Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Jumbled Sentences

Jumbled Sentences is an app that helps students create complete sentences. Students can improve their writing skills and have fun doing it. I installed Jumbled Sentences 1-6 onto my iPad. All of the apps are very similar they just have different themes. I really liked Jumbled Sentences 3. Students have to drag the words into the correct boxes to make complete sentences. The words move around in a circle and students have to choose the correct word to complete the sentence. There is a picture in the center of the circle that represents the sentence. The words are read aloud when you tap on them. There is also a hint button. You have three minutes to complete each sentence and you earn money for creating correct sentences before the time runs out. There are three levels that increase in difficulty. When you earn money you can then visit the sticker page. On the sticker page you can use your money to purchase stickers for your sticker collection. Below are some iPad screenshots from the app Jumbled Sentences 3. If you would like these apps on your classroom iPads please let me know! Thanks!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Write About This App!

Write About This Free is an app that I just started to explore with a student in 4th grade. I have been searching for an app like this one for a long time! The app is for elementary students. Students can choose more than 50 prompts (text or voice) on the free version or you can create your own. The prompts were created by teachers who had the Common Core State Standards in mind. A teacher named Brad Wilson created the app. The app is a visual writing prompt. In the settings you can change the prompt level to 1, 2, or 3. You can also add your email address as the default email and all of your student's writing pieces will be sent to you. It is really easy for students to publish and to share. This app can be used as a journal in your classroom. If you click on "random" you can scroll through tons of writing prompts. Students can have the prompt read aloud to them and they can use the picture that is provided for ideas. Below are screenshots I took from Write About This Free on my iPad. I have my iPad set to prompt level 3.

Please let me know if you would like to use this app in your classroom :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Trading Cards App & Trading Card Creator

ReadWriteThink's Trading Cards is an iOS application that allows students to create their own trading cards. Students can create trading cards about a fictional person, real person, a fictional place, a real place, an object, an event, or a vocabulary word. Each category has questions that are explained on the app which makes it easy for students to follow. You cannot create your own category or questions on the app version. This does make it difficult when you want to use specific questions. The app is a great tool to have students apply what they know about summarizing or to show their understanding about what they are learning. Once students select a category they can upload or take a picture to place on their card. They can resize the picture right on the app. They can also choose from 12 different card designs. Once you create your card you can save it to your images, print, or email your trading card. On the app you can create multiple usernames which is a great feature especially if your class is sharing iPads. Below is a sample trading card I created on my iPad. If you do not have iPads in your classroom you can use your laptops or netbooks. Click here to get started using Trading Card Creator (Flash Player is required). On the Trading Card Creator site you can create your own category and questions, which is great!
Below is a screenshot of Trading Card Creator (here you can insert your own questions)

Click here for lesson ideas using Trading Cards app!
Click here for lesson ideas using Trading Card Creator on the web!

Monday, March 18, 2013

My StoryMaker

My StoryMaker is an easy way to have your entire class create a logically sequenced online story. My StoryMaker is very kid friendly and does not require much practice. There are directions on the website that show you exactly how to use all of the different features. The features are awesome! My StoryMaker differentiates writing for your entire class and is a great tool for struggling writers. You can choose to let My StoryMaker help you create your entire story from start to finish or you can delete the writing they provide to add your own. Below are some screenshots from a story I created.

First your choose your main character, the main character's goal, and then another character who will be in your story. My StoryMaker then chooses a title for your story based on what you chose for your goal. You can change your title if you are not happy with the one selected for you.

Then you can listen to instructions or start your story. You can choose to add more characters, items, scenery objects, and settings. Once you choose characters you can then choose their feelings, their interactions, etc. As you choose different things sentences will be created for you at the bottom. You can edit the sentences or delete them to write your own. 

The books are animated. I made the main character jump into the tree to save the tiger. Once the tiger was saved all the characters celebrated by dancing. I changed all of their emotions to excited and happy.

When your story is finished you can share your story. You also receive a magic code that you can use on Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's website to view your online book or you can print your story. Visit the website to check out my story to share with your class. Type in the code: LCP772

Please let me know if you would like to have your students create their own online stories!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Creating Magazine Covers & Posters

I just had some fun creating a magazine cover and poster to share with you. I used the website Big Huge Labs. They were extremely easy to create and I was able to save and print the pictures. I know a lot of classrooms are in the process of research reports. A magazine could be a way for students to share their information. You could even create one magazine for the entire classroom that would contain all of the student research under different headings. Or you may just want to show your students the website to give them another choice for their own projects.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Blogging in the Classroom!

Blogging continues to be my favorite thing to do with students! I'm amazed at how much time and thought goes into each blog entry! Students are aware that they are writing for a greater audience and that alone motivates them to do well. They want their friends to read their blogs so they do their best work. I just finished up blogging in Lisa D.'s room and I wanted to share the resources I created. We really enjoyed co-teaching together and the students are loving their class blog! Please let me know if you would like to create a classroom blog.

Here are the resources we used below. Please feel free to edit the resources as needed. If you need help editing just let me know!

