Saturday, August 22, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: Tagxedo (Freebie)

I really enjoy getting to know my students the first couple of weeks of school.  Today, I am linking up with the fabulous Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching to share one of my favorite activities from the past couple of years. 

I love using with my students.  It is so much fun to see the words and shapes they choose to describe themselves.  I have created a couple of forms that I hope will make things run more smoothly as students are getting back into their routines and learning a new program.

First, I have students list 20 words about themselves.  Here are mine.

I have the students turn in their words so that I can check them over (and get an idea of who they are "at a glance").  After I have checked the words, I model how the program works by typing in my words.  Here's how my sample turned out.  (If you know me, you won't be at all surprised by the shape I chose!)

When the student go off to create their own shape word cloud, I give them this set of directions to make sure they stay on task and minimize "How do I...?" questions.

 If you are interested in downloading these two forms to assist your students in creating their own word clouds, you can download them here or by clicking on the image below.

Do you use in your classroom?  I would love to hear some new ideas for how to use this awesome site!

Now, I am off to check out the other motivating ideas that are linked up.  A huge thank you to Joanne for hosting this awesome linky!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Personal Word Wall

Hello Everyone!  I just finished my first full week of school.  It was definitely a huge adjustment after the summer.  However, I have been blessed with a great class, and I am very excited to see what this year has in store.

This summer, I worked on a couple of things to help improve my writing workshop.  One of the tools I created for my students was personal word walls for my students.  I got the idea from some professional development I attended this summer.

The idea is for students to record the words that are challenging for them to spell.  Because there are so many different levels in my class, I love the idea of individualized word lists.  Students will record their words on these sheets.

I stapled each page to a file folder that I am going to allow students to decorate.  I can easily attach more sheets, as needed.

I am looking forward to incorporating personal word walls in my classroom soon!  Students will then have a writing resource as well as their own personal list for Word Work during Daily 3 time.

If you have used personal word walls in your classroom, I would love to hear any thoughts or advice.  If you would like to give mine a try, I put them on a Google doc that you can access here.  I will let you know how this works in my classroom.

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Thank you, and have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Scoop

Wow!  One week of summer  left!  I am linking up with the Teaching Trio to share some of my plans for my final week of summer.

I will definitely be in my classroom every day this week.  I will post pictures on Instagram as I complete projects, and I will definitely share a blog post when my room is student-ready.  I'm also squeezing in a trip to the dentist, trainer, salon, and a happy hour.

I never seem to get close to finishing all of the books I plan on reading over the summer, but at least I put a pretty good dent in the stack.  This week, I should be able to finish these two.

 Finally, I am super excited about the big TPT sale Monday and Tuesday!  I have a total of 98 items on my wishlist.  The challenge will be to narrow down my list to what will meet my most immediate needs.

I will also participate in this sale as a seller.  I have been able to create and update several items in my store this summer.  I hope you have time to check it out!

Thank you!