Monday, August 22, 2016

School 2 Home Learning Connection

Letter to my Class Families this year:

"Why I'm Not Doing Homework This Year -

My intention is to make sure there is enough time in our students' days for family time and activities and I want to balance that with time for reading and some real world math and writing.

I'd like students to focus mainly on reading everyday so they have a comfortable, calm space at home to enjoy reading. For the other areas of math and writing I will share options for exploration. This will give parents an idea of the areas we are working on in class. If something comes up at home that is a better "real life" experience with math or writing, I'd love for your student to have that time and opportunity instead. (Here is one article that discusses thoughts on student choice and time spent on homework. Link here)

There are links to a form on the side for your student to share what he or she is working on. If he or she is working on an online file, have them put the link to the url in the form so I can access it. (Here is a link to make a copy of my form.)

If family time and extracurricular time prevents students from getting to these activities, I understand. We will be working hard everyday in class and I think students should have time for other things in their lives too.

Class Dojo points will be earned for sharing things they are learning and trying challenges. If your student is pursuing an area of interest that they would like to share, have them tell me about it in the comment section of the form and I'd love to give them Challenge Accepted points and share in their interest.

However, if your student decides not to use their time wisely in class, then completing that class work might be required and I'll let you know.

Basically, what I'm saying is anything beyond the reading is optional, but I will acknowledge and support their practice and extra interests. There will be projects that may require some work at home throughout the year."

Each week I will post the topics we are learning in class and ideas for games and exploration if the students would like some resources. We also often have topics that come in discussion that we'd like to know more about. We'll be coming up with an "I Wonder" board to post topics and things we discover on those topics. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Collaboration: Sharing Google Forms

Teachers are so amazing about sharing! It goes under the category of "why recreate the wheel?" most of the time. I share with you, you share with me, our lives just got easier and both teachers and students win!

This is why having a wonderful PLN that includes teachers on Twitter that I've never met has been so amazing! Recently, I was reading a blog post from Ms. Drasby (Google Forms Supports Spelling Mastery) where she shared a copy of her Google Form. I had tried to find a way to do that for over a year with no luck. 

I replied and asked about it and she wrote up the procedure in a blog post: Google Forms Force a Copy. It's super easy and simple but if you don't know the trick, it won't work like it didn't for me for so long! It's definitely worth the few minutes to check out her blog and learn the trick!
Google Forms Force a Copy

Now, I am so excited about being able to make forms as a grade level team and share the workload. We can share forms resources just like we do with Hyperdocs, Graphic Organizers, and everything else we do as teachers.

Here are a few of my favorites to get you started: When you click on the form link it will force you to "Make a Copy" of the form I created. So you will have your own, not shared with anyone, and your data will be yours alone. Since it's your copy, you can change it however you would like to make it work for you.

Parent Info Form (Click this link for the Form):
I post this on my website at the beginning of the year and usually get most of the info before school even starts on Monday morning. 

Parent Information 2016.png

Favorite Genre of Books (Click this link for the Form):

<<This one is a good beginning of the year inventory of your students' reading interests.

Here is a spreadsheet of forms my 3rd grade students created to practice multiplication facts. When you click the link, it will copy the form into your drive. There is the tutorial to use Flubaroo to make them autograde. OR, you can turn them into Google Form Quizzes. You will just have to change the answers to multiple choice answers to use Google Forms quizzes at this time.

Multiplication Practice Forms (Click this link)

And here are several other Google Forms to share. 
Click to copy forms and make them your own. Follow the directions above from Ms. Drasby and share your forms too!
Google Forms (Click this link)