Blogging Resource 1 (make sure you show the movie on page 3)
Blogging Resource 2

Here are some screenshots below from the resources and from my last blogging experience...

Modeling thoughtful comments is very important!

Providing a rubric lets the students know exactly what is expected.

Before using Kidblog we created a paper blog for practice!

Then we learned how to use Kidblog...

 Sample blogs and comments...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

100th Day Word Cloud

The 100th day of school is approaching! This Friday classrooms will be celebrating the 100th day of school and reflecting on their 100 days at school. I wanted to share an easy way to integrate technology into your 100th day activities. I created a word cloud using the site Tagxedo. I chose to use Tagxedo because I wanted to use the "callout" shape. I thought this project would be a great digital display on any bulletin board that would show the learning that took place over the past 100 days! Not only did I show what I learned... I also used 100 words!

Here's what I did...
  • I typed (your students can write) 10 things we do in school everyday to make 10 categories
    • Reading
    • Math
    • Writing
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Word Work
    • Specials
    • Brain Breaks
    • Recess 
    • Lunch
  • Then I added 9 words to each category that reminded me of something I did over the past 100 days of school (words that I wanted together like Social_Studies I added an underscore)
    • Reading fiction nonfiction genres biography autobiography thinking blog read author
    • Math add subtract multiply divide sum digit shapes equal less
    • Writing illustrate create entertain beginning middle end characters plot problem
    • Science observe collect analyze experiment groups motion liquid gas solids
    • Social_Studies time4kids Presidents geography states continents globe Connecticut community friends
    • Word_Work phonics sounds letters pictures spelling workboard short long chart
    • Specials music gym library art computers typing drawing books run
    • Brain_Breaks fun dance move exercise videos stretch breathe movement YouTube
    • Recess friends playing running games talking jumping skipping teams slide
    • Lunch food delicious sandwich pizza snacks fruit vegetables hot_lunch milk
  • Then I copied and pasted the text (my 100 words) into Tagxedo to create a callout word cloud

Tagxedo is very easy to use. Just choose create and then get started! You can save the word clouds as images either in JPEG or PNG format. If you want a quick tutorial here is a YouTube video by eduTecher. If you need any help please let me know! 

Tagxedo not for you? Try...
*You do not have to sign up for any of these Web 2.0 tools :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Storyboard That

Storyboard That Education
Storyboard That is a free Storyboard tool you can use in your classroom for Digital Storytelling. Students will enjoy creating a Storyboard while learning how to tell a story. Storyboard That is just a fun and engaging way to teach storytelling. You can sign your class up for a free 14 day trial. The 14 day trial will give you unlimited access to hundreds of characters, themes, props, etc. You will enter your students' names and you will have access to all of the Storyboards that they create. Check out the lesson plans on Storyboard That. Students can create a Storyboard on paper first using a Storyboard template. I created the Storyboard above. I created a story using two characters that have a conversation about a book. The boy helps the girl choose a book from the Library by suggesting a book to read and by reviewing the book. I had limited access to Storyboard That because I did not sign up for a free 14 day trial. I would have had more to choose from if I signed up!

Please let me know if you would like to use Storyboard That in your classroom!

Here are some other tools you can use for Digital Storytelling:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Math Questions of the Day

Today I wanted to share three quick and easy ways to get students thinking. The three websites, Mathopolis Question of the DayThe NY Times Set Daily Puzzle, and Math Buddy Online have daily math problems that require a great deal of thinking. Here's some information about each site.

Mathopolis Question of the Day
Students can discuss different problems and solutions with each other. The question changes daily. After students state their answers click the "help link" to reveal the answer and an explanation of the answer. This site has problems for grades 3-12. Below is a screenshot of a 5th grade problem.

The NY Times Set Daily Puzzle
The puzzles on this site are definitely brain teasers and a lot of fun! Students have to find sets using the shapes, colors, and numbers of different objects. There is a short tutorial to learn how to play. These puzzles are tricky! I only figured out 4 sets out of 6 on today's puzzle. Below is a screenshot.

Math Buddy Online
First you choose your grade level (grades 1-8). Once students answer the question you can submit the class answer. Below shows a screenshot of today's question and the answer which is explained once you submit your answer. You can add your email address to have the question emailed to you daily.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Doodle 4 Google

Doodle 4 Google is an opportunity for students K-12 to design Google's homepage logo by submitting their very own creative artwork. This year the theme for Google's homepage logo is "My Best Day Ever...". The winner gets their artwork seen by millions of Google viewers, a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 technology grant for their school, and other prizes.

Google has a Doodle 4 Google page for educators. It provides you with lesson plans, objectives, and resources. If you are going to have your class participate in Doodle 4 Google the competition is open until March 22nd.

Here is more information:

Screenshots from www.google.com/doodle4google

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Second grade students at both schools are participating in a Flat Stanley project with students in Texas. Teachers from Connecticut and Texas have been collaborating on a Google Document to create and implement the project together. I'm very excited to share the project details in a post once we are finished. Students just emailed their pen pals and now we are ready for some Flat Stanley fun!

