Thursday, November 29, 2012

Writing From the Rock’s Point of View

As a part of our geology unit, my class did a special read aloud.  Rather than read another informational book, we used our class iPad and an app Have students write stories from a rock's point of view to work on both earth science and point of view in writing - free download from Raki's Rad Resources.called The Rock Cycle (free at the iTunes store) to read a story of a rock that changes from lava to igneous rock, to sedimentary rock, to metamorphic rock.  This interactive story was written in rhyme, and was written from the point of view of the rock.  It gave my students a great picture of how rocks change, and gave me a great idea for a final project.  I’m having my students write their own story from a rock’s point of view – two actually, the Rock Brothers.  For more details and to download the free sheet, stop by my blog, Raki’s Rad Resources.


Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

eTech Ohio Educational Technology Conference

I am very excited to share that I will be presenting 2 sessions at this year's eTech Ohio 2013 Educational Technology Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Hope to see you there! 
Session 1: iPads, iPod Touches & the Common Core (Time TBA)
Session 2: Integrating the Smart Document Camera (Time TBA)

The annual Ohio Educational Technology Conference strives to challenge, inform and inspire educators through the use of educational technology. The Conference is the nation’s third largest state educational technology conference, and is attended by more than 6,500 educators and innovators.
The Conference enables Ohio educators to:
  • Attend sessions and workshops designed to enhance the teaching experience;
  • Learn about the latest educational technology, tools and techniques;
  • Get hands-on experience with products and services by more than 250 vendors;
  • Share experiences with utilizing new technology in the classroom

For more information about the conference, please visit HERE

If you attend the conference, please say "HI!" or grab me after a session and let's chat! I love meeting teachers who love technology! 

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Brutus the Elf on the Shelf Visits Grade 2

Brutus came to Mrs. Newell's 2nd Grade!
He caused quite a stir today. Click HERE to watch our video of Day 1 Mischief.
Do you have an Elf in your classroom this year? If so, maybe your elf is logging his/her reports on:

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Cursive- There is a NEW SHERIFF in Cursive Town!

Does Cursive Handwriting Need to Be Taught In A High Tech World?

According to this online article
"Today the Common Core State Standards allow each state to decide whether to include cursive handwriting in their curriculum. Given the choice more and more states have been choosing to eliminate cursive handwriting instruction from their schools. Some feel that teaching cursive is “old fashioned” and a waste of time. Others believe that it should continue to be taught. Regardless of your point of view, you should be concerned about the removal of handwriting from the curriculum because these changes are occurring without researching the possible consequences for the young learner. At the heart of the controversy is the lack of evidence regarding how the elimination of cursive handwriting will impact learning and education in general." 

My school district chose to keep cursive handwriting in our school curriculum. I have taught cursive for 17 years! I had to search for new ideas and tools to keep my enthusiasm towards teaching it! Here is my 1st favorite find:
This App is on our 3 iPads. 


Kids love learning to write cursive - especially when they can use shaving cream, paint, and jello! "Cursive Touch and Write" was developed by real classroom teachers, and recreates the fun and effective teaching strategy used in classrooms every day: learning writing with shaving cream, jello, finger paint, and more! Note: This is an introduction to cursive letter writing - children will practice INDIVIDUAL cursive letters to achieve mastery - then the app connects the letters for them, as can be seen in the screen shots. "Cursive Touch and Write" also allows you to create your own lists of names and words so that you can individualize the learning experience!
✰Comes with 16 different writing textures: shaving cream, ketchup, lime gelatin, chocolate frosting, chalk, pencil, blue pen, lemon gelatin, chocolate pudding, syrup, grape jelly, whipped cream, pumpkin pie, red paint, and vanilla pudding!
✰Comes with 28 different writing papers, including 4 different line patterns children are most likely to find in real classrooms, food papers, animal papers, nature papers, and more!
✰Children can practice writing their own names and individualized word lists
✰Comes with the following word lists: ABC Countries of the World (and 1 City), 50 States, The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog, ABC Words, Palindromes, Alphabet Letters, Numbers – and of course you may add as many of your own lists as you like!
✰As children write, their actual letter formation is displayed next to a standard letter, so children can compare and work to improve their cursive
✰Brief reward at the end of each word reinforces learning and motivates children, without becoming a distraction
✰Created by real elementary teachers – based on best teaching practices! 

