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
Every year one of Title 1 Reading Specialists at my school enjoys baking gingerbread cookies with the class. I recently read the book, The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School, to my class, and I thought it would be fun to coordinate a QR code hunt (much like the previous QR code hunt I did) that would have my class chasing an elusive gingerbread man around the school!
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
In Reading we read the story, Dan’s Pet, about a boy who keeps a pet chick named Jen for pet. Throughout the story Jen grows into a hen. At the end of the story, Jen lays eggs. I thought this week would be a good opportunity to teach students more about the life cycle of chickens. I had used Glogster EDU during my graduate studies, and I always wanted to try to use it with my students. I set out to have my class make a Glog on the life cycle of a chicken. Continue reading
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!
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.