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Showing posts from November, 2014

The Hour of Code

If you ask a teacher about what their role is in a child's education, they will more than likely mention the importance of preparing students for the future. The fact is that computer science is exploding with the vast amount of people accessing the Internet through computers, tablets, smartphones, and even a pair of glasses. Computer science is centered around the idea that computers have to be told what to do. (As a side-note, I had to know a little bit of coding in order to make some changes to this blog post.) So to prepare students for the future, we at Rome City and Wayne Center Elementary schools will be participating in the hour of code from December 8-12. As the technology coach for my students and staff, I've already organized and prepared materials for you to make the hour of code a smooth and successful experience with very little preparation on your part. Please keep in mind that the name "Hour of Code" is a little deceiving. (I can hear my ki Addimal Adventure and Mt. Multiplis   provides two exciting resources for students to use to build up their addition and multiplication skills on the iPad. These resources provide specific strategies for solving addition and multiplication facts, and they keep track of student progress. You might as well try them because they are FREE. Addimal Adventure  is good for classrooms that have one iPad all the way to a class set.. The teacher can create an account at and create a class of students under him/her. Before the students use the app, the teacher will want to log into each device. From this point on, students will be prompted to select their name prior to playing the game. This will track their game progress and report which addition facts are memorized. As the students play the game, their goal is to win as many gold pieces as possible. Students earn the gold pieces by having the facts memorized. Mt. Multiplis  is not quite as flexible as Addimal adventure as far as students a

Chrome Extensions

As a teacher, I'm always looking for ways to be more efficient/productive due to the sheer amount of work that has to be completed. Before I became a technology coach, a vast majority of teaching ideas came from the Internet as they obviously do now that I'm a tech coach. I would venture to say that if Chrome Extensions were around then, I would have been a lot more efficient. Chrome extensions are tools that...well..extend your abilities on the Internet. There are tons of them that you can add onto your Chrome browser so that you can quickly save items, send things to your favorite social media, or even send to a mobile device. They have been around for a few years now so the possibilities are quite expansive. Before we get too far into the Chrome extensions, you should know that you  need to be signed into your Google account. If you are a Google Apps for Education school, you can use your school district log in information as well. (East Noble Teachers can use their

First Grade Timelines

It has been exciting to work with the first graders at Rome City Elementary as we created digital timelines on the iPad. As part of the Indiana social studies academic standards , students are to create a timelines of events occurring in class or in their life. They also have to use terms to represent that unit of time. (For example: yesterday, today, tomorrow, next week, etc.) This process actually took several visits as we had to discuss what a timeline was and learn how to use Popplet and Shadow Puppet . I broke it down like this: What is a timeline and create one as a class. Use Popplet to type what happens throughout the week. Students had to be trained on how to create and delete, select, move, and resize "popples."  Review timeline. Download photos of our specials times from email (or whatever learning management system you are using). Insert photos into Popplet from photo library. Show students how to add colors to the frames in Popplet. Demonstrate how


Newsela  is a free reading resource with text levels appropriate for grades three on up. (First or second grade teachers needing some challenging materials may find it helpful as well.) It provides various news articles pertaining to our world today that the teachers can assign directly to the students. Once teachers create an account, they may want to plan out how they are going to allow students to access the content. Students could access Newsela for the sheer enjoyment of reading the articles. The students wouldn't need to take quizzes or have content tailored specifically to their needs. In this case, the teacher would need to create only one class for their students. Teachers can also create classes to which they may assign articles. If a teacher would like to differentiate according to reading level, he/she may want to create several classes and essentially treat them as reading groups. This is a great way to meet science and social studies standards as the conten

Digital Books

Recently, I compiled a list of apps for my teachers of various iOS apps that provide free digital books that are read aloud. This is necessary because it is always a good idea to have a backup plan if the Internet is failing or other online resource is down. I also attempted to filter through the list for ones that didn't have advertisements that were too overwhelming. My personal favorites are the Collin's Big Cat apps as the user can create their own version of the text on their iPad. Best of all: they are advertisement free. I'm sure there are some that I am missing, but these are the ones I found: Toy Story Story Chimes: Three Little Pigs Sleeping Beauty The Ugly Duckling Jack and the Beanstalk Princess and the Pea Thumbelina Cinderella Twas the Night Before Jasper's First Christmas Hansel and Gretel The Frog Prince Goldybear The Emperer's New Clothes Rumpelstiltskin The Red Shoes Jasper in the Garbage Can Snow Whit

Math Bingo for Two

I'm not typically a big fan of apps that are just for skill and drill. However, Math Bingo for Two  is free and feeds the need for our competitive junkies in our classrooms. This head-to-head math fact competition is sure to get kids fired up to answer as quickly and accurately as possible to complete the bingo. The bingo part is where the strategy comes in as they have to be conscious of the math facts, but yet plan ahead to see which sum, difference, product, or quotient they need in order to complete the bingo first. All types of math facts are available for FREE without extra adds popping up on the screen. So many free apps have only a limited part of the app available or advertisements getting in the way. Students can also set the difficulty level by adjusting the max value.  I highly recommend putting this app on your class set of iPads. If you are a parent and want to work more with your child, this would be a great way to have them practice their math fact  is a free resource that allows the user to make their very own comic. Students can recreate scenes in a book, make advertisements, or find a humorous way to share the meaning of vocabulary words. The possibilities are endless as a storyboard allows for a fun and creative outlet for learning.  Students can use this on any type of device as it is HTML5 compatible. I made this video using a PC, but attempted it on an iPad as well. I found the iPad version to be surprisingly smooth and easy to use. All of the features function the same except for the print button. Pressing print on the iPad takes the user to a separate page where the item can be saved as an image using a screenshot or printed if you have iPad friendly printers.  One thing to consider before having your students use Storyboard That is the privacy policy . All works created on the free accounts are available to the public. So students need to be aware that anything they submit can be seen by