Thursday, March 31, 2016

Class Dojo

Check out some of the features of Class Dojo, one of my fave classroom tools!

Theme Poems

It may be almost April Fool's Day, but this app is no joke ... super cool and FREE, it would be a great way to celebrate April, Poetry Month, with your students.  Theme Poem is made by Read, Write, Think (if you haven't checked out their website, um ... you should.  It's great.) and is a simple way for students to create fun themed poems that they could then print or, I don't know ... post to Seesaw!  If you use it, let me know.  I'd love to share some examples.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring Poems on Seesaw

I really loved this idea from Ms. Oringer's first grade, and wanted to share it with you!  She had her students write springtime poems, using their senses.  Here is an example:
I see sunshine.
I feel warm grass.
I smell flowers.
I hear birds.
I taste lemonade.
It is spring!

The students then used Seesaw to draw a detailed illustration to go with their poem, then typed the words to their poem and read the poem into Seesaw using the microphone tool.  Ms. Oringer will then use the new Seesaw QR print feature to post QR codes of these poems around her room, for students to scan and listen to, and for parents to enjoy during conferences.
 

Adobe Voice at Tech Fair 2016

I have written a couple of posts about Adobe Voice, and it's quickly becoming one of my favorite tools to use in the classroom!  I am always amazed by how fast students learn to use it, and are excited about creating a project with this app.

Today I visited Highland, and we used Adobe Voice in 1st and 2nd grades to make projects.  In Mr. Anderson's 1st grade, we had begun researching animal habitats earlier, and they were now putting their research into the Adobe Voice format to share with parents at conferences.  Mr. Anderson used large sheets of paper to signal to students what information they should include, and what should be on each slide.

Make Your Own Osmo Lessons


Many teachers have this fantastic tool in their classrooms, but not all know how to use it effectively. Students love the hands-on engagement that Osmo provides, and there are wonderful games including Tangrams, Words & Numbers that keep students busy and engaged.  However, did you know that you can actually create your own lessons for your students to use on Osmo?  Create an account at myOsmo, and add lessons there!  I know some teachers who use this to practice student names, sight words and spelling words.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sign Up for the first ever BPS Book Club, April 4th-May 2nd!



Billings K-8 teachers!
You are invited to join the first ever BPS Book Club April 4th-May 2nd, 2016!  This idea was derived from the Global Read Aloud, which was created to encourage classrooms throughout the globe to connect by reading a story together.  
Our BPS Book Club will focus on connecting classes here in Billings! Keep reading for more info and to sign up!

Seesaw Ideas for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Many of you are holding parent-teacher conferences this spring, and I've heard a lot of you planning for student-led conferences, which I think is awesome!  Seesaw would be a great way to showcase student learning, but also have parents and students work collaboratively on a project during conferences.  I think parents would be really impressed to see their students creating and publishing from the Seesaw app, and the students would enjoy a "joint" project with their parents.  This could be something as simple as opening up the camera tool to take a parent/student selfie, then addd their conference reflections using the typing and microphone tools.  Or you could have a project planned out for them to work on together, providing a template for what they'll write and include a photograph of.  Here is a template for the app Shadow Puppet Edu from theteachersclubhouse.com, but it could be used to plan out a project for any app (to upload to Seesaw) or to work directly in the Seesaw app using the photo or drawing tools.  (click the image to download a copy)
They will enjoy this collaborative project, and parents will see more of this process and how amazing it is that their children can navigate the app and publish their work to an authentic audience!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

TILT Phase 2 Reasons Why We are LUCKY to be Teachers!

Shadow Puppet Edu

Here is a quick (5 minute) tutorial for using the FREE app Shadow Puppet Edu to let your students create videos in your classroom.  This could be used for SO MANY THINGS!  They could share learning from an inquiry project, retell a story, create a story, make a math numbers book, or .... ??? What else?!  Share ideas for how you would use this app in the comments.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

All About That GAFE Participate Learning Collection from Haddy Wanner

Alkali Creek 2nd grade teacher and TILT member Haddy Wanner put together this awesome collection of resources for using GAFE in primary.  Participate Learning is an awesome place to search for resources (you can search by grade level, subject area, skill, etc) and also to share digital tools you use in your classrooms!  It's super easy to use and a great way to share favorite websites, apps, videos and lesson resources for particular concepts or subject areas.

Way to go, Haddy!

