Thursday, December 27, 2012

ThingLink - Make Images Interactive



ThingLink allows you to add links to an image. You can link to videos, websites, or other images. Check out the one below that I created for my first graders to use as we research to learn about Polar Bears. I can embed this image into my wiki, and it creates easy access to the information my students will need to do the research.





Maily for iPad Gives Students a Safe Place to Learn to Email

Maily for iPad Gives Students a Safe Place to Learn to Email

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Letters for Soldiers

It's great to support a lesson about citizenship by discussing what our soldiers do for our country and the sacrifices they make to try to preserve the freedom we enjoy in America. It's also neat to show how a young child can make a big difference.



This young girl, Savannah Maddison, is busy promoting the program called Savannah's Soldiers. This organization sends letters to soldiers serving overseas. Her website says, "Your class can email letters to me and I will print them out OR you can send hand written letters to the address below and I will make sure a Soldier receives them."



Click HERE to visit Savannah's website and find out where to send your class' letters.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Make Your Own Digital Snowflakes & Elf Yourself!

Thanks for Mr. C for sharing this website on his blog!

You can cut and create your own snowflakes online!


I also learned about the free app from Office Max that allows you to Elf Yourself on your idevice!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Make Awesome E-Posters with GlogsterEDU

Glogster is my 2nd favorite web 2.0 tool. My first being wikispaces.com. More on that later. For now, check out the awesome e-posters you can create with Glogster!







Glogster EDU

Make Them Feel Loved

I love this quote, and I find it to be true as I think back to my years in school.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day of Silence for the Lives Lost

Nothing is lower than killing a classroom full of children and teachers at an elementary school. The innocence was broken... my heart breaks for the families, the community, and the country. I will look at my students differently tomorrow... I love them, and know it is my responsibility to keep them safe; no matter what.



Hear the Sandy Hook Elementary school song here: http://newtown.sandyhook.schooldesk.net/AboutUs/SchoolSong/tabid/15628/Default.aspx

I will be wearing green & white tomorrow to honor those lost with their school colors.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Encourage Your Students to Earn Brownie Points-Literally!

Today’s guest post comes from Heather. She has been teaching 3rd grade for over 8 years and has a Masters Degree in Secondary and Professional Studies. She is a regular contributor to Teacher Lingo and to The Mailbox Magazine as a freelance writer. You can often find Heather writing for TeacherLingo.com, where teachers can buy and sell their original lesson plans, worksheets, and more.

Have you ever heard the expression, “Earn brownie points?” This tasty expression can help your students earn a sweet treat for their behavior, no matter what their age may be. Here is how you can implement a fool-proof behavior management strategy that motivates students to always be on their best behavior. First, you have to get your students excited and to “buy in” to the behavior strategy. Create a colorful bulletin board adorned with light and bright colors to draw their curious eyes in! Next, laminate a large, white rectangle which will serve as your brownie that is pre-divided into equal parts using a black permanent marker. Also, place an enticing box of brownie mix next to the display for some added motivation. Yum!

Next, begin to explain how this interactive bulletin board will yield them a delectable dessert. Tell your students that each time they receive a compliment from a teacher outside of the classroom (a gym teacher, administrative assistant, principal, lunch monitor, etc.) for outstanding behavior, effort, responsibility, citizenship, or direction following; you will color in one portion of the pre divided brownie with an erasable brown marker. When the entire “brownie” gets colored, bake brownies at home. Bring them in and pass them out for the class to enjoy during snack time or as a dessert after lunch. After coloring in the entire brownie, erase the colored sections and start all over again!

This behavior management strategy can be modified in a number of ways to work for your younger or older elementary students. You can divide the brownie into only a few parts to make the behavior goal quickly attainable for a challenging class that needs some positive reinforcement or for a classroom full of kindergarten students that are just beginning to learn about the benefits of positive behavior outside of the classroom. You can increase the number of pieces that need to be filled in by month to make the behavior goal more challenging over time.

