Tuesday, July 30, 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! 

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Have You Grokked Lately?

What a weird question, right?  If you've used instaGrok, then you know the answer to this and you can Grok with the best of them.

If this sounds as foreign to you as Klingon, then you have to join us in the world of instaGrok.

This web delivered app is an AMAZING way to help your students get a clearer view of what their research could/should look like.

CCSS plainly states that we are no longer teaching our students to write long, drawn out research papers.  The focus has now changed to "research on the fly."  instaGrok supports such standards and provides students with graphic and well-organized ways to pull research together.

instaGrok has "regular" and "classroom" settings available.  Might I suggest that you try these out to see what works best for you?

All your students need to do is type in their "big idea."  I chose "cheese."  Then I hit return and instaGrok did all of the "grokking" for me.  My big idea now became the center of a brilliant graphic organizer that I can work with in...editing as needed.  There is also a nifty little "slider" that allows me to choose the level of difficulty/sophistication that I wish to conduct my research.  The great thing about this slider is that, if one of my students is struggling with way too many choices, a single slide allows the teacher AND student to customize the research.  

instaGrok helps provide plenty of ideas for narrowing research down...cheese has subheading of rennet, cheesemaking, curds, gouda and many others.  For less experienced researchers, this feature makes instaGrok especially appealing!

The Grok also brings up photos, videos and other web-based resources and puts them in an easy-to-use format along the left-hand side of the page.  The student can save his/her Grok and can send the teacher or a parent or classmate a link so as to share what they come up with.

I started using this with 4th and 5th grade students last year and my students loved the ease of use and the format.  Organization of research was never easier!  And, as a classroom teacher, conferring with my researchers was a breeze!  Really!

I'm moving my way to 3rd grade in a couple of weeks and I still believe that instaGrok is the way to go.  I can't wait to try it out with my new Minions!

Give instaGrok a try this fall!  You won't be sorry!


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Friday, July 26, 2013

Kick Off the School Year with Evernote

As we are getting closer and closer to a new school year, I always find myself reflecting on what was successful in the past and what drove me absolutely crazy! Using my personal feedback from those two questions, I begin to plan and strategize for the coming year.

Last year was a big year for me professionally. I discovered Evernote. I spent hours figuring out tricks for the system and finding ways to automate my online existence and move my classroom management routines into the cloud.

Many of you are probably familiar with Evernote, but may not be aware of all that it has to offer.

Did you know-

  • Evernote is available on any operating system and offers iOS and Android apps?
  • You can share individual notes or notebooks with anyone?
  • You can set reminders within a note to help you keep track of actions that you need to complete?
  • Each account comes with an email address through which you can easily add content to your Evernote- this is great for all of those student projects... just send them to your Evernote email!

I blog about my use of Evernote pretty frequently, so I thought that I would share a quick resource that I have put together on my blog. Check out how to create notes, notebooks, checklists, student portfolios, and more in Evernote!

Be sure to stop by my blog, Purely Paperless, and checkout how to make Evernote work for you!

Stay connected,

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Tuesday, July 23, 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! 

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Monday, July 22, 2013

App Review Sites and Resources for the Elementary Classroom

The start of the school year is quickly approaching.

Each time I walk into Target or Walmart, I am greeted with aisles and aisles of school supplies. Clean binders, notebooks, sharp crayons, and more. Dare I even mention the Papermate Flair pens?

Oh, my heart be still!

I find it a little embarrassing to admit that I was totally the kid begging to get my school supplies on the fifth of July every year. I would spend hours rearranging them and organizing my pencil box until it was JUST so. My crayons were organized into an elaborate color scheme- and, yes, I showed flagrant disregard for supply lists and purchased the box with the sharpener. I was always a rebel ;)

The way that I felt about school supplies as a kid is the way that I feel about apps as an adult. I have spent hours pouring over websites, blogs, and review sites searching for the perfect apps to add to my iPads when the little darlings come back in August.

I put together a quick list of my favorite app review sites and resources. Be sure to stop by my blog and check it out:

Stay connected,

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

FREE Lakeshore Learning Digital Game of your Choice!!!

 Lakeshore is giving away an interactive game of your choice from those listed below for FREE!  Well, in exchange for signing up for their e-mail address.  Nevertheless, these games are AMAZING!  Click on the pictures below to check them out!  Be sure to pin this post to help spread the word! 

Receive monthly tech tips, exclusive freebies and more sent directly to your inbox from Learn With Leah.  Subscribe to our newsletter 

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Organizing your many, many websites!

Hi!  It's Amanda here from Learning to the Core!  Aylin and I recently got a "blog makeover" so if you haven't checked it out come on over and take a look by clicking here!

We are very lucky that there are tons of websites out there for us to use.  Kids and adults alike have their favorite links that they check and use on a daily basis.  But what about those websites your stumble across and want to come back to later?  It is hard to keep track of them all and to keep them all organized!

I have used Diigo for many years and I really like it for several reasons but I have recently found a website that I believe we help keep me even more organized...so I made the switch to Draggo!

According to Google's description "Draggo allows you to save, organize, and access all of your favorite links from any online location." 

The layout of Draggo works well with my brain (really, it does!) and I am hoping it will help organize the websites I have my students use as well.  

