Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Kids TV...

I have been asked by the teachers of little ones to help them find some resources for their students, so I was doing some YouTube surfing and came across the this great channel for younger learners...

Now you may already know about the  KidsTV123 channel, but it is new to me. KidsTV123 produces songs and videos for children, toddlers, and babies.  The songs and videos include topics on letter sounds, the alphabet, animal sounds, holidays, and numbers.  Here are a couple of examples...

The Animal Sounds Song describes the sounds that each animal makes and includes a picture of the animal. The song is designed with the idea of helping younger students to learn phonetic patterns.

The Phonics Song helps young learners to recognized the sounds of the letters.

There is a whole plethora of videos to choose from.  If you are a teacher of our early childhood and kinder kids then I recommend checking out the KidsTV123 channel.  It's a really awesome resource.

In looking through the KidsTV123 channel, I also came across these YouTube channels for kids as well, Kids TV , Busy Beavers, Super Simple Songs, and many, many more.  Happy Hunting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Is It Just You?

You ever wonder if the website you are trying to view is down for everyone or is it just you, doing something wrong? Well there is a handy little site that will answer that question for you....

Down For Everyone or Just Me is a site I was reminded of while reading  Richard Byrne's blog, Free Technology For Teachers.

Down For Everyone or Just Me is great!  I have to say that it has come in handy in the last month that I have tried it out.  Unfortunately,  the problem seems to usually lie on my end! :-) But at least I know where the problem is!

Once you enter the URL you are trying to check in to the Down For Everyone or Just Me site, you press enter and the site will let you know if it is just you. I tried sites that I knew were working just see what happens and the site actually lets you know that it all you...

Down For Everyone or Just Me is definitely a handy little tool, worth checking out...even if it is just to see if it is really just you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Youngsters Coding? Yes They Can!

So after hearing about the Hour of Code event last year, I thought to myself, my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders can do that! I decided to give it a try this week and used the website code.org.

The site  code.org is a nonprofit site, dedicated to giving every student the opportunity to learn about computer science and experience coding.   Every child has access to coding activities through  code.org

 code.org offers fun activities that are appropriate for our younger students.  This week I have my students experiencing coding with the Angry Birds activity.

This activity teaches students coding and is great for my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  The lesson has short instructional videos that introduces students to each new level of coding and then provides an interactive lesson in which the students choose the code to create the appropriate actions for their angry bird.  After the student has chosen the code they then run the actions and the lesson will give them kudos for a job well done or a hint on how to make the code work.  It is a very positive experience.

The students were engaged and having fun!  They talked about the activity well into the afternoon. They enjoyed the feeling of success and felt that they have created their own gaming system!  The whole experience was a positive one.

This was something new for our students as well as for me.  I went through the lesson and have to say I probably had a harder time than many of my students.  They really took off with it. They required very little to no instructional help.

As a teacher, it was very satisfying to see the students engaged and enjoying the lesson.  I had many students tell me how cool the activity was and asked if they were going to do it again next week.  Loved seeing the kids enjoy computer class so much!

So I am planning on having our students participate in the Hour of Code during the Week of December 8th through the 14th.  The site  code.org has several lessons and activities that teachers can choose from.  The site even offers elementary lessons on coding for grades K-5.  This site is definitely worth checking out.  Don't think your ready for the Hour of Coding?  That's okay!  Start small and work your way up but definitely give it a try!

Hope you have fun coding! :-)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Photo Fun...

Phrase.It is a fun, fun, site that allows users to add speech bubbles to photos, as well as creating  comic strips using photos. With Phrase.It,   there is no log-in or account creation required and best of all it is FREE!

Phrase.It allows you upload a picture from your personal device, import pictures from FaceBook, or you can pick from the many stock photos that Phrase.It offers.  The stock photos provided by Phrase.It offers photos of animals, political figures,and random people pics.

Once you have chosen a picture to work with, then you have the option of speech bubbles or thought bubbles.  You can re-size the speech bubble to fit your image and you can add any text that you desire. Phrase.It also provides several different filters that you can add to give your image character.

Comic strips can also be created with Phrase.It.  Once you up load your photos or choose photos from the stock photos then you can begin creating your own personal comic strip.  The comic strip creator also offers the same enhancements as the photo creation.

Understandably mine are not the best examples, but the uses for the classroom could be extensive and I must say, I sure did have fun.  This would be a great way to summarize a story, present a historical character, provide definitions for math terms or explain processes in science.  Phrase.It allows you to down load photos or even share them in several different social media sites.

Phrase.It is definitely a site worth checking out. You may even discover a new resource for you tech box! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Just for Grins...: A Teacher's Heart...

Here is a sweet little poem for teachers everywhere.  Find it at...Just for Grins...: A Teacher's Heart...: This week is teacher appreciation week.  Here is a little something for all the amazing teachers I have had the privilege from which to ...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's a Bushel of Fun...

Oh wow! I just discovered The Old Farmer's Almanac For Kids website!  I must say it is awesome and I can't believe that I have not found this site before now.  So just in case you've not seen it either, this is what I have learned...

The Old Farmer's Almanac For Kids offers everything the Old Farmer's Almanac does but with a lot more fun.  The Old Farmer's Almanac For Kids offers calendar information containing what happened on this day in history, any holidays or celebrations that take place for the month and how they came about, how the month got its name and even a question of the day.

 The Old Farmer's Almanac For Kids also teaches kids about the phases of the moon, sky events, sunrise and sunset, and even the names of the different full moons (Honestly, I didn't know they had names).

The Old Farmer's Almanac For Kids site also includes weather events and vocabulary, history highlights, pet facts, and even information on the great outdoors; as well as including puzzles and activities to enhance the fun!

