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Showing posts from 2014

Appy Friday! iMovie: Make Movies Like a Boss

Why Use iMovie? iMovie is a powerful creation tool. Teachers can create instructional videos or student exemplars and increase engagement by getting students excited about what they are going to learn. Likewise, students can use iMovie for a wide variety of projects. And because it is such a fun app to use (yes, learning can and should be fun!) once students are introduced to iMovie, many of them will select it as their app of choice. In terms of promoting 21st century skills, iMovie challenges all learners, both students and teachers, to think critically and be creative, and students can hone their collaboration and communication skills through creating iMovie projects in small groups.
When finished, students can upload their iMovie to your teacher YouTube channel. First, they must save their movie to their camera roll. From the camera roll, students can then upload the movie to your YouTube channel. Have them type in your email address but you need to type in your password. You'll…

Appy Friday! Story Kit

Description:Story Kit is a very straightforward, user-friendly iPad tool (a.k.a. app). It is free to download, making it accessible to a variety of users. Story Kit allows the user to make an online book that is creative and uses images as well as sounds to enhance the book. When you first open the app a bookshelf pops up and you are able to create a new story with the quick click of the screen. You can use a photo from your photo library on your phone or iPad and design the background as well as add sound to the page. When a Story Kit is complete it may be opened on an Apple product (i.e., iPhone, iPad) or on any computer (Mac or PC) through an easy URL that is shared through email. Using the Story Kit app is as easy as:

1.    Open a new page 2.    Choose a picture 3.    Upload the picture to the app 4.    Record audio 4.    Type in text 5.    Color/design the background 6.    Save your wok 7.    Share (through email) 8.    Watch!

**Here is a link to a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Story…

Appy Friday! Kahoot!

What’s It Like? Kahoot! is a student response system for creating and administering unique, game-like quizzes. Questions, along with answer choices, are projected onto a classroom screen while students submit responses using a personal (likely mobile) device. Kids' devices display color and symbol choices only; the actual answer must be viewed on the classroom screen. The energized, game-like atmosphere comes from the use of bright colors, along with suspenseful music. 
Liveliness in the game or quiz escalates as updated ranks appear on the class scoreboard after each question -- personal points data is sent to each device. Playing a game of Kahoot! doesn't involve an account, just a game PIN from the main screen and a name. However, making quizzes (termed "kahoots") does involve entering user information from the teacher.
Is It Good For Learning? Kahoot!'s fresh format and fast access is likely to motivate students across grades and content areas. The account-free de…

Appy Friday! Under Control with Custom Search Engines

Create a Custom Search EngineI don’t always want my younger students to have full access to the internet for their research, but I want them to have an easy way to access websites that I as the teacher have reviewed and approved. I discovered a way to accomplish this by setting up a Custom Search Engine and sharing the link to the engine with my students. All my Custom Search Engines are saved using my Google account.To create a Custom Search Engine from scratch, you'll need to name your search and add some sites to search. Here’s what to do. Create a new search engine:1. On the Google Custom Search home page, click New search engine. 2. In the Sites to search section, add the pages you want to include in your search engine. You can include any sites you want, not just sites you own. You can include site URLs or page URLs, and you can also get fancy and use URL patterns. 3. The name of your search engine will be automatically generated based on the URLs you select. You can change…

Appy Friday! Check Out App Flows

We all know that trying to do "one more new thing" is what we always do. Most of us are motivated to try out new digital tools but don't quite know how to make these tools seamlessly flow into our lessons. App Flows provide a customizable framework that redefines the traditional lesson plan by integrating digital learning tools and content with pedagogical intent. Wow! That was a mouthful. Quite simply, you can discover tools on Graphite and then align them to each part of your lesson –- the hook, direct instruction, guided practice, independent practice, and wrap-up –- thinking with purpose about your lesson redesign.  There are three goals in mind: To guide teachers to reflect on where they're aligning digital learning tools within a lesson, why the tools best fit those particular activities, and how the activities themselves are being augmentedTo encourage blended learning opportunities by prompting teachers to mix in media-rich activities with traditional pencil-and…

