Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Free Awesome Tech Tips

It is very rare that I sit in a PD and have my mind blown over and over. I had to pick my jaw up off of the ground more than one time and claimed it was the best PD I had ever had at my school.

We had Casey Veatch come in and train us on ways to use our current technology better and for free. I feel like all to often you hear about something really cool and it is pricey. This was not the case!

We started with nearpod which to me was very similar to class flow. It just seemed easier to create. There is a free version and a paid version but there are a lot of functions available with the free versions. This website allows you to create interactive lessons. You can even upload your current keynotes and power points and turn them into an interactive lesson. Students input a code and you direct the lesson. They can take a poll, choose multiple choice, write short answers and draw a picture to answer your questions. You can view the responses in real time and even show it to the class. 

Next we explored some of google's cool features. Did you know that on the web version of docs you can research without leaving the document? Just click on the research tab and go. You can even drag images right into your doc from your search.

Then we learned some handy Mac tricks do to with docs. You can highlight a section of text and have it read to you. This is an awesome feature for kiddos that struggle to read! They can even select the voice. Or you can select the text you want read and imbed it in your doc.

If you are using an iPad/iPod you can turn speech on too. Go into general, then accessibility next choose Speech and turn on Speak Selection. You can change the voice and the speed of the text. You can even turn on highlight content. That option will highlight as it reads the words. Once you have turned this on you tap what you want read and click speak. This FREE tool will open up so many doors for our struggling readers. 

In the Safari browser you can choose a function that consolidates what is on the page and it will read that to the students. This function is mostly found with in sites that are periodicals. Regardless this is another great tool for struggling readers.

Pages is something I use all of the time but I learned new functions for that too. I learned you can lock shapes in place, shapes also function as text boxes and it is super easy to add sound and video to your page! If you leave it open on an iPad students have an interactive learning experience! 

When Casey was finishing up I was dying for more. Then he told us about his YouTube channel where he shares weekly tech tips. I subscribed right away and plan to watch them all. It was that good!

I hope you have learned something you can use in your classroom! If you have questions about any of it feel free to comment or email me! 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

We LOVE the Broncos!

Lets start off by saying SUPER BOWL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You might have noticed that I am a football fan.... you might even have noticed that I am a Denver Broncos fan... and that I bleed orange and blue... I have since birth I was raised to be a DENVER BRONCOS fan! After all you are here at Teaching In BRONCO COUNTRY! I try hard to rope everyone into my Bronco love when I can! This season I have roped in some wonderful teachers for our Broncos Win, You Win giveaways. I has been a wonderful season and I have connected with some other great teachers! I hope that you have too. PLUS the BrOnCoS are going to the Super Bowl!

This week we are hopping through some ideas to help you have football themed fun in your classroom just in time for the Super Bowl! Read all the way through because we are giving away $65 of gift cards! Dinner, movie and some TpT!

For primary teachers I think you can have a ton of fun with these Super Bowl themed activities. You can incorporate writing and math with these activities including word problems and a class graph.

If you have older kids you can incorporate opinion writing to convince the reader on which team you should root for in the Super Bowl. You can make predictions on which team will win. The students could research their favorite team and write an informative essay about it. There are so many fun possibilities to bring an high interest subject into your classroom! You can bet that I will be! 

Enter to win some great gift cards! 
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Now hop on to Krista at Sparkles In Second  for her football themed activities and GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Top Picks!

Lesson PlansDONE!

I always love a great deal. I also love relaxing over break but coming back to fully planned lessons so we can jump right into January. Now its here! I think every teacher I know came back from break at some point this week. Educents has taken out some of the leg work of January lesson plans. They put together this massive January bundle full of great resources!

