Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Writing in my Classroom

I joined a writing tips linky party from Carol's blog: Still Teaching After All These Years.  Check it out!

I use the Daily 5 reader's workshop model, which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!  Yes, there is a "working on writing" component to this model.  However, I don't use that as my only writing time.  I also have a separate writing workshop time that follows a Lucy Calkins model:  mini-lesson, write time, conferences, share time.  

If students choose to write during Daily 5, they can choose to write a story, letter, list, poem, etc.  I often put out unique or thematic writing paper as a choice as well periodically throughout the year.  
I do have some writing products on TpT.

The Beginning, Middle, and End Oreo story parts diagram for the SMART notebook is a nice visual for teaching basic story parts.  It's FREE!

This writing prompt is an example of something I'd put out for "working on writing" at Daily 5.

I recently read a book by Ralph Fletcher about the writing process.  While reading his book, I took notes and created these writing process posters.

I've also made this writing process chart for the SMART board.  You can put students' names on the pencils, and as they move through the stages of the writing process, they move their pencils.

Hope this gives you some new ideas, and I look forward to learning from others who link up!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

My End of Year To Do List

This time of year, the days start to blur together as they fly past me.  There are so many things to get done before the last day of school that I sometimes find my chest tightening as it's harder to breathe!  The way I calm myself down about all the things to get done, is by making to do lists.  If I have it all written down and prioritized, I can stop holding it in my head.

Here's my end of year to do list:

-EOY slide show of pictures for my class and the school - FRIDAY
-EOY SS test - finish, share, print, and give - FRIDAY
-Math DA - complete and submit scantrons - WEDNESDAY
-Thank you gifts for parent volunteers - THURSDAY
-Thank you gift for high school volunteer student - FRIDAY
-Meet with my team about the campus improvement plan - BEFORE FRIDAY
-Sub plans for Friday's team leader meeting
-Complete last newsletter - FRIDAY
-Complete EOY DR's & compile data in spreadsheet
-Gather EOY writing samples
-Complete report cards - June 3
-EOY teacher gifts for my team - note cards and gift tag - DONE!
-EOY gifts for my students - DONE!
-EOY gifts for my son's teachers - DONE!
-Portfolio progress monitoring for 2nd grade: istation, math DA
-Cumulative folders -add report cards and istation summary reports
-Pack up classroom
-Gather materials for summer tutoring and kinder prep for my son
-Check out my MacBook and iPad for summer use  (flip cam too?!)
-Turn in all library books
-Turn in all literacy library books
-Turn in all textbooks (wrap guided reading books so they don't get separated)
-Education Technology Profile Survey & Google form

ALL DUE DATES = JUNE 7 unless otherwise noted

Friday, May 24, 2013

Field Day 2013

I remember field day growing up, and it was so much fun.  Our school takes it a big step farther!  We have a HUGE slip-n-slide as part of our field day!  Check out the fun via this slide show made on Animoto.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Apps in Education: Collaborative Whiteboard Apps for the Classroom

Apps in Education: Collaborative Whiteboard Apps for the Classroom: Interactive and collaborative - Whiteboards are a great way for teachers to explain concepts to their students. Here's a great list of apps for collaborating across grade levels.

Making Waves in Second Grade: Wrapping Up The Year

Making Waves in Second Grade: Wrapping Up The Year: Whew! Just 15 school days left and that includes vehicle day, field day, awards ceremony, and who knows what else I'm forgetting!

There's a giveaway for this pack, so check it out to enter!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Animal Research with QR Codes

My first graders were so engaged when we used QR codes to research Texas symbols, that I decided to make QR codes for researching about animals.  Our first grade curriculum designates about 7 days to study the main classification groups of animals:  mammals, birds, insects, fish, arachnids, reptiles, and amphibians.

We start the animal classification unit by sorting about 60 images of animals onto posters labeled with each classification group.  Then, we take one group per day and we learn about the characteristics of those animals, and take notes.  We then check our poster and decide if those animals have those characteristics and should stay on that poster, or if they need to moved to another group.

To facilitate research, we watch the Junior Zoologist streaming videos on Discovery Education.  We also read books from the library, and then used these QR codes.  We have 5 ipads in my classroom, so we split up into 3 research groups.  Each student chose their own animal that they wanted to learn more about.

This bright little girl is Mikayla.  She did her own research and learned about the arthropod group.  I hadn't made an arthropod QR code set, so she used the computer to find information about a centipede. 

To download these animal research QR codes we used, visit my TpT store by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

R10 Tech Conference Notes

I spent today at the Region 10 Tech. Conference.
I am so excited about some of the apps I learned about!  Some were new to me, and some were just good reminders, or good examples of how to integrate them.  So many of them can be implemented right away!

