It's Meghan, back this week with another (hopefully) awesome idea. If you don't remember, or are new to our blog, I teach 1st grade. I love math and technology.
One of the questions we often get is how we create math groups during the guided math portion of ZONES. Math groups for me are fluid, based on the standard we are working on and each student's proficiency. I use technology, specifically Seesaw, to streamline my data collection. This is something you can do with a little or a lot of tech in your classroom. It works on any device or computer.
So today . . . Seesaw and exit tickets! Whatever the exit ticket is that I am using to gauge understanding, I have my students take a picture or screen shot of it and turn it in to our exit ticket folder on Seesaw. I can then see how my students are doing (without sifting through a pile of papers) and easily give feedback that my students can see, and that parents have access to as well.
Here are a couple examples . . .
Exit Ticket in Pieces Basic
Pieces Basic is a free app on our iPads. The students had to build the number 45, screen shot it and turn it in on Seesaw. I saw how each student was doing and gave them immediate feedback, either affirming their work or correcting their mistakes. You can see in the comment below the picture, I told the student what needed to be changed. On the picture, I edited their work using the drawing tool to show the student the correct way to build the number. From this exit ticket, I was able to create a group of students that needed to be pulled for additional instruction.
Paper Exit Ticket
Here is an example of an exit ticket from our math curriculum (Engage NY). The student completed the exit ticket and took a picture in Seesaw. To give feedback on this exit ticket, the draw, label and text features we all used. Again, the student has immediate access to this, as do parents.
In the paid version of Seesaw, you have access to 'skills'. These are areas you are working on that you want to assess the students on. Think standards, but less formal. The goal of this feature is to give you a quick view of how students are doing with a concept. When a student turns an item in, you quickly mark their understanding on a 4 point scale. Then in the 'skills' view, you have a visual of how the students are doing. You can pull a red (does not understand), yellow, light green group, or green group (ready for extensions). So easy! No lists of student, no piling paper together. All of this is hidden from students and parents. It is only for you and your instructional purposes.
While Seesaw Plus/For Schools is paid, it is not that expensive. If it looks interesting to you, you should look into it.
In summation, use exit tickets/quick checks to build small groups. And then, use technology to streamline that process so you have more time to spend with your students during the guided math portion of ZONES.
Today I want to tell you about a web based app that would be great to use during On Your Own or Memorize. It is called Front Row. If you haven't heard of it, it's a (mostly) free app that has a lot of possibility. If you have heard of it, but haven't had a chance to check it out, I'll lay it out for you.
Front Row is a web based app that is easy to use for teachers and is very kid friendly. It actually offers other subjects besides math, but today we will focus on math . . . because you know, math.
What you need to know:
From the Student Perspective
When students login, they see their home screen. For On Your Own, students would choose Math. For Memorize, students would choose Fact Practice.
How cute is that pig??
From there, the students choose the domain they are working in. Each domain has them take a pre-test which decides where they start working in each standard. The questions are kid friendly and have a read aloud option. For ZONES, I would assign the students to the domain we are currently working in. This screen is very cutsey, which is great for early el. Other domains that are more applicable to the higher grades are less cute.
....back to that cute pig. As students work, they earn coins which they use to buy clothes for their piggy. (My pig only has shorts.) They can only enter the store after they have worked for so long and the store is timed - they cannot spend forever dressing their pig!
There is also an easily accessed assignment page where students can go to for any assignments you've given them.
From the Teacher Perspective
In the free version, you can assign one standard at a time. As you teach each standard, you could use Front Row to gauge their understanding. Once that assignment has been completed, you can assign others.
Front Row seems pretty great, right? I definitely encourage you to check it out. It has a lot of potential to make your ZONES time engaging for students and it would allow you to work smarter, not harder.
-Meghan, 1st Grade
As you are thinking ahead and planning your ZONES activities, don't get overwhelmed. Depending on the rotational schedule that works for you, many options can stay the same for weeks at a time. In my classroom, the only thing I change weekly is one of the on your Own activities and my two Notebook options. I am planning to have more, and more differentiated, activities this year. To make sure that my students understand exactly what they need to do (and so that they don't need to ask me while I am working with students), I am going to use Seesaw.
Seesaw is an online learning portfolio for students that is capable of so much more. Here is a previous post with a little more about it.
Along with everything that Seesaw allows students to accomplish, it allows you (teacher) to do lots of things. One is to create videos that you can share with your students. These are easily opened and shared in Seesaw. Since Seesaw is web and app based, it works with personal computers and iPads. You could do this with a class set of devices or just a few shared.
