Thursday, March 10, 2011

What We Love Wednesday!

I really do LOVE my job. I work with some really great people and I am especially lucky to work with such a great group of 1st grade teachers. One of those wonderful teammates is Mrs. Claborn over at Burst of First. Last week we came up with the idea to link up every Wednesday for "What We Love Wednesday", starting this week with websites! Now, I realize that yesterday was Wednesday, but I had one thing after another to do after school yesterday and by the time I got home at 11 last night all I could do was fall in to bed. So it's Thursday morning and here I am!

What We Love Wednesday - Website Edition!

If you are not using this yet, you need to go check it out now! We started using it last week and the kids can't get enough of it! Its very user friendly, it's quick and easy to set up, and the kids can access it from home. You can post questions for the kids to answer by leaving a comment, or you can have your students create their own posts. It's also a great way to let other people get involved in your classroom. Our principal, technology teacher, math specialist and reading specialist all left comments and questions for us this week and the kids were SO excited to have "visitors"! I don't worry about what kinds of comments my students will leave for me, or each other, but I know that unfortunately sometimes we do have to think about that, so here's another great thing about KidBlog - all student comments have to be approved by you before they post . I wish I could take credit for discovering this awesome tool, but I saw it a few weeks ago over at Bishop's Blackboard.  

Again, I can't take credit for this discovery. I found it on this post by Heidi over at Swamp Frog First Graders. I am always looking for new ways to drill and practice fast facts. SO many of my kiddos are still counting on their fingers! I love this site for 3 reasons: its free, its accessible from home, and best of all it runs itself! Really. There are several videos that you can watch on their site if you want more information, including a video about how it can work in your classroom. We've been using it every morning for 2 weeks and it's working out really well. I use it when my kids finish morning work and calendar binders, but you could use it any time. The first six kids that finish hop on a computer and get to work on XtraMath. They take a quick quiz, and when they finish it pops up with another student's name. The finished student then taps the next student, and that continues until our morning work/calendar time is up. If someone is absent or busy, there are buttons to click and another student will be selected. The students can also click on their own names to bypass the random selection. Head over there now and set up your class!

Leave me a comment and share your favorite website(s)! Be sure to head over and leave one with Mrs. Claborn at Burst of First too!



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