You can also create a space on the brownie for each student in the class to color in once they receive an individual complement. This works well with older students and should not be limited to just receiving complements for behavior demonstrated outside of the classroom. When you see a student go above and beyond during your own lesson or activity, you can pull them aside to share the positive action you observed and grant them permission to color in their section. Students only receive a baked chocolate treat if all members in the class do their part to earn some recognition for their actions. This method holds all students accountable. Students have one month to earn their brownie piece, otherwise the brownie is wiped clean and the monthly incentive starts over throughout the course of the school year.

You can also choose to limit the students who earn “brownie points” to make the incentive completely exclusive and competitive. Cut the brownie into 10 pieces and allow students to write their names in one of the slots once they earn a complement. As soon as the 10 pieces are claimed, bake brownies for only the 10 students to enjoy and start over so that some other students may also get a chance to snack on something sweet.

This behavior management incentive can be used alone or in conjunction with another positive reward program used school wide or in your classroom. Students will quickly become familiar with the expression, “Earn some brownie points,” and will be excited and eager to do so!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Facts Game

Thanks to Pinterest, I just found a very cute math facts game for Christmas!
You can choose between adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing. A fact is shown, and you type the answer. Solve as many problems as you can before the time runs out. Then, the game will give you lights to decorate a house! Very fun!!! Abcya.com has some great games!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Recycling Holiday Cards & Helping Others

As we move into "that time of year," and the holiday cards begin to get mailed out, please keep in mind the following program that can benefit from your used cards. The St. Jude's Ranch for Children will take your used cards and recycle them into new cards to resell and benefit their program.



Why St. Jude's Ranch for Children? "They rescue abused, abandoned and neglected children of all races and faiths from the vicious cycle of child abuse and provide healing and nurturing in a safe home-like environment where children can learn life skills to start new lives with new chances, new choices and new hope. St. Jude’s Ranch for Children has three campuses in Nevada and Texas. The Bulverde, Texas campus is located in the Texas Hill Country just north of San Antonio. Also about 30 minutes north of San Antonio is St. Jude’s Emergency Children’s Shelter." The Ranch also helps pregnant teen mothers through their pregnancy, supporting them physically with a residential facility and mentally with parenting curriculum and a high school education.

For more information about the recycled card program and all the services the ranch provides, visit their website: http://www.stjudesranch.org/shop/recycled-card-program/

(They can not accept Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards.) The Ranch also accepts Campbell Soup Labels for Education.

They take cards year-round for all occasions. Send your donations to: St. Jude’s Ranch for Children ATTN: Donor Office P.O. Box 60100 Boulder City, NV 89006-0100

For more simple ways to do good things check out this page on my wiki: http://colwell2012-13.wikispaces.com/For+a+Good+Cause

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The End of Molasses Classes

I LOVE Ron Clark. He inspires me constantly! I love his confidence and enthusiasm. He makes me want to have MORE FUN while teaching!
I have read the Essential 55 years ago, and I enjoyed the movie starring Matthew Perry. (Great casting choice!) I believe in the Essential 55 as the tried and true, "old-school" way to expect students to behave. I wish all adults in children's lives would expect that kind of respect out of the future adults of our world. The best experience with Ron Clark is easily when I got to see him speak in person! Every year our district has a large gathering of all teachers and employees called convocation. It's like a district-wide pep rally for the new year. The fine arts departments perform, ie. dance/drill team, band, choir, etc. Teachers are honored or recognized by students, and tears are spilled. It's adorable. And the superintendent gives a speech. Every school yells and cheers whenever their school is mentioned. It's also a big deal to have cute staff shirts for each school. (T-shirts mean a lot to teachers for some reason!) Well, one year, Ron Clark came and spoke to the entire staff of my district! It was fantastic. He was lively, funny, personable, and so engaging. I want him to be MY teacher!

Now, I am recommending his book, The End of Molasses Classes. It's an enjoyable read with practical ideas to get your students, and parents, engaged in their learning. Not just for one class, but for life! The book is written in a casual tone as if Ron Clark is sitting down with you having a conversation about his experiences. It's fun and inspiring! I already have 4 ideas for songs I want to write for my firsties!!!

Book Release:

Here's a quick video of Ron Clark giving a few ideas from his book: The End of Molasses Classes.


