Friday, May 31, 2013

Creative Book Builder

Hi, it's Alison Whiteley over at Toad-ally Exceptional Learners. Next year, I"m going paperless. Or as much as I can. The first decision I've made is to get rid of my student's reading notebooks. I hate hauling them everywhere--from classroom meeting to parent/teacher conferences. Its just to much. I see using Creative Book Builder as a way to build in authentic learning using technology that targets critical thinking and bravely and boldly  towards highers levels of SAMR.

Each reading comprehension strategy will be its own chapter. Here students will build on the learning targets and essential questions to demonstrate how they will provide they understand and can apply the strategy through the use of other apps like PicCollage and embedded videos. Creative Book Builder (CBB) was one of the first Apps I worked with that demonstrates how students and teachers could create and publish on their iPad. It has so many applications for students:
  • Project based learning or collaborative work
  • Writing, publishing and presenting
  • Summative assessment of a topic being studied 
  • Making written work accessible to students with diverse needs

Stop by and see how I develop my example over the summer.

Pin It

Great Apps for Teaching Symmetry

Recognize this face?  I use this image to teach my fourth grade students about symmetry.  Of course, Abraham Lincoln was known for his asymmetrical face, and the above image showcases lines of symmetry beautifully!

(An added bonus:  I teach at Abraham Lincoln Accelerated Learning Academy, so my students are extra enthusiastic about this lesson!)

In the past, I've had my students snap photos of each other and then run off multiple copies plus "flip" copies so that we can create similar images of the students with a left side+flipped left side image, the original photo in the center, and a right side+flipped right side image.  The kids love this activity so much, but it is REALLY TOUGH to accomplish in a single math period.  It also can become a tad confusing and usually it takes a student a few tries to get this correct.

In the end, we put the images onto a large set of classroom posters entitled:  The SymMEtry of ME!  When posted in the hallway, they're a real crowd pleaser.

I'm always on the lookout for ways to incorporate great apps into my curriculum, so imagine my surprise when I found an app that could take a student's photo and create symmetrical images...

Enter Face Symmetry Tester HD for iPad.  This FREE app allows the user to take a photo and then create images with the left side and right side of the face.  What used to take my students over an hour now takes 20 minutes for a class of 25 kiddos.  PLUS...I can make a cool slideshow of the students since the images are saved with my photos.  How cool is that?

Here's a sample of one of my lovelies...Rylee!  This is what she created:

Face Symmetry Tester HD is an excellent resource that you and your students are sure to love!



An Uncommon to the Core Teacher @ Pin It

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Techie Tuesday Link Up

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! 

Pin It

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Writing Activity Using "Build Your Wild Self" Website

by Matt Gomez. You can connect with me on my blog mattBgomez.comTwitterFacebook or Pinterest.
I really love the site Build Your Wild Self. The site allows you customize a person by using many different animal parts as you can see in the image above. It is simple to use and FREE.  Today we played around on the site during large group and had a great time creating "wild people." After a while I asked the class to discuss with their neighbor "what animal parts do you wish you had?" Then I sent them to write a journal about what two animal parts they wished the had and why. I enjoyed listening to them discuss and think through what parts they would pick and why. Here are a few of the examples...
image (3)
image (5)
image (4)
image (6)
Pin It

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Techie Tuesday Link Up

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! 

Pin It

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Animal Facts Literacy Center with Free Zoo Apps

by Matt Gomez. You can connect with me on my blog mattBgomez.comTwitterFacebook or Pinterest.
There are three different ABCmouse Zoo apps and they are all FREE. Each one covers five different animals. You can download set 1 hereset 2 here and set 3 here. We have been using this app to write animal the animal facts in a literacy center (pictured above). If you would like to use the same sheet I used you can download the PDF file here or the Microsoft Word file here. When the kids visit an animal in the app the screen below will appear  and all they need to do it touch the screen for the zookeeper to start sharing facts about the animal. What I really like about the app is the "show fact" feature, when they click on that the screen will change to show the words as they are read to them (second image below.) The last cool feature of the app is there is a quiz option that my class loves! All they have to do is click "quiz me" and the quiz starts (third image below.)
image (1)
image (2)
image (3)
Pin It

Multi-Tasking and Social Media for the Busy Educator

I can't believe how long it has been since I have posted! This time of year is always so hard to find time at night to post on my blog because of my crazy schedule with my children! Lots of baseball, softball, dance, and school activities! Plus, I don't know about you but I am beat! So I decided to spend the last couple of months trying to figure out a few things about social media and apps on my phone that would help me do the the things I love to do while doing the things I love...I am a multi-tasker! So if you have a smart phone or iPad you have the tools you need right at your fingertips to learn and stay connected on the go! Here are a few of my favorites:

If you would like to learn more about how I use these great apps on the go, click on the picture below:

Also, check out some of my social media sites! 

