Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Writer's Workshop - Techy Tuesday

Welcome to Techy Tuesday!   This week, I'm looking into apps to enhance my Writer's Workshop!

I recently discovered some great Augmented Reality Apps!  Doesn't that sound super Techy?  It's so techy and soooo easy! In fact, your students have probably already discovered some of these apps! Follow along and be patient with me!  You'll love this for writer's workshop!

First, download this app! 

Then using the app, "scan" the picture of the Incredibles (the target image)!

Target Image
You should see a video of Mrs. Incredible at a dance party with some cute kiddos!  You have to hold your device over the "target image" while viewing the video!  Isnt' it cool!  

Okay, so how do you apply this to Writer's Workshop?  Kids can upload videos of themselves telling a story about the "target image" or write a story about the "target image" and read it on video! Students love to share and listen to each others stories! This would be a fun way to share weekend or vacation news!  How fun is that?

I plan to have my students use this app to define vocabulary words to enhance our thematic studies! I'm so excited to use this in the fall!

The following app works the same way, except the image is already embedded with an augmented reality image.  This still provides a fun, engaging way to inspire young writers!  Students color the picture and write a story about what is happening in the revealed image or video!  Students are probably using this app already!  Crayola offers a HUGE selection!


Well, that's it for this Tuesday!  I'll be back next week with more techy discoveries!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Sight Word Fun

Summer is a time for relaxation and taking breaks!  But all to often, we see our students return to school in the fall, victims of the Summer Slide!  Don't let your kiddos fall behind this summer.  Reading is so important to maintain fluency and retain sight word vocabulary! Here are some tips to keep your child from slipping!  

  • Make sure your child has an active library card and VISIT the library!  This is a luxury in our communities that is rarely tapped into by our students.  What a great lesson in the importance and value placed on reading...to offer books for FREE!  Often your local library will sponsor a reading program for the summer, too!
Here's a free summer reading challenge to do with your kids this summer!
  • Have an "On the Go Library" waiting in the car!  Don't reach for the DVD player on those trips around town! Have your child create a basket or bin of his/her favorite books!  When you are running errands or driving to and from activities, your child will have a go to assortment of books!  
  • Lead by example. When your child is reading, show them that it something that the family can enjoy. Pick up a book and read along with them, or, get engrossed in one of the books that have been sitting on your reading list.
  • Build time into your family’s daily schedule for reading. 
  • Keep reading aloud to your child. Not only will you model fluency, but your child may just slow down long enough to snuggle! 
  • Play games to keep learning fun and kiddos engaged!  Kids learn through play so make learning fun! Practicing sight words is no different! Make it fun with games, games, games! All you need is a die and something to write with!  I've just updated an oldie but a goody!  Print the only pages you want your child to practice!

Students can play solo or with a partner.

Above all, keep it fun!  Reading shouldn't be a chore!  So keep reading and have fun this summer!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Digital Portfolios - Techy Tuesday

Welcome to Techy Tuesday!  I do need to make a little disclaimer  here:  I am not a Techy Teacher, BUT I love discovering and learning how to include purposeful technology in my classroom!  What better time to explore than during the summer!

Let's start with Digital Portfolios:

Our students create amazing projects to demonstrate their learning.  A Digital Portfolio is an electronic collection of student work and performance over time.  Portfolios make classroom learning more accessible to parents by providing a window into student learning. 

Last year I used the app, FreshGrade, to keep digital portfolios of my students' work.  This app was also wonderful for increasing school to home communication.  This app is extremely easy to use!  I took pictures of my students and their work throughout the day.  Parents were able to have a window into their child's school world immediately!

Last week I discovered another app with a similar purpose.   SeeSaw appears to be well suited for Primary!  This app is user friendly for teachers and students.  In addition to keeping student work in digital portfolios, parents are notified each time a new item is added and can immediately leave comments.  Students can add their own work, pictures, or videos and after teacher approval is posted!  And it works with IOS and Android!  This app also has a classroom blog feature!

Have you used either of these apps?  Do you have any other discoveries?  Please leave a comment with your favorite apps for digital portfolios!

Check back each Tuesday this summer to discover a Technology Tidbit!  Take the time to explore and become familiar with some new apps to include in your classroom next year!