Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Around the World

My 5th graders do a unit each year entitled Christmas Around the World, where they learn about the different beliefs, traditions and symbols of Christmas in different countries, including Russia, Germany, Italy, Canada, Mexico, etc. This year I would like to up the bar and have them connect with someone from each country that they are studying! This would give them an opportunity to get a first hand description of Christmas in different countries! So what did I do??? I created a Skype in the Classroom, of course! Click below to join my project and connect with my students!

Friday, November 18, 2011

What's that You Say???

Ok, my new love is Voicethread! Voicethread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that can be used to display images, drawings, document, videos...ANYTHING really! I have known about it for quite awhile, but haven't really had the chance to use it with one of my classes until now I do believe I am addicted...(the first step, they say, is admitting your problem!) The application is suuuuuuuper easy! All you have to do is create an account, which of course, is FREE! You then upload whatever you want to display. I did this with my Cross Categorical class on Thanksgiving senses, so they had already typed up a little poem about what they sense on Thanksgiving in the previous week, so I uploaded those. After that you create an identity for each student. You can use their picture or a clip art image, just as long as it represents them. Once that is done the students open the Voicethread and they can then record what they want to say about their item. For example, we were working on fluency with the Cross Cat class, so they read their Thanksgiving Senses poem. Then they can comment, using voice recording, webcam, or text on other students slides. You can then decide whether you want the Voicethread to remain private or allow others to view and comment on the slides. You, as the creator, can also moderate the comments to make it safe! Very collaborative...Very interactive....VERY FUN! Below is our Thanksgiving Senses Voicethread! I was so proud of the students! I'd love to hear how you would use Voicethread in your classroom! Comment below!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Flipping Over Digital Books!

I am so excited to share this awesome website with you called FlipSnack! Simply upload your students' work and create a really neat looking flip book that you can send out to parents, embed in your website or blog and much more! One of my 3rd grade groups researched all different types of spiders. They each typed their information into a template slide that I created using PowerPoint. Once they were finished, we saved their slides as .pdf files (easy to do with a free PDF creator!). I then uploaded the PDF's to the FlipSnack website and created my book! Instead of the boring PowerPoint slideshow, the kids can now flip the pages of an interactive book, complete with a title page and binding! These are so neat to create and the books are even customizable (yes I made up that word!) to make them look just like you want! Best part of all....it's free to sign up!!! Love it! Click here to sign up and make sure to take a look at our finished spider project below!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chunks that Gobble!

Make sure to check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store! Kristy and I have uploaded some great new printouts including this Chunky Turkey chunk game. Students have to match the word on each feather to the correct chunk on each turkey. There are 10 different turkeys and each turkey has 4 matching feathers! A great literacy center activity or mini lesson! Only $5.00!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tarheel Traveler Teaching Idea

Click here to vote for my lesson daily and help me win a cash grant and iPad for our school! Tarheel Traveler Teaching Idea

Monkeying Around with Math

So I found another great website while browsing one of my favorite blogs, Free Technology for Teachers, and had to re-post! Math Chimp is a great site where you can choose your grade level, 1st-5th, and what common core standards you want your students to focus on, and it provides you with a number of online math games customized to your needs! I think this is a great way to get your kids excited about math, while making sure they are working on the correct skills! Click below to get monkeying around with math!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tarheel Traveler Teaching Idea

Hey Everyone! Click here to vote for my lesson using Glogster and Google Earth! The winner receives a cash grant and a prize! Vote EVERYDAY and pass it along to everyone you know! :) Tarheel Traveler Teaching Idea

Monday, November 7, 2011

What's the Hype with Skype?

So today I did my first Skype session with a group of 2nd graders in Mrs. Cozart's class. We connected with another 2nd grade class in Baltimore, MD! The kids had so much fun introducing themselves and learning about one another's school, classroom, and community! I could not believe how easy it really was! All I had to do was sign up for a Skype account, install it on the computer, plug in my webcam...and off we go!!! To find the class, I simply signed up for Skype in the Classroom and created a project looking for 2nd grade classrooms around the globe who would like to do a year long connection with another group sharing what they were learning throughout the year. I got messages back almost immediately!

We plan to reconnect with the class again within the next couple of weeks. Hopefully we will be able to connect with some other classes around the globe throughout the year as well. We would also like to add some authors, illustrators, and people of different professions to our contacts as well!

If you have never Skyped, you don't know what you are missing! It is such an awesome global project for kids of all ages! It helps them to learn about the world around them while talking to others their own age! To learn more about Skype and how to get it in your classroom, click here! What are you waiting for? Join the hype with Skype!!!

What's On Your Fridge?

As a kid, I loooooved those great magnetic letters that you put on your refrigerator! I thought it was so cool to be able to move them all around and make new words and phrases. Ok, so who am I kidding? I still love those things! Well of course I had to find a digital version...only better! Browsing another favorite blog, Donna's Tech Page, I found Magnetic Kids Poetry! It has an actual fridge that you move over words and phrases to make sentences or create poetry. There are hundreds of words and phrases! So much fun! This could be used as a literacy lesson, grammar, punctuation...etc.! Best of all, you can save, so you could drag the exact words or phrases that you want the children to use before a lesson, save it, and they could open it and begin creating! Click on the thumbnail below to try it out for yourself! 

You Ain't Never Gonna Believe!...

Wow, that was hard even to type! If you're like me, you are constantly correcting the grammar of your little darlings! (Especially in a little country town like Sophia!) I found this great game called Road to Grammar on one of my favorite blogs, Free Technology for Teachers! It lets you choose what type of grammar you would like to focus on and the kids play a simple game. If they choose the wrong answer, the game tells them why it was incorrect. It's a lot of fun for children and adults alike! Great for extra playtime, quick game during snack time, etc. They don't even know they're learning! Click below to try it out!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Going Ga Ga for Google Docs

So my new favorite toy...I know I say that about everything...but it is!...is Google Docs! What a great tool to use with the kids! Google Docs is a free online version of a word processor, spreadsheet, multimedia presentation, and database all in one website! They look similar to the Microsoft Office software, only you don't have to pay out the wazoo to own it. All you have to do is sign up for a free gmail account. What I really like is that they are all web based. Therefore, they are easy to get to from any computer, as long as you have Internet access. Students without Microsoft Office can still create on the computer!

One of the best perks of Google Docs is the form tool. The form can be used to create surveys, which can be emailed out. The results are automatically sent to a spreadsheet so that the answers can be reviewed. I have used the form for many different things. I had my 4th graders come up with 4 new flavors of ice cream for an imaginary ice cream company. They then created the survey and emailed it out to the teachers. When they came back to me the next week, all of their results were in the spreadsheet for them to then analyze! It took a boring paper and pencil lesson and jazzed it up! I have also used them as a technology issues form for my teachers. Whenever they have a problem, they fill out the form and it emails me. Very simple!

As you can tell, Google Docs has so much to offer! Why $200 for software anymore when something better is right at your fingertips!?

Click here to get started!!!