Friday, June 24, 2016

Did you know........

There are some great Youtube videos out there for use in our classrooms BUT.....if your district is like mine, Youtube is blocked and sometimes for good reason.   Ya'll, some of those ads that come up on the videos I want to watch are NOT kid appropriate!  

Thanks Google Images for this cutie!
Since I can't show Youtube via the website in my classroom, I have found a work around in order to be able to show those great tutorials and videos while being totally compliant with my district.  

First, I go to Youtube and find the video I want to show.  Watch the whole thing so that I know that NOTHING bad happens in the video.   Then, go to the toolbar and type ss right before the word youtube.  For example, say I want to show my students this adorable remake of Uptown Funk to my kids that is located at  -  so in the web address bar at the top I would type ss in front of youtube so that it looks like .  After typing it, hit enter and it will take you to a page where you can download the Youtube video you watched and you will be able to show it to your students without using the website.  Also, this keeps the ads and other words from appearing during the video that your students watch.  

That is a lifesaver at school but at home quite often my sons scour Youtube for video game walkthroughs and videos of their favorite Youtubers.  There is so much junk out there that I don't necessarily want them to see so I have been searching for a way to block a lot of the "junk" that they are not looking for.  For Google chrome users, there are two extensions that help tremendously with this.

First, I enabled Adblock for Youtube.  Now I can watch all the videos I want and I don't have to sit through crazy ads for each one.  Second, DF Youtube (Distraction Free) helps to remove the sidebars on Youtube that sometimes contain the questionable content you don't really want to see.

I know I didn't have many pictures in this post but I do hope that these tips help you!  Let me know if you use them!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

So....what's new?

So what's new?  New blog look, new tech toys to play with, new double-digit kid at my house and new product for my TPT store!!

I've been slowly working on updating and changing my blog for quite some time now but today I finally finished the majority of it and was brave enough to hit save!  I think it looks very patriotic and I love the nautical theme.  (If only decorating my classroom were this easy.....)  Anyways, I hope you enjoy the new look.

On Tuesday, we had a tech session where we were able to play with the toys.  There are SOOOO many things that I want for my classroom and our STEM club but these are a couple of my favorite ones! 

Osmo Coding is such a neat program!  Do you have an Osmo in your classroom?  I was blessed enough to get one this year for #bestschooldayever through DonorsChoose.  My students LOVE it and it's a station that always has someone in it.  

Since Osmo Coding is brand new, it wasn't included in my kit so this is a new wishlist item.  You use the pieces shown in the box above to tell the adorable bear how to get the strawberries.  Click on the word Osmo above to check out all of the games that come with the kit!

One of the other items on my wishlist is a Sphero!  These little guys are so cool!  I love how you have missions to complete while moving the sphero around the room.  I was surprised at how durable the Sphero was and that it actually asked me to run into things for my missions.  I had a hard time running into stuff as I didn't want to hurt my Sphero.

By the end of our class, I was actually getting pretty good at making the Sphero go where I wanted it to.  It really was a lot of fun and I know that students would really enjoy this as well.  If you want to check out more on the Sphero and even see the BB-8 version, you can go here.

Yesterday was a special day at our house!  My youngest, my sweet baby, turned 10.  Where oh where does time go?!?!?  He had already celebrated his birthday with family and friends at a party so yesterday was more of a quiet day at home.  We picked up his favorite lunch and baked his favorite chocolate cake.  

I did have one surprise up my sleeve though......trick candles!!  

He laughed so hard that he could not keep blowing them out.  Finally we had to pull them out and drop them in water.  He thought that was the funniest thing ever!  Score one for mom!!

Lastly, I finished up a new product today.  If you have been following along, you may have noticed that I'm on a QR code kick.  I'm hoping to have one QR code scavenger hunt for each week of the school year as a station in my room.  Today, I finished my subtraction review scavenger hunt and I have uploaded it into my store.  

I love these for a couple reasons.  First, I love them because students love them.  They just want to be able to hold/touch/play with the iPad.  This works out well because then they don't mind doing math, even my struggling students. 

Second, I love them because they are self-checking.  I can hear you thinking right now - "But you didn't put the answers in it..."  No I didn't but when students solve the subtraction problem, they will know if the answer is wrong if they can not find their answer.  This helps them to check their work and redo problems that do not equal the number on another card.  

If you would like to get the subtraction scavenger hunt, head on over to my store by clicking on the picture below.

OR you could leave a comment below and I'll pick a winner to receive it FREE!   I hope you have a great evening!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tech Tuesday

Every summer my district offers LOTS of tech professional development.  Not only do these classes offer great lessons and websites but as teachers we can earn "tech points" to use as a way to buy ipads, Promethean boards, Apple TVs, etc. for our classrooms!   It's a great way to spend your time in the summer.

