Monday, December 30, 2013

(Audio) QR Codes Task Cards for First 100 Fry Words

Happy Holidays! I am enjoying my last few days of our Winter Break, and finally had a chance got around to working on a new product. One of my goals for the new year is to begin to use my Samsung Tablets in my classroom as well as the four mini laptops that every teacher has been given to use in our classroom. 

I absolutely love incorporating technology into my lessons, but I wanted to be sure that my students would not destroy were beginning to show more responsibility with taking care of the materials that they use in class. This has been a big problem for the past months but my students have been getting a little better with this since I made such a big fuss about them coming to my classroom and destroying my materials. 

For the first couple months of school, it was very hurtful to learn that my students had no intrinsic regard for the property of others and would break and tear up all of their materials. However, I turned this experience into a teachable moment. Instead of having science class, I took a lot of their class time to discuss with my students what taking care of things that are not theirs looks like, as well as why they should respect the property of others. Since then, and after having the students sign a contract promising to be more responsible with the classroom materials, I've noticed that my students are beginning to care more about their materials, and so now I am a little more willing now to let them use my wonderful tablets to give them the opportunity to begin to learn with our classroom technology. I'm really looking forward to using the tablets and Netbooks more and more.

This new product that I've created is not a science product. Rather, it's an ELA Common Core aligned product for practicing sight words. YAY! 

As students begin to master the Fry Words they can then begin to learn and practice reading them in the phrases in which they will most frequently find them in print to reinforce both word recognition and fluency skills. These First 100 Fry Words Phrases/(Audio)QR Code Task Cards are aligned with the ELA Common Core Standard: Phonics and Word Recognition
R.F. K.3c Read common high-frequency words by sight.

The task card format allows students to work individually or in small groups. They could even be passed out to the entire class and used as a fun whole group game of Scoot.

The audio QR codes provide a differentiated learning/practice experience for students, allowing them to use a hand-held device such as a tablet or even a laptop to either read the phrases and then hear the audio for fluency practice and immediate self-correction; or students needing more support can hear the audio phrases first and then practice reading them independently.

Teachers can access the QR Codes feature of the task cards by downloading the fun and simple QuickMark QR reader app onto their student laptops or tablets. Once downloaded, open the app, aim the shaded reader over the QR code to scan it. Once scanned the reader will make a funny sound. Then click the blue "Open URL" button to hear the audio voice reading the fry word phrase. It's just that simple and fun!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

2014 Resolutions

This week I am linking up with Brandi over at A Peach for the Teach and sharing my Resolutions for the coming year. It was a good exercise because I hadn't really had the time taken the time to think much about these things. Someone told me a while ago that an idea that isn't written down does not exist. So here are my resolutions in writing to make them real. Writing them down also allows me to be able to go back and look at them every few months to assess how I'm doing. Make resolutions for the new year...CHECK! What are yours?
Sunday, December 15, 2013

Science Mentor Text Linky Liquids and Solids

This week I'm linking up with Collaboration Cuties' Must Read Mentor Text Linky for Science. The text I'm sharing is Infotrek's Liquids and Solids.

This is a very good non-fiction text for introducing Solids and Liquids. The content is introduced in Question/Answer expository format, which easily lends itself to building shema with a K-W-L, for example, before introducing each new question. 

True to non-fiction books, each page of the text contains nice large photographs of solids and liquids to support the text. 

Questions and answers are written in a way that children can easily compare and contrast solids and liquids using either a T-Chart or Venn diagram. Some examples of questions are, What do liquids look like?, What do solids look like? Can liquids change into solids? and, Can solids change into liquids? 

Liquids and Solids is ideal for students to use the questions to begin many cool solids and liquids investigations using the scientific method. Very informative!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

STEM Engineering Design Bridges

One of my goals this year was to incorporate more S.T.E.M. activities into my science curriculum. I decided to do the Gnome Engineers Using Engineering to Build and Design a Bridge project that I got over at Sue Calahane's Science For Kids. Boy, did my kids have a ball with this project! It's by far one of my personal favorites of the year.

Every step of learning the Engineering Design Process was an exciting adventure for my second graders. They especially loved designing their own gnomes, gnome lands and finally getting to the design step of the engineering design process. 

My school uses the FOSS Solids and Liquids Kit, so it was quite a challenge for my primary students to  process (just as real engineers do) how to use what they knew about the properties of their solids, which included materials like cups, cardboard squares, wooden cylinders, and craft sticks, to build their bridges, complete with posts, roadways, guardrails and height. Their designs were amazing and I'm thrilled to share some of them. 

My students learned so much about the engineering design process by doing this project. Many wrote in their evaluations that they loved building with the solids, and they didn't like that it took so long from start to finish--something that is very challenging for little learners. It was a great experience for us all.