Monday, March 18, 2019

Using One Breakout Box with 23 Students...

Breakout boxes are one of my favorite activities to incorporate review of learned skills.  The campus I taught at last year had a few boxes and I used it twice during the year, but I wanted to use it monthly, so I purchased my own over the summer. I prefer having my own box so that I always have it whenever I would like and so I know what each lock's code was set to from it's previous usage.  You can get a box with all of the locks on the Breakout EDU site.

I purchased the Single Breakout EDU kit so I had to figure out how to make one box work with 23+ students each month.  Here is how I have incorporated my Breakout Box every month this school year.

First of all, I absolutely LOVE the monthly puzzles in Megan's TPT store!  Her games are perfectly planned for primary students.

To set up the puzzles, I print off 6 of each puzzle I want my students to solve in groups.  I usually laminate the puzzles but if I ran out of time, I just place them in the plastic sleeves, as you can see here.


I set each puzzle in a stack on shelf in my classroom, with the hint cards and a post it note with the group's number and the team members names.






So now I have 6 groups with each group having the same materials to solve their puzzles.


Then I place 6 post-its around the classroom with each team's number and the name of that team's leader for the puzzles.  It also shows the teams the space in the classroom where they can work so that no other teams borrow their brains.

Click the pic below to see my sensational second graders solving puzzles together in their teams.


When we first started our Breakout Box in September, I would scaffold how to solve puzzles and we would solve puzzle number 1 at the same time, still in teams, and once a team solved it and opened the lock, we would learn about puzzle number 2, etc.  I started helping less each month and even allowed my students to take their team's puzzles to their work area and solve them in any order they would like.

To keep my students from crowding the box, the team leader has to send me a pic through Seesaw.  I walk around with my iPad while students are working, providing hints as hint cards are given to me, and if I get a Seesaw notification, I check the picture and then go to that team and let them know if it's correct or incorrect.  If it's correct, they can go to the box to open a lock.



Here are some screen shots of my iPad with answered puzzles.



Once I check a team's work, then I simply click X and delete the item.  No need on sending it to families, it's just an assessment for me to see.

Click below to see one of the team's opening a lock!


Once a lock is open, we all celebrate and everyone keeps working on the remaining puzzles until we have all the locks opened.

Oh, and for fun, I lay detective music on Spotify the whole time.  We love Pink Panther and Mission Impossible the most!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

So Much Fun with Seesaw!

Have you heard of Seesaw?

Seesaw is a digital journal for students to share their work with only their families and their teacher.  i started using is 2 years ago in my Kindergarten classroom and I have embraced it more each year.  There is SOOOOO much it can do so I wanted to share some ideas of how I have utilized this amazing tool with apps and with general student sharing.  I have found that parents LOVE it because they can see all the creative work we do in class, since most of this creative work will never go home.  It also allows us to use apps to show what we know and share those tech tools for learning with our families, since we can't take our iPads home.



In Writer's Workshop, our most recent unit of study is procedural text, how-to stories, so we learned about the app Popplet.


This app is awesome for creating thinking maps.  We used the app to create a flow map of how to build a leprechaun trap.


Once students created a flow map, they saved it to their iPad, then uploaded it to Seesaw using the ADD FILE feature.


After the image from Popplet was uploaded, then students could explain their work so parents could see the flow map and hear their child explaining it.  Click here to view the above Popplet on Seesaw.

After we wrote how to build leprechaun traps, then we built them!







After building them, we uploaded a video explaining our work.  Click the image below to see the video explaining one of our traps.


(Here's my FREE leprechaun trap kit on TPT.)

Another app we LOVE is Chatterpix.

Chatterpix is amazing!  It allows students to snap a picture, then animate the picture by drawing a mouth and recording words.  Here are some fun examples of Chatterpix in our classroom.  Click each picture below to see the video on Seesaw.


Biography of Martin Luther King Jr.


Each student was given a shape and created that shape as a shape penguin and explained the attributes of that shape.


Students created a quadrilateral and explained the attributes.


Persuasive writing about turkeys in disguise

(You can grab my FREE Turkey Dressing unit on TPT.)

The next app that we use often is called Adobe Spark.  We use this app for so much, that I think it deserves it's own post soon....


Its a great app for students to snap a picture, then record an explanation.  It creates a trail of images with explanations.  Here is an example that was uploaded to Seesaw.  Students were placed in groups and given a prefix, then created an Adobe Spark video describing the words they decided upon that had that prefix.  Click the image below to take a look at one prefix video example.


DoInk is a green screen app that we use as well, then we add our saved green screens to Seesaw so families can view them.


Here is my kindergarten class from last year creating their own version of Gingerbread Man to tell with Green Screen, then upload to Seesaw so families can see their awesome work.



Here is my current class of second graders building pieces to retell Stellaluna in groups of 3-4 students.





Once they finished, they uploaded to Seesaw so their families could see and I could assess their retell components.  Click below to see one groups' work.


Apart from using apps, Seesaw is just great for sharing what we know in creative ways and for families to see our work.

We can share our writing.  Click each Seesaw image to view it.

Here is one of our bat pop up books.


Here is one of our pumpkin monsters after reading I Need My Monster.  This one is just an photo, not a video.


Here is a published penguin book from our research project.

We used Shelia Rae, the Brave to learn about adjectives that describe character traits by making a mask in which our faces went in the middle and we wrote words to describe Shelia Rae.  Then we read these on Seesaw.



We built gingerbread houses with place value blocks, then added up the value of our house based on the blocks used.

Here we did retelling of The Dot with a puppet and our retell ribbon.


(You can grab the retell ribbon for FREE here.)

You can also use many amazing tools already built into Seesaw, including their very large Activity Library.


Teachers can search for ideas that are ALREADY MADE, and add them to all students' journals to complete, OR select certain students to complete assignments, allowing differentiation.

Click below to see a Seesaw activity in which students showed they understood common and proper nouns and explained how they knew using examples they created.


Seesaw also has drawing tools that allow students to draw on a photo, and record their thinking at the exact same time their drawings appear.  Click to see these two students sharing the clock they built and their skip counting on the clock.



Another way I use Seesaw is for students to send me their thinking, so I can see it, then I can choose to delete it.  This is great for exit tickets and for permission to go to the Breakout Box.  (Click here to read how I use Seesaw with Breakout Boxes.)  Once I see their explanations, I simply discard it.  There isn't a need for parents to see everything, especially if it's a quick assessment for me to see if they understood a concept or need more practice.

How can you use Seesaw in your classroom?

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