I love what Ron Clark has done for students, parents, and teachers across the country! Probably world-wide! If everyone had the spirit and passion for creating life long self-learners, our country would not be in such dire straits educationally! Thank you Ron for all you do, and for inspiring me. :) Visit the Ron Clark Academy website, and follow them on twitter: @ronclarkacademy

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mrs Jump's class: Reindeer and Reindeer book freebie

Mrs Jump's class: Reindeer and Reindeer book freebie: Super cute printable book for kinder or early first grade readers.  Plus, a fabulous blog to follow!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Working Together

Working Together

Check out this slideshow I made using Animoto. It show my students and our lessons over the past few weeks. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election 2012 - Elementary Style

My school hosted an election of our own today. We didn't vote for President, or any other political figures. We weren't voted for or against laws or amendments. We voted on kid-friendly topics such as sports, food, books, tests, and tech. tools!

To see the images better, visit my class wiki: http://colwell2012-13.wikispaces.com/Election+2012

Check out our ballot!
Here are some of my students voting.
I used a Google form to collect all the votes. Then, I used Excel to tally up the votes! Check out these graphs that show our results!


To see the images better, visit my class wiki: http://colwell2012-13.wikispaces.com/Election+2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kinderella: Goal Setting

This is an awesome goal setting idea!

Kinderella: Goal Setting: You all know as much as I do how important it is to motivate your kiddies and get them to "own" their learning. (That's half the battle righ...

Our principals are encouraging us to meet with each student one-on-one and write down specific goals for reading and math.

I found many great resources on Pinterest and TeachersPayTeachers!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything

For Halloween next week, we are going to read The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything.


We will then discuss the plot and sequencing events by ordering the main events from the story. I have a freebie posted on TeachersPayTeachers with graphics of the objects from the story.



Download it for free by clicking here.

Check out some retelling and sequencing ideas on Pinterest.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sight Words - Make if fun!

Well, at this point in the school year I have really gotten to know my first graders as readers. I see how much it hurts some kids to not have a wide knowledge of sight words. Most of the time, my readers who don't have many sight words memorized, also don't enjoy reading very much, and they SURE don't like to use flashcards to practice these confusing words.

I've been collecting fun and engaging resources to help students practice recognizing common high frequency words. I want to share those resources with you. (That's what teaching is all about... beg, borrow, and steal!) Check out my wiki page for Sight Words by clicking here.

Come back to it often, because I will update it as I find more great websites, videos, links, images, etc. If you have something great to share, please post it in a comment for all to benefit from, and I'll add it to my page!

Here's one of my favorite sight word videos I learned about via Pinterest.



I have also found MANY fun games or literacy center stations, or send-home games via Pinterest. Check out my "Words" board!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Endless Job

Our job is a job that is NEVER done! I had an hour and a half to kill this evening before dinner with a former student, so what did I do... went to school and worked!!!! Endless work. But, I do feel better when I get prepared, and have good quality plans completed.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Glogster in Texas!

Do you live in Texas?! Do you use Glogster!? Do want to learn more about Glogster!?

If so, click HERE TO JOIN US in the Glogster EDU in Texas facebook group! Another way to meet up and share ideas and learn from other techy Texans. ;)



If you're not a Glogger yet, you HAVE to check it out, no matter where you live! Click here to learn more about all the great ways you can use Glogs to enchange your students' learning. A Glog is a great way to try out flipping your classroom!

Glogster EDU

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Classroom Freebies Too: Go Catch! Place Value Game

Classroom Freebies Too: Go Catch! Place Value Game: Your kids will love practicing their place value skills as they play this take off on Go Fish.  Click on the picture to grab your free copy!...

Monday, September 17, 2012

The First Grade Parade: Anytime Math

The First Grade Parade: Anytime Math: Do you ever have those weeks where you feel like you’re just behind?!  I had to jet outta school early on Friday because BOTH my sweet boys ...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

QR Code Classroom Implementation Guide

Cool Cat Teacher Blog: QR Code Classroom Implementation Guide: Licensed for use from iStockPhoto QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are just barcodes. There is nothing fancy about them. Just like the ...

GREAT visuals and "How-to!"

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Classroom Tour!

