Sunday, December 29, 2013

I Got An iPad! Now What Do I Do?

"Appy New iPad!"
As the holidays are coming to an end and we will be back to our normal routine soon, I wanted to make some suggestions for students with new (or old) iPads.  In school we have some foundational apps that we use all the time.  Here is a brief summary of the apps we have tested and happily approve. 
Appy Downloading.
Creation Apps:  I personally love the apps that enable students to use what they know to share their knowledge with others.  These are the apps that we use to show higher order thinking skills.  We are able to create project based activities across grade levels and curriculum areas with these apps.
Learning to collaborate with others and connect through technology are essential skills in a 21st century learner.

Educreations is a  FREE app for screencasting that turns an iPad into a recordable whiteboard.  We use this app to share our knowledge and teach others.


 Drawing Pad  is a PAID app that gives the user a wide range of art tools to create detailed pictures.  Art work can be saved to the camera roll and used in other programs.  Students often start with this app and then add the picture to educreations.  We love "app smashing".
Book Creator is a PAID app that allows you to create a book right on the iPad.  The record feature allows the user to record their voice along with their work.  This app works with iBooks and you can also send these books to friends.
Scribbble Press is a PAID app for book creation that allows users to create and share their own stories with hundreds of great drawing and writing tools. Story templates are included.


Skitch is a FREE app that can annotate and draw on just about anything that you see, whether it’s a new or existing photo, a webpage, screenshot, map, or a blank canvas.



Haiku Deck  is a FREE app that lets you create inspired picture presentations. 





 Animoto is a FREE app that allows you to turn your photos and short video clips into videos projects. Music and templates are provided.  Very easy to use.
Kidblog is a FREE app that students use to manage their kidblog account.  Teacher moderation is still necessary.

Math Apps:

Splash Math is a PAID app. There are different versions for grades 1 -4.    Excellent for practicing math skills. 

Feed your fish and play with numbers! Practice mental addition and subtraction with Motion Math.  There is also a LITE version.



Saturday, December 28, 2013

Time Liner App

TimeLine Explorer Project
Students in Mrs. Boucher's Class have begun studying explorers.  This project had students first researching explorers and then creating their own timeline using the app RWT Timeline.  I enjoyed watching the students manipulate history as they worked on this project. 
Sites used for research:
All About Explorers  Be careful on this link because you need to find the wrong information.
Timeline allows students to create a graphic of each event by displaying items sequentially along a timeline.
Each student needed to include the following:
  1. A picture of the explorer
  2. Birth Date
  3. Who did the explorer sail for and what did he discover
  4. Year of his greatest discovery
This app is FREE in the iTunes Store
Student Example of TimeLine Project
There is also a web version of this app on the Read Write Think web site.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Skype in the Classroom

We visited Texas!
I have become a fan of Skype in the Classroom and a connection turned into an interesting visit with Woodcrest Elementary School, Port Neches, TX.  This school was in a contest with the other schools in their district to see which school could skype with all 50 states the fastest.

The note below was a message on our skype screen before our visit.

Imagine our surprise to learn we were their 50th skype visit.  We were almost as happy as they were to know they won the contest.  We gave them a huge round of applause to congratulate them.  As the winners, NASA will be visiting their school.
Mrs. Madden and Mrs. McCarthy's classes enjoyed talking about Topsfield, Massachusetts. 

Students shared their favorite parts of the 50 states skype visits.
Nice Job Woodcrest Elementary School!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

QLovi Brings Authors Live to the Classroom

2 Amazing Authors Reading Live In Our School!
Qlovi + Authors was a special one-day event of engaging live author readings. Each author read one of twelve beautifully diverse books with a Q&A. Educators, registered for a day of illuminating readings tailored by grade range. 
We tweeted out during our viewing and Qlovi responded!

Dianne de las Casas explained how she made her chicken hat.

 Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song
 read by Andrea Pinkney
This group also tweeted during the presentation. 
We had 2 retweets and 1 favorite.

 We also posted a live compliment on the Question and Answer board.
This was a fun day of listening to 2 new books. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mystery Skype

Don't you just love a good mystery?
As a part of the fourth grade curriculum, the fourth grade has begun their study of the regions of the United States.  The kick off was sending the Teddy Bears around the world.  The bears are even sending some interesting posts to their Teddy Bear Blog.
All week Mrs. Murphy's Class has been preparing for their first Mystery Skype Visit.  On Wednesday we had a practice run to be sure everyone knew their job in anticipation of the big day.  On Friday, Mr. Willis' combined grades 3 and 4 class played Mystery Skype with us and we couldn't have had more fun.  We played by asking yes or no questions similar to 20 questions.  The students were well organized and asked thoughtful questions.  We guessed their state, Vermont, first but they guessed our town, Topsfield, first.  Cheers and applause were heard from both states. 
Mystery Skype is a very engaging way to learn geography.
Thank you Mr. Willis and Class!



The Questioners and Answerers are in front of the smartboard ready to respond. 
The Filterers take the questions and sort through them before they are passed on.
Runners sit ready to pick up the next question from the Think Tank Members.
Think Tank Members are researching.
Google Mappers are quick to find the answers and ask new questions on the iPads.


