Tuesday, September 22, 2015

#TechTuesday #appslam 9/22

#techtuesday has arrived and I'm back with another #appslam for you!
Joine me on Periscope (Second_Grade_Sizzle) and I'll be doing my #appsam at 6:00 p.m. this evening. Until then, check out the apps I'll be slamming about and link up your posts below!

Monday, September 21, 2015

#moveyourbusmonday Chapters 4 & 5

Hello everyone!
Welcome back to another #moveyourbusmonday Book Study post! 
If you haven't joined yet and you'd like to sign up to host a section on your blog, no worries. We still have a few spots open, just click here
We would love for you to join us by linking up each week so we can transform Monday into a motivational #moveyourbusmonday each week!
Don't have a blog? No problem! Join the chats on our Periscope, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.
If you would like to purchase this fabulous book written by THE Ron Clark, click here
4: Riders are dead weight
#realtalk Just reading that title I thought, AMEN. 
To begin the chapter, Ron describes a rider and their thought process. 
Riders have "picked up their feet and are sitting there cross-legged!" Regardless of what is happening on the bus or with the bus, the riders are not involved. A rider will sit and watch others work, all the while expressing how they do not like their seat. A rider contributes next to nothing to the bus, however they feel 100% entitled to be riding. 
His analogy of riders being a "black hole of negative energy" allows you to see the picture he is painting of a rider. They do not care about their own personal success, let alone the success of the organization. Riders also tend to be a source of frustration to the Runners and Joggers. 
I also found it interesting to reflect on all of the previous jobs I have had, teaching and non teaching, and think about his theory of bosses paying extra attention to the riders. I can definitely see this has happened in my experiences. Riders tend to be the ones who are looking at change or new directions with a lens of negativity. It can almost feel as if they are actively looking for something to complain about. In my teaching life, Riders make me think of those teachers who sit in their rooms, in the lounge, or even stand in the hallway and complain. ALL. DAY. LONG. 
The people who you can't even think of one conversation you've had with them that didn't involve their circus or their monkeys attacking you. 
Bosses tend to pay extra attention to Riders in efforts to pull them along and make them see and work towards "the vision" of the organization. 

Chapter 5: Drivers Steer the Organization
The Driver of the bus is just as it would seem. This is the person leading and steering the bus. Ron's describes his philosophy from his experiences that have led him to steer his organization something like this: he "supports the Runners first and then, when they're off and running, I turn my attention to the Joggers, Walkers, and Riders either to help them improve or to kick them off the bus."
Ron then describes a situation where there was one particular rider at a former school that bothered him so much he begged the teacher to co-teach a lesson with him. While watching this teacher he realized a major point that I #puffyheartlove:
"I don't care how smart you are, if you don't have a strong work ethic, then you are slowing down the bus."
You guys, I'm telling you this next part is moving. 
We've all tried to help a rider, because we're teachers and that's what we DO.
But stop. 
As Ron says, we don't want to spend our life getting riders to walk. That's not going to fly our bus. Focusing resources, time, and attention on Runners will fuel the fire from the top down. Ron discovered that just giving 10 seconds of sincere praise, or by taking one task off the plate of a Runner actually made them more productive. Runners always add something back to their plate. 
"Having Runners maintain their speed is far more beneficial than having on Rider drop her feet and begin to walk."
And I loved this next part. 
Ron talked with his staff and said that on their bus, they were going to Run. Our goals are far too important to walk or ride. He also "let staff know that each of them may not necessarily want to run or jog, and I said that if that were the case, then that was okay because there were other buses they could get on."
That is so POWERFUL.

Imagine if we all had that leadership and passion. 
Ron also tells Runners to allow yourself to make a mistake. Let that mistake go, Don't let it crush your spirit and weigh you down. 
He also advises administrators:
 "As an administrator, there is nothing you can do that is more detrimental to the organization than kill the spirit of your Runners."
If you haven't gotten this book yet... DO IT!!!!!!

Join us next week when Amanda Patterson from Patterson in Primary  will be hosting the next set of chapters from Part 2: How to Accelerate.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tech Tuesday- Symbaloo!

