Thursday, February 26, 2015

FREE TeleStory App

I was just reading Knight-Time Technology's recent post about the FREE app, TeleStory. Within seconds, I downloaded the app and started playing!

TeleStory is made by Launchpad, the same company who produced Toontastic. They recently joined Google and now both apps are FREE. I have used Toontastic before but had never heard of TeleStory. I can't WAIT to try it out in a classroom soon.

What is TeleStory? Well, in my own words I would say it is a glorified video camera that has the ability to create an AWESOME movie with sound effects in just seconds. You can create news reports, music videos, intergalactic space battles and more. Here is a "little" example (the first part got cut off when I uploaded to both Vimeo and YouTube...give it a second and then you will get the idea!):

It reminds me a lot of the special effects you can do in a Google Hangout. I LOVE that you can make as many frames in your movie as your heart desires and have the ability to save your creations to the camera roll. In case you have blonde moments like me (hopefully not as many!), be sure to check the box before clicking the green and white check mark button to save to the camera roll:

How could you use this app in your classroom?

-News Reports on different content you are studying
-Meteorologists giving a weather report
-Fluency practice
-Different reading skills: summarizing, retelling, main idea, making inferences, story elements, book reviews
-Sing songs/raps about different content
-Creative Writing Prompts
-Make great anticipatory sets

Have you ever used TeleStory?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Appy Monday Linky: Phonemic Awareness

I'm linking up with Tech with Jen for Be Appy Monday!

Last Monday I helped present some fun and free apps for practicing Phonemic Awareness in the younger grades. My partner and I modeled several open ended app ideas such as:

1. Using Shadow Puppet to take a picture of a word and tap out each sound it makes
2. Using Chatterpix Kids to clap out syllables for a picture that "comes to life"
3. Using the Pixie app to find pictures and sounding/spelling out the phonemes on several slides and turning it into a mini movie*This is the only app that is not free but it is worth every cent!!*

However, we found the teachers really liked the "kill and drill" apps we suggested. Nothing wrong with that; however, I personally like the creation apps since they are better fit for differentiation and keeping students entertained (if they know how they work!) Yet, I know the younger kiddos need more assistance with those kinds of projects. Therefore, I wanted to share with you some easy yet effective apps our teachers ended up taking back to their classrooms:

App #1:

8 Great Word Patterns has several different leveled apps that are AWESOME. Many activities are included in each app. Here are the different word patterns that can be found in 8 Great Word Patterns 1:

The activity begins by a word being read aloud. Students have to choose letter from a bank of vowels (red) and consonants (yellow) to form the word:

When they arrange the letters correctly, the app prompts the students to trace the word accordingly:

Next, the word vanishes and the student is challenged to write the word without any help. They then have to self check to see if their writing matches the correct spelling:

App #2:

Phonics Awareness is a FREE app that demonstrates understanding of spoken words, syllables and sounds (what we call phonemes). The app focuses on:

-Distinguishing long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words
-Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (even consonant blends!)
-Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel and final sounds
-Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of phonemes

Multi-levels is GREAT for differentiation:

LOVE the caterpillar segmenting visual:

App #3:
Phonics Vowels focuses on phonemic spelling, beginning sounds, word family phonics, short vowel sounds and images with animations/interactions for each word. 30 different vowel sound combination groups teach the short vowels, long vowels and two vowel combos!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Leprechaun Yourself iPad Project: 24 hour FREEBIE

Last week one of my favorite kindergarten teachers set up a lesson with me for the beginning of March. She had a vision to have her kinders turn into leprechauns and complete a writing activity. The first thing that popped into my mind were those little elves from the "Elf Yourself" app. I wondered if there was an app like that for leprechauns...sure enough, there IS! We decided that we were going to have her students complete a pre-writing activity before I came in. They are going to fill in the template in my Leprechaun Yourself iPad Project pack that is below.

For our lesson, students are going to first use the FREE Leprechaun Yourself App to take their picture and then turn themselves into a leprechaun. This app automatically saves your picture to the Camera Roll.

Next, they are going to visit the app, Chatterpix Kids, and pull their leprechaun pictures from the Camera Roll. They will then record themselves reading their sentences they completed on the student recording sheet during the pre-writing activity.

Here is an example of one I put together:

Leprechaun Yourself from Julie on Vimeo.

If you teach older kids, you could have them write their own sentences to record. Just remember, Chatterpix Kid only allows a 30 second recording time. They could also use the app, YakIt.

This is a GREAT creative writing and fluency activity. Be sure to grab this project FREEBIE (Free for the next 24 hours) below:

The pack includes: teacher directions, recording sheet for K/1st graders, recording sheet for 2nd+ graders, and two different grading rubrics:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

First Grade Engineers at Work!

