Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mathematically Fun Resources!

Sumdog - These are FREE games that make Math fun and competitive!  Love it and most of al, my kids love it! Activities for all grades that follow the Common Core standards. You can create challenges between the students in your class, same grade, the entire school, or the world.  Students get points.  They even set up contests for each state.

MangaHigh - Another site with Math games.  You have to create a school account so that students can play the game, but it's FREE. My students love it, and I am able to assign challenges on the skills I want to reinforce.

HoodaMath - FREE Games, tutorials, worksheet, movies, and a very, very, cool theme song! They are in the process of aligning their games with the Common Core standards.  The kids have a lot of fun, while they learn.

TenMarks -FREE Online Math program that provides individualized practice for each student. Love the fact that I can create assignments using the given curriculum.  They are aligned with the state and common core standards.  Reports can also be sent to the parents.  You can upgrade to a premium account if you wish.

Arcademic Skill Builders - Play games and learn! They have games for a variety of subjects, including Math. If you want reports, etc..., you have to upgrade.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Writing Tech Tools!

checkthis (HP Teacher Experience Exchange) Here is the checkthis I made this morning. It was soooooo easy to use. You can add text, images, links, videos, even your Twitter name,(although that wouldn't work for me for some reason) As I played with it, I thought this was a great tool to liven up research projects. I envision a Qwiki video being one of the components.  The other great thing is that you can create an expiration date, AND you don't have to login. I could post all the research report links on Edmodo!

OneWord (EduPLN post by Ary Aranguiz) I was playing with checkthis and wanted to add my PLN posts to my list and I spotted this blog post by Ary. It's exactly what it says, one word. One word pops up, and you have sixty seconds to write about that word. It can be shared if you include your name and email address. I have 5th graders, so I would just use it as a freestyle writing assignment and not worry about sharing. Awesome! (A personal favorite) If you want your kids to blog, this is the simplest I have come across. Create an account for your students. Make sure you click moderate comments and posts in the Control Panel, and set them loose. Share the link so that your kids can get comments from a real audience.

StudentTreasures I have used this company for three years. The books that are created are beautiful, hardcover, and FREE! Contact the company, choose a publishing date, have your children become authors, ship the kits to the company(They pay for shipping), and wait for your books. We had one problem with two books last year, (out of 175) and it was resolved immediately! The students are so excited about being real life, authors.

Bitstrips for Schools I used this last year and I loved it! Kids really love comic strips. I would give them a topic, and they would run away with it. I don't think they really understood that they were writing, because it was a comic strip.Students can design their own characters, add text through speech bubbles, and now they have added a built -in art library. They offer a 30 day free trial if you want to try it out!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tech Tools and Resources #4

Knovio/Online Video Presentations: (A Twitter PLN member) Do you like Photopeach? Animoto? Well, you will like Knovio!  It takes your Powerpoint slides and turns them into a video presentation. If you are interested in signing up for Knovio, use this link Knovio signup. Ok, this was me trying it for the first time, but I just wanted to let you know what it looked like.:)

DrawaStickman (Edmodo community) Very cool and very funny! It's great to teach following directions or anything you can think of! You draw the stickman, the site gives you directions on what to do next. It is so cool because it's interactive, your drawings actually move!

QRPedia(FreeTech4Teachers) Again, very cool! If you place a Wikipedia URL in the box, it turns it into a mobile friendly QR code! I used it to create this QR code. Very simple to use!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tech Tools and Resources #3

Hey all! Here are a few tech tools and resources I felt I had to share!

TweenTribune - News for kids 8-15 . I used this a lot the year before last. I barely used it last year, but I think it had something to do with that group I had. But, I love it.  The kids sign up, read current articles in every subject, and comment. They have added a component so that parents can participate.

ScoopIt - Be the curator of your favorite topic! I started one on Ipads in education. It is very simple to use.You can gather your own resources or the site will make suggestions for you. The result is an interactive gathering of resources on one topic that you can share!

WatchKnowLearn - I use this site a lot because YouTube is blocked in my school. WatchKnow Learn offers FREE Educational videos on every subject imaginable. You can set up user accounts, set up a classroom, and save your videos. The great part is you can watch approved Youtube videos from this site!

Embed YouTube into Word(HP Teacher Exchange) I can find ways to use this idea. If you watch this video on Teacher experience Exchange, it may seem a bit much, but I think it's worth it. Also, once you've done it a few times, it will probably become second nature.

LiveBinders You'll Love!

