Saturday, February 28, 2015

Round 1 voting is open for the March Book Mania!
It will be open until  March 6th. Click {here} to access the voting form.

The winning books will be announced on March 9th.
Round 2 will be open for two weeks due to Spring Break.

It's not too late to join the March Book Mania. Click {here} to read more about it and access the documents.

Don't forget to connect with us on Twitter . . .
and . . .
drop a pin on the Google Map sharing your location and  . . . 

post your comments on Padlet.   

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Shadow Puppet - Great Digital Storytelling App

Shadow Puppet EDU is a fantastic free digital storytelling app.

During the Eanes, iLeap Academy,  Lisa over at TechChef shared this fabulous app with us.

Shadow Puppet EDU allows the user to quickly create a photo story with narration, text, music, zoom ability and a few sparkly animations.
You can reorder the photos.
When the video is finished, there are various ways to share it. My favorite . . . a web link. Students can "turn it in" by posting the link in a teacher created Google Form. Once you have the link, you can download the movie to any device.

Here is an example of a final product. I used the pictures from our visit to Eanes ISD to create a quick Shadow Puppet movie!

I love the resources Shadow Puppet EDU has available. The storyboard is great for helping students plan out their video.

       Quick Start Guide         Activity Ideas            Storyboard

Check out the Pinterest board on how others are using Shadow Puppet EDU in their classroom.

How about a little app smashing?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

iLeap Academy

There are moments when you sit back and you say . . . Wow! My fellow Instructional Coaches and I attended the Eanes ISD iLeap Academy. 

Here we are on our way home . . .  all smiles, but what you can't see . . . our brains are ready to explode! Usually, we are very chatty, but I will tell you, we were pretty quiet on the way home . . . processing all that we had done and seen.

So what is iLeap Academy? 
iLeap Academy is a one-of-a-kind training event.   It's based on the idea that we learn a concept best when we experience it. This academy has been more than 3 years in the making since our initial 1:1 pilot program in 2011.  This course combines both training from world-class instrutors and actual in-classroom observation of a 1:1 iPad environment. 

Even though, our district is not a 1:1 environment, we have a good number of iPads on our elementary campuses. We were there to learn how to move up the SAMR model!

Our Hosts . . .
Carl Hooker @mrhooker (Hooked on Innovation)
Lisa Johnson @techchef4U (TechChef4U - TechChef4U on Pinterest)
Tim Yenca @mryenca (married to Mathy Cathy! - Fabulous middle school math teacher! I didn't get to see her in action, but the other Instructional Coaches said she was amazing!)

Recently, the app Paper by 53 was free! With "sketch notes" a big thing now, I thought I would try my hand at drawing my reflections about the 3 days at the iLeap academy.
When I finished my drawing, I took it into Thinglink! I attached links of my thoughts, Youtube videos, apps and websites.
Here is my finished product!

Part of the 3 days included school visits. I had the opportunity to visit Eanes and Bridge Point. Check out their school blogs.
Bridge Point

What stood out were the learning environments.  Furniture as a way to help enhance the learning . . . collaboration. Disclaimer: Not all classes had this type of furniture. The district has a vested interest in creating learning environments that promote collaboration.                                                                                                            
Our visits consisted of seeing kinder, 3rd, and 4th graders in action. Students were working with QR codes, Puppet Pals, TodaysMeet, Pages, iMovie, Evernote, Popplet, Motion Math, Pic Collage, Scribble Press, and I'm sure others I'm forgetting. 

We met amazing teachers that created engaging experience for their students. 

After each site visit, we returned to the district learning center. There, we were immersed in numerous hands on activities . . . creating and curating!  We investigated new features on the iOS 8, used Explain Everything, participated in an Appmazing Race Challenge and finally created a book using the app, Book Creator, documenting our learning over the 3 days.

The day was broken up with various brain breaks. This was my favorite!  Perfect for a faculty meeting or during a presentation.

Texas teachers, if you get a chance, sign up for the iLeap Academy this spring or the iPadpalooza in June!

A HUGE thank you to Carl, Lisa and Tim for the fabulous job putting together an authentic learning experience where every aspect can be used either in a classroom or in professional development setting.

(Tomorrow . . . I share a few of the apps we used.)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Join our March Book Mania!