How would your life be different if you were an individual that used a  wheelchair? This was the question posed to Mrs. Taylor's first class after reading the story Sidewalk Patrol by Larry Brimner. The story focused on a woman that faced a difficult time using the sidewalk due to her disability. In the story, the children assisted the woman by removing obstacles from her path. Mrs. Taylor's class discussed how their day to day lives would be different if they were bound to a wheelchair. The majority of students found that playing on equipment during recess would be the most challenging. Mrs. Taylor reached out to her students' parents and asked for them to send in a picture of a local playground. The students looked at the pictures together and decided on one playground that they wanted to design a special piece of equipment for that a wheelchair bound child could utilize. After extensive research with the help of a 4th grade class, Mrs. Taylor's first graders divided into small groups, came up with an idea of a new piece of equipment, sketched a rough draft in their science journals and then created a commercial/explanation of their invention. Students had three choices for how they wanted to carry out their final project:

1. Use Pixie with a Voice Over
2. Use Google Drawing, export the drawing as a jpg and drag it to a PowerPoint slide to do a voice over
3. Use the iPad apps Doodle Buddy and Educreations

After viewing each commercial made by the students, please vote on which one you think would be the best addition to a playground. Voting will be open until 2/20! We appreciate your help! 

1- Monkey Bar Lift (Google Drawing & Powerpoint):

  Monkey Bar Lift from Julie on Vimeo. 2- Wheelchair Slide (Pixie):

  Wheelchair Slide from Julie on Vimeo. 3- Arm Stretcher (Pixie):

  Arm Stretcher from Julie on Vimeo. 4- The Automatic Swing (Doodle Buddy app & Educreations):

 5- Wheelchair Swing (Pixie):

  Wheelchair Swing from Julie on Vimeo. 6- Science Dude (Pixie):

  Science Dude from Julie on Vimeo. 7- The Mega Cart (Google Drawing & Powerpoint):

  Megacart from Julie on Vimeo. 8- Swing a Lee (Pixie)

  Swing-a-lee from Kelley Taylor on Vimeo.
Which piece of equipment would be the best addition to Springfield Park playground?

1- Monkey Bar Lift
2- Wheelchair Slide
3- Arm Stretcher
4- The Automatic Swing
5- Wheelchair Swing
6- Science Dude
7- The Mega Cart
8- Swing a Lee

Friday, February 13, 2015

Natural Disasters PBL: Please Vote!

One of my third grade teachers, Ms. Shannon Szakal, has a class who is working hard on creating structures that would keep them safe in the midst of a natural disaster.  She states, "My third graders never cease to amaze me, and only go to show that they're only limited by the boundaries we set for them."

Students researched, collaborated, planned, designed, and built structures based on what they learned about the storm that they chose (hurricane, tornado, tsunami, flood, earthquake).  Collaborative Google Docs were used to compile research, different programs of choice (Pixie, Google Drawing, iPad Drawing app) were available for groups to choose to sketch their structure, and Legos/other materials were used to actually construct their creation. Students then brought in an element of measurement as they measured the area, perimeter and height of their structure. Finally, in their groups, students chose a platform of their choice (Powerpoint, Movie Maker, ipad app) to explain their creation. It just so happened that all of the groups thought it would be best to convey their explanations by using an ipad so we ended up giving them the choice of using the following apps: Educreations, Screenchomp, Tellagami or Videolicious. It was an amazing process to watch, and I'm so proud of all of them (especially Ms. Szakal who carried this out!).  We'd love for you to check out the final products, visit their blog to leave a comment, and share for others to see!  We are so excited to hear what you have to say!

 Here's the Hurricane Structure:

 Seek Higher Ground in a Flood:

trim.9B19F265-FF64-4EE9-883C-8E53C6A2C790 from Julie on Vimeo.


IMG 0457 from Julie on Vimeo.


To leave a comment for these students to view, please click {HERE}.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

FREE Valentine's Day Would You Rather Powerpoint Game


For all my teacher friends/followers who NEED some extra, sugar burning activities tomorrow.... I have made you a FUN Valentine's Day Would You Rather Powerpoint Game (thank you Marianne Collins for requesting!) to get your kiddos up and moving. Have fun celebrating one of my favorite holidays with your class tomorrow:)

Click the image:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Guest Post @ Corkboard Connections

Be sure to hop on over to Laura Candler's blog to read my guest blog post about Parent-Made Literacy Centers! Click {HERE} to take you to the post. Enjoy!