Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Silly Santa!

Mrs. Tieszen's first graders were enjoying this hilarious little video when I was in her classroom at Orchard today. It's so funny, I thought I needed to share. Enjoy! :)

Displaying a Visual of Apps

In my kindergarten classroom, I always printed large reproductions of app icons and attached these to my magnetic whiteboard or put into a pocket chart to give students a visual of what apps I wanted them working on at a certain time. I really liked putting them on the magnetic board, so I could also write beside the app any specific instructions (i.e. how many times to that app, what letters or numbers to work on, etc). When I was in Mrs. Elenbaas' room, I noticed she does something similar. It's so simple and easy ... she keeps the apps attached to the top of her whiteboard and drags them onto the main board as she is instructing kids which app to use.

Extract Pages from a PDF to Share with Your Students

I just figured out how to use a tool called Sejda PDF to extract pages from a PDF and share out just those pages with my students. This is cool if you have something from Teachers Pay Teachers - I'm thinking about Deanna Jump's awesome units - that have stories in them, and you just want to share the story (not the whole unit) with your students. Connect Sejda PDF to your Google Drive, or go directly to their website and upload the PDF, then you can extract just the pages you want.
Gingerbread Man Math and Literacy Fun

Monday, December 19, 2016

Top 10 Reasons to Use Seesaw

Check this out - the Top 10 Reasons to Use Seesaw as determined by Seesaw Ambassadors. You can also find a list of 100 Ways to Use Seesaw HERE. Happy Seesaw-ing, my friends!

Google Santa Tracker

Awesome activities to get you through these last few days before winter break! Check it out at santatracker.google.com/village.html.

12 Snow Commandments

Teachers ... you may need these today! Lots of snow out there - stay warm and dry, friends!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas Tree Treat Freebie

Christmas Tree Graphing Activity FREEBIE
This fun graphing activity from Babbling Abby would work well with the Seesaw text label or drawing tools. You'll need some Little Debbie Christmas Tree Brownies for this graph (I found some at Target). Upload a screenshot of the pages and have students use the drawing tool to color the tree, adding ornaments to match the candy ornaments on their brownie. They can then use the text label or drawing tool to complete the graph and answer the questions. Yummy learning ensues!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Awesome 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Freebie from Jen Jones

Just saw this excellent close reading freebie from Hello Jen Jones about the Christmas poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Could be used together in K-2 classrooms, or independently for older students. Add the poem and writing pieces to Seesaw and let students use the drawing tool or text label tool to complete the work digitally. Click the image below to download the freebie.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Make a Scene Christmas App

Today in 1st grade we used the app Make a Scene: Christmas paired with Seesaw tools to document student learning. The kids loved using this engaging app, and incorporating math and literacy concepts with this app made our learning time together very fun. Enjoy these examples from Mrs. Johnson's 1st grade!

Christmas Breakout Edu for Primary

A huge thanks to Ms. Wanner for letting me cause chaos in her 2nd grade classroom with a fun Christmas Breakout Edu activity! Instead of a traditional locked Breakout box, I brought in a wrapped present and told students that they needed to solve clues in order to open the box.

FYI ... Christmas Lights & Mimios Don't Mix!

Just a friendly note ... if you have a Mimio interactive projector, don't string Christmas lights near the board you project to. The interactivity won't work near the lights (same is true for strong magnets). Here are a couple of examples from classrooms - thanks to Amber Eaton, a BPS tech, for discovering and sharing this info. :)

Inline image 1 Inline image 2

Monday, December 12, 2016

Another Great Christmas Freebie to Use with Seesaw Text Label Tool

Here is another awesome Christmas-themed freebie from Teachers Pay Teachers that would pair well with the drawing tool in Seesaw. I especially love the idea of having students complete this page using the Seesaw text label tools, and then illustrate using the drawing tool. Click the images to download this freebie from Ms. Makinson.

Weekly Tech-y Newsletter

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Anchor Charts in Seesaw

Another great idea from Mrs. Risser's 1st grade ... she takes photos of anchor charts, graphic organizers and interactive writing that they've done in class, then uploads to Seesaw as a resource for students to use while writing. She puts them in folders and teaches students to look in these folders for resources. What a great tool to help students become independent writers!

Label items in your classroom using Seesaw!

I love this idea from Mrs. Risser - let students take photos of objects in your classroom and then use the text labeling tool in Seesaw to label the objects. Genius! Read more about the text labeling tool HERE.

Elf or Santa Letters Using Seesaw Text Labels

Earlier this week I wrote about using the new text labeling tool in Seesaw to give students the opportunity to practice labeling Christmas-themed characters like Santa or reindeer. You can read that post HERE. I just discovered this adorable Santa List Writing page from the blog Recipe for Teaching and thought this would be a great activity to upload to Seesaw and use the text label tool to complete (and microphone to record)! You can download the FREE Santa writing paper on the blog Recipe for Teaching. She also has an Elf Writing Letter that you can download for free from her Teachers Pay Teachers store. I'd love to see other ways you are using this new tool - add your ideas in the comments below!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

BPS Teachers - get the Word Wonderland App for FREE!