It's done! My classroom is officially finished and ready for the kids to come! I completely redid my classroom theme this year, and I am so proud of how cute the owl, nature, and bird theme turned out! Tonight was our "meet the teacher" night, and it went very well. Everyone seemed to like the room. :)
Check it out for yourself...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stop Animation Tool: Sam Animation

This software is a free download compliments of icreate to Educate. There is a full version of the software available for $30, but so far the free version is very functional!

This can be a great tool for project based learning. I plan to use it as a project for my kiddos who need extension and challenges, and possibly in literacy circles.

Check out this video about the software, and visit the site to download it for FREE!

Kidspublishing - Wiki

kidspublishing - home

This Wiki is a great resource for digital student publishing ideas!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Awesome Remote Desktop Tool: Splashtop

Splashtop has so much potential for iPad usage in the classroom!

Splashtop allows you to use your iPad to access your laptop or desktop computer. It can be a computer connected to your SMARTboard, or not. You could be walking around the classroom checking your students' work, while showing them how to do something on the SMARTboard, all wirelessly!





You will need to download the app in iTunes, and you'll need to "get the streamer" from the Splashtop homepage. The app is only $2.99 right now, which I think is a steal considering all the functionality it allows for!

The streamer will walk you through how to sync your computer to your iPad. You'll name your computer, and create a password to protect your computer from others syncing without your permission.

I plan to use this app with my team of first grade teachers when we are working on lesson plans. Now, as I type our lesson plan ideas, my team can watch what I'm typing on their iPads!

Check out this quick overview video:

Here is more of a tutorial video:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Classroom Pledge & Freebie

Creekside Teacher Tales: Classroom Pledge & Freebie: All over Pinterest I have been seeing this... I have seen it with fancy letters from fun machines I can't afford, painted, stamped. Basi...

These are absolutely adorable!  I cannot wait to hang these in my classroom.
Such a positive way to start the year and to communicate to parents what you prioritize in your classroom.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Classroom Management = Community of Learners

I was recently asked by an education college student about what I do in my classroom for classroom management.

Below if my response to her. I thought I'd share, and maybe get some ideas from others who post their ideas. Thanks in advance for sharing.



I believe the very best thing you can start off doing is creating an environment or a community of mutual respect. I've even seen classrooms where respect is their one and only class rule. If you think about it, all behavior points back to respect. Respect for others hearts, their things, the school, etc. So from day one we define the word respect and then get into specifics for how to show respect for myself and for each other. Specifics such as what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like. We make anchor charts and model by acting out common scenarios.



I also articulate our job in this school and this classroom. I tell them my job is to help them learn what they need to know to be the smartest first grader they can be and to be ready for the next grade and the next grade and so on so they can one day get a good job. I tell them that their job is to always try their best. We also say that one of our main jobs is safety. Safety for our bodies and our hearts. So our words matter just as much as what we do with our hands.

Summary so far: over the first few weeks we will have discussions, read books, and act out the specifics of respect. At my school this often looks like the "wolf pack way": mutual respect, attentive listening, appreciations, no put downs, and never give up.

One lesson I always do to help create an environment of respect for diversity in our class is the crayon box that talks. Check out my blog post about this lesson for pictures and even an animation of the story.

In our social studies curriculum for the first few weeks we discuss the terms "balance" and "stability" and how we need to be balanced in our classroom. We play games to make these terms concrete and to build teamwork skills. It's important to define a purpose for and practice teamwork. One game we play is like the old game "hot lava." I put the kids in small groups and give them a piece of construction paper. I tell them to work as a team to all stand on the paper without touching the floor. They do this fairly easily and get giggle out of it. Then I give them a smaller piece of paper and tell them to do the same thing. It takes a little more thinking and planning as a team this time. All in all, the fun activities they participate in make a bigger impact and it helps to make complicated behavior terms concrete enough for them to latch onto.

I believe strongly in modeling and practicing procedures. I explain how to walk to line up. Then I model it. Then two kids model it the correct way. Then one kid models a bad example. Then two kids model a good example again. We do this for everything: how to open and close your locker, how to get a sharpened pencil, how to enter the classroom, how to choose a book, etc. You have to think ahead and anticipate the pitfalls and opportunities for the students to lose control and have a plan that you teach them in advance to keep them on track.

