Monday, May 11, 2015

Famous Americans....Captured and QR'd!

An innovated teacher, at on one my campuses, came up with a unique idea for their Famous American curriculum writing project. 2nd grade students researched a Famous American and created apps which represented their specific Famous American.  (See the example below). Once the research was completed, students created short videos (utilization the YouTube Capture app) depicting their Famous American. QR codes were created and added to the ipad template for students/parents to view.

Here is the pdf of the ipad template. 
Examples:


Peace,
Kiki


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Thursday, May 7, 2015

XP Math - Common Core Aligned

I wanted to share this great Math website. I have been using it for a few years now and it just keeps getting better. It is best for grades 2nd-9th. All games are Common Core aligned. I hope you and your students enjoy how much fun and educational these games can be. Bring the fun back into learning!!





Math Games Arcade - eXPerience 


How do you integrate Common Core State Standards in the math classroom? How do you engage your students and increase interest in math? XP Math features fun and educational math games for Grades 2-9. Mental mathematics is a component of the Common Core Mathematical Practices and XP Math Games makes it easy to support it. XP Math allows teachers to differentiate instruction by process and content by providing tools to collect and analyze student data at every stage of their learning.
-XP Math







You can check out this post and find more great resources at www.teacherplayground.com


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Friday, May 1, 2015

Fractions Online and Fraction Freebie

Students create fish tanks and write fractions to represent their tanks.



CLICK HERE FOR FREEBIE!


           
This video is good for differentiation. There are 7 different sections about fractions.  

                               
                  This is a fun fraction song!
                
This video shows occupations that use fractions! What about teachers? I use fractions to analyze data and to guide instruction!

This is an awesome game to practice fractions!






FRACTION APPS



Click HERE to read about previous FRACTION post and download more FREEBIES!

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1 Year Voki Bundle Giveaway!

It has been a while since I have blogged, but I am coming back with a great giveaway! One of my favorite educational websites is Voki.com. I love creating my own customized speaking avatars that are sure to engage students and educators alike. It is an interactive learning tool that students enjoy creating to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. So how can Voki be utilized effectively in the classroom? The possibilities are endless! Students can create avatars to deliver speeches, present book reports, recite poems, discuss a topic, share a bio, retell a story or practice fluency. Voki can be advantageous for all ages and grades, whether it is kindergarten or high school.

Listen to this example of an early childhood student singing the Days of the Week. What a great way to share their learning! It's also an ideal way to show growth and progress throughout the year. Have students compare their avatars from the beginning of the year to the end.



Mother's Day is just around the corner, this would be a perfect way to deliver a talking greeting card! 

So how can you take complete advantage of using all of Voki's features? By winning a FREE 1 Year Bundle Subscription! This includes Voki Classroom and Voki Presenter ($49.95 value). Just enter the giveaway and share how #vokirocks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~Shana
Enchanted with Technology
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

DoInk: Green Screen App: Ecosystem

3rd graders at one of my schools, created videos using the app, DoInk Green Screen on the topic of Ecosystems. (Note: DoInk is a paid app ($2.99) but well worth the price!)

The students learned how energy flows through an ecosystem and how changes to the ecosystem affect both plants and animals within the ecosystem. For their project, students were in groups of 4 and chose the following job; producer, editor, reporter and camera person. Together they brainstormed a place, an event that would change the ecosystem, and how it affected the plants and/or animals there. Students worked collaboratively to create an idea and wrote a script to produce into a broadcast.


Click here to view the finished products.

Peace,
Kiki


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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jazz Up Your Email Signature Line





Want to Jazz Up your school or personal email signature line? 
I am passing along this awesome site from Jim Frye, USEVS Technology Director! Thanks JIM! 
If you'd like to enhance your signature line, here's the process:
  1. Open a new tab and go to:  https://newoldstamp.com/editor/
  2. Fill in the information in the left column you want in your signature line.  You can upload a pic or avatar of your choice.  You can change layout/template on the right side column names.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Choose email type- example: "Gmail" from available email programs.
  5. Click "Select" to highlight all data, then command key+C to copy. (I removed the "get signature like this!" before I copied).
  6. Now, go back to Mail > Settings (under the gear icon) > Signature and remove any signature data you may in there now, and, then paste your newly created signature.  Make sure the box is checked underneath to "Insert this signature before quoted text in replies and remove the "--" line that precedes it."
  7. Save.  If you want more spacing, you can go back to Settings > Signature and move the signature down a line or two and resave.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Stability Balls in the Classroom! EVEN WITH TECHNOLOGY!