Billings Schools K-2 teachers, you have an opportunity to get the Word Wonderland app from McGraw-Hill for free. This looks like an excellent app for reading and phonics skills in the primary classroom. Deana Elder purchased licenses for this app while it was listed as FREE, so if you'd like it installed on your classroom iPads, please submit a Help Ticket to Deana and ask her to install it on your iPads.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Weekly Tech-y Newsletter!

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Use the NEW Labeling Tool in Seesaw to Label Santa & Reindeer!

Seesaw has a brand-new feature that allows students to add text labels to drawings and images they upload to their journals. You can read more about this feature and how it works HERE. I think a really fun way to allow students an opportunity to practice using this feature is to label Christmas-themed characters, like Santa or Rudolph.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Seesaw Has a Label Tool

This is amazing! Seesaw has added a label tool. Students can now type and add labels to images that they post into Seesaw. (Either by using the photo tool or uploading from the iPad's camera roll). Labels can also be added into the drawing tool. In iOS, students can use the record while draw tool to record their thinking while labeling. An arrow pointer tool has been added, so students can point out certain objects or words while they're recording. Seesaw just keeps adding more awesome ways for students to record and share their thinking and learning! Check out @Seesaw on Twitter for lots of info, tutorials and ideas, or CLICK HERE to read more about the labeling tool. You can find info on all Seesaw 4.5 updates HERE.
I'd love to see examples of how you use these new tools in your classrooms! Add your ideas to the comments or email me at piltzt@billingsschools.org. Happy Seesaw-ing, friends!

Gingerbread App & Writing Page

This free app was one of my kindergartners' absolute favorites. They get to add flour, eggs, milk, and ginger into a bowl, mix into dough, roll it out, cut it into shapes and decorate their cookies. It's great for fine motor and creativity ... but can also become an easy "play time" app if not monitored. However, my awesome TILT teachers brainstormed some fun ideas on using this app in a way that is both fun and educational.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Free Christmas Themed Online Timers!

Spice up your winter activities with these super fun, free online timers that Julie Tallman discovered. Visit www.online-stopwatch.com/christmas/ where you’ll find an Elf Race, Snowman Race & Growing Trees timer, as well as a Christmas countdown. Super fun way to moderate and time activities in your classroom during the holidays.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

McGraw-Hill Math Apps are FREE!

I don't know how long these freebies will last, so check them out while you can! Most of these excellent math apps are usually priced around $1.99, but are listed as FREE on the App Store now. I have used several including Top It, Monster Squeeze and Baseball Multiplication, and they are all great. Click the image below to visit the develop page on the App Store and check them out!

Reindeer Facts in Seesaw!

I loved working with kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders at Orchard today to learn facts about reindeer and share what they learned using Seesaw! To make our adorable reindeer, we used directed drawing directions that I found on the blog Happy Kids, Busy Mom. You can print the directions HERE. Instead of drawing on paper, we used the Drawing tool in Seesaw to complete these projects, then add sentences and our voice.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Weekly Tech-y News!

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Hand Turkey ChatterPix!

I adore this super simple but fun ChatterPix Kids idea from Mrs. Elenbaas' kindergarten. She had her students draw and color handprint turkeys, then take photos and load into the FREE app ChatterPix Kids to make them talk and tell what the student is grateful for. Some added fun stickers and fall-themed frames. The students then saved and uploaded to Seesaw. Great Thanksgiving project!

Weekly Tech-y News

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Update Reflector 2 to Reflect Your iOS 10 Device!

Have you had trouble using Reflector 2 after updating your iPhone or iPad to iOS 10? I know I have! This has caused a lot of frustration, as I use Reflector 2 to demonstrate what I would like students to do on their iPads MANY times throughout the day! I contacted the AirSquirrels folks who make this magical tool, and they sent me THIS LINK. Basically, it says to do the Reflector 2 update, and it should work. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

FREE Code.org Training December 3rd!

Teaching our kids computer science and coding has tons of benefits, including helping them to develop perseverance, problem solving and critical thinking skills. I was a coding skeptic until I tried it with my kindergartners and I fell in love! December 3rd you have an awesome opportunity to be trained by a Code.org trainer for FREE! You can even get OPI & step up credit for attending! Whoop! Whoop! If you're interested, CLICK THIS LINK to sign up. Keep reading for more info.

Adding your ChatterPix to Seesaw!