I talk to them about the word expectations a lot. I have high expectations for their behavior and their work.

I also have a very fine tuned and thoroughly planned out schedule with established routines so they know what to expect daily. Kids thrive on structure!!! I guide us into that routine ASAP. Again, modeling and expecting specific behaviors. I can't assume they know how to do anything until I have taught it and they have practiced it with success.

I use the Daily 5 for my readers workshop structure, Tabor Rotations for math and a Lucy Calkins style for writers' workshop. (Learn more about Tabor at the Wiki I created.) Science and Social Studies often follows a 5-E lesson model: engage, explore, explain, extend, evaluate. These consistent structures help everyone "stay in line".

Now, after establishing the basis for our classroom and how I expect things to operate and why, I teach them about our token economy reward system. Each student will have a pocket in a hanging shoe pocket organizer.



When I see someone doing "the right thing" they earn a "compliment stick" = a Popsicle. When they earn ten, they can bundle it with a rubber band and make a group to spend on various rewards I offer via a menu. They get to practice the math concept of bundling groups of ten and the economics concept of spending or saving, which are both in our curriculum. Later in the year when we learn about money we trade the sticks in for coins. Now they can practice identifying and adding coins to buy rewards.

Rewards vary from different treasure boxes, to taking their shoes off in the classroom for the day, to bringing a stuffed animal, and so much more.

We also have the color system in order to efficiently report home about students' behavior daily. Kids move their clip down if they have behavior problems, but they can also move their clip back up if they earn that by fixing the problem. Every kid starts out on green but they have the potential to move up to purple if they have an outstanding day.

We also have a class incentive. If the whole class is working together doing "the right thing," then we earn a letter towards spelling out a key word or phrase, such as "wolf pack". When we spell out the word or phrase, we vote on how we will celebrate. Maybe popcorn and a 30 min movie, extra recess one day, a game party, etc. The kids come up with the ideas and we vote. :)

We also use Rachel's Challenge as a school-wide program for participating in acts of kindness and respect for others.

If some children need more than this to help them maintain self control and follow classroom behavior expectations, then I implement a specific behavior plan for that child. I identify specific goals, specific behaviors expected to reach those goals, and then the rewards given if the goal is met. Check out an example of a behavior plan I have used. It's for sale on Teacher's Pay Teachers.

You can find many rewards and behavior plans at...

In a nutshell, I establish a community of learners based on mutual respect by modeling and practicing specific behavior expectations. Then, I reinforce with a concrete reward system that supports our curriculum. All of this takes maintenance throughout the year including reminders and reestablishing objectives repeatedly.

I'd love to hear what you have to share about classroom management!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

SMARTboard Blog Hop

Check out my favorite uses for the SMARTboard, and then hop from blog to blog to find what other teachers posted as their favs!


1. SpellingCity.com

Spelling City is great way for teachers to create spelling lists, even individualized lists. They're easy to update weekly. Then, students can go online OR use the new iPad/iPod app, and play games that practice their specific spelling words! My students love the games! I made it a homework choice for spelling practice each night. With your free teacher account, you create a teacher homepage where students and parents can easily find the spelling lists and then games.

Spelling City Review & Tips by Maureen.

2. Brainpopjr.

This one is probably a DUH! But the videos on Brainpopjr. are so engaging and yet spot on for our curriculum! There are GREAT follow-up activities to use on the SMARTboard as well. (AND there's a brainpopjr. app as well!) The "movie of the week" is free, but the rest of the movies require a paid subscription. Get your district on board! It's a fabulous resource!

3. Arcademic Skill Builders

This site has so many fun, competitive math games. Our favorite is the jet ski race. Improve fact fluency while having fun! There are games for other math concepts and even a few spelling games. AND... there's a iPad app!

I also love to create a student-friendly collection of resources on my class Wiki. Then I access the Wiki when I teach and show video clips or let the students play interactive games that are linked. Check out my class wiki for ideas. Students can access my Wiki at home for somewhat of a flipped classroom effect.

Now, don't forget to check out the blog hop post and see what other teachers love and share your own ideas!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Best Free Digital Storytelling Tools for Teachers

A List of The Best Free Digital Storytelling Tools for Teachers

There are some great ones I have used and loved, and some I haven't heard of!  Score!

