Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kids Book Report App

Getting ready to read MANY Dr. Seuss books. Students will use this app on our iPad Minis while working together in small groups/teams!
Description from iTunes:
CREATIVE WRITING SPEAKS VOLUMES ! What have your kids read during the holidays ? A funny book, Novel, a fiction book ? Have they watched a movie worth talking about, have they played a game that fascinates them ? Well, they can write about it in the form of a book report.
Summarizing a book into a report speaks volumes. It tells a teacher and a parent (if they are paying keen attention) some cool things about their kids. It shows the kid's ability to comprehend stuff: story or material that they came across ( via a book, movie, games, plays, libraries, school, fun time etc ), It shows their understanding of emotions, some fun facts they read, characters they came across and relate to. They try to figure out what the author is trying to convey/where the story is heading.
When they are asked to write a book report (which is part of school curriculum) by the teacher or a parent, they will need to articulate what they read, summarize in a nutshell facts in the book, characters in the story line, and importantly what they thought about the book, and why and what they found interesting.
Teachers can also gain a insight into kids likes & dislikes, how much they understood the story/material, how the kids creative writing is developing.
The book report app enables kids to write following details:
-- book information
-- title, author
-- when and where the story takes place,
-- who are the main characters
-- what was the main problem
-- what was the solution
-- How does the kid like the book

You can also convert in PDF.

 I highly recommend this app! Only 99 cents!

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Technology-based Classroom Assessments- Rubrics

With the advent of the new Common Core State Standards, my grading practices look a bit different this year than they have in the past. 

For many of the ELA standards, I have found that one of the best ways to assess my students is to utilize rubrics. I have created a few for guided reading groups over the course of the year, but I hate adding one more page to yet another binder.


If you are familiar with rubistar, it has a similar layout. What I love about Forallrubrics is the ability to grade, score, store, and access student data from directly within the program. They also have a pretty sweet iPad app for educators. The program is currently free for teachers and it is definitely worth the time to head on over and check out their offerings. 

For more information about how I will be using this app in my classroom, check out my blog at Purely Paperless.

Purely Paperless

Stay connected,

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ICE 2013.. Part 1

This is it.. the most exciting week of the year! At least, in my tech world :) It's the ICE Conference (Illinois Computing Educators)! On Tuesday I was a presenter and tomorrow I will be an attendee. 

The ICE Conference is awesome for many reasons, and I am just so excited to see the "edtech celebrities" I follow on Twitter, Pinterest, and elsewhere online. Over the past couple days, I've already learned a lot through following #ice13 on Twitter, and here is just the beginning of the resources I've found:

An infographic of various web and mobile apps you can use in the classroom for student creation & presentation, separated by category.

If any Technology Tailgaters are going to be there tomorrow, let me know! It would be so fun to meet some of you!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Using Technology to Create Community

On March 15th I will be presenting at the European Council of International Schools’ (ECIS) imageTechnology conference. My presentation is called Using Technology to Create Community.  During the presentation, we will be talking about which websites can be used to create community for students.  I have compiled 15 websites that can be used to build community and I am asking the teachers at the conference to answer the following questions about each resource:

1.)  What grade levels is this site appropriate for?

2.)  What makes this a good community building website?

3.)  What are the benefits of this site?

4.)  What are the downfalls of this site?


The participants will fill in their answers on a Google Document, which has been set to allow everyone to edit it.  It will end up with a handy dandy cheat sheet to keep  around and know exactly which of these websites will be what we need for our classrooms. 

I’m also offering YOU a chance to participate and to receive the same Conference Goodie Bag, of 12 different items, that my participants will be receiving.  All you have to do is leave feedback on at least 5 of the 15 websites.  After you have left feedback on the Google Document, fill out the form below and you will be automatically entered to win the following goodie bag.  Stop by my blog – Raki’s Rad Resources to participate and enter to win.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Pic Collage

Hi, everyone! It's Farrah, from ThinkShareTeach to share this great little FREE photo collage app that I found. What can you do with a photo collage app, you ask? We made collages of opaque, transparent, and translucent objects yesterday. It was so much fun to see the kids learning the "tricks" of the app and showing one another, not to mention seeing them figure out which items to take pictures of. Here are a few examples of their work:

This was such a fun learning activity, and the app is really simple to use. When students open it, this screen appears:

The stickers, text, and background options were pretty popular with my kiddos. Items on the page can be turned and sized using the standard pinching gestures. Once finished, students emailed their collages to our class email account. I can't wait to use this again soon! Some ideas I have are to make collages of:
  • real life examples of planes (we're starting geometry soon)
  • acute, obtuse, and right angles around our school
  • items that are insulators
  • items that are conductors
  • equivalent forms of money ($1.00 shown in several different ways)
Have you ever used this app or one like it in your class? Please comment and share an idea!
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Flash To Pass

I'm always looking for ways to shake things up a bit when I have students complete an "exit slip" for math.

My fourth graders are still working at "shoring up" their basic math facts, especially multiplication and division, so I like to find ways for students to showcase these skills quickly and collaboratively.

Enter the Flash To Pass App.  It's FREE at the App Store and is highly engaging for those intermediate-level students (Grades 3-6).

I can stand at the door while my students "exit" by entering the correct answer on my iPad.  There are quite a few settings on this app that allow the user to increase or decrease the level of difficulty or change the operation.  Flash To Pass is also a terrific option for a stand-alone math station.

Flash to Pass allows the user to go beyond the allotted time and gives great feedback.

Who can say no to FREE and GREAT APP?  It's the deal of the day!


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Techie Tuesday

Welcome to Techie Tuesday Link Up!
Every Tuesday we are hosting a linky for you  to link up with your best technology post.   Please link directly to the techie blog post you are featuring. We are looking forward to seeing your great ideas! 

