Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Student Created Multimedia eBooks on the iPad in Grades K-3

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

The second session I attended on Tuesday, Feb. 12th was titled “Student-Created Multimedia eBooks on the iPad in Grades K-3.”  The presenter was Jeremy Brueck, Director of the Digital Text Initiative at the University of Akron.  He did very little lecture and more demonstration and hands on learning.


In his presentation, Mr. Brueck shared a great website “Getting Started with Student and Teacher Created eBooks.”  This site will be limitlessly helpful when preparing for lessons on creating eBooks with my students.


Book on the website and in the presentation, Mr. Brueck shared many free iOS Apps for creating content like PicStitch, Photo Crop, Skitch, and Doodle Buddy.  He also shared free apps for creating the books like Story Creator and Little Story Maker.  These elements are striking to me because he has tried each of these Apps and suggests them for use.


I plan to share these Apps and Mr. Brueck’s website with the staff at my school during our morning PLC meetings.  I also plan to share these ideas with other teachers in our district and my PLN by sharing my website, and directing them to the eTech Ohio section.


Using more eBook creation Apps will certainly change the instructional level in my classroom.  Rather than using only content Apps for “drill and kill,” I will now be able to effortlessly implement more creation Apps.


I enjoy following Mr. Brueck’s work through twitter and find him to be a valuable member of my Personal Learning Network.

iPads, iPod Touches, and the Common Core

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

The second session I attended on Wednesday, Feb. 13th was titled “iPads, iPod Touches, and the Common Core.”  The presenter was Mindy Newell, 2nd grade teacher in Upper Sandusky.  Mrs. Newell provided links to many of the ways she’s connected including her blog page,


The most striking part of this presentation were the similarities between this presenter, me, and one of my colleagues, Melanie Broxterman whom I met on twitter.  I really enjoyed being able to hear from another educator who feels that her class, education, and educational technology are her passions.  She shared many Apps that I already use in my classroom and several Apps that are new to me that I bought during the session from the iTunes Store.


I cannot wait to share all of this information with teachers in my school.  I plan to use one of our morning PLC meetings along with email and on my blog  I also plan to share with other teachers and my PLN using twitter and my blog.  I cannot wait to connect with the presenter Mrs. Newell over twitter as well.


Being able to make this connection will help my instructional practices immensely.  I will be able to share my ideas and collaborate with a like-minded professional and this can have unlimited benefits.

Getting Boys to Read with Technology

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

The second session I attended on Monday, Feb. 11th was titled “Getting Boys to Read with Technology.”  The presenter was a man named Dan Verdick from ABDO Digital.  If I had taken the time to read the schedule, I may have noticed that Mr. Verdick was a VP Sales and Marketing speaker, NOT AN EDUCATOR. He lectured throughout the session.


In light of that fact, I stayed in his session after the introductions and decided I might learn something useful.  Mr. Verdick started by pointing out that “boys like screens.  Boys like screens and technology because their dads do.  You know? Like at sports bars.”  This was possibly the most striking element of the session.  Although several of his other comments were also quite striking.  Mr. Verdick pointed out that he was qualified to give this presentation because he’s “a guy. And [he has] two sons.”  Additionally, Mr. Verdick said that there may be “research connecting literacy in boys and marriage ability.”  I was stunned.


The only thing I may share with fellow educators about this presentation is that using graphic novels in the classroom may be beneficial for the male population.  I might also suggest that we try to get more male volunteers in the classrooms at our school.  So often, the high school and middle school students that visit us are all female.  It may help to have some male volunteers as well.  Here are some interesting stats that I might also share from this presentation:


- There is a 3% gap between boys and girls literacy in the elementary grades, a 6% gap in middle school, and an 8% gap in high school.


- 99% of boys ages 12-17 play video games.


- 20% of media specialists won’t have graphic novels in their libraries.

Twas the Night Before eTech…

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Twas the night before eTech

And all through the room

All the devices were charging

To avoid pending doom… B

Okay, I’m no poet.  It took me far too long to write that one stanza with two dogs trying to climb onto my lap as I sit on the floor in front of my laptop trying to be witty.

Witty?  That’s not really how anyone would describe me, is it?

Interested in learning? That’s more like it.