List of FREE apps... great basics for ipads...

These are some great basic and free apps that can be used across the grades. I use a lot of these already and found some new ones.

Sidebar Fallen Down? : The Blogger Guide

Sidebar Has Fallen Down! : The Blogger Guide: Saturday, January 31, 2009
Sidebar Has Fallen Down!
For about a month I have been struggling to figure out what was wrong with my sidebars on this blog!  I have emailed and posted my problem on Twitter and the Google Blogger help forum, but no one seemed to have the answer.  However, I did some MORE searching, and finally found the man with the answer.
If your sidebars are missing, or have been pushed to the bottom of your blog, check out this trouble-shooting idea!
Thanks so much to man in  Sri Lanka, who had the answer for me.
Isn't the internet amazing!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

There's an app for that!

Isn't there an app for everything?!?! This video is a funny Sesame Street parody about apps.

I found it on Kathy Schrock's website. This is a GREAT resource for all kinds of technology ideas. Kathy is absolutely an expert!

Friday, July 20, 2012

2 Great FREE Learning Apps


Knowonder!: A FREE app that promotes literacy, fun, creativity and brand new stories to read with your kids every single day of the year. And the stories are really good.



I'm thrilled to see BrainPop come out with a Jr. app!

BrainPop Jr.: A FREE educational app that teaches your kids about many different historical events, inventions, famous people, amazing places etc. through short "movies". Lots of content and activities included to this app.

The BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week app & Knowonder! is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, or at www.itunes.com/appstore.

Thanks to Megan Spires for sharing these apps on We Teach Come joins us on We Teach and connect, share, and learn with other teachers or moms!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back to School Teacher Discount Days!


Mark your calendars! For those of you in the Dallas area, here are the teacher discount dates I've been able find:
Mardel - July 19
Teacher's Tools in Allen off 121 - July 26
Office Max - Aug. 9
Big Lots & Staples' day is on August 11th
You know where to find me on these days! ;)
***Dates vary by where you live, so check out their websites for the discount dates at store locations near you!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Starting the New Year with Community Building

You have probably heard of the story or the poem, The Crayon Box That Talked. It's a cute story about a box of crayons that don't get along because of their color. Then, the crayons work together, with the help of a child, to create a beautiful picture, and suddenly the crayons all appreciate each other for their unique contribution. GREAT message to start off your year with a sense of community and appreciation for each others' differences.
The book is adorable, and I read it every year, but this year, I cannot wait to show my kids this animation as well...

THE CRAYON BOX THAT TALKED from tim webb on Vimeo.

After we read the story, and this year watch this video, then I give each child a piece of poster board in the shape of a puzzle piece. I write their names on the poster board pieces before I cut the pieces apart to make sure all names are facing the right direction. The kids then illustrate the pieces however they want. I encourage them to tell something about themselves with their piece, either drawing favorite hobbies, or people, or places, or just using their favorite colors. I decorate my own puzzle piece as well, and I leave a few pieces blank for new students that come throughout the year. Then, we all meet back at the carpet, and they work together to put our class puzzle together. Then we look at it and admire the different colors and designs and the fact that no piece is the same as another, but when they come together, they are beautiful!!! I leave a big puzzle piece blank in the middle for a class picture and the words "We Fit Together." This hangs up in our room or right outside our door for the entire year. :) Such a great concrete way to demonstrate appreciating differences!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Phonological Awareness Continuum

I love good visuals! Just sharing this visual I made of the progressive skills towards mastering phonological awareness.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Words 2.0

Cathy Jo Nelson is a tech savy presenter. Her blog is very educational. I found this presentation she gave about using Web 2.0 tools with words. Check out her blog.

Another Boggle Game

Found this adorable Boggle printable via Pinterest!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Simply Learning Centers: The Daily 5 Checklist

Simply Learning Centers: The Daily 5 Checklist: Many teachers have implemented the Daily 5 reading program into their classrooms.  Here is a free weekly checklist that students can use to to self-monitor the stations that have been visited.  Students simply color the happy face after completing a task.

Thanks for sharing, Lidia!