Appy Friday! ReadWorks Reading Resources

With an emphasis on balanced literacy in reading instruction, teachers will want to check out the ReadWorks.org website for quality, research-based reading comprehension resources. The curriculum is varied and there are many ways for teachers to access and share lessons, passages, and activities. The lessons are divided into four sections:

Skill and Strategy Units: CCSS based lesson plans with texts, lessons, and independent practice. Comprehension Units: Grade-level lessons revolve around a read-aloud or paired text. Novel Study Units: 5th and 6th grade resources include pacing guides, lessons, and assessments. Reading Passages: Leveled passages with corresponding question sets to support comprehension. These reading resources are free, but teachers must register on the website to access them. You can find out more by taking an introductory video tour of the resources they offer.
If you are specifically looking for social studies or science articles to increase student reading of informat…

Appy Friday! ShowMe: A Good Workhorse App

The ShowMe app turns the iPad into your personal interactive whiteboard, allowing you to easily record voice-over lessons and share them with your students, parents and/or colleagues. The app is free and there is no limit what you can teach! Students can make math concept lessons to share with classmates in the spirit of Khan Academy. It is an appropriate application for students to use in science to illustrate and explain a sequence of events such as island formation or phases of the moon. 

Another easy way to implement ShowMe into your daily routine is to use the app for quick responses replacing the traditional whiteboard and dry erase markers. Students can switch colors whereas you can't with traditional whiteboards, plus students do not need accounts to use the app in this way. It’s a win-win!

The ShowMe community has created millions of ShowMes, from chemistry to history to football strategy and includes Common Core aligned content - and more knowledge is being shared everyday

Geoboard App: Manipulating Shapes to Teach Elementary CCSS

Remember the old geoboards and rubber bands? Invariably, when you pulled out the boards after a summer of storage, the rubber bands had disintegrated into a sticky mess and would render the boards useless. Troubles no more...Geoboard is one of the iPad math apps that Paula Noda used for several years in her 4th grade classroom. Nothing beats it for student practice in learning geometric shapes with an iPad. Learning is extended by students taking screenshots of their shapes then using a drawing app such as Doodle Buddy to label and classify the shapes. Students can culminate the activity by finding patterns in their shapes, popping their annotated images into the Educreations or Show Me app and explaining the logic behind their patterns.

In today's Edutopia blog, Monica Burns describes how first and second grade students can use the Geoboard app to manipulate and write about shapes, then document their learning to meet Common Core State Standards and engage in higher level thinking…

Appy Friday! Raz-Kids Tutorials

Many kindergarten through second grade teachers recently received confirmation of their Raz-Kids accounts. If you are new to Raz-Kids and are looking to get up to speed quickly, you will want to view one or more recorded webinar session to learn the basics of getting started. These tutorials guide the teacher in managing her Raz-Kids account: adding students, assigning reading activities and assessments, and reviewing student completed work. Even if you will not be using all the Raz-Kids features at the beginning of the school year, this is a great place to go to get an overview of the options available for both teachers and students, and to see what diagnostics you might want to add as the year goes on using this on-line guided reading program.

Appy Friday! I was reminded to remind teachers about Remind.

At a Pacific first grade meeting this week, Paula Noda was reminded what a great app Remind is. She added the Remind app to her iPad last year and used it with her class to get out those important last minute reminders about activities throughout the year. The beauty of the app is that it sends your texts to the people who have subscribed to your class, but your phone number is kept private and the messages are sent with no open replies. It’s a one-way text message!
Teachers might want to consider getting the app, signing up for an account, and then asking parents to sign up at Back to School Night. I seem to remember that Remind even sets you up with the flyer instructing your parents on how to sign up. Learn more here.