Thursday, September 27, 2012

My SMART Board Presentation

Today I am sharing some of the SMART Board Tutorials that I created for my session at the Ripon Summer Tech Academy.  While the majority of my session covered the new features in SMART Notebook 11, I also presented on some of the tried and true techniques my students love to participate in. 

I put these techniques in the form of video tutorials.  My goal was to help teachers have a quick way to reference some of the different techniques that I use to create pages for my SMART board lessons.

Click and Reveal

Erase and Reveal

Text Splitter

Hidden Answers

Google Form

I hope you are able to use these videos to make some great interactive activities for your students.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thinglink and Student Blogs

After studying maps and globes in social studies, our students wrote new blog posts telling about places they have visited in Wisconsin and the U.S.  We also used the site Thinglink to create an interactive map to showcase those places.  I just wrote about Thinglink earlier this week.  Also, I added our project to this Google Presentation.  Check out all of the ways to use Thinglink.

If you have a minute please comment on a student blog post.  It means so much to our students to get comments.

If you would like to have your students write comments that would be really special.

Thanks for supporting our student blogs!  Here is the URL:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My First Thinglink Interactive

Thinglink is a neat tool for making any image interactive and informative.
Here is a Thinglink I created to showcase some of the ways we are using technology. Just hover over the little people icons and check out our links.  If you click on the people icon, it will take you to the webpage.  

I highly recommend giving Thinglink a try! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Using an iPad to Collect Information

This summer I took my son, Robert to get his braces.  In order to collect some general information from Robert, the receptionist handed him an iPad with a Google Form that was right on the home screen.  Of course I was instantly mesmerized with the idea of using a Google Form on an iPad.  It wasn't until just this weekend that I found out how the orthodontist office was able to do this neat little trick.

I was browsing through (my favorite curation site) when I came across a Snapguide (a site used to make how-to slide shows). Click here to see the Snapguide about how-to put a Google Form onto your iPad's homescreen.

This would be a nice way for students to create interview questions and then record the interview  on the iPad.  It could also be used to conduct surveys for data collection.  If I had a class set of iPads, I could have students take a quiz on the iPad.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Canned Responses in Gmail

This week I am going to share some tutorials that have helped me to be more efficient and productive at work.  I have also started to save my tutorials on a Google Site.  Click here to view my tutorials.

Would you like to know how to make Canned Responses in Gmail?  If so, watch the video below:

Thanks for watching!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Change Your Gmail Font

This week I am going to share some tutorials that have helped me to be more efficient and productive at work.  I have also started to save my tutorials on a Google Site.  Click here to view my tutorials.

Would you like to know how to change the default font in your Gmail?  If so, watch the video below:

Thanks for watching.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Save a File Shared with You to Google Drive

This week I am going to share some tutorials that have helped me to be more efficient and productive at work.  I have also started to save my tutorials on a Google Site.  Click here to view my tutorials.

Would you like to learn how to save a file, that has been shared with you, to your Google Drive?  If so, watch the video below:

Thanks for watching!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dartboard Student Selector

Here is yet another way to select students one at a time (Hey, variety is the spice of life!).  It is called Dartboard Student Selector from Barry Fun English.

 First you enter your class and students, then you generate the spinning dart board.  Next you click on a dart and throw it.  The dart will select a student.  

There are other great tools available from Barry Fun English.
They include a score board, random student selector, stop watch and others.  

This site also offers worksheets, games, vocabulary practice, flashcards and other resources.  Check it out!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Updates for Evernote, Kidblog, and Prezi

One of the things I embrace with technology is the fact that it is ever changing.  Within the past few months three of the sites that I use frequently have had updates.

#1 Evernote - This is one of my favorite apps / web sites for personal organization.  Read about the newest enhancements here. The biggest change is in sharing and permission options.  Read my past blogpost about Evernote here.

#2 Kidblog - In my opinion, the best blogging platform for classrooms on the Internet.  Kidblog has made some major changes and I'm loving what I see.  Read about the 14 newest features by clicking here.  Some of my favorites are the Private Comments feature, the new Navigation Bar, and the Blogroll Widget.

#3 Prezi - I had heard about Prezi's updates when I read this post just last week.  The 3D Background sounded neat.  Then I was reading Kevin Hodgson's fantastic blog, Kevin's Meandering Mind,  in which Kevin shared some of his students Six Word Summer Memoirs in the form of a Prezi.
Check out the cool 3D background!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Pleasant Day Thanks to Class Dojo

Yesterday I introduced our students to Class Dojo.  I showed them how it works and how they could either be awarded points or lose points for following the classroom rules.  
This is a pretend class, not our class.

