Blog for EDM #2 Student Engagement with Spelling Words

I am always trying to find interesting ways to keeps my students engaged, and quite frankly it can get very tiring.  I spend my weekends doing lesson plans, grading papers, and researching fun learning engaging ways to keep students active in their learning. My go to places are teachers pay teachers and pinterest. (I am sure that most teachers are familiar with both of these). I am usually pretty successful in the activities, and they go rather smoothly in class. The most challenging chore that I have trouble with is planning things for students to do with their spelling words.

Now, I am aware of the ways most people assign spelling words: Write them 3 times each, write them in rainbow colors, abc order, use them in sentences, and so on! However, my students seem to get bored with each of these activities.

This year I have Interactive Notebooks for each subject. We use these notebooks relentlessly, and the students seem to like them because they can look back at previous lessons when unit week comes up. I like that about the interactive notebooks, but I am still not happy with doing the same old routines with the spelling words.

I have been reading online and looking for more ideas when I cam across a blog that seemed to be pretty interesting. The blog is called Cork board Connections and can be found at: http://corkboardconnections.blogspot.com/

In the blog the teacher had some very interesting activities for students to use with their spelling words, and they will align with the common core state standards in more than one subject.  The author of the blog, Laura Candler, is a teacher and the creator of the Teaching Resources website. http://www.lauracandler.com/

Mrs. Candler surely can relate to my frustration. She has came up with a fantastic idea to use with the spelling words. She suggests that students start with half of the spelling words, and with those half write them in sentences. The next day, the students will take the other half of the spelling words and do the same thing with them. Once the students have their sentences with their spelling words Mrs. Candler then has the students put on their “thinking caps,” and get creative. The students are to write a story using their spelling words. The students must already know what they mean because they used them in a sentence, but putting them together in a story with require higher order thinking. The students may use the sentence as they wrote it or change it.

It doesn’t stop after the story is done. The students then get to share it with the class, and once they shared it, the teacher posts them on a “Cork Board” in the room. If you need a grade then Mrs. Candler has also provided a grading rubric on her blog that can be uses(just click the first link above).

When students have completed this task, the teacher can align this with at least 3 standards in vocabulary, writing, and listening and speaking. I am so ecstatic that  found this blog from another teacher that can relate to my frustration. I wanted to share it here so my followers may also use this information to make their classroom more successful!

Remind

I heard about REMIND a few years back, but never used it specifically for my class until last year. Remind is basically a texting app that allows teachers to send message through their cell phone to parents, guardians, or staff members about things going on at the school or maybe things that are coming up like tests and/or special holidays or programs.

When I first started using remind last year it was very successful in communicating with the parents of my students. I really enjoy communication with my parents, and think it is a very important part of the success of my students.

I found a blog by Cath Jo Nelson, and she has laid out every specific detail on how to set up remind, use it, and make it successful for your individual needs. Here is a link to her blog for more information:http://blog.cathyjonelson.com/?p=3734

The first thing you will need to do is download the Remind app on your smart phone. If you have and apple phone then you would go to your app store. If you have an android powered phone, then you would go to your google play store. The app is absolutely free, and never will it cost you anything.

If some of your parents or guardians are limited to using remind on their smartphones, they can also have an option of using it through email.

Some ways I use remind in my classroom: On the first day of each week I send out a text to all my subscribers (parents/guardians that are signed up) letting them know what we will be working on that week and what tests we will be taking. I used remind just yesterday to remind parents / guardians that we would be celebrating “Grandparent’s Day” today at school. (We had a great turn out!)

Remind is convenient because it allows you to text parents/ guardians from your phone. It allows you to schedule messages to be sent out at a later date.

This school year I set up two different remind accounts. (Yes, you can set up more than one account. Isn’t that awesome?) I set up one specifically for my class, and I set up one for my school. I feel remind has increased our ways of getting out important information about the school, the community, and my class.

If you have an open house at your school, this is usually the best time to inform your students’ parents about remind. You can pull up the directions on your smart board, and walk them through the process while they are in your classroom. This is usually the best way. However, I know that some parents cannot or will not come to open house, therefore, you can print out the instructions and send them home with the students.

This year remind has actually set up a chat feature. This allows the subscriber to ask questions. When you respond, it will only show up someone is responding , it will not show who unless you want them to know(you will have to change that in your settings).

I hope this information helps someone out. I sure wised I would have found this blog beforehand!

You can sign up here: https://www.remind.com/

EDM 510

Some of the things that I am learning in this course blows my mind. Today I worked on using a different option for word processing other than Microsoft Word. I was introduced to LIbreoffice, and it seems fairly easy to use. The best thing about it is, “It is FREE!”

Monday

Today has been very eventful because of a sleepless night. My oldest daughter, Harley was up vomiting and using the potty all night. She was so pitiful and I just wanted to take the pain away from her. Harley stayed home today and her daddy kept a check on her. At one time she got so bad he went ahead and took her to the doctor.It is just a virus that has to runs its course. With all that being said, please pray for my daughter, and the rest of us. i sure hope it doesn’t spread.