Monday, June 11, 2018

IB Learner Profile Poster Set

Clean and Simple Visuals

This IB Learner Profile poster pack comes with a full set of colored posters, a full set of black and white posters, and 3 pages of mini posters to use as teaching aids. You can place them on a key ring, use them in lessons as manipulative or within thinking maps and graphic organizers, or pass them out to recognize a students character traits.

 IB Learner Profile Posters
Check out my new IB Learner Profile Poster set at my TpT store.
The posters are written using the full IB descriptor for each learner profile. encouraging a strong use of vocabulary and opportunity for vocabulary discussion.

Please send me picture of them posted in your classroom. I would love to see how they look!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Simple Spelling Packet Saves Time

Easy to Use

If you are looking for some quick and simple ways to assess students word work and spelling knowledge, check out my spelling pack on my Teacher's Pay Teachers site. It's easy to reproduce, can be utilized each week, and comes with some word work menus for student voice and choice when practicing their phonics rules.

Find my Spelling Packet on TpT
The choice menu can be used each week, with students choosing different ways to practice.

And a variety of spelling pages for graces K-2, with sentence practice and spelling review pages.


Let me know how they worked out for you! My students found them friendly and simple to use.

Friday, June 8, 2018

IB Learner Profile and ClassDojo Poster Pack Freebie

It Takes Two

When two great programs are being utilized in the classroom, it only makes sense to combine them! Check out my FREE International Baccalaureate Learner Profile Posters that incorporate the beloved ClassDojo monsters at my NEW Teachers Pay Teachers Store, Lovin' the Learnin' with Mrs. Crosby!

Download the free poster pack at my TpT store:
Lovin' the Learnin' with Mrs. Crosby

Keep your eyes peeled for more IB related material in my TpT store. If you have requests, let me know.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Aligning Digital Citizenship to Your Units of Inquiry

How can teachers incorporate digital citizenship instruction without overflowing their already full glass?

I get it...
It's just One. More. Thing. in the eyes of a teacher. Just one more lesson. Just one more box to check. Just one skill to track and monitor. Digital citizenship, it is something we must do both for the mental health of our students, as well as the digital literacy graduation requirements many schools are being asked to adjust for.

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I am currently on the lead team for designing a digital citizenship program for our building, which will be pushing out a BYOD 1-1 program next year. One thing we quickly realized is that most teachers are not equipped with a working understanding of digital citizenship. Our very first task quickly became centered around educating our teachers on digital citizenship.

In regards to curriculum for students, we have chosen to use Common Sense Media's free digital citizenship PK-5 curriculum as our foundation. Common Sense has designed some easy, low-prep, high engagement lesson plans that cover all of Mike Ribbel's 9 elements of digital citizenship.

Now, for the hard part...the how. After much discussion, we determined our best course of action was to align the lessons to the IB transdisciplinary themes, providing an open-ended framework for teachers to incorporate the lessons as they apply to their Unit of Inquiry. We are currently in the process of creating a roadmap (or google doc spreadsheet) for teachers to pull from. Instead of simply following Commons Sense Media's scope and sequence, we are working to embed the lessons into our current learning activities and experiences to design parallels and real world applications. 

For example, we have identified the following lessons from Common Sense to align with How we express ourselves:

We shall see where this new journey takes us and how it impacts our students.

Earlier this year, I wrote a reflection on a discussion I had with a colleague on the importance of digital citizenship and why teachers should not ignore technology and ban it from their classrooms, but embrace it, learn about it, and use it as a tool of creation rather than a tool of consumption. You can read it here: When Digital Citizenship Really Matters

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Flat Walls, Big Ideas

How does your class connect to enhance your current unit of inquiry or learning cycle?

Engagement is a great indicator of teacher success. When student interest is piqued, students begin generating their own ideas and questions, solving their own inquiries and sharing their learning with others. One way I seek to engage my students is by flattening our classroom walls and working with other classrooms. A professional development course I am currently taking through The International Baccalaureate Organization challenges its participants to reach out and find a project or connect with another classroom. Here is a list of a few of my favorite activities that connect my students with the world around us and engage my 2nd graders in conversations outside of our classroom.

Global Read Aloud
The Global Read Aloud uses "one book to connect the world". Every October, The GRA kicks off with a list of books classrooms can read. Throughout the 6 week GRA, classrooms around the globe connect with each other to read, share, discuss and reflect upon the book they are reading through a variety of apps and web 2.0 tools. The GRA Twitter hashtag is #GRA16 (or whatever the current year is). Using Twitter, teachers can connect with other educators and plan ongoing collaboration or live digital meetups through apps like todaysmeet, voicethread, padlet, or thinglink. Here are a few of our collaborations from previous GRA's:

GRA 2014, Edward Tulane
GRA 2013, Marty McGuire

ePals is a great platform that connects classrooms around the world through projects, conversations, and general connections. Teachers signup via their interests and setup learning experiences with other classrooms.

