Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bust the Burglar

I love it when a random idea turns out to be one of the best things I could do for my students.  I have been trying to figure out an interactive way to engage all of my kiddos and I seem to have finally stumbled upon it...meet my burglars.  To be more precise BUST those BURGLARS!
video

This new series, Bust the Burglar, allows students to work together to find the 6 burglars hiding out in their learning.

Students must read, solve, and identify while on the hunt for the burglars.
I love the whole group practice, but I really appreciate that this can become a center that everyone wants to play over and over.

The kiddos enjoy using the rekenrek to solve some of their math facts.


What do you think?  What concepts do you want covered in this series?  

Swing on over to my Facebook page for a chance to win this bundle.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Whole Lot of Mojo

I can't believe that we are already more than a month into the school year!  My new firsties are grooving through their routines and making this teacher very proud.  I have to say it is really great to be able to look back and see how much they have already grown.
September's Data

You are probably thinking, who is this crazy lady with a bunch of data this early in the school year?!?  My data is ClassDojo!   If are are not familiar with ClassDojo, you can check out my other posts here.
ClassDojo has not only allowed me to track positive and negative behaviors, but it has allowed me to communicate with parents.  ClassDojo has a messenger feature which allows for quick and effective communication with parents.  I love that I can not only send out messages to the whole class, but to individual parents.  With this feature, I have been able to share real time behavior information, pictures of kiddos working to document an awesome day, and so much more.  Recently, ClassDojo messenger allowed me to schedule all of my fall conferences.
Fall conferences are one of the most important meetings I will have with families each year.  Unfortunately, scheduling them is a pain in the booty!  With the ease of ClassDojo messenger, I was able to contact families quickly and find out if specific times worked verses having to send notes and reminders via "The Blackhole" AKA a student's backpack.
The messenger even lets me see who has viewed the message and when!  Too cool!!!

So, a quick story: The other day, one of my colleagues was frantically hustling back to their classroom after dropping their students off in their after school locations.  I asked what was going on, and they responded that they forgot to send home a student's behavior plan and needed to quickly locate it and get it to the family.  I understand that new ideas, gizmos, and concepts frighten and overwhelm some people, but sometimes embracing something new, like ClassDojo, can make your life easier.  If that colleague used ClassDojo to track just that one student's behavior and the messenger function to talk with parents, they wouldn't have been running frantically back to their classroom.  Just a thought!

Do you Dojo?  What do you love about it?  What struggles do you find with it?