The Old Farmer's Almanac For Kids is a fabulous site...makes me wish I had a classroom full of kids to share all the fun, but since I don't I am going to share with all of you!  Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Everyone Needs a Brain Break...

GoNoOdle is a great site offering free brains breaks for the classroom.  All students come to class but not with the same home experiences.  Some have had plenty of rest and plenty of food, some have not;  some come to school ready to use their energy to learn, some come ready to use their energy for anything but learning; and there are some who come to school with no energy at all...this is where GoNoOdle comes to the rescue.  GoNoOdle is a great site offering videos lasting anywhere from one and a half minutes to 7 minutes, promoting physical activity that can be done in the classroom.

GoNoOdle is kid friendly.  The look and feel appeals the students in your classroom.  Teachers set up their class in GoNoOdle and choose a silly "champ" or mascot (like the one below) to encourage your students to get up and move.

The videos provided by GoNoOdle encourage different physical activity like running, dancing, and stretching - pretty much anything to promote movement.  The videos are from Zumba for Kids, YouTube, some GoNoOdle Games.

Once you have your GoNoOdle classroom set up the class mascot offers words silly words of encouragement and keeps the class on track by keeping count of the number of minutes that the class has spent in movement.  Once the class has accomplished the set goals then GoNoOdle will take the class to a new level and allows the class to pick a new champ.  

GoNoOdle is fun and engaging and does a great job of giving kids the brain breaks they need.  

YAKiT Kids = Fun, Fun, Fun...

Oh my goodness...there are no words for the fun YAKiT Kids creates!  YAKiT Kids is an app that allows users to bring their photos to life.  Photos can be taken from the device's camera roll or camera or choosing photos from a web search.  After choosing your photo you then add a mouth, which you can create or use a pre-exiting mouth from the options. After choosing a mouth you can also add extras such as a face which includes, eyes, eyebrows, and noses.

You can even include other elements  provided by YAKiT Kids, such as talking characters, special effects such as confetti, smoke, rain clouds, and even props that include the sun, glasses, money, and various other items. 

Not only is YAKiT Kids loads of fun, incredibly easy to manipulate, but it's FREE! Yep, you read correctly, it's free. 

The YAKiT Kids app can used to to enhance and reinforce learning.  YAKiT Kids can be used to demonstrate understanding of various skills such as  presenting facts about a historical figure, having a character tell the summary of a book or story, or it could even be used to prove understanding of science topics such as weathering and erosion, phases of matter, or even science vocabulary.  I see the uses for YAKiT Kids as being endless.  And the best part...kids are having so much fun they forget they are learning!  

Here is a sample of a quick YAKiT Kids that I created from a picture of my nephew's steer which he showed at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodoe...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

An App of Fun...

While attending TCEA 2014, I learned about a fun, new (new to me) app called ChatterPix. I had so much fun playing with this app I could hardly wait to share it with my teachers!

ChatterPix can make anything talk...yes, that's correct anything.  ChatterPix is also incredibly easy.  You simply choose a photo from your camera roll or take a photo, draw a line for the mouth, record your voice and suddenly you have a talking picture.  ChatterPix also allows you to decorate your project with stickers, frames and filters to give your talking picture even more personality!

ChatterPix also allows you share your creation through email, FaceBook, YouTube, or you can save it to your camera roll.  I can see many opportunities to use ChatterPix in the classroom.  This app could be used to to show understanding of characters, give summaries of assigned readings, it could also be used to define math terms and shapes. ChatterPix could also be used to teach the alphabet and words that begin with the appropriate letters. Depending on your imagination, the possibilities with ChatterPix are endless.

Here is a sample one of my students created...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Text Messaging Fun...

I just learned about iFaketext during TCEA 2014.

iFaketext is an iPhone text message screen shot generator.  I have to admit, it fun playing with this tool. It is very easy to create and provides various ways to share the screen shot, with services such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, embed links, and the list goes on. When the fake test screen shot is generated, iFaketext has the look of your preferred service carrier.  iFaketext looks completely real as you can see from my screen shot below...

This tool can be used to promote appropriate Netiquette, checking for understanding, creating a chat with a historical figure or book character, explaining a math process or science lab results.  The options are endless.  I hope you take some time to play and find your own use for this fun tool.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Groovy Grader

As you pack up to go home at the end of the day, take one less thing home...your slide grader. Yes it is light weight and you barely know it is there, but it is still one more thing to organize and take with you.  Then when you get home and realize you don't have it, you're frustrated.   Groovy Grader is nice app designed to make things a little easier for you.  Have your slide grader right on your device.  It seems we always have our devices with us at all times, most of the time we know where it is, and we have begun to use it for more than just talking and texting.  Groovy Grader is another productive app to help things become a little bit more organized.

Groovy Grader is a nice little app to have in your teacher toolkit.  Definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Turtle Diary....Making Learning Fun

 Turtle Diary is a website with  many games for learners in grades Pre-K through 3rd grade, as well as a new section for toddlers.   Turtle Diary games can be chosen by content area, topic or grade level.  The games offer quick lessons for skill and then a game to reinforce the learning while making it fun.  


 Turtle Diary's goal is to make learning fun while developing comprehensive skills in math, language, science, and social studies.   Turtle Diary not only offers games but also videos, skill building, puzzles, biographies of famous people and even science experiments.  Interactive storybooks and printable worksheets are also available at  Turtle Diary.

 Turtle Diary currently only offers activities for students through 3rd grade, however the site is currently working on providing lessons and games for students in 4th and 5th grade as well.  Turtle Diary is definitely worth taking the time to check out.