A teacher just asked me a great question ... "Is there a way to get a ChatterPix onto Seesaw?" YES! Absolutely! ChatterPix Kids + Seesaw is one of my favorite "app smashes". In case you have this same question, I'm posting my answer to that teacher here ... read on to see how to add your finished ChatterPix to Seesaw!

Thankful Buncees!

Buncee is a fun tool for allowing students to make creative presentations. Students can use text, photos, stickers, animations and web searches to make their creation come alive. Have them tell stories or record facts they've learned about a topic. It easily shares to Seesaw or other apps on your iPad. Today in first grade, we used this app to make "thankful for" Buncees to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Weekly Tech-y Newsletter

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Simplify the Wonders login for your students!

Wondering how to best utilize the student portion of Wonders, without wanting to pull your hair out while trying to get your students logged in?! Simplified login to the rescue! By using the simplified login option, students select their icon and name from a list, then enter a 3 character visual password. It works from computers, Chromebooks & iPads and is a game changer, especially for primary teachers trying to get their young learners logged in!

Class Dojo Cards

I love this fun feature on Class Dojo! You can easily share cards with parents using Class Story. Lots of different holidays and reminders available. Check them out by clicking the image below.
And if you aren't using Class Dojo, check out this awesome, FREE tool at classdojo.com. Great for class management and communication. Plus they have an awesome growth mindset video series that you can access for free, even if you aren't using Class Dojo.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Weekly Tech-y Newsletter!

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Troubleshooting Seesaw Folders!

I had a great question from a teacher who is just starting to use folders in Seesaw with her class. I thought I'd share my answer here, in case anyone else is having the same problem as they implement the use of folders into Seesaw!

ChatterPix Story Retell Examples from 1st Grade!

I love the app ChatterPix Kids almost as much as I love teachers who use it and then send me examples of their student work! Wahoo! Thank you Mrs. Lang for sharing how your 1st graders used ChatterPix Kids to retell the story The Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman. And an extra "Yay, you!" for adding them to Seesaw and sharing via Seesaw QR codes! You rock! Scan the QR codes below (using the QR scanner in Seesaw or any QR scan app) to see her student examples. If you have questions about using Seesaw QR codes (which are AMAZING!), CLICK HERE.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Interactive Writing on Your Mimio: iPad Expectations!

Here is another interactive writing idea to use with your Mimio! I found this great "I Can Use My iPad" book online for free - I wish I knew who made it and I would credit them here. I used to print this book out for my students' poetry/fluency binders when I introduced iPads to them. However, I used it in Mrs. Marcotte's kindergarten class to introduce iPads and so some interactive writing using her Mimio.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Don't Have Seesaw? (WHAT?!?!) Don't Worry ... You Can Still Let Students Share Creations!

Today in kindergarten we used the Feltboard app ($2.99) to make some letter sound pictures ... students were asked to make themselves, add their name, and then add other feltboard pieces that start with the same letter as their name.
Image result for felt board app
Here are a couple examples:
(Those are piranhas.)
The teacher wasn't quite ready to start Seesaw, but I wanted to save these fun creations the students had made, so they will be shareable. Keep reading to see what I did!
The blog Erintegration has the most creative ideas for using technology in the classroom, particularly the free app PicCollage Kids. Today in Mrs. Westrope's first grade we used her "digital leaf man" idea after reading the story Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. (Always a favorite fall read aloud.) The first graders brainstormed different "leaf things" they could make ... leaf dogs, leaf fish and leaf cats led to leaf princesses and leaf kings. :) Let the kids be creative ... the more fun they have, the more motivated they would be to make a digital story out of this later using a tool like Seesaw, Adobe Spark Video or Puppet Edu (all FREE!). Click the image above to read her instructions or keep reading below to see some examples from Mrs. Westrope's class.

Monday, October 31, 2016

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Breakout Edu with 1st Graders!

Image result for breakout edu
If you haven't heard of Breakout Edu, you should check it out! Ann has caught the Breakout bug and has been sharing this super engaging and exciting learning experience with many teachers and kids throughout the district. Kristie Martin and I decided we wanted to try to do the same thing with primary kiddos!

Interactive Writing on your Interactive Whiteboard

Here is another super easy example from Mrs. Elenbaas' kindergarten of using your interactive board or projector for interactive writing. Simply open a blank Mimio Notebook file (or ActivInspire flipchart, if you have a Promethean board) and insert a picture. Mrs. Elenbaas used Halloween-themed pictures like bats and spiders for her writing today. Then, have students use the Mimio pen as you would a marker on chart paper. So easy and is great to keep and print!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pumpkin Project Using ArtHub and ChatterPix

I absolutely love this fun idea from 1st grade teacher Mrs. Peel. She used the step by step drawing directions at Art Hub. They then took photos of their drawings and used the app ChatterPix Kids to make them talk. After saving to the camera roll of their iPads, they could load to Seesaw to share. Great job, Mrs. Peel & 1st graders!