Sunday, December 21, 2014

All I Want for Christmas is..a TpT Gift Certificate

In case you don't already know, TpT has gift certificates available in various amounts and they make a great gift!

(You can click on the pic to purchase one on TpT - Make sure you are logged in or you won't be able to see it)

Looking for last minute Christmas gifts?? TpT Gift Certificates are quick and easy! No wrapping involved! :)

And guess what? Here's your chance to win one!

A group of lovely ladies from Teachers Pay Teachers is getting together now in the last rush before Christmas to give away a bunch of $10 TPT gift cards.  Laura Candler of Corkboard Connections is leading a linky party of everyone who is participating in the giveaway. 

I'm giving away a $10 TpT Gift Certificate to ONE lucky winner!
Contest will end at midnight on December 23rd and the LUCKY winner will receive their gift card on December 24th!

Enter below and GOOD LUCK!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

But wait! There's may more chances for you to win! Be sure and visit all of these other awesome bloggers who are giving one away also!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Elf Yourself Digital Descriptive Writing Project

snapshot (7)Today in 3rd grader we practiced descriptive writing in a festive way! We used the website Cameroid and chose the "Elf" scene. Students snapped their picture and downloaded it to their desktop. Next, we used a shared collaborative Google presentation in which each student was assigned a specific slide. They dragged their picture from their desktop onto their assigned slide and then started writing a short paragraph about the prompt: "If I was an elf....". The font of their paragraph defaulted to the color red. If When they used a descriptive word, they got to change that word to the color green. This was a great visual representation of descriptive writing! Our original plan was to have the kids use MoveNote to record themselves reading their paragraph; however, MoveNote was timing out on us! We decided to do a quick display by having one child introduce all of the slides. Tomorrow it will be shown on the school's morning announcements. Check it out!

  Here is the presentation:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Glencoe Virtual Math Manipulatives Site: *AMAZING*

If you have not heard of McGraw Hill's Glencoe Virtual Manipulatives site, then stop what you are doing and go check it out {HERE}. Pre-K through 8th grade have manipulatives readily available with one click. Game boards, story boards, work mats, animated dice, animated spinners and much more are housed in this one site.

Create word problems:

Change up your spinners for probability:

Practice filling in a blank calendar:

Practice Place Value:

Practice measuring lines with a digital protractor:

Play different math games:

I could keep going on and on! What a great tool to incorporate in your math centers or even whole group demonstrations :)

Our Virginia SOL tests have TEI (Technology Enhanced Items) questions that involve students manipulating digital tools when answering the increased rigor questions. This site would be FABULOUS practice to help them become better equipped to work with these type of problems!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

VSTE Conference in VA Beach: TONS of great techie ideas!

This past Sunday and Monday several Elementary ITRT’s traveled to Virginia Beach to attend the 2014 Virginia Society for Technology in Education’s Annual Conference.

While there participants were given the opportunity to sit in on various concurrent sessions, listen to awesome keynote speakers, visit various exhibits, see student work from around the state and collaborate with other teachers from numerous other counties. We even got to see some Henrico County students be recognized for their awesome work this past year!

We are excited about some of the new things we learned and can’t wait to get into the classrooms and share these things with our teachers! Here are a few highlights of what we saw:

Google Tour Builder Teachers from Fairfax County Public Schools had their students read the book Around the World in Eighty Days. After completing the book they created a Google Tour based on the cities that Phileas Fogg visited. The students inserted images using Encyclopedia Britannica Image Gallery and added facts about each location. Lastly the presenters shared Jerome Burg’s seminal and evolving collection of Google Earth Literature Trips. These ready to go lessons incorporate various picture books and novels that the students read prior to creating their Google Tour.

Google Classroom: Join the Paperless Revolution Most of your ITRT’s have been pushing Google Drive this year! In August, Google recently unveiled Google Classroom. An interactive Learning Management System that allows you create a virtual classroom, have your student join, add assignments and announcements and collaborate with your students. Contact your ITRT if you’d like help setting up your own Google Classroom.

15 + Tech Tools You Can Use Next Week Nikki Jones, Prince William County, presented on 15 awesome resources that are ready for implementation in your classrooms immediately! Check our her handout from the session!

Powerful Primary Projects Combine Creativity and Content This session focused on some of the new features of Pixie and how they have implemented Pixie in Hanover County classrooms. Jennifer Hicks, an elementary ITRT, shared her Pixie wiki with us. It has some awesome lesson ideas.

