Sunday, July 28, 2013

Colorado Teacher Meet-Up

What an amazing experience!  I was lucky enough to connect with some of the best teacher/sellers in the state for a fabulous lunch last Thursday.  We were able to talk about our funny student stories, our current positions, interesting teaching ideas, and even our own kids and pets.    

From the left moving around: Cecilia, Naomi, Kristin, Lorrie, Brenda (me), and Pam. Check out their stores for ideas and resources for every elementary grade. 

What a fun group and fun day!  Keep on the lookout for more collaborative efforts from my new Colorado connections :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Beginnings!

My blog has been all business so I thought it was about time to formally introduce myself.  I am a mom, wife, sister, daughter, and teacher (but not always in that order)! 

I have an awesome husband of eight years who I adore more and more every day.  My son is named Aiden and he is five years old.  He is heading to kindergarten this year.  I can’t believe it.  My daughter is named Ryanne after my work wife and she is four.  They are the light of my life and I can’t imagine one day without them!

On the job front, I am on to new beginnings!  I recently accepted a position as the academic coach at a new STEM school near my house (eight minutes away IN TRAFFIC!) I wanted to share this news with my fabulous followers.  I am so sad to leave my old school, friends, community and even sadder to leave the classroom, but I know this position will be fun and challenging.  My brand new school has one-to-one technology so I hope to learn a lot about implementing iPads and Chromebooks in the classroom.  I am also so excited to learn more about project-based learning and incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math into our community projects.  I plan share everything on this blog.  

As always, thanks for following.  What new beginnings are in store for you?

Friday, July 5, 2013

iPad Apps for Classroom Management

Teachers always struggle with the idea of a one iPad classroom-- me included.  While I prefer to get the iPad into the hands of students as much as possible to encourage 21st century learners, these quick tools are great ways to start using the iPad with a large group before you start implementing small group use. 

1.  Songify
Use this awesome tool to turn any words into a song.  It could be perfect for transition time... "Grab your composition notebook, pencil, and meet on the floor."  I recently used this with a group of teachers and they all literally turned to listen.  If it works with teachers, you know it will with kids!

2. VidRhythm
This tool is so fun and easy.  Students can use it for team building by video taping a music video where everyone participates.  It takes less than a minute to tape and the results are awesome!

3. Group Games
Brain breaks have become quite popular over the past few years to get students re-energized to learn.  This app includes simple, fun games to use with students when they just need some downtime.

4. Pick Stix
I heard about this tool, but never knew all that it can do.  Teachers can have multiple cans for groups, label sticks by cognitive level, select question type for student ability, and so much more.  Definitely worth organizing your class using this tool when students return back to school!

5. Noise Sniffer
This tool is a yacker-tracker for the iPad.  You can post it on the projector and give the class a decibel limit.  It's also a great way to "vote" for a project or class decision by letting the app determine which received the most cheers. 

6. Class DOJO
This is a behavior management system where you can collect behavior data for each student.  Teachers can even send this data to parents for instant communication and feedback.  This would work great with a PBIS system or a student on an individualized behavior plan.

7. Kagan Timer Tools
This simple tool is great to help students manage their time with assignments.  You can program anytime and display it for kids.

8. Kagan Select Spinners
If you love teamwork, this tool is for you!  Kagan suggests giving each child think time, select the team first so no team is off the hook, and then select the student to share out.  Everyone has to be ready to discuss which increased engagement and accountability.

9. Not it
This is such a fun, simple tool.  Basically, put the iPad in the center of a group.  Each person puts their finger on the iPad and the app slowly selects the person.  Kids would love this.  Hey-my husband and I might start using this for dish duty!

10. Confer
This last one is a bit pricey ($14.99) but it's worth it if you have a teacher iPad.  You can collect formative notes on your students for all subject areas, sort students, group students, and so much more. 

What are your favorite iPad apps to help manage your classroom?