Mrs. B's First Grade
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Labeley Emoji: Digital Classroom Tool

Young kids love emojis, teenagers love emojis, and even adults love emoticons. They help us to easily communicate our feelings and thoughts in a visual and clear fashion. Emojis are everywhere and they can be used in an infinite number of ways. Read on to learn about a tool for using them in the classroom!
Teachers often use various tech tools that encourage students to be active, creative and collaborative. Thanks to their popularity, emoticons can be successfully used in classroom as well to unleash students’ creativity. Emojis successfully capture students’ attention in the classroom. Therefore, incorporating emojis into education and using them correctly can definitely boost kids’ motivation for learning and participating in class activities.
A great way to use emojis in classroom is to get your students to create their own personalized emojis and use them in the learning process. To do that, you need to find the appropriate, preferably free, and easy to use tech tool that will allow you and your students to make your own custom emojis. 

One such tech tool that fits this description perfectly is Labeley Emoji. It is a completely free, online app for creating personalized emoji stickers for various purposes. It is so easy to use that even the youngest can use it and express themselves in a fun and creative way.

How does Labeley emoji tool work?

To use the tool, all you have to do is go to the website and select the shape for your emoji. All the emoji elements are located on the left side of the screen, while the bigger, right side is your workspace. Once you choose the shape, you can go through the rest of the emoji graphic elements and pick eyes, eyebrows, mouth, nose and glasses for your emoji design. The galleries of these predesigned elements will allow you to create emojis that represent numerous different expressions.
Students can also turn their own photos into emojis. The special feature that enables users to upload any photo from the computer will help them transform any image into an emoji by adding funny eyes, glasses, mouths etc. Labeley app also allows for adding text, which can come in super handy when learning adjectives, for example. They can then save and download the emoji stickers they’ve created without providing an email address or any other personal detail.
These stickers can be used in so many different learning projects. This digital activity is a fun way for students to express their creativity. Students can also use emojis to express their opinion on a particular topic. Teachers will find them helpful for teaching vocabulary and explaining synonyms, or adding personal touch to grading their students with custom emoji sticker.
Emojis are sometimes worth a thousand words, so why not use the power of these image expressions and make learning fun and more engaging? Labeley emoji tool is here just to help in that endeavor  To quickly get up to speed with using the tool, you can check out this quick illustrated tutorial!

Have you ever used emojis in the classroom? I would love to hear about them!

The Jelly Donut Difference by Maria Dismondy

As teachers we get the privilege of being an important role model who can spread positive messages. One of the ways we can do this is through the books we choose to read aloud. I am a HUGE fan of Maria Dismondy's books because they are truly written to make a difference. Did you know she has a new one? Read on to hear about it and enter a giveaway!
Maria's latest book, The Jelly Donut Difference, came at the perfect time in our school year. The main themes in the book include traditions, helping others, random acts of kindness, and spreading love into the world.

Spring fever has officially hit in our classroom and we needed some redirecting to turn our energy into positive actions. The book was the PERFECT mentor text for this!

Maria was sweet enough to send me the book to review with my students. Along with the book came a second for me to pass on to another teacher (how kind!)
One of the many fabulous things about each of Maria's books is that she includes a readers guide and activities to go along with them. I downloaded the readers guide for the book here. I used that to help me plan to use the book to its fullest.

I started our week with the book by reading it to my students. You can check out a trailer of the book below.
We used the comprehension questions in the readers guide to talk before, during, and after reading the book. Some of the questions that my students had strong feelings towards included; "Do you know someone like Ms. Marvis?", "Has anything like this ever happened to you? Does it remind you of something?", and "If you could talk to Dexter and Leah, what would you say to them? What questions would you ask them?"

I just happened to be teaching character change in our readers workshop. There was a page in the readers guide about how Dexter and Leah change in the story which was perfect! It was great to reinforce the skill and for me to check their progress.
On another day during our week, we revisited the book and talked about making a difference and random acts of kindness. My kids were hooked on this topic. We made a chart with random acts of kindness that we could perform at school. We decided to hang it up and put a checkmark next to each activity once we completed them. We made the choice not to cross them out because we thought it was important to complete the various acts multiple times.
One of the last activities we did included writing book recommendations. This fit perfectly with our opinion writing unit. We loved reviewing the book. I am happy to say that each student gave it 5 out of 5 stars!

Are you ready to grab the book yourself? You can buy it here! Or, you can enter the giveaway below. Entering is easy peasy and you can have up to three entries! The winner will be chosen in one week, on Tuesday March 21st.
Do you own any of Maria's books? I would love to hear how you used them in the classroom!

Scholastic Printables Review and Giveaway

What teacher doesn't love Scholastic?! My classroom library is filled with their amazing and affordable book collection. I love looking through their catalogue at educational toys and supplies for teaching. Did you know that they also have a HUGE site with printables? Read on to learn more AND enter to win a one year subscription!
I was so excited to be asked by Scholastic to partner with them to host this giveaway. Scholastic is providing both the prize of a one year subscription and a sample subscription for myself.

Scholastic Printables gives you instant, unlimited access to thousands of skills sheets, activities, lesson plans and more. The classroom resources are created by teachers and vetted by our trusted friends at Scholastic. You can save time and money, and browse with confidence.

I started searching the site as soon as my subscription was activated. There is SO much to look at! I found myself finding activity after activity that would be perfect for my students and a blast to teach.

You can search the site by subject, grade, or theme. There is also a huge mini-book section and a "make your own tool" category to name a few.