For the blogging classroom, using the hashtag #comments4kids can lead you to other teachers that are looking for blogging connections, as well as allowing your students to comment on other classroom blogs.

How does your classroom connect? I would love to explore a few new projects and connection activities.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Partnerships Really ARE the Best! ClassDojo and Night Zookeeper

This week, ClassDojo and Night Zookeeper partnered up using Class Dojo's Big Idea series to share resources on creative writing.

I love to write! My "before I know what I want to be when I grow up" degree was in journalism. I spent a few years as a newspaper editor. I cranked out articles and edited the articles of my team. The writing part of the job was great! 

However, TEACHING writing to young children is a whole different story. Teaching writing is just simply hard. I find it to be the hardest subject to teach. Therefore, I will gather up all the plentiful resources you can throw at me and use them until the cows come home. And that's just what I did this week when ClassDojo introduced me to the Night Zookeeper.

My 2nd graders sat on the carpet, lights off, eyes on the whiteboard, watching video #1, Creating a Character. We then came back to our desks and eagerly followed the video suggestions, creating a character that had skills and abilities, likes and dislikes, a look, a feel...a character.

Our planning map for creating our character using the Night Zookeeper's suggestions.

Next, we headed back to the carpet, turned the lights out, and watched as the Night Zookeeper series explained to us how to use our 5 senses to create a setting in video #2, Creating a Place. It was amazing. Somehow, my kids went back to their seats and came up with phrases like "It smelled like 1,000 year-old rotten eggs..." and "The sticky candy cane floor crunched loudly under her feet." We shared, we cheered for the great ones and helped the ones almost there get something down.

Our planning map for creating a setting using the suggestions from the 2nd Night Zookeeper video.

The next day, we went on to add details to our story courtesy of the Night Zookeepers lesson #3, Creating Obstacles. We created the problems and tried to give specifics to aid in our creative writing piece. It started to get tough. We lost a little focus. We paused. We decided to go back to the carpet and watch the video again for inspiration. We had found our groove! We were back at it. Just take a look at some of our final work.

I will let you head over to watch the final video in the series, "Creating an Ending". I want to hear what you thought of these great teaching aids. 
  • Did they inspire your students? 
  • Did they help give you some direction in your writing lessons? 
  • Will you use them again when you review creative writing? 
My class would love to see the work your students created after watching the videos. Please share!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Reflections of an IB Teacher on Reflecting

This month, I am participating in an online International Baccalaureate class for global educators. We are improving upon our global education skills through activities that support the following:
  • collaboration
  • authentic learning activities
  • digital citizenship
  • and global connectedness

I have been asked to do a little reflecting along the way, a practice I do very well as a think-a-loud, in the shower (where all my brilliant thoughts occur) or at 2:00 am when I can't sleep. Blogging about my reflections has been on my goal list for years. It was even on my district performance plan last year.
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Thus far in my teaching career, I have mostly used blogs to connect my students with other classrooms via global projects. For years I have attempted to use blogs to be a reflective teacher, an educator that finds the time to share her learning and reach out to those that will help me grow. I have not had as much success in this area as I would like. I think it is because I put forth so much effort into getting my students connected, that I just "squeeze in" the time to connect myself beyond classroom projects. Twitter (follow me @crosbyscoolcats) has been a better tool for me in terms of connecting. Perhaps it's because everyone is just "squeezing in" 140 characters. The chat or comment is quick and to the point. The resources are archived and you can go back to your Storify at any time.
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A resource that was provided to us included, "How to Craft a Blog Post - 10 Crucial Points to Pause" by Darren Rowse. I find his thoughts on post promotion to be a helpful nudge in the right direction. Perhaps one of the reasons I am more apt to connect with and for my students is because I have a greater buy-in and response from other classrooms. I know I should Tweet and share my blog posts more often, but it feels a little too narcissistic to me to do so, at least to do it more than once or twice...
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So, perhaps I set a "share" number and aim to share my posts a little more often, with comfort. I think I may also consider sharing posts that I consider to be a "old" with the idea that they could actually be new learning for others.

I am curious as to how other educators share their blogs. I would love your feedback...
  • Do you share them during chats? 
  • Are they distributed via your school's professional learning department or PLN in your building? 
  • What advice can you share with me in terms of growing professionally through my blog beyond enhanced classroom learning experiences?