Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spring Clean-Up Blog Hop

Welcome to the Spring Clean-Up Blog Hop!  When I think of spring cleaning I think of getting rid of all of the old junk I don't use anymore and cleaning up what I do still have.  The same applies to my classroom as it does my home (because let's face it, my classroom is my second home).  While going through closets and cupboards and binders and books at school I started to reflect on how the year went and things that I wanted to "clean-up" for next year. 

Today I will be sharing how I plan on "cleaning-up" a huge cluster of a mess in our class that I like to call technology.  It's not the equipment... it's all the websites and passwords and usernames galore that my kids and parents have to remember.  After the 15th website, they all start to look the same!  I already have myself organized and after what feels like the 100th time of, "I don't know my password." or "Where can I go to help Johnny study for his test?" I knew I had to do the same for my kiddos!

Here is my life saver!  This is my log-in folder.  It is just a plain old file folder and on the right I stapled in notebook paper (that's where I have all my county websites and log-ins) and on the left are address labels (my non-county but educational website log-ins).  I know some people are probably having a coronary right now that I put all these username and passwords in one place but there is nothing here that if someone got ahold of would get me in trouble or any damage could be done.  Without this though, I would forever be changing passwords!

I knew my students needed something similar but not as extensive.  I created a very simple log-in sheet that was easy for them to fill out and answered all of their parent's questions.  I put in "subject" because a lot of parents weren't sure what particular websites were for or how they helped their child.  Not only did my kids not have this information at home, they didn't have it at school either!  I knew I would have to have a copy as well for those forgetful days or new students who haven't quite mastered all the passwords yet.  I will make a copy for each student and put it under their tab in my data folder.  Click on the image below for your FREE COPY.

Let's take this one step further!  All that to be said, I have found the PERFECT website that will make my life, my student's and their parent's lives so much easier!  Have you heard of Symbaloo?  I stumbled upon this greatness a couple months ago and L.O.V.E. it!  Symbaloo is essentially like creating your own desktop full of the icons you want for your classroom and your students are able to access it from home!  So instead of my kids having to remember the 15 plus websites they have to log on to at school, they only need to remember ONE.  Once they are at our classroom Symbaloo page, they can access all the websites they love and they use to help them study from home.  Symbaloo also gives you the option to create "webmixes" which I like to refer to as category boards.  I have one for each subject and am in the process right now of making one for each unit in science!

Next year when we are learning about the environment, the kiddos will be able to pull up a plethora (fun word, right?!) of websites based on that unit to help them study and enrich their thinking.  It's perfect for research projects, web quests and so much more!  Watch this video below about Symbaloo, it does a much better job of explaining than I do!  And did I mention it's FREE!?!?!?

I hope you found this useful and are gathering a bunch of great cleaning tips! Don't forget to enroll in our giveaway for a TPT gift card (it's perfect for the upcoming sale)!  Check some other great ideas at your next stop with Kelsey from Aloha to Kindergarten!

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Thanks for stopping by! 

1 comment:

  1. I just blogged recently about what I've had to change for myself regarding log-ins and passwords storage...too funny! I spent last summer getting Symbaloo boards together to go with the 5th grade Science Fusion. I need to get in and take care of Social Studies too. I should write that down on my summer list(I'm hoping I get to stay in 5th next year). Symbaloo is definitely a fabulous resource. So glad it is free!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'