Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Its A Digital Learning Day for 12-12-12

Once again Twitter comes to my rescue. About 2 weeks ago I encountered a post by one of my connections, Paula Naugle, 4th grade teacher and who also leads the #4thchat discussions. She created a global activity where students from all over the country would share their 12 Favorite Things stories, blogs, digital projects, you name it! I of course jumped on it and decided to join all the others across the globe. So I began designing lessons that would not only be engaging but also content rich. Last year, my students began using Kidblog with author Bryan Chick. I had started reading his book series "The Secret Zoo" which took us into a world full of rich technology. The students right away noticed the change of the homepage and quickly thought, "now what do we do?" No surprises I noticed on their end. They logged in and did a great job posting their 12 favorite things I had assigned to them the night before. They chose the categories and created a list of 12 things. They got the chance to explore with color, highlighting words to enhance the readers eye and play with various fonts. Here are their postings! hope you enjoy them as much as I did reading them:) Thank you Paula for creating such a fun digital day of learning!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Google Templates Bring A Little Disruptive Learning

As my students continue to work on various projects for the book "The One and Only Ivan" that we read back in October, I began to introduce them to sharing documents in google docs and the power behind real time collaboration. Last week, I had shared a 4 square template that was shared with me originally. Students continue to explore characters by describing them in one or two words. I used the 4 square template with names of the 4 main characters in the story and I asked the students to write down one or two words to describe each of the four characters. Frustration quickly began to show as students realized that their words were being deleted by someone else in the class. I noticed some were getting upset which showed me that they cared enough about the assignment to feel a sense of ownership (made my day)! Our district tech trainer was in the class with me and saw this first hand. So she asked the students what could make this assignment better? They very quickly said, "we need some lines for our text so we can read each others words and our words won't be deleted?". So she created a spreadsheet in google docs and shared it with the students and the students began to type in their words. Several said that this was much better and that they would be able to see all the responses. The lesson learned here is that when working with young learners in google docs it is important to create templates, in this case, that cater to young learners. It was a great activity and the students worked on their first class google spreadsheet as they collaborated in real time. Below you will see the template that caused some "disruptive" learning and the spreadsheet that brought smiles to our faces! Thanks to our trainer Mrs. Bartlett who came to our rescue. I am reminded that young learners care about the outcome of their product and that a little "disruptive" learning every now and then brings great joy to our hearts!
http://goo.gl/WirdD
http://goo.gl/1RQ1N


Friday, November 16, 2012

Sharing YouTube Links With Students

As we continue our  project with The One and Only Ivan global read aloud, I shared videos with my students on the real Ivan at the Atlanta Zoo and Shirley the Elephant so that they could make the connection to the characters in the story. These videos were found on YouTube so I shared the links on a google document with my students so that they could be able to watch the videos any time they wanted to or refer to them for further research. The problem with this lesson is that the students will not be able to view videos because they will be blocked from YouTube. So another solution could be to upload the videos to savevid.com and take that link and share it with the students. Just one way to share YouTube videos with your students. The students loved making those connections to the characters in the book and gave them a sense of closer to Ivan and Ruby. We were saddened to know that the real Ivan at the Atlanta Zoo had passed away this summer at the age of 50. The students felt like they had lost their best friend and so did I!
http://goo.gl/oDTxS


Character Analysis for The One and Only Ivan

Last week, I finished reading the book and my students began looking at four of the major characters in this story. We had discussed various character traits along the way as I read the story. So I came across a public link that was shared in the Edmodo group for The One and Only Ivan. After I had finished reading the story, the students began to analyze the characters and how they changed. I used this document to share with my students as they filled out their responses in spanish. Just another great way google docs is being utilized in reading/language arts to analyze character traits of any story. 
http://goo.gl/RaBfW

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

QR Code Template for The One and Only Ivan

Well, we finally finished the book "The One and Only Ivan".  The students did not want the story to end and neither did I. I then began sharing videos from YouTube on the real Ivan so that the students could make that connection to the character in the book. Yet the story is fictional, Ivan was real! I also shared with my students that the real Ivan had passed away this past summer and they were very sad. I also shared videos of Shirley the elephant who was separated from her companion almost 25 years ago and were reunited after all those years. These were found on YouTube part 1 and 2 and showed the relationship between Shirley's caretaker and his last goodbyes as he bathed her for the last time. So we began to brainstorm ways to honor the real Ivan and what we could do to teach the community about endangered animals. So now we wait but in the meantime, here is the template I created in google docs and shared with my students to begin their research on the animal they chose. 

