Sunday, April 1, 2018

15 Ways to Use FlipGrid in Your Classroom (Includes Freebies!)

Flipgrid is a website where teachers create "grids" of short discussion-style questions
that students respond to through recorded videos. Each grid is a message board where teachers can pose a question and their students can post 90-second video responses (in free version; longer in paid version) that appear in a tiled "grid" display.

How to Create a Flipgrid Assignment

Use the promo code ItWorked to try Flipgrid classroom for 45 days FREE!

Flipgrid Isn't Just For Exit Tickets

Assign students to:

1.  Read their favorite book and record their fluency.  Or, summarize a reading selection.  Classmates watch each other's summarizations and offer feedback or rank using a rubric.  

2.  Respond to a critical thinking question such as “Would you Rather...”  (i.e. Would you rather live near a volcano or on a fault line?  Or “How was reconstruction of the South after the Civil War successful?  Where did it fail?).

3.  Predict the impact on an ecosystem in the case of an overabundance of a species.  (i.e. There’s drought on the prairie.  What happens to the rabbits? Coyotes?  Other species?)

4.  Record a “Reading Selfie” - Read and record a passage from your library book.  Continue recording making connections "Text to Text", "Text to Self", "Text to World".

5.  Explain why we CAN'T excuse Dear Aunt Sally or Give My Dad A Sandwich!  What is the REAL order of Operations?!

6.  Poll classmates, create a graph then share data analysis via Flipgrid.

7.  Reflect on upcoming state testing by venting their feelings, concerns, where they feel confident and what they would like to review

8.  Practice presentations for a Biographical Wax museum or Science Fair.  Classmates offer a “glow” (what they enjoyed) and a “grow” (“Have you thought about...?")  to offer constructive feedback.  Or, record a message to parents for an Open House or Student Showcase.

9.  Record book review or commercial  to recommend interesting reads for peers
10.  Forecast the weather as a meteorologist.  What’s the difference between climate and weather?  What do the symbols on a weather map mean?  After studying local weather conditions, assign students to give today’s forecast as a meteorologist on Flipgrid.

11.  Be the Teacher!  Record a "HOW TO" on how to change a decimal into a fraction or how to edit a sentence or solve the problem of the day.

12.  Welcome incoming students at the beginning of the school year.  At the end of the year, current students record a Flipgrid to advise incoming students on what they loved about their grade and how to be successful in the upcoming year.

13.  Report on a research Project.

14.  Practice speaking English.  For dual-language students, Flipgrid can be used to provide opportunities for students learning English to practice their speaking.

15.  Record their SMART goal and/or record reflections on their achievement

Interested in AppSmashing with Flipgrid?

How will you use Flipgrid?  I would love to know.  Please share in the comments below.  Thank you for letting me share with you! 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

FREE Technology Tools and Lesson Plans

Whether you’re teaching one grade or several grades, it’s always a challenge to find FREE, ready-to-use  technology tools.  So I was thrilled to find 
Dreambox Teacher ToolsReady-To-Use interactive whiteboard lessons for 
grades K-8.
  • Don’t have a Dreambox subscription?  Don’t need one!
  • Don’t have an interactive whiteboard?  Don’t need one!

The list of Teacher Tools are in order by (1) grade then (2) skill. 

An example of a Kindergarten lesson uses an interactive, 2- wire Rekenrek and patterns of five and ten to help students count and subitize numbers to 20.

Along with each lesson is a sample lesson plan.  This one encourages collaboration between students and sharing different ways of solving problems.  

In a 4th grade lesson, students learn to use a bar model and equation to add fractions.    

The accompanying Sample Lesson Plan also encourages collaboration between students and sharing different ways of solving problems.  There are also tips on common misconceptions and tips for struggling students.

Go to Dreambox Teacher Tools and see if some of these ready-to-use tools and lessons would be useful to your students!  

Friday, March 16, 2018

Top 5 Best Elementary Math Blogs (Freebie Alert!)

My Top 5 Best Elementary Math Blog list, in no particular order, includes:
Click on image or text to go to Mr Elementary Math

Greg Coleman’s goal:  Make math fun while maximizing student achievement.  You can find ideas, resources, and videos on his webpage  and his blog.   

Freebie Alert #1     Subscribe to Mr. Elementary Math to receive Building Number Sense through 1,000 Flip & Go Math Cards.

Freebie Alert #2    Mr. Elementary Math offers many, many resources you may purchase on TpT and  over 50  FREE resources.  For Freebies, go to TpT, type in Keyword, Mr. Elementary Math and choose the “Free” Filter

Click on image or text to go to Math Coach's Corner

Donna Boucher shares over 20 years of experience (classroom teacher, math instructional coach, math interventionist, K-5 Math Coordinator) throughout her blog posts. 

Her approach:  Guide students in making sense of math for the deepest richest conceptual experience.  Resources are hands-on, student-centered games and activities. 

