Saturday, February 18, 2012

That Was Easy!

photo of Easy Button
Do you have an Easy Button in your classroom? The other day I was digging through some boxes of school materials, and suddenly I heard a voice announce, "That was easy!" I laughed out loud, and those three words brought back so many memories! I could clearly picture the big red Easy Button perched on the file cabinet at the back of my classroom a few years ago.

I remembered how I used the button as an incentive to motivate and reward students for doing their best work on Accelerated Math assignments. AM is an individualized system of math practice worksheets that students complete and score on their own. After working the problems, they carefully bubble in their answers on a scan card, and slide it through the machine. Students who scored a 95% or higher on their AM worksheet were allowed to tap the Easy Button which would promptly announce to the room, "That was easy!" The kids loved it, and I know it encouraged them to bubble in their scan cards more carefully.

You can still purchase an Easy Button from Staples, and I saw that they donate the proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club of America. It's just $5.99 with batteries includes - a bargain, to be sure!

I know I'm not the only teacher to have an Easy Button. If you have one, how do you use it? If you don't have one but hope to get one, how do you plan use it? I look forward to reading your ideas!





Laura Candler ~ Teaching Resources

33 comments:

  1. I'm a Spanish teacher and I found an Easy Button in Spanish!! I use it the first time my students have to stand up in front of their peers and give a short presentation in Spanish. It seems to take some of the stress away and makes the rest of them relax as they laugh after each student presses the button when they finish.

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    1. Michele, are you saying that the Easy Button says, "That was easy!" in Spanish? Where in the world did you find it? Inquiring minds want to know!

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    2. I'm a Spanish teacher and would love to know where you found the Spanish button!

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    3. I'm a Spanish teacher too and I would also love to learn where to get it.

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    4. I teach a special ed behavior classroom. I've had my easy button for a couple of years. If kids push themselves to do something they perceive as difficult they get to come to the front of the class and push the easy button. When my class hears the button go off I say "...and we all say" and class repeats "that was easy!" My kids love it! By the way, recently got a "no" button from Hallmark. Still trying to figure the best way to use that, but have been successful in some of my students getting their frustrations out by pushing it a few times. Hum. Ideas anyone?

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  2. I never thought about what an Easy Button was good for! haha What a wonderful idea you had there and I used to use AM as morning work and one year we worked with the 3rd graders each Friday on it. I swear that brought up their Math scores!

    Back on topic I think I would use it for tests. If students found the test easy when the test was done they would put the test in the paper drop envelope and push the easy button!

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  3. Brian, I'm afraid that every single kid would push the easy button then! You could wait until they got their score back and let them push it then!

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  4. Of course, now I must have one! I think I can incorporate it into my Brain Builders club where they work on task cards individually until they're ready to take a test at their own pace. I could let them push the button each time they earn a new bead for their bracelet!

    Denise
    Sunny Days In Second Grade

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  5. I am a special education teacher so I usually work 1:1 or with small groups.I love my easy button! I use it for sight word recognition. The child presses it when they get the word correct. I use it for # recognition, letter rec, after assessments. Only 1 of my students doesn't care for it. The others remind me if it isn't on the table when we begin instruction. It has been a wonderful replacement for treats.

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  6. We do Board Math every day to introduce new concepts and sprial through previously taught standards. I have a 'point guard' who posts our points on the board for correct responses. Whenever 80% or more of the kids have the correct answer, the 'point guard' gets to hit the easy button. They love it.

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  7. I didn't know you could buy them! I saw one at Treasures for Teachers and just assumed they had it donated from Staples. I am going to go get one! I will be checking back here for ideas on how to use it.

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  8. When I hand back graded papers, I let the students who got 100% push the Easy Button. They love it!

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  9. I used these when they first came out with my 5th grade class. They really liked it for math. I would put one on each group table and give them their math. (after I had taught it) and then I told them every time they completed a problem and they thought it was easy... they could press it. It was amazing how totally quiet my room was and then you would hear "That was easy!!" all over the room. :) :) I haven't used in a while... might have to pull them out again.. I am sure my 2nd graders would LOVE them! :)

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  10. I use my easy button for those times when class participation is low. If students raise their hands to ask or answer a question, I let them press the button. Participation goes way up, and students are back in the discussion.

