Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pencil Sharpener Giveaway from Classroom Friendly Supplies

Win a Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpener!
* Giveaway has ended. Congratulations Kelby Black!

I am not a fan of electric pencil sharpeners. They are noisy, messy, and they don't last very long. I have very strict rules in my classroom about pencil sharpening. My students are allowed to sharpen 1-2 pencils first thing in the morning before 8:00. They can also switch un-sharpened pencils with sharp pencils. The rest of the day is pencil sharpener-free.

That means I have to make sure our sharpened pencil can is always full. My old electric sharpener allows me to sharpen about 10 pencils before it heats up and stops. Now that I am using my Classroom Friendly Supplies Sharpener, I can sharpen enough pencils at one time to last several days! It comes with a mount that can attach to a table, counter top, or shelf so it stays put while sharpening. Best of all, it's VERY quiet! more frazzled nerves form the noisy electric pencil sharpener!

It's really easy to use too. Here is a how-to video:

To win your very own sharpener, just fill out out the easy entry Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway starts Sunday September 30th and ends Sunday October 7th at midnight.  One winner will be chosen based on the most points and random number selection. 

Enter now!
U.S. mailing addresses only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Looking for a good read aloud?

My class is participating in the Global Read Aloud 2012. This is a month-long, worldwide project created by a teacher named Pernille Ripp. The purpose of this project is for classes to read the same book and then share their thoughts, ideas, and projects via blogging, Skype, Edmodo, Voicethread and other web 2.0 tools.  My class is part of a K-2 group. We are using blogging, Edmodo, and Skype to discuss and share our thoughts about the book.  We will start reading the book on October 1st and follow a set schedule so everyone will be literally "on the same page". We have selected The One and Only Ivan for our read aloud, but there is another group doing Charlotte's Web. Before we start our reading the students will make predictions. On Friday, I showed the book cover and the students wrote in their journals what they thought the book will be about. They will post their prediction on their blogs on Monday.  As the week progresses, I will create an assignment on Edmodo that they will respond to. I can also create quizzes and polls on Edmodo so I can monitor their comprehension and engagement in the book. We will also Skype with other classrooms and discuss the book.

It's not too late to join in. Check out the Global Read Aloud Wiki and find a class to connect with!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Claco: A space for teachers to create and share

A group of young entrepreneurs in California have created a wonderful space for educators to create and share curriculum across the globe.  Claco is a new site created especially for teachers so they can network together to find the best possible resources to meet the specific needs for their students. 

It's in the early stages, so they are slowly launching and working out the bugs. I have already created several binders and have subscribed to several users.  Shortly, invitations will be going out and more educators will be able to join and share.  

Claco allows you to create binders and add links to websites, videos, and other resources. 
The beauty of Claco is that while it has some similarities to Pinterest or Learnist, it is specifically for educators and curriculum sharing. You won't see recipes, crafts, and snarky e-cards junking up the site.  

I am looking forward to the addition of more educators and more resources.  If you would like and invitation to join this up and coming site, please go to my About Me/Contact Me page and send me your e-mail address. 

To learn more about Claco, read Erin Klein's post about her visit to their headquarters: 

From AOL Squatter to Start-Up Sensation: The Eric Simons Story & Claco Launch

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Stealing Minutes

For the first time in 3 years, our 2nd grade schedule has changed - which leaves us with a 20 minute block between lunch and PE. I usually do a restroom break after lunch, but that takes at least 10 minutes. That leaves another 5-7 minutes of dead time before we go to PE. So, I decided that we would "steal" some reading minutes during our restroom break and just stay in the hall until it is time to line up for PE! We also have 15 minutes of hall time in the morning before school starts.  I just put a basket by our door with a variety of books and some math flashcards. No more "dead" time!