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Showing posts from 2017

Life or Debt: Holiday Shopping Update

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Awhile back, I shared a post about my Life or Debt unit.As we approach the holiday season I wanted to share a little update. Last week my students had to "go shopping" for all the fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Today, I surprised them with a little Black Friday and Cyber Monday Holiday Shopping. I used the same app that I mentioned previously to create a list of items that people are purchasing this year with the actual costs during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  In class, the students rolled a die to determine how much shopping they would do. The number on the die correlated to the number of times that they had to tap the button on my app and buy something.

The room was buzzing immediately! Students were groaning, exclaiming, consoling each other, and generally had great difficulty containing themselves.  Further accentuating the event, last week was a short "work week" and student pay day today was only averaging $40. As if that wasn't enough, …

Tech Solution: Edpuzzle in the Spotlight

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I would like to welcome my colleague Emily Hine as a guest blogger. Emily is a 5th grade teacher at New Century International Elementary School.  I have asked her to share her experience flipping the classroom using Edpuzzle.  Neither of us receives any compensation for endorsing Edpuzzle.  This post is representative of her personal experience.
Looking for a way to incorporate videos into your classroom, and still hold students accountable?  Forgot to print the paper that goes with the video?  No problem, Edpuzzle is an awesome tool if you want to flip the classroom and still hold students accountable.  Edpuzzle allows you pull videos from other people or include your own videos.  If you are looking into flipping the classroom and want to spend most of your time in small group, or even differentiate your learning with different videos, Edpuzzle allows you to spend more time in small group then giving a lecture.
Now, if your anything like me, you are not always satisfied with videos fro…

Writing is my Jam

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Calling all creative writers!  Summertime is a great time for getting your jam on.  How about an online summer writing camp to get your creative juices going?  I'm tapping into Boomwriter this summer to offer a fun alternative to traditional summer camps.  So many times families have to choose between sending kids to summer camp or traveling together.  Well, with an online camp you can do both!

I'm looking for 10 -15 students who have just completed 3rd-5th grade to work together on a creative writing project.  I will provide the storystarter and everyone will write their own version of the next chapter.  I will provide guidance, feedback, and suggestions for revision.  Students will revise and then they will read each other's chapters.  Everyone will vote on their favorite version and the next day they will all pick up where that writer left off to start the process again.  By the end of the week, we will have a completed story which will be published and shipped to each …

Life or Debt

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Finally, it is here!  Some of my colleagues have been after me to write up the details of a simulation that I created last year for teaching financial literacy.  Well, now that I have successfully defended my dissertation (yes - I am now Dr. Kaiser 😎), I finally had time to sit down and put it all together.

I will give you a brief overview and then you can go grab the PDF from my website.

The challenge is for students to end the school year "debt-free".  

As the teacher, you are going to make this a difficult task - just like IRL (in real life).

There are 2 main costs for starting up this simulation.
1. Journals for every student.  These can be composition notebooks, spirals, 3 ring binders, or just some paper in a folder.  

2. Purchase the pro version of the Random Name Selector app.  
Note: I do not receive anything for promoting this app.  Other apps may work but this is the one I used and I thought it was well worth the upgrade fee.

I like to start the simulation during the fir…

Monday Math Meet-ups

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Have your students taken a benchmark test recently?  Do you have a limited time to review the questions with them before turning in the "secure test materials"? Would you like a different way to review that involves the students as leaders and lets you, "the teacher",  take a backseat? I've got just the thing... Math Meet-ups.  The idea isn't new. It's really the same as stations, centers, rotations, task cards, etc.  The big difference is that a student is in charge of each question and does the models their solution for their peers.
WARNING: This took A LOT more preparation than I originally anticipated. BUT... it was really worth it.

First, I created a short video, in Adobe Spark, that all 5 teachers played for the students in order to explain the process. Second, I created a Powerpoint slideshow with timings to manage the rotations from question to question. (3 minutes per question and 30 second transitions).
Step 3 involved assigning the student…