to paint as well as create some small 
colorful frog throw pillows that 
students can choose to sit on top of the crate boards
or on the floor.

The kids LOVED the ability to choose whether or not they
had a pillow and (of course) which pillow they wanted to use!
#itsallaboutchoice
#kidsdeserveit
#whynot?

One of the biggest comments from my 4th graders this year
is that they wished they had more crate seats to choose for 
seating options...
so....

On my summer trip to the family home, Dad cut out 
two more crate tops from some wood in his 
wood shed... yep...no $... just scrap wood!

Mom had some leftover white paint to help 
seal the wood...

and then the fun of the designing started...

I got to create our class mascot...
the Swamp Frog...

and Mom went to work painting 
the boards for the 
crates.... 
(she does nail designs too :)




they're sprayed to make the design durable
and ready to go for the new year...
...which starts the beginning of 
August!

I haven't "ditched the desks" 
just yet.... I find my 4th graders enjoy sitting
at desks....just modified the seating options...
that go with the desks...
I've lowered some of the desks to allow for 
crate seats...raised some of the desks to allow for
ball chairs...and raised some of the desks to allow
for the standing option!
(Found some bed risers at a garage sale this summer
to try out making the standing desks even taller!)

Do you use #flexibleseating in your room?

What options do you use in your class?


Don't forget to sign up for the 
this year!

We're adding a new component this year
with the game of 24...
I love to connect our students to share the learning!

Don't forget to check out more links and 
Made it Monday ideas...


Sunday, June 12, 2016

#passthescopeEDU because #KidsDeserveIt!




Shhh....hear that? 
It's the energy recharge that we all need 
once in awhile to 
#getyourteachon

I'm excited to be participating in this month's 
#passthescopeEDU on 

On June 16th
Teachers are "Taking over Periscope" 
to share about the
"One Big Idea" that we want to implement 
during the 2016-17 school year!

There's a TON of #awesometeachers 
that will be sharing their ideas and activities for 
the new year.

I hope you'll hop on Periscope and join me
at 5:45pm EST as I plan to share more about
the new addition to the 
this year...
#gmttc24

As Todd Nelsoney and Adam Welcome write in 
their new book
#KidsDeserveIt


Take a moment and give this
gold nugget of info 
a chance to renew your spirit!
Not only is it a refreshing read,
it's got tons of great ideas and shares!

Then be sure to follow me on 
Periscope 
@swampfrogfirst
and join me on
June 16th
at 
5:45pm EST 
4:45pm CST

Can't wait to see how you plan to
"Go Big, Be Creative"!


and if you're a
snapchat person
I do share some PD
from time to time
You can follow me here...


Have a WONDERFUL day!

Heidi






Saturday, May 28, 2016

Reflections on Flexible Seating and Summer Reading


First Day of Summer
Reflections on Flexible Seating
I've done a "modified versions" of flexible seating for several years by allowing students to work around the room and for some to have the ability to sit on ball chairs.
But I really jumped into the whole class flexible seating during the second semester of this year after reading more fabulous articles and blog posts about how successful teachers were 
finding it in their rooms. 
I can honestly say... I AGREE!

I've been thinking about ways to "gather" more options for flexible seating to use next year...this summer, so I wanted to jot down some of my thoughts for possible improvements for next year...

Since I do have whole group lessons, I kept the desks in an arrangement that allowed everyone to be able to see the projected screen or whiteboard.

Desk legs were taken off two desks so that crates could be used to sit on comfortably. 
Tennis balls were added to the table legs so that they wouldn’t scratch the floor. 
Shorter desks were kept in the front of the room to allow for ability to see projections.
This was a favorite option for many...need to find more ways to create/use crates in the room

Carpet was available to sit on with laptop desks to work. Need somewhere for students sitting on floor to store their binders and art supplies. Popularity of this option varied from week to week. May just add carpet and some scoop seats to library area for working on independent work.

Standing desks were in back row. Just desks heightened to the tallest setting. 
(Tried adding bed risers to table, but was not in my comfort zone this year)
Students could have chair at desk and put one knee on chair while working if liked...
could also sit in chair or push chair in and stand behind it to work.

Middle area of room had desks at 4/5 hole settings to allow for chairs or ball chairs.

Name tags were laminated and NOT taped to a desk. 
Students could put on top of their new desk or inside the desk so 
that when they were out of the room, I could find desks.

Books were stored on a shelf where kids could get to them if we needed them 
or in  individual cubbies at the front of the room 

2 Binders and a supply box were kept inside the desks.

At first, students switched areas twice a day. 
Once after reading and again after math. 
However, as the months progressed, they preferred to switch just once a day. 
So we we would choose a new seat after reading. 

There was a request to have the ability for some to not switch if they felt more comfortable 
sitting in the same spot.
However, in order to keep desks organized and free from papers and pencils all over, 
I still had those children get out their supplies to “move to another seat”.
The movement helped them take a brain break, keep their supplies organized 
and helped me to see who needed the same seats.


I kept ultimate control...
if I perceived that a child was not doing well in a certain spot, 
I asked them to move…”It’s my perception...however, you can change it with your actions”.
Also had certain students that were asked NOT to sit by others as the days went on as it was my perception that they were not working to the best of their ability in that situation. 

I kept the “last say” as I am the queen of the classroom...
really...
I wear my crown from time to time just to remind them 
(and when we’re playing beat the queen) :) 

I'd love to hear any suggestions for what works for you
where you've found items to use
or how your experience with flexible seating has gone!

Comment below...
Share a tweet and tag me...
@swampfrogfirst

I'll choose a connection or two for some free items from my TpT store.
(I'm working on some fluency packs for next year with 
multiplication & division like the ones I created for addition & subtraction)

Also planning to share more posts about this book for my
summer reading nugget!
If you're interested in joining in...let me know
I'd love to share some ideas and activities 
to use with NonFiction Reading
with you! 


If your new to flexible seating
or
Just checking out the possiblities...
Here's some research that helped me as I developed my classroom plan..

Flexible Seating ....
‘Classroom design influences levels of interaction and engagement. Engagement and active learning improve retention.’

‘Comfortable classrooms—physically and psychologically— promote a sense of well-being, keep minds focused, and limit distractions.’

‘We need to serve as advocates for teaching and learning so that our facilities truly become learning spaces.’


Resource Articles:
*Article with video from Edutopia to talk about the research behind flexible seating and some ideas of what it might look like...

*Article by Kayla Delzer (Fantastic 2nd grade teacher in Minnesota) provides examples and research for flexible seating….
* another article by Kayla…

*  “Leading the Transition from Classrooms to Learning Spaces” by Diana Oblinger


* Fabulous Blog Post by Angie Olson (another stupendous 2nd grade teacher) on
Flexible Seating FAQs This post is jam packed of most of the questions and answers I had when I first started out...
You can find her blogging about her teaching experience on “Lucky Little Learners”.

* Article on one teacher’s journey into flexible seating and how it went…ideas on types of seating choices
http://www.literacylovescompany.com/2016/04/flexible-classroom-seating.html


Enjoy your Summer!
Heidi