Getting Ready for NCRA Conference

I'm looking forward to sharing some ideas at the 2015 NC Reading Conference! I also can't wait to be filled with great ideas from amazing teachers and authors. Now that I have uploaded the blogger app. I should be able to keep you posted soon!

You don't have an extra G to drop on Clickers? Try PLICKERS!

Hello Teacher Buddies!
I had the amazing opportunity to attend our state's Social Studies conference and I'm overflowing with ideas to share.  I wish I had a full week to just write, blog, share and create new things that coordinate all the different things I learned. A few new tricks are always awesome, but I can't discount the benefits of hearing amazing teachers and professors affirm what I'm already doing in the classroom.
So here is one great class tool you can put in your teacher toolbox. :)
Have you always wanted a set of clickers but never had the extra G to drop on a set? Well you have stumbled across the right blog, here is a small town girl tutorial on how to get started on your Paper Clickers.  Yep, plickers! (I love saying that!)
Plickers... Say it loud and say it proud.... PLICKERS!!!
Plick it up!  Have you Plicked today? Plicking is so much plicking fun! LOL
If your students have never used the plicker system before give them a few minutes to say the name.  It just sounds fun; so it has to be right? Absolutely!
Well if you thought the world was mac happy and you are a droid lover, here is an app for everyone.
So first, log-in to the webpage and sign up for free. Next, navigate the screen a little and become familiar with the interface. We go through almost a new program per year and I'll say this interface is super easy to navigate.
Print a set of cards.  I would recommend the smaller set for third grade to adults.  The larger, full page set I would use for Kinder kids to second grade.  They do not recommend laminating them, but hey, I live in the world where I want them to last a full year so yes, I laminated them.  They still work great. They also recommend printing them on white paper.  Here you can see, yet again I have broken that rule and yep, you guessed it... they work great.
On the above card you will see a number in the corner.  That number can be assigned to an individual kid if you would like to register their individual data.  Of course you can keep the numbers and students random. 
The arrows are pointing to the choices; A, B, C, D.  These are somewhat small, but that encourages kids to stay honest as they hold up the card for you to scan.  (aka they are less likely to cheat) You can also use the A, B,for true or false.  The kids will turn the card facing you with their answer choice in the upwards direction.
You will then use your device to scan the room.  To my surprise it was very quick (even on the first sweep) and easy.  It will show you instantly which cards/ students are correct, and which are wrong. It took only a few tries to get students to keep their fingers off the corners, etc.  They work very much like QR codes. Because I laminated my cards, I turn off one set of lights so there isn't much of a glare.
Additionally, you can make one or two sets of cards and share with other teachers.  In our grade level we have two laminated sets and share.
If you have the plicker website displayed on your projector or smart board, you can refresh to show your students live data.  How awesome is that?
 Now, what are some ways you can use them in the class?  
Obviously, pre-assessments
Quick formative assessments at the end of class or mini lesson
Review a unit, be sure to quickly move across the skills they mastered while covering the difficult questions more in-depth
Review homework quickly
Student interest survey
I have used these with my fifth graders and they absolutely loved getting instant data.  We challenged our group to strive for higher percentages with each question.  We would challenge our class to get the 50/50 answers out of the way.  I'm excited to see how other teachers use this tool.
Okay, I have brainstormed a small list but I can't wait to read more about these bad boys this summer to get even more ideas.

 Have a great weekend!