Freebie Alert #3    64  FREE resources, on Teachers Pay Teachers.  For Freebies, type in Keyword, Math Coach’s Corner and choose the “Free” Filter

Click on image or text to go to the Elementary Math Maniac

“I spend my days helping kids in grades K-6 construct their mathematical knowledge and make connections between things they have learned,” says the Elementary Math Maniac on her blog.   
Freebie Alert #4  Click on the Math Literature link to access a listing of over 100 K-8 math literature books, compiled from her Monday Math Literature blog posts then categorized by strand.  Click on a book title to retrieve personal notes about the book and how it was used in a classroom setting.  

Click on image or text to go to the Marilyn Burns Math Blog

Marilyn Burns has been offering expert resources for teaching math for over 50 years.  Through her blog she continues to offer thoughts about teaching math, suggestions from classroom experiences, useful links to resources, and problems to solve.

Click on image or text to go to Teaching to Inspire with Jennifer Findley

Jennifer Findley has been blogging about math since 2012,  She offers, “practical, research-based, teacher and student approved resources and ideas right at your fingertips". 

Freebie Alert #5    Subscribe to access a library full of freebies!
 These "5" are absolutely the best!  What's your favorite Elementary Math Blog?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Best Blog Post of 2018

Recently I read that the best advice for growing your blog is to


What have I been reading?

The most awesome blog entries I have been reading lately are written by Vicki Davis who writes the Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Home Page of Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Ms. Davis has been teaching high school for 15 years, teaching teachers how to use technology in the classroom for 20 years, blogging since 2005 and recording podcasts since 2013.  She’s earned numerous awards which you can read about on the bio written on her home page.

I take away rich, valuable, resources that I can apply from almost every share.

80 Days of Excellence

Ms. Davis is now writing a series of blogposts called, “80 Days of Excellence” which began January 1, 2018.  She has committed to learning and sharing about excellence each day, in some way.  Even though it’s now January 7th, these entries are timeless and can be easily accessed on Cool Cat Teacher Blog

What I am enjoying most about these posts is that Ms. Davis shares herself.  Her posts are rich and universal, in their truth and easily applied.  I find myself reflecting on her shares and trying different ways to increase excellence in my own life.

I could go on and on…

I hope you’ll visit Cool Cat Teacher Blog

No matter what you teach, or even if you don’t teach, I hope you check out this excellent blog!

Thank you for letting me share.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Which Operation Should I Use to Solve a Word Problem? -- Interactive Anchor Chart

Wanted:  Anchor Chart for choosing the correct operation for problem-solving

As my students and I discuss problem-solving, I have been looking for the “exact right” anchor chart as a visible reference for choosing the correct operation.  I’ve seen anchor charts that address addition vs. subtraction or multiplication vs division but not one that includes all four operations.


     I was viewing a video on YouTube called, Introduction to The Bar Model (Strip Diagram) - Math Problem Solving Method”.   The anchor chart I’ve been looking for was on the last screen! 

Last screen of video, "Introduction to the Bar Model"

 My rendition

I redrew this to make it larger (and add some color).  Here's what I came up with:

Make it Interactive?     

If you want to make this chart interactive, ask students to write words that helped them choose the correct operation on small sticky notes.  Tack under the appropriate strip diagram.  Words may include:

Total:  whole, biggest, everything, final amount

Addition:  in all, altogether, total, combine, sum, more

Multiplication:  each, equally, times, per, every, share, rate, product

Subtraction:  left, difference, change, how many (much) more, how many (much) less

Division:  each (also used for multiplication), one, divided, part, how many groups? Per (also used in multiplication), quotient

Share your Ideas

Do you have an idea for an anchor chart that illustrates which operation to use?  I’d love it if you would like to share it. 

Thank you for letting me share!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Share YouTube Videos with Students? NEVER! Unless...

There is an expansive universe of educational, engaging, and entertaining videos in YouTube.

So would I share YouTube Videos with my students?  

NEVER!!!  ...Unless...I can make them safe.  
How I do that is the subject of this video.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  Please share any feedback.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Looking for a Free No-Prep way to Review?

Turn a plain review into an exciting GAME!!!

Grab your task cards, review questions or vocabulary words, go to your desktop computer and click on the following link:

This site by Watson College of Education at the University of  North Carolina Wilmington, features:
  • Whole Class Games designed to involve the entire class at the same time, for use in a classroom setting where the teacher has their computer hooked up to a projector or large screen TV.
  •   Individual Games, designed to be used 1:1 computer and student.  Just input your questions, and the template has built in many games around them. As the student answer your questions the mini games get harder.  
  • Games Requiring No Preparation - Some downloadable templates are fully functional ready to play, you just grab your vocabulary or review questions and put the game up on the screen. 
  • Board Game Templates in Microsoft Word
  • Bingo Card Generator in Microsoft Excel Version 2003 or higher for Windows. 

Some games have YouTube tutorials, like Horse Race or Beach Rally:

Many features are free.  But, there is an upgrade to the Premium Website available for $19.99.

Hope you and your students have a blast - learning while playing!!!!