St. Patrick's Day Idea Using Adobe Voice or Puppets Edu

Here is a super fun St. Patrick's Day idea that could be done using either Adobe Voice, which I've written about before, or a fun alternative called Puppets Edu.  (Both are free!)

  
Using either of these apps, students can create impressive videos that tell information or facts they've learned, create a story, or explain how they did something.  They're both easy to use and share easily to Seesaw or other digital portfolio platforms.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Resources from Tonight's #BPSedchat


If you missed Night 3 of #BPSedchat (which is AWESOME, thanks to +Ann Brucker) never fear! Billings teachers shared so many amazing resources, and you can see them all here!  Whoop! Whoop! Click below to view our curated collection of tools and resources, thanks to Participate Learning.

Some favorites that were mentioned by several people are: Newsela, Seesaw, Planbook, Class Dojo, Wonderopolis & Pixabay!  Browse through the collection below to view these and more!  And it's never too late to join in the chat - if you're interested email bpstis@billingsschools.org!

Literably Awesome for Running Records

I heard about this app at NCCE, and then Julie Dannenberg shared this awesome post with me!  It's a free app to help track running records.  Seriously, I don't know what else to say.  How cool is that?!?! Click the image blow to read Amanda Madden's blog post and and click the app icon to check it out on the app store.
Image result for literably  Image result for literably app
  

Tech Fair 2016 - Pay it Forward and Present!

Tech Fair cannot happen without awesome teachers like you sharing what you know and the great things that are happening in your classroom!  Think about presenting!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Animal Inquiry with ChatterPix Kids

The first grade teachers at Broadwater have been teaching their students about animal habitats.  I posted an example of using the Sock Puppets app to tell what they learned.  Here is another idea using ChatterPix Kids.  Mrs. Stanaway's students also used the reading app Epic! to conduct their research.  As they listened to the stories in Epic!, they took notes in their writing journals about the animals.

Inquiry with Sock Puppets

I loved working with Mrs. Romei, Mrs. Mehling & Ms. Stanaway at Broadwater today!  Their first graders are eager to learn how to use their 1:1 iPads in the classroom!  In Mrs. Romei's class today, we practiced using the app Sock Puppets to share information learned during inquiry into animal habitats.  The students have been studying the Arctic, desert, and swamp habitats.  The students wrote their facts onto paper, and then used the Sock Puppets app as a way to share out the facts by having their sock puppets tell the information.
 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Adobe Voice Examples

I am so super impressed by these Adobe Voice projects put together by Mrs. Lang's first graders! They used a storyboard template to plan out their projects, then worked in groups to put together the following videos.  They exported to their iPad's camera roll and posted to Seesaw. Awesome work!

It's Your Lucky Day! Scribble Press Deluxe is FREE!

Scribble Press Deluxe is a creation app that allows students to make books.  This app is usually around $4.99, so it's a great deal!  If BPS teachers would like the app installed onto your iPads, please complete the form below.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Commenting on Seesaw

A lot of teachers are apprehensive about letting their students write comments on Seesaw.  I really love giving students the ability to do this - they LOVE sending and receiving comments, and it is a wonderful way to begin modeling good digital citizenship for our students.  In one first grade class I was in, the student said "Can we write compliments to our friends?" and I love this idea that she stumbled upon by accident - referring to comments as compliments and focus on making positive comments on each other's work.

There are some great examples on Twitter (follow @Seesaw, they retweet so many great ideas from teachers using Seesaw in their classrooms!) and this was one of my faves.  Use it to help model the process of writing a good, relevant, positive comments.

Seesaw Print Feature

Seesaw has a cool new print feature that allows you to print students' posts, which converts them into a PDF with attached QR code.  This would make a cool interactive bulletin board display - especially if you are doing spring conferences!  The QR code needs to be scanned with either the Seesaw classroom or Seesaw parent app, so what a great way to encourage parents to get the app, if they haven't already!

To use the feature, click the three little dots underneath a post and select "print".  That easy!  Seesaw also created this great info poster to show students and parents how to scan the posts.  Click the image to download and print a copy of the poster.

Happy Seesaw-ing!

Keyboarding in K-3

Let's be honest ... keyboarding is the kind of thing we all assume someone else will teach our students. :)  It's hard to find the time to do it, and know HOW to do it.  I am a big believer that kids as young as kindergartners can begin learning how to type.  We can do this authentically by giving them time to publish their writing using iPads, Chromebooks, etc, (and Seesaw!  You knew I was going to say "Seesaw", right?!  LOL)  and we can also support them by giving them time to play typing games or use a FREE (I said "FREE!") typing curriculum.  Even 10 minutes a day or 15 minutes every few days in K-1 would be a big step in the right direction.  Here are some resources to start you on this keyboarding journey ...

