Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tech-ify Your Classroom Course on the OPI Learning Hub!

I created an online technology integration course for K-5 teachers that is now available on the OPI Learning Hub. If you've never visited this site, I encourage you to check it out. The Learning Hub provides high quality, free professional learning for all K-12 teachers across Montana. You can find my course, Tech-ify Your Classroom! The Basics of K-5 Technology Integration under Self Paced Courses > Universal Instructional Strategies. It's available for 4 OPI renewal units.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Let's Go Camping! Breakout Edu

This camping-themed Breakout Edu was created using 1st grade standards, but could be adapted for any grade level. You'll need a Breakout box and the locks listed in the directions. To find the set up instructions, printable materials and instructions CLICK HERE.

Last Weekly Tech-y Newsletter of the Year!


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Don't forget this fun end of the year Seesaw Go game! Print, hang around the room and let your kids reflect on the year using Seesaw tools. bit.ly/EOYSeesaw

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

End of Year Ideas with PicCollage Kids!

PicCollage Kids is such a versatile, creative and fun app for students, that it’s a perfect tool to celebrate the end of the year! This post will share three of my favorite ways to use it with K-2nd grade students.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Creator Resources for the Classroom

One of my absolute favorite apps for the classroom is Book Creator. This is such a versatile app that can be used across a variety of grade, subject and topic areas, making it definitely worth the $4.99 price (available at half price if using Volume Purchasing Program). 

MCCE Tech Summit!

MCCE is thrilled to announce that registration is now open for the 2017 Summer Tech Summit! We hope that you will be able to join us...we're sure its going to be a BLAST!
If you've joined us in the past, you know that our annual Summit features hands-on technology training opportunities. We want you to leave the Summit energized and ready for a new school year!

This year we will be changing it up, just a little bit so the Tech Summit will be a two-day, 12 OPI hour, adventure! Each day you will be able to attend 3 two-hour sessions (for a total of six hours a day).

Who: ANY educator looking for high-quality, BYOD training opportunities
When: Monday, July 31st & Tuesday, August 1st
Where: Eileen Johnson Middle School, Lockwood

Please visit mtmcce.org/2017-summit.html to register for the 2017 MCCE Summer Tech Summit. (Be sure to fill out the appropriate forms if you are a BPS teacher using the Summit for MEA trade and/or you are using the hours for step-up in your district!)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Weekly Tech-y News

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Acrostic Poems in PicCollage Kids

A huge shout out to Ms. Avery at Highland, and the awesome acrostic poems her 1st/2nd grade combo kids made using the free app PicCollage Kids. Check out the amazingly creative examples below.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mother's Day PicCollage

We converted this fun Mother's Day idea into a digital project using the FREE app PicCollage Kids. The first graders loved making these fun keepsakes for mom, then sharing onto their Seesaw journals. Keep reading to find out how we did it!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Knuffle Bunny is Loose in Billings, Montana!

Inspired by Mo Willems' Knuffle Bunny stories and illustrations, I worked with Mrs. Westrope's first graders to app smash DoInk Animation & Drawing app ($4.99) + Book Creator  ($4.99) and make our own Knuffle Bunny books! Keep reading to see how we did it!


Weekly Tech-y News!


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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Osmo Genius!

So, Mrs. Vergara at Bitterroot is an Osmo Genius! In order to store her Osmo letters, she added magnets to the back. She labeled a cookie sheet, and the kids are able to easily keep track of the letters and find them when they need them. Wahoo! Thanks for the tip. Click the image below to download her template, which she adapted from this site.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Weekly Tech-y News!


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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Weekly Tech-y News!


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Friday, April 7, 2017

Summer Training Opportunities

We post all training opportunities to our website, so check out BPS TIS periodically!


Another great FREE resource for PD is the OPI Learning Hub. Facilitated and self paced courses are available.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Happy Birthday! Breakout Edu

You will have a blast celebrating your birthday (or the birthday of someone special in your school) with your students using this Breakout Edu game. I created it with 1st grade standards, but it could be adapted for other grade levels. Students will work together to solve problems and "crack the codes", to reveal a box full of party supplies (noisemakers, party hats, the choice is yours)! Grab the materials and read the instructions at bit.ly/BdayBreakout To play this game, you will need a "Breakout box" and these four locks: keyed lock, 4 letter lock, 5 letter lock and 3 digit lock.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Easy Tip to Let Your Students "Draw" Digitally

Here is a fun tip I learned from Kami Butterfield! Set an image as a background in Doodle Buddy, trace it, then get rid of the image! Such a simple and easy way to support your students' as they draw characters, animals, etc. digitally. The steps are listed below. Happy drawing!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Math Apps K-2

Here is a great collection of math apps for K-2nd grade, compiled by myself and primary elementary TILT teachers from Billings Public Schools! If you have one to include, please email me!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Weekly Tech-y News!


