Chrome Squad- Elementary Edition (Part 5) Finally Coming Together- Using an Interactive Chromie Bootcamp Chart

Finally Coming Together- Using an Interactive Chromie Bootcamp Chart

My ebook/Hyperdoc– “Chromebooks for Kids- Training Your Elementary Chrome Squad”  was created to better transition elementary students from iPads to the ever popular Chromebooks. It is a Step-By-Step comprehensive guide for teachers to share with their students learning to use Google tools on Chromebooks in a Personalized Environment. It was born out of my own need to have something to structure a “Google Apps Curriculum” of sorts to get my students more familiar with the new devices in our classrooms. For those of you that have been through the Google Educator Training, I modeled my book after that training process and hopefully, my material is a bit more simplistic for my younger students. 🙂 To best understand this process, go back and read posts #1-#4 about our Elementary Chrome Squad.

After months of revising and colleague input, I finally feel confident enough to post the final editions of the two main charts I used to get my “Chromies” to seamlessly work in their independent personalized Google lessons. Both charts are from my new eBook- “Chromebooks For Kids- Training Your Elementary Chrome Squad” coming out on Kindle at the end of June. Make sure that you sign up to your right – “BE NOTIFIED ABOUT MY NEW BOOK “CHROMEBOOKS FOR KIDS” if you are interested in receiving email notifications regarding my book.

This interactive “Chromie Boot Camp Chart” you see above, is the heart of my book and most commonly used by my students to stay on track. Each numbered step is interactive, meaning that the kids click on the step that links them to the Google App Lesson page they are working on. Each page has a series of videos to watch, assignments to try and followed up with a Google Form to see if they were ready to move on to the next app. Also on this chart, you can see what a Chromie badge looks like including the coveted gems they earn when they help others with the tech skills they have learned, which the kids absolutely love!

My second chart titled – “Independent Work Stations” is not interactive, however, it was also very helpful, especially at the beginning so students would know where to find help if they needed it, knowing where others were working at that same level.

In my book you will receive:

*Directions on How To Use “Chromebooks For Kids- Training Your Elementary Chrome Squad”

*6 Chrome Squad Goals To Guide Action Plans

*2 Charts to Help Manage Learning Paths for Ability Groups

*60 of my “Suggested Apps and Extensions” that link directly to The Chrome Web Store so no searching required.

*A Google Form for each of the 8 steps to assess student mastery before progressing to the next step.

*2 Pages of Printable Name Badge Styles for Students to wear, along with the actual links used to purchase what I found were the best plastic badges.

*Instructional Material to best use 6 of Google’s most basic Apps- Chrome, Drive, Docs, Slides, Keep & Draw to Create, Collaborate and Communicate Student Work

*Over 68 Links to Carefully selected Video Lessons and Websites to teach young children how to use Google Tools using a  language they can actually understand!

*How to Find, Edit & Save Images to Google Drive using 6 Different Resources to find Copyright Safe Images

*5 Suggested Video Tools to use and Share Video on Chromebooks

*Printable Storyboard for Students to Use when organizing Video Projects

*And a few creative EXTRAS!

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7 Digital Handwriting Resources

7-digital-handwriting-resources

Handwriting in Our Digital Age- Controversy or Compliance?

 The topic of teaching handwriting in our schools today finds almost as loyal of followers as a hot political issue. Some parents and teachers are adamant that it is highly necessary, while other relent to the notion that our students will not spend their academic careers writing with a pencil in hand but typing on or speaking into a device. I would argue that we need both.

  As a Tech Integration Specialist and classroom teacher, I would be remiss to take a hard stance that teachers need to spend hours of class time giving instruction on proper grasp and strokes of letters, which I have done in the past. However, we forget that there is still a need to be able to read a variety of content that is handwritten. Reading someone’s writing is just as critical whether it be an important historical document in cursive or the favorite recipe printed by a special relative. Without some formal writing instruction, these treasured forms of communication are lost.

What Can You Use?

 I have seven great digital resources to share with you that I have used in my own classroom. Hopefully, they will make teaching handwriting much more engaging, efficient and meaningful for your students as well, without taking up an unreasonable amount of class time.

