Ozobots in the Classroom | Connecting Coding to Curriculum

We are so incredibly lucky to have sets of Ozobots to take out to classrooms to work with students with. Ozobots are small, one inch robots that students can program using block code or markers. The Ozobots can move in different directions, light up different colors, and do fun moves like zig zag, spin, and skate.

Of course, the Ozobots are fun and all and students are completely engaged anytime we pull them out... However, how are we tying this "fun" to the curriculum to make sure students are learning and that the coding is tied to the curriculum?

Regardless of which type of robot you're using, this question always sticks with me as I work with teachers to plan lessons and units.


1,000 Selifes Aren't Necessary

As the new school year rolls around, let's talk Digital Citizenship! Way back in the day ;) I did a blog post on Acceptable Use Policies for students. That was right when iPads were becoming a thing in classrooms, and no one (myself included) really knew what they were doing. I learned this the hard way, and I'll never forget my huge mistake of assuming my 2nd graders would magically treat their shiny new iPads with respect and care. (LOL!)

Learn how to introduce devices to students in the classroom and how to keep kids ACCOUNTABLE for the device rules you come up with.

Three + years later, our district is now 1:1 with iPads in 2nd-8th grade, and our 4th-8th graders take home their district iPads. Being a part of the rollout of this massive undertaking was enlightening. We found out early on that if we didn't set clear expectations and rules regarding the iPads, well, it wasn't pretty (especially with older kids!). They had a tendency to think that the devices were "theirs" and could do what they wanted on them. Over the past few years, and working with so many amazing teachers, our iPad rules have evolved and changed and I think we've finally found a set of rules that works for us.

What's a Digital Resource & How Do I Share Them With my Students???

Have you heard of digital resources? So are you wondering what a digital resource is? Want to know what you need to do in order to use them? And how to share them with your students? I'm here to help!

If you’re wondering what a digital resource is, or how to get started using them with your students, I’ve got you covered in this massive blog post. There are video tutorials to walk you through, step by step, what you need to do to get started, how to use and share digital resources with your students, and why they can be a game changer! Freebie included to get you started!


Organizing Your Classroom Library Check-Out System Using Google Forms & Sheets {A Video Tutorial}

Tired of losing books from your classroom library? Have a checkout system for students that's just not working? Wish you had a quick and easy way to figure out who checked out which book and when?


Here's a great way to think about your classroom library check-out system for the upcoming school year!

Use Google Forms and Sheets to create a classroom library checkout system that works! A step by step video tutorial to get you organized for the upcoming school year!


Using Google Forms & Sheets to Organize Groups

Recently I've met with teachers to discuss the easiest way to organize groups. HA! I know that's a totally loaded topic, and there are about a million ways to organize groups in your classroom.... But here's one way to use Google Forms and Google Sheets to organize students quickly and not waste any extra unnecessary time! This is especially useful when you're working with other teachers, and students are moving in and out of your classroom! Check it out!

Huge time saver! Learn how to use Google Forms & Google Sheets for assessment data and to organize and group students!


I {HEART} Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is right around the corner! I love Valentine's Day and it's one of my favorite holidays to celebrate at school! Last year I rounded up a few of my favorite Valentine's Day resources for the classroom! Enjoy! 
Fun Valentine's Day ideas for the classroom! Includes lots of free printables and ideas!


Punctuation Practice {With a FREEBIE}

My writing block was always, never fail, my favorite time of the day. I am all for teaching grammar and punctuation during that authentic writing time, where I'm modeling writing and students are helping/participating. We always started our block with a writing warm up, then I would model a small chunk of whatever we were working on, then students would WRITE, and I would pull my small guided writing groups or skill groups. During my model lesson, I was always able to include a punctuation "lesson" in there quickly and discreetly so students could see when and how to use punctuation in an authentic writing setting. Everyday, I would think aloud while writing, deciding which type of punctuation was appropriate and why so students could get a glimpse into what happens in a writers brain while writing.

However... Most students need even more practice with these skills, because let's face it, even some of my second graders didn't truly know the difference between an exclamation mark and a question mark.

Cotton Ball Poppers {New Years Math Game Freebie}

Happy 2017! This is sure to be a wonderful year! Just dropping by to revisit a post from last year with a freebie to help you ring in the New Year with your students when you return back to school, all while reviewing and getting back into the swing of things. 

Your students are SURE to enjoy this fun Cotton Ball Popper game that involves minimal prep on your end and they'll be begging you to play!