Sunday, October 6, 2013

Anchor Charts to Worksheet Tutorial

Alright, I am attempting my first tutorial here! This is how I use PPT to make an anchor chart into a worksheet. It isn't perfect, but it is quick and easy! If you prefer to use Word, the tools and steps are pretty much the same.

We'll be doing a lesson on plot when we return from our fall break, so I created the basic anchor chart and left blanks where we are going to fill it in as a class. Then, I snapped a quick shot with my cell phone and emailed it to myself.

Drag the photo into PPT or use the "insert a picture" tool. I don't want my students to admire my pedicure so it is time to crop this baby!

You can use the "remove background" tool, which either does a fantastic job or a strange one, or just use the crop tool to get rid of whatever happens to be in the background that you don't want. Bye-bye toes!

Resize the photo so that it fills up most of the slide.

Since I didn't bother to get out my DSLR or even open the blinds this photo needed some brightening up. Your photo will probably be better quality than mine. Decide if you need to brighten it up or not.

There are two options that I have used to make my black and white worksheet. It depends on the photo quality, lighting, and sometimes the colors I used on the anchor chart. Here is the grayscale option. You can see that most of the chart is a gray color, and this will mean more ink when you copy it. To get more of a white try option 2.

I find that the "Black and White: 50%" tool usually gets a great contrast. Unfortunately, because I didn't consider lighting when I took the photo I got some nasty shadows on the side. If this happens I would either use option 1, or just crop the shadows off.

Now most of the shadows are gone and I am ready to print my worksheet! I hope my first tutorial was useful!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Reading Workshop - Turn Anchor Charts into Fillable Worksheets

I am currently smack dab in the middle of my fall break. Our district is on a modified year round schedule that I love! We finished up 1st quarter at the end of September and then get two glorious weeks off. This past week we helped my sister move into her new house (congrats sis!), I worked on some new resources (Calendar Math Semester 2 - on sale through tomorrow, and a new Lapbook/Interactive Notebook for the Age of Exploration!), played with my kitties and ratties, saw some friends, and rested my knee (it's still on the mend). Next week we are off on a mini-vacay to Disneyland and California Adventure. We're taking my MIL and she is so excited I think she was packed at least a week ago!

My to-do list is still longer than I will have time for but I desperately need to post some proper blog entries! Today I have a little tip for anchor charts, although I assume I'm not the only teacher that does this. This is my first year doing Reading Workshop and using anchor charts, but I wanted to make them more meaningful and useful to my students. Our first eight anchor charts we created together as a class, the students gave input, I wrote them out, and then I took photos of them and gave them a copy to keep in their notebooks to reference back to.

I promise they are easier to read in reality than on this photo. But I managed to fit all eight on one page. But, I still felt that there was something missing. I wanted the students to have their own mini-anchor charts to fill out as we did as a class. With a few easy steps I quickly turned our anchor charts into fillable worksheets. 

So, I decided to create most of the anchor chart and leave the "notes" part blank. I snapped a quick photo with my cell or point-and-shoot - nothing fancy- and then uploaded them to Word or PPT. Actually, I tried to use Picasa first, but I couldn't get a proper B&W contrast. Microsoft has a great photo filter that easily makes the photo B&W and printable. 

My before photo of the Theme Anchor Chart is sitting on my school computer, so just imagine that the inside of the heart was left blank. In the second photo you can see that my student wrote exactly what we wrote as a class inside the heart. This is hole punched and kept in their Reading Workshop Binders. 

My students were pretty impressed with this. Many couldn't figure out how on earth their worksheet looked exactly like the anchor chart in front of them. Minds were blown! 

Most of the anchor charts I have been using I've borrowed/adapted from Pinterest. Thank you to all those teachers who share their anchor charts for newbies like me. You can follow my anchor chart board to see some of the ideas I've gathered. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Calendar Math Semester 2 is finally here!

I absolutely love using calendar math as a part of my intervention math class. The activities are mostly a review of concepts that my kiddos should have mastered but still need tons of practice on. Plus it is easy and stress-free for the aid who runs this group. Last year I created a double sided page for each of the first two quarters and I had anticipated creating two more for the second semester. Well, my intervention kids were just not ready to move on, and each page lasted two quarters instead of one. Creating more Calendar Math pages was put on the back burner, but now that I am on fall break for a couple of weeks I put it at the top of my to-do list. After some scanner drama I have the semester 2 files up and ready!

The newest pages include some of the same important skills and pattern building as semester 1, and I've added some new concepts too. The students will practice:
• Word form
• Expanded form
• Double digit multiplication with model
• Long division with model
• Long division with decimals
• Convert fractions, decimals, and percents
• Multiplying decimals
• Use a number line
• Compare fractions
• Mean, median, mode, and range
• Ordering whole numbers
• Elapsed time
 Adding fractions with unlike denominators

I really appreciate all the great feedback I've received about teachers having success with this in their classrooms as well as areas to make it even better. I kind of promised this version awhile ago, so to thank those that have been waiting for this it is currently 50%! It'll only be on sale through Sunday, so get your's now!