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  11. I use mine when we review and the majority got it right. I love the idea of using it with AM. Thanks for the idea. I also use musical stuffed animals to signal clean up and back to seat time at the end of centers and buddy chats. Sometimes my bullhorn that is a voice changer greets students in the morning. (mostly Fridays)

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  12. I use it with AM Daily Bite. (similar to DOL) Students who correcty edit a sentence on the 1st try get to press it, and earn tickets for prizes too.

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  13. My third graders always love the Easy Button. I use it randomly - for motivation, reward and just plain fun! A few years ago I had a student that would do anything to press the Easy Button. He was an ED student and rarely smiled, unless he heard those words..."that was easy!"

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  14. I use the easy button as well. We use it for 100 on their AR tests. I use a regular a call bell for our AM 100s. I love those. Motivation is key. I would like "that was easy" in Spanish. Anyone hear where they got it from?

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  15. We love our easy button! Check it out here: http://chickadeejubilee.blogspot.com/2012/01/that-was-easy-and-lots-of-other-news.html

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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  16. I have not gotten an easy but I would use one for things students think would be difficult, but then are not as hard as they thought. I think this will reward them for working through the problem and trying something they think is hard.

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  17. I teach alternate Ed working with students with behaviour challenges in grades 8-10. They work on individual work books for the units they are working on. When a unit is complete and they hand it into the 'in' box they hit the easy button. They love it.

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  18. I would love to have one of these! I didn't know they made them! I don't have a Staples near me (closest according to their store locator is 75 miles!), and the shipping would make the total $16.45! Way too much for my budget. :(

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  19. I have an Easy button and a Hamster of Happiness button, Twilight Zone, Get up & Boogie, and the Kids' favorite Pep Talk. They will NOT take a test without that pep talk button. The Easy button is exclusevely for 100% on accelerated reader, the hamster is for when they (or one of them)is so unbelieveably on target that they make me wanna sing, twilight zone is saved for those occasions when we inevitably wander into the zone, and the boogie is for when we just need to get up and move around. They are all from Hallmark. I also have Hoops & Yoyo who yell RECESS over and over again. They kiddos love them and they are 4th graders.

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    1. Sounds like your classroom is a lot of fun! Thanks for this information and letting us know where you got those buttons.

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  20. I have used it for years..if they get 100% on their ar test they can press it.

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  21. My middle school math kids LOVE the easy button. We use it often. Responding to Brian, let the kids push the easy button if they thought a quiz was easy as they walk out the door at the end of the hour. (Bonus - the kids waiting to come in hear "That was easy!")

    My favorite method is to listen to the class during whole group instruction. Often when we start a new concept, the kids will think because it's new, it will be difficult. If I've broken it down into enough steps, a kid will often blurt out "OH, that was easy!" and then I press it. :)

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    1. Same exact thing for my 6th graders-that "tough" concept that turned out to be easy. I love the ideas for AM.

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  22. I use my easy button when we are doing shared reading each day. I give word clues for the skill being focused on that day and when students find the word we are looking for they get to hit the easy button. They get to "show their stuff." It is such a motivator.

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  23. I use it when kids have struggled and now understand the topic. They fill out a form and get to press the easy button..... Love it. Somebody on pintrest had the form for free. Love it

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  24. I love the idea of an Easy button....I have one and love all the ideas! Stop by 5th Grade Tomfoolery and let's share more ideas! I want to start using it when we go back after Christmas break....just wanna make sure I don't overuse it or burn out! Keep the ideas coming!!!

    Teri

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  25. Would you share more info on the Accelerated Math worksheets? Where can I find more info on that?

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    1. Accelerated Math is a product created by the company that makes Accelerated Reading. It's a system of individualized practice worksheets that kids can do to review concepts they've already learned. Here's a link to where you can read more: http://www.renlearn.com/ami/default.aspx

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  26. In my classroom, EASY is a "four-letter" word. I have pointed out to the students every year that, "What is easy for some is VERY difficult for others (as I learned as a student.)" someone claiming that something is easy makes a struggling student feel "dumb" because s/he doesn't understand. Therefore, I discourage the use of the word EASY. I do love the button though. I wish they made a "I did it!" button.

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