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Teaching Vocabulary and Language Skills

This year I have had the wonderful opportunity of working with teachers and students in integrating technology into the curriculum. It has been such an awesome experience and I have learned so much in the process. One thing that I have learned is how hard it is for some teachers to transfer what they already know about their teaching practices to developing lessons that integrate technology. One reason for this is not knowing what technology is available. Also, teachers seem to get stuck on the idea of the technology rather than how the technology can enhance instruction. With that being said, I have been developing a curriculum for teachers to show how technology can move lessons to the next level. So I thought I would share a new lesson that I have created to teach students grammar and language skills. The lessons in this document could be used to teach academic vocabulary in any subject area, figurative language, grammar skills, dictionary and glossary skills using book creator apps. Any book creating app will work but the apps I chose were Scribble Press, Book Creator, or Story Creator. If iPads are not available, there is a great Web 2.0 tool called Little Bird Tales. It is a simple online tool that students enjoy! If you are interested click on the picture below to link to my blog.

Tech with Jen
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My Favorite Tech Tool

by Matt Gomez. You can connect with me on my blog mattBgomez.comTwitterFacebook or Pinterest.

My favorite technology tool in the class is the digital camera. My kids have access to it all day and they are allowed to get it anytime to take pictures of things they want to document or share. We review the pictures at the end of each week and I send home them home via email for the parents to see every Friday.
A few things I love about the digital camera (when kids are given control)...
- it is a way for the students to share learning (gives them a voice)
- we get to see things from their perspective
- it is a review of their learning
they are practicing how to capture a thought with an image
the students learn how to use a camera
I feel this tool is often overlooked in the classroom and is available in almost all classrooms. I know there are many more reasons, what would you add?





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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Embed a Google Form into your Classroom Blog

Hi guys!

Just a quick tutorial on Google Forms for you today-

Many of you may have used Google Forms in your classroom already, but did you know that you can embed the form directly into your classroom website or blog? This is a quick and simple way to get feedback from parents or students in your classroom.

I use Google Forms all of the time in my room. I use them to:
  • Collaborate with colleagues
  • Gather feedback on a new project
  • Collect information from my blog readers
  • Connect with parents
  • Assess my students.
This little tutorial assumes that you have some basic experience with Google Forms. If you would like a more detailed overview of the creation of Google Forms, please leave some comment love on this post and I will be happy to oblige.

Check it out:

For those of you that have been using Google Forms for quite some time, Google recently added to the arsenal of tools and functionality in a new update. So, if you haven't used Google Forms lately- be sure to hop back in and see the new and improved Google Forms! It's much easier to collaborate on the forms now!

Thanks for watching and be sure to pop over to my blog, Purely Paperless for tips and tools to integrate technology into your classroom!

Purely Paperless
Stay connected,

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Digital Dr. Seuss & More

March 2, 1904 is Dr. Seuss's B-Day!
Spent the weekend collecting Dr. Seuss items, researching ways to integrate technology, and creating Common Core Packs! Almost ready for Union Elementary's Right to Read Week theme Dr. Seuss on the Loose March 4-8.
Kohl's Cares $5.00 
$5.00 Dr. Seuss Books 
 $10.00 Dr. Seuss Books
Oriental Trading Company Dr. Seuss Hats
Party City had bulletin boards, pencils, costumes etc. 

Here are a few pages from my (41 paged) Reading and Writing Common Core Pack!

Click HERE to purchase Reading and Writing Common Core Pack Inspired by a Silly Cat in the Hat. 
Click HERE to purchase Math Common Core Pack Inspired by a Silly Cat in the Hat. 
Found this App last year and it was such a hit!
It is a MUST HAVE again this year!

I am overwhelmed by the unlimited amount of online resources for cute Dr. Seuss ideas and activities, but this SITE has everything needed in one place to honor Dr. Seuss! 

Digital Dr. Seuss Books are FUN to read! We have the Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back on an iPad to project on our Apple TV to read whole group. We also have both titles on our iPad minis to read in small groups. 

This book is available for download on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iBooks and on your computer with iTunes. Books must be read on an iOS device.
We also have this book on an iPad to project on our Apple TV to read whole group. It is also on our iPad minis to read in small groups. 

iPod Fun
Here are the Apps purchased for our class iPod Touches. 
Truffula Shuffula is the official game for the movie “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax”!

In the game, you’ll help The Lorax create colorful clusters of 3 or more matching objects. The more clusters you create, the more points you earn!

The Cat in the Hat is back…with an app made to play along with 32 game tiles in the Dr. Seuss Fun Machine! Jump into the world of Dr. Seuss by matching, pairing, and solving in these madcap mixes of family fun!

Three great games in one app:

1. MATCHING: Challenge your memory to find tiles that match shape, color, or character.
2. SLAP DOWN: Be the first to slap down your tile when it matches what’s on the screen.
3. GUESS-A-ROO: Use your super sleuth Seuss skills to guess the Secret Tile from the clues on screen. Collect the most tiles to win!

Speak for the trees, for they have no tongues, with the Official Lorax App! Hold the phone up to your mouth, and talk. The Lorax’s mouth and moustache will move along with your voice.

Help the Lorax regrow the world's Truffula tree forests! Design your own trees and flowers, see them grow right before your eyes, and share beautiful postcards you've created with friends & family.
Since I am the World's Worst Person in a KITCHEN- my Sister in Law is going to make my class some cupcakes! 
Can't wait for the yummy treat!
How did I ever live without PINTEREST?
Love these cupcake ideas.

Happy B-Day Dr. Seuss!
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