Welcome back to #techtuesday! 
I've had requests for another #appslam, so I will definitely put one in the books for next week. 

Today, I'm sharing about a simple tool that I discovered last year that makes BOTH teacher life and student life easier. 
Have you heard of it?!
You HAVE to check it out!
Symbaloo can be used with any amount of technology you have in your classroom. If you have 1:1 like I do, you will love this. If you have a handful of devices, you will love it, it's that simple- I promise!
When you click to head over to Symbaloo, this is what you will see. 
Once you sign up for Symbaloo, you can change your background and the tiles that are displayed on the screen. 
Here's what I use it for:
Ya'll know I am a NGLE 1:1 Chromebook classroom. 
Instead of my kids having 80,987,674,858,486,354 "favorites" tabs, 
they just have ONE. 
My Symbaloo I created and shared with them. 

How is this helpful, you ask?

1. At the beginning of the year, I used my Hapara magic only once to open a tab for my students. Once they have my Symbaloo as a tab, all they have to do is click on the tab and can easily choose which site they need for their station. 
2. I can modify/change/add to my Symbaloo with just a few clicks at any time, anywhere.
Throughout the year if I discover a new site, all I have to do is add the tile to my Symbaloo and it's done. It doesn't matter if little Stevie was absent that day, All Stevie has to do is go to the Symbaloo page and it's there. I don't have to do anything when Stevie comes back to get him on the site! 
3. When Chromebook issues occur, at least in my classroom, they typically result in a HelpDesk ticket to our tech peeps at my school. Normally, it has something to do with the keyboard, mouse track, or a sweet darling accidentally broke their headphone jack and it's stuck in their computer. When an issue occurs where the motherboard (We just stepped into Star Trek, did you feel it?!) has to be removed, their computer is almost wiped clean. They have to completely log back in with their entire email and ALL of their tabs are GONE. The mouse track and the headphone jack issue have both happened to my classroom just this week. If I had my kids "favorite" every site we use on a daily basis, I would have had to sit down with  different kids yesterday and add all of those tabs again. #aintnotbodygottimeforthat 
Instead, I only had to use my Hapara magic to open on tab and they were done. 
Here's a peek at what my Symbaloo looks like. 
I have Math Stations on the left (Math is in the morning for us) and ELA stations on the right.
Across the bottom are the Free Choice Friday sites the kids can choose for 20 minutes if they earned their free choice on Friday. I also have a GC/other resources section and sites our music teacher uses as well. 
I hope you find Symbaloo as a useful tool for your classroom!
Link up your #techtuesday post below, or comment with a #techtip!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Tech Tuesday 9/7 Word Work Tech Integration

Welcome back to #techtuesday friends!

Today I'm excited to bring you how I implement my new monthly Word Work packs by using Google Slides and Google Classroom to assign tasks to my kiddos. 
First, let's take a quick peek at my August/September Word Work pack
(Also included with my Writing Center MEGA Pack in a BUNDLE found here.)
To begin, I use the fabulous Amanda Madden's Second Grade Differentiated Spelling Unit found here. 
My Word Work packs follow the same features as those spelling lists. What I needed for my 2nd graders was a way to implement word work that would mesh their spelling lists, sight word lists, and still be able to integrate technology. 

Each week includes links to lessons, videos, songs, and games for the feature. 
Following those links are interactive notebooking pages, worksheet pages, and a craft or game for each feature. 

The best part?
I created assignments for my kiddos in Google Slides! 
Check out this video showing you how. 
Let me know what questions you have after viewing the video and I'd love to answer them!

#moveyourbusmonday Introduction + Part 1: Get on the BUS!

Hello everyone!
Welcome to the first #moveyourbusmonday Book Study post! 
Erica from The Inspired Teacher and I are thrilled to be kicking off our book study today. 
If you haven't joined yet and you'd like to sign up to host a section on your blog, no worries. We still have a few spots open, just click here
We would love for you to join us by linking up each week so we can transform Monday into a motivational #moveyourbusmonday each week!
Don't have a blog? No problem! Join the chats on our Periscope, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.
If you would like to purchase this fabulous book written by THE Ron Clark, click here

Without further ado, let's #getthispartystarted


First of all, I love that the foreword is written by Sean Covey. I was previously aware that Ron Clark and FranklinCovey have been aligned for several years; however teaching at Leader in Me school, I appreciate that Ron Clark is aligned with the Leader in Me Transformation Process. Mr. Covey outlins Ron Clark's history as not only a remarkable businessman heading the multi million-dollar organization, The Ron Clark Academy, but as a world class educator. He also points out how this book is applicable to any business or organization, because this "insightful book is all about the pursuit of excellence, in whatever role you may play." 

