Sunday, August 30, 2015

iDoceo 4 Tips and Tricks - Setting Up Classes

If you're anything like me, you have a love-hate relationship with technology. I LOVE that it can make my life easier, but sometimes the learning curve when starting out with a new program or device can be a turn-off. One of the best finds I've made since purchasing my iPad is iDoceo. I am in no way affiliated with the company that created it, nor am I being compensated in any way for these posts, I'm just interested in helping other teachers make their job a tiny bit easier.

Getting Started

Begin by clicking the gear in the top-left corner and tapping "Working Mode" to ensure you are working in full-size mode. I don't see too much of a difference between it and the compact mode, but my tutorials will be based on the full-size mode.

Select the "Classes" tab at the top and click "Add" to create your classes. When I first started working with iDoceo 3 this was where I encountered my difficulties. When I think of "My Class" I think of the group of students I'm working with, rather than the subjects I'm teaching. You should be creating classes for each of your subject areas.

If you teach one subject to multiple classes, be sure to create a separate "Class" for each of them! You can also create folders under the "Add" tab, making it easier to manage multiple groups of students.

Look for the Bloglovin button or email subscription under the "Stay In Touch" header near the top of my page to follow my blog and be sure to receive the next posts in this series!

Don't forget to pin this post for future reference!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Resistance Is Futile So You Might As Well Be Ready!

I love this!! While I have a little longer than August 31st (P.A. Day on September 3rd and classes begin on the 8th), it is still approaching more quickly than I'd like!

The sign, however, is right... resistance IS futile, so we'd better just embrace it! Why not make the most of this with an EXTRA DAY TO SAVE?!

Yes, Teachers Pay Teachers has extended the Love Back to School Sale with this one-day-only BOOST!

Here are some of my picks for you:

Back to School

Literacy Centers, Open House Gift Tag FREEBIE, We're Ready to Shine Gift Tags, Getting to Know You SCOOT, Name Tags (a variety of colors available!)

Language Arts


Other Goodies

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for sharing your time with me, and wish you a wonderful new school year!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

5 Strategies for Reaching Disengaged Students

I'm very excited to be guest blogging for Emily Liscom at Education to the Core today! Click the image to head over and check it out!

No time to read now? Pin it for later:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"Scooting" Into a New School Year

Heading back to school can be a stressful time for little people. As excited as they are to see old friends, children are faced with many unknowns. Where will my classroom be? Who is my teacher? Is she nice? Does she give a lot of homework? Will I get to sit beside my friends?

Icebreakers are an extremely useful way to get students talking and learning about one another. The perfect way to build community in your classroom, icebreakers come in all forms and are perfect for all age levels.

In some classrooms, like my own, there are rarely new students arriving from out of the area, so most of the kids already know each other. In cases like this, students need to be guided into digging a little deeper and making connections with students they may not have before.

I've decided that a fun way to do this in my classroom is by getting them up and moving in a structured way by combining the fun and movement of a SCOOT game with all the meaning of a traditional icebreaker activity! I have mentioned this activity in a previous post, but really wanted to explain just what it is.

You are free to run the activity any way you wish. I prefer to spread the SCOOT cards all around the classroom - on the desks, the floor, shelves - so students are moving the entire time. They should move individually around the room, heading to a new card each time and waiting quietly for a partner to join them. Students should be encouraged to meet with every other student in the room before catching someone for a second time. 

You may wish to structure this more, with a teacher-directed rotation. It is totally up to you!

I'd love to hear what sorts of icebreaker activities you use in your classroom! Leave me a comment below!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Huge Back-to-School Sale!

The HUGE annual Teachers Pay Teachers Back-to-School sale has begun, and my cart is overflowing! This is my personal favorite of the four site-wide sales that happen quarterly on TpT, because this is my opportunity to find great resources for a fresh new start with a new group of students!

I wanted to take a minute to share with you some of my picks for you! I hope you'll click the images to check some of these out in more detail, and will stay with me to the end of this post where I have a fun reminder for you! ;)

Back to School

I have several fun Back-to-School resources that your students will love! Welcome them back on the first day with this bright gift:
Spend time getting to know each other with my Getting to Know You SCOOT Game:
And engage your students in fun literacy centers while completing your start-up running records or observing your students' skills in action!


Fun, fun, FUN for your literacy block/ELA/Language Arts (or whatever you happen to call it in your area!) are my "Good Readers" Mini Books. Little hands love these little books, and with over 115 of them to choose from, they cover so many important reading skills.

My Word Work Centers will keep your students engaged and building their skills all year long!!

And my Writing Process and Writing Goals clip charts will help you monitor your students' progress in writing! 


It is no secret that math is a favorite of mine! I completed a 3-part Mathematics Specialist program several years ago, and it is one of the best subjects to teach, when you have the right tools. My most recent project has been to create resources for every strand in our Mathematics curriculum to be used during my Guided Math centers. I am very proud of this one! To-date, there are over 140 centers across 730+ pages of activities. You can check them all out by clicking the image!

Thanks for sticking with me! Don't forget that I am giving away a copy of my Getting To Know You SCOOT Game, seen above, in {THIS} post, and there is a HUGE link-up of awesome resources for your SMART Board in {THIS} post!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

All Things Bulletin Boards

I am joining dozens of other teacher-author-bloggers by linking up this week with Angie and Ashley for the 2gether We Are Better Linky!

This month is all about bulletin boards, but since I still have a month of holidays to go (don't hate me!) I'm going back and pulling out a couple of favorites from this past year.

A Bright Tip

Two years ago when I moved into my new classroom, I covered one of my smaller boards (actually two small boards on either side of my SMART Board) using something a little different. It was an experiment of sorts. Take a peek:
I used a flannel-backed tablecloth that I purchased at the dollar store for a couple bucks. Entering my third year in this classroom, these boards still look as incredible as they did the day I put them up!

I wouldn't suggest using this on a board that you change often, however. I have turned this into my CAFE board, so the things I put up stay up for the entire year.

A "Growing" Display

The second thing I'd like to share is my bulletin board that isn't. This display I have in my classroom is far too large for any bulletin board that I have. So large by the end of the year, in fact, that I needed a ladder to install the pieces!

Our Heart Garden is a growing display of "warm fuzzies". My students share their appreciation, thanks, or compliments with each other on small hearts, and these "grow" our Heart Garden over the course of the year. Take a look at how our display grew last year:
You can read more about our Heart Garden by clicking HERE or on the photo below.

Be sure to click the button below to head over and check out the other amazing bulletin boards that are being shared in this 2gether We Are Better link-up!