Monday, May 27, 2013

Using Our New Differentiated Core Cards

 I promised to tell you how our newest product worked in the classroom.  I was a little worried that there might be mass chaos, but luckily, the activity went smoothly.  First, I grouped my students in three levels (approximately a 3rd grade level, 4th grade level, and a 5th grade reading level).  I cut apart the Response Sheets and passed one out to each student according to their level.  Do you see the big apple below? That picture identifies the level. (In this case, the lower level)  My Core Cards were in three areas of my classroom and the students went to the cards that matched their apple symbol.  Easy as pie! 

Next, students completed all 12 of the Core Cards and self-checked them with one of the five answer keys available at their area.  If they missed any, they had to go back and reread the card and correct their answer.  (Notice how the apples on the Core Cards match the apples on the Response Sheet?!!!)

Finally, students took one of the Exit Slips (available in a pile after the answer keys) and went back to their desk to complete it. (Key an eye on the apple--it's the same as the before!)  Now, I can check for mastery all at three different levels!

I have to say this activity couldn't have gone any smoother.  I gathered my students together and asked them what they thought about it.  Were they too hard, too easy, just right?  Were there any problems?  Guess what?  They said they were ok--not too easy and yet some were challenging!  Just what a teacher wants!!  I caught a few of my students traveling to another group because they thought they were supposed to do all three groups but, if only, they had listened better. 

So Emily and I are hard at work creating more Differentiated Core Cards.  We already have a set of context clues in our TpT store.  What strategy should we add next?


Sunday, May 26, 2013

End of the Year - Teachers Pay Teachers Sale

We are having a sale to end the school year!  Please take a look at our Teachers Pay Teachers store and check out all of our items!

Photobucket Photobucket

Differentiated Core Cards Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Differentiated Core Cards

We have only four more days of school!  How many do you have?  We are super excited to have the summer to create more teaching products.  Our latest product is the brainchild of our evaluation! Yes, I said it-our evaluation.  Differentiation was an area that we could "grow" in!  So even though, in my classroom, I prepare 20 different individualized spelling lists weekly, make five levels of fluency passages for my students, work with small groups in reading, writing, and math, I still need to grow.  And I know that Emily also differentiates a lot.  But grow we will!!!

Anyways, we decided to make task cards but we wanted our task cards to be different. We wanted three levels of task cards so we made 12 cards per level. We also wanted an Exit Slip so we created one for each level.  We started brainstorming names and graphics for our cards and ended up with the name Differentiaton to the Core. We loved the apple graphics at Scrappin Doodles and decided to use them to create our differentiation code. Let me show you the code that we designed (with the help of our friend and colleague, Becky Butler). 

The full apple represents your group of students that are not quite up to "core". 
These students need more of the apple to grow.
This symbol represents your "core" groups of students or your students at grade level.

This symbol represents your "above core" group.  These students need only half of the apple
but also need more seeds planted to continue making growth.

 You might be wondering how we came up with the levels and pictures.  We specifically did not want students to be able to identify the levels by looking at the apples.  We wanted students at the lowest level to see a full apple.  By placing the "core" in the middle, the levels are very tricky to distinguish.

I used the cards for the first time and I can't wait to tell you about that but I'll save that for tomorrow's blog post. 

P.S.  Here'a link to our latest product just in case you want to check them out.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Sale!

Two day sale
Thanks to all teachers for the work and dedication you put into each day! 
Buy something new to try in your classroom! Visit our stores (links in the right sidebar) on May 7th or 8th to see all of our products on sale!!  Just enter code TAD13 at checkout! 
 Happy Shopping!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cinco De Mayo Sale

The weather is becoming more summer like by the day!  We are very excited to put our Cinco De Mayo Unit ON SALE for 40% off today only!

Photobucket Photobucket

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It's May - Linky Party

Photobucket Photobucket