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 arbookfinder.com.  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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