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!
Apple, The Devices You Love to Hate
When I walk into the Apple Store, observing the mania, I can’t help feeling as I look around that this is what is wrong with the world today! We took a bite of the poisonous fruit and we are addicted to it like a drug. I think most of us know we have a problem, yet we can’t seem to tear ourselves away from our devices which have us hooked. Personally, I spent way to much time on my iPhone and iPad on this beautiful summer day, when I should have been doing yoga (I have an app for that) or walking my dog (there’s an app for that too). I want to hate you, Apple, but I just can’t. “Why?” You might ask, because (Ugh) they just do it better — My 3 Day Apple Training convinced me of this. Continue reading
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!
A Bit of Background
All primary teachers know that Reader’s Theater is a great way to promote fluency and expression in students’ oral reading. Recently, we read two different pieces of literature in class that lend themselves nicely to Reader’s Theater. The first story, Try Your Best, is a realistic fiction story composed of mostly dialogue between characters about kids at a summer camp. The second story, Did You See Chip?, was a play about a girl who moves to the new city, looses her dog, and makes new friends on her journey to recover her missing pup! I wanted to try incorporating technology into my students’ Reader’s Theater experiences. For these two projects I selected two different tools, Voki, a web based tool, and Puppet Pals 2, an iPad app. 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
This particular week students read the story Jack and Rick. A charming story about two lovable characters, Jack, a rabbit and Rick, a bear who find themselves on opposite sides of a river. The pair have to problem solve to get on the same side of the river, so they can play together. In math students have been working on subtraction with an emphasis on story problems. For my cross-curricular project I had students work in groups to create their own taking away story problem. I thought using PowerPoint would be the perfect tool for this project, because students can deepen their understanding of subtraction by using animation to demonstrate taking away.
Towards the end of last school year we had Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) installed in the elementary classrooms in our district. The specific brand we obtained is the EPSON Brightlink. I love it because it uses the preexisting white board surface I your classroom, so you can still write on your board with good old fashion dry erase markers when you want. I wanted to modernize my morning calendar procedures to incorporate this IWB this year.