School is right around the corner for me and there are just so many things to think about and do. But one thing I’m looking forward to getting set up is my new Big Universe account. Now, I am a new user here and although I have a handle on how to surf the site and utilize the resources, I was a little concerned about how I will be able to implement all the great stuff on this site. So - I decided to just jump in!
The first thing I did after creating my own account (MrsEPeterson), was take my new class list and start to create my student accounts. I was happy to see how easy it was to set this up. I decided on a codified way to assign usernames (first initial, last initial, room number) and gave everyone a generic password for the start of the year.
I made a couple of mistakes. For example there were students with the same initials, so I went back and put the first two letters of the first name and the last initial for those students. And I mistakenly checked off female, when it should have been male. However, I am happy to say that editing the student profiles is very simple and fast. (I’ve had to set up student accounts on other sites and it can be a tedious task, but not here.)
The next thing I wanted to do was check out the books to read and assign one to the whole class. I figured the sooner I assigned the first book, the more apt I was to use the program early in the year. I used the advanced search feature to find something high interest (Action and Adventure) and age appropriate (grade 4). I looked at a few books saw that many were about 65 pages. My purpose for this first assignment was to get students on Big Universe and hooked on the program, so I didn’t want to bog them down on a longer text, especially when I don’t know everyone’s reading level yet. So, instead, I looked around for a shorter picture book and found one in the Character Education category called When Pigs Fly.
After reading through the text and deciding to use it for my first assignment, all I had to do was click the Assign button and check off the box to assign to the whole class. How easy! Now I’m ready to introduce the kids to Big Universe on the first day of school if I want to. I’m excited to start and I know my students will be as well!