1. Sign up-it’s free!

2. Get your Browser Button (similar to the old pin it Button:)
Drag the "save to Draggo" button to your bookmark bar.  It's simple and fast!
3. Begin Creating:

You can choose to make each tab public or private.  

Here is how it works once you are all set up:
Let's pretend I am looking at my friend, Kristin's blog from iteach1:1 and found an awesome post (this happens often so I am used to "saving" from her blog!) that I wanted to come back to later.  
Here is what I would do using Draggo:

That is it, really! 

4. Log-in back into your draggo account:
There it is!  In my inbox.  Now, I can simply drag it to the tab and category that it belongs in.  If you are someone who does not like a full inbox-you can simply click "save to existing category."  That way, the next time you log-in to Draggo they will be all organized!

Classroom Uses

Our Math series, Pearson EnVision, organizes itself by topics.  Therefore, on my "math tab" on Draggo I created a "category" for each topic.  I am thinking I will link this to my classroom website this year.  If we are on Topic 3 then students will be asked to choose a website from that category. When we switch topics as opposed to having to relink a bunch of websites now I will simply redirect my kiddos to another category i.e. Topic 4.  You can view the start of my math tab by clicking here.  

Please keep in mind that it is one of my "summer projects" to get this ready for my kiddos next school year-so I know I still have lots of work to do but you get the idea (I hope!)  

Come stop our blog for more tech tips and ideas on how to incorporate the common core into your daily teaching!  Also, each Thursday this summer we are hosting a technology linky with Kristin, over at iteach1:1- so stop by, check out some great ideas, and link up! Tomorrow's topic is "Classroom Websites."

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Tuesday, July 16, 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! 

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Monday, July 15, 2013

The Padagogy Wheel

This is the Padagogy Wheel.  I am so ridiculously excited about it!  :-)  This wheel highlights 62 different iPad apps and has them sorted by Bloom's Taxonomy Level, and includes activities, links and action verbs.  But be forewarned I have spent a TON of time exploring this resource!  


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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Apps in the ELA Classroom and Thinglink

Hi there,

Hope that you're all enjoying the summertime- lots of reading, relaxing, and fun!

Since the beginning of July, I have been running an App-a-Day review on my blog, Purely Paperless. The first week focused predominantly on ELA apps including Futaba, Kidblog, and Book Creator. This week, I am concentrating on Math... so far I've talked a bit about my favorite fractions app, Oh No, Fractions! and Mathtopia. Click on the apps above to check out some of the reviews!

Stop by for some app reviews, tips for integration, and how each app can fit into your curriculum.

As part of the series, I have been experimenting a bit with Thinglink.

ThingLink is a great web-based app (with a new iPad app- YAY!) that allows you to embed links and media within an image. Truly, the options for Thinglink in your classroom are endless! I will be sharing  a bit more about Thinglink on my blog in the coming weeks.

I have received several emails on how to use this site, so I thought that I would create a quick video on using Thinglink:

So, go give Thinglink a try and be sure to stop by Purely Paperless for some great app information and a chance to win a $25.00 iTunes gift card!

Purely Paperless
Stay connected,

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Go Math vs My Math Technology Components HELP!

Calling ALL Teachers! 
Our school district will be leaving Saxon Math in one more year. I would like to pilot one of these Math Series and would like any input that I can get!
After 2 hours of rainy day investigating, I have formed many of my own opinions and would rank them as:
1st- Go Math
2nd- My Math
3rd- Everyday Math

Go Math and My Math both have great technology components, but would like your opinions if you currently use either of these Math Series or if you know someone who uses them. I started a conversation on my facebook page if you would like to add a comment there instead :)
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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, July 8, 2013

Bucket Filler Bucket Friend and Character Education Apps

Excited to announce my Bucket Filler Bucket Friend Pack!

This pack is full of activities to use to enrich your Bucket Filling Units. 
(64 pages)
Here is a sneak peek:
Sample Lyric Page 

If you would like to read 2 of my previous Bucket Friend Posts, click HERE and HERE!

Character Education Apps to Share:
★The 9 New Original Stories in 1!
★Building Moral Character in Your Children!
$4.99 Ipad App
Can't wait to read these the 1st weeks of school!

A great way to learn to reading and manners at the same time! Kids will love this interactive mini-book & digital toy. Join cute characters at dinner, the playground, and classroom as they learn sharing, kindness and respect. Choose voice-over mode, music mode or silence. For ages 3 to 7

Manners are to be taught. When children are very young, they want to do anything you ask. We have to grab the opportunity to teach appropriate behavior. When children are polite, kind and honest, they develop character -- and also make their parents look good!


Rosalind is not your typical princess. She and her pet dragon, Sparkler, are very rude. "What's the big deal with manners anyway?" the princess asks. Appalled by their behavior, the queen banishes the impolite pair from her castle until they find Good Manners. 

Little Critter was so mad because no matter what he wanted to do everyone was telling him no. He wanted to keep frogs in the tub but his mom said he couldn't. He wanted to paint the house but his Grandpa said no. He was SO mad. In his frustration he decided to pack his wagon and run away. . . But when he runs into his friends, he's reassured that even the worst days can be salvaged with a little help from your friends.

Please leave a comment if you have great Character Education Digital Resources to share!
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