Sunday, January 31, 2016

100th day ideas!

I am reposting this from last year, to share a couple of 100th Day ideas from kindergarten last year.  I absolutely loved these capes that the students decorated at home with their parents.  I got this awesome idea from Mrs. Miner's kindergarten.  I bought some plastic tablecloths and cut them into the correct size, then sent home with instructions for each parent.  They had to decorate their capes with 100 things.  Here is a reminder note you can edit.  However, one crafty parent realized that cutting an old Tshirt into a cape shape was easier and more durable than the plastic (you can get two capes from each shirt, using the front and back).  So you may consider doing this, instead. The kindergartners wore their capes and we counted to 100 using Harry's Kindergarten Counting Superheroes song!

It would be really fun to use the Superhero ComicMaker app ($1.99) to create some 100th day math stories and post to Seesaw!
We also planned out how to make 10 groups of 10 toppings on our "hundredth day pizza"!  The kids are making some yummy looking paper toppings.  :)  This could be recorded digitally on an interactive whiteboard using Mimio Notebook or Promethean ActivInsipire, or a tool like Popplet.

You could also use this Google Drawing to have students make a digital pizza.  They'll drag 100 ingredients onto the pizza.  Click the image to make a copy that you can use.

The kindergartners enjoyed this video about Counting to 100 by JoJo's Circus.

We also played "Guess My Number" using the free app Counting Board on our iPads.  You can use this app to have students play any game you typically play on a 100 board.  They love this app, and once they learned a few different games to play on it, they would sometimes pair up on their own with one student being the "teacher" and the other being the "guesser" and play!  Teach them to take screenshots of their work, and they can post to Seesaw and use the typing and microphone tools to explain their work.  (Have I mentioned lately how much I love Seesaw?)
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Another tool I loved to use for teaching number concepts is the interactive 100 chart from We would often project this to our interactive whiteboard and play Guess My Number and other hundred chart games using our interactive board. has some other fun 100 day games, as well.  I've listed those below.


If you haven't before, this would be a great time to check out the Unite for Literacy site.  Tons of great free books, like this one:

If you've got awesome 100th Day ideas, please email me some pictures or share your ideas in the comments below! Happy 100th Day!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Groundhog Day Ideas

This might be weird, but I always loved celebrating February's "unsung" holiday - Groundhog Day - with my kindergartners.  I could take or leave Valentine's Day, but Groundhog Day is the best!  We did a ton of fun activities surrounding Groundhog Day, but one of my favorites was using this exciting occasion to practice predicting (and graphing) with my students.

Since lately I am absolutely obsessed with the ChatterPix Kids app (it's free, it's fun, it's easy!), we'll be using it in some classrooms next Monday and Tuesday to document student predictions.  We'll first use the Today's Meet backchannel (I posted about this before, CLICK HERE to read my earlier post with some more details about using it) to record our predictions.  Then, the students can either take a photo of a Groundhog Day art project they've already made, or use a drawing app on the iPad (like Draw & Tell or Doodle Buddy) to draw an Groundhog Day picture and upload to the ChatterPix Kid app.  They'll then make the groundhog "talk" to announce their predictions.

These videos will be saved to the iPad camera rolls, then uploaded to Seesaw learning journals to share with others.  I can't wait to try it!  I will post some examples next week.

What are your Groundhog Day plans?  If you have a fun activity you like to do, post it in the comments!

Top Three Paid Apps Workshop - Feb 17th 3:00-5:00pm

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Seesaw & Kidblog Math Examples!!!!

Real World Doubles: (Mrs. Brammer's 1st grade) - these were made using the photo tool from Seesaw, then using the drawing tool to annotate.
Math Addition Practice: these were made in a free app called Doodle Buddy, then saved to the camera roll and uploaded to Seesaw.
Love these problem solving ideas from Mrs. Bishop's kindergarten! The videos were made using some great apps from Duck, Duck Moose that are awesome for storytelling and creation.  You can get them in a bundle for $2.99.  Click below to check it out!