If you are not familiar with Educents its worth checking out. They are a great place full of educational deals, informative blog posts and lessons. If you haven't signed up you should! Now more on the awesome January lessons!
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   Top Picks for January is bundle of 28 amazing educational resources all perfect for January! Each of these resources was hand-picked to help you teach language arts, math, science and social studies in a fun and meaningful way. Your learners will focus on key skills while connecting to the fun and engaging themes that January has to offer. What makes Top Picks for January even better - the price! You could spend hours searching for just the right January resources like the folks at Educents did, and when all was said and done you'd have over $120 of educational resources in your shopping cart. Or, you can take advantage of this limited time bundle that is 75% off. For only $29.99, almost a $100 savings, you get 28 top quality resources that ready to use. So what exactly is in this amazing bundle? Here's what you will receive in the Top Picks for January Bundledivided by subject area. You will also find the recommended grade levels for each resource, however, many of them can be used with additional grade levels by providing a little more support or slightly modifying the final product. Some of these resources will also help you in multiple content areas. For example, work on reading skills while doing science or work on writing skills in social studies.


January Print and Do (K-2)
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This no-prep packet by Fantastic First Grade Froggies could easily have gone under Math too. With 15 ready to use Language Arts activities and 15 ready to use Math activities you are well on your way to a fun, learning filled January. Just a few of the concepts covered in these activities include sentence writing, phonics (r blends, silent e, digraphs), syllables, editing and punctuation. Some of the math concepts include reading temperature, graphing, addition and subtraction, place value, telling time, comparing numbers and number lines. Can you see why this packet is a Top Pick?   Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 6.50.50 PMSnowmen at Night Reading and Writing Unit (2-3) This is a great resource that is designed to accompany a perfect January book - Snowmen at Night. Clowning Around in Third Gradehas provided you with everything you need to use this book to focus on key reading skills like comprehension and summarizing. When you are done take your book study to the next level with a post-reading writing and craft activity.  

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January Journal Prompts (2-5) Help your learners practice their writing with daily writing prompts byClowning Around in Third Grade. Each writing prompt is perfect for January and open-ended which allows your writers the freedom to explain their thoughts and expand their ideas. These prompts are also a great way to check for understanding on previously taught concepts as students take the concept and include it in their writing. Curious what the topics are like? Here's a couple: "What would it be like if you and your family had to hibernate during the winter? Write about what you would need to do to prepare for such a long sleep." "Imagine what it would be like if it started snowing in your town on January 2 and didn't stop until January 31! Describe what life would be like in your town with this much snow."