Twitter @TechwithJen
Facebook Page - Tech with Jen

I would love it if you would leave me a comment and let me know how we can connect. I would love to follow you. Also, what are some of your multi-tasking tips and tricks?

Pin It

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Customize Digital Learning Activities with Zondle

As the school year is drawing to a close, it's always nice to review grade level content with students. I love using digital resources to save paper and time.

One resource that I have been experimenting with lately is Zondle.

Zondle is a tool that allows you to create customized digital games to assess your classroom content. You can input any questions that you'd like and then select a game from one of Zondle's several game formats.

For a quick, easy to start topic, I just dug up a couple of old worksheets from our science unit and added the questions right into the topic screen. You could definitely make this more elaborate, but I just wanted something quick and easy to try it out.

In addition to creating your own content, you can determine if you want the students to play the games individually or if you would like them to participate in a team mode activity. Through secure student accounts- which you can create easily through an excel spreadsheet- Zondle also tracks data about student use and performance in their gradebook feature.

For other great end of the year review activities, be sure to check out my post about end of the school year review activities!

Stay connected,

Pin It

Haiku Deck App (free) has New Graphing Tool

by Matt Gomez. You can connect with me on my blog mattBgomez.comTwitterFacebook or Pinterest.
Haiku Deck is a great FREE app that I have had my eye on for a while but never used much in my Kindergarten class. That changed a few weeks ago when @iPadSammy mentioned the new graph feature. If you are not familiar with Haiku Deck it is an app similar to Power Point that lets you create slick and simple slide shows. The best feature is the ability to search 1000's of creative commons pictures within the app that can be easily added to the presentation. I certainly suggest checking out all the app can do but for this post I am going to focus on the graph feature.
When you first open the app you will be given a brief tutorial and then land on a screen similar to the one below. Click the plus sign to get started with your first deck.
Here is how I used the app in my class to graph our favorite ice cream flavors. First, we made a list on the white board of different kinds of ice cream and from that list I picked five for our graph. As you can see in the image below I used the "Tt" (blue arrow) option so the first slide would have a format with a title and numbered choices. To edit the text on the slide all you have to do is touch the area you want to edit or type on. Once we had this slide complete I had my class vote for their favorite flavor and I collected that data on the whiteboard. Using that data we moved to the next step of showing the data in a graph and added a new slide to our deck using the plus sign (yellow arrow.)
image__1_ 2
For the next slide I picked the image option (red arrow below). Next select the graph option (orange arrow) and then pick the type of graph you want to use. We used the bar graph this week (green arrow) and will work with the pie graph next week. Last click the "Done" button to create the slide. Also want to point out that you can switch between the slide you are editing at the bottom of the screen (blue arrow)
After you finish the step above you will see a screen similar to the one below. Editing the data is super simple with Haiku Deck which is why I love this app. To add more columns to the graph click the plus sign (red arrow) and to delete a column press the red "x" (green arrow.) Editing the label for each column simply by clicking the word under each column (yellow arrow.) Changing the number or total for each column by dragging the dot at the top of each column (blue arrow.) I know it seems like a lot of steps but if you practice it once it is very simple to repeat. The last tip is to edit the units for the graph (orange arrow.) This will allow you to change the Y-axis units to better match the data in your graph.
Sharing the deck is also very easy by going back to the main menu (top left of the app) and then pressing the share button for your deck. When you choose share you will be given the options below. Click here to see the finished Haiku deck from this post.
photo (3)
Pin It

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2 More Virtual Field Trips

Here is a LINK to register for the last two virtual field trips to North America sponsored by Discovery Education. The first one to the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC was great. The length was perfect - 45 minutes. It was also just the right mix of viewer questions, previews of the series, and animal clips from the zoo. We got to see the eagles, sea lions, and wolves at the zoo and their trainers shared a lot of interesting information about them.  It was very worthwhile, so I'm glad we participated. This week, Friday May 17, will be a behind the scenes look at more animals and they will be talking with the producers of the Discovery Channel series to gain insight into the filming and making of the series. You should definitely register - if you register you will have access to the archives and you can watch it later if the live time isn't convenient for you. The final trip will be on May 30th and it is a trip to Glacier National Park. I can't wait! Make sure to register! Have you done other virtual trips with your class?  Are you planning to participate in this one? Leave a comment! 

Pin It

Techie Tuesday Link Up

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! 

