Monday, May 13, 2013

Magnificent Monday- Rourke Educational Media Sound Adventures

Rourke Classroom Sound Adventures
I was SO excited to get my classroom set of Sound Adventures from Rourke Educational Media.  New books are always exciting in my classroom, and I know that my students are going to love these.

There are 36 of these fabulous leveled books.  Teaching in a multi-ability and multi-age classroom I am always looking for ways to meet the needs of all my learners and on all levels.  These books are going to be a great asset to my classroom.
Characters in the story (this is in each book!)

Words to know

Love the glossary that is in each book
How I plan to use them:
-Before we read the book brainstorm words that start with letter that is being focused on in the book.  As we find brainstormed words in the book check them off.
-Many of my students are working identifying characters and setting.  The beginning page that states the characters in the book is a great way to get the conversation going.
-I love the words to know.  Lower level students will be able to match words to know throughout the book (pointing/using wikisticks/post it notes) Higher level students will work on alphabetizing the words to know and then can check their work with the book.
-My 3rd-5th graders are always working with glossary and dictionarys.  This is perfect to extend on the concepts that we are already working on.
-The end of the book is also extension activities.

What great books that I can use in so many different ways to reach so many levels of students (but still use the same book!)  Do you have these Sound Adventure books? If not you can check out  How do you use them?  How do you level your various activities (without creating hundreds of activities)?

I can't wait to check out all of the other ideas for these books through the teacher resources that are going to be available in the upcoming months.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Magnificent Monday- #EdCampWaller

So, I have been promising this blog for over a week, but between Teacher Appreciation and just the fact that it is the end of the year.. things get a little crazy.  Speaking of Teacher Appreciation, that is an upcoming blog!  I do have to admit that it is turning out to be a super cute week.

I was pretty excited when I found out that Waller ISD and The Tech Ninjas would be hosting #EdCampWaller in April.  Rafranz and I loaded up the car and were off on a short road trip to Waller, Texas.  We started our #EdCampWaller experience with an awesome tweetup at Cielito Lindo

You can find all of my pictures HERE but of course I threw those all together in an iMovie

I have written about EdCamps before (because I have attended 3 now and Dallas is coming up October 12th)  You can find more information HERE about EdCamps in your area or just more information about them.

With any EdCamp, I think the most exciting thing is to be able to make connections.  It is exciting to connect with a new teacher or even sit next to a national/state presenter that decided to spend their Saturday learning from others.  I loved how this EdCamp Started out with TechNinjaTodd and TechNinjaStacey welcoming everyone and inviting all attendees to sign up on the board with ideas on discussions to lead or topics to engage learners on.  They even stressed that it is okay if it is not tech based!  They also reminded us that there very passionate people in the audience with stories and ideas to share and this was the time to do it. (I mean.. hello.. the audience was filled with passionate learners.. it was on a SATURDAY!)

The first block I went to was over apps and how you used them in the classroom.  It was sort of "roundtable" (but we were in a classroom.. so it wasn't that round) but I got a great list and even better ideas on how to use some apps in my classroom.  I was also able to share a few favorites of my own.  The next block I had a chance to share my passion over using technology in the multi-ability classroom.   Looking back I shared some ideas, but I do need to refocus on creating it as more of a discussion.  The third session of the day I had a chance to listen to Wendy Sanders.  This girl is AMAZING (I know that I say that about a ton of my friends.. but I mean it for each and every one of them)  She is awesome because of her grant writing skills.  In the past few years she has received over $20000 of materials and equipment for her classroom.  How lucky are those kids!  During this session she shared about  We discussed different ways to get grants, how to promote a grant, and keeping your tech in the loop of the grants that were received.  She also helped several people set up their own grants.  The last session I sat in on (yes.. it was sitting/standing room only!) was Chris Kesler's over #GeniusHour.  It was inspiring and I look forward to trying this out in my classroom next year.

Of course you can't have an #EdCamp without some FANTASTIC sponsors (which means doorprizes!)  Every person that walked into EdCampWaller walked away with some awesome doorprizes. Check out this sponsor page.  I was pretty pumped to win a Blue Bell Ice Cream Gift certificate that Michael Ogg brought and a cool USB Bracelet from  I even walked away with Todd Nesloney's new book Spruce and Lucy (and I had it signed by the author)

It was an amazing day of learning. From the students that helped lead sessions to the building that we were able to use for the day, I loved every minute of it.  Have you attended an #EdCamp?  Do you have any summer professional development plans?