  January Language Arts Grab and Go Centers (3-6) Teresa Kwant has provided you with 64 ready to go language arts centers and activities. Everything you need to practice skills in Grammar, Reading, Writing, Spelling, Vocabulary and Word Structure is right here! There are multiple activities for each of these areas. In addition Teresa has provided you with optional activities that also involve the use of technology. It's easy to see why this jam-packed resource was chased as a Top Pick!
   Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 6.59.22 PMSnowman Biography Book Report (K-8) By me! Teaching in Bronco Country  This is a fun and engaging tool for teaching your readers about biographies and autobiographies. Students use this snowman report as a way to show what they learned by reading a biography or autobiography. You get everything you need including comprehension questions that can be used for any book, directions for the final project, a project checklist and a grading rubric. Look at this final product by a student who studied Elizabeth Blackwell. The students love this and get so creative!
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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 6.59.39 PMGraphic Organizers Winter Theme (K-8) Sweet Integrationshas put together this fabulous set of graphic organizers all with a winter feel. You receive 20 different graphic organizers that your readers can use to reflect on their reading. There are graphic organizers for sequencing, main idea, summary, cause and effect, connections, inferencing and more! Here's a student working on a story map using one of these graphic organizers. graphic organizers 2
Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 7.01.47 PMStone Fox Novel Study (3-6) Looking for a great winter themed novel to study? Well look no further than Stone Fox and this amazing resource by The Third Wheel. This resource provides students with a fun and engaging way to practice key reading skills such as context clues, visualizing, sequencing, text analysis and more. Students will use a foldable for each days reading to focus on a key reading skill. You also receive a planning guide to help with planning the reading, vocabulary for each chapter and key vocabulary for mastering the reading skills. Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 6.54.09 PM
Jan Brett Winter Unit (K-2) I don't know about you but I love Jan Brett books and reading them to my students. This is an amazing unit that will give you resources for 11 Jan Brett books! Amy Labrascianohas provided you with 22 activities to support the books along with 5 anchor charts to help your readers as you study these wonderful books. Another Top Pick that you can't go wrong with!
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anuary Interactive Poetry Notebook (1-3) Erin Waters of The Watering Hole has written original poems for Martin Luther King, Jr., New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year, Setting Goals, and Penguins in this amazing resource. Each week as you introduce students to a new poem, support their learning with various activities that help with reflection, vocabulary development and more! Perfect for independent work in a poetry journal,stations, small group work, or whole class instruction. Here's a glimpse at a couple activities!
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Finding the Main Idea with Non-Fiction Texts Winter Edition (2-5) For a Love of Teachinghas put together this wonderful resource to help your students master the skill of finding the main idea. This packet is filled with non-fiction texts all related to winter! Your readers will love learning about snowflakes, frostbite, emperor penguins and shivering bees. There are 16 additional topics included in this packet as well! For each non-fiction article student will practice finding the main idea and supporting details. They will also get practice summarizing text, another important reading skill. In addition to the articles and practice pages, you also receive a color-coded answer key for each activity! That definitely helps you save time as you review the work!
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Just Add Words for January (K-8) This versatile writing set from Teaching in Blue Jeans will help all your writers no matter their grade level of ability. Perfect for reluctant writers too! Give your writers a starting point with these January themed picture writing prompts. All picture prompts come with primary writing lines and standard writing lines so they can be used for anyone K-8. Use these pages for many different styles of writing too, including narrative, expository, persuasive and how-to writing. These can easily be added to a writing center or done as independent writing activities. They are also great students to show what they have learned about a topic from science or social studies! Here are two examples of writers using this packet at different writing levels. Just Add Words January IMG_1849               The Snowman Sight Word Reader
The Snowman Emergent Reader (Pre-K - 1) Help your budding readers learn those all important sight word with this emergent reader by Teaching in Blue Jeans. This emergent reader is all about a snowman and focuses on the sight words 'look' and 'said.' The book also reviews the sight words 'at,' 'my,' and 'the.' The text is written a predictable pattern to help early readers find words and success in reading! Young readers will love reading this book over and over again and you're likely to hear "I can read!" This book can be used individually, with small group instruction or whole group instruction.


