Friday, December 21, 2012

Gingerbread Video Conference Fun!

I wanted to share our experiences with our new friends from Texas. Kindergarten and first grade classrooms participated in a collaborative gingerbread baby project with students all the way in Texas. We created a Connecticut gingerbread baby to share with students in Texas. We learned about our state and then we created directions on how to make our Connecticut gingerbread baby to send to Texas. We then received their directions. We learned all about Texas and we created a Texas gingerbread baby. After we finished our project we got to meet our friends in Texas. We went on a virtual field trip. We video conferenced with the classrooms in Texas that we were collaborating with. We learned so much about the state of Texas. We saw our new friends in real time and even got to speak to them. We got to see how our new friends dressed (some were wearing shorts), what their school day is like (their school day is longer than ours), what they do for fun (some students enjoy rodeos), information about Texas (state abbreviation is TX), and so much more. We really enjoyed traveling to Texas and making new friends! We can’t wait to make even more friends from different places.

Google Docs & Primary Pad

I have had many conversations with teachers about using Google Docs in the classroom. Teachers want to use Google Docs with their students, but it is difficult without student emails. There are ways around not having student emails. You can create a shared document using your Google account and then share the link with students. If you are having your students work in groups each group can have their own Google Doc.

Or you can use Primary Pad. Primary Pad is very similar to Google Docs. It was designed for schools so students and teachers could collaborate on the same documents in real time. You can upload files and export once you are done. If you choose to use Primary Pad make sure you export your documents when you are finished. Your pad will erase after 30 days unless you have a paid account.

Check out the tutorial below from the Primary Pad site.

If you are interested in using Google Docs or Primary Pad in your classroom please let me know and I would be happy to help you. If you are not using Google Docs yet and you would like to learn how please let me know.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Writers Speak to Kids

I just wanted to quickly share a resource I recently came across called "Writers Speak to Kids." This resource would have been very helpful for me when I was teaching 2nd grade. I have had students who struggled with writing because they didn't know what to write about. It was hard for me to share ideas with students without telling them what to write. "Writers Speak to Kids" is a free resource on NBC Learn's website that contains interviews from award winning authors. Seventeen authors share their experiences as writers. They discuss the writing process and give advice to all writers. The videos are very inspiring and could be just what your students may need to spark some ideas for their own writing.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Teachers have been adding links to websites to their classroom website for students to use at home. I just wanted to share with you a FREE and easy resource that you can use to share websites with your students. The resource is called Sqworl. You can create a Sqworl page for your classroom and then you can share the link to your page on your website. Sqworl shows a thumbnail image of websites that you add to your page. Students will be able to recognize familiar websites by the image that is shown. The image will take viewers right to the websites you add. This is a simple way to organize and compile all of the websites you use in your classroom. Your students would be able to use all of the websites at all times from any computer or device.

To use Sqworl just register for free and then simply add websites. Check out my collections below!
sqworl | Science
sqworl | Literacy
sqworl | Math
sqworl | Social Studies
sqworl | Speaking & Listening
sqworl | Internet Safety: Grades 3-5
sqworl | Search Engines for Kids

Here is a short tutorial from Sqworl to get you started. You would create groups for your classroom. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

QR Codes

QR Codes are EVERYWHERE! Why not use them in your classroom? During CLS's conference night I shared a QR Code Scavenger Hunt with parents and students. Each parent that visited left with two sheets of QR Codes. Each code took parents to an educational website they can use at home with their child. I promised parents that now that they have become familiar with QR Codes that they would see them everywhere. Students have been approaching me telling me about all of the QR Codes their families have seen and the benefits from scanning them. The students who attended have all downloaded QR Code readers on their devices and have been scanning away!

If you are at Bungay school you definitely know what a QR Code is. Check out these pictures below from Miss Iannucci's computer class.

Students saw how QR Codes are used today. Miss Iannucci had many hands on lessons where students explored the use of QR Codes. They even had to work in groups to find ways to use QR Codes at Bungay School.

 Students wrote book reviews on their library books and then created QR Codes that they taped to the books. I'm sure students will continue to write reviews on their own at home. Students can scan QR Codes on different library books to read reviews.

 Students in Miss Iannucci's class add to this chart to show where they have seen QR Codes. Students come in daily to add to the chart.

 Fifth grade students created an "All About Me QR Code Tree." They copied a posting from their student blog and then pasted it to a QR Code Generator. Students displayed their QR Codes on this tree in the hallway. The tree is a great way to have an interactive bulletin board to get everyone involved.

