Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Diigo post (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

App review: Scrawlar

Hey everyone,

I wanted to share my thoughts on app I found out about via twitter. It is called Scrawlar. Scrawlar brings together a collaborative doc, drawing, and backchat into one easy to use app that you can use on your tablet, phone, or laptop.

What is Scrawler?

  • Scrawlar is a web 2.0 tool that combines an interactive whiteboard, collaborative document, and chat feature into one user friendly classroom tool. 

How to set up Scrawlar:
Once you are logged in you will be directed to a work space where you can create a collaborative document, a sketch, and back chat (class feed). You can create new docs to share with students or check what has been shared with you.

Manage students in Scrawlar
  • To create student accounts for your class select manage students
  • Complete the information required for each student
  • When an account is created a password will be identified for each student
  • Students can login to Scrawler and find docs that have created and that have been shared with them
Sharing docs or sketches in Scrawlar
  • Create a document you would like to share
  • When document is complete click the share button (on your workspace, it is a green button on the right hand side)
  • Select which users you would like to share your document with 
  • Can select if the user can view or edit the doc
  • Click update
Shared docs
  • To view docs or sketches that have been shared with you select Shared with me
  • You will find all docs or sketches shared with you here 
  • You will also see the permissions a user has set for you (view, edit) 
Class feed
  • The class feed feature is like a back chat
  • Users can type whats on their mind here
  • Responses will be displayed (most recent first)

How to use Scrawlar in your classroom:
  • Collaboration between students
  • Write and revise drafts of work 
  • Group work 
  • Use as alternative to Google docs
  • Annotation on a drawing between several students  
  • Back chat

Hop on down the bunny trail!

 Good morning everyone,

'Hunter wants to be the Next Cadbury Bunny' photo (c) 2011, fauxto_digit - license:

"Hippity hoppity Easter is on it's way!" Below are some interactive Easter activities for you to do in your classroom on a computer or interactive whiteboard. Some of my favorites include:

But to find more Easter games for your little bunnies click here to be linked to my Wednesdays with Sam page! 
Have a "hoppy" Easter!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day

Good morning,

Today is  world autism awareness day! Autism is a spectrum disorder that affects an individual's brain. It varies in severity depending upon the individual. This continuum includes disorders from ‘low functioning’ to ‘high functioning':  

• Autistic disorder
• Rett syndrome (more common in girls than boys)
• Childhood dis-integrative disorder
• Pervasive developmental disorder –not otherwise specified (pdd-nos)
• Asperger syndrome

According to the CDC autism affects 1 in 68 children, and is more prevalent in boys than girls.  In fact, according to the autism speaks website, autism affects more than two million individuals in the us alone.  To learn more about autism click here.  Some common behaviors of autism spectrum disorder include:  

• Difficulty with speech and communication skills
• Repetitive behaviors
• Intellectual disabilities
• Motor skill disorders
• Health issues (sleep and gastrointestinal)
• Attention disorders

Resources for students with Autism

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Cool Tool Review....Class Dojo

Good morning all,

I wanted to share a cool tool I found out about during #satchat this morning called class Dojo. Class Dojo is an interactive tool that you can use on your computer (or the app for ios and droid) to track student behaviors and attendance during class. It is a great classroom management tool.

Class Dojo Setup

Class Dojo How-To

  • Login to class dojo
  • Create your class and give it a name
  • Enter or copy from a list the names of your students 
  • Once you add students to the account Class Dojo will provide you with a PDF that has a unique code for each student (and parent!)
  • Students then sign on  and create an account with their individual code,  they can track how they are doing in class.
  • Once inside class Dojo you can:
    • Award students with positive behavior rewards
    • Identify where students need to improve
    • Take attendance
    • Call on a random student
    • Show a timer countdown or count-up
  • You can even customize the behaviors (both positive and negative) that are present in your classroom.
  • Track how many awards a student receives
  • As students exhibit positive behaviors you can award them points and a green circle indicating the number of points they obtained in by their avatar and name.
    • As students exhibit negative behaviors, the number of points decrease. 
    • You can see the number of behaviors (positive or negative) as a combined or separate view. 
  • When class is over  you can see the overall score of positive and negative behaviors exhibited during class. 
    • Also view each student independently with the behaviors that occurred during class
 The video below shows a tutorial regarding how to create your Class Dojo step by step. 

