Monday, September 30, 2013

GarageBand, Dr. Dre Beats Pill, Character Education Song

I have seen awesome posts about integrating GarageBand into the classroom, but this post is JUST a simple way to use it in your classroom :)
 We just use GarageBand mostly to record ourselves while reading for fluency checks or to record songs that we learn to help us practice skills such as nouns, synonyms, math etc! 
We share the songs to my iTunes account which
are then put on class iPads/iPods to listen to and to practice. I use my Dr. Dre Beats Pill to connect to my iPhone, computer or iPad via-BLUE TOOTH to play the music! No cords and I can place the speaker ANYWHERE!
Dr. Dre Beats Pill
I also play the songs during transition times and before we go home!

For those of you who purchased my Bucket Friend Pack will understand the character education song Bucket Friend! Here is the link to the FREE DOWNLOAD to one of my students singing the Bucket Friend song that was made using GarageBand! Now you don't have to hear ME- Ms. Pitchy!
Click HERE for previous Bucket Friend Posts!

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Daily Chromebook Use for Differentiated Instruction

Team Newell uses Google Chromebooks everyday from 11:10-12:00 for differentiated instruction and practice!  
Here are the websites that students are using on the Chromebooks:
Raz Kids- Reading @ own level
iReady - Intervention Lessons from Diagnostic Results
Think Central- Math Individual instruction and practice
QwertyTown- Keyboarding instruction
Google Drive- Students work on word documents and presentations.

We have a Chromebook Cart that we share on my floor. Here is the spreadsheet that we used to sign up for the cart. There are 30 Chromebooks in a cart. 

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Differentiate Your Instruction Digitally with @MobyMax

Over the course of my career thus far, I have tried several different morning routines. From workbooks and journals, to worksheets and silent reading, the first fifteen minutes of the school day can really set the tone for the remainder of the day. MobyMax, a complete digital K-8 Common Core aligned curriculum, has truly been a game changer in my room.

I am not in a 1:1 classroom, though I would give my right arm to be in one, but we do have an iPad lab. Currently we use the iPad lab each morning for fifteen minutes on MobyMax. When students come into the classroom, they get out their iPad and headphones and get to work.

It's AMAZING- they're engaged, they're learning, and they're quiet. Not only can I take attendance and collect lunch money, I can also touch base with some of my little friends that need a quick pre-teach or re-teach on a tricky concept.

MobyMax offers educators a free account with a variety of resources and options. It's a great way to get started with the program to see if it will meet your needs. MobyMax also offers a paid Pro Account that provides educators with detailed tracking, in-depth reports, and more. 

Stop by my blog, Purely Paperless, to see how I use MobyMax in my classroom and for your chance to win a FREE MobyMax Pro Account- valued at $79.00.

Purely Paperless
Stay connected,

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Best FREE Apps for Elementary

by Matt Gomez. You can connect with me on my blog mattBgomez.comTwitterFacebook or Pinterest
You can find reviews and sample lessons for many of these apps on this post-> All My App Reviews and Suggestions
Rocket Speller- FREE I use mainly for letter ID but the kids do pick up basic spelling as they play. Class favorite!
AR Flashcards- Bring ABC flashcards to with this fun app
Skitch- FREE  Amazing app! We use a lot for labeling pictures. Sample Here
Educreations- FREE  White board app that records screen and voice. Uses are unlimited. Sample lesson here
Show Me- turn your iPad into your personal interactive whiteboard!
ScreenChomp- A simple doodling board, markers, and one-click sharing tools make spreading your ideas and know-how easy and fun!
Toontastic- FREE  My favorite storytelling app. Sample lesson here. You only get basic characters and backgrounds but it is still valuable. The $10 everything package is well worth it once you start using. So many great character and backgrounds and they are always adding more.
Sock Puppets- FREE  The app itself is free but the ability to save the finished project was an in app purchase ($.99) when I first got it. Not sure if that has changed.  More info here
Puppet Pals- FREE -Create your own unique shows with animation and audio in real-time!
Sticker World- Let your child's imagination run wild as they create a world of their own with over 300 stickers and 6 rolling landscapes.
Daisy the Dino- Free  Introduces the very basics of programming to kids. My class loves this app
ABCmouse Zoo- FREE  All the apps are free but I like the three zoo sets the best. More apps here
Rover App- FREE  This app allows flash to work on your iPad. The app is not perfect but overall I find it very useful
Doodle Buddy- FREE  Drawing app
Alpha Tracing- FREE There are better apps for fine motor (look here) but this free one is a good start
ABC Magic Apps- FREE Many great apps, I use several of them
Haiku Deck- simple and fun new way to create stunning presentations. We use it for creating graphs
Hopscotch- allows kids to create their own games and animations. Kids unleash their creativity with this beautiful, easy-to-use visual programming language.
Whiteboard Lite-  Collaborate with friends and family with Whiteboard, the easy-to-use collaborative drawing app
Popplet Lite-  capture your ideas and sort them visually in realtime. Quickly and easily!
Tellagami-   is a quick and easy way to create and share a short story called a Gami.
Doceri- Combining screencasting, desktop control, and an interactive whiteboard in one app, you’ll never have to turn your back to the class or audience again. Doceri does it all!
MyScript Calculator-  Easy, simple and intuitive, just write the mathematical expression on the screen then let MyScript technology perform its magic converting symbols and numbers to digital text and delivering the result in real time. 
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iOS 7