Students, teachers, parents, etc. can all learn about the class of 2020!

Miss Iannucci's class is now participating in a QR Code Scavenger Hunt. They have to scan different QR Codes to find the answers to different problems. The students really have been enjoying learning about QR Codes. Students find QR Codes to be engaging and they learned a way to showcase their digital projects to their school and community.

If you would like to use QR Codes in your classroom let me know and we can get started!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Search Engines for Kids

I just wanted to quickly share some search engines for kids. Teachers have shared with me their eagerness to use instaGrok in their classrooms or insta "G" rock as some may call it :)

Here are some more kid friendly search engines. Please share any other search engines for kids that you have used so I can add them to the collection.

Thank you and have a GREAT holiday!

*Check out my other sqworl collections under learning sites for more websites

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wall Wisher

Wall Wisher
There are so many ways you can use Wall Wisher in your classroom. Wall Wisher is just like having a blank piece of paper or a corkboard on your computer or SMARTboard that everyone can add to. I created a Wall Wisher above about being thankful. You can create a Wall Wisher with your students about things they are thankful for. You can start the wall and then have your students come to the SMARTboard to add their own posting by double clicking. It is very easy to do.

Here are some ways you can use Wall Wisher in your classroom...

  • Post a question on the wall and have students add their responses
  • Create a wall about a story the class read and have students add their favorite part to it
  • Have a word of the day on the wall and have each student add a sentence to the wall that includes the word of the day
  • Students can add questions they have to a blank wall that can be discussed after a lesson
  • Students can brainstorm ideas together or on their own wall

If you are interested in using Wall Wisher in your classroom visit Wall Wisher for more ideas and try it out. Please share any ideas you have by commenting below :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


You have to check out this kid friendly search engine where kids can discover interesting and educational facts about topics. Watch the quick tutorial above that I'm sharing from instaGrok's website.

instaGrok features:

  • Graphs information in an interactive concept map
  • Creates a journal for you while you're exploring 
  • All information provided is cited for you
  • Key facts that you can pin to your journal or trash
  • Websites to learn more that you can pin to your journal or trash
  • Videos to learn more that you can pin to your journal or trash
  • Images that you can pin to your journal or trash
  • Quizzes
  • Glossary

This search engine is a must see! Visit instaGrok to learn more.

*Please let me know if you would like help using instaGrok in your classroom*


Video taken from Wonderopolis

How many times have you wondered about something? How many times have your kids asked you random questions that you wondered yourself? When will pigs fly? Why do we call it breakfast? Who invented the microwave? Why do we vote on Tuesdays? These wonders can all be explained on... Wonderopolis!

I came across this website and I could not stop exploring. The videos are great and the wonders are endless. Each day a new wonder is answered or explained. It enables students to use their imaginations and creativity. I put a widget on my blog so you can check out a new wonder every time you visit (on the right side). Wonderopolis is a great way to engage your students and to explore some of the questions that seemed unanswerable. There are over 700 wonders so far. Make sure if you are using Wonderopolis in your classroom that you check out all of the learning tabs. The tabs are there to extend learning.

Here is a snapshot of Wonder # 772 below:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Twitter & Texting... in the classroom!

Twitter & Texting in the classroom? Sort of... here's how!

A very good friend of mine, Jennifer Scioscio, shared two resources she created on her "Teachers Pay Teachers" account. She is a fabulous teacher & here are two resources she used. Click on the picture or words below to get the Twitter Tuesday resource. Email me if you would like Text Your Spelling Words.

Students can "tweet" a summary of a book they are reading or a book that you read aloud. You can choose how many words are allowed per tweet. Students can even add "hashtags" to their tweets. The hashtags can contain key words from the story, book title, themes, characters, etc. Students can display their tweets in a pocket chart. Every Tuesday students can add a new tweet to the chart. Jennifer even had her class create silly Twitter usernames (@asheridan08 is mine).

Students will have a blast thinking they are "texting" their spelling words. Have students use their pencil eraser to tap the letters on the keyboard to spell their spelling words. Then students have to write their words on the lines provided. This would make a great center or just a fun way for students to practice their spelling words!

*You can modify these resources*

Thank you Jennifer for sharing! :)
Follow Jennifer @jscio and check out her other resources!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Learning Sites & iPad Apps

Happy Monday! :)
I have been hearing that teachers want to use their new netbooks or laptops during workboard in their classrooms. After hearing this I made some changes to my blog. At the top of the page I added a TAB called LEARNING SITES. This tab contains resources that your students can use in the classroom. The sites are arranged by subject. So far I have added Literacy, Math and Science. I will be adding more very soon. You could teach your students how to access these websites through my blog. Students can then explore different learning sites in school or at home just by clicking on the picture.
I also added a TAB called iPAD APPS. This tab will bring you to a new page that will bring you to a Google DOC that contains apps.

