Friday, January 23, 2015

Temperature Lesson

Today 3rd graders at one of the elementary schools I work at reviewed reading temperatures using thermometers. We originally wanted to use our county's GoTemps but unfortunately they weren't available this week. Instead, we had fun practicing and creating with the following tools... To warm up, all students joined a simple Today's Meet chat room and we projected the Google Presentation below on the Promethean board (feel free to use!).

Students responded to the questions by typing either a "C" for Celsius or a "F" for Fahrenheit.

Next, students opened a Powerpoint template that I had created (Thank you Graphics from the Pond for the graphics). I used screenshots of the thermometers that I manipulated in the Digital Manipulative site: Glencoe Math Manipulatives. Students filled in the Celsius and Fahrenheit degrees for the thermometers on five different slides. Next, they searched for pictures of APPROPRIATE clothing they would wear if it was that specific temperature outside. We ran out of time so most students added clothing to just the first couple of slides. Last, students recorded their voices "presenting" their work. Here is an example:

Temperature (1) from Julie on Vimeo.

 This was an hour lesson. If I were to do it again I would try and tack on an extra 15 minutes!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Technology Comprehension Center FREEBIE

Are you a primary teacher looking for nonfiction texts for your listening center? Then be sure to check out the National Geographic Young Explorer Digital Collection. Click the image below to take you to the site:
I have blogged about this site several times before because it is such an incredible resource! Your students have the option of listening to the article or reading the article themselves...HELLO DIFFERENTIATION! Welcome ELL children! Each month National Geographic adds another magazine to the FREE digital collection. Furthermore, they offer teacher resources to go along with each magazine.

I created a little accountability sheet to go along with the article, Family Lessons. It is such a cute article about elephants and their trunks. Please download and leave feedback if you can use this in your listening center!

Click on the image to take you to the FREEBIE:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Web 2.0 Tools: *Age Restrictions*

Did you know that many Web 2.0 tools are restricted to users 13 years and over or require parent permission? I knew of a few but more recently learned about MANY others. Here is a top 10 list of Web 2.0 tools with age restrictions:

1. Prezi-users MUST be 13 years or older to use this service. Users who are between the ages of 13-18 have to have parent permission:

2. Kidblog-teachers who set up an account must obtain permission from parents for users under the age of 13.

3. Blendspace-teachers must obtain parent permission for users under the age of 13.

4.Mixbook-users must be 13 years or older to use this service
5. Audioboom-users must be 13 years or older

6.Voicethread-users must be 13 years or older to create an account. If students use an account created by the teacher, they first must get parent permission

7. PowToon-Students can use PowToon with parent permission and teacher supervision

8. Poll Everywhere-Users under the age of 13 must have parent permission to use this site

9. Stoodle-users must be 13 years or older

10. TweenTribune-teachers must get parent permission to use this site in the classroom

That was just TEN out of hundreds of Web 2.0 tools that have restrictions. Be sure to double check the Terms of Use on all other sites!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Froylc: AMAZING iPad Platform

ATTENTION Techie Teacher followers! I am ready to leave my job and work for Frolyc. Just kidding...I LOVE my job; however, I think I have just fallen in love, again.

Have you heard of Frolyc? Here is a quick run down:

 Frolyc is a web-based platform for authoring Common Core aligned educational activities and publishing to this app in real-time. You can create reading, writing, drawing and answering activities (from your computer) in any subject area. Who can create & publish? Every educator, teacher, tutor or parent can author activities. Frolyc makes it simple for you to create activities relevant to your lessons for the day & publish in REAL-TIME to this app on your student iPads. What type of activities can you create? You can create simple to complex activities. You can create an activity that requires your students to draw in response to a question, write a paragraph in response to a question, write using scaffolding text that you provide, take quizzes, fill-out visual organizers for concept mapping, sequencing, cause & effect etc. and read/hear multimedia content including specific websites & videos. 

Here are a few screenshots from activities that have been created:

You can create simple activities within minutes! I took on the mission of creating a Weathering and Erosion lesson for some 3rd graders. These two terms get confusing and mixed up quite often in elementary school so I wanted to create an interactive activity centered around this topic. I was floored with how easy and intuitive this platform was for creating. My activity starts with {THIS} PDF created by the Virginia Department of Education. Then I embedded {THIS} Scholastic Study Jams video. Next, I embedded {THIS} Google doc I created. 

I finished up my lesson with a Cause and Effect activity:

A flow chart:

And Multiple Choice Questions (I LOVED how you could ask for more than one answer!!)

