Gumdrop Case Giveaway

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Techie Teacher is giving away a GlassTech case for the Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface Pro 3 on behalf of Gumdrop Cases! The Gumdrop Cases GlassTech for Microsoft Surface features:
  • Ruggedized, impact-resistant skin - perfect for accident-prone kids and families
  • Tempered glass screen protector for ultimate touch sensitivity, with a special smudge-free coating
  • Fully compatible with the Microsoft Surface keyboard and kickstand

Learn more about the GlassTech for Microsoft Surface 3 here, and the GlassTech for Microsoft Surface Pro 3 here. The cases are available in Green, Black and Red, and start at $59. The winner gets to choose their case!

Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a case (must live in the US):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2nd grade Leadership Digital Project

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A second grade teacher at one of my elementary schools just wrapped up a fun technology project involving Famous Americans and the Leader in Me model her elementary school follows! Check it out:

 photo Slide1_zpsjb4hffw8.jpg  I am a leader! 
“Leadership is communicating people’s worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.”- Dr. Stephen R. Covey. We are a Leader In Me school following the 7 Habits of Happy Kids. Famous American Leaders of the past and student leaders of the future are critical to the 21st century.  Our class studied the contributions and characteristics of famous Americans of the past.   We researched and created models of famous Americans using Children’s Engineering and a variety of digital technology.  Our class  incorporated the 7 Habits as they worked in self-selected groups and decided on a famous American to research. Students collaborated with their peers and shared informative presentations about their famous American on a class blog and during Leadership Day at school. “If the famous American you researched was not influential or well-known, how would life be different today?” This was the authentic task students needed to address during this project. Students had a choice from the following programs for their final creation: Big Huge Lab’s Trading Card Creator website, Pixie Movie, or Chatterkid Movie.

 photo 20150421_144230_zpsfbpqyslq.jpg   The Children's Engineering models of the famous American they researched turned out ADORABLE!     After the class completed this portion of the project they invited me in to help out with the digital creation piece. They had to include a photo of their famous American model as well as address the authentic task that was mentioned above. The groups could choose to make a Pixie movie, Chatterkid movie or a trading card from Big Huge Lab's Trading Card Creator. Check out their projects:
 Jackie Robinson
  Jackie Robinson Pixie Movie from Julie on Vimeo.
  Jackie Robinson Chatterkid from Julie on Vimeo.
  Jackie Robinson Chatterkid from Julie on Vimeo.
  Jackie Robinson Pixie Movie from Julie on Vimeo.
 Helen Keller
   photo HK-trading card_zps5hxkcptx.jpg
 George Washington
  George Washington from Julie on Vimeo.
 Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln: Pixie Movie from Julie on Vimeo.
 Susan B. Anthony
  Susan B Anthony Chatterkid from Julie on Vimeo.
 Martin Luther King, Jr.
  MLK 1 from Julie on Vimeo.

 photo leadership day_zpszgcpsvsq.jpg
The teacher posted their projects to her blog and allowed for the community to comment. Also, these projects were shared with special visitors during the school's Leadership Day. Community members from all around were welcomed to their classroom and the projects were presented.

At the end of this project the students reflected on their leadership skills and set goals for future growth by video taping themselves answering a few reflection questions. Here are just a few:

AWESOME Math Website: Math Gam

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Do you use the website, Math Games, with your students? If not, you need to definitely introduce them to this fabulous resource! I love how all of the questions are interactive rather than just multiple choice.

When you launch the site, you are prompted to choose a grade level:

It will then take you to an organized list of TONS of great activities:

The graphing activities are super cute. Your students can make bar graphs, pictographs and line plots! In Virginia, our state tests assess graphing this way so this site would be excellent practice for our kiddos.

Other activities might require the student to enter the exact answer:

Definitely add Math Games to your website list if it isn't on there already :)

Class Responder: Student Response System

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Today I was working with first grade who was reviewing plants. We decided to try out a classroom response system called Class Responder. This was the first time I had used it and was excited about the "short answer" feature. Other student response systems like Plickers, Kahoot and Quizizz only allow for multiple choice or T/F type questions so that is why we wanted to test out Class Responder.

