Primary Chalkboard: Technology
Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts

Read Like a Techie - Using your Board for the Ultimate Big Books

Hi, Friends!  It is Autumn from The Primary Techie.  Today I am going to blog about one of my biggest passions - reading books off my smartboard.  This is really the BEST use I have found for my smartboard.  It literally changed the way I read to my kids.  (By the way, you do NOT need a smartboard!  Any board with a projector will work for this!)

This all started with a book about ants and an "ah-ha" moment.  Several years ago, I grabbed a book off my shelf to read to my first graders.  Now, let me start with a little honesty.  I had already read this book to a few classes and I know that kids do not like this book.  Why read a book kids don't like?  I paid like ten bucks for this book and I liked it!  It fit perfectly with the ant theme I was teaching.  How do I know kids didn't like it?  I didn't hold their interest.  Every time I read this book, my class turned naughty (which told me they were bored).  I decided I was going to try it again with this class.  After all, that book was TEN BUCKS!  I started reading and sure enough, the naughty stuff started.  Rolling around, beauty shop, flicking rocks.  It all started happening as I read.  I asked (more to myself than to them) "Why don't kids like this book?" and one of my little guys said, "It is because we can't see it."  It was the most profound "ah-ha" moment for me.  Of course!  They need to SEE it!  I decided at that moment that I was going to scan the pages of the book and read it again on my board.  I worked on it while my kids were at recess.  I scanned each page and then put the images together in a PowerPoint.

I read the book again when they came back.  The difference was A-ma-ZING!  They were engaged and focused.  They were asking questions about the story as I read it.  THEY LOVED THE ANT BOOK!  I immediately noticed a difference in MY reading.  I was not reading TO these kids; I was reading WITH them!  It was so much easier, effortless, and natural to model think-alouds and comprehension strategies.  We were SHARING the book as we never had before.  We stopped to talk about details in the illustrations and text that I never would have mentioned before.  They were actually reading along with the words as I read.  I knew that very day that I needed to scan ALL my books and read to my class in this new way.

That year, scanning books was my life.  I scanned before and after school, during recess and lunch.  If I was not teaching, I was scanning.  I scanned...(are you ready for this?)....800 books that year!  Yee-haw!  I saved each file as the book title.  This makes it so easy for me to find the books I want.  I also created folders on my desktop for each month.  I can easily find Christmas books in my December folder.  This has saved me tons of time plus the joys of NEVER HAVING TO PUT BOOKS AWAY!!!!

But wait!  I don't want to be a party-pooper, but we better talk legalities.  I must tell you that I was quite worried that I was going to go to jail for scanning all these books.  800 books seems like a pretty serious offense, right?  I have a super guilty conscious and I worried about going to jail for scanning books all the time.  I knew it was the best way to read to my class, but I wasn't sure I was willing to go to jail for it!  I literally worried that one of my students would mention my scanning to their fathers (I had a couple cop dads that year) and I was going to go to jail.  So, I came clean and asked those cop dads about it.  They assured me that I didn't need to worry about going to jail for scanning books.  I still felt kinda bad, so I asked a judge (guilty conscious strikes again) and he put me at ease.  He said, "Do you worry that you will go to jail for putting music from your CDs on your ipod?"  I told him no.  He said it is the same thing.  As long as you purchased those books and you are using them for your own personal use, you don't need to worry about going to jail.  I felt SOOOO much better after hearing it this way.  When I tell teachers that I have scanned 800 books, sometimes they ask to buy them from me.  This is a huge no-no.  I could NEVER sell or even give away the books I have scanned.  I never-ever-ever post them online or anywhere that they could be copied.  I don't even share my books with my teacher friends.  I am encouraging you to use YOUR OWN books for YOUR OWN classroom.  You don't want to worry about going to jail, right?

