Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A is for Apps!

Hi friends! Long time, no blog! If it helps, I have a good reason. Actually I have several, but the main one is that my little family MOVED! We've been in our new house for two weeks now, and it's finally starting to feel like home. 

If I can give you one piece of advice from my experience, don't move during the school year. 
Or if you have young kids. 
It's really not fun. 

Anyway, my favorite little girls and I went shopping this weekend, and we found this little gem at Hobby Lobby: 

If you follow me on Instagram (click here if you don't!), you saw this pic this weekend, and if you know me at all, you know that the donut is my favorite part! This sweet little ornament made me realize how long I've been neglecting this little blog of mine. I'll try not to let it happen again. :)

Now that I'm back, I'm ready to share some of the excitement that has been happening in my little corner of the first grade universe. 

I'm also linking up with Blog Hoppin' for their Week of Giving Thanks!

I'm a little late to the party (as usual), but I decided Wednesday (A) is a great day to share one of my new favorite apps. I'm thankful for anything that will engage my kiddos, and I've found several apps this year that do the trick! 

The app I'm thankful for this week is called Plickers

It provides a quick and ultra-engaging way to formatively assess your students. 

Plickers is fabulous, whether you have one iPad, are 1:1, or have only your smartphone in your arsenal. 

All you need is a printer and one device, and you're ready. No student devices necessary!

The first step is to go to the Plickers website or download the app and sign up for a FREE account. If you sign up on the website, you will also need to download the app before you can use it with your class. I have it on my iPhone. 

Then, you need to create your class. Plickers will assign each student a number. The numbers match the numbers on the cards.

You will print enough cards for your class (one per student) by clicking on the Cards link at the top of the page. There are two per page - paper saving bonus! Be sure to give your kids the numbered card that matches their number on your Plickers class list so your data will be accurate. 

Then you put in the questions you want. Since we've been learning about the First Thanksgiving, I used the questions from a quiz I found here. You select A, B, C, or D as the correct answer, and then the kids hold up their cards. Whichever letter is on top when they hold it is the answer that is recorded for them. You then click the photo button at the bottom and scan the room. Each child's name and his or her response will come up on your screen. 

You can tell immediately how many students have answered and who has answered correctly. 

When you have all of your responses, you tap the checkmark at the bottom, and all of your students' responses are automatically graphed for you. 

You can also go in and see the reports from all of the questions to gauge how well your students understand the concept. I was showing them the questions and answer choices on my Promethean board from the site listed above, so I didn't put in detailed questions and answer choices in the app. I just let it know which was the correct answer. 

So cool, right? My class LOVED this. And it was so easy to get started. 
There is a much more detailed tutorial on the Plickers website (click here) if you need it! 

I plan to use this many more times when we come back from Thanksgiving break! 

Which apps are you thankful for?