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Snowflake Geometry (2-5) By meTeaching in Bronco Country ! This helps you make math fun with these geometry lessons. You receive three geometry lessons that use snowflakes as the inspiration. After students finish the math they use a snowflake craft to reinforce those geometry skills!
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            Teacher's Take-Out has made it easy for your students to practice and review their math skills with these Winter Equations task cards. In the Top Picks for January Bundle you will receive 3 different sets of math task cards from Teacher's Take-Out. The first set focuses onSingle Digit Addition and Subtraction (K-2).  The second set focuses on Two Digit Addition and Subtraction(1-3). The third set focuses on Multiplication and Division (3-6). In each set you receive 30 task cards that gets students working on the specific math facts in question. But these task cards are more than just math fact flash cards, the missing number is not always the answer. This requires students to work at a higher level in order to complete the equations.
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New Year's Resolutions Writing Craftivity (K-5) Are you ready to teach your kids about the importance of setting goals? New Year's is the perfect time for a goal setting lesson!  This resource from Teaching in Blue Jeans helps your learners brainstorm possible goals, plan how they will work towards them and then write about them. This packet can be used by writers of all ages because each section is provided in multiple formats that have been designed for different writing levels. After students finish writing they can make the display craft and their writing can then be displayed on the adorable New Year's boy, girl or cat.
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Martin Luther King, Jr. Biography Unit (2-5) This unit by The Third Wheelwill help you complete a biography book study on Martin Luther King, Jr. using the book Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr? After reading the book and completing the tri-fold book activities, students can show what they learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. using the mini-book research report.
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Martin Luther King, Jr. Lapbook (K-5) Right Down the Middle with Andrea provides you with this great hands-on lapbook for learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will research Martin Luther King, Jr. and then compile what they learned in this lapbook that features a timeline, his education, his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and more. Students are also inspired to learn from Dr. King's example and think about their own dreams. Students will use language arts skills as well as social studies skills.
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Chinese New Year Burrito Book (K-5) Inside Bell's Brain created this fun burrito book for learning about Chinese New Year. This fun and engaging project will have your students not only learning about the holiday, but also practicing key reading skills using informational text. You get everything you need to complete this lesson in both color and black and white options so you can choose how much ink you want to use.
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The Geometric Beauty of Snowflakes (3-8) NatureGlo's eSciencehas put together this Top Pick that will grab your learners attention. This in-depth look at snowflakes is fascinating and educational. Your students will learn about snow crystal development, famous snow physicists' work and the varieties of snowflakes and their geometry. You will receive 2 PowerPoint presentations as well as a 19 page activity guide that will guide you through this unit study. In addition, this unit study includes links to the full course MathArt class website loaded with great resources including video tutorials, project and activity guides and more web resources.
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Polar Bears (K-5) This unit study on Polar Bears by Sweet Integrationswill give you everything you need to learn all about polar bears. Additionally, you receive a Power Point game and some language arts and math center activities with a polar bear theme. The activities in this study are provided so that they hit various grade levels. Use this in a homeschooling environment with multiple students or use in the classroom to differentiate for the needs of your students.
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All About Penguins (K-3) Proud to be Primary created this amazing unit on Penguins and it is sure to capture the attention of your learners. Who doesn't love those fluffy, little birds. Well, there's a lot more to learn about those amazing creatures. You will receive 165 pages of science, reading and expository writing activities in this amazing penguin unit. Your learners will learn all about penguins, their life cycle, important vocabulary and more! Another Top Pick that is sure to make January lots of fun!
Arctic and Antarctica (K-2) One Room Schoolhouse provides you with this 63 page unit study on the Arctic and Antarctica. Included in this unit study are 2 non-fiction reading passages, science experiments, math activities, language arts activities and art activities. Just another Top Pick that helps you reach many teaching standards in one set of activities.   Sunflower Education has put together two wonderful packet based on Weather World Records. The first packet, World's Coldest Place (3-8) will teach your learners all about Polyus Nedostupnosti, Antarctica. The second packet, World's Windiest Place (3-8) will teacher learners all about Port Martin, Antarctica. In both sets you will receive non-fiction reading passages and activity sheets that will not only engage your reader but also help them practice important reading skills.
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 To close out this amazing January bundle, Meredith Anderson provides you with 2 STEM Challenges. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and is a great way for students to apply skills they have learned in a hands-on project that gets them thinking outside the box! STEM Design Challenge #1 - Design a Transport Device (K-8) will have your kids engineering a transport device. Although this project is not specifically tailored to winter, you could easily add that element by asking that the transport device be something that can be used in the snow. STEM Design Challenge #2 - Design a Transmission Tower (K-8) will have your students creating a transmission tower. Put a winter twist on this STEM project by telling your students that there has been an avalanche and they are needed to design a transmission tower in order to get help. Each STEM Challenge provides all the instructions and workbooks your students will need to work through the engineering design process as they learn to create. All that you have to provide are common classroom or household items. Here's a little peek at what some other students created using these amazing resources.
  design a transport device and power transmission tower - 2 engineering design challenge design a transport device and power transmission tower - 1 front of belt transport
 So as you can see, this is an AMAZING bundle of educational resources for January. I am so excited to not only be part of it, but to be able to share it with you. I have no doubt that you can finish those lesson plans up quick with the amazing resources in this bundle AND that this will be a January full of fun, engaging activities that your students won't soon forget! You can't find this bundle anywhere else, and, it won't be there long! Grab it while you can, because this bundle is only available through January 10. But why wait, don't waste 10 days of January when you could be using these awesome resources today!
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