Recently, I was chosen to give a presentation on our district’s Act 80 day for an audience of educators who work with students in Kindergarten and 1st grade. I decided to show them some of my favorite web-based resources. Continue reading
Easing into Easiteach
Last year was my first full school year using my Epson Brightlink Interactive Projector in my 1st Grade Classroom. I spent the year making lessons in TeamBoard Draw (word building and ten-frames for example) and using Easy Interactive tools to annotate over top old transparencies. I also found interactive websites for the kids to use, and who doesn’t enjoy streaming from Discovery Education. I also self-taught myself the software program ActivInspire, and created several lessons using this program (which are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. For more info on ActivInspire you can check out these posts: Using ActivInspire to Create a Cross-Curricular Lesson and The Top Ten Things Teachers Should Be able to do in ActivInpsire). In the spring of last school year I attended a two day “train-the-trainer” training on another IWB software, RMEasiteach, provided by an Eduscape Learning instructor, Krista Galyon, @. I loved her training, because it was very hands on! It is always easier to learn how to do something by doing it, not watching!
Background: Apps, Books and Cows… you are probably wondering what these things have in common. It all began back in February when we had two back-to-back non-fiction texts in our Harcourt Trophies reading book, At Home Around the World and Me on the Map. As you can probably decipher from the titles these selections had a geography focus. My passion, as you know is utilizing educational technology, so I wanted to find a project that would incorporate technology and geography. I always wanted to do a Flat Stanley project, so I started exploring my options. I found there was an iPad app that was free and and Edmodo app that cost $20.00. I figured I would try the iPad app out first to see how I liked it. Continue reading
At the beginning of the school year I created an interactive presentation for the daily calendar routine in my classroom. Included in this PowerPoint were YouTube videos of a weather song and a calendar song. Unfortunately, these songs seem to keep getting taking off YouTube. My students happened to be learning about proper nouns including the days of the week, so I decided film our own days of the week rap video. We had previously filmed a video of the Ants Go Marching which was one of my favorite projects this school year! I felt like it was time for another music project;, what better way to shake the winter blues!? I love using songs to teach concepts, because they really help to make the material stick!
My fellow building Technology Integrator and myself recently presented our favorite interactive websites to our faculty. We presented these to both our building staff, and then we were honored to share the list with the entire district-wide faculty. Our district has recently installed Epson Brightlink Interactive Projectors in the Elementary classrooms and the Junior High classrooms. We have found that many of of staff are uncomfortable with the new technology and have become overwhelmed some of our trainings on IWB software, such as ActivInspire. We compiled this list of our favorite interactive websites to provide teachers with a list of resources that they can go to for ready-made activities to use with their IWBs or on student computers. Continue reading
I had previously created a webquest on the life cycle of butterflies and frogs. I wanted to update these lessons, and I decided to give creating a webquest in PowerPoint a whirl. I thought PowerPoint would give me capabilities to meet criteria for creating a kid-friendly webquest for my primary students. I wanted to be able to insert hyperlinks obviously, but I wanted something that would be easy to navigate, and would allow me to embed video and insert photographs. I also wanted to be able to easily insert audio clips, because my students are emerging readers. Unfortunately, things did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. Continue reading
In my previous post Using ActivInspire to Create Cross-Curricular lessons, I introduced you to some basic ActivInspire skills when I created my Boots for Beth cross-curricular lesson. I wanted to advance my ActivInspire skills, so I viewed some different tutorials to learn how I could make my ActivInspire Flipcharts more engaging.
We read a delightful story titled Space Pup, about a super hero dog who rescues a bus that is stuck in the mud. I thought it would be fun to challenge students to extend the story by creating their own Space Pup adventure. I thought I could introduce my students to story elements by having them create a comic strip. Continue reading
In class we read the story Boots for Beth about a pig named Beth. At the beginning of the story Beth can’t get her boots on because they are too small. Throughout the story Beth’s animal friends offer their boots, but none of them are right for Beth. At the end of the story the friends surprise Beth with a new pair boots. Our focus reading comprehension skill for the week was retelling. I knew I wanted to work this skill into the project if possible.
In math we have been working a lot with ten-frames. I thought it would be fun for students to drag boots onto the ten-frame instead of boring counters. I decided to use ActivInspire to create this presentation.
This week we read an informational text titled All That Corn in our Harcourt Trophies reading books. On Day 2 of the Harcourt Trophies plan it recommends that the teacher help students create a concept map about farms. I have been eager to use a new, web-based, mind mapping tool with my students and I saw this as the perfect opportunity. When I did my action research during my graduate studies with my PreK students, I used Kidspiration software for mind mapping. Kidspiration is a good software package, but for the purposes of this blog I want to make sure that I am showcasing applications that are free and accessible to everyone. Plus, I know there are many mind mapping tools that have come out in the past few years, so I wanted to familiarize myself with the new tools out there. The world of educational technology is ever-changing, so it is important to stay up to date!