Saturday, April 26, 2014

Academic Fair (aka Open House)

My school had our Academic Fair a few weeks ago.  I wanted to share some of the fab learning and projects my students showcased.

Our central theme was SOLAR SYSTEM.  I was blown away by how much my students learned.  They did such a great job of showing their parents around.  I'm a proud teacher!!!

 My students grabbed an iPad when they entered our class and began their tours of our classroom.

* QR Code Scavenger Hunt - I had these posted around the room.  Each QR code linked to a question or task for my students to complete.  "What causes the Earth's seasons?"  "Describe the phases of the moon."  My students and their families had a great time with this interactive activity.

 * Tellagami - I know I've mentioned this awesome app before .... but I'm going to mention it again.  This app lets students design their own avatar and record their own voice.  They can choose any background (i.e. image from the web, picture from photo library).  Each of my students shared important details about the solar system.  This was a huge hit!! Many parents requested to have their child's Tellagami emailed to them.

* Student Work - We were working on narrative writing.  My students had to write about a spaceship landing in their backyard.  They did a great job with figurative language.

 New Planet Discovery - My students created their own planet.  They had to describe their planet's size, temperature, surface (atmosphere), and location.  They also designed their own planet and brought it to life with the ColAR Mix app.  Awesome!

* Earth Day connection - My students wrote down important details about Earth and ways they can take care of our planet.  Click here for a FREEBIE.  We used pointillism for the Earth. 

 * Constellations - My students designed their own constellations.  Here are a few of my faves!

 * Solar System Lapbook - My coworker found this gem from Amber Polk on TPT.  It's amazing!!

* Powerpoint presentation - I had this showing on my smartboard.

* Charts, charts, and more charts!!

* Decorated classroom - Voila! Here are some pics of my entire classroom and some cute decorations. 

May the force be with you,

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five for Friday - Spring Break!!

Happy Friday! My spring break is quickly coming to an end.  Boooooo!!! Big thumbs down! However, I had a great time.  I'm linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching to share five random things from my week.

Here goes ....

My spring break started in beautiful Palm Springs with my bestie.  We had a great time!! It was a perfect way to kick off the week.  We stayed at the new Hard Rock.  Great location right in downtown!

On Tuesday, I went fishing with my brothers and uncles.  Yes .... my brother has a boat!!! The boys in my family are obsessed with fishing.  Here they are in their fishing zone!!!

Look how calm the water is ..... it was so peaceful and beautiful!! We were fishing off the shore of Palos Verdes.  We were lucky enough to see a whale and a LOT of dolphins!!! It was amazing!  

 Of course one of my random things has to be techie related!!!! I met with a coworker from a different school site this week to set up a group Edmodo account.  I've been using Edmodo in my class and I love it!!! 

Our third graders are going to collaborate with each other.  This will kind of be like 21st century pen pals.  They will be "E-pals"!!!

We decided to call our group "3rd grade Collaboration Cuties".  Next week, our students will simply get to know each other by sharing a little bit about themselves.  In the future, we plan on using this collaboration tool for students to share their learning and ask each other questions.  Eventually, we want students to edit and revise each other's writing.

I will let you know how it goes.  We're super excited!!

 I plan on ending my spring break with some planning for next week, blogging, and finishing up a few TPT products.  One week goes by way too fast!!!  Here's a sneak peek at a few of my products that I've been working on.

Last year at this time, I was in beautiful Japan for my cousin's wedding.  I can't believe a year has gone by already.  We were there for the gorgeous cherry blossoms. 

Feeling relaxed,

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Techie Nerd Alert: Tip #1 CUE Conference

Happy Tuesday my friends! 

As my followers know, I LOVE technology!!! I often refer to myself as a techie nerd ... yes, it's true!! I frequently include technology tips and ideas in my blog posts ... so I decided to start organizing my technology ramblings into 
"Techie Nerd Alert Tips"!!! Yay!

This will be my first "official" tip.  

Techie Nerd Alert: Tip #1 CUE Conference


I was fortunate enough to attend the fabulous CUE conference earlier this month in Palm Springs.  This conference is all about TECH!!! It is centered around using technology to advance learning in the classroom.  My mind was blown!  I was truly inspired by all the innovative teachers I had the pleasure of listening to.
I learned a TON!!! I'm in the process of experimenting different websites, apps, and strategies in my classroom.  I plan to share my findings and document my never ending tech journey with you ... my lovely followers.
I'll start simple and share three of my favorites.

Edmodo is amazing! I've used this for the last few years as a collaboration tool among teachers in my district and at my school site.  It is a great way to share and post ideas with my teacher peep community.

I never really thought of using it with my students.

However, I'm always looking for new TECHIE ways to build collaboration among my students.

Many presenters at the conference suggested using Edmodo.  A few of my techie savvy colleagues also shared how they use Edmodo for homework and assignments. 

Hmmm .... ding, ding, ding!!! I decided to try it out.

I love it!!  I can ask my students questions about their learning, post surveys or polls, assign homework, attach files or web links (for students to access at home), and more.  I plan on blogging about this in the future.

Here's a link to the website.  After you create an account, you can access it online or through the Edmodo app.

Here's a link to a permission letter in English and Spanish.  I sent this home with my students last week.  Parents can create their own account as well.  They won't be able to post or reply to any comments, but they can view your class homepage.  So cool!

Here's a screenshot of what my homepage looks like.  We're finishing up our solar system unit this week.  Our Open House is this Thursday.  I'm planning on having students and families post a comment on an iPad together.

Another one of my faves from the conference is Telegami.  This app is SO much fun.  Click on the link below to see what it looks like.
Haha! I told you I was a tech nerd.  Funny!
This app is a great way to showcase student learning.  Students can design their avatars, choose a background, and record their OWN voice.  The background image can be ANY picture.  It can be a photo you have taken or an image from the web.  Fun!

I had each of my students make their own Telegami video to share at our Academic Fair (a.k.a Open House).  Their videos will be playing on my smartboard. 

The only downside to this app is that the avatars are adult characters.  I wish they had a Telegami with kid avatars.

My last favorite (for now) is AR!!!!

This is amazing!! At my school AR stands for Accelerated Reader, but there is a NEW AR in town.  AUGMENTED REALITY!!!!

I attended a session by a fabulous presenter, Carol Anne McGuire. The whole audience was in awe of the cool things she showed us!!

I often use QR codes in my classroom.  I love them.  QR codes are fabulous.  Students scan them and are instantly taken to a link.  This link can be a website, image, or text.

Augmented reality is another way for students to scan an image and instantly get more information. 

The BIG difference here is that AR brings images to life!!!

There are many books that have AR embedded in them.  For example, Guinness World Record Books (2013 and 2014) have AR.  After you download their app, images from the book literally come to live and jump off the pages.  WOW!!!!!

Also, there is a fun app called ColAR Mix.  You can print out a few free coloring sheets from the ColAR Mix website.  After students color, they can use the app to bring their coloring to life.

I had my students design their own planet.  Using the ColAR app, their planets rotate!!!  
Are you amazed yet?!!!!!

This is why I call myself a techie nerd!! 

This is the first of many "Techie Nerd Alert Tips!"  I'm excited to continue sharing with you.  My goal is to share a new tech tip once a week. 

Happy TECHing,
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