WOW Wednesday: Monica Fricke, AES

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Monica Fricke
Hello and Happy Holidays out there everyone!

WOW! What a year so far! I feel so fortunate to have a class set of Chromebooks in my room this year. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to find time to use them… but that hasn’t happened. We are not using them everyday. However, the kids are getting extremely comfortable with them in their Math classroom.

There are two Es that my students are very familiar with this year… Educreations and Edmodo! Below I will describe how these two Es have become ESSENTIAL in our classroom!

Last year I dipped my toe in the Edmodo water. This year I have both feet in as I sit on the ledge. I am gradually getting more comfortable with Edmodo and the power it has to offer in school and at home. In fourth grade, we work on solving multiplication using the area model and traditional method as well. I’ll have parents that write notes or send their kid back to school confused about this “box” that the kids are using. This year, I sent a note home with examples along with an explanation of how to view a “tutorial” of the area mode through Edmodo. My hope is that my students and their parents will view the tutorial and share both of the ways that they understand it. This will encourage communication between the parent and child in a whole new way. I did have one particular student that shared her story of watching the tutorial with her mom. She and the mom watched the video together. The mom gave the daughter three new multiplication problems for her daughter to work on. The mom solved it her way. When they were done, they compared! They were both correct! What a fun way to spend time together AND have a math discussion! I was overjoyed when my student told me this story!

If I have to be out, my hope is to use Edmodo as my teaching tool. I can post videos, quizzes, assignments, etc. on my Edmodo group for students to complete. I feel like this could really relieve the pressure of being out. I can find or make a video on the topic we’re covering, have an assignment or quiz ready...annnndd… BINGO! It would be like I wasn’t even out. It will still be a productive day! I know we teachers are always worried about who our substitute will be and whether or not they’ll do the items we’ve left. What an easy substitute day! All they would have to do is walk in, tell the class their assignment is on Edmodo, and monitor for questions as they work!

Educreations is an app that I first learned of and used last year. This year I used it as an incentive for my students that worked on some extra math practice over the Thanksgiving break. I sent some “optional” math practice home for my students to work on. If they brought it back complete and correct, they are getting to post their very own tutorial onto Edmodo for the classes to see. I was asked immediately when it was brought back if they would get to do the tutorial video. They are anxious to be a part of the “teaching” process and tutor their peers. I’m excited about the motivation I am seeing!

I recently had to stay home with my son on a TEST DAY! I know what you’re thinking… YIKES! If I have ever been gone on a test day in the past, I simply write out directions for the substitute to say. This is more like a script you would read similar to STAAR directions. For some reason, I never feel like that is good enough. I feel like the kids benefit so much more by hearing their teacher talk to them and go over and explain expectations. That is where Educreations came in to save the day! I used Educreations to record my voice and detailed instructions/expectations for my students and their test. The substitute told me the next day that one of my students told another student to hush because I could hear them. I thought this was super comical. The substitute simply pushed play on the Educreations lesson that I had created the afternoon before. My directions were the same that I would have given had I been there. This was very relieving. The substitute said that the kids really enjoyed it!

I hope everyone is having a great semester and enjoying this hectic weather. It’s looking like we have another COLD SPELL coming our way!

Happy Holidays,
Monica Fricke

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