Take Time to Check Out Happy Numbers!

I would like to share with you one of my favorite tools for teaching math in K-2, Happy Numbers. This is fantastic website is a "teaching assistant" for math differentiation.  Its curriculum is aligned with Common Core standards, and if you purchase an account for your class, you can assign specific tasks for individual or groups of students, and track their progress with detailed reports.  Click below to visit their site and explore.
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However, if you are only in the market for FREE resources, it's also wonderful!

Don't Let the Pigeon Use the GAFE - But Your Kids Can!

Fill out the form below to join my workshop about using Google Apps for Education in primary classrooms.  This workshop will be held from 3:00-5:00pm on April 13th at Lincoln Center, room 308.  We will also talk about Seesaw, and how it can be used to help your students access GAFE and share their GAFE creations.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Power Up at Tech Fair 2016!


You are doing WONDERFUL things in your classroom to meaningfully integrate technology.  Why not share what you're doing at the BPS Tech Fair from 8:00-11:00am on Monday, April 11th?  If you're willing, please fill out the form below.  Email bpstis@billingsschools.org with any questions!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Favorite Dr. Seuss Books using Do Ink Green Screen App

I have really wanted to try using a green screen app to make videos with students, but never found the time when I was teaching kindergarten.  I was so happy that my friend Mrs. Niemeyer wanted to try it, too, and she let me come to her class today to help her first graders make some videos using the app Do Ink.  I purchased this app in a bundle with a Do Ink Animation app for $5.99.  You can purchase it separately for $2.99.
I am by no means an expert at this, and I still have much to learn.  But as a newbie, this app was really easy to use and I think our videos turned out pretty cute.  The first graders were really surprised to see their favorite Dr. Seuss books projected LARGE behind them as they talked.

Teen Numbers Books by Mrs. Bishop's Kindergartners

I love visiting my friend Sally Bishop's kindergarten to see how she is integrating technology into her classroom.  This week, I was able to help finish up a teen number book project she had begun with her students.  To make the books, they used the apps Feltboard, Number Frames & Book Creator.

 

Sock Puppets

Sock Puppets is a really fun, free app that we used in Ms. Oringer's first grade to talk about Dr. Seuss. The students have been reading Dr. Seuss stories, and especially love Green Eggs and Ham.  They were given a couple of choices: to tell a rhyme (either from the story or their own), or talk about whether or not they would eat green eggs and ham.  This app could be used as a way to tell about ANYTHING the kids are studying, or story retells.  It is a very fun, engaging way to share out information.
You might consider using a storyboard to help kids organize their thoughts and ideas beforehand. Since this was their first time using Sock Puppets, we let them have less structured time to play and learn.  Once the videos were finished, the kids saved to their camera rolls and uploaded to Seesaw.  It worked great!


Adobe Voice

So, my friend Sally has been singing the praises of this free app since last year, but I never quite got around to trying it out.  During NCCE in Seattle last week, it came up a LOT (almost as much as Seesaw, LOL) and I decided it was time to give it a go!  Luckily, my friend Mr. Anderson and his first graders were up for the challenge of learning it, and we were all so happy with the results!  Go Adobe Voice!

To begin, you'll need to install the free app, and create an Adobe account.  You will need to sign in to each device once - it will keep you signed in!
We decided to use this app to let students share facts they learned about adaptations polar bears make to survive in their habitats.  However, there are about a zillion things you could do with Adobe Voice. You can download an educator's guide with ideas here.  I love the idea of using this as a presentation tool at the end of an inquiry project, or to have students tell about a STEM experiment or activity. They could also use it for simple storytelling - what a great way to encourage student voice and creativity!

How Students Can Use the Copy & Edit Feature in Seesaw



Sending Items Out to Your Students (and Parents) Using Seesaw

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

First Ever BPS Edchat Tonight!

So ... this just happened!  Thanks to the amazing Ann Brucker, the first ever BPS Edchat had over 100 participants and was a huge success.  So many connections were made and resources shared.  I used the chat feature of one of my favorite websites, Participate Learning.  It automatically collected the resources teachers were sharing, and I combined them into this collection.  Thanks everyone who shared.  Enjoy!