Then, throughout the day I walked around with Class Dojo loaded on our iPad through a browser.  I would often award the whole class for good behavior or take away points from individuals for not following the rules.  

The students really responded to knowing that I was watching their behavior.  We barely had anyone break the rules. 

At the end of the day I brought up our whole class results which looked like this.  We had a discussion about how we did as a whole group.

Then I emailed each student their personal results which looked like this.

Unfortunately, the student emails didn't go through, so I'm thinking it is in the Quarantine Summary for Spam.  

This site took only a short time to set up and I found it so easy to use.  I won't be using Class Dojo all day every day, but I will for sure consider it a tool to use often for classroom management.

I highly recommend giving Class Dojo a try.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Remembering 9/11

Today I am going to talk to our class about 9/11.  Here are a few resources I plan to use:

  1. BrainPOP video- Tim and Moby do a great job explaining what happened on 9/11.  
  2. Interview questions to do the night before 9/11  From What the Teacher Wants
  3. How Do You Feel About 9/11?  Worksheet
  4. Proud to be an American Worksheet
  5. More worksheets from Teacher's Planet
Do you have some appropriate videos, slideshows or resources for 9/11?  Please share if you do.

Please Help Comment on Our Student Blogs

Have you ever noticed that most blogs are written by adults?  I read A LOT of blogs everyday, but rarely do I come across blogs written by younger students.  Our students want to have a voice and to be able to connect with others from around the globe.  So, we have begun student blogs and I'm hoping to convince you to write a comment on some of our students' blog posts.

Our students are so excited to have written their first blog posts. We  are currently studying Common Ground in our Theme Readers in reading class.  So we wrote our first blog posts about our interests and background.  What our students are looking for is a comment to see if people share some similar interests (Common Ground) with  them.

Leaving a comment is very easy to do and only takes a few minutes.  

Here is what a blogpost looks like:
Below the blog post is a place to leave a comment.  It looks like this:

To make sure that I protect our students' privacy, all students have created a pseudonym and avatar to represent themselves.  Also, all comments must be approved by me, the administrator of the blog, before they can appear.

PLEASE help out my students by taking a moment to leave a comment on a blog.  If you are a teacher, perhaps you could have your students leave comments on our blogs. This makes for an authentic writing assignment.  It would mean so much to our students and would show them that they do have a voice and can connect with others through blogging.  (Make sure to include your location so that we know where you are from)

Click here to see our blog posts.  If you are a teacher and would like to have your students leave comments on our blogs, just share this link with your students:  My students and I would be truly grateful for your participation.

We are anxiously awaiting and hopeful that we will hear from you soon.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Curriculumbits Interactives offers free online interactive multimedia e-learning resources.  There are games, quizzes, animations and videos in a variety of subjects.

After spending some time searching the site I bookmarked several interactives that will be useful for this year.  Here are  some I particularly liked:

#1 - Microbes and Disease

#2 - Making a Speech

#3 - Element or Compound?

#4 - The Amazing Apostrophes

I highly recommend giving a look.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Random Name Generator

Check out this Random Name Generator Tool!  Here are some of the features:
First create a group and enter your students' names-

Notice the icons.  Let me tell you about them.
When you click on the desk icon under tools it will create a printable desk arrangement.

When you click on the question mark icon a chalkboard appears that will display one name at a time.

Clicking on the side arrows moves back and forth through the list of students in random order.

Clicking on the group of people icon will allow you to create groups.  You choose how many are in a group.

Clicking on the frame icon will let you import pictures to go with your student names.

This site requires a username and password.  I can't wait to use this with our students.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My iPad is a Digital Photo Frame

I own a digital photo frame, but it has been gathering dust on a shelf.  I find the process a bit time consuming.  First I have to plug in the frame.  Then get pictures onto a jump drive and then adjust settings to make the pictures all vertical or all horizontal.  It can take a while.

Well, I found a better way!  Did you know your iPad can be used as a digital photo display?  It will play a slideshow of all the pictures in your photo gallery or an album.
To do this just turn your iPad on and touch the slideshow icon in the bottom right corner.
See the icon? 

When you push the icon your slideshow will start.  

You can customize the settings of your slideshow.

You can choose the transition of dissolve or origami.  You can decide how long you would like each photo to show: 2, 3, 5, 10, or 20 seconds.  There is also the option for zooming in on faces and shuffle.  Finally you can play the photos in an album rather than all of the photos in your gallery.

I plan to use my iPad as a digital photo frame of pictures from our classroom.  Since I don't currently have pictures of our students yet, I have saved some motivational photos to start the school year.  I plan to take pictures of our students and run a slide show each day.

Have fun making your own slideshow or, better yet, let your students make a slideshow!