Readers - how can you use Class Dojo with your students? 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cool Tool Review...Piazza

Good Monday morning everyone.

I wanted to let you all know about a cool tool I found out about this weekend at TLT2014. This tool is a question and answer/discussion tool called Piazza.

What is Piazza?
Piazza is a free,  robust discussion board tool that can be embedded into your learning management system.  It allows for communication between students and instructor in realtime. It allows students to participate in discussions by either posting their username or as anonymous (in case you have those shy students). To learn more about Piazza access their PDF here.

How to set up Piazza
I know it looks like a lot, but it doesn't take anytime at all to set up an account. To set up Piazza please follow the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to
  2. Select instructors get started
  3. Type in your school
  4. Click continue
  5. Enter your school domain, if you don't know your domain click "My school doesn't have it's own email domain"
  6. Select I agree to the terms
  7. Click Continue
  8. Select the term for your class (summer, spring, fall, winter)
  9. Name your class
  10. Create new class
  11. Enter the class number
  12. Enter the class enrollment number
  13. Click create course
  14. Join the class as a student, TA, or professor
  15. Enter the email address you want to use to enroll
  16. Click enroll me
  17. Enter your verification code (as per the email) 
  18. Create your login information
  19. Welcome to your class! Congrats!
Piazza Set up
Once you have created an account, you will be directed to your course page on piazza. From this point students can either self enroll (with the code you provided) or you can invite students via email or a class list.  Piazza also gives you a snippet of text to put in your syllabus explaining piazza. You can add questions/comments/ discussion points by organizing your class into folders. I  made each week as a module and then had final project, chat, and other folders. 

I created a welcome message in each folder, along with a poll, and file (an article for discussion). Students are then required to collaborate about the topic in the article. Now all I have to do is wait for responses! 

*For more help regarding Piazza please visit here. You will find video and text tutorials.* 

How to use it with your class

  • Post announcements
  • Ask questions to promote discussion 
  • Put students in groups to promote group discussion
  • Answer questions related to homework
  • Use it as a discussion board
  • Create polls 
  • Load files and resources for collaboration 
How do you use Piazza? How do you plan to use Piazza? 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Geddit....student check in tool

Geddit is a cool tool I learned about just this morning from my twitter friend . I thought I would dig deeper into this cool tool. Below is a video demonstrating how Geddit works.

What is Geddit? 
It is a way that you can "check in" with students as they progress with a lesson. Students simply sign into your class and they can identify how confident they feel regarding a specific topic. As a teacher you will get immediate feedback and can address student learning right there and then.

How to get Geddit
All you need to do is go to and click get started. Then you need to choose if you are teacher or student. If you click on teacher you need to fill out the requested information (be sure to use your educator email address). If you select student sign up with google, create an account, or sign in with already created account. Once a student signs up or signs into geddit put in the class code by your teacher. Then click join.

*As a teacher you can upload a class list and create your student accounts!

How does it work?
As a teacher you create assessments (multiple choice, poll, or short answer). Once you create an assessment you click start teaching. You then give the code to students and they can participate in the assessment.

How to use it your classroom
Below are some ways to use Geddit in your classroom

  • Review for homework
  • Exit ticket
  • Review during a lesson to track students' understanding of a topic
  • Use it as a review for a test 
  • Take a pop quiz 
  • Track attendance
  • Track participation
  • Use it as an assessment for your flipped classroom 

How do you plan to use Geddit in your classroom?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring has sprung!

Hello All,

Spring has sprung! I wanted to share some of my favorite spring themed activities for students. But, as always to find more go here

'My cat eating my flowers' photo (c) 2009, zeevveez - license:

What your favorite activities that have a spring twist? 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sam's cool tool review...Everyslide

I found this cool tool thanks to my Diigo connections it is This website allows you to present your powerpoint presentations or PDFs with embedded assessments! These assessments can be accessed through a mobile device, laptop, or phone just by going to the code you provide your students. One of the best features is that it is FREE for educators!

