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.

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!

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:)