Pin It

Monday, May 13, 2013

Peep and Chirp: 50+ Fun Science Based Videos for Early Childhood

Symbaloo   Access your bookmarks anywhere   iGoogle alternative
by Matt Gomez. You can connect with me on my blog mattBgomez.comTwitterFacebook or Pinterest.
I absolutely love these videos! They are great for introducing science concepts (or reinforcing them) to young learners. This is the description from their website..
The animated series PEEP and the Big Wide World gives wings to the innovative idea of teaching science to preschoolers. Wry and distinctive visual humor, charming plot-lines, and lovable characters combine with a comprehensive science program to attract and engage kids three to five years old.
Pin It

Using Technology to "Spice Up" a Read-Aloud

I fell in love with this book from the cover. Then, I read some really great reviews. Then, I watched a video with the author discussing the book and found out I had missed out on reading it as part of the Global Read Aloud project. So, I decided I would get the book on my tablet and read it with a small group of fifth graders for a book study. Well, that was a flop. They just didn't get into the book, and didn't like any of the activities I planned. So, I moved on to sharing it with 3rd graders. They are loving it! And I've incorporated all sorts of technology extras to make it an even more engaging experience. We are all enjoying it very much. I was so excited to find out that Zoo Atlanta was having a Google+ hangout with Ivan's real keeper. The Google+ Hangout was a really neat experience. It was live and there were classrooms that participated and asked questions. I would really love to participate in more of these and Zoo Atlanta is going to try and do one once a month.  We watched it today and they absolutely loved it. The keeper of course shared loads of information about the real Ivan - that he had a friend named Kashata that was transferred to Disney, he loved red, hated to be cold or wet, etc. Then of course it is fun to research these things even further on the Internet. I researched the family that originally owned Ivan - the Irwin family of B & I Circus Mall in Tacoma, Washington. It just makes the book that much more interesting, in my opinion.  If you are not familiar with the story of Ivan, do some research on the internet and read the book. I absolutely love the fact that it was based on a true story and that there is so much information available about the real Ivan. I just wish I could hop on over to the Atlanta Zoo and see him - but sadly he passed away in August of 2012.  Here is a listing of all my links to help engage you, or your students, in the wonderful story of The One and Only Ivan.

Pin It

Applify Your Learning: Layering Your Apps

Applify your student’s learning by layering your apps. Utilizing multiple apps to create a final project is a great way to enhance student knowledge and creativity! One of my teachers jumped at this idea for a project with her 5th grade students. For this assignment, students researched a specific scientist, downloaded a picture, created a Wordfoto, (Turns Your Photos and Words into Stunning Works of Art - $) and inserted the Wordfoto into the Phoster app. (Make your own poster $) Then the students inserted the Phoster as the background image for a Tellagami project (Free). Check out the below example as well as these student project examples. 


Pin It

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day Video Card with Explain Everything App

by Matt Gomez. You can connect with me on my blog mattBgomez.comTwitterFacebook or Pinterest.
I sent a Mother's Day video card to all the parents today using the Explain Everything app (Sample Video Here) The first thing I did was to take a picture of the card they made using their hand print (I will post that printable here soon so you can use it if you want) Next we took two videos per child. One video they said something nice and then I love you and the second clip they said "Happy Mother's Day." I have found that breaking up what they say into segments is actually faster to get done because we have fewer retakes but you could of course record it all in one clip. Then I imported the picture into Explain Everything along with the first video and recorded that video playing. After that I imported their second video and just placed it in top of the first one and recorded that video playing. The last step was saving it to the camera roll. If you need some more details on using the app try this post
Happy Mother's Day!
Pin It

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Second Graders use Mother's Day Card Creator & InstaCollage on class iPod Touches to create personalized Mother's Day Gifts.

A note was sent home earlier this week to borrow a picture of Mom, Grandma/pa, Dad, Foster Mom, Guardian, Loved One to use for this project. If students were unable to bring pictures, they just drew a picture instead! 
The color printer was out of ink so I 
took the photos to Walmart to be developed.
Unfortunately, some did not print correctly so we then printed them in black and white on our laser printer.  Luckily, by 1:30 the colored printer was up and running so this year's mothers will receive personalized cards in several ways- photo, black and white, colored printer and Facebook/email! We love our MOMS!

I made cards for my MOM to model how to use both apps using my iPad on our Apple TV. Students then used our 30 iPod Touches to create cards. 

Perhaps you are the mom. Explain how Mother's Day began to your child or children in a fun way with iReading HD - Origin of Mother's Day. This iPad app comes in the form of an audio book, making it enjoyable and memorable to spend time learning how we came to celebrate this holiday. The app has some other very good features such as a painting workshop, puzzle games, and more to entertain your children while you are both learning.

Mom Portraits

Happy Mother's Day!
Pin It