Below are my notes.  I am confident that you can find at least one thing you can use.

Apps to try:

Path On -$1.99 pic app for shape writing  

Pimp my app - free – draw on maps

Aurasma - free – augmented reality app – make images come to life

Layar  - free– bring an image to life with animation and audio

iPads in daily 5:
Slideshow presentation of 5 apps for each part of Daily 5: http://www.haikudeck.com/p/yhOVSXqxnJ

Haiku deck- free app. Like power point but visually better. Thousands of common pics already in the app. The graphing features are very cool. You can make infograpahics. Saves online for easy sharing
Can be used for presentations vs. power point.   (The Daily 5 presentation listed above is created with Haiku deck.)

Ebook creating:

Use arkive.com for images and videos to put in ebooks. Also, use discovery images.

Story creator- free app. add video with audio and images and text

Use skitch (free app) to add diagraming labels etc to edd to an image

Flipsnack (website) – Allows you to turn PDF files into interactive books.  You can take comic strip images from iPads and compile them on the computer and read it like a comic book.  

Tellagami. Free app.  Your avatar tells the story you record.  Choose your avatar and edit. Select the emotion of the character. Convey the emotions in body language. Can put all tellagamis in iMovie to string them together to make a slideshow similar to a movie. 

Matt Gomez is a kindergarten teacher, who impressed me with all the ways he integrates technology!
For his handouts and examples of his students’ work go here: Bit.ly/10fTgut

Here are the apps Matt shared with us:

Felt board 2.99. Virtual felt board.  
Use felt board with educreations to add audio and write on it. 
Make a scene with characters. Then write a story and print the picture. 

Educreations. Use with story problems. Email lessons to parents. 
Anchor their thinking digitally. 
Retell a story by finding the image of the characters online. 
 Create an adorable picture of each student and then import into educreations and record an adorable message about how they love their parents. 

Take a pic of a student's story or journal entry. Have them record themselves reading it. Touch word by word.  Great for parent conferences.   Do this throughout the year to show reading and writing growth.

Skitch app. Free.  Add text to any image. 
Can blur faces via skitch for privacy when sharing online.

Doodlecast pro.  It's like explain everything but simpler. 
Records drawings. Save the video to the iPad camera roll
Idea... show monthly recordings of students reading throughout the year 

Toontastic. Free   
Toontube like YouTube but for the toontastic videos. 
Very thoughtful process that led up to the creations. Mapping web diagramming. Brainstorming. Process not product focus

Popplet. $4.99. Lite version lets you create for free. 
Mind mapping app or web mapping.
Kid friendly for independent use.
Teacher puts pictures on the camera roll. Students can go find the images needed 
Integration idea is a web map with with the definition of insects and they choose the images from the camera roll that relate to the center text. 

Storybuddy2.  4.99
Simple, kid friendly book creator

Explain everything.  2.99
More complicated to start with. Many options. Add pictures and video. Can write on top of the video.   
Idea for book topic:  How are you going to take care of the earth? for earth day. 

Sling note.  Great for researching.  Grab content. 2.99


Green screen-
Free app- videofx live 
Need very bright lighting for green screening. Not too light for reflections and shadows
Edit the recording Live, and you can record your video.
Can use green butcher paper, cloth, or tablecloth as a cheap greenscreen backdrop

iMovie on the MacBook lets u do “greenscreening”

Photoshop touch. edit screen images. Search: Pstouch. $9.99

Kid in story $6.99 – take a picture of a student, and put them in a story.

Spreadsheet of ideas for tech integration...

Great websites:

Edcanvas- creatbstep by step guides or lessons online. Include videos images educreations. 
Creates a link and qr code for easy sharing.

Infuselearning.com – similar to socrative
Turns your ipads/ipods into Mobile clickers
BUT, this one allows students to draw their answers!
It’s free and it allows you to make free quizzes and view student work
It reads the quizzes out loud in multiple languages!!

Google docs requires a google Id to collaborate but...
Primary pad is free. Create account to protect and make your rooms private. 
Join and you can chat/edit a word document. 
Cool tool for meetings or team planning. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week

My school has done a fabulous job of making us feel appreciated this week!

Check out the decorations for our Hollywood themed celebration!

Parent volunteers decorated all the teachers' doors!

There's my principal and our LMS rolling out the red carpet with our stars!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Research with QR Codes

My students had a blast doing research! I printed the Texas symbols QR codes that you can find here. I posted them in a student accessible location. ;) Then, my students use the free app, Scan, to scan the codes. They were so engaged! They worked in small groups to share the five iPads we have. They were able to watch videos, read facts, and identify our state symbols. They were also told to take notes about what they learned.

I've also made a U.S. symbols QR code packet, that you can find here.