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  1. INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO- Proper grasp instruction  –  “Pinch & Flip Method” video from Sara McClure From Happy Brown House.com 

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-12-25-00-pm       screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-12-20-43-pm

2. INTERACTIVE HANDWRITING SITE –

Lowercase ManuscriptLowercase Cursive by HandwritingForKids.com I absolutely love this resource because I can open this page on the Smartboard, click on the letter I am instructing during a quick transition time, like a restroom break and it loops through the strokes like a GIF file, actually showing each stroke as I circulate the room for instruction. (A little hint, to make the image larger on your computer, use the keyboard shortcut- “COMMAND” and the “+” to enlarge and “COMMAND” and the “-” to reduce size.)

3. APPS-

iTrace –  itrace-app  ios $3.99 – Kid friendly interface and options to customize and track children’s progress.

Writing Wizardwriting-wizard-app ios  $4.99 – Students trace letters using stickers, animation and sound effects

Cursive Writing HD – cursive-hd-app ios $.99 – This cursive app teaches children upper and lowercase strokes and how to connect letters in words.

Letter School- letter-school-app ios $4.99 – This is my favorite app because the visual and audio effects are so cute!

4. SPELLING CITY PRINTOUTS-

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Vocabulary Spelling City is one of my all-time favorite classroom resources (Web Tools and App) and gets better every month! I could write multiple posts on this awesome online tool for language arts but for the purpose of this post, I want to share the option for you or parents to print out handwriting papers for whatever word lists the kids are working on in either manuscript or cursive! Isn’t that awesome? You go to the list that you have either imported or created yourself and click on the “Handwriting Worksheets” tab as illustrated above.

Do you have great handwriting resources to share? I would love to add yours to my collection. 🙂

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Using Spelling City with Gifted Spellers- A Two Week Study Plan

Spelling City- Gifted Students Blog Post

Help with Word Study Differentiation? Yes, Please!

It would be very difficult for me to fully express how much I love using Spelling City in my classroom because this digital resource (App and web tool) alone has truly made differentiating word study for my students so much more manageable for me and more engaging for them. Those of us that are implementing the “Words Their Way” word study program by Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, have found a variety of ways to manage the daunting task using station activities and paper resources, which I do use as recommended in their book. As primary educators, we know that hands on activities and opportunities to work collaboratively are extremely important, especially for our “At-Risk” students. They need more targeted and frequent practice along with solid phonemic instruction, which Spelling City offers plenty of digital support for these students.

I used to use the free features for Spelling City but when I saw the advantages of the premium subscription, I was hooked and better yet, so were my kids! Right now and subjected to change, Spelling City’s yearly subscription is about $55 for up to 25 students and prorated after that but so worth it! I cannot imagine running my personalized learning stations without it. Spelling City gives my students independent opportunities to practice their own individualized list at school and at home using engaging activities that model necessary language skills in context, take practice tests with immediate feedback to monitor their own learning behaviors and allows parents and I “real-time” results to see progress! 

The focus of this post however, is to specifically address how I use Spelling City to enrich and motivate my higher performing students in the area of Word Study. At the beginning of the year, many of my students were performing beyond the “Primary Inventory” level and ready for the “Elementary Inventory” level skills. They quickly mastered the Within Word and Syllables & affixes stage. By mid-year, they needed more vocabulary development and their engagement level needed to be revived. Our standardized test scores also showed vocabulary development as an area of deficit for all of our kids.

That was when I decided to allow my advanced level word study group of five students to select their own words to work on, each student selecting five words. The engagement level and skill challenge increased 100%! It was fun to watch them at first, selecting the biggest words they could find and smiling with pride as they presented them to the group as optional words for their two week study. They quickly realized that not only was it was too hard for them to keep up with the expectation of spelling all 25 of those words but it was also a huge challenge to have the added expectation of knowing their definitions as well. Experience truly is the best teacher. 🙂

Here are the steps we came up with and have happily followed ever since. Basically, students spend two weeks on a list so the first week they select their words and spend the first week on vocabulary development/meaning and week two on actually spelling those words correctly, ending the week with a digitally administered test.

Day 1- Students Select Words- Students collaborate, select and write down their five words from various resources, mostly paper and digital dictionaries. I also ask them to try to choose at least one challenging word from our content units like “investigation” or “evaporation” depending on our current Science or Social Studies unit. You can see the actual picture of my students’ written list on the picture above with their words under each student’s name. I then check over the list to see if it is ready for Day 2.