Google Apps for Education Add-Ons Henrico County’s very own Jon Wirsing presented at the VSTE conference. He shared some awesome features found within Google. Since there is a big push for Google this year he showcased some samples from HCPS classrooms and discussed the various add-on featured within Google Drive. Some of these included: Awesome Table, Flubaroo, Doctopus, Goobric, DocApender, Formmule, Autocrat, Google Moderator-polls based on popularity, Cultural Institute: art projects, historical moments and Google Keep. jon

X Marks The Spot: Digging Up Tech Treasures This session sent participants on a scavenger hunt to locate various QR codes. Each code was linked to a digital resource such as Kahoot!, Educreations, Symbaloo, Poll Everywhere and Socrative. Symbaloo quickly became our favorite! This free resource functions much like PortaPortal but is more visually appealing to the eyes! It allows your to create bookmark “tiles” that link to various resources! Capture

Lastly, she showcased the features of Educreations. HCPS already has Educreations loaded onto our county iPads but we were most impressed with Educreations on the computers! If you haven’t had a chance to give it a try get with your ITRT!

Makey Makey MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. It allows student to turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It's a simple invention kit for beginners and experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between. Our ITRT’s were excited when they were able to make a banana piano! There are tons of MakeyMakey resources available on the internet. The kits run about $50 and students are able to create all sorts of projects and inventions. Check out this video explaining MakeyMakey. mattjg

Meaningful Technology for Our Youngest Learners This session was led by a kindergarten teacher, Jenn Orr, who shared some wonderful resources about ways to include technology in the classroom for younger learners. Some great websites to visit for read aloud books besides Raz-Kids and Tumblebooks include: StorylineOnline, Unite for Literacy and Toon Book Reader. Toon Book Reader reads aloud graphic novels as it highlights the text. The books can be read in multiple languages...great for your ELL students! Also, be sure to check out all of the fun math games found on Illuminations.

Bitstrip Comics: Earth, Moon, Sun and Planets

Today I worked with a 4th grade class and tried out a comic making site called, Bitstrip. We wanted the students to make comics that included information and vocabulary about Space, Earth, Moon and/or Sun. We only had an hour to learn the tool and get to work! It was so fun to see the kids choose different backgrounds, characters and props to make their comic come to life. Bitstrip was super easy to use and we didn't set up an account. The kids took a screenshot of their final creations and embedded their comics into a shared Google presentation that you can check out below:

Friday, December 5, 2014

Videolicious and CoSketch


Today two of my coworkers came to one of my elementary schools today to do a couple of lessons with me. We worked in a first grade classroom using the iPads and then in a second grade classroom using the laptops.

In a first grade class we had a blast doing an app smash on the iPads! The students used two different apps to create videos on wants vs. needs. The first app that they used to make their videos was Doodle Buddy. This is a great picture making app that the students used to make the title slide for their video. They wrote their title and then stamped a picture of a want and a picture of a need. Once the students had their title slide they saved it to the camera roll, and were ready to start snapping some pictures. They searched the classrooms for 5-6 examples of wants and needs. When they found an example that they liked they took a picture. We had all of the pieces, so now the students just needed to make their videos! To put the pictures and title slide together the students used Videolicious. This is an amazing app! It takes you through step by step instructions to record an introduction, import pictures, and record a voiceover. When you open the app it allows you to select the pictures in the order that you would like to use them in the video. Once the pictures have been selected the students were prompted by the app to begin their video. They recorded a quick introduction and then selected the pictures they wanted to show up as they continued to speak for the voiceover. The students did an AMAZING job navigating through the app. *All students in the videos of this post were allowed to be photographed*

                                                                                                                              Group 1:
Group 2: Group 3: Group 4: Group 5: Group 6: Group 7: Group 8: Group 9:

In 2nd grade we did a fun project centered on habitats. Students went to the site, Habitat Maker, and chose a habitat to create. They took a screenshot of their final product and saved it to their desktop. Next, students collaborated in pairs from their individual computers and hopped on a CoSketch board that was shared with a partner. CoSketch is an online collaborative board where students can add pictures, draw, and even communicate through a chat feature. The best part about this site is that teachers don’t even need to make accounts! They uploaded the picture of their habitat and worked together to label their pictures in real time using their habitat vocabulary: prey, predator, living, nonliving, arctic, desert, grasslands, forest, wet, rainy, snowy, cold, warm, etc. Click on the thumbnails below to see their final products:

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