An app for searching free education apps by grade level !!!!!

TechChef4u is a new {free} app I just came seems too good to be true. It is an app that allows you to search for free EDUCATION apps to download based on grade level! Pretty cool. 

 WOW! This will make life sooooooo much easier :)

Technology Alert- Skitch App

   Okay here is the low down on Skitch...I'll be honest, at first I didn't get it! I looked at it and quickly dismissed it. Then I thought about it and explored it more....and WOW!!! The possibilites are endless. Now that I have Common Core swarming in my brain and in the forefront of my mind for everything I plan in my classroom, I saw this app come to life in a very different way than what people are using it for typically. 

Have you ever seen those really cute pictures of animals with hilarious text splattered across the picture {ALL over Pinterest}? Well they were created with Skitch. You know right away that it must be quick and easy, otherwise people wouldn't waste their time making ridiculous pictures {or maybe they would}.

Here are example of those ridiculous pics:

Okay this one isn't ridiculous, it's cute!

 Well there are some really great ways to use this in education actually.

Labeling parts of an insect. Or just labeling photos in general. {Parts of a plant, steps in a process...etc.}
Adjectives. Each team had an object that they had to describe with as many adjectives as possible.  
Identifying angles in Geometry...great real world connections occurring!
What a way to enhane Math by integrating science as well {landforms}. They are researching the highest point of two landforms and comparing them mathematically. 

Turning Math up a notch!
Real world applications via a measurement scavenger hunt!

Way better than any water cycle poster I have seen :)

This is also an incredible app for text annotating/coding/close and careful reading. I have my students take a picture of the book they are reading or a passage of text. Then they use the tools to "mark up the text." They can highlight, circle, underline, color, add text, point arrows to specific words/sentences. 

They can do this for text dependent questions- showing where they found the evidence.
The student took a picture of what they were reading, used the marker tool in Skitch to highlight with different colors digitally, and then used color coded annotating to discuss those sections of the story.Here they created a key or legend of colors that stand for different things such as synonyms=blue, adjectives=green...etc. 
They used the marker tool to highlight with yellow over the
part of the text they had new learning about. 
The students used arrows to show a question they
had during reading that was later answered in the text. 

The students here are text coding using a star for new learning. 

Pointing to the answer in the text to prove and show evidence of their answer. 

Here's how to use it:
Download the Skitch App for FREE!!!!

Once you open it you will see this screen. I have my students take pictures mostly, but we have gone onto the internet to find pictures and uploaded those also. 

You will then see your photo...time to have fun and start layering.
I have students point an arrow to the specific text they are talking about, then add text of their thoughts or questions. 

Amazing and endless potential!

Technology Alert- Glogging

Glogster....Glogster...Glogster! Try to say it 3 times fast and it sounds WaCk!

But whatever the name, it is a really neat tech tool for the classroom. Essentially it is a live, interactive poster. Students can create a poster on a topic, and embed videos, links, articles, animations, graphics, music, text...etc. The possibilities truly are endless!!! 

The best part is that there is a Gloster library with IDEAS GALORE! This has been great for my students to see examples of quality posters and challenge them to make one that is better. The best I have seen is a report style Glog.

Here are some really great examples. You can click on each poster to take you to the website to show you how the links, videos, and overall interactiveness works:

I love this idea of a Unit review with links to engage in all of the different skills that were covered as a refresher. 

How it works:

Visit and log in. There is a free version, which is even better :) 
Choose "Create your first glog."

 Next, choose a template. I always choose one that is pre-created. This is a MUST if you are having elementary students do an activity. This way they are only manipulating what is already there, versus the thousands of options to personalize it!!!
Once you are in a Glog {such a weird word}, you can click in the template to pop up the tool bar. Here is where you can change/add the text, add graphics, upload images, insert audio or data {are you thinking what I'm thinking...interactive data wall for kids to track their progress}!

The last and best thing is that it is super easy to upload into Edmodo or embed into a blog :)

What kind of ideas do you have for using Glogger?

Technology Alert- Padlet!