Why not just read big books?  Reading from the board is 100% better than reading big books.  While big books are bigger than regular books, they are so much smaller than my board.  It is also such a pain in the patootie to turn the pages, hold the books, and don't get me started on storing them.  What about ebooks?  Now, you certainly can buy ebooks and save yourself tons of time and energy.  I chose to scan my books because I had such an extensive library and I could not justify buying digital copies of books I owned.

I hope this gives you some ideas for incorporating digital books in your classroom.  If you want to read more about scanning books, click here to visit my blog.  Thanks for reading friends.
Until next time,

Integrating Technology Into Your Everyday Lessons

Hi friends! It's Leslie from First Grade and Flip Flops and I'm here to share with you some easy ways to incorporate technology into your everyday lessons. I have always loved technology and incorporate it as much as I can! I use it in so many ways:

*supplement my learning targets
*provide a learning hook 
*give exposure to content area
*life skills
*cooperative learning
*literacy/math skills
*research skills

The list goes on! The best part is that your class doesn't have to be a blended learning class or have multiple devices. You could work off your teacher device, your smart phone, BYOT (Bring your own technology), student computers, an iPAD, or any technology you have in the classroom. Of course, it is always best to check on your school and district's computer use policy as I know some are more strict than others. 

Before I begin, let me start off by saying that I am a 1:1 IPAD class. I have 3 computers in my class and at best 2 might work on a good day.  Although some days I feel like they work like one of these:

I have a Promethean board that I LOVE and would die if I couldn't teach with it. I had a Mobi-board but the Promethean board is the best thing ever. I am not a blended learning class though I really have hopes and dreams to become one this year. 

Integrating technology into your every lessons really is simple and just takes some time and resourcefulness on your part. I want to share with you the ways that I use it and how it has been successful in my room. 

I love Sharesafe TV. It is perhaps the best way for me to share videos with my class in a safe way. I use videos as hooks for my lessons and will set these up on my computer the day of my lesson. Sharesafe takes off all the inappropriate ads and such. You could also use Sharesafe on the student computers by placing a short-cut onto the student desktops so that they can view the video to follow up on the lesson, write a review, summary, or whatever you'd like for them to do. I've also found "online" books or songs via youtube and have used them in my listening center. I've used my IPAD as a listening center and placed a Sharesafe shortcut on the screen and my students just click that shortcut and "listen" to the story, video, or song in listening and then do a response sheet there, too.
Sharesafe is free. 

Blendspace is similar to Sharesafe in the fact that you can upload videos in a safe manner. However, it is unique because you can group your lesson into one page. As you can see from my screen shot, this is a lesson I did for short /a/. In blendspace it allows you to search for youtube videos that suit your need or topic (you can view to see if it is appropriate!) and then group them together. You can also link to a game that will follow-up that skill or a follow-up activity. In this case, my students had a make words tub next to the computer that they had to do after they viewed all the videos on short  /a/ words (really it was at, am, and an words). That way there is always application of the skill. You could link to a game, worksheet, or in my case, a center skill. OR you could use Screenchomp (next topic!) for an assessment. You can make a blendspace for anything!!! If you don't want to create a blendspace, there are so many blendspaces already created that you could also search for. It does work on the IPAD as well. Blendspace is free. 

Screenchomp is an app that you can download (free) for your IPAD or tablet. I am sure you could use it for a handheld device but the screen would be just too small. I like it because you can capture the "now" and use it like a whiteboard or activboard without having one.  It also has the feature of students communicating with you at home *in case* they don't quite understand something with the homework. They can snap a picture of it on their phone or IPAD and circle the problem or record their voice and then send it to you. You could also give feedback.

You can then respond back to them in writing or voice recorded message. Kinda neat. I am not sure on how this would work in a primary setting but the applications for upper elementary, middle and high school are fantastic! 

Edmodo is new to me. I have yet to attempt it as a classroom teacher; I have experienced it as a parent. I know many teachers who use it and like it as a forum for their class where they can post assignments, quizzes, post interactive questions, use sharesafe to post videos for lessons. It also tracks data for you.