Introduction: What does a bus have to do with my business?
Part 1: Get on the Bus

I had the pleasure of (actively) listening to Ron Clark in the Spring of this year. 
If you've never had the #ronclarkexperience I IMPLORE you to seek him out!
As soon as I began reading the introduction of the book, he already had me laughing. Seriously, think about how insanely busy Ron Clark is.... and then read his comparison of being "busier than a centipede at a toe-counting contest"- hilarious! 
Moving further into the introduction, Ron briefly outlines his motivation for wanting to effect change within the organizations we take part in. 
One of the reasons I love that Ron Clark discusses how the methods he uses at his school can be implemented into fortune 500 companies, or any company for that matter, is because this can CHANGE the perspective of educators.  
We all know that as teachers we don't always get the best reputation.... or the most support. 
It's an intriguing idea that we, as educators, impact the business world as well. 
The same methodologies and practices we use can revolutionize a FORTUNE 500 company. 

If you've never heard the analogy of the bus, Ron outlines the analogy here in the introduction.
Here's the run down:
The bus represents your business, specifically the goals and achievements you hope to reach as an organization. 
Your bus has no gas and no gas tank. Your energy is being fueled by the people on your team, including YOU.
If everyone performed at the top of their game, success is inevitable. 
Of course, not everyone works at the top of their game. 
There are Runners, Joggers, Walkers, Riders, and Drivers. 
Each chapter will begin with a short fable about how these Runners, Joggers, Walkers, Riders, and Drivers think about their jobs and how they interact with one another in their efforts to move the bus. 

The introduction and segway into Part 1 get me pumped to #movemybus and excited to read on to find out just how I can help effect change in myself and my school. #buckleup and let's "get ready for our first ride on the bus!"

I can't wait to read your thoughts on the introduction and to read Chapter 1 for next week!
Link up your blog post below, or head over to our Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope accounts to chat with us. 

Follow these steps to join the linky:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Classroom Reveal 2015-2016

It's here, it's here!!
My Classroom Tour for the 2015-16 year is finally here!
Just to forewarn you, this post is jam-packed FULL of pictures- but there are TONS of freebies sprinkled throughout!
Some of my most favorite tours from other #teacherbloggers include TONS of pictures, so I'd like to include the same in this post.
MOST of what you'll see can be found in my Bundle pack here.
You'll notice that I do have some student work and anchor charts posted (we just wrapped up day 7!), but we are still missing a few pieces here and there as we introduce more concepts!
You'll also notice the beautiful windows made some of the pictures glare and the lime green color a little off, but after teaching in a room with no windows for 4 years, I wouldn't trade my windows for ANYTHING! :)

I also have an interactive whiteboard, but my projector hangs from my ceiling and the equipment is hidden in a cabinet behind my teacher desk.
Let's get started!
This bulletin board is outside of my classroom as you walk in. Each month, we will add to our bulletin board, Check back for the updates and info!
I have already taken photos of the kiddos holding up a chalkboard with what they would like to be when they grow up. We will research what they will need to do to achieve their dream and add to this board each month.

We've also completed All About Me posters for our large space in the hallway.
 Our Leaders RISE board. The RISE acronym I saw on the Brown Bag Teacher's Periscope earlier this summer- I believe it's her school's motto of some sort! I loved it so much, I had to merge it with another board I found on Pinterest.

Here we go! Starting at the door and spanning around the room.

We have our sight word data already added! Working on Guided Reading levels this week!

I've already had tons of questions on IG and FB about my alternative seating.
Let me know what questions you have and I will be posting a follow up post this week!
I'm joining tons of #teacherbloggers and some of my #bloggybesties in the #getherwearebetter linky! :)