I couldn't wait to share the smore flyer I created for parents and students explaining the next part of our project. As I was running the creation of a flyer by administration we began talking about our schools going green. Rather than printing 200 color copies of a flyer to send home why not email a link to this smore flyer for parents to open? This might even eliminate students misplacing their flyer or not getting one. Using smore also allows me to see how many times the flyer has been viewed. Parents can also leave comments or questions right below the flyer. I'm excited to try this new form of communication with parents. The flyer above was very easy to create and to share. If you are going to use smore to share information with your class or parents click "Embed" on the left hand side of the page. Then you can copy the link to share. Students would love using smore in the classroom. Students can create flyers to share their learning, classroom events, review books they are reading, and so much more.

Please let me know if you would like to use smore in your classroom or to communicate with parents :)

*Flat Stanley journal picture is from Mrs. Meurlin's blog @ http://stellarsweethearts.blogspot.com

Friday, January 25, 2013


I have been getting a lot of feedback from teachers that I have created Animoto videos for. I greatly appreciate your kind words.... but I have to be honest. Creating a video using Animoto is VERY SIMPLE! You can create your own Animoto video in minutes. You do not need any training or extra classes.

Here's how :)

  • Go to Animoto
  • Sign up for a lite account which is free and you can create 30 second videos
  • Choose "create"
  • Select a style for your video (you can change the music after) and then hit "create video"
  • Choose your music, video clips, and add text by clicking on the different tabs and following the prompts
  • Upload pictures from your computer, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, or Picasa and music right from your computer
  • Preview your video and then publish
  • Share your video with your class, friends, or family by sending out the URL for your Animoto video, download it to your computer, or share it on YouTube
Screenshots from Animoto

Have iPads in your classroom? Or any iOS or Android device? You can get the free Animoto app! I create Animoto videos right from my iPhone and then I can instantly share videos from my phone.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Kidblog App

I just received a pending blog post from a student that I had last year. I decided I would respond to the student and then let the class know that I was going to deactivate our Kidblog :( because they are all in third grade now. As I was browsing through old posts I thought about how my former students would blog from their iPads. I really enjoyed blogging with my class, but remembered how we wished there was an app to make it easier for us when using the iPads to blog or comment. Well guess what? There is an app! I just downloaded the app and logged in. The app worked perfectly! There are tabs on the left side where you can easily create a new post, read posts, comment, view the site, or have access to the control panel. At the bottom there is a photo button where you can easily add photos and videos from your library with no embed codes or HTML! You can even manage your class right from the iPad. Blogging was one of my favorite things that we did in second grade. I definitely recommend starting a class blog!

*If you would like help starting a blog please let me know :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


ePals is a global community of students, teachers, and schools from over 200 countries. ePals allows you to connect with classes from all over the world in a safe and secure way. Signing up is simple. Create an account, a classroom profile, and then add your students. Once you are set you can search for classrooms to communicate with, join a collaborative project, or start your own project. Students will receive their own email addresses to use on ePals. Teachers can manage their student accounts and filter their mail. If you have your filters set to 1 you will receive all incoming and outgoing mail before it is processed. Once you approve the mail it will be sent to your students or to the class you are working with. Sue Duke and I just started using ePals in her second grade classroom. We are communicating with a classroom in Indiana. The students attend a fine arts school where the arts are integrated daily into their classrooms. Sue's students were very excited to connect with students that are the same age as them. The students noticed that they have a lot in common with their ePals. We exchanged emails with them and we are looking forward to collaborating on a project together and participating in a video conference. Students can also access ePals at home. There are learning centers students can explore and so much more.

Picture taken from Sue's classroom

The screenshot below is from ePals website "Common Core Implementation Center"

*If you would like to begin using ePals in your classroom please let me know. I have parent permission slips created that you can use in your classroom.

Thank you!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Rover: Free Education App That Streams Content

Today we explored Raz-Kids by Learning A-Z at Bungay. The program is tailored to meet students' individual reading needs and students were very engaged because the books were animated. We then decided to try the "Learning A-Z" app on the iPad by Lazel Inc. to have access to Raz-Kids. This app did not work. I then came across the app called Rover. Rover allows you to use Raz-Kids on the iPad. Rover is a free app that streams educational K-12 content on the iPad. On the Rover app you can access different educational content like Starfall, Discovery Education, Funbrain, and Reading A-Z. The content is filtered so you know that your students are not receiving any inappropriate content. If you have iPads in your classroom and a Reading A-Z, Raz-Kids, Starfall, or Discovery Education subscription this app is perfect for you. Please let me know if you would like this app on your iPads.

Check out Rover!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Word Mover

Word Mover is ReadWriteThink.org's free iOS mobile app. The app can be used to create poetry. There is a word bank available, famous works to choose from, or you can add and edit your own words. You can change the background, font, color, size, and placement of words. When you finish your poem you can share or print. There is so much you can do with this app. ReadWriteThink.org has great lessons available that you can use with Word Mover. Below I created a poem based on my hopes and dreams for 2013.