In going through the schedules on the Guidebook app, I have picked out several really exciting sessions to attend while also knowing I will participate in the “unconference” portion of the conference.  You can follow all of our tweets by going to twitter and following #OETC13.  At this conference, I’m really looking forward to making f2f connections with my twitter friends, learning something way out of the box, and learning to use our iPads with even more effectiveness and efficiency.

Monday, Feb. 11th (Happy Birthday mom!)

On Monday morning, we’ll likely miss the 8am sessions, but really, who could leave Cleveland much earlier than 5:45am?  It’s just not going to happen.  We’ll get there and go see the first Key Note speaker Heather Clayton Staker, who will speak on “Facing a Future of K-12 Blended Learning.”

On Monday at 10:45, I have picked out 5 sessions go to:

1. 21st Century Information Literacy and Common Core Standards: Professional Development for Teachers

2. AT, Math and the Common Core Standards

3. Ohio’s Next Generation of Assessments

4. Pairing Evernote and iPods to Benefit Diverse Learners

5. You Will Rise Art Project

On Monday at 12pm, I have picked 2:

1. Getting Boys to Read with Technology

2. Unleashing the iPad’s Creativity by Looking Beyond Content-Specific Apps

On Monday at 1pm, I might go to Using Digital Images as Writing Prompts.

On Monday at 1:15pm, I picked 2:

1. Flocabulary: Hip-Hop in the Classroom

2. Teaching Simple Machines and Force and Motion using LEGO

On Monday at 2:30pm, I want to go to:

1. Adaptive Diagnostic and Differentiated Instruction Based on Common Core

2. “Show Me What You Know”: How Games- Based Thinking Shaped my Classroom

And on Monday at 3:45pm, I want to go see “Web Apps and iPad Apps for Struggling Readers and Writers.”

Wheeeeeew!  And that’s just Monday!  And that doesn’t include any evening activities. :)


Tuesday, Feb. 12th

I’m doing slightly better in choosing sessions on Tuesday…

Tuesday at 8am, I have picked 3 sessions:

1. Google Tools for Students with Disabilities

2. High Heels and High Tech: 10 Essentials for Women in Leadership

3. iPads and IEPs Apps that Transform Learning for All Learners

There’s a Key Note speaker at 9:30, Max Brooks, speaking on “Show & Tell: It’s Not Just for 2nd Grade.”

At 10:45am on Tuesday, I would go to these:

1. Bloomin’ iPads (Bloom’s Taxonomy)

2. Student Created Multimedia eBooks on the iPad in Grades K-3

3. O.D.O.T Distracted Driving Simulator

At 11:45-2pm, I will be helping out with the “unconference” in C224 and 225.  I hope to see you there at some point! You can follow the “unconference” at #OETCx on twitter.

At 2:30, I’d like to go see “Grant Writing Made Easy: Novice Grant Writers, Funding Sources and Writing Tips using GRANT SUCCESS.”

And at 3:45, I’ll go to “Technology Tools to Support and Engage All Learners.”

I haven’t heard much about Tuesday evening activities, so maybe this is when I will take a nap and process all this!


Wednesday, Feb. 13th

On Wednesday, I plan to pack in as much as possible before we hit the road…

On Wednesday at 8am, I’d like to see:

1. iBooks Author and The Power of Writing eBooks

2. Incorporating iPad Apps to Demonstrate Core Standards

At 9:30, there’s a Key Note speaker, Andrew Ng, on “The Online Revolution: Education for Everyone.”

At 10:45 on Wednesday, I’d like to see:

1. Digital Portfolios to Spotlight Student Accomplishments

2. Scaffolding iPad Apps to Support 2nd Grade Student Language Arts Learning: Toontastic!

At noon:

1. Differentiating for All Learners using Technology

2. iPads, iPod Touches and the Common Core

And at 1:15pm, “Uncommon Projects for the Common Core.”

I’d also like to visit the Scholastic table, OCALI, Brain Pop, and Learning A-Z!  Any free stuff for kids accepted here!

A huge THANK YOU to Carla Calevich and her office for sending me, along with my colleagues Todd Wasil (@wasilt1), Joe Butler (@jfbutler) and Cathy Roderick (@CathyBees10), to eTech Ohio 2013!


New Apps Post! 11-21-12

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

With the day off before Thanksgiving break, I’ve finally had a chance to take a look at some new apps for our class.  Check out these 3 awesome additions!  Worth the money for each and every app!