Here is my 2nd Favorite Find:
This Cursive App is on our 30 iPod Touches. 

 Here is my 3rd favorite find: 
I purchased this awesome pack at TPT! 

I want to thank Ginger Snaps for inspiring me to be a NEW SHERIFF in Cursive Town! 

Posters were made using Wanted App.

Do you teach cursive?
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Using MentorMob in the Classroom!

Hey all!  It's Kate from EduKate and Inspire.  I am thankful that Thanksgiving Break has allowed me to catch up on blogging!  I’m  pumped about the latest technology resource I’ve been using in my classroom—MentorMob!  Have you heard of it?  I first learned about MentorMob through my friend, Erin Klein @ Kleinspiration.  MentorMob has allowed me to easily organize all of my YouTube videos for the classroom.  Best news is… it’s free and easy to use.  Here’s a short clip about it:

This school year has been the first year we've been allowed to use YouTube in the classroom.  I was thrilled by this decision because there are a TON of quality songs and videos for the classroom.  Although YouTube allows you to organize videos directly on their site,  it does not prevent inappropriate ads and other videos from showing up when you access the videos in your classroom.  Enter… MentorMob!

Once I created my MentorMob account, I began to create “playlists” to organize my content.  So far, I have 7 playlists: Language, Science, Math, Reading, Social Studies, Birthdays, and my favorite—Brain Breaks!  Once you have your playlists created, all you have to do is copy and paste your YouTube link into MentorMob and your video will be saved for future streaming.  Although I mainly use MentorMob for YouTube videos, you can also use the site to organize other content, too! 

Alright, here it is… 10 Reasons Why I Love Mentor Mob:

1) On MentorMob, students cannot see any inappropriate videos that may appear in the sidebar if you use YouTube directly. 

2) Using MentorMob eliminates video ads and commercials that typically play on YouTube before your desired video.

3) With MentorMob, I can quickly access any of my digital content saved for a lesson.  I keep MentorMob in my bookmark bar and use it daily throughout my lessons!

4) MentorMob is easy for students to navigate.  I sent my MentorMob link to my students’ parents and am thrilled by the amount of students who re-watch our learning songs and videos at home!! 

5) You can embed your MentorMob playlists!  This is a great feature if you have a classroom blog or website.  For example, here is my students’ favorite playlist—Brain Breaks!

Come stop by my blog to read about 5 more reasons I love MentorMob!  If you start creating playlists, please share your profile link in the comments so I can check out what you make!

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Do you teach the Common Core?

If you use the Common Core - 
you should have Mastery Connect!

I've been using the MasteryConnect App for a few months now, and I just found out they also have a website!  This is so cool because now I can sign up (for free - or upgrade) and start immediaely connecting with teachers around the country to find 'just-right' activities and assessments that are already aligned to the common core.  It's like "Google for Effective Teachers."  I'm blown away.

Yesterday, my class was discussing text features.  I hopped right on the MasteryConnect site, signed in, and selected my grade level and content area.  I found an amazing assessment to use for my lesson.  Best part - it was free and already created.  I knew it was good because I also searched for 'assessments with the most downloads.'  This way, I figured if a lot of other teachers already downloaded it, it must be great.

Now, I'm excited to start sharing my own content.  I appreciate so much that other teachers are sharing their goodies - it's only right to 'pay it forward.'  By the way, you can send messages and follow teachers who post content you enjoy.  What a lesson planner's dream!

{click here to read more about this great, free tool}

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Fluency Apps

If you do not already own these, you need 2 purchase them TODAY!
My students have used these Fluency Apps during small group instruction & intervention.  All 3 levels are on our 30 iPod touches for students to practice on their own during Daily 5. 

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