Thursday, October 25, 2012

Remind 101

With conferences coming up, are you looking for an easy way to reinforce the home-school connection? Remind101 just might be what you're looking for!

I discovered Remind 101 from a blog post on Mrs. Stanford's page. It is a quick and easy way to send students/parents a short reminder of something happening in your classroom. She says:

"Long story short you invite parents to join by text or email and what the app allows you to do is shoot a quick text/email through their server to your subscribers!! This way you don't have to give out your cell number or anything! It works just like any major companies text services... You know those text 493493 to 32098432 to receive updates about blahblahblah?? Well this is it!"

Here is how it is set up after registering:

And this is what the parents will see:

They can also sign up via email:

To send everyone who has subscribed a message, you can use their website or an app you can download from them:

You can also schedule messages for later!! Have folders due each Friday? Why not shoot a text reminding parents Thursday night to sign and return them in the morning?

Did I forget to mention:

The only drawback is they can not respond back to the text... but maybe you don't want them to :) 

If it's something you want to try with your class, I'd suggest setting it up and then hanging a poster or flyer outside of your classroom during conferences so parents can sign up while they wait to see you! Let me know if you try it and how it works!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Election Resources

I've seen several resources for bringing the election into the classroom over the last few weeks. Here are some of what I thought were most kid-friendly:

This unit from Teachers Pay Teachers has something that could be adapted for every grade level. Click the link to download it. 

Gallopade has an Elections for Kids site:

Scholastic also has an Election 2012 site with information and games. 

I thought this game in particular on Scholastic was interesting for 3rd or 4th grade. You are a "party" and are trying to get the 270+ electoral votes needed to win the election, and you choose which states you are going to "win". Of course as I was playing I was thinking about the population of each state, so it might be a good way to put the electoral college in perspective for students. Maybe play it as a whole class and generate a discussion!

PBS Kids also has The Democracy Project with activities.

How about just taking a tour of the White House?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


BiblioNasium is a community for parents, teachers, and students ages 6-12 to connect with each other and share their favorite books. It allows you to give your students a "guide" as they independently read. 

Click below to take a "tour" of BiblioNasium:

Some of the things you can do using BiblioNasium are:

- Monitor what students are reading and help them expand their genre choices
- Track what level books students are reading based on the Lexile scores of the books
- Create virtual bookshelves of what students are reading and want to read
- Students are encouraged to write book recommendations, which fosters peer-to-peer connections with reading

While I haven't gotten to try out BiblioNasium myself, it looks like a fun way to get students excited about independent reading!

It was also featured in The Journal this summer; check out the article here:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Exciting News!

I am oh so excited..!

A couple weeks ago I found this awesome blog called the Technology Tailgate... and now I am a "coach" on it!

According to its founder, Karla:

"Technology Tailgate is a network of technology blogs.  We are dedicated to showcasing technology in the classroom. This blog was created with a vision for teachers to collaborate, share ideas and demonstrate real ways technology is being used in the classroom. In order to meet the expectations of Common Core standards, students must be using a variety of digital tools to learn and produce work. The goals of this blog are to inspire and excite one another and to provide useful ways to incorporate technology into our everyday lessons in order to meet both interests of our students and the expectations of Common Core."

I have made 2 posts on the Technology Tailgate already and can't wait to do more! Check out the Technology Tailgate to see several amazing ideas from awesome techie teachers!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Projects by Jen: Pumpkin Seed Project

Calling all K-3 teachers! Projects by Jen is hosting their 7th annual Pumpkin Seed Project, and sign-ups started October 1st. 

If you aren't familiar with Projects by Jen, she hosts several themed educational projects each year to connect classrooms and teachers across the globe. Some of her projects include the O.R.E.O project, St. Patrick's Day, Holiday Card, etc. One of my favorites is something she does each day, which is Guess the Wordle:

So, for the Pumpkin Seed Project, she has several activities, resources, and instructions on how to participate. I love the idea of the "Pumpkin Fashion Show". Hopefully I'll get to do this with students in my lab! Check out the link and let me know if you choose to participate in this great project.