Sunday, February 22, 2015


It all started at a dinner with friends. Isn't that how every good story starts? :)

Well, this is a great story about learning something new. My husband and I were at dinner with some friends from our old school Cramerton Middle the other week and we were, of course, talking about school things. One of my best friends, Candace was telling me about a technology based professional development they had on something called Plickers. Since I had never heard of this before, of course I had to ask her for some more details.

Candace told me that Plickers is a web-based program that teachers can use as quizzes, exit tickets, etc. She told me that students are assigned "cards" to use in answering multiple choice or true/false questions. Once students have their "cards," a teacher-created question is shown on the front board, through the website, and students hold up their card with their answer choice pointing up. Then teachers, after downloading the Plickers App (Hint: only on iPhones or Andriods...not on iPads yet) can scan the class and the cards will register each students' answer choice.

I thought this was something super interesting and of course had to do a little research before using in my classroom. I did some hunting and online searching and ...
Here's a low down picture look at the super easy process:
First, Teachers create their class (or classes) on

Not my classes, but you can see how each student is assigned one number which correlates to a specific card.

I created my classes by my class periods. Therefore, I have 4 total classes and assigned students their unique card simply by alphabetical order. 

Second, Teachers create a quiz, exit ticket, or question that they want students to answer. Questions can either be multiple choice or true/false.

The differences between just the question appearing, or showing the student list.

After your quiz is created, you choose which class to assign the question to. Once it is displayed on the board (through the website), there are several screen variations you can show. You can have just the question and answer choices or you can have a list of student names visible along with the question. 

When you are ready for your students to answer and the question is on the board, simply open the Plickers App on your phone (again only iPhone or Android...bummer iPad peeps). 
The app!
Once the app is open on your phone, click on the class answering the question at the time, open the intended question also on your phone, and you'll be ready to collect responses! 

Now is the time for students to hold up their unique card with their answer choice on the top. For example if they want to answer A, students will hold their card up so that the A side of the card is on the top. 

Students holding their unique card with their answer choice pointing towards the top!
Once students have their cards up and ready to be scanned, use your open Plickers App on your phone to slowly scroll around the room. The app will record each students' response by recognizing their unique card and answer choice. The app them compiles the results for you! 

It's awesome, brilliant, super easy, super tech-friendly, everything! I could not believe how easy it all was once I got signed into the website. Having never used Plickers before, I was pleasantly pleased with how easy it was to figure out on the website, get the questions entered, and get the program working in my class. 

Once I decided to jump all in with Plickers I had to make a central location where students could get their unique Plicker cards on a daily basis. Another great thing about Plickers is that one card, for example card 1, can be assigned to one student per class. Therefore, every student at the top of the alphabetical list per period, can share a card. No 4 copies of cards to keep up with!! Whoop Whoop!

I created a little homemade board area and placed it near our calculators that are already numbered for students to use daily, and simply Velcro-ed the cards to the board. This way students can easily take their card when they grab their calculator, whether we are using it throughout the class period or not, keep it at their desk, and return to the board when returning their same numbered calculator. 

My homemade Plickers board!

The calculator and Plicker pick-up corner in my classroom. 

I can not wait to actually use the Plickers in my room this upcoming week. My intentions were to use them last week, but with the ice we had and the week of 2-Hour delays, our schedules were a little crammed to say the least. I am super looking forward to a full-normal week (as normal as 8th grade can be :) ) of school, classes, lessons, and using Plickers! I'll be sure to update with how it works (although I'm sure it will be a hit!) and my students' thoughts and feelings about the new exciting and interactive way of doing exit tickets. 

Until next time... :)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Little Friday and Saturday Fun!

Friday at school was a day that 8th grade students got the opportunity to Job Shadow an adult of their choice. Students were given a "Job Shadowing Packet" where they could choose an adult of who they wanted to job shadow and get the day as an excused absence, granted they complete a little packet on what they learned during the day, what they experienced, and how they could use it in their future. So needless to say...our Team 8<3 was a little small on Friday. My classes which originally have between 13 and 25 students, were down to roughly 7 and 8 students.

Instead of having all our "Job Shadowing" students miss new core subject material, we decided that our non-Job Shadow students needed a little career experience of their own! One of my lovely teammates, Katie Hagy, scheduled two wonderful guest speakers for us to begin the day. A mom of one of our students, Allison Harvey, and a local Park Ranger. Allison Harvey is the Town Administrator of Clover. She gave a wonderful presentation and the students were super excited to hear about how the town is run. Our Park Ranger also did a fantastic job of informing the students of all the pieces of his job that most of them don't realize! The kids were surprised to know that there are times that Park Rangers actually set fires instead of putting them out!

Later in the day I partnered with my Language Arts teammate, Susan Hopper, for a joint-career project for the students. Students used the SCOIS website to research their dream job getting all the information including salary, skill levels, education needed, job duties and more before creating a Wanted Poster through an app of their choice on their iPads containing all their research. The students put together some really neat posters! Check them out:...Plus check out where I got the idea here!