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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Weekly Tech-y Newsletter


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

BPS Breakout Edu Site

Jennifer Paterson, wonderful Breakout guru from Ponderosa, and Ann Brucker, wonderful TIS Breakout guru, had a FANTASTIC idea to create our very own sandbox for all of those Breakout games BPS teachers have been creating! This is a place where BPS teachers will be able to share and find games created by each other! Find one, play one, create one, submit one... this site is yours to use for all of it. Click the image above to visit the BPS Breakout Edu site, or visit breakoutedu.com to find out more about this engaging learning activity!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Kids Deserve It! Book Study

Join me for a book study centered around Kids Deserve It! by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome. This 5 week book study will begin April 3rd, and will feature weekly reading passages, reflections & posts via Seesaw: The Learning Journal. This will be a fun online Professional Learning Community centered around what is best for kids, and pushing the boundaries of conventional teaching in our classrooms. I'll be reading right along with you, and I'm excited to dive into this book!

Register for the book study at bit.ly/2no2uIP - be sure to complete a credit approval form in order to receive step up for this course. PLEASE NOTE: You are also responsible for purchasing your own copy of the book, which is available on Amazon for $24.95. Email me with any questions!

Earn OPI Renewal Units for Attending Seesaw PD in Your PJs

Starting March 28th, Billings Public Schools teachers can earn OPI renewal units for participating in Seesaw's awesome PD in Your PJs sessions! You'll need to sign up and participate in at least TWO of the PD in Your PJs trainings (they need to be at least 45 minutes long, the "sprint" sessions won't work for this). Then, sign up for the BPS PD in Your PJs course at bit.ly/BPSPJsSignUp. After you've completed your Seesaw webinars, you'll complete a reflection form, apply something you learned in your classroom, and provide certificates of attendance from the PD in your PJs trainings. Once all items are received, you'll get 2 OPI renewal units for your work. This is a great opportunity to receive top notch Seesaw training, plus OPI renewal units for your hard work! Email piltzt@billingsschools.org with any questions and check out the upcoming PD in your PJs schedules at bit.ly/SeesawPDinPJs

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Favorite Word Work Apps K-2!

Here is a collection of some of my favorite word work apps for K-2 students. Some are free, some are paid. Click each app to find out more and see the price. Remember to watch for app discounts or apps gone free during Teacher Appreciation Week in May!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Weekly Tech-y News!


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Lucky Numbers

PicCollage Kids is one of my favorite "go to" apps for creating in the classroom. It's so versatile, and kids love to customize their collages with fun colors, fonts and images. This activity involves using PicCollage Kids to allow students to create two digit number collages using images you send to your students via Seesaw.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Feelin' Lucky Breakout Edu!

This Breakout Edu game was created to give 2nd graders an engaging, challenging and fun way to practice math content standards. This Breakout could be adapted for other grade levels. If you'd like to read the instructions and print the materials, check out bit.ly/LuckyBreakoutEdu. Choose "File" and "Make a Copy" to make your own editable copy.  Check out the video below to see more!
You can find other pre-made Breakout Edu games on their website! breakoutedu.com

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss PicCollages!

After seeing this super fun idea on Mrs. Goodwin's awesome Instagram account, I decided we needed to try this project in kindergarten this morning! It turned out to be really fun and pretty simple, if you're familiar with the easy to use, FREE, and amazing app PicCollage Kids. Students took a selfie, then used this awesome drawing hack discovered by Erintegration to draw on top of the photo and add a cat nose, whiskers and Cat in the Hat style hat. They customized their collages with fun backgrounds, fancy text (we all wrote "Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!", but older students could write their favorite stories or characters) and birthday stickers (I let them choose 2). The collages are easily saved to the iPad camera roll and shared on Seesaw! Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

#PicCollageChat

I was so excited to host the first ever #PicCollageChat, and chat with other teachers who love the app PicCollage as much as I do, or who wanted to learn about using it in their classrooms. So many awesome ideas were shared! Check them out here!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Snaps in Primary Grades

