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