Yesterday we had a Promethean board camp where we spent all day (9-3) at the tech center learning everything you ever wanted to know about your Promethean board and how to work it.  There were some amazing sessions like this one I attended on the Axiedu bus!!

Inside the bus we talked about different products from AxiEdu and different websites to use with our Promethean boards.

Here are my favorite websites from my time on the bus -

1.  Newsela -  Non-fiction current event articles where YOU can CHANGE the lexile level to meet your student needs.  Each article also has a quiz!

2.  CK-12 - Search for resources on any of your standards.  This site has a variety of materials for all different learning style.

3.  Interactives Sites Weebly - All interactive websites are organized by subject and skill.  Site is updated weekly to add more websites or take away websites that do not work.

4.  TeacherLED - Quite a few interactive whiteboard resources to use as a class or as a center

These four websites offer quite a few resources for our classrooms!  I hope you found something that you could use.  Please comment below if you enjoyed any of the sites. 

Come back next week for my favorite new tech tool of our Promethean camp!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Terrific Technology Tuesday

Summer is in full swing at my house and we are loving it!   I am spending my summer taking quite a few tech classes in order to become 1:1 for the next school year.  Our district allows us to earn points that go towards ipads, promethean boards, etc.

Today at my tech classes, we played in Adobe Spark and Canva.  I am IN LOVE with these programs although I didn't save any of my Canva work so all you will see is Adobe Spark.  It's so easy to look professional with this app/website. 

I made a new picture for my theme in my classroom. 

You should definitely head over to Adobe Spark and have some fun creating with it.  (No I have no ties to them and I promise that I don't get any kind of kickbacks......)  

Isn't this little guy just the cutest!??!?!  All of the fonts and extras are just the touch of a button, no drawing, no resizing, just touch and it places it for you.  I had so much fun while the instructor helped other people and explained how to make pictures.  

Lastly, I made this one with one of my new favorite song titles....actually the title is "Breathe" by Jonny Diaz.  You see, sometimes life is just tough and things don't make sense.   It all seems so overwhelming but this song seems to pop into my head and I find myself singing "Breathe......just breathe....." 

After I had fun creating all of the images here and finishing the rest of my assignments for class, I was able to come home and package up my newest product for my TPT store.

I've been a little addicted to QR code scavenger hunts lately.  My students had a great time working some during the school year last year but I wanted to make some that would go with our specific standards and lessons for this year.


Today's scavenger hunt is 2 and 3 digit addition.  This kit has a mix of regrouping and no regrouping.  There are a total of 11 problems with the final code congratulating the student for finishing!

Click on the product cover above to go to my TPT store and grab this great scavenger hunt for only $1.
If you would like to have it for free, comment below about something on the blog and I will choose a winner.

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rounding Numbers with QR codes

This past year, I learned quite a bit about QR codes and began to use them in my classroom.  My students LOVE to use them to check their work, play "I spy" games or complete scavenger hunts.  I love them because happy students are engaged students!!

In order to use a QR code, you need an app that will scan it.  In our classroom we use the app I-nigma but there are many available in the app store.  

For scavenger hunts, students are given a stack of cards with QR codes (or the codes could be placed around the classroom).  Students find the card with the word "START" on it and scan the code.  

After scanning the code, a math problem or question will appear on the student's ipad/phone/device.  Students solve the problem on their notebook paper and then find the card that has this answer.  

The great thing about these is that they are semi self-checking.  If a student can't find their answer then they know it's incorrect and will resolve the problem.  

If a student completes the scavenger hunt completely, they will use every card and receive a congratulatory message at the end of the hunt. 

I have added my first QR code scavenger hunt in my TPT store for free today.  Click on the cover below to go to my TPT store and download it!  

Do you use QR codes in your classroom?  Share in the comments!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

I've been a horrible blogger!!

Hello again, everyone!!!  Life became really busy last school year as my sweet husband took a new job and worked away from home more time than he was home. That left me in charge of EVERYTHING!!!    In an effort to keep from drowning, I dropped a few things and one of those was this dear blog!

We had a wonderful year!  My students were amazing and surpassed my expectations.  I was super sad to see them go last month!  

If you want to see some of what we did in our classroom this year, check out my Twitter Feed!!  We really had a fun year of robots, Kahoot, and ice cream parties!

However, I am so excited for next year as I have been chosen by our district to be a technology showcase classroom.  This means that the district provides me with LOTS of technology and I spend the year working with it so that I can present a few lessons next spring to other teachers and some administrators.  I am hoping that by the time school starts (with the help of a grant or two), I will be a 1:1 classroom.   To recap, last school year, I started the year with NO ipads and only two laptops and this year I would start with about 20-25 ipads and 2 laptops!!  I am so excited to learn how to teach using more technology!  

So what types of technology do you have in your classroom?  Share in the comments below!