Friday, August 30, 2013

Five for Friday - August 30, 2013

It's the end of week #2 and we've been busy in 2nd grade: 

1. I blogged about Remind 101's awesome text messaging service on Sunday. You can read about it here. I did a demonstration this week and taught some of the teachers on staff how to sign up and create an account. I'm so excited we have several teachers now who are using this awesome service! 

2. We're learning about our families and making family trees:

3. Students brought in artifacts from their family's past. I'm loving the fact that a Boys II Men cassette tape is considered an artifact by 2nd graders! 

None of my students knew about All 4 One, but when I started to sing "I Swear" for the entire class, they informed me that the minions on Despicable Me 2 sing their own version of  the song. I've not seen the movie, but I did find a Youtube video of their cover. My students are obsessed with minions right now! 

Check out the old Nintendo game one student brought in: 

4. We've been doing a lot of fun activities in social studies. We learned that people used to make ALL of their own food. We made our own butter on Friday afternoon and everyone loved tasting it on crackers. One student remarked, "I'm sure glad I was born when I was. Life was hard back then!" 

5. My students LOVE this video every year. I usually don't play it until we study polygons, but we've been working with pattern blocks a lot this week. A few students asked me why we only had hexagons and not pentagons or octagons! I showed them this short video clip at the end of the lesson so they could learn more about polygons: 

Have a great three day weekend! 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Remind 101 - San Francisco Based Tech Company!

Does anyone use Remind 101 in their classrooms? Remind 101 is a one-way text messaging system that allows teachers to safely text students and their parents. I am LOVING this resource! Best of all? It's a San Francisco based company!

The home page on their website states that Remind 101 is "A safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents. Free." 

It takes less than 5 minutes to create an account and class code. Teachers quickly type out the text they want to send and Remind 101 does all the work. Are you busy at 3:00pm with bus duty, but want to send out a text to your class? No worries. Remind 101 allows you to schedule texts for anytime of the day. No teacher, parent or student cell phone numbers are ever shared, making it a super safe way to stay in contact long after the last school bell has sounded at the end of the day.

We're studying ancestors, what life was like long ago, artifacts, family trees, etc. in social studies right now. Check out the text I sent my students' parents tonight:

I introduced this FREE service to my school parents at Back to School Night. I asked everyone to pull out their cell phones and text my class code to the number provided by Remind 101. You should have heard the "oohs" and "ahhs!" I was able to demonstrate the messaging process on my SMARTboard and everyone's phones buzzed at the same time with a "Welcome to Back to School Night" text. I've received nothing but positive feedback about the few texts I've sent the first week of school.

I shared this resource with our incredibly tech savvy 7th grade teacher at a staff dinner party on Friday night. She has already contacted her students (love the power of technology!) and asked them to bring in their cell phones this week for a demonstration. I only wish I could be a fly on her classroom wall when all her students' phones are buzzing at the same time with a text from their teacher! Technology is changing the way we communicate. I love Remind 101's "about us" section: "We believe great education is the first step to solving many of the world's most pressing problems. Our purpose is to build products to make it easier for teachers to provide that education...The connected classroom is rapidly evolving. Remind 101 helps innovative teachers take advantage of technology in a way that frees up their time to focus on what they do best: teach." 

Thank you, Remind 101. You have a loyal subscriber!