Wednesday, December 18, 2013

PicLab HD

One of my favorite FUN apps is FREE... TODAY ONLY!!
PicLab HD creates beautiful, funky, and creative text overlays on your photos. They have a free version, but PicLab HD has more free fonts and editing features than regular old PicLab.

Here are some examples of what it looks like:

So why am I sharing a photo editing app? Well, I think that 3rd and 4th graders especially would love it. It makes me cringe when they ask me if I am on Instagram, but this is their digital world and what is "cool" in it. 

Some of the ideas I had were:
- Create a New Year's Resolution image
- Create a picture of a quote from a book 
- After reading, design an image for the moral of a story

Look for it on our iPads after the New Year.. but download it today if you're interested!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Flipped Classroom

This afternoon at our faculty meeting, we will be starting a discussion around the concept of the flipped classroom. A Google search on the topic of the "elementary flipped classroom" brought up 12,700,000 results. WOW! 

So, what is the flipped classroom? First, it is NOT just about watching videos for homework. It is a fuller cycle of learning, with deeper connections to both the content and the learning community members. Learning tasks can become engaging, relevant, authentic, and exciting. The flipped classroom also doesn't center around videos - teachers are still responsible for making decisions about which tools will best meet the needs of their students, keeping the overall learning climate and objectives in mind.

Jon Bergmann (@jonbergmann) has been coined as a co-founder of the flipped learning concept, and has an entire website dedicated to Flipped Learning, including videos, blogs, and resources on the topic. 

One piece of advice he gives to elementary teachers is to not assign the video as homework, but make it a center in your classroom. The new term I have heard for this is The Cloned Teacher, from Jennie Magiera. I LOVE this term because it fits much better with our elementary classrooms and students. 

Ready to try it? Here are examples I have found of what it could look like at each grade level:


1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

YOU! (Yes, you can be a flipped learner too! Searching YouTube to find what you want to do is an awesome way to learn!)

Wait, wait, wait.. are you saying I have to make all these videos for my kids? NO! There are hundreds upon thousands of videos that you can already use...! Here are just a few:
And even BrainPop & BrainPop Jr!

One final video... Salman Khan's TED talk: Let's use video to reinvent education. 

Additional Articles & Resources:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Oh, the world we live in!

You guys, the world we live in is AMAZING sometimes, don't you agree?!

Two things today caught my attention that I am dying to share with you!

First of all, have you heard of a website called Upworthy? Each day they share a variety of videos. They describe themselves by saying, "at best, things online are usually either awesome or meaningful, but everything on has a little of both. Sensational and substantial. Entertaining and enlightening. Shocking and significant."

So while Upworthy is a fun site for personal use, many of the videos that I've seen have the potential for CSL, Second Step, classroom meeting, and writing activities. Of course preview the videos first, but I hope you find something nice to share with your class! To search for videos, you can choose from a variety of categories, including Inspirational

Next up is an idea that I found awhile back called Augmented Reality. When I first saw the video, I was like OMG! How cool! I want to be able to do that in our Learning Commons! Here's what it looks like:

Well my friends, today I discovered that it is totally possible for us to do this! It's an app called Aurasma. The app is free, and to create your own you can create a free account. 

Here's an example of how kindergarten teacher Matt Gomez uses it in his classroom, which I found through the Technology Tailgate:

I've had a little bit of time to play with it, and I can't wait to use it! If anyone wants to explore it with me, let me know and we can learn together. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Do you like to play music for your class for transitions or work time? Songza is a quick and free website you can use for just that!

So it's Wednesday afternoon.. if your kids are writing, maybe you want working music with no lyrics. Click and play!

Maybe it's Monday morning and you're dragging.. choose waking up with energy and get your groove on!

Or it's Saturday night and you want a "sweaty dance party" or to "entertain cool friends"... yes, even those are options!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

BrainPop: GameUp

BrainPop and BrainPop Jr. both have a new section called Game Up! They have improved upon many of their educational games, and in most cases, partnered with different foundations to provide fun learning games for kids. Clicking on each category (Science, Health, Reading & Writing, Social Studies, Math, and Arts & Tech) brings up more games available, but here are a few favorites:

3rd grade teachers! There is a Simple Machines game that kids explore the different basic simple machine properties to help a character named Twitch get around the museum at night. 

K-2 teachers! There is a game called "Chain Game" that has students replace sounds in words to make new words. There are different letters and sounds to choose from for various levels.

3-4 teachers! There is a game called "Treefrog Treasure" that my kids in summer school couldn't get enough of. Students make a frog bounce from place to place, and have to have him land on certain parts of a number line involving fractions. The levels get tricky and involve some problem solving and fraction thinking!

While these are all games on BrainPop Jr., check out BrainPop also for more games at higher levels. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sushi Monster

A new app that was just put onto our iPads is Sushi Monster! 

Sushi Monster by Scholastic is a fun way to practice addition or multiplication facts with your students. It has multiple levels that are unlocked as the player moves on, so it is easy to differentiate with your class working on different levels!