http://goo.gl/hbBab

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Google Drive on iTouch's

Utilizing all mobile devices in my classroom is a goal I strive for each week. Last year my grade level wrote a grant for itouch's to improve reading fluency and we were selected as a winner that year and each one of my team members received 5 itouch's per class. So as we continue our learning with google docs, I had this idea to install google drive on those devices to get the benefits from using a mobile device. Students already knew how to login into their gmail account from previous activities they had worked on in the computer lab. Well it didn't surprise me how quickly students opened up google drive and uploaded a picture from the camera roll straight into their drive. We were working on adjectives last week so I read them a book titled "Leaf Man" by Lois Ehlert, one of my favorites by her, and students were to create their own leaf boy, girl or leaf animal using real leaves collected from home the day before. Here you will see students working in groups using google drive to upload a picture right into their google drive. Steps taken for project:
  • Read book "The Leaf Man" by Lois Ehlert
  • Brainstormed a list of adjectives describing the leaf pictures in the book and wrote on the board
  • Created their leaf boy, girl, animal, etc. using real leaves collected from home the day before
  • Students wrote a story to go along with their creation describing their leaf boy or girl
  • Students worked in groups of 5 and took pictures of their creation at the teacher table using camera feature on itouch's
  • Students each uploaded their picture into their google drive and checked to see if picture was uploaded
  • Students typed their story the following week in their drive under the picture that was uploaded and shared with another partner to peer edit each other's story. 
Here are a few pics of students working in groups using a mobile device. Utilizing these devices in our classrooms in more ways than one will benefit our students greatly and teach them how to use a variety of tools to effectively carry out their plan of action. It was indeed a great week of digital learning!







Project Launch with Google Docs

As we begin our project launch project with the global read aloud "The One and Only Ivan",  students quickly learned how to use google docs for their research on the  "One and Only Ivan. Here are the steps:

  • We began our project with a little research on the animal the students chose (an elephant or gorilla). Students also checked out books from the library
  • I created a simple fill in the blank template on the animal's habitat and shared it with the students in google docs
  • Students filled out a hard copy of the template first before going to the lab by using their books, sites mentioned
  • Students logged into their gmail account and went to their "shared with me" tab on the left side
  • The students made a copy of the template and added it to their drive so that they could have editing rights
  • They began typing their research by going to two sites shared previously in class: Facts4me.com and National Geographic For Kids. These sites are also written in their technology folder where sites, logins and passwords are kept to use throughout the past 2 years (I am a looping teacher). Students used the hard copy they filled out in class prior to going to the lab to transfer research onto their template in google docs
  • Students began typing into their document which took about 30-40 minutes in one of our two computer labs. 
Here you can see students working in their google doc and using the sites to gather their research for their story.






Saturday, October 27, 2012

Global Read Aloud 2012 Project!

The last few weeks, my students and I have been participating in the Global Read 2012 Project "The One and Only Ivan" in Edmodo, which was launched this October with tons of other classrooms from around the world. It has opened up doors unimaginable with the use of 21st century technology and mobile device learning. Here I will showcase projects that my students will create and share with other learners. Several of the projects lined up for this event will be persuasive writing, inferencing, character analysis and how that creates deep rooted feelings for the reader, all in google docs, habitat research on Asian elephants and the silverback gorilla and creating a habitat for these two animals, creating QR codes that will inform learners about these endangered species and participate in a google hangout with other classes who have also been part of this global project, using YouTube to show videos of these two main characters in the story, Ivan and Ruby, as a way to inform the learner about the real life situations with elephants and gorillas. We are still in the process of finishing up the book but my students have already began their learning. More to come as we explore the world of Ivan and Ruby!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's Mimio Madness in 3rd Grade!

My students love all things technology so one of our favorite interactive white board activities is Lakeshore's Interactive white board games on CD's that I purchased with our campus budget funds. The students absolutely love these games and are great for ELL/ESL/BE learners because the vocabulary is rich. The CD's are available for all subject levels including reading comprehension, math, science and social studies. The games are set up to play in a variety of "teams setup" and can also be played on a laptop as well. I highly recommend these games if you are looking for some great interactive whiteboard games. Our campus has purchased mimio's, one per grade level, so that is also an option if you choose to go that route. This particular game was on matter...one of our objectives in science. 



Who's The Teacher Now?

Last year my students participated in their first Edmodo assignment which was to upload their profile picture in Edmodo. This year, my looping partner Mrs. White, came to me and asked me if my students could help her students load up their profile picture in their Edmodo account. I gladly said, "of course my kiddos can help your students". As I watched throughout the room, my students helping 2nd graders using technology skills beyond a normal 2nd grader, I couldn't help but realize the power of sharing that knowledge with other individuals who you know will benefit from it. It brought such a peaceful feeling and lots of smiles as I watched my students "teach" future generations what's ahead in their future. 



Saturday, October 6, 2012

Interactive QR Code Bulletin


This year with our mobile device initiative, I decided to add an interactive QR code bulletin board that my students can rotate daily through our Daily 5 classroom schedule. The students scan the activity for the week as they learn how to use QR codes in math and other subject areas. When looking for activities, I refer to a website that I absolutely LOVE and that is Teachers Pay Teachers. Here, teachers can sign up for a free teacher account and find tons of activities that other teachers have created for FREE while other activities are priced at a very low price. Here is how my QR code bulletin board is set up in my classroom. 


Digital Citizenship Week!!

Wow....its been a crazy super six weeks. I haven't posted anything in several weeks but this past week was the most incredible week of my teaching experience. We celebrated "Digital Citizenship" week in my district as I discussed with students what it means to be a responsible digital citizen in today's connected world. So we began with the world of "twitter" and its language. We discussed why people posts, who they share with, what kinds of things to say when replying back to your followers. The students have really taken ownership of being connected with followers from around the globe. But the most exciting part of all that is that our very own principal Mr. Kyle Chambers is "following" our class @lackeysloopers! The students were very excited to share their learning with him and other followers in our district. I also introduced the students to a wonderful website Wallwisher.com as we began our Global Read 2012 on Edmodo (hashtag #glread2012) with other students from around the world. I showed them the book trailer on YouTube and then the students wrote their predictions on a sticky note and posted them to our anchor chart. We then went to the computer lab later in the week and posted them on our Wallwisher wall that I had created for the project. The students loved arranging each others comments and discovered some neat features! We celebrated the end of the week by creating our very own "digital footprint" along with a short video clip of all the apps that students visited throughout the week on our itouch's and ipad. It  truly was the best week of my teaching experience and I loved seeing the students engaged in their "digital learning"! Our first RT's came from our district webmaster Mr. Dennis King and our Director of Instructional Technology Mrs. Nancy Bergvall! We love our followers!







































































Sunday, September 23, 2012

One of My Favorite Apps For Math!

One of my goals for this year is to connect with my parents socially and electronically. I have already introduced the Remind101app to them for texting important class events or homework assignments in spanish. Several of my families do not have internet access so I try to connect with them in other ways through smart phones and apps that will help and show them math strategies I use in the classroom. One of my favorite apps I use daily in math is "ShowMe" or "Educreations". These apps allow me to model any lesson in any subject in spanish or english so that my parents can hear and see the strategies and the vocabulary I use in reading and math. Both apps allow me to link the lesson to my homework online page on our district website so that parents can see the lesson. For those without internet, they can go to our public library and access lessons from there. All they have to do is log in to the district website and find my homework online page. I have already heard from a few families that they watched lessons and are learning right along with their children. Here are two lessons in spanish that I have uploaded. You can find both apps in the App Store and they are FREE!!!

iDevice Station

As I began to transform my classroom into a "digital learning environment", I had to keep in mind utilizing the space of the room adequately. So this year I began that transformation with my iDevice Station. This area was cluttered with a refrigerator, coffee pot and paper cutter last year. This year, I have designed an area where my students can work and gather around digital devices. These devices travel throughout the room as we integrate them into our daily lessons. It has made all the difference in the world as students get so excited just looking at all those wonderful "gadgets"! I have a student who is in charge of making sure that all devices are placed in their proper place at the end of the day and shut down properly! She is called the "iDevice Keeper" but sometimes goes by the "iDevice Diva". Here is a sample of what that looks like with all the rules posted on the wall. 






Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Tweeting We Shall Go!!



One of my goals this year, as I continue on this journey of infusing 21st century technology learning in my classroom, is to Tweet with other 2nd-3rd grade classrooms from around the country. I use my own Twitter account for PD 24/7. So this year, I set up my own class Twitter account to connect my students globally and socially. I started by asking my students what were some exciting things or events that happened at school this week or something neat they learned in class. So I had two volunteers who wanted to tweet what they thought was a highlight event of the week. I created a class account for my students @lackeysloopers so that I would still have some control over the tweets that would come in. I then asked teachers on my personal account who had their own class Twitter account if they would be interested in "tweeting" with my students and the response was great. The students ask me to check every morning if we have any new tweets in our feed to reply too. They get very excited when someone replies back to us. Here are the "tweets" that went out on Friday! We would love to have other classes join us @lackeysloopers

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rock This Year Like Its Dynomite 2012-13

Its been a crazy and a very long 3 weeks already but we still managed to have some fun with some new apps in the classroom that we will be using this year. One of my favorite apps is Movie360. It basically works like a mini-imovie program that students can use in the classroom when they are making short movies, interviews, scavenger hunts, etc. It lets you choose different background settings and very user friendly for young learners. The cool features are great! It keeps an archive of all your projects created and lets you upload movies to your camera roll on your computer! Here is a sample of how we feel about this upcoming year! Try it out and you can see how it can benefit your classroom. This year's 3rd grade bilingual students are going to "rock this year like its dynomite" using various mobile devices in our classroom!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Remind101-Connecting with my Bilingual Community!

This year at my Parent Night Meeting, I will be introducing my parents to Remind101, a tool that can be used to connect with parents and students using a smartphone without an email or any other social media account. I will simply be texting in spanish to my parents of upcoming events, reminders or important information pertaining to our classroom. They must sign up to receive texts from the classroom teacher as their first step. This is just another great tool that teachers can use in their classroom for parents who have very limited internet resources at home and does not require some kind of email account. My daughters English II teachers are using this tool to connect with parents via a smartphone and I thought what a great idea for me to use with my parents. 
https://www.remind101.com/

Meet the Teacher Night with Google Forms!

For the very first time at Meet the Teacher Night, my parents had the pleasure of filling out their very first Google Form I had created with information about their child. Here, you will see parents and students filling out the form on several devices I had set up in my classroom. The questions were both in English and Spanish as parents seemed to need little help because their child was showing them how to fill out the Google Form. I am very excited to be implementing the Google Apps for Educators in my district and the Elementary level and getting my bilingual parents involved in the whole process from the beginning! Way to go students and parents!
http://goo.gl/bfD40





First Week of Back To School!

Oh my goodness, where do I start! Our first week was such a busy week for my 3rd graders as I welcomed 20 students to my classroom, whom I loop with so it was great to see that they remembered so many of our routines and rules. But this year I have 5 new students new to our district, 2 who are immigrants to our country and twin girls, so welcoming them to our school and classroom can be a challenge. I immediately paired them up with a buddy to begin learning our procedures and expectations but by Wednesday, my poor feet and voice were gone! Looping with your students sure does make those back to school activities flow smoother. I began the week with a QR code scavenger hunt about what some of their favorite summer activities were. My students were very familiar using the itouch's and my ipad that they needed very little instruction. Here you will see them scanning the QR codes I had created ahead of time. I numbered them so that when they answered the question, they would know where to write that on their notebook paper. I created 5 questions for them to answer. Next week we will create a poll on Edmodo on our class findings. There are many QR code apps out there but our favorite is Neoreader and icandy mobile. I have 5 itouch's in my classroom plus an ipad that can be rotated in groups while the other students are working on something else. This year I will be implementing the Google Apps for education at the elementary level in my district so I will be posting those activities here as well and tweeting them out. You can follow my class @lackeysloopers or my twitter handle which you will find here on my blog. Happy first few weeks:)




Sunday, August 19, 2012

GTA- Google Teacher Academy

Each year Google chooses a location around the world to host their annual Google Teacher Academy. Teachers, tech specialist, tech coaches and administrators are given the opportunity to submit a 1 minute video showcasing how technologies has impacted student learning and motivation in the classroom. This year the Google Teacher Academy will be in New York City on October 3-4. Although my video was not selected for this year, I feel very proud of what my students have learned and hope that this next school year will bring lots more collaborative learning as I introduce my students to the Google Apps for Education tools on a more deeper level. Here is my video on Motivation and Learning!
http://goo.gl/as0ag

Friday, August 10, 2012

O.B.C.T.

How can teachers themselves use technologies in their classrooms to inspire the children that they affect on a daily basis. In our district, Midlothian ISD, teachers and administrators are zombies after completing a 24-hr project. Team members are required to shoot and produce a short video based around educational concepts and specific criteria. This is a program that allows teachers across the district to produce a short video (under 4 minutes) using various tools, software, music, video editing skills and much more in 24 hours. I have the pleasure of working with this years winners on a daily basis. These talented educators, and I mean talented, have created a video to address a growing problem  in adults and children across the nation "obesity". What a great way to get the message out to our students at our campus and across our district. I am so proud and honored to work with these talented educators. Here is a clip of the video.
Midlothian ISD teachers and administrators are zombies after completing a 24-hr project. Team members are required to shoot and produce a short video based around educational concepts and specific criteria. What a fun and creative way to reach out to our students and deliver a very powerful message at the same time!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Getting Ready For Another School Year

Yesterday I had a great day of PD. I connected with some awesome leaders on Twitter, got my Edmodo Library in tip top shape and watched some great videos on YouTube and Sliderocket. As I reflect back on my last year and what that looked like, I can only wonder what else could I have done to connect my students even more so. This summer I have been involved in some great technology workshops that have recharged and inspired me to break down those walls in my classroom and really connect with my students so that their learning is meaningful to them. I came across this video from one of my Twitter followers that has done just that....be the kind of teacher that facilitates the learner and lets the learner teach me a few things! I hope this video will inspire you to break down a few walls in your classroom. I want to thank my friend Dave Guymon for inspiring me this next school year.


http://goo.gl/ZyT81

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Edmodo...another great tool in my classroom!

When I was in 1st grade several years ago (about 4 years), I stumbled upon a great tool that I have absolutely loved! Edmodo is that tool and I have not looked back. Now that I am working with bilingual students (2nd-3rd), it has transformed my classroom into a 21st century hub. My students have  benefitted from the various tools and now apps that Edmodo has introduced this past year. The platform is very similar to Facebook's and allows students to work inside a safe and secure environment. This past year, my students created their first short video in GoAnimate within Edmodo as a practice video. The beauty of it was being able to facilitate their learning as they became in charge of creating their video without any help from me. Here is a snippet of a few of those videos. I gave the students the choice of creating their video in the language of their preference. So some may have chosen spanish. Take a look at Chelsea's end of the year party video. Hers is great!


http://goo.gl/Ikeo9




Friday, July 13, 2012

Back to School Activities

As I get ready to start the school year, one activity using mobile devices comes to mind. I have one ipad in my classroom, 5 itouch's, and a cart full of about 24 mac lap tops that is shared among the teachers on my team. I am a 2nd-3rd grade bilingual looping teacher so my students this next coming year are the ones I had last year (about 17) if none have moved away. The first 2 weeks I will be focusing on their summer activities so I will have the students go on a QR code scavenger hunt asking them about 5 questions that pertain to summer fun. Here are the questions I will include in the scavenger hunt:
  • What is one book that you read this summer that you loved?
  • Share one movie that you saw that was AWESOME?
  • Tell me about a vacation you went on with your family?
  • What do you want to learn this year in 3rd grade?
  • Share your favorite summer time song?
I like to use Kaywa.com as the QR code generator, print each one out, trim and glue each code on some colorful tag board and spread them out throughout the room. The students each have clipboards that they use when traveling through the room so they will be writing their responses on a half sheet of paper. I will then have them choose one question and record their response using Voicethread. I always try to extend an activity using various tools. This keeps the excitement going! Another idea would be for students to use one of my favorite apps on my ipad (Movie360) during my Daily 5 rotation and record each other answering as many questions as they would like. They love being curators and taking ownership of their learning! Here are a few pics where my students were on a scavenger hunt last year during our "ocean" unit!



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blogging With Author Bryan Chick

This past year my class had the pleasure of skyping with author Bryan Chick. I discovered his "Secret Zoo" series through a connection on Edmodo. I began reading his books this past year to my class and my students fell in love with the books. These books stemmed various technology activities from Voicethreads, to creating QR codes for their favorite character to making a book trailer for his first book. He was so excited about the project that he featured the movie on his Secret Zoo Facebook page. The students were so excited and he became our most favorite author in the world!! The students and I began looking at various sites on how to make book trailers and stumbled across a gold mine of resources. One of our favorite sites was Book Trailers For All, where most of our ideas came from. I began introducing Animoto and how to upload photos, video, music, etc, to the students as we worked on various small projects through out the year. Students had practiced how to storyboard prior to this activity so I let the students choose which group they wanted to be in: photos, music, typing content, and looking for transitions. They worked in these groups for about 2 weeks and finally put it all together. Each day I would let them work in their group using lap tops. They were pretty savy by this time of year so they had no problems. Here is the finished product! This was a group effort to make one book trailer. My goal is for each student to make their own book trailer this next coming year! Here is the link.

http://goo.gl/WE2xV

Mimio...Another Favorite Tool We Love!



Most classrooms have a whiteboard installed in their classrooms. There are still many classrooms that do not have this type of board. Mimio is a tool that can be used in any classroom with a whiteboard. Here my students are learning about the 7 continents and their location on a map. We have one mimio per hallway and it is rotated between teachers to share as one in our library as well. Mimio has tons of lessons for teachers already created for every grade level and subject area. They have a wonderful community that teachers can sign up for to be able to see and share what other teachers have created. It is a great interactive tool where students are completely engaged!

Talking Heads Activity Using Mobile Devices

The "talking heads" activity was such a fun way for my students to explore the world of "animals talking". It was towards the end of the school year and one of our big units in 2nd grade is "oceans". We had just received a grant for 20 itouch's to be split among 4 teachers so my wheels started spinning as to how I was going to use these wonderful mobile devices in my classroom. I have a friend who teaches 7th grade Texas History at one of our middle schools who had her students create the very same type of activity in her Texas History class so I was immediately INSPIRED and wanted to do the same type of activity with my students. So I used my iphone to video the mouth of each one of my students talking about their favorite ocean animal. I took each video and uploaded it to imovie and the students had to draw their ocean animal as big as they could before we could use it over their picture. Here's just one example of that project.....it was magical to see their expressions! You can also upload the videos straight into YouTube if you have a 4 or 4s iphone generation. My videos are all stored there in my classroom videos folder.

QR Code Crazy!!


My students love to use QR Codes in the classroom in various ways. During our Texas social studies unit, my students used Kaywa.com, a QR code reader, to create text QR codes for the Texas symbols. Here students are scanning all the QR codes each student created to read the text to match their picture. We use QR codes for scavenger hunts, as you see posted in the top picture, using our itouch (set of 5 from a grant my team wrote) or we can checkout one of the two itouch carts from the library. This activity can be done in the classroom using laptops or a computer lab setting as well. Students learned how to print various sizes of QR codes as I let them choose which size they wanted!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Degree of Connectedness

I remember when I first started using Twitter and how I was going to use this tool to help me connect with other educators...it has been life changing for my professional career as an educator. I ran across this article which shares the levels or degrees of connectedness one may ask of themselves and where they are professionally. I can honestly say that my professional career as an educator has been transformed by using twitter as a tool for sharing ideas, gathering data and tools that would help a 21st century educator become for proficient in utilizing these tools for their classroom. I have traveled through the 7 degrees of connectedness and I find myself toggling back and forth through all 7 depending on the nature of the assignment or the people that I happen to be working with on my campus. This graphic could be a great way to survey staff to get a feel for where teachers are technology wise and those who may have a little more connectedness. Here is the link to the article and a great blog to follow as well.
http://langwitches.org/blog/2012/06/07/seven-degrees-of-connectedness/

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Time for Change

As I reflect back on my last 21 years of teaching, I can only wonder what lies ahead for me and my students. The last 7 years have completely changed the way I teach and deliver content to my students. I would like to say that Twitter had a significant role in that change, along with other tools like Edmodo and Pinterest. My blog has included links, sites, and tools that educators can use in their classrooms. But being in a bilingual classroom now for 3 years, I have gained a very different perspective on what it really means to "educate" students today, especially those whose resources are limited beyond measure. So my blog will focus on how 21st century technology can inspire bilingual students to become innovators for the future and maybe for all learners who fall under this category. I may on occasion throw in a few links that I think may benefit your students or classroom. But my goal will be to show how bilingual/ ELL/ESL students CAN be tomorrows future!

Monday, May 7, 2012

K-5 iPad Apps For Evaluating Bloom's Taxonomy Levels

If you are looking for productivity type apps for students to use with ipads , Diane Darrow does a fabulous job of breaking down some of the most popular apps for students by grade, subject and content level. She has evaluated each app according to Bloom's Level of Taxonomy. This is a 5 part series.

Common Misconceptions About Teachers Who Fear Technology

Here's a great article that I came across as I was searching for common misconceptions teachers fear about using technology in their classroom. This is one of my favorite blogs I follow pretty closely.
http://esheninger.blogspot.com/2012/04/common-misconceptions-of-educators-who.html

Sunday, April 22, 2012

21st Century Innovations

Google doc spreadsheet with ipad apps listed per subject and which are free!
http://www.21innovate.com/free-resources.html

iPad Apps For All Subjects

If you are looking for apps to download on your ipad, here is a great site that will keep you reading for days. Kathy does a great job gathering great resources for teachers and administrators.
http://www.schrockguide.net/ipads-in-the-classroom.html

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cell Phones in the Classroom

Here's an article that I came across on one of the blogs I follow. Discuss how many school districts are welcoming cell phones in the classroom.
http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/

Friday, April 6, 2012

50 Great Ways to Use Google Docs

Google Docs has so much that teachers can learn from. Here are 50 ways teachers can integrate google docs in their curriculum.
http://edudemic.com/2012/04/50-little-known-ways-google-docs-can-help-in-education/

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vimeo

Vimeo is a great tool to use for uploading videos that you or your students have created. It's free to educators and can be embedded on your classroom blog.

http://vimeo.com/

Edmodo Pulls Education into 21st Century Learning

If you are an Edmodo user, take a look at where this social platform for education is going.
http://www.7x7.com/tech-gadgets/edmodo-pulls-education-21st-century

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

TCEA Apps- Mother of all Apps

I had the pleasure of presenting at TCEA this February and I always get excited to leave with tons of resources. Here is a link that will help you choose apps for your age, grade level or just simply have a great list of app resources. I love how they are categorized by color and grade level appropriateness. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Who Fills Your Bucket?

I know that when I walk into my classroom each and everyday, I ask myself, "what can I do today to fill my students buckets?" Here is a great book that will hopefully "fill your bucket" when you need a little refilling in your daily tasks.

http://brentcatlett.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-full-is-your-bucket.html?spref=tw

Need Some PD on a Saturday Morning?

Its Saturday morning, my cup of joe in one hand and ready to look for some PD on my laptop. I came across this great blog and discovered some great articles and videos to help you "get your  motivation on"!
Credit goes out to Stump the Teacher for sharing his perspective on student engagement!

http://brentcatlett.blogspot.com/2012/02/teachers-and-change.html

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

APPitic

One of my favorite websites that categorizes apps by subject is APPitic. Its a great website when you are looking for apps for a particular subject.

http://appitic.com/

Pinterest

So its no secret that Pinterest has made it to the social media frenzy. So how do educators use it in education? Get a friend to send you an invite and you will quickly see how it can bring 21st century skills into your classroom!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Training Videos for Learning

Here is a fabulous site for educators and administrators that shows training videos for using web 2.0 tools in the classroom!

http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/

App of the Week

Great podcast app for using ibooks in the classroom.

http://www.iear.org/iear/2012/2/2/app-of-the-week-ibooks.html

Thursday, January 26, 2012

iPads in the Classroom

One of my favorite sites for ipads in the classroom is Kathy Shrock's. I always find great resources here to use in the classroom and get tons of ideas on how to use ipads in the classroom.

http://www.schrockguide.net/ipads-in-the-classroom.html

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Edmodo Wikispace

I love creating wikis! Here is a wiki that I created so that teachers would have an opportunity to share their ideas on how they are using Edmodo in the classroom. Edmodo has since exploded since their EdmdoCon Conference this past year. I am a member of Edmodo and here is how I use it in my classroom. Come join the Edmodo Community....it's FREE!

http://21stcenturylearningwithedmodo.wikispaces.com/

Tammy's Ready Made Templates

Tammy Worcester is one of my google expert genius'. Her templates are always at the top of my list, ready to use when ever I'm ready to create quizzes, small comprehension activities to go along with guided reading books and reinforce math skills throughout the year. Here's a closer

look:https://docs.google.com/templates?q=self+check+quiz&sort=hottest&view=public

Plug Into Technology

I have the pleasure of working with some of the most talented teachers in Midlothian, Tx. One of my favorite resources I make sure to check each week is my friend Ann Witherspoon's blog. Her resources are great tools you can use in your classroom right away. Take a closer look at her blog.

http://www.plugintotechnology.com/

50 More Ways To Use Technology In Your Classroom

Livebinders is one of my favorite web 2.0 tools that have helped me organize my favorite websites to use in the classroom. I created a livebinder that will help teachers have access to various websites to support their curriculum in all subject areas. I hope you find this helpful in implementing 21st century skills into your lessons. Here the the link to my livebinder. Please feel free to share with colleagues and staff!

