Wednesday, October 28, 2015

KAHOOT! for the WIN!

Best...lesson...ever! I was practically giddy during the whole thing! I already loved Kahoot! before this, but had really only used it in adult professional learning. I may be just a teensy weensy bit competitive so this little doozie fits my personality like a glove! An "I'm gonna take you down smack talking" kinda glove mind you! If you want my undivided attention in a faculty meeting, just tell me we'll be playing Kahoot! at the end of it...and I'm yours for the next hour!!! Seriously it's just so engaging.

So what took me so long to finally use it with my kiddos???? Well there's the whole device issue! We only have 3 in our room and I just thought it'd be too hard to keep everyone engaged and could I really tell if kids were understanding the concepts we would cover. So I just tucked this little gem into my teacher pocket and waited for the perfect storm.
Enter stage left...the NEW and glorious Chromebook carts! I PUFFY HEART them in so many ways!!!!  Our class has already checked them out twice in the first week and a half since they arrived! We jumped right in with some non-fiction bat research and then kiddos worked with a partner to share bat facts on a Google doc. It was great! I loved it! And, well... They mostly loved it! It was seriously awesome, but I have to be honest and say there were a couple of kiddos that were a teeny bit stressed with all the things they needed to do. It was a little overwhelming for a few of the kiddos.
So I knew if I wanted to keep them on the "OMG...these Chromebooks ROCK" bandwagon, then I better pull out something they were gonna go CRAZY over! In comes KAHOOT!  If I love it, wouldn't they surely love it too? You're dang skippy they do!
I kid you not when I say they were COMPLETELY and TOTALLY 100% engaged for 40 minutes straight! My principal even walked in to ask something and her jaw dropped to the floor. She was so pumped with the whole thing!
So here's the 411! We had read Too Many Pumpkins earlier that morning for our CAFE lesson. We talked about story elements and the kids completed a story map puzzle in their Interactive Reading Notebooks. So later that afternoon we brought in the Chromebook cart. Each kiddo had their own device. Once they logged in, they just entered and they were ready to enter the "game pin".  Now for my part, I just searched the site and found a quiz that some other lovely person had already created. It had 15 comprehension questions for the story. There was a 6 digit game pin and once they entered the #, they were linked to this particular quiz. The kiddos had 20 seconds to enter their answer for each question. Their screen does not show them whether they got it right or wrong until time's up and everyone has entered their answer.  I read the questions and answer choices and we were good to go.  After each question it ranks the top 5 kids' scores. With each question and answer revealed, it again ranks the kids. They LOVED that part and were trying so hard! If they missed questions, we would discuss it or look back in the story and use text evidence to support the correct answer. We hit a TON of standards! The kids were crazy excited and they could absolutely NOT get enough of it! They begged me to play it again before we even closed the  Chromebooks!
Do you see those fist pumps??? Ex--cit--ed!!!
I already have so many ideas swimming around in my head for different quizzes I can create! And I'm thinking I can quickly use the results as a formal assessment to help me build strategy groups. I will just need to do a quick hop around the room and make note of who misses what on a little checklist. So easy and they think they are just having FUN! That a WIN-WIN situation!

So if you haven't given this a it! I promise you will NOT regret it!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The NEW color is here!!  If you follow us, you know I (Cristy) am a HUGE fan of "Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpeners".  I fell in love with those suckers about a year ago when Troy sent me my first one to give it a test drive.  
I was smitten right away.  It doesn't take much doesn't take much! ;)

But truly, this thing rocked!  You see I had had some MAJOR pencil troubles before my 1st little pencil sharpener arrived.

Here's a little bit of the recap from our post a year ago.  Click here to read the WHOLE, WHOLE entire sad story.  There really is more people!!!'s the whole entire sad story.  The #1 pencil sharpening RULE!  You may ONLY sharpen pencils between the hours of 7:30 am and 8:00 am!  NO SHARPENING during the day because ALL that noise makes us want to pull our hair out!

Good rule.  Easy to follow, right?  Not so much!  At least not for 2 of our cutie pies...let's call them Spunky and Sassy (to protect the names of the innocent guilty!)  These 2 cuties managed to make their way to that darn sharpener nearly 100 10 times a day!  And always right when I was giving directions or the principal came in to talk to the kids or myself.  Rrrrrr!  Rrrrr!  Ckkkk! (Those are the horrendous sounds coming from the sharpener if you don't speak the language!)

In their defense, those darn cheap pencils from the warehouse were a pain to sharpen.  The lead kept constantly falling out every time it was sharpened!  The pencil sharpener kept chewing those pencils up like a beaver would a log!  The pencils were like 2 inches short by the time the sharpener worked and the lead stayed in!

Needless to say...I was SAD!!

But NO MORE my more!

Insert heavenly angel music, rainbows, puppies, kittens, and any other happy image here!

Well my story only got better from there.  Once my hot pink little number arrived, our PTA decided they were amazing too and ordered one for every classroom teacher!  Have I mentioned how awesome these people are to us?  So now my hot pink sharpener had a lovely blue partner in pencil sharpening crime!

We were cranking out sharp pencils like the wind I tell you!  We had the prettiest, sharpest pointy pencils you have ever seen.  And maybe what I loved the most is that they STAYED sharpened forever.  It just seems like they last so much longer before needing to be sharpened again.  Can I get an AMEN!

And just when I think my sharpener revolution is over, guess what arrived in the mail a few weeks ago?  The NEWEST color hot off the market...PURPLE!  People, I have triplets!!!!
And just so you can REALLY see what this baby can do...check this out!

So if you are in desperate need of a sanity saving pencil sharpener, then you may just want to check out this newest beauty.  I want to give a HUGE shout out to Troy over at Classroom Friendly Supplies for letting me be one of the 1st people to get to test out the newest color.  Thank you so much!

***DISCLOSURE:    I received a purple pencil sharpener for free to test and review.  All opinions expressed are solely mine.