View Central School Dr in a larger map

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mrs. Boucher's Class Visited Indiana

Mrs. Boucher's Fifth Grade Class took a visit to Forest Ridge Academy in Indiana today via skype.  Each class shared a little about their schools and classes.  We learned that the boys and girls in Mrs. Osika's Class come from many, many zip codes.  While the students in Mrs. Boucher's Class only come from one zip code.  We also learned that Mrs. Osika's students get to spend a week at Space Camp at the end of the year.  We were a little jealous and anxiously look forward to hearing more about it. 
Each class will be posting and commenting on Kidblog as the year continues.  Please visit their blogs and leave a comment.  Be sure to tell us where you are from.
View Forest Ridge Academy in a larger map

Forest Ridge Academy
Proctor School

Students introduced each class.
Mrs. Boucher's students share the Happy Meal Project.
We talked about our Kidblog.
We can't wait to read each others' posts.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Olweus Kickoff

Proctor School had the Kick Off to their Anti Bullying Program.  Classes each created a message and shared it with the whole school.
Grade 5 students in Mrs. Bpoucher and and Mr. Deveney's Class created an animoto.  These students generated a list of questons and then went out and asked members of the staff for their answers. Take a look at their final project.

Students conducted the interviews and recorded the answers to their questions on the iPad.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Kindergarten Students wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Out of My Mind Characters

Students in Mrs. Nawoichik's Language Arts classes recently took part in the Global Read Aloud project by reading Out Of My Mind by Sharon Draper.  As a final project they brainstormed a list of all the characters in the book.  They then created slides in drawing pad with an illustration of the character, as well a slide with a quote from that character.  The final slide was a thought from Melody's point of view.

We then compiled all their slides and imported them into Animoto.
Enjoy their final project.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Math~Students As Teachers

What does math look like without paper and pencil?
Students were very excited to use the Apple TV and the iPads to teach one another how to solve math problems from their Math in Focus lessons.
The app educreations makes a perfect whiteboard for students to use as they work through their math problems and the Apple TV allows them to display their work on the smartboard as they explain their thinking.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Oh The Places We've Been

One Book Connects the World!
As we began Global Read Aloud 2013 in October little did we realize the connections we would make along the way.  The books are officially completed but we hope our new friends will stay in touch.
 Here are some pictures from our skype visits
Places we have visited during Global Read Aloud:
Costa Rica
Crestwood, Kentucky
East Haven, Connecticut
Indianapolis, Indiana
Crowne Point, Michigan
Fraser, Michigan
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Pontiac, Michigan
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Viola, Wisconsin
Amesbury, Massachusetts
Winnipeg, Canada
Hartland, Wisconsin
Broomfield, Colorado
Denton, North Carolina
Johnson Creek,. Wisconsin
Danvers, Massachusetts
New Brunswick, New Jersey

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween

Mrs. Ragan's Kindergarten Class celebrates Halloween!
This week Mrs. Ragan had her boys and girls create a drawing of their Halloween costume using the app educreations.  They were very creative.  They decided to make a screencast of their adorable costumes.  Enjoy!
****Tech Tip****
  1. Create the drawings in educreations or drawing pad.
  2. Screenshot the page.
  3. Take a picture on the iPad of the students in costume.
  4. Open educreations and using the camera roll import the pictures.
  5. Add the photo of the student in costume to the page.
  6. Click on the photo and delete it.
  7. Record the voice and hit the back button to add the photo back while recording.
Common Core Standard Addressed:
Writing ~
Production and Distribution of Writing
6. With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Some Things in Life Really Are Free

A few weeks ago I became a Twitter user. 
I met the librarian from Danvers Schools, Karen, at a conference a while back and she raved about how she finds so much useful information through twitter.  I wasn't quite sure what to make of this but I finally agreed to give it a try.  First, I followed Ms Strobl's Science Class.  That has been fun.  Then I added a few more people to follow.  It has been an entertaining adventure.
One night while looking through the twitter feed, I noticed that google chrome was giving away chromebooks.  For Free!  Anyone who knows me knows that I can't resist FREE items!  Ask my children.
In the teacher category there were 743 nominations.  I decided to nominate my daughter who teaches First Grade in Middleton.
This is the quote on the Google page:
" A+ teachers don’t just teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. They can open up kids’ horizons and even set them on their future life path. And that deserves more than a shiny red apple."
And guess what?  She was one of the lucky winners.  Her brand new in the box chromebook arrived on Friday! 
And yes, it was totally FREE. 
Thank you google chrome.
Have fun Miss Klipfel.
Winning pictures

Go Sox!

2004 poster created by students.

2007 poster created by students

Coming Soon 2013!
Go Sox!

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Trip to New Jersey

Mrs. DeOreo's Sixth Graders visited New Jersey today. 
The first group skyped with Mrs. Schaefer-Dolan's class early in the morning.  Their visit began with a quick introduction and then the students in New Jersey had our students play a "Guess the Scene" game.  The group had clues for us and we immediately guessed what part of the book they were describing.  It was a lot of fun.  Then both classes shared questions and answers.
After lunch we had another visit with two different sixth grade classes.  But as in all things involving technology there was no sound on our end.  It was quite entertaining as they could hear us but we couldn't hear them.  We reflected that this is what Melody lives through every day.  The students became very creative and used communication boards and asked us questions.  This visit turned out to be very powerful becasue it gave us a deeper understanding and we had greater empathy for Melody as a result.


Click on the map to see a larger version. 

View Greater Brunswick Charter School in a larger map