Bounce While Learning in Team Newell
Team Newell students say goodbye to regular classroom chairs, and they say hello to twenty new stability balls.
Super Writers wearing Super Writer capes while taking the Ohio Diagnostic Writing Test!


What is a stability ball?         
            A stability ball is a large inflatable ball usually used for yoga and exercise, but it can also be used in classrooms in place of chairs. The ball isn’t used for fun, but rather to help students sit up straight and engage the muscles and the parts of their brains needed to remain balanced on the stability ball. Brain research has shown that there is a link between movement and positive academic performance. 


How do they work?
            When students sit on stability balls, both sides of their brains are engaged in keeping their bodies centered on the balls. And when the brain is stimulated, it's more focused on learning. Not only is the brain better suited to processing new information, young minds are also better able to concentrate on exams, note-taking, class discussions, and other aspects of classroom learning.

            A study published in the October 2003 issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy found that students with attention challenges, such as attention deficit hyperactive disorder, tended to focus better when using stability balls instead of chairs. The study revealed that students behaved better and that language skills improved, and that students and teachers preferred the use of stability balls in the classroom instead of chairs. Fidgeting helps children with ADHD concentrate, and just a little movement on the stability balls can meet their demands for expelling excess energy.

How do stability balls improve posture?
            Without a back, stability balls force children to sit up straight and engage in better posture than they might ordinarily in a standard school chair and desk. When students are sitting up straight, they're more likely to pay attention.  A study on the positive effects of students using stability balls in the classroom in the February 2009 issue of Chronicle of Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education noted, however, that a stability ball is not a long-term cure-all for posture, and that bad habits can return because there's no back support to take pressure off the tailbone.  Proper posture at a young age is important because this is when bodies are growing the most. When a child has poor posture, they are increasing their chances of developing spinal deformities. Using a stability ball decreases a child's chance of developing these deformities by forcing them to maintain good posture. The use of stability balls can also help students to become more physically fit because core muscles are engaged and strengthened.

How is it going in Team Newell?
             Just in two months, I have noticed “active sitting” has improved focus, flexibility, coordination, balance and handwriting. The stability balls give students the opportunity to direct their natural kinesthetic energy in a positive way rather than me squashing their need for movement. We incorporated stability ball rules that have allowed movement in a controlled manner without causing disturbance in our classroom. When the novelty wears off, I am hoping our overall performance continues to improve. It is an expensive investigation, but it is worth every penny to try to help students reach their full potential as learners.  
The stability balls have worked great while using Chromebooks, Nexus Tablets, iPods, iPads. Students have been stable while using technology items, and they have shown great concentration! 

When we had chairs.... I had a student who tipped and fell off his chair and a Chromebook flew across the room. Luckily I saw it happen, and I ran to catch it!



For more information about stability balls, visit: http://tinyurl.com/bounce4bettergrades


We have 6 students in our room who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and who are currently taking medication. The stability balls are very helpful!!!
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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Icon-apalooza

Last week I saw a post on A Trendy Teacher's blog that made me {oh-so-happy}!! So today I am doing some Spring Cleaning on my desktop and getting digitally organized!

I always used the colored labels for my Mac folders... and then they just turned into a dot. Boring! But now, my desktop folders can go from this:


to this!!!

Yes, you too can organize your desktop with any icon you want... And it is SO EASY!!

I started the same way that A Trendy Teacher did, with a blank slide in Keynote (she used PowerPoint). I inserted a circle shape and then just put a text box over it with the name of the folder. 


Then, select both items that you want (so they are grouped together). You can do this by clicking and dragging to select everything, or by holding the Command key as you select each item. Press command-c to copy the images. 


Next, click on the folder you want to change the icon of. Click on Command-I to get Info on the folder, or control-click and select Get Info. 


Next, click on the folder icon:


And then click on command-v to paste! 


Congrats, you now have the prettiest icons in all the land! 

If you don't want to make personalized icons, you can use ANY IMAGE you want. Find the images you want from Google (or any clipart), and put them into a Keynote or document. 
Copy/Paste the same way above under "Get Info", and BAM! Personalized folders in just a few moments!


Have fun!
-Lauren


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