Saturday, March 29, 2014

iLearn with ChatterPix

What if you could make an organism come to life? Have you ever seen a math equation talk? Have you ever wanted to know what the main character of your novel was really thinking? Well look no further, ChatterPix makes learning come to life.  With ChatterPix you can take any picture and make any person or thing in the picture talk. You can record up to 30 seconds of audio. I used this last week with a primary source and my students copied down notes from the recording. They giggled, I giggled, they learned, I smiled. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Knowmia Got A Make Over: Introducing "Assignments"

Knowmia now has an assessment feature added to their site. Teachers can upload open response questions, multiple choice questions, or numerical questions(math friends) to a panel. Teachers can add their own Knowmia video or upload one from sites like YouTube. Teachers can give live feedback to student responses and students can respond back (this feature can be turned off). They even added a textbook component where you can upload an image from a textbook and let students know what page(s) to review. 

I appreciate the assessment feature added to the site, I like it better than BlendSpace. I do have some suggestions though, why not let teachers add links to other sites other than YouTube? Most districts block YouTube for teachers and students. Also, make adding images more feasible for teachers when creating their assignments. I like the image feature on your app which gives you a search engine to upload images immediately other than copying and pasting images from other resources. 

Overall I really like the feature, now my kids can work more as digital citizens and save some trees. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday

If you are using iPads in the class room a great tool to use is a QR creator and scanner for students. You create a QR code by copying and pasting a link to a site in a QR generator and the QR image appears. Give students 4 or 5 codes to scan as they do independent work. This helps our kinesthetic learns try something more hands on. 

Want to take it a step further? Create  a gallery walk activity where students have to scan codes on posters around your room. The codes would take them to a site which would then be linked to an assessment that you hand them for completion

Friday, January 3, 2014

Are You Ready for Your NextLesson?

I recently came across this resource when reviewing some of Edmodo's top apps of 2013. This resource is similar to Edmodo's Blendspace app, NextLesson lets teachers transfer a variety of material into one place. Teachers can upload video clips, documents, links, and more. This site does do something Blendspace does not, it tracks student movement on the site. For instance, students cannot move on to task two without completing task one. Like Blendspace teachers can use and edit other teachers projects or create their own project from scratch.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I came across this resource on Edmodo last week. This web resource looks like a comic strip. Teachers drag different types of content on to each panel. Teachers can post: images, video clips, power points, quizzes, and much more. I love this resource because students are not only engaged but they are showing understanding in multiple ways. The teacher can interact with the student directly on the site through messaging. I also like this resource because students can work at their own pace; they can pause a video or zoom in and out on a map.

How do I use BlendSpace?
I give students a packet that is interactive with my BlendSpace board. I use my own Show Me videos, power points, and quizzes to assess student learning.

This site is the future of learning in my classroom.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Please Be Seated

Be Seated is a free app available for the iPad that complies a list of names and even the faces of your students. This app relieves teachers of the headache of creating a seating chart by hand. You first design your classroom: pairs, rows, groups of four, etc. Once you import the names of your students Be Seated assigns them a desk. Be Seated will randomly seat your students and then you can move your students around as you see fit with the touch of your finger. Finally you can email the seating chart or print it out.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Show Me

Show Me: Egyptian Geography

Show Me is a resource used to make videos. As a History teacher I used Show Me when I am teaching students to identify countries, capitals, or geographic features on a map. I record myself labeling the map and I have students label their maps at home. Students access the video from home via Edmodo.

My Show Me goal:
 SWBAT Identify geographic features by creating their own Show Me video.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Taboo in the Classroom

For this review game you will need at least 2-4 students to participate. Each student gets a set of cards with a concept at the top, students give clues about the concept without saying the word or words underneath the concept. Students have 2 minutes to guess/give clues to concepts on their cards. Students love this game and I as a teacher love hearing my kids use prior knowledge when giving their own clues, it is a great way to check for understanding.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Need A Quick Review Game?

