Saturday, October 25, 2014

You Ought to Know About...Semi-Flipping Your Classroom

I'm so excited again to link up with Mrs. McClain for the You Oughta Know Blog Hop! :)  I really enjoyed it last time, so it's great to do it again! :)

 This time I am talking about how you OUGHTA know about semi-flipping your classroom! :)
Now-here is a disclaimer...:)
1.  I am NOT a flipped classroom expert
2.  I know that this is not a TRUE flip by definition

However, in MY definition a flipped classroom is essentially where the STUDENTS do the teaching, engaging cooperative learning, and the problem solving, while I myself facilitate. :)  You could also look at this as project based learning.  I like to think the latest thing that I did in my classroom as a mix between the two--a mash-up you could say.  It was an AWESOME lesson, and I think that you OUGHTA know about it. :)

So, this year I am TOTALLY in love with our interactive notebooks.  Since I teach 6th grade math AND science, we have one for both.  I wanted to do something fun with our last science unit which was on Biomes and Ecosystems.  I wanted it to be HANDS ON, STUDENT DRIVEN, COOPERATIVE LEARNING, and ENGAGING...which it was ALL of the above and more!

The first thing that I had to learn was some new technology (I can thank my tech savvy teaching partner for that!).  He introduced me to the world of Edmodo.  It's essentially a Facebook type social media platform that is COMPLETELY managed by you.  You can monitor all student interactions (and as a bonus it sends you an e-mail EACH and EVERY TIME your students post something!).  

Here is what I used Edmodo for in my Flipped Classroom/PBL Unit:

I really liked using it!  I am not sure if there are any tutorials out there on it, but I would be happy to do one if there was a need.

The second thing that I did was create a MILLION foldables for their notebooks.  This is ironic because my last You Oughta Know was on saving copies.  Ha ha!  This time I made a million copies-it works out in the end, right??  I wanted these foldables to be how the students recorded all of the information that they were going to learn in the unit.  The students LOVE their notebooks, so I figured this was the way to go:
Foldables for vocabulary.  I had all of the vocabulary terms in a Powerpoint and the students put them in their 

The next thing I did was put ALL of the 8 Biomes that the students could choose from on the board:  Grassland, Marine, Fresh Water, Taiga, Tundra, Desert, Mountain/Alpine, and Rainforest.  I then pulled their student numbers out of a container, and had them pick what biome they wanted.  I did NOT let them pick partners, nor did I assign them a group. It was first come first serve.  I still had some students that didn't want to work with others, but there lies the life lesson. :)  


So, once that was cleared up, they got to work.  My school is lucky enough to have received a grant for Chromebooks, so I have 1:1 Chromebooks in my classroom.   My students either chose to do a Prezi or they used their Google accounts to do a presentation.  I gave them about 20 minutes in class each day to work on their presentations with their groups, but the rest was done at home.

I learned that my students were WAYYYY more tech savvy than I was with Prezi!  Their presentations were UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!  They taught ME a thing or to about Prezi.

Once the students were finished with their Prezi's (it took about 3 class periods over the course of 2 weeks--I see my students every other day for science), they PRESENTED!!  While they presented they taught the students the information needed for their foldables:

I then graded them on a rubric:

This was probably the most FUN unit I've done EVER!  We aren't even done yet-I made  a vocabulary match for them for their vocabulary words. 

I LOVED my experience trying to "flip"/PBL my classroom!  I think that the students enjoyed the teaching of their peers!  I also got a "now we know how you feel, Mrs. Sugg" when it came to students saying "wait, I'm not ready--don't change the slide yet!" They also talked about how it felt like FOREVER standing up there teaching the class.  ;)  I was just SO PROUD of the students!  It was great!

Want a chance to WIN an opportunity to use this unit with your class for FREE??  It would be great for grades 4-7!

Just enter the Rafflecopter below! :)  Contest runs through Halloween!  If I make it to 300 TPT followers, I will choose FIVE winners!!!!

Don't forget to head back to the hop to see what others teachers have to share that 
You OUGHTA Know :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Circular-20% off BUNDLES!

Happy Sunday!  Time to link up with Nicole at All Things Apple in 2nd for the Sunday Circular! :)

 Here are THREE GREAT BUNDLES!  Getting them today at 20% off gets you almost 2 items in the Bundle for FREE!!!

Have a great week!!!! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Monday Made It! Halloween Mantle, Biome Unit, Halloween Math Centers and more!

Hooray!!  I am so excited to link up with Tara for her Monday Made It!

So, first off, I FINALLY feel like I approve of my Halloween mantle decor. :)  You know that feeling that you play around with it until it's right?  Well, every year I change it, so this year was no different.  The only thing that I COULDN'T do this year was attach plug-in lights.  Why?  Because Baby B. would be pulling them down! :(  So...if anyone out there with a 1.5 year old has any decorating tips...especially for the upcoming Christmas season, I am welcome to ANY SUGGESTIONS!!! :)

I did use battery powered lights this year, so that solved my problems. 

The banner is a free printable from Yesterday on Tuesday's Blog.  In the future I might make it look cuter with know, when the said 1.5 year old isn't running around. :)
 Ok, well, if you read my blog you know that I am teaching in a WHOLE new school (middle!) and a WHOLE new grade (6th!),  That being said, I really cannot use ANY of my old stand-by's for Halloween, math, science, etc. So...I have been relishing in the fact that I am having FUN creating new things for my students to do....and even MORE fun is the fact that 6th graders STILL LOVE CUTE THINGS! :)

Case in point:

I made these vocabulary foldables for our Interactive Science Notebooks.  That night, I would say 75% of my classes went home and did this:

Awesomeness. :)  

We have been working very hard with our Biome Unit, and if you follow my blog, you will know that I am in the beginning stages of trying my hand at "Flipping" my classroom, where as the students are the teachers, and I am the facilitator.  So far, so good:

 They love working throughout the room--which I am totally fine with! :)  They work hard, so that is all that matters. :)

Over all, I love the Biome unit we are doing, and I CANNOT wait for the presentations!!!!  I'll be blogging about that SOON!!!!!

You can read more about this here, plus the unit is 20% off for the rest of the week!:

My last made it, I've talked about before HERE, but for the rest of the week they are 20% off!  Just in time for Halloween! :)

I hope that you all have a FABULOUS month of October!!  If you haven't grabbed MY FREEBIE Halloween TREAT which is just a PREVIEW of these centers (1 of the 5) be sure to get it!  Just click the picture below, and please don't forget to leave feedback! :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

20% off Bundles TODAY ONLY! :)

Linking up today with All Things Apple in 2nd! :)  It's time for my Sunday Circular! :)  Today only you can get 20% off my BUNDLED resources, which are a GREAT deal, because you will essentially getting TWO products FREE in each bundle with the 20% off added on! :)

Here are the items in more detail:

My Halloween Math Centers are all PRINT AND GO!  Who says once you get to middle school you can't still do fun things?? :)

 My 6th Grade Number Systems Activity Bundle is GREAT for either teaching it the first time, or GREAT resources for review for Test Prep, OR Spiral Review throughout the year!!!  :)  They have all been classroom tested, and were a hit!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Technology in a Semi-Flipped Classroom, Halloween Math Centers and MORE!

It's hard to believe ANOTHER week has passed!!  YIKES!  Where is the time going?!?!?  I saw on Instagram the other day someone posted that there were 10 more Friday's until CHRISTMAS?!?  Crazy!

I'm back again to link up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs teaching for her:

 This week I have exited my comfort zone in the classroom to try my hand at a semi-flipped classroom!!  YIKES!

In 6th grade, part of the science curriculum deals with ecosystems (which is one of my FAVORITE science topics!), so I wanted to do something with technology (we are lucky enough to have a class set of Chromebooks!).  My teaching partner did an AWESOME Amendment project with his students, so he is one of the reasons (well, pretty much the MAIN reason) why I have learned some new technology to try in the classroom.

First thing that we did for the unit was make some pretty cute vocabulary foldables for our notebooks:

Which one of my sweet students went home and colored that night.  :)

Then we did a lottery type system to pick groups to each present on a biome of the world.  The students will now be in charge of presenting about that biome to the class!  Each student also has a separate biome foldable that they have in their notebooks (more to come on that).  The students will fill out the foldable when the group presents and "teaches" the class about their biome!

How are they doing that?

Well, I have entered a new realm of technology!  I have never worked with Edmodo before, but now I love it!  I have all of the groups into my classroom on Edmodo (thanks again to the help of my teammate!).  Each group can communicate with each other at home to collaborate on their presentations that they are going to do!  I was AMAZED at how INTO this they are getting!!!!!!  It was like a perfect teaching moment!  I loved it!  

They are doing such an awesome job on their Prezi's (and getting sooooo creative!).  I can't wait to post soon about the final project!  They are due October 20th (I only get the classes every OTHER day), so stay tuned!!!!
 Another thing that I am loving this week are our Interactive Math Notebooks.  I was also very fortunate to have a law firm donate a HUGE box of colored paper to our classroom whenever we need it (just one side is used in one little strip), so we can make foldables until our hearts are content! :)  My classes are turning into Origami Masters!

The think that I love best about the notebooks, is I allow them to have some creative expression with them.  I model what to put on the foldables, but they make it their "own".  

This week we talked about decimal operations, I modeled the foldable, and this is what I saw:

The students are really loving having an interactive notebook, too!  
This week we also wrapped up our time learning about Number Systems, so on Thursday we played a review game with Task Cards (they voted Showdown again), and I worked with a small group playing the same game, but more of a guided practice version! :)

It covered ALL of the CCSS for 6th Grade under Number Systems (GCF/LCM, Operations with Decimals, Coordinate Grids, Integers, and Multiplying and Dividing Fractions).

Also, since we finished Number Systems, I went ahead and bundled ALL of my Number Systems resources:

It's all 7 resources for the price of 6!  Also, if you purchase this weekend while it is 20% off, you can get all of the resources for the price of 5!!!!! :)
 Also, this week I finished up all of my Halloween Math Center resources!  I mean, who says that in 6th grade we can't have fun for the holidays?!?! :)  I have to keep part of the elementary teacher in me, :)  I already let my students have a sneak peek, and they said they look awesome (so I got the 6th grader approval!)  Here is what I came up with:

This one is FREE!

Review of GCF: 

Multiplying and Dividing Fractions:

Operations with Decimals:

Distributive Property:

However, once I uploaded them, I also BUNDLED them into one pack.  So, in the bundle you will get ONE MORE of the centers for FREE!  Just click below! :)

Lastly, I hope that everyone had a wonderful week!  Our son is FINALLY starting to walk, and I wish that I could attach a picture!!  However, the minute he sees the camera he sits right down!  ha ha.  Anyone else have that issue?? :)  Stay tuned, and hopefully I will have a picture for you soon, if you don't see one on Instagram sooner! :)  Have a great weekend!!!!