Now I am going to take you through exactly how you do it!
How to Do It!
In the main Seesaw screen (if you aren't there, click the green plus sign), choose how you want to share the directions. Is it a picture that you speak over? Is it a video that you actually show how to complete the task? I am going to choose video for mine.
(You could also upload a video you completed elsewhere or upload a link to a video you created. This would be great if you know you want to use the video again.)
Assuming you are creating a video, record exactly what you want done. This should not take very long. It is just a quick reminder of instructions they have already had. (If you choose to use a different format, the next instructions will be exactly the same.)
Once you are finished recording, click the green check mark once (to compress and preview the video) and then again to submit it to your class.
Now you are at the list of students in your class. Do not share it with them!! They do not need it in their feed to access at all times, only when they need it to learn about an activity. (Tip - create a fake student to share things with.)
Now you are going to print the QR code for the video you created. Students will then scan it in Seesaw if they need to hear the instructions.
Hit print . . . and that's it! I PROMISE, after you do this once, you will see how easy it is and how little time it takes. If it was exhaustive, it wouldn't be worth doing each week.
Give it a try! I promise you'll be excited about the possibilities.
Bye for now and good luck!
-Meghan (1st Grade)
Happy winter break! Congratulations to everyone on making it through the first part of the year and the holidays (almost). As usual, I want to use this time to decompress, but instead I end up thinking about school.
One thing I noticed during ZONES prior to break is that my students are rarely using their resources on their own anymore. By that I mean their resource notebook and any manipulatives around the room. When these things are first introduced, they are everywhere. The students are excited and invigorated by them. Slowly but surely as I look around the room, I start to see less resources out and students trying to add 13+5 on their fingers.
So . . . the week before break we paused on our ZONES rotations and went through each of our activities whole group. We talked about what resources would be good to use with each activity and practiced using them.
It was great! Students had their 120 chart out again and were comparing it against the numbers they were writing and the numbers they were putting in order from least to greatest. We all felt reinvigorated. Number lines were being used. The manipulatives didn't feel neglected anymore!
I think in first grade, and maybe all others grades, it is important to be explicit and repetitive with the use of resources. They know they're there, but it's easier to slip back into what they are used to doing. I need to consistently remind them of what is available to them and what they could use until it becomes second nature to them.
To start, after break I am going to have the students tell me what resources or strategies they are using when they complete an activity. I think that this will help them to be accountable and it will give me more information about how they are solving problems.
The first thing I am going to do it put the following on the back of activities or have it to fill out with their activity. I'll see how this goes and then go from there!
Enjoy the rest of your break! Don't work too hard!
Hello...it's me again! Sara....the data freak! By now you must have data coming out of your ears! I know most of you have been using your data and working in small groups. Maybe you've even been dabbling a bit in conferencing. I want to give you a few tips on conferencing to make your life as easy as possible.
1: Go to your student in whatever Zone they are working in. Before we started Zones Math we often practiced "conferencing" in subjects such as writing and reading. During those conferences we called students up to our desk or the table WE were working at. For Zones Math we decided to change that. We go to the student...where He/She is working. In THEIR environment. It's quicker, less distracting, and often more telling. Take your clip board and your conferencing notes and get started!
2: Ask the student a few key questions and observe their work. What Zone are you working in? What are you doing right now? Can you tell me how you got to this answer? What part is giving you trouble? You do not need to ask all of these questions, but this gives you a general idea of some to start with.
3: Quickly assess their understanding. Decide what level of understanding the student seems to be at (strong, growing, or weak).
4: Teach! Based on your quick assessment of the student's understanding, decide what needs to be taught. Do they need a quick review of the content? Do they need to be challenged? Do you need to remediate?
5: Goals! Give your student a goal to work on. For example, it could be to use a Resource Journal tool or to double check their work. Whatever you choose to focus on, make sure it aligns with the needs of the student. Let the student know that you expect them to practice this and you will be looking for it the next time you conference with them.
6: Take Notes! Remember to take notes on your conference. It will help you with future conferences. Here is our fabulous Conferencing Form. Using these will make your life even easier because everything above is right on this neat little form!
As a final reminder....keep it simple and quick! 5 minutes tops! You want to touch base, teach where necessary and move on to the next student.
Check out our conferencing video below. I think you'll find it helpful! While you're at it check out our Conferencing Board on Pinterest.
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