http://livebinders.com/edit?id=104955

Tammy's Tips

Our district had the honor and privilege to have Tammy Worcester as our quest speaker to jump start our summer technology camps. One of my favorite tips she has posted in the past is tip #104 which features google doc spreadsheets ready to be used for class quizzes. These templates will help save you time and effort. I use these templates to create my quizzes in spanish for my bilingual learners among other assignments as well. Her website is a FABULOUS resource for creating, connecting and collaborating! Be sure to visit her google doc templates ready with formulas to score all assignments!

http://web.mac.com/tammy.w/Tips/Tammys_Technology_Tips_for_Teachers.html

K-12 Online Conference

What would I do without twitter? Recently I was granted the honor to present on the K-12 Online Conference on how I am using Edmodo in a 2nd grade bilingual classroom. So I wanted to invite you and your colleagues to take a look at some great online presentations that can spark your professional growth development to take back and share with your campus and administrators.

http://k12onlineconference.org/

Catch Free

I am always looking and comparing what web tool to use when creating a new project or simply finding the right tool for a specific assignment. I was checking my twitter feed over the holidays and found another great resource that you can share with your staff and administrators. 

http://catchfree.com/

The iSchool Initiative

The last few months have been really hard on public education....budget cuts, layoffs, larger classroom size and the list goes on and on. I could only wonder how this will impact our students education in the coming years and how technology will play a key role. I ran across a video that definitely caught my attention. Take a look and see if this could be a reality? I think it's here and I am really excited about it.

http://youtu.be/68KgAcx_9jU

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

QR Codes in the Classroom

I was searching for new material for my 21st century classroom at the start of the school year. I discovered QR codes and how I can use them in my classroom as another way to integrate 21st century technology skills! I began reading some great Livebinders on QR codes and found a wealth of knowledge on these interesting creatures! My wheels began spinning again and I created my very own QR code using a QR code generator. I decided to use my code as an introduction to a few of my favorite things! I'm really excited about using QR codes as a tool that engages students in 21st century learning. Here is a link to my personal QR code that I created. I've also included some great sites where you can learn how other teachers are using them in their classrooms.


http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2011/05/qr-code-classroom-implementation-guide.html

Facebook in Your Classroom....no Edmodo instead!

I stumbled across Edmodo a few years back and discovered the endless possibilities this free web 2.0 tool could bring to the classroom. I wondered what kind of impact this tool could have in my classroom...my little feet began to swing back and forth very fast and I can honestly say that we have stumbled across a very cool interactive tool that I now use in my classroom on a weekly basis! Here is a video on how Edmodo can impact your classroom starting today!


http://youtu.be/TzPHQr1ONaA

Great Site for ELL/ESL/Bilingual Learners

I ran into a small problem this year of not having a tape player for my listening center in my classroom. Since I teach in a bilingual class, I was a bit sad. I began to search the internet of course and found the most WONDERFUL site for my students. This site is an online library in which students can listen to books in 3 different languages....English, French and Spanish. It does have a membership fee but I signed up for a 30 day trial. I plan to bookmark this site on all my computer stations, personal laptop and hope to be able to use until my tape player arrives. Here is a closer look into this amazing site:
 

www.tumblebooks.com

Free Technology For Teachers

As an educator and technology facilitator, I am constantly looking for ways to engage my students in their learning. A couple of years ago, I ran into a website that soon became an addiction! Richard Byrne became that addiction. Here is a classroom teacher who has made the path for all educators to follow when it comes to engaging students. His level of knowledge in technology always seems to amaze me and never disappoints. His excitement for the use of technology in the classroom flows through the countless pages of resources he has acquired. I love, love, love this guy and hope you will too.

http://www.freetech4teachers.com/

Tuned Out!

I recently listened to a webinar on Karen Hume's new book titled "Tuned Out" which gives administrators, teachers and those involved in education a real inside look on why students are "tuned out" when it comes to learning in our schools. I think this book is a must read for all educators who are changing the way our students are learning by engaging them in their learning. The link below will take you to the live session I heard through Steve Hargadon's Future of Education site which I am a member of. It can also be found on his Classroom 2.0 site as well.

http://www.stevehargadon.com/2011/01/live-interview-thursday-february-3rd.html

How Students Are Changing Digital Media

During the Thanksgiving break, I came across a YouTube video that I had not seen yet. It came across from one of my tweets who I follow daily in the world of technology. As an educator, digital user and parents of digital users, I very quickly became interested in the change of shift in digital use by students, teachers and even today's parents. Our digital media world is taking all those who love communicating by ways other than talking on the phone in extra ordinary ways. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Here is the link below:

http://youtu.be/IUfHZu54W8c