Mrs. Tennis’ second grade class (@learninginTX) and I are teaming up to host a March Book Mania tournament. We invite you to join in the mania!
How does it work?
Just like the basketball March Madness tournament, the Book Mania will have rounds of voting, winners announced until there is a final champion.

There are 16 preselected picture books for the tournament. Click {here} for a list of the books.

From now, until March 6th, read and rate the books in the line up. This can be done as a class or individually.

As students read the books, they rate them based on the character(s), the setting and the problem/solution. Then, they calculate a total for each book.
Using the documents provided, students select their round 1 picks.
Students/classes vote online. (Link is coming soon.)
Students record winners and continue the selection process.
Each winning round will be announced via Twitter and blog postings.

Click {here} for all the documents for the March Book Mania.

Stephanie's class has set up a Padlet for sharing ideas and thoughts about the books. 

Are you in?!!! Click {here} to post your class information or
click {here} add a pin for your class location.

We hope you will join us for the March Book Mania!
Send us a Tweet . . . we love connecting with other classrooms!
Use the hashtag #bookmania15

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tech Overload!

I just got back from our computer convention. Educators from across the state . . .  and beyond came together for 5 days to network, learn and be inspired by presenters.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get there until Thursday which is ok because if I had stayed longer . . .  I think my head would have exploded. There were so many fabulous techie ideas!

I started with . . .
The 8 "chefs"  shared 3 educational apps and one food app.  Thank goodness they shared all the apps in a Smore. Click {here} for a list of the apps they shared. There were many that were . . . wow . . .

Here's one from Dr. Rios . . . Post-it Plus! Love this one!
This not just your ordinary post-it note app! This app allows you to take real Post-it notes that have been written on, scan them with the app, watch them turn into digital post-it notes and manipulate them.  

 Then, I visited the Maker's space for playing around with a Makey Makey and 3D Printers. Too fun! Also, it encouraged educators to start a Cardboard Challenge at their school.

I'm really pushing for a comfy professioinal development room!

Then, I was off to Todd Nesloney's, Tech Ninjas session. It was a great surprise to see up on stage my friend Terri Eichholz from Engage Their Minds! She shared how she uses Canva in the classroom. If you have not seen her blog, you must stop by! She is a wealth of information and she shares the amazing things she's doing in her class! (Follow her on Twitter @terrieichholz!)

My friends, Jeannine (@TechTimeWithJ9) and Ariana (@WildinPrek), presented . . . QR Codes and Aurasma in the Early Childhood Class! They had tons of great ideas!

Here are 2 of the many great apps they shared. . . 

First one . . . Disneynature Explore.
Magnificent outdoor animal adventures. Choose either the Brown Bear, Monarch Butterfly, Chimpanzee, African Lion or Loggerhead Sea Turtle for an augmented reality experience.
Here's a quick video showing the apps features. 

Second one . . . ZooZakam, a great augmented reality app. (Disclaimer - this app costs $0.99) Usually, I don't blog about paid apps, however, when I find one that I think is really going to engage students to write . . . 

This app requires a trigger.
Students can select either bugs, safari animals or  dinosaurs. When they hold the iPad over the trigger the animal will appear. Then, students can take a photos or videos with their animal! 

I love the possibilities of this app!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Currently - February

I have to be honest. I saw Farley's post on Facebook and thought . . . she really is posting early. Well, apparently it really is February 1st. Sorry I doubted you Farley!

Listening: Really?!!! A test on Monday? Not only that, the Monday after Super Bowl. 

Loving: Whew! New boots cuz the old ones were looking scary!

Thinking: Tons of reading and tons of projects. The plus is that the things we are reading and the projects we are doing are actually relevant and purposeful . . . not just busy work.

Wanting: Super excited to head to TCEA! Can't wait to connect with educators and learn new techie stuff. Anyone going?

Needing: We are taking my daughter and several of her friends to Port Aransas. She wants a surfer theme.

Pageant Title: My friends and colleagues often ask me to cutesy up document they they have made . . . gladly! 

Head over to Farley's page to check out the other Currently posts. I'm having a great time reading the pageant titles!

It is 73 degrees outside and the sun is shining. The tv is set up outside so I'm joining the hubby! I'm banning my daughter from looking at her stack of index cards of vocabulary . . . she's studied hard!
Have a great day everyone!