Monday, February 5, 2018

Iron Chef Slides

I was introduced to Iron Chef slides at sessions I have attended by Jon Corippo and Cori Orlando. The goal is to crowd-source information and have students share it with their classmates in a short amount of time.

My first activity, suggested to me by Jon Corippo, was to have students research Parkinson's Law. In the slideshow, I added my directions and the secret ingredient, which is an additional piece they have to explain in their presentation. I then added 15 blank slides and labeled them Group 1, Group 2, through 15. 

Students got into partners and I went over the directions with them. They would have 10 minutes to research Parkinson's Law AND create a single slide to share information. We discussed the difference between thin and thick slides. Thin slides, which have images, a quote, or single words, have the presenters actually talking to the audience. On the flip side we have thick slides which are filled with text and could be copied into a paragraph, these type of slides usually have the presenters reading right off the screen. I encouraged my students to create their very best thin slide.

On Google Classroom, I added the presentation to an assignment and gave them all editing rights so it would be one complete slideshow.  As soon as the students were ready, I started the time and played the "Iron Chef" theme song to add to the mood.  My kids flipped out! Some of them were really into it and others struggled where to begin. It was interesting to hear conversations during this time and how the students organized themselves with the work load.  

When it came time to present, there were a few groups who did not finish, so we had a discussion of what their game plan would be for next time and what they learned from this first activity.  

I have seen this project be done using vocabulary words, academic vocabulary, researching important people and so much more!  Jon even recommended using this with the book, Who Moved My Cheese, in place of the typical Book in an Hour activity.

You can see my students' activity below:

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy Techie Tuesday!

It's another Techie Tuesday! I hope your week has gotten off to a great start!  Check out this edition for some great Google Chrome suggestions from #DitchBook Twitter chat, amazing TED talk suggestions and more!

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Day 11 #Trickle Challenge - #OneWord2018

#OneWord2018 has been all over Twitter and through the Hyperdocs group on Facebook. I had heard of this last year a bit, but never looked further into it. To be honest, I never quite understood it and how it was so revolutionary over selecting a New Year's Resolution.  This year I decided to give it a shot and learn more about it.

I found the #OneWord2018 Hyperdoc by Sean Fahey in the Hyperdocs group on Facebook. Looking over it, I liked the videos he included and thought it looked like fun. Honestly, I never thought it would have the impact it did one me personally.  

I thought long and hard about what my one word would be for the year. I constantly flip flopped back and forth over words - balance, creativity, etc. I decided to move on and watch one of the video clips I had never seen before, so that I could preview it before showing it to my class.  The impact this clip had on me... was crazy. Watch the clip below before continuing to read this post.

Facing The Giants - Death Crawl Scene.

After watching this I just sat there staring at my computer screen.  Thoughts began flooding through my mind as I quickly wrote them down to be sure to share with my class the next day.  

How many times do we limit ourselves by just setting a goal? How much further could we push ourselves if we could not see a physical goal and had to work our best all year? 

The next day I showed this clip to my class and they sat in silence after it was done. I was worried they were in a daze wondering what the point was, but it was the exact opposite!  They were on the same page I was! They were blown away by the clip.  We had a great discussion using the questions above as well as other ideas they brought up.

We talked about why one word would be such a better driver for the new year than setting a New Years Resolution, which when reached, seems like a dead end.  My students were so pumped and on board! Keep an eye on my Twitter for pictures of their #OneWord2018 drawings.

So.... after all of this... yes I finally came up with my one word:


With having jumped into the #TrickleChallenge, researched how to be a better story writer, and starting to take a lot more pictures of everything. I decided I would follow and share my passions this year.

What's your #OneWord2018? Share in the comments below!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Day 9 #TrickleChallenge - Student Grading

As a teacher, nothing is more frustrating than when your students do not follow directions.  This is especially true if you have gone over the directions and expectations MANY times!

My students were preparing to take a ELA benchmark test. I had reiterated the fact as to what their short answers should look like and how they should include text evidence, explanations, etc.  We talked about how long it should be around and what an example would look like. We did the exact same thing for the essay question that is required at the end of the test.  I spent an entire block of time, just going over expectations and the general directions they would be assigned.  My students were pumped, I was pumped and thinking "They've got this!"