Day 2- Day 5- Words Entered Into Spelling City & Begin– I train one student to enter the newly selected words into a new list on our class Spelling City account for me. From there, they happily train each other to complete the next list. Day 2 also brings the first day of developing student vocabulary acquisition of the words on their list through the Vocabulary and Language Arts activities located on the “Activities and Games ” page in the rows on the bottom right hand corner of the premium section show below. Looking over the menu of activities, they are sorted by content areas, Phonics, Spelling, Writing, Vocabulary and Language Arts.

Spelling City Vocab. Screen Shot

Here is a screenshot of one of my favorite matching activities from the vocabulary activites:

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Day 6-Day 13-  Students select from several activities to practice by hearing their words in context, sorting spelling patterns and applying what they learn. All activities are monitored in “Real Time” (Okay, I just keep refreshing my browser) by percentages in the “My Records” tab for Parents and the “Results” tab for myself. Day 13 brings a practice spelling test which we have affectionately called a “Gray Button Practice Test” that can be taken as many times as they want but students can only take one final “Red Button” spelling test on Day 14 that can only be deleted and retaken if the teacher deletes it so the student can retake the test for a better score. I require my kids to pass with an 80% before considering them to be ready for the next list.

Day 14-  “Red Button” test day! The beauty of using Spelling City on this day is that the kids get immediate feedback on their score and a huge time saving feature for me. Now, reverting back to the belief that our young kids still need to handwrite their work, I alternate a digital test with a written test every other list, so grading a paper word sort once a month is so much better than twice a month. In my initial picture above, you can see a student playing his auditory list on his iPad and writing the words sorted in the correct columns, also a huge time saver for class time. Kids do not need to wait their turn to hear me orally give four to five spelling tests. Pretty amazing!

I have received a great deal of positive feedback from students, parents and my colleagues on this study plan. I would love to hear your story as well! 🙂

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Awesome Digital Nonfiction Resources For Elementary Reading and Research

Digital Nonfiction ResourcesFor Elementary Students

It is a huge challenge to find nonfiction resources that are appropriate for our young readers and writers, so I have a great collection of resources that I am excited to share with you that I hope will inspire you and your students!

Most of the time, reading levels are too difficult and the content can be way above the understanding of a typical 5-9 year old. The nonfiction resources I have used in my own classroom below have “Read to Me” capabilities if the reading levels are too challenging. They also include high engagement content and pictures. Our higher students typically have interest levels that exceed their reading comprehension ability, so it is not always the lower readers that may need this content support.

To get any website to your student devices, I recommend two options:

  1. You can have students scan the QR code using a QR code scanner app on their iPad. On your Smartboard when you display the site in Chrome, you can use the “Qr Code Extension” that can expand the QR code large enough for students to walk up and scan.
  2. You can also load the website’s link into the feed of your LMS- Google Classroom or Edmodo.                           *Please message at the bottom of this feed or email me (robinlimpert@me.com) if you need help with this. It was a huge “Ah-Ha!” moment for me.

Webtools-

Wonderopolis

Wonderopolis.org– FREE! Primarily for interest driven topics beginning with a guiding question. Students can click to have the text of a “Wonder” read to them, watch a video and clickable vocabulary words that will display definitions too!

Epic eBooks

Epic! Digital eBook Collections– App and webtool. Epic is by far my students favorite digital resource. It has an awesome ebook collection with over 10,000 books to choose from. You will be amazed at some of the popular titles. Many are audio books or have “Read-to-Me” capabilities. Teachers set up an account online for free student access at school in the teacher’s account and students may pay a monthly fee of $5 a month to access this account at home. 

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facts4me.com – This is an awesome site and one of the few lower level readability of common topics for early readers. It does require a very reasonable subscription of $20 per year for one teacher and it is limited to school hours. You can also show the kids how to have the text read to them online using a great Chrome extension – Speakit!

Brainpop JrScreen Shot 2016-02-12 at 9.32.39 PM

Brain Pop Jr.– App & Webtool- High interest, Common Core Lesson Videos for K-3 students in all subject areas.  Some free resources but a subscription is $160 for Classroom year subscription and $1,350 for a school but well worth it if you can convince your administration to help you. The lessons are very relevent and on target for standards. There is also “Homework Help”, leveled quizzes, games and activities for kids. My kids literally show a subtle cheer when I announce their assignment on Brain Pop Jr.. No Kidding!

Scholastic Mag. app    Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 11.49.41 AM

Scholastic News Online– If your school has a subscription, you just have to login and get a password for students to access either on the app or online. All the great things we have known about Scholastic over the years has not been wasted on this resource either! Awesome content, videos, photos and even interactive comprehension page just like the paper articles.