Here is a quick video to show you how to access the new pages:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012



Do you use Pinterest? If so, you will love eduClipper!

Check out this short YouTube video from

eduClipper is just as easy to begin as Pinterest! Just simply create an account by requesting an invite. Then begin to create your board. Add the "eduClip it" button to your Bookmarks Bar. This button will allow you to add directly to your board. Students can create boards too!

Please let me know if you have any questions. Happy clipping! :)

*If you have never used Pinterest... check it out @

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I noticed today when I was in classrooms that teachers are going to my website to find websites that I have posted. This got me thinking... while you're viewing my website, why not share the BrainPOP "pop a joke" of the day or the BrainPOP "movie of the day" with your class? On the right side of my blog there is a sidebar that displays the joke and movie right from BrainPOP. I suggested to a couple teachers that a good time to share the joke or interactive movie may be during snack. Students can watch the short movie during snack and then towards the end of snack the class can test their new knowledge by taking an interactive quiz.

Here is a snapshot of the "pop a joke" of the day (on the sidebar on the right side of the page)
Click on the arrow after the joke and the answer will appear. Want more jokes? Click on "Get a new joke!"

Here is a snapshot of the BrainPOP movie of the day (on the sidebar on the right side of the page)

To take the quiz click on "More Movies, Quizzes, & Activities at" Then, the link will bring you to BrainPOP. Once you are on BrainPOP the movie of the day will be in the center of the page. Click on the movie of the day. This will bring you to the movie. Click on QUIZ to take the interactive quiz with your class.

There are also some free movies on BrainPOP that you can use in your classroom.
*Click here!

*If you want to show BrainPOP Junior. the free movie changes weekly.
*Click here for BrainPOP Jr.

As always, please let me know if you need any assistance :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Build Your Wild Self

Build Your Wild Self, created by the New York Zoos and Aquarium, is a fun way to integrate the use of technology into your classroom. Students can choose a character and then customize their character using silly animal parts, backgrounds, and sound effects. Students will love creating their own wild self creature... just like I did!

Here are some ways to use this site in your classroom:
  • Read the book Where the Wild Things Are to your class. Students can create their own "wild things" and then write about themselves as their own wild thing. 
  • Students can create their own characters for their own writing projects. Students can describe the characters that they create and use them in their stories. Students can use Build Your Wild Self for creative or descriptive writing projects.
  • Integrate Build Your Wild Self into a science unit about animals. Students can learn the different parts of animals and their functions. Students will learn about different animal parts by reading the "What's Wild About You" section.

*Please let me know if you would like to get started with Build Your Wild Self in your classroom. I would be more than happy to help!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Free eBooks!

Great news! Many teachers have been asking me for websites that allow students to read books online for free. "Oxford Owl" is one website that allows this. On this website students can read eBooks and then complete activities that go along with the book they read. If you decide to try this in your classroom make sure that you choose "eBooks" so you do not have to purchase a copy to print. All of the eBooks have a giant letter "e" in the lower right hand corner.

Here's how to find books:
1. Select the "find a book" tab.
2. Under "the library" select the age level you want to search.
3. Use the drop down menus to narrow your search and that's all!

Students can browse books by their age group, genre, or by a series. Students can read the story on their own or have the story read aloud to them. You can skip pages and zoom in or out. 

Students can complete activities to demonstrate their understanding of what they read. If students struggle with completing tasks they can reread the story or skip to the page where they need to find information. 

Here are some more links to websites where students can read online:
Tumble Book Library (you can sign up for a free 30 day trial)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Math Resources

Math Resources!

This site provides you with tons of math resources that align with the Common Core. There are free games, center activities, grade specific resources and hands on math activities. It also provides teachers with Math Journals that have different tasks for students to complete. These tasks will help students to problem solve and to explain their mathematical thinking. Another section you should check out is titled "Math Vocabulary Resources" and "Math Projects."

Here are some screenshots from different resources:

 **Click here for website**

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Brain Breaks!