This is an example of utilizing a math app and Seesaw to have students demonstrate their understanding of a particular concept.  Mrs. Bishop's students took a screenshot of a number line from the free Line 'em Up app, then uploaded to Seesaw and used the "record while drawing" feature to show that they can say and identify each number 1-20.  
You can use this same idea with any app!  I really love the free virtual manipulatives from The Math Learning Center, like Number Frames, Pattern Shapes and Geoboard (shown below).  Here are some examples from my students' Kidblog. 

These were created using the Feltboard app.  Here are a couple more examples from Mrs. Bishop's class using the Feltboard app.

I love this idea from Mr. Anderson's first grade classroom.  We used the app Stop Motion (free) to create videos using story problems he had prepared.  

And, finally, here is an example from Mrs. Westrope's first grade class.  She sent this image out to each of the students and had them fill in the blanks.  Students could also arrange their own 10 frames, Unifix cubes, base 10 blocks, etc and use the pen tool to annotate the number they made.

Finding the Balance - Writing in First Grade

It's important to remember that using technology has to be balanced with traditional methods of instruction, particularly when teaching little kids.  Digital literacy is important, but so is knowing how to form letters and write using paper and pencil.  Give your kids opportunities to write on paper, then publish their writing using digital tools.

In Mrs. Niemeyer's room this afternoon, she brainstormed a wintery word web with her 1st graders, then had them write Winter poems on paper.  One of the kids asked "Can we then post these on our blog?"  Love it!  They are comfortable using both traditional print and digital methods of writing and publishing.

This would also be a fun way to incorporate Seesaw into writing - using your iPad, take a photo of the blank writing sheet, then login to Seesaw as a teacher.  When you select "camera roll", you'll be able to push this out to all of your students (or just some of your students).  They could then open the image and select "copy and edit", allowing them to open the poem and add their words using the Seesaw pen tool.  When I have my kindergartners do this, they used styluses, so they were practicing holding a writing tool.  Some good styluses are here (replaceable tips!)

They could then read the poem into Seesaw using the microphone, demonstrating their understanding of what they wrote.  PLEASE NOTE: to do this, you will need to enable item editing for your students in your Seesaw class settings.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Another Awesome Post from Kristi Meeuwse, ADE - Digital Reading Resources

I absolutely love, written by Kristi Meeuwse.  She is a kindergarten teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, and an Apple Distinguished Educator.  She has so many wonderful ways of using iPads in her classroom to enhance student learning, and create a student-centered classroom where true personalized learning occurs.  I encourage you to take the time to read through her posts.

Her latest post features resources for digital reading, which is a question I am asked often.  Mrs. Meeuwse provides her students with an amazing collection of reading materials, both digitally andi n traditional print.  I really love her idea of adding an icon on the homescreen of your iPad to allow kids to quickly access digital books through the site Unite for Literacy.

Adding an icon to your homescreen is so easy!  This will allow students to quickly access websites that you use often, like Moby Max or Xtra Math.  Pull up the site using Safari, then click the sharing icon.
Once the options open, select "Add to home screen" and then select "Add".  (You can adjust the name of the item, if you need to.)

Click the image below to read her full blog post.  If you have a favorite site you use for digital reading resources, please share in the comments or email me!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

New Chatterpix Ideas!

I absolutely LOVE these ChatterPix Kids ideas from Mrs. Risser's 1st grade at Arrowhead.  Her students studied Martin Luther King, Jr, then made an adorable art project of MLK.  The unit she used is called American Heroes Common Core Informational Reading and there are 14 different heroes highlighted in this pack from Tpt.  There are also tons of cute ideas HERE.  They then used ChatterPix Kids to make their art projects "talk" and share what they learned about Martin Luther King, Jr.  They turned out soooo great!!  This could work for any biography study - wouldn't it be fun to assign each student a person to research and tell about using ChatterPix Kids?
I also love how her students got "creative".  Look at the ChatterPix they made using one of their classmates' Minecraft Tshirt!  Haha!  Love it!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

New(ish) Teacher Energizer!

Calling all new-ish (non-tenured) teachers!  The amazing Shelly Stanton is hosting a fun, informative evening to help you understand and navigate the Billings Public Schools systems, like steps and lanes, NEA/BEA benefits, district forms, etc.  There will be snacks and energizing activities to help you move forward in this exciting profession!  Click the image above for more info and register at  Email with any questions.