November 17, 2014

MobyMax Giveaway

Have you heard of MobyMax? If not, you need to check it out! MobyMax is a website that provides teachers with math and language arts (reading, writing, vocabulary) lessons and assessments that they can use with their students. One of my favorite things about MobyMax is how it differentiates lessons for EACH student. It provides helpful feedback and mini lessons to students who struggle with the concepts they are learning. It also provides higher level passages and lessons to students who have already mastered the content being reviewed. 

It's ideal for teachers because it provides SO MUCH data on students' performance. It tells you the amount of minutes students have been actively (and idly) on lessons. It gives you an ample amount of detail on students' performance on assessments too. I can't even begin to go into how much detail you will get!

My team teacher and I started using MobyMax last year, and we loved it. This year, our principal purchased a school-wide license, so everyone in our school has the opportunity to use this amazing curriculum resource! Now, you have the opportunity to win a Year-Long Moby Max Pro Classroom License (valued at $99)!  Just check out the Rafflecopter at the end of this posts to enter the giveaway.

Note: All of the images in this post are from MobyMax's website. There are many other features that the website can explain. I just wanted to point out a few of my favorites. And, I couldn't do a better job of explaining the features...

I like the positive reinforcement kids can get from Vibes and Badges. They get so excited every time they earn a new badge. It shows them their hard work is paying off!

 I like to create optional contests. It gives students who would like to do extra work outside of school an incentive for doing so.

11/18/14: I asked my homeroom students to share some reasons why they like MobyMax, and here are a few things they said...

"MobyMax helps students focus more and finishing problems is more rewarding due to the games factor."

"The thing I like about MobyMax is it gives you a second chance if you get the answer wrong."

"I like how it has the daily jokes!!"

"MobyMax helps you with math and reading. It also inspired me to learn."

"MobyMax made me proud of how much I've learned and how smart I've gotten."

November 06, 2014

Making Inferences

Sorry that I've been MIA since August. I've been going through a rough patch in my personal life, but it's been getting better. So, I'M BACK! 

I wanted to blog on the reading skill I've been teaching this week! It's such an important skill for students to grasp, and it's realllllly important for students to use evidence (quotes) from the text to support their answers. I MAY or may not have used this for my recent observation...;)

Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Part 1: Reviewing the definition

>Make sure your students understand what two components are needed to make an inference (clues from the text and what they already know). Students need to understand that an inference is an educated guess about something in the text that isn't directly stated.

>When I taught my lesson on making inferences, many students in one of my classes came in with the misconception that making inferences was the same as making a prediction. It's important to address that they are two completely different reading skills!

>I used the BrainPop Jr. "Making Inferences" video to review the definition of inferring with my students. Make sure that you set a purpose for watching a video with your students. I made it clear before the video began that my students should focus on filling out notes on the two components needed to make an inference, as well as what an inference is.

Part 2: Creating connections

>Have you used the skill of inferring in language arts earlier in the year? You probably have!! Remind students that they make inferences when they come up with character traits, the theme of a story, etc.

>Have students come up with examples of how they have used the skill of inferring in different content areas!

>Explain how students will use this skill in the real world/in a future career. 

Part 3: Practice (multimedia and text examples)

Multimedia-I found the following video after a quick YouTube search. I absolutely loved it, and my students were able to make some great inferences with it. However, it is a pretty intense video, so make sure it's appropriate for your students before using it in your classroom!  I also had students focus on the theme of the commercial (during the second time it plays) to tie in some prior learning.

Text-Using the "I Do, We Do, You Do" strategy, we practiced making inferences and supporting them with evidence from the text. We used passages from my "Making Inferences for Older Kids" product (below). I used the "You Do" responses as an exit slip/formative assessment for the lesson.

Part 4: Creating Pieces of Writing

>So, after some more practice making inferences from the text on day numero dos, my students began creating their own pieces of writing. I assigned each student a different place (ex: bowling alley, the rainforest, at a football game, etc.) to create a piece of writing about. Then, they had to create a skit that included enough clues for other students to be able to infer the location they were writing about. 

{I had kids act out my example skits first-as a hook}

>I posted a tutorial on Google Classroom that showed my students how to create their own Google Story Builder video that they then uploaded to their blogs/shared with the class. The class successfully made inferences on their locations. My students LOVED Google Story Builder, and even kept working on it when the bell rang for recess-Say what?!?! 

Here is the example I showed my students before they began making their own video clips:


I'm also linking up with Farley's November Currently.  It's been a little while since I've done one of these...