Friday, February 28, 2014

Resources for Spanish and Other Languages

Stories of the World by eady - clip art, clipart, diversity, ethnic, global, literature, many, nations, peoples, stories, world,

Hi everyone this is Kristen from Teacher Playground. I hope you had a great week. I wanted to provide you with a great list of Spanish and other languages resources. I have a lot more to add, but the list below is a great start!!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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, February 24, 2014

Room Recess

RoomRecess Educational Games for Kids & Elementary Students Title

Hi everyone! This is Kristen from Teacher Playground. Today I found a site called Room Recess that I really love. It is so interactive and fun! I also love the sound effects for each game. I am sure you and your students will enjoy the it. This site is geared towards K-5th grade and has lots of interactive educational games to utilize. Math, Reading, Word Activities, and Computer Lab activities are topics covered on Room Recess. I really love the Cause and Effect game as well as the Main Idea game. I hope you and your students enjoy it as much as I do.

Make sure to check out Room Recess as it is great for extension activities as well as intervention activities for your students.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

PD in Your PJs

As I was reading Scholastic Instructor today, I came across a catchy headline - "PD in your PJs". It seemed very fitting for this week, since we had an institute day just yesterday. 

I think what we can all agree upon is that we want PD that inspires us and meets our needs as educators. "That's the beauty of the Internet: Instead of spending your PD sessions poking at stale bagels and discussing irrelevant topics, you can curl up with your laptop and seek out training that matters to you."  So, whether professional development typically inspires you or leaves you wanting more, here are some resources that can give you a daily dose of PD.

Twitter: 10 Ways Teachers Can Use Twitter for Professional Development
Follow me! @iTeacherLauren
I also can't wait to watch the #ICE14 (Illinois Computing Educators) tweets next week during the conference!

Offers free MOOC's (Massive Open Online Course) such as "Student Thinking at the Core" and "Teaching Character and Promoting Positive Classrooms".

Free social and professional network that offers webinars.

Subscribe to a daily news brief with the latest news in education. 

One of my favorites! Blogs, videos, articles, and more. 

"EdReach provides a platform for passionate, outspoken educators, aiming to strengthen their voices by highlighting innovation in the field of education, through the reporting of critical educational news and providing commentary and criticism on the educational issues of the day."

Happy learning!

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

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, February 17, 2014

5 Great Online Resources to Teach Common Core Dictionary Skills

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.4e Use glossaries and beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases.
Here are 5 GREAT online resources to use for Common Core Standard L.2.4e.
      1. How to Use a Dictionary You Tube Video.

Lesson & 3 Games

3. If you use iReady, your district was given a 
"Try-it" Version to access all lessons & quizzes.
I use the lessons on my Smart Board to teach these Domains. 
I found a great dictionary lesson & quiz!

Even though lesson 118 says Mid 6th Grade, I use the lesson with my 2nd graders.

Word Central uses the Merriam-Webster dictionary to provide results. If a user misspells a word, the dictionary will provide suggestions for the correct spelling. It also provides suggestions for words that may have multiple interpretations. For example, a search for "Scientist" offers a number of options including "earth scientist," "social scientist" and "political science." Each definition includes a sound file for pronunciation. Nice dictionary for kids.

Wordsmyth now has three dictionary environments for three different audiences. 

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Flipping Professional Development/Professional Learning

One of my favorite things to do is to learn. I am always looking for new ideas and different ways to do things. If there is something that can make me better as an instructional leader, then I am willing to try it out. When it comes to Education I am very passionate about helping students and teachers learn in the best possible way.

I truly enjoy Flipping Professional Development because I think it provides a great avenue for learning.

When developing PD, there are many factors you must think about. 
Do the participants have what they need to make it successful?
Will they have time to do things on their own?
Are they savvy enough?

These are all great questions that a developer of PD must keep in mind. Be Prepared for any and everything.

When I am planning I was always think with the end in mind. What do I want my participants to walk away with? I want them to leave with the mindset that they are not overwhelmed and that they can implement the ideas themselves. When developing PD, remember less is more. Do not try to cram in lots of information at one time. It may be great information, but if there is too much you have lost the battle. Having participants leave with a a few ideas that they feel successful implementing is better then sending someone home with a bunch of notes they took quickly (feeling overwhelmed) that now those notes may never see the light of day.

I cannot express enough the importance of planning. As a teacher you must lesson plan and lesson plan effectively in order to have a rich learning environment. As a trainer, you must do the same thing. It not something you can throw together in a matter of minutes. It does take time to make sure you are meeting the needs of all your learners, make sure you have all your resources, and plan for the worst case scenarios (make sure to have a back up plan).

The three components that I use when planning are

  • Explore
  • Flip
  • Apply

I love the idea when presenting on Technology Tools. Here are the tools-->Go Explore-->Which tools could be effective in your classroom?-->How do you plan to use them?
We step away from the lecturing of the tool and  the little time you would get to explore.
Now we begin with the Explore component, which makes for a wonderful Professional Development, which I like to call Professional Learning. The whole idea is to Learn!!

When I got started, I found this great article that inspired me. It is very important to Plan and Plan good. I love the outline on this site and it helps me as I plan as well.

I am not a "Sit and Get" kind of learner and I know that most students and adults are not as well. If you conduct any type of PD, I suggest reading, Sit and Get Won't Grow Dendrites by Marcia Tate. It is a phenomenal book. I use this book as a guide for planning and implementing PD and flipping my PD.

Here some great Technology Tools to use in your flipped PD.

If you have questions at all, feel free to email me at

Follow hashtag #fliplearning and #flipclass

I really enjoy this video from TED.
Teachers are flipping classrooms, rethinking lesson plans, and re-imagining the role of teacher and student, learner and educator.

I also love this article on Flipping a College class:

Great Freebie:

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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! 

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Monday, February 10, 2014

50+ Chrome Extensions for Educators

Hi everyone it is Kristen Hernandez from 
I am loving this great list of Chrome Extensions for Educators. Thanks to Jake Duncan for these great resources.

I hope you like them as much as I do = )

I hope you have an amazing week! For more great resources go to or Follow me on Twitter: techgurlbr

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Word Hearts - SUPER EASY Word Cloud

Just when you think you are getting a handle on "some" of these Web 2.0 tools... another one pops up. Along comes Word Hearts and Other Shapes by Jeff Clark.

Like other word cloud sites, this site allows you to add various symbols, change the font, word, shape and background color, as well as the orientation. You use your own words separated by commas and click the Draw button to create the word cloud. 

Once the image is created, click the Save button which opens to a new tab...right click on the image and save to your desktop. 

Why do I like this??? Its simplicity.....not too many choices, no galleries and easy to use. Perfect timing for Valentine's Day for your students! 


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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

i-Ready Apps, i-Ready Diagnostics, and Freebie

This is our 1st year giving the iReady Math & Reading Diagnostics. Our district purchased 10  instructional licenses per class (5 for math & 5 per Reading) to use for intervention or for acceleration. 
Even though we have missed many days of school due to SNOW, gains are still being made! We made goals, took the winter tests and recently celebrated our successes! The kids were so proud! Results will go home with students so they can celebrate with their parents also!
iReady Google Image
Pick Up a FREE Copy HERE!
Not all students have the opportunity to utilize the iReady instructional option so here are 2 iReady Apps to get more students involved:

These apps are recommended for grades 4-8, but they might work for those students in grade 2&3 who need a challenge! I hope they develop iReady Apps for lower grades soon. 
How long have you been using iReady? Do you feel the results are an accurate measure?
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