Three awesome apps from the Mobile Education Store!

Rainbow Sentences

Preposition Builder

Tense Builder

Tense Builder is an app “designed to help students learn how to identify and use correct tense forms by playing movie quality animated videos to demonstrate past, present, and future tenses” (iTunes Store).  Like other Mobile Education apps (Sentence Builder, Story Builder, etc.), Tense Builder provides the chance for students to build a sentence with the correct verb tense (based on video modeling) and then record the sentence in their own voice to provide for reading and speech fluency.  This app also provides the opportunity to track students’ progress.



Another great app is Preposition Builder by the Mobile Education Store!  Preposition Builder offers the same opportunity to complete a sentence, this time with the correct preposition (like under, in, out, etc.).  The student can complete the sentence, hear the sentence, and repeat/read the sentence back for reading and speech fluency.  This app provides animations for each preposition and provides the chance to track students’ progress as well.


Lastly, the app I’ve been searching for, Rainbow Sentences!  This app is “designed to help students improve their ability to construct grammatically correct sentences by using color coded visual cues.”  Nouns, verbs, and prepositions are all color coded to provide to improve understanding of sentence order.  There are 168 illustrations in this app for sentence creation and provide color coded words for added visual support.  Sentences can be recorded for added reading and speech fluency.  I can’t wait to use Rainbow Sentences on Monday!


Hilton’s Continuous Improvement Plans

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Our awesome CIP (Continuous Improvement Plan) Team has been working hard in the 2011-2012 school year.  With the help of our whole staff at Hilton, we had to form a mission statement and come up with 3 goals for the year.  Please click on the link to find out how we did this year.  And then watch the video to see how we really did. :)

CIP Executive Summary 11-12

Hilton C.I.P. video

Digital Learning Day! 2-1-12

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Today was national Digital Learning Day and Room 5 was surely celebrating!

We spent the day on our iPads, computers, and SMART board doing activities that are typically done using hands-on manipulatives.  We usually like a mix of the two, but today was different, only digital learning for us!

We watched Brain Pop Jr. videos, played Computer Part BINGO, labeled the parts of our computers, counted coins in a SMART Notebook lesson, watched a YouTube video, and used countless Apps on our iPads.

Some of the Apps we used were iLearn with Poko: Addition, ABC Magnetic Alphabet, TeachMe Kindergarten, the Winter Library from LAZ, Love to Count Pirate Trio, Autism Xpress, Everyday Math Monster Squeeze, Everyday Math Addition Top it!, Five Little Monkeys, SplashMath First Grade, Count Money- Coin Matching Game, Adding Apples, and Proloquo2Go.

Third Graders used a game from Read, Write, Think called Comic Creator.  We will use it again tomorrow to make our own comics!

Check out our pics from our 2012 Digital Learning Day!



20 Favorite Apps in 2011!

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

There are a ton of Apps we love in Room 5.  But when I stopped to think of which Apps we used the most for instruction purposes this year, I came up with this list of 20.  I am sure the kids would have a different list (scroll to the bottom of the list for some “kid choices”).

Our 20 Most Favorite Apps for Instruction in 2011

1. ABC Magnetic Alphabet (on sale now for $1.99) is the #1 most used App in our classroom.  We use it for letter identification, spelling, making words, assessments, and more!

2. Angry Octopus ($7.99) is an interactive social story that can be used for deep breathing and anger management along with listening comprehension!

3. Answers: YesNo HD ($2.99) was designed for easy communication with nonverbal students. We love that it’s customizable for more than just Yes/No responses.

4. Autism Xpress (FREE!) is an App we used daily in circle time.  This App shows 12 different emotions visually.  Some are great fun too… Gassy? “Excuse me.”

5. Cookie Doodle ($.99) is so much fun! Plus, it helps with following directions, sequencing, measurement, functional vocabulary and more!

6. Cute Math ($1.99) provides up to 7 different games for basic number sense concepts like counting, number identification, sequencing, addition, and subtraction. We like the Baby Penguins the best!

7. Everyday Mathematics Monster Squeeze ($1.99) is great for social skills like taking turns AND number sense (greater than, less than, number identification).

8. K-3 Sight Words ($.99) has eliminated the need for rings of flashcards in our room!  We use this App twice monthly for each student to assess their sight word reading.