There is a fun new trend in the education world called Book Snaps! You can read more here about how teachers are using Book Snaps to share what they're reading and learning about through professional development. Some teachers have taken this back to their classrooms, and had their students create Book Snaps about books they are reading! In upper grades, students are using SnapChat (the original tool for this), but in elementary school, students can use Seesaw to create their own Book Snaps. This is a fun way for students to share about what they're reading and learning - they can highlight favorite parts of a book, add drawings overtop of a book page to show what they love, and even use the microphone tool to tell about why the book is a favorite, or what they found interesting!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Make "My School" Books Using the Book Creator App

Our Phase 2 TILT group visited Mrs. Rott's 2nd graders at Broadwater Elementary and helped them make some amazing books about their school using the app Book Creator. Click the link below for a wonderful guide on using Book Creator made by Linda Bernard of Redefining Learning.
Book Creator costs $4.99, but is truly one of my favorite apps to use in the classroom. The possibilities for creating across all areas of your curriculum are endless, and the the app is suitable for users of all ages. It's simple enough for young learners, but has plenty of customization features to make it a good choice for older kids, too. Read on to see some examples of these awesome books!

Weekly Tech-y News!


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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

More App Smash Fun!

I love how the first grade teachers at Beartooth took my earlier PicCollage Kids + Number Pieces idea and made it even better! You can read my original post here. Instead of having their students just build two digit numbers, they added another level of awesomeness by having their students add their two digit numbers together and solve the equation! They used the FREE apps PicCollage Kids, Number Pieces and Seesaw to accomplish this. Great work!

Recording Stations

As more teachers are using Seesaw and other tools to allow students to record their voice to share their learning, it's also become important to find ways to minimize noise while students record. I noticed a couple of simple ideas on Twitter during the #Seesawchat that I thought I'd share!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Infuse IEFA with Technology!

This week I used some wonderful stories selected by OPI to support Indian Education for All, and infused these lessons with technology in kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms. Keep reading for ideas you can use in your own classrooms!

LOVE-ly Ideas for Valentine's Day!

I read this awesome blog post by Erin Flanagan, where she presents TONS of awesome ideas for integrating technology for Valentine's Day-themed projects.  She has some great resources in her Teachers Pay Teachers store to make this quick and easy for you.

Keep reading for this and more Valentine's Day ideas!

Empowering Education

Thanks to Terry Bouck, our superintendent, for featuring the BPS Technology Integration Specialists and TILT in his latest Empowering Education newsletter. Click the image of our bright shining faces to read more. :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Breakout Edu in 1st Grade

We had a blast in Mrs. Tieszen's first grade, solving a football-themed Breakout Edu challenge created by the ah-mah-zing Ann Brucker. To complete the challenge, the first graders had to read and solve addition and subtraction word problems, then record the answers to open the locks. The kids did a tremendous job, and we were able to open the box! Mrs. Tieszen put the photos together into an awesome video using the free tool Adobe Spark Video. Click the image below to watch this video and learn more about Breakout Edu!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Weekly Tech-y News!


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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

PicCollage Kids + ChatterPix Kids + Seesaw Superbowl App Smash!

I posted a few fun Superbowl activities in an earlier post that you can read about here, but I also wanted to share a fun app smash project we did in Mrs. Johnson and Ms. Romersa's first grades today! We used the free apps PicCollage Kids and ChatterPix Kids, then posted to Seesaw. Read on to see our fun app smash (and remember you can use this same technique in other areas - think Groundhog Day)!

Padlet of Center Chart Ideas

I am still adding photos of center charts to this collaborative Padlet. Would love to see how you rotate your kids through centers in your classroom (whether you have Must Do - Can Do centers, traditional centers, Daily 5, etc). Check out the ideas below, and click on the Padlet to upload a photo of your own center chart organizational system!
Made with Padlet

Using Book Creator to Make Books in Kindergarten!

The app Book Creator is one of my absolute favorites. It's one of the most expensive apps I've bought, at $4.99, but also one of the most versatile. Students (yes, even kindergartners!) easily learn how to navigate and use this app across a variety of subject areas to create and share about their thinking and learning. Read on to see how we used this in Mrs. Robson's kindergarten to create ebooks about polar bears.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Count to 100 Using Seesaw


Seesaw is a great way to have your students show their counting and thinking for 100th Day. Check out this example from kindergarten!