I'll be honest.. as much as I was excited about Apple's latest update to iOS 7, I was also very nervous for the change. I reluctantly updated my iPhone last week and after the initial shock of things looking different, I am now pretty comfortable with everything. It just took a bit of time, research, and playing around. 

However, this was my initial feeling about my "new" iPhone:

As our iPad minis are currently updating to iOS 7, I know some of you, like me, may be weary of the change and others will embrace it. (But, of course we know the kids will adapt.. except for maybe Jack :)

To help you with the change, I've collected some articles that can help you see the differences between the old and new. They definitely helped me as I embraced the change and figured it all out.


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Tuesday, September 24, 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, September 23, 2013

4 Apps to Teach Procedural Writing

A couple of years ago, I created lessons to teach "how-to" writing using a Halloween theme. What better way to teach procedural writing than by creating Halloween crafts and making Halloween treats! However, this year as I dusted off my old lesson plans, I started thinking about all of the
cool apps I could use to teach procedural writing. So here are four apps that are sure to keep your students engaged in the writing process as they learn about procedural text.

1. Snapguide - This is my favorite of the apps to teach procedural text because it scaffolds the students through the process of using the text structure. Students can add the materials list as well as pictures, video, and text right from the app as they are creating their craft. Here are a few screenshots of what the completed guide looks like online. Notice there is even a place for students to write their own convincing sentence at the start of the guide. Perfect for procedural text structure!

Check out How to Make a Vampire Craft by Jennifer Kimbrell on Snapguide.

2. ThingLink - ThingLink helps you create and discover images by adding video, music, text, and images. I think the best way to use this app for working with procedural text is to allow students to take pictures and video as they create the craft. Then they can create their ThingLink. Of course, you can add video and pictures within the app but I would want my picture I'm linking from to to be the finished product.

3. Book Creator - Have students create their own ePub. Book Creator is one of my favorite apps to use. Students can take pictures, video, and record themselves as they are creating the craft. The cool thing about using Book Creator would be if students were creating multiple crafts then all of the crafts could go into one book. Even if students created a ThingLink or a Snapguide, a hyperlink could be added to the ePub and students would have a book that could be shared with others of ALL of the crafts they made. Here are a couple of pages from the book I created as a model for my students:

This is a great idea! Use Book Creator for students to create how-to writing booklets.

This is a great idea! Use Book Creator for students to create how-to writing booklets.

4. Pic Stitch - Use this app to create a collage with pictures to show how you created the craft. I've played with this app before but didn't really remember having all of the cool effects you can add to your photos.

Use Pic Stitch to teach procedural writing.

If you would like more information about how to teach procedural writing to your students I'd love for you to head on over to my blog and check out the Freebie.

How do you teach procedural writing to your students? I'd love to hear from you!

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

150+ Videos for Brain Breaks, Transitions and Indoor Recess

by Matt Gomez. You can connect with me on my blog mattBgomez.comTwitterFacebook or Pinterest
Tons of videos and songs to get those kids moving! Enjoy!
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QwertyTown- Keyboarding Fluency

Keyboarding is an essential component of literacy for today's students.
QwertyTown is a modern web app. It provides a safe, teacher-controlled environment where students can communicate with their classmates, teachers, and friends. While becoming fluent with a keyboard, students are learning how to interact in a digital environment. This environment prepares them with a fundamental skill set essential for academic and professional success in the 21st century. 

Our technology director recently purchased Qwerty Town for our district! Students practice on Google Chrome books at school and they also can practice at home!

QwertyTown's goal is to help students develop keyboarding fluency and online communication skills. With engaging activities, authentic online communication tools, and the ability to differentiate speed and accuracy goals for students, the educators behind QwertyTown created the most effective keyboarding program on the market.

Students get to customize their own avatar for Qwerty Town. Here is mine! I love dogs!
The Qwerty Coins are used to purchase items. I am so glad that you are given Qwerty Coins to start the program and then you continue to earn them as you complete the lessons. 
I can see how my students are doing:

This student is having trouble with lesson 2. 
Where was this when I was in school????? Oh yeah- we used typewriters! I would have loved to learn how to type using this program! 
I recommend you ask your tech director ASAP about purchasing Qwerty Town!

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