Before I ever post about technology, I really use it exhaust it with my students sometimes. My students often cheer wildly when I change to a new techie obsession {not sure if they are cheering out of excitement for something new, or because they are tired of doing the old}.

I try it out in multiple subjects and really see how all of my students respond, especially my ESE, gifted, and ESOL students.

Well... I am excited to talk about Padlet. You may have heard of it. I think it is so versatile and can be used for a variety of things all across the subjects.

I am constantly in search of something new and exciting to bring to the classroom environment that is collaborative and creative. I really value the idea that technology, and it’s integration into the classroom, must be purposeful. It is interactive and engaging. 

Check out My Padlet that I created for literacy centers. You can add links, files, and pictures along with text. 

Step One: The teacher logs into Padlet and clicks on "Build a Wall"
Step Two: Double click anywhere on the "Wall" to reveal a text-box. Type into it what you want the students to see or do. This is where you can add links, files, and pictures along with text. 

Step Three: I post the link for the students to follow in order to get to the interactive board. Usually I post this on Edmodo so they just click on it. 

Step Four: Students double click anywhere on the "wall", type their name, and then their response or follow the activity.

Some tips: 

Here are some examples of how I have used Padlet in my classroom: 
This is with the plain wallpaper.
This was a quick-check to classify animals according to their habitat. 

This was created as an "after" reading strategy.
I asked what questions they had about a story and they posted for everyone to see.
This inspired a research and inquiry project to research and answer the questions. 
This is with a wallpaper background. Makes it so much more exciting!!
This example was done with vocabulary words found in the text that they didn't know. 
I quickly posted a topic to quickly check their learning throughout a lesson. It takes 2 seconds and you can instantly see who has mastered the skills!!
This is a true example of the full potential of Padlet. Each activity above has links for students to quickly access the information without having to search all over the internet. They can watch a video and respond digitally, link to an e-book to read or a website to create a follow up activity.
How do you use Padlet? I would love more ideas :)

Have you heard of Edmodo??

Have you heard of Edmodo?

It is this really neat website similar to facebook, but with a focus on education. I use this in my classroom all of the time. My students are so engaged and motivated. There is the website for computer using students to go to, but there is also an APP for iPad/iPod users to go through.

They each have their own account with their own profile and picture {which they love}!
I had a parent volunteer sign all of my students up in one day {could have been a complete headache trying to get all of them to register an account}. I made all of the logins the same style and all of their passwords the same {something super easy to type}.

Once they have an account, they are ready to start posting. Students can make a post to the "wall" or they can respond to someone else's posting.

Another feature of Edmodo is that the teacher/student can choose the type of post such as a Poll, Survey, or Quiz to the "wall" as an assignment for everyone to complete. Students get a reminder when they log in that they have an assignment due.

You can upload documents onto Edmodo for students to read, watch, and then respond to through your "library". 

Ways we use Edmodo in our classroom:

1.  I create Grammar and Phonics activities where students have to post their answers like:

  •  3 sentences with a proper noun correctly written
  •  5 examples of an exclamatory sentence.
  • Read the story in the "library" and post all of the spelling pattern words you found for the -at word family.
2. Guided Reading Groups. I will post to the wall a link to their small group book they are reading. 
  • Students respond to my post with questions before, during, and after reading for their book. 
  • They sometimes post a summary to the "wall".
  • I have students come up with a question about the story that is text-dependent and have the other students in the group respond to all of the questions. 
3. Quizzes: 
  • I put a lot of quick check type of quizzes up on Edmodo as a way for me to get a quick glimpse at the amount of students mastering the content being taught. 
  • I have them create quizzes about a book and pose the quiz as an assignment to the class. 
4. Literacy Centers:
  • I create posts titled "Reading Center", "Science Center", and "Writing Center" to the wall. These posts contain links to articles, videos, or ebooks for them to read. Sometimes I link them to a website to play an interactive educational game or complete a template in Google Docs. 
  • Posting their work on the wall allows for students to collaborate with others by giving them feedback. It also aids those struggling students to have peer examples to guide them. 
5. Homework: 
  • Link a video to watch and then discuss with others on the wall through posts and responding to posts. They are also writing about the video using evidence from it to answer a question that I pose to the class.