Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Literacy Websites/Apps

Earlier this week, Richard Byrne (Free Technology for Teachers) released his favorite Math Websites and Apps.  Today, he released his Top 5 Favorite Literacy Websites and Apps.  Reading Bear website seems extremely helpful for elementary students learning how to pronounce letters and words.  What would you add to this list?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I stumbled across an interesting article on Edudemic titled, "Doodling: A Teacher's Secret Weapon for Unlocking Learning."It promotes drawing in all classrooms to calm students, focus them, brainstorm, think critically, and inspire creativity.

As an elementary student, I was introduced to the importance of doodling.  We were taught to doodle by my mother, our elementary school librarian, as a way to express our creativity and to think in a deeper, analytical way.

How would you use doodling in your classroom?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Math Sites

I found this post from Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers.  It includes 5 sites/apps that are perfect for elementary math classes.  Many of these sites would be great for parents to use at home.  Any other sites/apps you would add to this list?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Project-Based Learning

As a technology teacher, my entire curriculum is based around learning through the completion of digital projects.  Edutopia posted a series of videos on how to incorporate rigor into project-based learning.  The videos include how to establish real-world connections, build rigor, structure collaboration, create a student centered learning environment, and embed assessments throughout the project. These videos are helpful resources for any teacher trying to create a more student-centered classroom environment.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Paperless Classrooms

With current school budgets, it's definitely difficult to pull of the paperless classroom (side note: it's interesting to think about how many computers we could afford if we cut our paper budgets), but if you ever find yourself with a class set of devices and aren't sure where to start, Edudemic posted an article titled, Ultimate Guide to the Paperless Classroom, to assist teachers with the transition of going paperless.  It includes first steps, managing the devices, creating a class website, and apps/websites for student collaboration, projects, and assignments.  Anything you would add to the list?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Novels: On Location

Do you love to read? Do you love to travel?

Richard Byrne's blog, Free Technology for Teachers, posted about a site, Novels: On Location, that organizes novels according to the story's geographical location using Google Maps.  If you're visiting Costa Rica in the near future, you can find novels set in Costa Rica to read on the beach.  How great is that?!?

A teacher could have students complete a similar project where they map the settings of the books they read.  Any other ways to use Novel: On Location in the classroom?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Digital Citizenship Week

This week, Oct 19-25, is Digital Citizenship Week.  Edutopia posted 6 Resources for Educators to use during this important week.  It's extremely important to teach our students how to keep themselves safe online.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Google Extensions

This is cool! From Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers, a post about 5 web browser extensions allowing students to access the content of webpages.  For example, the Google Chrome web app, Read & Write, provides students the opportunity to "gain confidence with reading and writing, including: 
• Hear words, passages, or whole documents read aloud with easy-to-follow dual color highlighting 
 • See the meaning of words explained with text and picture dictionaries 
• Hear text translated into other languages 
• Get suggestions for the current or next word as you type 
• Turn words into text as you speak 
• Highlight text in documents or the web and collect for use in other documents • Simplify and summarize text on web page."

There are many conversations revolving around "equity" in the world of education.  These tools would definitely help students access content and provide that extra boost they may need.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apple Releases

Apple just introduced and released some new products today including iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Apple Pay, Operating System: Yosemite, and more.  Check out all the new releases at

Stress and Learning

Here's an interesting read from Edudemic.  It's a post titled, How Stress Affects the Brain During Learning, and reveals how students growing up in stressful situations have trouble being prepared to learn.  The article also gives teachers strategies to use in the classroom, like teaching grit/perseverance and establishing routines, to ease the stress and anxiety.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Learning to Code

From the New York Time's educational blog, The Learning Network, comes a post written about coding bootcamps popping up around the country.  Students can learn computer programming through these short, instructional courses.  Would you consider taking a coding bootcamp class?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

iPad Apps for Teachers

Here's a list from TeachThought about the 50 best iPad Apps for teachers to use.  I'm always looking for new iPad Apps and many of the ones from this list sound great.  What are your favorites?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Google Apps --> Projects

Here's another great way to use Google Drive Apps during project-based learning: 5 Ways to Use Integrated Google Drive Apps for Group Projects.  As our district begins to use Google more and more, it's important to know all the different ways to incorporate their Apps.  Which ones to you prefer?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Game Creators

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning recently reviewed two web tools to create educational games for students.  One is FlipQuiz and the other is Jeopardy Rocks.  Both tools allow users to create game show type quizzes or games.  It's a great way for students to have fun while they're learning.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Internet Search Tools

Richard Byrne has done it, again!  Here's his presentation on Google search tips and strategies.  I'll be using these with my students.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fixed vs Growth Mindset

As a technology teacher and technology representative for our building, I hear plenty of students and staff tell me they're not good with computers (fixed mindset).  Edudemic posted an interesting article titled, "Why the Growth Mindset is the Only Way to Learn," which explains the importance of having a positive attitude and willingness to try new things.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Magazine Covers

Now this is really cool!  While browsing through EduTech for Teachers, I found a post titled, "Magazine Mania with Big Huge Labs."  Big Huge Labs has a FREE program allowing users to upload an image from their computer and creating a Magazine Cover with it.  This would be perfect for our 1st grade book covers!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Project Based Learning

As a technology teacher, my students learning happens while completing projects. It's difficult to plan projects and many mistakes can be made along the way. To combat this, Edutopia posted a helpful article about project based learning titled, "Avoiding the Flop: 5 Questions to Guide Projects and Inquiry." It's a great resource for any teacher trying to create projects for their students to complete.

Friday, October 3, 2014

MathChat App

Here's an interesting new tool for tablet users.  Richard Bryne's site, Free Technology for Teachers, posted an article about an app called MathChat. It allows users to receive help on homework problems and allows them to check their answers and the steps they took to get the answer.  It looks to be an excellent tool for students to use.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Google Drive Extra Storage

I found this while exploring Richard Byrne's site, Free Technology for Teachers.  At the beginning of the new year, Google is offering educators, who are already using Google Apps, extra storage in their Google Drives for FREE!  Thank you, Google.