Thank you Caitlin Iannucci for sharing "Brain Breaks" with us! For those of you who don't know her Caitlin Iannucci is the computer teacher at Bungay School. She has a very useful and resourceful website that she created. On her website she has a page for "Brain Breaks." Watch how awesome these videos are and try them in your classroom. Your students will enjoy them and they will get the break they sometimes need! These short videos can also be used as morning meeting activities and they go along with ABC for Fitness, which is part of the VITAHLS Initiative (Valley Initiative to Advance Health and Learning in Schools). 

Thank you Caitlin!
*Click here for Caitlin's website*

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SMARTboard Resources!

After meeting with teachers today I'm excited to see everyone eager to use their SMARTboards and to locate resources. Here are some resources I found on the website Teachers Pay Teachers. I hope you can use some of these in your classroom. Remember, you can change all of these to make them your own!

  • Place Value: Students can come to the board to demonstrate their understanding of place value. This can work for every grade. Just add or delete a place by "unlocking." The pictures at the bottom of the page are all set to "infinite cloner." Students can drag them to the correct place to show the number and their understanding of place value.
  • Contractions: Very interactive! The creator included directions on the pages. Make sure you pull the tabs. There are also links to websites to learn about different contractions. There is even a link to a contraction song! I tried all of the links and they are all working properly.
  • Fact Families: There are directions on the second page that go over all of the interactive activities. For pages 3-8, I suggest you change the three numbers at the top to "infinite cloner." If you do this students can drag the numbers and not have to write them each time. It's up to you. You can change any of these resources to fit the needs of your classroom.
  • Vowel Sort: Great resource! Make sure you pull down the tabs to read the directions. Once students decide what the correct answer is make sure you pull out the "check marks" to check their answers. Students can create the words by dragging the letters. Once you finish a page just hit "clear" and then you can start again. 
  • Word Family Ladders: Directions are also on the second page of this resource. Once you finish all of these ladders, copy and paste a ladder to a new page to create your own. One of these pages could then be a recording sheet in your classroom for a center.
  • Capacity: Perfect resource for teaching capacity! I was sold on this resource once I saw the "capacity man." I had a capacity robot poster in my classroom last year. The poster was very large and took up a lot of space in my classroom. This resource shows a closer look at how the capacity man was built. Check it out. 
*Not working on any of these lessons right now but you can use them for future lessons?
 Make sure you save them to start a collection of resources.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Voki - Express Yourself!

Voki is a website that allows you to express yourself by creating your own avatar to deliver information. The website offers different lesson plan ideas and resources that you can use in your classroom. You can find these resources in the Teacher's Corner. Students can create an avatar to present information to the class. This would motivate students to participate. Students would have fun using their own avatar and creating their message. This is also an effective language tool. You can register for free to create audio messages up to 60 seconds. You can choose to use your own voice or you can choose another voice to read your information for you. Voki uses text-to-speech in over 25 languages. This would be a great way to give your class choices when creating presentations. I created a Voki sample to show you how Voki can be used in your classroom.  Please let me know if you would like help using Voki in your classroom.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This Day in History!

The website, This Day in History, is a great way to learn about history each day. This website shows a video of important events that took place on the day that it is.  The video is labeled the lead story of the day. You can explore further on the left side of the page "Also on This Day." Students can learn about events that happened in history each day! If you want to know more about an event you can click on the link to read all about it.  No time in class to research further? Get students familiar with the website and they can research at another time. This is a quick way to learn about HISTORY!
There's even an app for that!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Storyline Online

Storyline Online is a site that contains 24 digital videos featuring professional actors reading some of our favorite children's books. Each video is very different and equally entertaining. Students can read and learn all about the professional actor and then they can listen and watch the actor read aloud. Storyline Online also provides viewers with supplemental activities for each book. The stories are completely free and available for you to access at all times. Students will get to see how much professional actors enjoy reading!
What can you do? You can watch a video as a whole class on your SMARTboard or students can browse the videos during centers. This can add something new to your listening center. Turn on the captions so students can read along. Or maybe you have "Mystery Readers" visit your classroom and you have a last minute cancellation. You can have a professional actor read to your class instead.
Here is a quick video that tells about Storyline Online:

**Click here for website** 

Have other ideas? Please comment below to share them with your colleagues.

Monday, September 17, 2012


VocabularySpellingCity is an educational website that offers a free classroom membership for teachers who want their students to have access to multiple ways to practice their spelling and vocabulary words. This site offers 25 different learning activities that you can use in your classroom or that your students can access at home. Almost all of the activities are printable. Once you get started, it really is simple! All you have to do is sign up for a free membership here. Then, you can begin to create word lists for your students, have them create their own, or use a list that is already created for you. Once students have a list they can then explore the different games and activities to help them learn their words. Students can explore on their own or participate in an activity as a class using a SMARTboard. This is a great way to incorporate technology into learning centers. This is also a great site that students can use at home to practice their spelling words. This may be a website you want to share with students and parents on your school website under "links."

