Word Clouds

Word Clouds. A cool way to visually represent main ideas, common words, vocabulary words, etc for your students and you. There quite a few websites that specialize in this but can’t be viewed on the iPad. ABCYa came out with an app that is free for a limited time! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/word-clouds-by-abcya.com/id823682295?mt=8   There are examples of word clouds on the site. (Most word cloud apps are paid.)

Here is a link that lists 108 ways word clouds can be used in the classroom:   http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/108-ways-to-use-word-clouds-in-the-classroom-word-clouds-in-education-series-part-2/    Maybe there is an end of the year idea in there? Either way, I would download it so you have it for next year because I don’t know how long it will be free! 
Another blog that gives 170 ways to use word clouds in the classroom:  http://www.techlearning.com/default.aspx?tabid=67&entryid=7639

Adobe Voice


App link:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/adobe-voice-show-your-story/id852555131?mt=8

Adobe Voice is an amazing app that teachers are falling-in-love with!
Here’s an example of how a student used Adobe Voice. She wrote her story during the writing block. Then, she published it using photos and her voice through Adobe Voice. It’s looks professional and the kids have an amazing sense of creation and accomplishment.
Other ways I’ve seen it used:  poetry publishing, vocab/amazing words time, and steps in a process.
(App hint:  Don’t have the kids use the “photo” icon within the app. Their search will just spin and never access photos. Just use Google or Safari and have the kids copy the images to their camera roll and access the camera roll through the app.)

No Worksheet Challenge

Who’s ready for a challenge? Can you plan a week’s worth of one subject to not have any worksheets? How about an entire week’s worth of subjects? It may be time to see just how far you’ve come in your working knowledge of the programs you’ve learned this year.

It’s just a week. Why not give it a shot? E-mail me if you are up for it!

Worksheet Challenge:

It’s quite simple, really, with just two rules:

  1. No pre-copied sheets of paper or digital PDFs or forms that require kids fill in answers.
  2. Take the same number of grades in each subject(s) during that week that you normally would.

Levels of participation (we will have badges):

  • GOLD – 5 days of no worksheets including no digital PDFs or forms
  • SILVER – 5 days of no worksheets in all subjects but math (elementary) or in at least 2 periods (secondary)
  • BRONZE – 5 days of no worksheets in one subject (elementary) or in one class period (secondary)

Thinking About Your Site in a Different Way

Time is a valuable resource. So, let’s talk about your website:  Sure your website can host your spelling words, newsletter, photos, etc., but it consumes so much of your time that you don’t get a chance to utilize the true potential for your site. And, that’s for your students and you to quickly access content! What matters more to you:  Your parents seeing a photo of their child, or the students accessing a Symbaloo that is filled with Quizlets, websites, or word lessons during instructional time and stations? Of course it is the latter.

So, what can you put on your site that benefits your students and you as far as time and quality? It could be as simple as creating a Symbaloo tile to a picture you want the kids to have access to for their PicCollage (like Mrs Mikels did), or creating a page to host all of your Educreations word lessons. Either way, it’s getting content to your students in a quick way because it’s in a centralized location.

It’s time to think outside the box and think of how technology can do what it’s supposed to do:  Make you a more efficient and effective teacher!


Computer Special

A 40 minute, uninterrupted block. How often does that happen? That’s exactly what the computer lab can give us. If you have an app that you’ve been wanting to teach your kids, but just haven’t had time, tell me! I can introduce your kids to it in the lab, let them play with it, and then when you are ready to use it in the classroom, they are already familiar with it.

Mr. Russell did that with Sock Puppets. He knew he wanted to use it with his class as they published their “Play Scene” from the writing block, but didn’t have a the time in class to show them. He asked me to show the students that way when they publish they can get right to it after a few simple reminders.

A great way to maximize your classroom and computer lab time!

E-Mail and Creativity

Our students have such imaginations and creativity, yet how well do we do to tap this amazing resource?  E-mail opens the door to utilize creation apps (Popplet, OurStory, Pages, Keynote, PicCollage, etc.) as a means of assessment. The students are allowed to “show what they know” with no restrictions. We give them the app, tell them what we need to see, and off they go!

Emailing them is snap. In talking with teachers that have tried it, they said it’s like second-nature to the kids. It takes them no time to upload their creation and send it to you. One teacher even replied to the kids and commented on their work! Talk about feedback that the kids are actually excited in hearing/reading!

The “game” apps are fun and great for stations. But, the creation apps can take your classroom to the next level because of the valuable resource that’s sitting in your room:  the students’ imagination!


This is BIG! iMovie is another creation app created by Apple. What’s tremendous about it is it makes you look like a superstar with minimal effort! iMovie can create movie trailers such as ones you see on tv (Remember Shannon’s movie trailer at the beginning of the year about the upcoming year and iPads?) or can make a movie however you want it. It could be photos with narration. It could be photos and illustrations put to a song. It can be whatever!

Miss Hileman and I are collaborating on a project right now. Her students selected their favorite story. Then, we gave the students a graphic organizer to organize their ideas and facts about their story. Next, they will put their words and photos and illustrations (taken from the web and story) into the movie. Last, the movie works its magic and they look like a  superstar, second grade movie producer!

What a great way to review summarizing, facts and details, and important information! Let’s make an appointment and put your students’ creativity to the test!

Ideas for your Website

I found an excellent fourth grade teacher site and thought it was so good I would share it.


It’s filled with awesome ideas of what to incorporate on a website. Also, it demonstrates how you can run your class through your website as well. If you need a Weebly-reminder session, just let me know!