Plickers is a great tool for assessment. The teacher is the only one who uses the technology-- you use your smart phone, IPAD, or any handheld device. The kids love it. Basically you enter the questions you want to ask; you can choose MC or T/F and the students hold up their "Plicker" card to choose the answer. Each card is unique so you avoid the "he's looking at my answer" agony. 

  You can read how I use it {HERE}. Simple set up and I love the real time data. The students see it, too. It is customizable by you and you can use this data as an alternative to exit tickets. I do recommend using Mozilla to run this website as it doesn't work well in Chrome. The other alternative to Pickers in Kahoot! I love a great Kahoot! You can think of Kahoot as an assessment tool with bells and whistles-- literally. It has fun sounds and is more colorful that Plickers. With Kahoot, each student will need their own handheld device. I just never had enough devices so I never used it. I have used Kahoot with other teachers just not with my own class. Plickers and Kahoot are free. 

Lakeshore is like teacher heaven to me. I could seriously spend lots of money there. One of the best investments I ever bought there were their interactive games. I love them! My favourite is the Interactive Calendar, which I think now they call it Circle Time Software. Mine is waayyy different. I have the interactive calendar part since calendar is still an integral part of our morning meeting where we talk about the days of the week, upcoming events, we talk about number sense, etc... I have other interactive software games that I project onto my board and play, Plinko Non-Fiction and Language Adventures.  I plan on purchasing more math interactive games as I love their graphics and skills. Most games are around $20. I know that I could always pull up math games on the web but these are nice to have without the ads and such! 

I use these technology applications at least once a day if not more. They are constants in my classroom and my kids leave me pretty tech savvy. Like with anything in the technology world, it does take time to research it all to make sure the content is what we want for our students and what our students need. 

Technology will never replace good teaching. EVER

Students still need that human connection--a smiling face or warm embrace. They need those teachable moments that only we can give. Technology just gives them that extra push or incentive that we can't because let's face it, today's kids are born with instant screen time. 

I hope you will integrate more technology into your classroom lessons if you've been a little tech-shy or weren't sure where to go! There are TONS of great resources out there! Don't forget that we have a whole month of fantastic topics to help you prepare for the upcoming school year! 

Lots of love,

5 Favorite Apps for Math!

Hi everyone! It's Christina from Miss DeCarbo's Sugar and Spice! I hope everyone is having a fabulous summer! Can you believe it's about to be July already? How does summer always go by SO FAST?!

Today I'm going to share 5 fabulous Math Apps that I use during those first couple months of school! You can click on the picture or the title for each app to jump to the Apple Store to check them out! Here we go!
This app is the perfect partner game for the iPad at the beginning of the year! Students will take turns guessing which number the octopus is thinking about. The app activates some beginning skills for greater than and less than as the students narrow down their choices. The app also introduces students to a number line! This app is perfect for kindergarten and first grade kiddos! :)

Math Dots is a fun computation game for students. You can set the operation to addition or subtraction.  The students solve problems and work their way around a "connect the dots" type of picture. When they complete all of the problems, they get to color the picture and see it come to life! My kids LOVE this game and it was a staple computation app throughout our entire year. 

This is a great kindergarten app to help students learn how to write their numbers by tracing the numbers on the screen.  Even if first grade, I often have kiddos that struggle with number writing at the beginning of the year. I especially use it for those kids who have reversal issues and need another resource to add to their toolkit of interventions! 

Number Pieces provides virtual base 10 blocks for students or teachers to manipulate and teach with! I first use this as a whole class app with the students. After my kids gain confidence in their ability to use, show, and count base 10 blocks, I let the students play in partners. One partner drags base 10 blocks onto the screen and the second partner counts them up and writes the answer on the tablet. Then, they erase the board and switch. They love getting to "play teacher!"

