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First with Franklin

Thursday, August 30, 2012

BUSY and 2 Tech Tips

I have been BUSY. I'm sure you have been, too. How is it that I always forget how exhausting the first week of school really is? This year, with my split 1st/2nd group, it feels like I'm teaching twice as much with half the time. It's stressful, confusing, tiring.... and actually a lot of fun. I'm really, really enjoying my students this year. I'm teaching some lessons regular, whole group style, but a lot of what I'm teaching is on grade level. That means, I get to teach to a group of 7-8 at a time. I feel like I already know them better than I knew some of my past classes after a couple of months. So, even though at times I think I might cry when trying to figure out schedules and such, I also feel very lucky and blessed.
 Along with my great students, came great parents. I can't say enough great stuff about the group of parents I have this year.  I try my best to let my parents know exactly what is going on in our classroom. A month or so ago on Pinterest I found this cool pin-
Since I teach at a really small school, some of my parents know my personal cell number and I do get texts from them from time to time. However, this is a great way to send mass texts without parents seeing your phone number or the phone numbers of other parents.
I just sent home the note with my kiddos today and I already have 3 parents signed up to receive texts from me.  I love technology!  It's pretty easy to setup and when you register you will get an email with a PDF file to copy and send home to parents.  Of course, I wanted it to be cutesie so I made my own.
Have you ever heard of Remind101?  If not, you should check it out!

I also have a new favorite app.  I downloaded Stick Pick a couple of weeks ago.  Rarely do I pay for apps, especially not $2.99, but I took a chance on this one.  I really like it.  You have the ability to enter multiple classes.  The idea behind this app is really simple, it randomly draws children's sticks out of a can so that you can call on them.  So, what's so great about that?  Well, you can set it up so that is gives you higher level thinking questions when you draw out a name.  You get to pick what level of Bloom's you want for each student.  Cool, huh?  There is also a ESL option for all you that have ESL classrooms or students.  I give it two thumbs up!  Try it out!

How is your year going?  Are you back to school and settled in already?  I can't wait to read about it!  I feel like I've been totally out of the loop this week.  My darling husband works all day Saturday and Sunday which is a total bummer, but I am looking forward to catching up with all my blog friends!  :)

BTW, when I showed the screen shot up I know you were dying to know what the picture was behind my open Safari screen?.
Here it is:
It makes me smile every time I see it.  It's become a joke between the hubs and me.  We like to make short little T-Rex arms and hug... it's fun being dorks!  :)

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  1. How amazing is this....I started using Remind101 this year (it's awesome!) and I just downloaded Stick Pick last night! Great minds think alike ;0)
    My only wish for Stick Pick would be for it to randomly ask blooms level questions instead of locking each student in to one level.

    Teach on a Limb

    1. Ha, I just went to ready your latest post and I also use Weebly for my class website and ShowMe (which looks very similar to Educreations)... now I'm convinced we are long lost siblings or something! LOL

  2. Definitely great minds! LOL... My wish for Stick Pick is that when I "peek" and pull a stick it would make the same sound. I'm afraid my kiddos will catch on that I'm cheating! ;) I keep meaning to send that suggestion to the app maker, maybe I will send both of these today.
    Thanks for visiting!

  3. "It feels like I'm teaching twice as much with half the time"-- I can not relate to how you are feeling more if I tried! I switched schools and positions at the very last minute and I'm now teaching a 1/2 combo class for the first time too. And you hit the nail on the head!! Scheduling is a nightmare. I may have to send you an e-mail to digress further. lol At the same time I get to teach my two favorite grades so outside of the logistic it is pretty awesome position to have!!

    ❤ -Stephanie
    Falling Into First