Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Teacher Talk Tuesday

I'm linking up with What the Teacher Wants and Apples and ABC's for Teacher Talk Tuesday on instagram.  Here is the picture I uploaded of my school day.

I can't wait to search instagram and view what other teachers are doing in their classrooms today.  If you have instagram search the hashtag #teachertalktuesday and you can view other teacher's pictures or add your own.  Have fun!!

Friday, April 12, 2013


I feel like my room is a bit of a ZOO!  Literally, we have bullfrog tadpoles, mealworms, and three Dwarf Frogs (on loan).  The kids are eating it up though and they love to observe all of our "babies".  That is what they have been calling the tadpoles and mealworms :).

My kids really LOVE using popplet.  They created some frog projects and since we are also studying South Africa, some of them have asked if we can start new popplets this next week to show off our research.  We are still working on saving and adding a picture though.  This is hard for most of my kids y'all!  We also created a popplet on Needs and Wants for our Social Studies unit of study.

I also have a Third Grade tutoring group that meets on Thursday afternoons.  We have read a few nonfiction books on insects and one class has crickets in their room.  The kids decided they wanted to make their own popplet on insect facts that we read.  Here are a few of them :).  They are pros at adding the picture, although some of the boys wanted to add pictures of people covered in insects.  They were fascinated by that for some reason.

Here is a short video tutorial to show you how you can introduce and use popplet in your classroom.  The students really do LOVE creating project presentations using popplet.

*NOTE - The third graders are still working on their popplets in tutorials, so they are not done yet :).

Thursday, March 28, 2013


So looking at my PLN, I noticed that a lot of the teachers that I follow create video tutorials and post them to their blog.  Here are two that I recently watched and LOVED.

Anybody who knows me knows that I LOVE clipart.  The first video tutorial from Ashley Hughes shows how to unsquish a background.  Super simple but something that I didn't know how to do.  The next one is from Strive to Sparkle and it's about Mentor Mob.  I haven't gotten my Mentor Mob set up just yet but I used hers to watch a few youtube videos with my kids.  I loved that I didn't have to go to youtube and see all the advertisements, I could go straight to the video that I needed.  I will definitely be using this asap.

These video tutorials got me thinking.  If I could watch them from the comfort of my home after my sweet boys had gone to sleep, wouldn't my fellow Sherwood teachers like to do the same thing.  So I created my first screenr.  It was super easy but I have to tell you I am a perfectionist, so I ended up deleting four screen casts before I found the one that I was happy with.  Here is the finished project, I did the video tutorial on Socrative.

I had some pretty good feedback from some teachers that found it helpful.  Next week I'm planning to do a video tutorial on popplet.  This is my students new favorite thing.  We are working on the life cycle of the frog and they wanted to create a popplet.  They LOVE the drawing feature and since we don't have iPads just yet, they completed this popplet on the activboard using the activpen and the onscreen keyboard.

It's been a neat experience to dig into my PLN a little more.  I have learned how to use screenr and popplet just recently because of my wonderful PLN.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tools Inventory

My first graders enjoy using several different tools.  We are constantly using our activboard, net-books, and IPods.  I love having a techy classroom and students that even teach me new things.

We love using the activboard as a small group station.  Since I just recently returned from maternity leave, I'm teaching them to record their work and then use it as a tutorial for other students.  We haven't gotten very far with this but I know it will be helpful once we've had more practice with it. 

On the net-books, we use learning.com, Odyssey, Pebble-Go, and Brain Pop Jr.  The kids are able to use both Pebble-Go and Brain Pop Jr. to research new topics and revisit old topics of study.  Last week they found on Pebble-Go where it talked about Chinese new year which follows with our study of Asia.

On the IPods, the kids love to record themselves reading and then listen back to themselves to practice their fluency and voice.  They also record themselves for others to listen to in the listening station.  It's fun to see their growth in reading.  They also have several apps that they love.  I recently started using Socrative.  It allows me to add quizzes or single questions and the kids can respond instantly.  I have used it in my guided reading group and the kids respond to comprehension type questions.

This year unfortunately I have a very different class and have been unable to use Edmodo as much as I have in the past.  I have been working with the kids to respond appropriately and it has taken longer then I have expected.  Last year, I used Edmodo a lot and our class connected with another teacher's class.  The students created reading groups and they discussed books in a book club type setting.  I hope to get to that point with my current class in the next month.

There are also some tools that I would LOVE to use but don't have the right technology to implement them.  I know that my firsties would love to use QR codes but the IPods that I currently have in my classroom do not have attached cameras.  I would love to implement sight word and math fact hunts using QR codes.  My students have been studying Japan as part of our international study and it would be neat to have them create QR codes that show off their research.

I love how technology is changing the way we teach each year.