If you are interested in using Web 2.0 tools in your classroom, here are some Livebinders that might interest you!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

QR Treasure Hunt Generator! Using QR Codes to Engage!

I discovered QR codes a couple of months ago,  I read about them, downloaded a QR reader, and began to create my own codes.(I have one for my blog page on the right hand side of the blog). When I went to ISTE11, they were all over the place!  Silly me, I felt like one of the chosen when I had to demonstrate or explain what they were. :)  Well, eventually, the fun of it wore off, you can see them wherever you go, magazines, etc..., so now the question became, "How do I use QR codes in my classroom?" Or better yet, "Can I Use QR codes in My Classroom?"

The other day, I was perusing Free Technology for Teachers in my Google Reader, and lo and behold, what do I see? A very, cool, way to use QR codes. Now, just to be fair, prior to seeing Bryne's article, I had already bookmarked Steve Anderson's "QR Codes in Education" Livebinder, I just didn't get around to looking through it. (But I will now). Richard posted the  QR Treasure Hunt Generator  created by and it looked simple enough that I could check it out without having to hear my husband yell "Get off the computer!".

It was very simple to use and the title says it all.  You create questions. The questions are turned into QR codes. Hang them around the room and let the students "read" the questions with their mobile devices and answer them. (That's the treasure hunt part of the game). Being educators, I know you can take this concept, twist it, turn it, whip it, and come up with 600,00 different ways you can use it. The owner of the website does ask for feedback in comments and suggestions,or even problems, so feel free to share.
Upon seeing it, I immediately thought of the "Getting to Know Mrs.M' exercise I use at the beginning of the year.  I place a summary about myself on the Smartboard, my students read it, and then answer questions about me. As boring as it sounds, they are engaged, but how much more spicy would it be with QR codes! I would only have to show them how to use it once( you know how kids are).

To test it out,  I made up 5 questions, that's the minimum amount you can use, hit "Create QR Challenge", and the work was done for me! First, it took me to the "Teacher Notes" page and from there you can access the  QR codes that the students will use for the "Who is Mrs M?" quiz.

I think using this tool as a team building exercise at the beginning of the year would be a great idea as well. We've done scavenger hunts in my building before, but how much more fun it would be with QR codes! Of course, you would just have to ignore the grumbling of the "anti-tech" teachers as you played.
My only dilemma is that cell phones are not allowed in school, principal's orders. "If you see a cell phone in school, confiscate it immediately!" Hmmm, how do I get around this?  Do I let them sneak their phones out and hide it when administration enters the room?(Just kidding) Maybe for this exercise, I'll let them use mine, but supervise them heavily. Any suggestions?

A question I sent to the owner was if they see this as a "just for teachers" tool.(Russel Tarr responded, "It's designed for whoever uses it!") I think it would be great if the students could create their own questions and QR codes.

QR codes, another tool to teach and engage our students!

Tech Tools and Resources #2!

I've decided that every 5 new tools I "discover", I will not only post them on my blog, but I will also update my "Word of Mouth" Livebinder.  Hopefully, some of these tools will be useful to you as well.
Children's Books Forever! - I found this one on ilearn Technology, always a great source for the coolest sites ever! Those of you with IWBs will love this site. Digital  FREE childrens books, classics and favorites, that can be viewed on IWBs, Powerpoints, or overhead projectors.  The quality of these books is not shabby either! I already sent the link to the lower grades in my school.

National Archives Experience- Digital Vaults -  (iLearn Technology) Do you teach SS?  Are you always in need of primary sources? All I can say is Wow! I am teaching the Civil War and I got lost in this site and what you can do with it. If you want to make history rea,l utilizing primary sources, this site is it. It's a digital vault that you can control, you can choose the pics you want and then create a poster or movie. Excellent site!

Reading - (Edmodo community) I don't know about you, but I can't stand Reading logs. "Read for 20 minutes and write it down." BORING! Here is a way to spice up your reading logs, it's gone digital! And it's not just a Reading log, they have social networking, K-12 Teacher Tools, and Reading Rewards!

thatquiz - (HP TeacherExchange) - Math test activities for students and teachers. Online interactive quizzes in a number of subjects.You can set up a class home page and administer your tests from there, or give the students the test code of the assigned test. You can create your own tests; matching, multiple choice , and slides.

Bizworld:The Bizworld Foundation (Sean Murray) I learned about this from one of my readers, the Education Coordinator for Bizworld.  If you are looking for a program that provides real world financial literacy and entrepreneurship, this is it! It's for grades 3-8, and it's broken down into three kits, BizWorld,  BizWiz, and  BizMovie.  Each kit provides the kids hands-on activities to promote that goal, and it looks like a lot of fun!  BizWorld focuses on business and enterpreneurship, BizWiz, money management, and BizMovie, technology and entrepreneurship. I am excited about using  BizWiz with my class this year!

"Word of Mouth" Livebinder

Tech Tools for the Classroom #1!

You know how it works. I tell my friend, she tells her friend, and so on and so on, and pretty soon everyone knows about that party on campus! Well, I don't have a party to tell you about, I just want to share a few tools and resources, I "discovered" and am very excited about. And for my readers who are wondering, "She just found out about that?", maybe you can share ideas of how you have been using them in your classroom. Showoffs! :)
Audiopal -  This one I got from a blogger named Porter Palmer. Her post is,  "Favorite Things:Audiopal. Thanks Porter! This is so cool! As soon as I found it, as with most Web 2.0 tools, I put it to use.  It's a FREE website audio player. Here's what attracted me, it's free, you can embed it, I can record by phone (which I did), mic, MP3 upload, or text to speech. Check it out!

ClassDojo - This site was shared in an Edmodo community. As a matter of fact ClassDojo has their own community within Edmodo. I asked one of the creators why I had never heard of it, he said they were pretty new. Well, the word is out, people are all  " aTwitter" (get it?) about it! In a nutshell, class management that is simple and fun! With this site, you can award and reward behavior right away! You have to see it in order to understand how it works, but it's worth taking a look!   A tweet from HPTeach Exchange led me to this one. It was posted on the Teacher Experience Exchange website. Another resource I did not know existed. TypeWithme provides real time collaboration on a document , has chat, can be exported as a document  of your choice, a slider shows revisions that have been  made, no account or sign up required. Here is a simple tutorial to help you understand how it works.

TubeChop - I checked it out yesterday after seeing it mentioned in a tweet, again, from HPTeachExchange.  It's just what it says, it chops videos in order to enable you to show  the part of the video you choose. If you're interested, watch this tutorial.

A number of Teacher Resource sites have also been brought to my attention. I don't think we can ever have too many places where we can get new ideas.  TeacherTime123,, and  USATodayEducation.
If you have "discovered" anything new, do us a favor and post the link. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Edmodo:Gotta Love It!

After reading a blog post about Edmodo, I figured I would move this from Wordpress and update it. You can never hear enough about Edmodo!:)

I have to admit, I thought I had written a post  about Edmodo. Why wouldn't I?  Ever since I discovered it, it has been a staple in my 5th grade class. However, I realized I didn't, when I read another post, "Edmodo, yes"!   from the blog Technology Chatter.  How could I have forgotten to write about Edmodo, which  has made my life wonderfully easy.  How?

When I describe it to colleagues, I call it the "Facebook for Educators", but it's more than that.  I post assignments on Edmodo every day. Not just "read page 43 in your textbook" assignments either. I can post images, videos, questions, tests, worksheets, polls, have discussions online. Any work I have them "turn in" can be graded online, and their grades are posted privately. No paper! So, it's environmentally friendly as well.

I have created groups for every subject.  It even has communities where teachers can connect, our own little PLN. And now, they have Edmodo for Parents, still unexplored territory for me. (I used that this year and it worked very well, it kept the parents "in the loop' and allowed them to use the resources I posted with their child at home)

 But my favorite part of Edmodo is my Pen Pal group.  I joined the Language Arts community and asked if anyone was interested in being pen pals. Mrs.T  and I, not only have our classes write to each other, but we also formed a Pen Pal group on Edmodo. (Have made so many more connections since then, with students and teachers all over the world)

Our classes have shared photos, movie clips, comments, birthday wishes, weekend happenings, weather updates, and our  latest, Voki conversations. I already had a Voki and Mrs.T was kind enough to email me instructions on how to post it. The first thing my kids do in the morning is check Edmodo to see if their pen pals wrote them, they are so excited! Recently Mrs.T sent pics of the beach, after I sent pics of the kids in the snow.:) It's just a great way for them to communicate with students outside of their school, outside of their state! The students are writing and Mrs. T and I are sharing ideas.

 I know as the year progresses, I am sure we will discover more ways we can connect our classes.  In the meantime, I will continue to use Edmodo in my class, my own little piece of educator heaven.:)

If you are interested in learning how to use Edmodo, @plnaugle is hosting an Edmodo group on how to use Edmodo during the summer.