Their website states,

"Class Responder allows you to interact in real time with every student in class using smartphones, tablets, or personal computers. Teachers can assign lessons through Class Responder and students will automatically see the assignment and respond with their answers. You can review each student’s individual responses as well as comparing responses on a class level in order to measure understanding.
  • Conduct on-the-spot polling with real time results.
  • Create your own activities and quizzes. Quizzes can be multiple choice, true/false, or open- ended.
  • Assign lessons as classwork or homework.
  • Choose whether you want an activity to be self-paced or teacher-paced. Perfect for individual, small group, or whole class instruction.
  • Provide immediate feedback to students.
  • View and email results of completed assignments by question, by activity, and by individual student.
Class Responder also includes free lessons for Grades 1-6."

 photo 1_zpsatpelpor.jpgI had made a 9 question review game by creating a FREE teacher account. Making the review game was SUPER easy. You cannot add images like you can in Kahoot, Quizizz and Plickers (NEW feature!!). However, I LOVE the option to ask open-ended questions that allow the students to type in their answer/response!   You can even set up a "quick poll" on the fly to use with verbal questions or questions you have on a flipchart or PowerPoint. Quizzes/review games can be set up to be self-paced or teacher paced. The teacher can show results to multiple choice and T/F questions in the form of a bar graph.

This is just another tool you can use in your classroom if you are looking for immediate feedback and/or a quick and fun assessment.

European Explorer Expeditions

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

 photo 1_zpsoahdnkfr.jpgToday 3rd graders created a digital project about the expeditions of the four European explorers: Christopher Columbus, Ponce de Leon, Jacques Cartier and Christopher Newport. We used ScribbleMaps to draw the pathway each explorer took on their first expedition. The students took a screenshot of their maps and then uploaded each map as a background on PowerPoint slides. Next, students added a little ship and used the action pathway animations to make the ship move from Europe to their destination in or near America. This lesson really challenged the students to locate specific places on a map as well as practice recalling where the explorers sailed. Check out one student's final project (all went well until Newport sailed to Richmond instead of Jamestown on the last slide. He was SO close! haha):


MaKey MaKey Money Lesson

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Today  ITRT, Mrs. Robinson, and I spent some time in a 2nd grade classroom using our new MaKey MaKeys for a lesson on counting coins. A MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. It allows you to turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. If you aren’t familiar with what exactly a MaKey MaKey is check out this short video.  
 After introducing the students to the parts and pieces of the MaKey MaKey we broke the students into smaller groups and worked together to assemble their contraptions. They had to attach a REAL penny, nickel, dime and quarter to the MaKey MaKey wires!


Students plugged their MaKey MaKey into a laptop and pulled up a Scratch program that our boss, Jon Wirsing, created:
   photo 1_zps9monllin.jpg

When students tapped a certain coin, the cash register on the Scratch program calculated the value of the coin. As students continued to tap the coins, the cash register’s total continued to increase. We challenged them to make the cash register amount match the amount we wrote on the board all while using the least amount of coins (taps) possible. After students gained insight about programming, we jumped onto to get them practicing! We only had four MaKey MaKeys to work with today and I sure wish we had more!

Comparing Fractions App Smash

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Recently I did a fun little project with two first grade classes (all in ONE room) about comparing fractions. This is a VERY hard skill for even upper elementary students but the use of digital technology really helped these first graders understand the concept. We did a mini app smash using SchoolKit Math and YakIt. First, we partnered the students up and let them play with the Fraction Kit within the SchoolKit Math app: 

From Skitch

This provided a wonderful visual representation of fraction pieces. Next, we asked them to select six different fraction bars and arrange them in groups of two. They had to compare three different sets of fractions. After the fraction pieces were arranged in pairs (with a little space in between) the students looked at each fraction and drew in either the greater than sign or less than sign to make the expression make sense. I was amazed how easily these first graders were able to do this! The fraction bars were very helpful. Once the three comparing signs were added, students took a screenshot of their screen. We imported this into the app, YakIt, and made the fraction pieces talk. Check it out:


2015-04-29 11.46.01 from Julie on Vimeo.

Comparing Fractions from Julie on Vimeo.