Saturday's are typically time to relax, spend some time with my hubby and our dog Brutus, get a little shopping in, and just enjoy a little time off from the school world. This Saturday; however, I got the chance to spend the day with some pretty awesome kids. This is my first year working with our MathCounts team at Clover Middle. We have three coaches: Ms. Ammons, Mrs. Fayssoux, and myself. We have practices Tuesday and Thursday mornings before school from 7:40-8:15am, and after school on Mondays and Thursdays from 3:30-4:30pm. On Saturday we attended the Midland Math Meet at Midlands Technical College. This was Clover's second appearance at the meet, but my first. This was awesome experience! 

Here's the way it works: When you arrive you register for the meet. Students get a colored name tag containing one shape (there are 5 colors: red, blue, orange, purple, and yellow. there are 8 shapes: triangles, squares, rhombus, parallelogram, right triangle, pentagon, hexagon, and circle). Our 12 students were separated throughout the 40 teams that were within the competition. Teachers checked in at a separate table and are assigned a similar card. Teachers or volunteers are then "Team Leader" of that group. I was given the Red Triangles; "Best Team Ever." I had one 6th grade student from our school, one 6th grade student from Crossroad Middle, one 5th grader from Carolina School of Inquiry, and one 7th grader. It was an awesome team!

Let's Go Red Triangles!
Once students/teachers/volunteers got their assignment, we entered the auditorium and sat by groups. There were five warm-up questions displayed on a giant screen for students to work on while other registered and got checked in. After the introduction we were given a schedule of five events for the day. We started at Math Jeopardy. This is pretty self-explanatory, but it was a fun game!

Next we moved to the Individual Effort competition. Here students had nine questions that they worked on individually. Our score was compiled by the number of questions we got correct as a team. There were a total of nine questions, and we had four team members. Students enjoyed this game because of the clickers used to enter their answers.

After Individual Effort we moved to TeamWork. At this station groups worked together to solve three missions. Students were presented with each mission individually and then given eight minutes to solve it. Students enjoyed this activity but found it the most challenging since they had to submit one answer as a group.

We got a little refreshment break after the first three activities before moving Spin to Win. This game was based on Wheel of Fortune. Again, this game and activity was pretty self explanatory. We actually came in first place out of the groups we competed with in this activity and my Red Triangles could not have been more excited!

Our last activity was Hands On. This was pretty awesome. Students worked together with manipulative to solve four to five little puzzles. There was a students from Midlands Tech College at each station who helped talk with students and encouraged them to remember to work together!

After all five activities, we ate lunch, and then went back to the auditorium by group for the awards ceremony. No Red Triangles won anything...booooo...but two students from Clover did! One student was a part of the team who scored the highest in Spin to Win, one student was a member of a team who scored the highest in TeamWork, and actually...Ms. Ammons', our head coach, team won the award for the highest scoring in Hands On! Overall it was a great day and we really enjoyed it :)

Way to go Ms. Ammons!
Congrats Nolan & Matthew!
Our Fabulous 12 Students from Clover Middle
It was by far one of the best experiences I've had as a teacher. It was awesome to see so many students, from so many schools and grade levels work together and have a great time working with Math. I will definitely be helping with Math Counts next year!

Well it's Sunday and it's time for this teacher to get a little rest and catch the Grammy's...
Until next time :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Bragging Corner

Not to toot our own horn....but I need a little space to toot our own horn ;)

This was my 2nd year coaching the 7th grade girls at Clover Middle School and the first year my fabulous husband got to assist! With working at Crowder's Creek Elementary, and not having a boys team of his own, Zack joined the girl's side this year and got his first year in coaching girls! He is the first to tell was a culture shock. 

But onto the bragging....Our little team went 11-0. Yes, you read that right...11-0! Those 11 wins include a York County Championship! 

We had an amazing season and Zack and I could not be more proud of the dedication, effort, and work our girls put into our season. They worked harder than any team I've season and took pride in getting better each day. I can not say enough about how happy we were with their performances. Zack even got a free shave out of the season. He told the girls at the very beginning (who originally wanted to shave our eyebrows) that if they went undefeated to win the Championship, he would let them shave his head. Well, it came true! After averaging 34 points a game, and averaging a 17 point per game victory, the girls earned a good shave of Mr. Coach Stadler's head.

Along with this little bragging corner, we are getting recognized at the Clover High School varsity games this Friday night during Senior night. Look for us showing off ;)
Check out our little recap of a season here!

Coach Stadler getting a shave!
Who is next?

The before & after with the hair-shavers themselves.

The "after-the-championship win" picture!

Our wonderful team & their super cute thank you card!

Well, from the 11-0 7th Grade Champions, until next time... :)