To review concepts from a previous lesson or from an entire chapter I like to play "Last Student Standing." I use the List Selector app to pick a random sample of students usually about 8-10. Those students come to the front of the class and from right to left they are asked a review question. If the student gets the correct answer they stay standing, if they get it incorrect they sit and then the student who is next in line answers their question. The game continues until there is one student left standing. I usually don't let it go more than 5 minutes if I am doing just a quick review. From high school to middle school, this is one of my kids favorites!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Become a Rubistar

Need a rubric fast? Rubistar has a ton of rubrics for teachers to use or add to for assessments in all major content areas. They also have rubrics in Health, Pys Ed, and Technology. Teachers can access the pre made rubrics, change the point value, or add details in each category. It's fast and easy to use!  


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Turn Your Basic Powerpoint Into Something Engaging

If you haven't started using Prezi you are missing out on a chance to connect new concepts and engage yours students.This user friendly site allows teachers and students to upload slides from Powerpoint or start from scratch. They have a number of  templates to choose from or you can create your own Prezi. Teachers can search for their content area on the site and use existing Prezi's. This site does a great job of saving every Prezi you create so that you can go back and reuse or recreate old Prezi's.  Prezi has an app for the iPad and is even compatible with Edmodo when uploading it to the site.

Trust me, you want to be using this! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Student News

Fridays are "Student News Day" in my classroom! Carl Azuz, the host of Student News, composes a  variety of national and international news stories for students. Each day a 10 minute clip is available for teachers to stream in the classroom. Carl breaks down difficult concepts like the "fiscal cliff" in terms that students can understand. Student News also does a great job of keeping the kids in the loop about days of observance around the world. The site offers resources for teachers like quizzes and maps for each news report.

What are my students doing while Student News is playing?

"3-2-1" My students are writing down three facts they hear in the clip, 2 locations Carl mentions, and they are creating 1 quiz question about the news report. At the end of the clip students will switch quiz questions with another student, who is then responsible for answering the question correctly.


"Who? What? Where? Why?" My students choose one news story to answer Who? What? Where? Why? during the news report.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Teaching Content via Skype

For the last three years I have used Skype to connect with other classrooms around the globe. I have found students to be very engaged during Skype sessions because for most of them this is a new experience. Each of these activities requires excellent classroom management from the teacher. Students must be familiar with the appropriate use of Skype in the classroom, this is something that partnering teachers should discuss before attempting these activities. The following activities go beyond the typical "guest speaker" Skype session. 

Here are some active approaches to Skype in the classroom:

1:1 Activities (One iPad or Computer for every student)
Reading buddies: Students on both sides of the computer take turns reading passages of the same book to one another. 
Example: Student 1 reads while Student 2 follows along, then they switch. Students have the same guided reading questions and answer the questions together.

 Study buddies: Students are given the same review sheet for an upcoming test on the same content. 
Example: Students can quiz each other via the web and can use their class resources to check their answers if they get stuck.

Whiteboards: Students are given the same worksheet, they show work, draw political cartoons, or share other answers using their whiteboards. 
 Example:  Students can complete the same math problems over the web while checking each other's work.

Speed Debating-  Students are given a topic from History or a character from the same book. Example: Students hold a "one on one" timed debate, they are instructed to complete a writing activity based on their Skype partners opinion. When time is up, students on one side of the web switch seats and begin a new debate with a different Skype partner. 

Jigsaw Activity- Students read a piece of the same article and come together to talk about the main idea.
Example: Students on both sides of the web are put into pairs with one computer or iPad for each pair (making a group of four). Students from Class A read the beginning of the article while students from Class B read the end of the same article. Students then discuss the article as a whole and complete a common assessment.

Whole Group Activities
Mystery Skyper- Connect with teachers across the globe and have them "Skype in" to your class giving clues as to what area they are calling from. 
Example: Each class gives 3-4 clues about their city, state, or country. Each class ends the call and has 5 minutes to discuss  their 3 guesses. Students can even keep track of each city, state, or country on a map.

Competition- Host a competition with another school in your locally, nationally, or internationally. 
Example: Math Tournament, History Bowl, etc.

Formal Debate- Hold a formal debate via the web.

Language Speaker -Language teachers can connect with a guest speaker who will fluently speak to students (this is also great for ASL classes.)
Example: Language Speaker tells a story while students answer questions about the main ideas.