First thing is first, sign up for a free educator account. By going to and selecting pricing for educator. Then select "Get Started" under educator account. Complete the requested information.

Once you login you can attend or create a presentation by simply dragging and dropping the PPT or PDF into the window. Once your document or PPT is loaded you can add in embedded assessment

  • Multiple choice 
  • True/False
  • Word cloud - shows answers in a word cloud like Wordle 

While students are answering questions you can track how many have answered the questions. You will also receive a spreadsheet of the data provided by users!

How do you plan to use this tool in your classroom?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Some classroom funding ideas....

Hi everyone!

With belts tightening these days, I am posting ways for you get money to spend in your classroom. All three of these I have used in my own teaching experiences.
  •  Donors choose: You write out a grant for your classroom and people can choose to donate to your cause. All you need to do is create an account and post your project. With Donors choose about 70% of the projects are funded! You can have your project available for donations for up to four months. 
  • Digital Wish: Has a list of many grants that you can apply for. The link here has a list of the open grants available to you. All you have to do is write a lesson plan! 
  • Recycle Forward: Recycle old technology, batteries, old technology, and ink. Just collect it, ship it, and get paid for it! 

Some other useful resources:
Teacher Discounts - Here is a huge list of discounts for teachers

Grant Wrangler - checks out grants and resources all organized by category.

Best of luck! What do you use to obtain items for your classroom?

Monday, March 10, 2014

App Review - Tellagami

Good morning,

I wanted to review an application I found this weekend: Tellagami. It is an app that is available both for ios and droid devices. This app reminds me of a  voki but for your mobile device. 

App Description:
In this app you can:
  • Create a character (customize gender, clothing, and other features)
  • Add emotions (happy, sad, angry, surprised, and silly)
  • Customize a background (use one from the library or upload your own image)
  • Record your voice. 
  • Once you create a message with your character you can share it out to the world (facebook, twitter, and email). 

Below is a video tutorial that shows how to use Tellagami step by step just follow along.

Uses for Tellagami in the classroom:

  • Introduction to class as an instructor or for students to each other
  • Icebreaker activity
  • Review emotions and facial expressions
  • Introduce /Review a topic with students  
What are your ideas for this app? Please share! 

Friday, March 7, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Activities

Hi All,

I wanted to post some St. Patrick's Day activities for you to use in your classroom. Some of my favorites are below, but if you are feelin' lucky you can find some more here.

'Green is SO Me!' photo (c) 2006, Jackie - license:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Read across America -- March 2, 2014

Read across America is fast approaching. Click here for more information about read across America.  I wanted to provide all of you with some fun and interactive resources. These sites can be used on your interactive whiteboard or computer station in your classroom. Here are some of my  favorites:

'Cat in the Hat' photo (c) 2009, admiller - license:
  • Seuss Lorax : Save the Trees game - You are in charge of the Truffula seeds. And Tuffula seeds are what everyone needs! Catch 10 little seeds in the bucket and then you can replant the Truffula forest again! 
  • Catch a Thing Game that requires keen hand-eye coordination. Move the arrow keys to catch the "THINGS" that keep messing up the house!
  • ABC Hide and Seek Each letter flap has a picture behind it. Click on the letter that the picture begins with. 
  • Cat's Concentration Game  Multi-level concentration game. Level 1 - Match the Dr. Seuss character pictures. Level 2 - Match characters from Dr. Seuss books to his story titles. 
  • Sing Along A Sing-a-long with lyrics scrolling in the background. 
  • Dr. Seuss Patterns (Sticker Game) Drag an image to complete the pattern. Patterns are pictures. Color clues are given. Characters are from Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish - Two Fish - Red Fish - Blue Fish and Dr. Seuss's ABC's. 

Looking for more Dr. Suess fun? Click here for more interactives. What will you read with your class on read across America? 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Has it been 100 days already?

Good morning! I don't know about you, but the 100th day of school is fast approaching if it hasn't not occurred already. Below are some interactive activities to do in your classroom all around the number 100. 