PreKandKSharing: using iTechnology in the classroom

PreKandKSharing: using iTechnology in the classroom: See how this teacher took an art project and turned it into an awesome technology integration project using QR codes and Fotobabble.

PreK + K Sharing

Phonological vs. Phonemic Awareness

These terms often get used interchangeably, but they really mean different things. I LOVE this visual for understanding and defining the two terms. I drew this out by hand during a P.D. session once, but this is a much better visual!
I found it on this fabulous blog: Make, Take & Teach

Saturday, June 2, 2012

FREE Project-Based Apps

Thanks to TechChef for teaching me, once again!

Digital Storytelling

I came across this amazing wiki full of "how-to's" using many free Web 2.0 tools for digital storytelling. The video below, is created using the tools. Watch the video and check out the wiki by clicking HERE.
Thanks to Alan Levine for collecting these ideas and compiling them into a useful resource!

A Turn to Learn: How to Print on Sentence Strips

A Turn to Learn: How to Print on Sentence Strips: Here it is... the long awaited post... How to print on sentence strips!  I have to say, ever since I figured out how to do this, I have not ...

I didn't even think of doing this!  It would look a lot nicer to have text printed on sentence strips, than my handwriting looks! ;)

This blog has TONS of great tech. tips!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stop Summer Learning Loss

Click below to read a great list of activities to keep your child learning all summer!

I also created a page on my class wiki for parents to learn about WHY their child needs to read and learn over the summer, and HOW they can do this: http://colwell2011-12.wikispaces.com/Summer+Learning

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Book Exchange!

Would you like to get 36 books for the price of 1?! I need 6 people to continue this book exchange that a co-worker of mine passed on to me. If you agree to join this book exchange, then you'll mail one book to my kinder friend, Erika, and then you will pass my address on to 6 of your friends, who will then each mail me a book. 6x6=36 books!!! But you have to commit and follow through so that it works! :) If you're in, please leave a comment with your email address, and I'll be in touch with you to get you the addresses. See the letter below for more of the details!

New Classroom Theme?!

I have had a western, Texas theme for the past 3 years, and I think I'm ready for a change. I would love a calming environment with lots of natural colors and a somewhat earthy feel. What better way to do that than with a cute owl theme! The owl trend has been out for awhile now, so I should be able to find many cute things! Check out these cute and FREE owl printables! Owl Themepack Accents

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Math Coach's Corner: Addition & Subtraction Structures

Math Coach's Corner: Addition & Subtraction Structures, Part 2:  addition and subtraction in word problems.

The are the kinds of problems that confuse many math students.
Part-Part-Whole thinking is an important foundational understanding for kids to master!

Check out this post with a good explanation of the types of problems for first grade.
 Might be good info for parents!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Celebrating Volunteer Week with VolunteerSpot

Celebrating Volunteer Week with VolunteerSpot

Learn about a website where you can create free sign-up sheets online!
Looks similar to Sign-Up Genius, which is FANTASTIC!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Timez Attack - Fact Fluency Video Game

Check out this video about Timez Attack. It looks like a great way for kids to practice addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts. The math facts are in the video game! It's free to use flashcards and one video game. The website also tracks student progress.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

On Our Minds @ Scholastic | The official blog of Scholastic Inc.

On Our Minds @ Scholastic | The official blog of Scholastic Inc.: Book and education enthusiasts sharing breaking book and media news, stories of education and technology, and reflections on literacy. Join us!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Summer Bucket List!

Here's my...
I want to make these for myself and my teammates to carry around ketchup and napkins and spoons for our forgetful friends in the cafeteria. ;) It's something I need, but I also want to prove to myself that I can be crafty and sew! Oh, I guess I better get that sewing machine I've been wanting too. ;)
I want to make a frame like this for the first day of first grade.
I want to try new recipes and cook for my family a lot!
I want to buy a new grill and make use of our patio, that I want to work on, and have BBQs with friends!
I cannot wait for the beach house trip with my family!!!! I want to MAKE MEMORIES with my family and especially for my boys!
I want to READ FOR FUN!!! :)
Teach my son the letters and sounds, by making it fun.
Workout and eat healthier!
This is starting to sound more like a new year's resolution list... Road trip with my hubby.
Visit my sister!