9. Learning A-Z Leveled Books and Libraries - LAZ ($6.99 per library, $1.99 per book) has helped eliminate some of the printing, cutting, and stapling that we hate from the Reading A-Z books that we LOVE!  Almost every level is now an App and highlights vocabulary, provides additional photos, and gives comprehension and higher level thinking questions at the end of each booklet.

10. Math Magic ($.99) is a nice tool for kids that need receptive responses/ answer choices.  This game practices basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, but gives 4 answer choices as responses.  It also provides feedback to the user.

11. Proloquo2Go ($189.99) is the communication App that has made it possible for one of our students to communicate!  We love it and how easy it is to customize!  He loves the option to type on a keyboard or use picture symbols.

12. I Learn with Poko: Seasons and Weather HD ($2.99) is a ton of fun and helps with functional skills like identifying the clothing you wear in the winter, spring, summer, and fall!  It even provides some calendar skills and following directions as well!

13. See.Touch.Learn. (Free with in-app purchases) is a great vocabulary builder for our kids.  They need to wait, listen to directions, wait for directions, identify objects or words and more!

14. Sentence Builder for iPad ($5.99) is designed to help kids build grammatically correct sentences.  My goal with this App to get my kids to slow down long enough to actually look at a picture and give a sentence about it. :)  Eventually we’ll work on the grammar part.

15. Story Builder for iPad ($7.99) is worth every penny!  This App has helped my kids who HATE to write to develop stories and record them.  We even use our recordings to then sit down and write a four sentence story! Love this one!

16. Tell Time- Little Matchups Game (FREE!) helps kids tell time by matching analog and digital clocks with verbal prompts. You can even record your own voice for reinforcement!

17. Wood Puzzle HD ($1.99) is great for fine motor skills when you turn on the option to use two hands and rotate each puzzle piece!  Also nice for colors, shapes, problem solving, holidays… My kiddos LOVE this one! Updated for each holiday!

18. Word Magic ($.99) is a nice game for phonics skills like short and long vowel sounds, beginning, medial, and ending sounds, and blends.  We also use this one for assessment.

19. Write On ($1.99) is nice little tracing/write App that also provides animals names and sounds.

20. ANY books by Oceanhouse Media or the Ruckus Media Group!

Oceanhouse Media has the Mercer Mayer books, Dr. Seuss Books, AND Little Monkeys!  They also provide sale prices for events on Facebook and Twitter which make their books so affordable.  Plus, the kids love them!

Ruckus Media Group has a great variety of books read by celebrities like Meryl Streep!  They also provide tons of sales including one right now where net proceeds are going to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Awesome!


5 Additional Apps My Kiddos Would Add to the List-

Five Little Monkeys by Loeschware ($.99 ) is very cute, great for motivation, fun, and can be used for counting, colors, movement, vocabulary, and more!

Thomas Game Pack ($2.99) is one of our favorites! I am constantly amazed at the way the kids can navigate the train tracks and put together the puzzles!

Thomas and Friends: Day of the Diesels ($4.99) is great if you love Thomas!  Can you tell we love Thomas?

FirstWords: Animals ($1.99) is also a big favorite of ours!  One kiddo asks for this App all day long!  He loves letters AND animals!

Create a Car ($.99) is a big favorite of two students.  Fun that you can choose all the parts of the car and put it together and start the engine!


Third Graders Create a Flat Stanley Photo Story!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011


Week 2 of the Global Read Aloud Project!

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

We continued to work on the Global Read Aloud Project by reading chapter 3 in the book Flat Stanley.  We colored and cut out our own Flat Stanleys to send to our families and friends all over the state and country!  We’re sending one out to Missouri to Mrs. E’s son Doug, aka PFC Eschweiler, in the U.S. Marines.  We’re even sending one out to Las Vegas, Nevada and one to Canada!

This week, we also got to “Skype” with two classes- Ms. Wilson’s first grade class from Atlanta, GA and Ms. Bonds’ third grade class from Michigan. We showed our class books and our paintings of Flat Stanley.  They asked lots of great questions about our town and we asked about their weather.  Do you know that the kids in Georgia told us it was getting cold… in the 70s!!!  It was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in education… kids communicating with students in other states and excited about a book!?!?!?! How cool!

Our Skype Friends Map

Next week we are going to mail out all of our Flat Stanleys, make our own “flat” characters, and create a Photo Story of our work so far.