Apps- 

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 News-O-Matic – Free version & Paid Version -$5.99 available. Mostly Social studies topics and has “Read to Me” capabilities.

Farfaria    2016-02-13 12.10.59

Farfaria is a free app to download that is mostly known for it’s fictional genres but it also has some wonderful nonfiction topics that can be searched for in the “Home” screen. St. may view one book a day for free. It is $50 a year for a teacher subscription but think about how much more cost effective it is to have this versus paper copies that get lost and worn down. All kids can have their own copy for groups. I will say that the books do have DRA reading levels posted on them which are a good guide but a few of them I did not agree the level it was given. Another great feature is to search books by DRA level! We absolutley love this app!

 

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Great Audio Recording tools for Students and Teachers

Audio Tools for iPads & Chromebooks

Why Record Student and Teacher Audio Files in Our Classrooms?  I can tell you why….

#1. Because many of our Common Core “I Can” statements for Language, Reading and Technology involve skills that many of us are still learning how to teach and hold students accountable for mastery. We see standards that include words like, read fluently and with expression, sound out new words, retell in correct sequence just to name a few. We then also see words like; explain, answer, describe, retell, and identify all of which indicate the importance of verbal communication.

Speaking and Listening Standards-

SL.2.5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.”

Then for writing-

W.2.6. With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish student work, including in collaboration with peers. ”

So, how can we collect that data or even share this data with a colleague or parent? You guessed it! Record your students’ performance using whatever technology you have access to.

#2. Audio and visual recordings utilize technology to engage students and make our jobs more enjoyable and a bit easier. In the last few years, as I have taken steps toward integrating new technologies into my classroom, I have found that on several occasions, I wanted to preserve an audio recording. 

*To document and share what a student has learned or show mastery of a skill.

*To allow a non-reader to understand content and so that they can participate in classroom activities with their peers.

*Further develop my students’ language skills by hearing stories read to them by other readers and to record their own thoughts for an authentic audience.

What Tools do I use?

Depending on your tech resources, I would recommend the following apps that I have used myself.  Click on the links below to see the iTunes App description page.

iPads: 

Tellagami -Free   Tellagami

Educreations – Free  Educreations- New

ChatterKid Pix – Free   Chatterkids

DropVox – $1.99   Dropvox  This app records the audio and save it directly to your Dropbox account.

Literably– Free   Literably App I love this app/webtool! It records students reading a leveled book and scores it for you!

Notability – $.99 – $3.99 (Price can Vary)  Notability

Book Creator – $4.99   Book Creator Creates an actual ebook. There is a free version but only allows one book to be stored at a time.

Draw & Tell HD – $1.99    Draw & Tell

RecorderHQ – Free   RecorderHQ I use this when the kids want to just record an audio file. It can be uploaded to their Google drive.

Google Keep – Free  Google Keep Note taking with a new audio capability. I was super excited about this. You can see my other post about how I use Keep for student portfolios.

Shadow Puppet EDU – Free Shadow Puppet

Sock Puppets–  Free  sock_puppets_main_icon_07

 

Chromebooks or PC-

Google Slides   Google Slides (Free) create content, go into the PRESENT mode and then have students create the “ScreencastifyScreencastify Ext video (Also free)  using the Screencastify extention from the Chrome web store. This is awesome for Google Apps for Education districts because there is only one sign in and once the extension is added to a student’s Chrome account, there is automatically a Screencastify folder created that saves each recordings upon completion. No lost or unsaved work and it can be shared with peers, teachers and even parents.

Recording Booth -Chatterbox Blog Post Image  Need a quiet place to record audio any of these projects in your room? Try my Chatterbox for $45.99!

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Teaching Students to Use Google KEEP for Student Portfolios in a Personalized Classroom

I finally found it! The easiest way for primary students to “KEEP” a visual, digital and audio portfolio of their work, Google Keep! Basically, Google Keep allows students and teachers to utilize digital post-it notes that have the awesome capabilities that Google products are known to offer-

  1. Create & Title a note, then share/collaborate across multiple devices
  2. Color code each note using labels so you can find topics more easily in search mode
  3. Upload an image & Audio feedback in mobile app only
  4. Transfer to a Google doc
  5. Set a location Reminder
  6. Lastly, and most mindblowing…utilize the new OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capabilities! This basically means you can take any image that has text on is like a business card or even a text from a book and Keep will translate it to EDITABLE TEXT!!! Think of the possibilities here for young children.