The students who helped test it out really enjoyed the platform:

I asked them to share their thoughts about Froylc and here were some of their responses:

"It was really cool! I like how is acts like another teacher in the room!"
"I actually learned something from this thing. I think I was interested the whole time."
"It was fun!"
"I liked the movie in the beginning."

Does Frolyc support multiple student profiles & differentiated learning? YES! You can create a classroom with student profiles. When you assign activities to students and publish to your iPad(s), your student profiles are automatically synced with the devices. Each student can interact with only the activities assigned to him or her! Is there a catalog of activities? Yes! Frolyc provides a catalog of activities by grade and common core standard authored by teachers. You may select and publish these pre-authored activities to this app from the Frolyc website. For very young readers, the app has built-in voice over for text. 

This app does require Wi-Fi to sync content published from After the sync-up phase, the app can operate without Wi-fi except for playing videos and voice-over. If you choose not to create a Frolyc account, you can still use this app. Frolyc will regularly publish common core standards aligned reading comprehension activities to this app for student/kid use. 

Privacy Disclosure: Frolyc believes in kids' privacy. This app has no social media links, no ads or in-app transactions and has an "educator access" area where they will provide a link for you to access Frolyc at

Check it out!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

1st Grade Math Word Problems Project

This past week I worked with a  first grade class that has been working with addition and subtraction word problems. We created animated Pixie word problems about a topic of their choice. Students had to duplicate their templates for each step of their word problem.  They did such an incredible job. Check out their creations:
  Taylor's WPs from Julie on Vimeo.

Do you have Pixie at your school? Many teachers think of it as just a drawing program but it is SO much more. You have the capability to create movies and animations by working with multiple templates.

Be sure to enter my giveaway that ends on Sunday by clicking {HERE}.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mentoring Minds+GIVEAWAY!!!

If you haven't checked out the company Mentoring Minds, head on over right now! This company sells products geared towards effective learning tools that help children think critically. They strive to be the industry leader in helping students increase their critical analysis and reasoning skills, develop their decision-making and problem solving abilities, and make more connections between learning and the real world. YES PLEASE!

When I first checked out their site I was immediately drawn to the "Our Research" tab at the top of the page. They have done extensive research in all academic areas and their products are COMMON CORE ALIGNED. Their product development team creates materials that address relevant issues in the classroom such as critical thinking, vocabulary development, the prevention of bullying, classroom management and special needs.

I have found that vocabulary development is a huge area of need with elementary students. Therefore, I would encourage the schools I work with to purchase:

Click the image to take you to this site.

I love how a series of questions based on Bloom's is included in the activities!

Most importantly, Mentoring Minds provides very affordable resources that have been created by seasoned teachers.

Click on the map below to find out the educational consultant for your state:

Head on over and check out their site!

Mentoring Minds is going to give one lucky Techie Teacher follower a Differentiated Instruction Flip Chart and I am going to throw in a $10.00 Google Play gift card! Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to WIN:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Loved that Lesson Linky: Google Tour Builder

Meg over at the The Teacher Studio is hosting her Loved that Lesson Linky again!  Be sure to click on the image above to find out what some other amazing teacher bloggers have been up to.

One lesson that I LOVED carrying out this week was one done with Google Tour Builder. Second grade had been studying Ancient Egypt so we decided to get the kids to make tours of the important parts of Egypt. We brainstormed a list together as a class and the students decided that they needed to include the following stops: Sahara Desert, Nile River, Pyramids, The Sphinx and something to represent the pharaohs. Google Tour Builder is SO wonderful because it allows you to add information at each stop as well as pictures and YouTube videos. You can add your own pictures or search the web right within Tour Builder. Also, you can add your OWN movies!

Your kids can really take virtual field trips any day and every day with Tour Builder. They are mesmerized by this!

Here is one of the tours that a student created. We only had an hour for this lesson and this SECOND GRADER did a fabulous job with his tour:

1 from Julie on Vimeo.

I can't wait to use Google Tour Builder this upcoming week in 4th grade as we explore the areas from the Revolutionary War and in 5th grade as we travel to the different capitals in the US!

You have to be signed into a Google account in order to create a tour. Do you teach at a GAFE (Google Apps for Education) school? If so, have you ever used Google Tour Builder? What kind of tours have your students created?

Are you a GAFE school but you have never tried Google Tour Builder? Are you interested? Here is an excellent tutorial by Richard Treves: