Sunday, October 28, 2012

Conference Chaos

Conferences, Parent Communication, Heidi Befort, Globicate
 Well another marathon of meetings are under my belt, and I'm heaving a sigh of relief.  Twenty-nine meetings and progress reports have been held, hand shakes and smiles, tears and frustrations have been shared, and I feel like I have a renewed vision for my classroom and students.  I always have just a tinge of anxiety as I approach this week and so I've created a tool to at least "not let them see me sweat"!

Conferences, Parent Communication, Heidi Befort, Globicate
My free resource, Conference Checklist and Student Snapshot is available for you to use during your parent meetings and it will allow you to be organized, focused and professional.  When your parents see that you've noticed those special qualities and areas for improvement in their child, they will be much more likely to work as a team with you to meet your students needs.  It's a win-win combination and an invaluable tool that I use every year!
Conferences, Parent Communication, Heidi Befort, Globicate
I hope you check it out and download my Conference Checklist and Student Snapshot.  Let me know how it worked for you!  Happy Conferences!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Paper Plate Venn Diagrams

Here’s a fun activity I did with my students last week.  We created Venn Diagrams using two paper plates.  First we overlapped one side and used a black marker to draw the line where the other side of the paper plate would be.  Then I had the students label the information that would go into either side and viola!  Look below for a few samples.

(We're a private school so we compared/contrasted the Bible's descriptions of Heaven and Hell)

To view more ideas & activities, click here.

The Resourceful Teacher Blog

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Four Square Chart

Recently my students have been learning about the 4 regions of California: Coast, Mountains, Desert, and Central Valley Region. Today the students created a four-square chart to organize information about the regions of California. Each student chose a region he/she wanted to learn more about. The students researched their region using our history book, atlases, and encyclopedias. 

Here’s how we made the four-square chart:
The students took a blank paper, folded it in half “hamburger style,” unfolded the paper and refolded it “hotdog style.” When they opened their paper, they saw it was divided into four squares.

Here’s what info went into each square:
Square 1: The students wrote which region they chose to research. I told them to write their region in bubble letters and create a picture to go around the title.
Square 2: The students were asked to research and draw the different wildlife that can be found in their region.
Square 3: The students researched, drew, and labeled vegetation present in the region they chose.
Square 4: The students researched and drew pictures of how the region’s land is used.

This was a great extension activity that my students really enjoyed. Here's what the finished products looks like.

To see more activities click here.

The Resourceful Teacher Blog

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences
 Some teachers dread parent teacher conferences yet some view it as a chance to brag to parents how well their child is doing in class.  No matter what category you fall in, one common thing teachers should agree on is the importance of being prepared before conferences.
For me, being prepared means I have filled out a documentation sheet, listing specific items I need to address with the parent.  It always starts with a good story I have about the student, followed by strengths, and lastly I end with the goals we agree to set for the student. I've learned (unfortunately the hard way) that this helps me to have more control over the conversation to guide it appropriately.
There's something about having that piece of paper in front of me that helps the parent see that I've taken my time and really thought about our discussion before hand.  Plus, any good parent loves hearing other people gush about and share great stories about their child.
If you're interested in downloading the form I like to use for parent conferences, click here.

The Resourceful Teacher Blog

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I'm In Love...

Technology, Common Core Standards, Math, Reading, Globicate, Heidi Befort
     I can't keep it to myself any longer, I'm in love!  Scootpad is amazing and I want to share it with all of you. I've been using Scootpad in my classroom for math and reading practice which is focused on the Common Core Standards. Students have both school and home access which can be used as homework practice if you choose.  In addition to math and reading practice, there are other options for customizable homework tasks that can be created, such as a reading log, a classroom page for students to chat with each other, leader boards, and rewards. 
     Scootpad is personalized to each students level which in turn keeps them engaged and challenged.  The practice is leveled to their appropriate needs as they work through each level and aligned to the Common Core Standards. There is even a Concept Bank to add other practice or your own practice assignments.  You can assign what the students work on to meet or match your classroom needs or you can just have them complete extra practice as class or homework. The reports page allows you to track student practice and customize what they are working on.
     The best part about Scootpad is that it is free with no advertisements.  As you know, this is one thing I try to focus on with websites and apps I suggest.  My students are doing a wonderful job with their practice.  It did take a little time for them to get use to the platform, but they've jumped in with both feet and are doing amazing.  I'm expanding my homework that I've assigned this week to include both spelling, a reading log, and writing.

     Check out Scootpad, and let me know what you might fall in love too!

Technology, Common Core Standards, Math, Reading, Globicate, Heidi Befort

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