Students are able to easily organize work, record their audio comments, share and collaborate with peers and parents no matter what device they have access to, all free!

I am using Google Keep for my 2nd and 3rd-graders and they absolutely love it! You are welcome to use my KEEP Google Slides presentation that I use to teach my elementary students to use Google Keep. There are only four basic slides, three video lessons and a task checklist that I think you will find very helpful. ~ Your Welcome! 🙂

Keep Screenshot for Blog

Whenever they want to preserve a hands-on project, a writing sample, group activity, or best yet, take a screen shot of their work inside ANY app, they can grab an iPad, open the free Keep app and take or import a picture from inside the app itself. They can then assign the note a color, a title, attach an alarm and even add an audio comment in the app. Google recently releasedKeep as an iOS app and the audio recording time is pretty short but I foresee this to be adjusted soon. Below is a student of mine recording her audio note to her work in our noisy classroom using our recording box called “The Chatterbox”. (Available on Amazon here ) The Chatterbox has really helped my kids have a quieter space to record and certainly helps those shy kids that do not feel comfortable recording in front of others. There is a confined sense of privacy that they prefer and allows me to keep them in the room under my supervision versus taking a risk allowing them to record outside of our classroom.

This is my district’s second year using G.A.F.E. (Google Apps For Education), now referred to as “G Suite, so the problem of young children not having access to an email address has been solved. Even though the function of students accessing their actual email for communication has been disabled by our IT department, it does however, allow our younger students to have access to their own Google accounts and all the awesome features that Google apps have to offer them. I am excited about the prospects and the longevity of this tool, knowing that as my students progress from grade to grade, they have a portfolio of work documenting their progress.

It has been wonderful to see the active engagement, ownership and goal setting that naturally happens as a result of our digital projects.

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Monthly Research Project Cards with QR codes for Primary Students

Young children need a substantial amount of adult support when they first begin to research a nonfiction topic. Many of our Common Core State Standards demand that our kids have multiple experiences reading, writing, organizing, analyzing, summarizing, and sharing nonfiction genres.  I would love to share with you my resources that I have created over the years, to make this daunting task less stressful for you. I put together a collection of seasonal (Monthly) topics, we all know to call them- “Guiding Questions”, right? Most adults do not know the answers to these questions so the students are teaching their parents for a change. They love this part!

I typically take the first card/guiding question as a learning experience and walk the kids through the research process together. I get a large piece of chart paper, write the guiding question on the top and draw a “Cornell Notes” T-format, that research has shown to be one of the best ways to teach students to take notes. If you would like more information about this process, Vickie Davis, of the Cool Cat Teacher Blog, does a great job presenting –How to teach students to take notes using the “Cornell Notes” method. I love her blog and follow her very closely. I enjoy her perspective and thorough information that I can trust.

We then practice our close reading strategies together on the website linked to the QR Code on the card. We read, read again, listen to the iPad read the article to us, write down notes and questions, including sketches and key vocabulary. This written t-chart is then posted in the room for reference throughout the year.

Included in my resources below, you will get:

1.  Cards for the specific question for each month. (See sample below, I have them laminated and posted in my room) with a scannable qr code below the question, linking to a website that provides the information that answers the question including a video. 

** I suggest using the free app -“QR Code Reader” by Scan  QR Code Reader by Scan

2.  Parent Letter explaining our endeavor.

3.  A printable organizer that the kids write on and can include on a poster or project of your choice.

4.  Student Example below: I like to use a tri-folded file folder as shown in the photo. Students present what they learn, incorporating Common Core standards involving necessary speaking and listening skills as well.

6 Monthly Research Project Thumbnail Smaller.001

Sample cards page:   6 Monthly Research Projects - Sample QR page.001

Click Monthly Research Projects for Primary Students for my digital resource posted in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

Monthly Research Projects for Primary 

Thank you for visiting my site, I hope this information is helpful to you! Upcoming posts will include: Math- Fact Fluency apps, sight word app suggestions, reading comprehension resources and MOBYMAX.com!!

 

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Tech Integration for Elementary Language Arts

Do you need solid, easy to use language arts resources to help your elementary students produce and share digital work required by our new Common Core Standards?