Check out a VocabularySpellingCity video to learn more:

Have iPads?
There is now an APP too: Click here to check it out

*If you would like help getting started with VocabularySpellingCity please let me know and we can get started right away! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Creating & Editing Websites!

Hello teachers!  I have created a video tutorial to help you to create or to edit your website for this school year.  Please make sure that you are signed in and that you are on your correct school's homepage.

Please let me know if you have any questions :)

Monday, September 10, 2012


After meeting with some teachers it was brought to my attention that SCIENCE was beginning to unfold in their classrooms.  Do you use FOSSweb! for resources?  If not...  check it out :)

*CLICK HERE for website*

Here are some resources you can access...

Select your grade level and then the unit you are working on.

Select the "Ask a Scientist" link to have your questions answered and to read other questions that were asked and answered.

Students can listen to the audio stories or watch videos.  This eliminates the problem of not having enough copies of the actual books.  This feature could be added to your listening center in your classroom. The audio stories are also a great way to differentiate in your classroom.

You can find resources to use with each unit.  Download the PDF and then print exactly what you need.  Or, make the resource visible on your SMARTboard for students to use.

Get vocabulary words that go with each unit.  Access these materials wherever you are.  Use the SMARTboard to define these words by using the Web.  Show students how to find the meanings of words using the Web.

There are tons of teacher resources and even home/school connections for each unit.  I hope you find FOSSweb! to be helpful.

SMARTboard for Morning Routines & Message

Today I am sharing with you a SMARTboard resource.  My goal as a teacher was to find ways to get students excited to be in the classroom right when they entered.  This was a difficult task that became more complex each year.  Having an interactive activity on your SMARTboard might just be the trick!

*CLICK HERE for resource*

Below is a screenshot of the Random Word Chooser.  Simply change the names to the names of the students in your class.  Then hit select and a name will be chosen.  You can use this tool to choose a leader for calendar or morning meeting.  You could also use this tool to choose students to volunteer for sharing during Morning Meeting.

This next image is a sample of a quick way for students to choose their lunch for the day.  You can also use this for attendance.  Easily change or add to the choices by unlocking the items.  Students can drag their name to their lunch choice.  Any name that is not moved shows that child is absent.

Having your morning message on your SMARTboard is a great way to get kids interacting right away. Students can answer your question or complete the task present in your message right on the SMARTboard.  You can save this template to "my content" and then write a new message each morning.  You can even split the screen to have your morning message and lunch choice on the same page.

The last two images are examples of how you can complete your daily calendar activities using your SMARTboard.  You can change any of these resources by selecting EDIT, SELECT ALL LOCKED NOTES.  Then select FORMAT, LOCKING and UNLOCK.  You can then repeat those steps to LOCK your items again.  Students can use the calendar to create patterns each month and to record the weather.  To make it possible for the items to be moved individually select each item on the page and then select INFINITE CLONER.  Having infinite cloner enabled allows students to select and drag each item to the correct day.  If you want to change the pattern your have to undo the infinite cloner.  Then you can add different images from the gallery or from another source like Google Images.  If you want students to be able to drag the items, make sure you select INFINITE CLONER again.  Remember, you have to unlock the items first.

I hope you will find these resources to be helpful.  You can change them to fit the needs of your classroom.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  I would be more than happy to come help you to change any of these resources.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tech Assist Blogger Tutorial

Hello everyone!  Hope you are getting settled into your classrooms and enjoying your first week back at school.  This is just a quick post to share a short video I created to show you how to navigate this site.  I hope this video is helpful.  If you have any questions or feedback please share by posting a comment or emailing me @  Thank you :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Morning Meeting: Activity Time!

Welcome back teachers!  I'm so excited to start working with all of you and to come into your classrooms.  I hope you will find my blogs to be helpful and that you will be able to use this site as a resource.  This first blog is a link to provide you with some activities for morning meeting.  After speaking with some teachers today at Chatfield-LoPresti and going into classrooms I saw a great deal of objectives that stated, "building our classroom community" and other objectives along those lines.  As we all know one of the best ways to get students and teachers to know one another is during MORNING MEETING.  Here is a PDF of activities that I hope you can use in your classroom.

Please feel free to comment with any questions or other activities that you use in your classroom.
Looking forward to working with everyone very soon.

:) Allison