There is a Splash Math app for many grade levels! This is a FANTASTIC app that contains oodles and oodles of practice for the Common Core standards in all areas of math! My kids think they are playing a game, but they are actually reviewing valuable skills and refreshing their abilities through spiral review. In my eyes, this is a must-have for any math teacher who has iPads in the classroom! :)

I hope you enjoyed these little Math App Reviews!
Do you have other apps that you love?! Share them with me below by leaving us a comment! 

Fun Math Apps for the Classroom

Hello Everyone! This is Susanna from Whimsy Workshop Teaching here today to share some great math apps!

As we all move ahead with using technology in our classrooms, things change so fast it can be hard to keep up! 
I recently attended a great Ed Tech presentation where teachers shared the math apps (between $0 - $5) that their students seemed to the most. 

I'm sharing that list with you today!        

Name: Math Tappers
Skill: Addition with fixed sum (ie. friends of 10) Choose the sum on the settings page, then simply tap the two numbers that add up to that total. Keep going until all the numbers are gone, then check progress.

NameMath Bingo
Skill: Basic facts practice; students win a cute big for each correct answer until they make five in a row. We play this as a whole class on the projector and they LOVE it!

Skill: Basic fractions practice; simple enough for independent practice.

Skill: Geometric Shapes with virtual elastics

Name: Number Pieces 
Skill: Place Value; count them up, or use to solve addition and subtraction problems.

Name: Hungry Fish  
Skill: Basic Facts practice; direct the fish around the eat the correct numbers.

If you need a few more math apps to try, click here to check out my full blog post.

I hope your students enjoy these new apps!


FREE Books With The EPIC App!

Hi everyone,

This is Valerie from All Students Can SHINE. I'm here to show you an awesome app.

I just LOVE finding new apps for our iPads! My students get SO excited when I show them a new app because it keeps them on their toes and they never get bored with the same apps. This week, I was browsing the app store and found this AMAZING tool!
Best part? It is FREE for TEACHERS!
What is better than a FREE app for your classroom?!
Well, maybe chocolate... with wine! Hahaha!

The app is called EPIC! and is jam packed with THOUSANDS of books that can be streamed in seconds. Kids can read books over and over without waiting for them to download. They can also have books read to them, which is GREAT for our beginning readers!

Epic has a bunch of awesome features like the "read to me" tool, categories for easy searching, reading logs,
and rewards for reading motivation.
They also provide a letter for parents, so you can ask them to join at home. The app is not free for parents but is SUPER cheap!
TOTALLY worth it, in my books ;)

Go check it out for yourself and test it with your students!

Later gators,


Place Value Fun!!!

Hi everyone!!! It's Latoya from Flying into First Grade!!!
So this week we were studying tens and ones in math.  It was so much fun.   This is what we did today.
We love using technology so we played some interactive games whole group and during small group time.  They loved it!!!  The links are below.
Some Interactive Resources to Use
(Click the Pictures to Go to the Game)
1.  Tens and Ones Online Game- We played whole group and they got to play on the computers.
2.  Making Numbers using Tens and Ones - We played this whole group.  I love that when you build the numbers it keeps up with the value you have done so far.
3. Tens and Ones Equations - I love that this game gives you an explanation if you get a problem wrong.
4. Roasting Marshmallows Tens and Ones - This one is hilarious but very good.  The students loved it.  The bear on this game makes learning tens and ones fun.
5. Working on the tens Place - This game helps students identify how many tens are in a 2 digit number.
For individual work, the students took numbers and identified the tens and the ones.  Then they drew models to illustrate.  They used base ten blocks to build the numbers.
I brought my math groups over to work with me in small groups.  Each group got a basket of cubes.   They made tens and had ones leftover.  Everyone had to give their mystery number.

Next, we looked at models on our paper and  counted the tens and ones to make a 2 digit number.

Earlier in the week we started with just counting tens.  I made a paper for them to do as an assessment.  It is a FREEBIE for you!!!  Enjoy!!!  Click on the Picture!!!!
Next week we will be learning all about expanded form with place value.  Let us know some of your ideas for teaching place value!!!