With March and spring here, I found three perfect lesson plans to implement into my classroom right away. I found a mini book that was the right Guided Reading level titled "The Wind and the Sea." I read it with a small group of students and let my students take it home after. This little one brought it back the next day to show me she colored at home!

I also found a close reading activity on flying and an ENTIRE UNIT for science! Both included such detailed instructions for the teacher. Close reading is always tricky for me, and this lesson was easy peasy. The science unit even included letters to send home.

Want to try out some lessons with your students?

The Truth About the Tooth Fairy - First Grade {Click here to download!}
How much money will the Tooth Fairy give Ali Gator when he loses his teeth? Kids count the coin values of each tooth to find out. Also includes a lesson plan and extension activities.

Spring Fever: Poetry Frame - First Grade - Third Grade {Click here to download!}
Jumpy, springy, wild and ding-y? Invite students to share how they feel in spring, and then have them fill in the blanks on this poetry frame to create their own compositions.

Springtime BINGO - Pre-K - Third Grade {Click here to download!}
Students will enjoy learning more about spring with this vocabulary-building bingo game. A 24-word list, from bees to wildflowers, is included, or you can customize the game with your own word list or math facts.

Reading Umbrella Graphic Organizer - PreK- Third Grade {Click here to download!}
Encourage students to explore many different types of text by recording each student's reading on this fun graphic organizer.

Ready to win a subscription?

You can win a ONE YEAR subscription to Scholastic Printables by filling out the rafflecopter below! You can enter by completing one of the options, or gain more entries by completing all of them. Ready to purchase a subscription now, or miss the giveaway? Just head to the Scholastic Printables site to sign up on your own!

Love Scholastic? Give them a follow with the links below. Do you already have a subscription? Leave me a comment and tell me about your favorite resources!

Follow Scholastic Printables on Twitter and Facebook
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Brag Tags for the iPad

Have you heard of brag tags? Who hasn't?! I love having any sort of individual behavior incentive that highlights positive choices. However, cutting all those tags and handing them out just doesn't appeal to me #aintnobodygottimeforthat. I have thought and thought about how I could put a technology spin on them when it finally hit me... Read on to learn how I did it!

I am very lucky to have a 1:1 set of iPads in my classroom. My students have an iPad assigned to them for the school year. When I first began thinking about how I could use our iPads for brag tags, I figured that I needed to find an app that could host pictures. That is when it hit me though...we could just use our photos! 

The beginnings of a Pad Pic album!
I am a big advocate for utilizing native apps on the iPad (I use this native app boot camp packet to teach my students.) There is so much that you can do within the photos app. One part is making photo albums. I realized that I could just airdrop (or message or email) brag tag photos and then my students could either have them in their photos, or make a photo album with them.

Did I make that sound simple? Sound complicated? 

Don't worry, it's not hard and I'll walk you through it! 

While creating my brag tags (which was SO much fun) I made two different types. One for my friends who would rather print their tags and hand them out like that. The second type was an 8x8 picture of each tag. This option is for the iPad (sorry, it is not compatible with a Chromebook or Kindle Fire.)

I basically couldn't stop creating tags and ended up creating 117 tags...with plans to make more! I decided to bundle them into one set so you wouldn't have to purchase multiple sets. The brag tags range from holidays and special days to school subjects and praise. I am also completely open to any tags you would like to have. Just email me! 

Pad Pics! 
Brag Tags!
If you like the traditional brag tags, all you do is print, laminate, and cut! You can print them in grayscale (directions in resource) or in color. You can hang them on necklaces (Black Stainless Steel Ball Chain Spool, KinHom 30 Inches 2.4mm Bead Size 3 Rust Proof Jewelry Necklace Link Dog Tags Sets for Men and Women (50 PACK)), put them in zip lock bags, the possibilities are endless! 

Back to how I got them on our iPads...

First, I sent the pictures from my computer to my iPad. You can do that in a variety of ways. I have included EXPLICIT directions in my product download, but below are the basics.

-If you have a Mac transferring your pad pics to your iPad or iPhone is as simple as AirDropping them. Never AirDropped before? Don't worry, I explain how in the download!
-If you have a PC, you will download the pad pics directly through either a Google Drive link or a Dropbox link that I have included in the download. Once again, I have explicit directions for you!

Once I had the pictures on my iPad, I needed a way to get them out to my students.
 -I AirDrop my pad pics to my students. It is easy peasy. I will tell you how!
-If you do not want to AirDrop, you can always email or iMessage them if you have access to those!

What it looks like when a pad pic is AirDropped to a student.
Now that we have the technical stuff figured out, I made a routine for handing them out that was easy to remember. 

I have built in ten minutes to my schedule on Fridays to send pad pics to students. It is the perfect time to reflect on the week, and spotlight students for their efforts. I find ten minutes is plenty of time to send SEVERAL pad pics to students.

I do hand out pad pics during the week also. If I notice a student who needs to be recognized immediately for their efforts, I will stop what I am doing and send one to her/him. I will also randomly give out pad pics when I feel my class is having trouble behaving, but I have a few kids that are following directions. This is a great way to redirect my students.

I hand out pad pics on special days (like holidays) to recognize them instead of waiting until the end of the week. Once you start using pad pics in your classroom,  you will naturally find what works best for you. There is no right or wrong answer!

I have created a tracker to keep track of who you have handed pad pics out to. My students are pretty good at reminding me though! 

Tracking sheets to remember who you have given pad pics to!
Interested in giving them a try? I have both a freebie and a full product in my Teachers pay Teachers store. Interested in the traditional brag tags? I have those too! Just click HERE (not the covers) to check them out.


Do you use brag tags in the classroom? I would love to hear how you implement them!

**This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links.
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