Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Student Technology Showcase at the Capitol

State Capitol BuildingLansing, MI 48933

Wow!  How exciting for our team!  We were invited to present at the 17th annual AT&T/MACUL/Michigan Virtual Student Technology Showcase at our State Capitol in Lansing.  This showcase allows lawmakers, business leaders and other citizens to see first-hand how technology is used in classrooms across Michigan. 

Our students will be representing our school and classroom by demonstrating best practices  of how technology enhances their learning.

If you would like what we are doing and want to leave a legacy in education, please support our program by making a donation.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Name Tags with a Touch

Every year Julie and I do matted pictures of our students to hang above their coat hooks/cubby area.

This year we wanted to make them a little more personalized.  
What we did...
1.  We took pictures of our incoming students on the last day of school.  If you didn't do that, ask parents to email you a picture.
2.  We sent out an email with a Google Form to parents asking for correct spelling of student names and to pick from a list of words, the one word that describes their child.

3.  We used... (Julie, brace yourself as I am finally giving away my secret design tool that I wanted to keep to myself)... to design our tags.

4.  We are adding the descriptive words that parents are picking out under student names.  We want students to associate themselves with more things than just students or kids... they are CREATORS, DESIGNERS, INNOVATORS, EXPLORERS, INVESTIGATORS AND MORE!

5.  We will be printing these as 4x4's.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

The Excellent 11 BOOK STUDY

Two Sassy Apples Book Study of

The Excellent 11 : Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children

Available on Amazon

We are using Two Sassy Apples for Educators Facebook Group for collaboration.  Please join us!

Members used Flipgrid to introduce themselves (must be a member of the closed group to participate and view these responses).

Enthusiasm: having intense and eager enjoyment...

"Be the master of your own identity." Ron Clark

Great Quote from the book: 
Adventure: an exciting or unusual experience

Great Quote from the book:

Chapter 3 Video Response

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Genius Makers Unfolding

Genius Makers Unfolding

Here is your peek at a moment in our classroom during Genius Maker time…

Things to notice:

  • Behavior
  • Collaboration
  • Thought Process
  • Innovation
  • Student Driven

When students have freedom of choice (materials used, project ideas, group members, etc), innovation, collaboration and leadership skills naturally thrive. We, (the teachers) are no longer running classroom behavior management systems, rather we are letting our environment set the tone.

How this began...
We started with "What do you do with an idea?" unit.

We read some of the books in the unit, we showed a few inspirational videos.
Students naturally began using the word "blueprints" instead of design sheets.  So of course we had to change too.

We continued to guide students and ask about their thinking.  

"How wonderful is it that no one needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." Anne Frank

If you are a member of our closed Facebook group Two Sassy Apples for Educators then you have free access to all the units/handouts.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Paper Mate Flair Pens.... Top on our School Supply List!

Number one on our school supply list for both teacher and students… PAPER MATE FLAIR PENS!  We, @twosassyapples can't go a day without these.  They are truly our go to writing utensil.  If you are asking why...we challenge you to get your hands on one and try it out!

Here are some reasons why…
  • The felt tip gives teacher and students a nice degree of control over line weight and quality, helping handwriting. 
  • They come in many rich colors that show up on nearly everything.
  • The vivid pigments and ink that won’t bleed through paper.  
  • They are acid free.
  • The plastic collar prevents the tip from fraying.
  • Students are excited to write when given these pens.  

The Paper Mate Flair pen gives a great writing experience every time, truly worth every penny.

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Organizing Your Classroom Library?

Tosha and I decided this year, in an attempt to be able to quickly hand students books at their "right fit level'" to get our library organized.   Our students also do AR so we decided we would label the AR books also in our process.  So our books were all put in one area of the classroom in piles... (it has to get worse before it gets better...don't be discouraged.)  We recruited parents who were willing to help.  We did a quick training on how to label the books.  Parents first looked up the books on  If they were Accelerated Reader they were labeled with the number.  Then we had parents look up the BAS level and we leveled each book.  We had students that wanted to help pitch in too... they quickly gained ownership in the process and in the care of the classroom library.  Resources can be found at the end of this post.

Once all the books were labeled we assigned volunteer students to each level of the library.  This helped with organization and maintenance of the library.  I made up tags and each student attached it to their section of the library.  We made a bucket for "book reshop" where students  could place books they found in their section that do not belong.  The students also checked daily the "reshop" bucket to see if there were any books that needed to be put in the section they were in charge of.

We have done some minor tweaking but basically this is our finished product along with some benches on both sides now that also hold books.

1.  Prints several copies of these AR Book Tags (very important: put on FRONT of the book)
All downloadable template can be found on our Two Sassy Apples for Educators Closed Facebook Page.  We used Avery Address Ink Jet Labels, 1 x 2-5/8 Inches, White, 30 Up, 10 Sheets 

2.  We used AR Book Finder to find AR number and then, because our school uses Fountas and Pinnell BAS, we used our conversion chart to convert the BL to BAS.

3.  We met with each student individually and shared their reading level.  We used a Reading Goal ladder type tracking system as a visual for students to see their goal.  Doing this help us significantly increase reading levels this year.  Students had a visual of where they were and where they needed to be.  Student would keep pushing for the next level.   On the right (in the bubbles) we showed students their NWEA Scores and talked about their goals.  On the right (looks like a building with floors) we put their initial level in the bottom floor and would continue to write their levels in the next floor as they increased.  

Again, all downloadable template can be found on our Two Sassy Apples for Educators Closed Facebook Page.  

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Monday, May 29, 2017

QR Codes in Education

Mobile learning is no longer the way of the future, it is the way now!   As educators we need to be implementing as much as we can in our daily classroom routines.  Using QR codes is a great way to harness some of this mobile learning in an effective an engaging way.   

Favorite Reader by Tap Media

IOS, Windows & Android
Tap Media QR Code Reader
Click to Visit
How to Create Your Own
Click for Tutorials


Meeting with the Editor: Students scan, fill out Google Form, watch a video of Teacher talking them through some revision tips we discuss in class, gives students another opportunity to check over their writing.  Students love the interaction and work hard to get to the point of checking in with the editor.  Google form gives teacher check in data.  

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 10.30.36 PM.png
Click for more- Book Read Alouds

 Back to School Letter
Click for more- Back to School Letter

 More Than a Picture
Click for more- All About Me
Student Created

Math with QR Codes

 Writing & QR Codes
Click for more- Writing & QR Codes

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