  • Count – interactive book from starfall count to 100 
  • Hundreds chart- Count along to 100 with this hundred chart
  • Splat - splat the squares to 100. Paint the squares with a splat of paint as you count to 100
  • Bones - Can you find the 10 missing bones as you count to 100? 
Looking for more? Here are some more activities for the 100th day of school. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Freebie Friday

Hello everyone! I thought I would  post some free resources for you. What are some of your favorite freebies, please add a comment below! 

'188.365 || Surprise!' photo (c) 2011, Aman Deshmukh - license:
  • Free apps - Today only find some free and discounted apps. Today's freebies include puzzles, interactive stories, math, and science apps.

  • Free ipad apps - Here is a list with descriptions of each app for your classroom. I would suggest subscribing to this site! It is a great resource.

  • Teacher's guide to free apps - Another resource for free apps complete with descriptions. Some of my favorites are talking tom, popplet, and puppet pals. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Goin' for the Gold!

Go for the gold in your classroom with these interactive Olympics inspired activities.

'Cat on Olympic Mountain' photo (c) 2008, sburke2478 - license:
  • BrainPOP - Olympics - Learn about the origins of the Olympics from Tim & Moby, with plenty of cross-curricular interactive activities that will bridge Ancient Greece to 2010

For more Olympic fun check out these activities here

Have some Olympic inspired activities that you use in your classroom? Please share! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Literacy apps for students who are deaf or hard of hearing

"Klimt - The Fulfilment (detail) & Kotek by Robin, Flickr (via Wylio), license:

Students who are deaf or hard of hearing differ in many ways especially when it comes to academics. Some of our students are right on par with their typically developing peers, others are functioning below grade level, and some are gifted learners. Attached below is a checklist to feature match apps. 

Literacy apps

 App name    Website Description Cost
iWriteWords how to write letters and words Lite - free,  Full version  $2.99
  StoryKit an electronic storybook.  Free
 Sentence Builder Builder is used to help students learn how to build grammatically correct sentences.   $5.99
 See.Touch.Learn. A picture learning system that can be used to make  individual  lessons.   Free
ABC Tracer Lite  how to write letters with strokes in the right order on the traditional red-blue guiding lines Free
MindMeister, edit and share mind maps Free
Danny the Dragon meets Jimmy This is a story that not only provides text but also shows the reader sign language.  $2.99

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...


Hope you are all staying warm. I don' t know about you but I am tired of all this snow! I found some great activities related to snow, that you can do on your computer as an individual lesson or interactive whiteboard for whole class instruction. A few favorites are listed below, but more activities are listed here:

Have some fun winter interactive resources to share? Please add a comment! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Activities 2014

Lookin to share some love with technology this Valentine's Day? Check out some great valentine's day activities here.  But here are some of my favorites:

  • Clifford kisses- Who will get a kiss from Clifford? Match T-bones balloons.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

5-5-5 Challenge...Accepted!

Hi everyone

I want to apologize for the hideous, as I was working to finish up my PhD.  I just got back from PETE&C and I am rejuvenated and ready to start up this blog again. Therefor, I want to share something that I learned from PETE&C.

One idea I learned is something I plan to put into practice not only in my professional life as a student but as a future instructor.  This idea is 5-5-5 and was done at the end of Aaron Sams' presentation  (yeah that's right Aaron Sams from flipped classroom). He got it from somewhere else, but I'm going to try my best to adapt it. The only thing I found closely related was here.

The 5-5-5 concept is geared towards adult learners. It talks about giving adult learners a challenge at the end of a presentation or lesson.
1. What do you plan to do with the information you learned in the next 5 days?
2. What do you plan to do with the information in the next 5 weeks?
3. What do you plan to do with the information in the next 5 months?

As Barney from How I met your Mother would say, "Challenge accepted".
In the next five days I planned to start this blog up again and share information I come across. In the next five weeks I plan to post to this blog t at least one time a week. In the next five months I plan to build this blog up to something I can share with students as a resource to use during their teaching.

 I challenge you, have you been to a professional development session lately? a conference? a webinar? If so:
1. What do you plan to do with the information you learned in the next 5 days?
2. What do you plan to do with the information in the next 5 weeks?
3. What do you plan to do with the information in the next 5 months?