Last night I began grading the short answer and essay questions and I went on a rollercoaster of emotions.  It started with "Okay, this is decent..." and went to "What were they thinking?!" and then a few light bulbs "Yes they got it!".  I knew I had to do something to get their attention, because apparently lecturing and class discussions weren't cutting it. (Lecture... duh... terrible idea x.x)

Today during our ELA block I explained my rollercoaster of emotions with their answers last night and that today THEY were going to grade the answers of their peers.  I put together a Google Doc and had put the passages, questions, and anonymous answers on it. I selected a range of answers that took me on the rollercoaster of emotions, so the kids could see some great answers but also see the ones that were frustrating. I told the kids that if they recognized their answer they should not say anything, but LISTEN to what the other students were saying. The best type of criticism and critique is when it completely unbiased. 

As a class, we went over the rubric and the exact questions from the text. We went into detail as to what the question was asking and what the answer should have included in it. We had a great discussion and I really feel, them knowing they would be grading their peers (or themselves) really helped put a different spin on things. The kids were a lot more involved in this discussion than previously.

Once we had everything established, the students got into peers and began to re-read the passages and grade the answers of their peers. They were so critical!  It was refreshing though because they began to see the same type of issues I had seen, but it felt like they knew these problems were real and I wasn't just exaggerating.  The students worked together, leaving comments on the answers and giving them a score. They then put all of the information into a Google Form, so I could compare their scores to mine. 

It was definitely an eye opening experience for them and they enjoyed it a lot. I was impressed by the conversations that were going on in the partners and groups as they were grading.  Several kids exclaimed that they totally understood why I had gotten so frustrated grading and how ridiculous it was students could not follow directions.

I would definitely do this again with the peer grading to CLEARLY set better expectations and make it more personal, rather than looking over exemplars from a book.
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Days 5 - 8 #TrickleChallenge

I shared Days 5 - 8 of #TrickleChallenge on Twitter:

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @CampsCrusaders
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New Year! New Techie Tuesday

Happy New School Year everyone!

Here is the newest edition of Techie Tuesday. If you wish to be automatically updated when they are published you can click the "Follow" button on the right hand side. 

As always, I am always looking for new ideas to include or to drive the newsletter. Please feel free to comment here with any suggestions or comments.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Day 4 #TrickleChallenge - Morning Activities

For Day 4, I thought I would start with our morning activities my class.
I like to be consistent on the morning routine, so then the students know exactly what to expect every morning. It's nice because if there is something I need to handle the kids go in and get right to it.
Now I know many are thinking that they are doing seat work or just go in and silent read, because those are very predictable routines and there are some mornings where I do have my students come in and silent read just to change things up a bit. The activities I have my students working on are collaborative and allow the students to be out of their seat. 
There are several activities they work on, but they can select the order they work on them. My students know by a certain time so much of the work should be done, if not fully completed. 
Here are our morning activities: 
Whiteboard Discussion: The kids LOVE these and you can find a TON of ideas on Pinterest

Scrabble: 9 Scrabble tiles are placed on the board and the students have to make words using them. Students cannot use the same word twice. There are three 'winners': Newest word, Longest word, Most points
The next several Math activities are condensed into a Google Slideshow that is assigned through Google Classroom. Students are encouraged to collaborate with others.

Here is what their Slideshow looks like: Math Routines Day 7

Number of the Day: Students are given an answer to an equation and they have to come up with the equation to get that answer. They then get to write their equation on the whiteboard.
Which One Doesn't Belong: Students have to select which number/shape/graph/equation does not belong in the set. This website is amazing with the variety of problems it offers for all ages!
Problem Solving: Using problems from, students fill in the blanks to complete the problem.
Estimation 180: This wonderful website gives you an estimation problem for each day of school! I love these activities and the great math discussions that stem from it.
Would You Rather: Students have to use math to defend their choice. This site has some very high interest 'Would You Rather' from traveling to selecting the best deal on Halloween candy.
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