Students feed their Sushi Monsters by correctly choosing two numbers that when added or multiplied result in the number that the monster wants to eat. When the monster has been fully fed, students move onto feeding a new monster.

Check out an iPad and give it a try!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

iOS 7

I'll be honest.. as much as I was excited about Apple's latest update to iOS 7, I was also very nervous for the change. I reluctantly updated my iPhone last week and after the initial shock of things looking different, I am now pretty comfortable with everything. It just took a bit of time, research, and playing around. 

However, this was my initial feeling about my "new" iPhone:

As our iPad minis are currently updating to iOS 7, I know some of you, like me, may be weary of the change and others will embrace it. (But, of course we know the kids will adapt.. except for maybe Jack :)

To help you with the change, I've collected some articles that can help you see the differences between the old and new. They definitely helped me as I embraced the change and figured it all out.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Back to School

After a nice long summer and a break from blogging, I'm so excited to share the fun things I've been finding and stockpiling all summer long!

Photo from Matt Gomez

First up, I found a blog post written by Matt Gomez, a teacher on the Technology Tailgate, entitled My Focus for Technology. I thought it was a great way to think about ideas for the upcoming school year, as some of you may have a goal to "use technology more in the classroom". He says we should be thinking about the learning first

"I love technology and strive to incorporate it in my classroom daily but my goals are never about the technology themselves. When I see a new tool I don't try to incorporate it simply because it is new and cool. It is important that I see an opportunity to encourage, foster or enhance learning with that tool. So I came up with the top reasons I think I use technology in the class."

Check out his blog post, where he also has linked examples for the top reasons he uses technology in the classroom. He has some really great and easy ideas for integrating technology into the classroom!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tune into Technology Linky: Integrating Technology into Reading

Happy Summer! I got an email that iTeach 1:1 and Learning to the Core were doing a summer technology linky, so I decided to join! Each Thursday through August there will be bloggers linking up their ideas on iTeach 1:1 and Learning to the Core. Here is the "schedule of events":

Check our their blogs to see all the links!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Coloring Squared

Coloring Squared is a website that has free printables for practicing math facts. 

The printables come in addition, subtraction, multiplication division, fractions, decimals, and more! When a student solves the problem, they color in the square, creating a pixelated picture in the end. Kind of a color-by-number with math problems! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Photo Peach

Photo Peach is a website that you can use to create picture slideshows with text captions and music.

With Photo Peach you can...
Easily upload multiple photos at once from your computer.
Choose background music from Photo Peach.
Embed interactive quiz questions!
Easily email the video within Photo Peach
Set your slideshows to be public, unlisted, or invitation-only.

Here's how easy it is to make one:
Step 1 - Upload Photos

Step 2 - Choose Music & Speed

Photo Peach will then create your slideshow! The next step is to add captions, or create a quiz, if you'd like. Just click on Edit - Edit Caption and Photos. 

Then choose what type of caption you want.

Here's an example of a Bird Quiz

And an example of an Australian Heritage slideshow.

Want to learn more?

Check out this video:

I think Photo Peach would be a fun way to quiz students on vocabulary. Or save it for a Getting to Know You activity next year! Take pictures of each of your students and quiz the class on everyone's names. What a fun way to get to know your new class!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Technology Blog Hop

Spring into Technology with Classroom Freebies!
Several phenomenal teachers, Technology Tailgate Coaches and bloggers are joining forces for an amazing classroom technology blog hop!  As you hop from blog to blog, you will visit some of your favorite blogs and discover a few new blogs too!  Each with a fabulous freebie just for you!

Thank you for hopping over!

This stop on the blog hop is a super easy and fun QR project that 3rd graders did. They are studying biographies right now, so every student is assigned a different person. To make the QR Codes, students used an audio recording website called Vocaroo. You don't need an account and it's free to use!

Each student came up with a "fun fact" about their person, and then used Vocaroo to record their fun fact. Then, they put their QR Codes on their lockers for other students to scan and learn about their person. 

On Vocaroo, you have many choices of what to do with your voice recording, such as just use the weblink, embed it, share it through a social network platform, download the file, or create the QR Code. 

Your freebie for stopping by is a quick start guide to Vocaroo for your students to use the website and make their own QR Code independently! Click here to get it!

Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting!  If you are new to my blog and liked what you see, don't forget to follow me!  The next stop on the path is  

In case you didn't start from the beginning, here is an ordered list of all participating blogs!

Kristin from iTeach 1:1
Heidi from Rakis Rad Resources
Leah from Learn With Leah
Amanda and Aylin from Learning to the Core
Kristen at Teacher Playground
Jen at Tech with Jen
Kay at A Little Tech
Melanie at I Luv Twek
Carrie and Caitlin at Table Talk with C & C
Lauren at iWonder

A special thank you to Jen at Tech with Jen for designing the blog hop button!
Interested in joining our next blog hop?  Join here