Katelyn's Butterfly Blog Photo

Many of our Common Core State Standards require us to teach our elementary students to use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others. The standards themselves take into consideration that kids will need adult support to help them walk their ideas through the writing process- organizing, drafting, revising, editing and publishing their work. So, as we begin to expose our students to the three main genres of writing- narrative, expository and opinion writing, we will need to give them direct, targeted opportunities to manually write and digitally document their stories. A few digital resources I have used in my instruction are:

Handwriting Instruction-

1.   Writing Wizard  Writing Wizard Kids Learn to Write Letters ($4.99)

2.  iWriteWords   iWriteWords (Handwriting Game) ($2.99)

3.   LetterSchool App Icon LetterSchool- by Sanoma Media ($4.99)

For basic sentence writing and language building Instruction-

4.  Sentence Builder  Sentence Builder for Special needs ($5.99)

5.  Sight Words Sentence Builder  Sight Word Sentence Builder by Sierra Vista ($1.99)

6.   SentenceBuilder Ipad  SentenceBuilder for iPad by Mobile Learning ($5.99)

7. Daily Sentence Edit 2  Daily Sentence Edit 2 ($2.99) * There are other grade level apps for differentiation.

For various genre process writing instruction –

8. Write to the Core  Write to the Core for beginning Writers by Brainsters ($.99)  * Love this one, it has student samples!

9.  Writing a Narrative   Writing a Narrative – by Matthew Harrison ($.99)

Produce and Publish Digital Stories– As most of us have learned, balance is the key when establishing work patterns for young learners, so this also holds true in the paper/pencil and digital work debate. Most of my 20 plus years of teaching children has been focused on teaching them to read and write, so I strongly believe they need to spend quality time with paper and pencil especially at the beginning of the year alongside the digital exposure. The tactile part of writing is still necessary to their development. The challenge for us is how to prepare our students for a digital age that we ourselves are not familiar with. We will not have all the answers and that is okay! All we can do is to model a growth mindset for our students that we are all learners and jump in with both feet! They will take on our attitude toward new things, if we show frustration and a closed mindset, so will they. I can recall many occasions that I had what was in my mind, a great lesson planned and either our internet was spinning, what my students call “The Waiting Wheel of Dome” or I had not been thorough enough on the research of an app that I planned to use and found it to not work the way I was assuming. As stubborn as I am, I did learn to drop it with as much composure as I could possibly collect and move on with a “Plan B”. The last thing I wanted was to have students go home with a negative experience with technology. I want them to experience the excitement and understand the leverage that technology can give them in their education and everyday life.

There are literally hundreds of content creation apps out there and I have tried many of them. I would like to share with you three resources that I have had great success with and think that you will love them too. One major mistake teachers make when introducing iPads into their classrooms is to overwhelm themselves and their students by trying too many apps and tools in a short amount of time. Trust me I have fallen into this category myself. So, the three apps below are all you will need to get started. My top two, Book Creator and Shadow Puppets Edu are very comparable to each other for primary students. As a matter of fact, this is a video comparing them side by side. Be sure to click on all three links below for details.

Book Creator vs. Shadow Puppet EDU Review by Graphite.org

1.   Book Creator   Book Creator by Red Jumper Limited ($4.99)

 There is a free version of this ebook creator, which allows a student to only work on one book at a time. Which is fine if you have your work flow all ready to go. Book Creator recently updated their app to save and export the ebook as a video, an ePub to send to iBooks through iTunes or a PDF to be emailed to a parent.

2. Shadow Puppet   Shadow Puppet Edu (Free)

My favorite thing about this app bedsides the fact that it is free is that it has it’s own images for the kids to search.

 

Interact and Collaborate

3. Educreations- New   Educreations (Free with $12.00 a month subscription fee through iTunes for all features, which was so worth it to me.)

This has been my favorite resource for students to “Show what they know” across the curriculum. They also have a fantastic selection of clipart style pictures for the kids. As you can see in My Katelyn’s Butterfly Screencast, (Also shown in photo above) there are many great age appropriate images for the kids to use. Click here and scroll to the bottom for a video demo! So Awesome!  Educreations is also a web tool. I have my Educreations account/home page open on my Smartboard so student recordings or “Screencast” can be viewed right away. I often times refresh my browser so they can see the newest addition to our class collection. The kids can also see each other’s work anytime they want inside their app that is linked ahead of time on each iPad or laptop. I did end up setting up a recording booth in the corner of my room with a headset that had a microphone attached for those that were serious about not having peer voices in the background of their screencast recording.

I hope these recommendations are helpful to you. I do absolutely love finding “Just Right” new tech to fit the varied needs of our students and for you, the valued teacher!

 

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