Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saving Your Sanity With Nearpod: Part 1

Are you implementing 1:1 devices into your classroom for the first time and don't know where to start? 

Have you had 1:1 devices for more than one year and looking for an online tool to help your classroom move into the 21st century? 

Well, you are in luck! Look no further than the online tool, Nearpod. During the first part of this blog post, I will introduce you to Nearpod and some ways that it can be used to transform your classroom.

Last year was the first year that our school tested the 1:1 program with our 6th graders. It was definitely an experience to try to teach computer skills along with ELA content and to find the most effective ways to do this. It was not until the last few months of the school year that my master teacher introduced me to Nearpod. I was instantly amazed at what this online tool could do and began thinking how I could use this to transform my classroom. The rest of the school year was a learning process on how to create effective presentations and use them in my classroom. It was definitely a trial and error process, but it helped me work out the kinks and troubleshoot for this school year.

Besides the fact that it can your classroom move towards being paperless and provides you with instant results, I also love the fact that Nearpod can help create and implement a differentiated lesson with its' two sharing methods, Live Session and Homework. By sharing a Live Session presentation with your students, you are in complete control of the presentation. Once students enter the session pin, they are connected to your computer or device. This helps keep students on track and engaged in the interactive presentation. If you have students who are higher and can advance at a faster pace than the rest of the class, you can share the presentation as Homework. The Homework feature allows student to be in control of the presentation. This will allow you to effectively run a differentiated lesson in your classroom.

Once you create your account and log in, this will be your home screen. It will allow you to create your own presentation, buy pre-made presentations, share your presentations with your students, and access your reports.

 In the My Library tab, you will have a collection of all of the presentations that you have created in your Nearpod account. They will be organized from the newest to oldest presentations created.

In the My Presentations Tab, you can create and publish a new presentation, preview, share or clone an existing presentations or delete presentations.

One of my favorite parts of Nearpod is the Reports tab. It makes analyzing student work and data tracking so much easier. At the end of each presentation, you get a detailed report of student participation and answers. You get a breakdown of each student response for the questions that you have incorporated into your presentation. It will let you know which students answered questions correctly and what students' incorrect answers are. The best part is that all of the reports are stored electronically in your account so that you can access them at any time. You even have the option of downloading an report on your entire class or individual students.

As you can see, this program can help you to engage your students in your content while helping them practice technology skills that are critical for 21st century learners. For teachers, it will help make your life easier by giving you a manageable way to track students' progress and understanding. 

Stay tuned for Part Two of Saving Your Sanity With Nearpod where I show you how to create a Nearpod presentation.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Woohoo! It's Giveaway Time!

2 Peas & a Dog is having a Triple B Giveaway to celebrate her Birthday, Back to School, and her Blogversary! I've joined in the celebration with other amazing TPT sellers to offer you a chance to join in on the celebration! Scroll down to see the awesome collection of prizes in the 6th-8th grade giveaway prize pack!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 3, 2014

TPT Back to School Sale- Blast to the Past Edition!

Who's ready for a blast to the past thanks to the TPT Back to School Sale? Well, I joined some AMAZING middle and high school sellers on TPT to travel back in time to our final year of high school! For me, that would be 2003. The year that saw the launch of the iTunes store, Ruben Studdard winning American Idol, the Columbia Space Shuttle tragedy, the capture of Saddam Hussein, and so much more. 

Check out all the other TPT middle and high school sellers below for some amazing resources:

Blast off To the Super Secondary Yearbook Past!
TpT Back to School Site Wide Sale - Up to 28% off the entire site
August 4th and 5th, 2014 
Promo Code at Check out- BTS14

*Participating Stores:
Danielle Knight
Juggling ELA
The SuperHERO Teacher
The Creative Classroom
Teaching High School Math
All Things Algebra
Miss Math Dork
James Whitaker
For the Love of Teaching Math
The Classroom Sparrow
Teaching Math by Hart
2 Peas and a Dog
Addie Williams
21st Century Math Projects
Michele Luck’s Social Studies
Margaret Whisnant
Created by Mr. Hughes
Making it as a Middle School Teacher
Tracee Orman
Science Stuff
Teaching FSL
Kate’s Classroom CafĂ©
FisherRena Education
Darlene Anne
Mrs. S
Pamela Kranz
Liz’s Lessons
The Tutor House
The Career Ready Teacher
Secondary Solutions
Live. Love. Math
Charlene Tess
A Space to Create

Now what are you waiting for? Start shopping now! :)

Take A Look At What's New In My Classroom!

 I always tell myself at the end of the school year that I am not going to completely redo my classroom and spend countless hours and days getting it ready. Every summer it never fails that I do just that. Well, that was until this summer. I absolutely loved everything that I already put in my classroom and knew that I just had a few minor decorations to add. (Click here and here to see all the things I did last summer in my classroom!)

One of the biggest items on my list was figuring out what to put on one of my bulletin boards. I wanted it to be more than just a space filled with reading or literature posters. I knew that I wanted it to be something to pique my students' interest and get them curious about reading, but how? Then an idea came to me. What if I picked quotes from my favorite novels and turned them into works of art? While I am definitely not the best artist and this turned into being a truly challenging task, I have to say that I am extremely happy with the outcome.

Harry Potter
The Fault in Our Stars

Heroes of Olympus Series


I didn't like the space so I decided that I needed to add at least two more paintings.

If I Stay
Combining books and Doctor Who :)

The finished product :)

Then of course, there were the Pinterest projects (Reach for Success and Wall of Champions) that I saw and knew that I had to include in my classroom:

I saw this and decided to modify it to fit my students.

Students who score well on assessments and who show growth will be able to showcase their accomplishments here.

In addition, it was time to update my "Wall of Wisdom" with some new posters and a special classroom expectations poster that I designed:

Speaking of expectations, I also updated my computer expectations after a full year of being 1:1 to address some of the biggest issues that we had last school year. 

One of the last things that I worked on was revamping some of the organizational structures that I use in my classroom so that they would be ready to go for the first days of school. These structures are such an important part of ensuring that I do not lose instructional time during transitions and allow my students to know exactly where things are located.

I have this set up for each of my classes. The pink baskets hold their SSR books, the large bins are for their data folders, and the folder box contains their SSR reading logs. Each class has a different color system.

I use the laptop signs to let my students know how we are using laptops during class today. This allows students to know what to do with their laptops as soon as they sit down. Click here to get your own!

I have one bucket of supplies per two students.

The buckets contain markers, colors, color pencils, glue sticks, and scissors.

I created this labels to go inside our highlighter boxes.

I supply these highlighters so that my students are able to use them to closely read the text.

Here is what my room looked like when I first walked into it this summer:

Here is what it looked like after: 

It's hard to believe that another summer has come and gone so quickly; however, I am truly excited about what this new school year will bring.

Enjoy the rest of your summer,