Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Have you heard of Prezi?

Prezi is a free, online presentation tool that I've heard referred to as powerpoint on steroids! It's a wonderful tool that I am just beginning to scratch the surface of. A 7th grade teacher from my district did a guest post on Free Technology for Teachers which explains Prezi much better than I can. Check it out here. He has linked several of his examples for you to see as well. I'm sure much better than my beginning attempts but as I said, I'm just starting to scratch the surface... let's just say, I'm adding another item to my summer to do list... I think I may need an extended summer to complete everything on my list already and I have another month to think of more. Uuuggh! 

I'm currently using Prezi as a more interactive and engaging way of introducing my weekly vocabulary words. The kids really seem to be enjoying it, especially the embeded video clips which bring concepts to life. Here's an example- keep in mind it's only my 2nd one- I still have a lot to learn, but that's life, one big learning curve!

Has anyone else used Prezi? If so, how have you brought it into your teaching/curriculum? Always looking for more ideas!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Want to imbed Youtube videos into your Notebook software???

~* UPDATE *~
I'm even MORE excited than yesterday thanks to Sarah's comment below so I'm updating my original post to reflect the MUCH easier and simpler way to download and imbed Youtube videos into Notebook10 documents....

Once you find the Youtube video that you want to download, type kick in front of the youtube address like this:


and then hit enter. This will take you to another screen where you will be able to download.
  1. If it's your first-time, a warning box may pop-up - just select "Run" to continue. This is perfectly safe and will not install software.
  2. A list of download links will appear. Click on the format you want (I was told to choose FLV for SMARTboards- I choose High quality) and select "Save As..."

To embed it into your Notebook software, click on Insert, drop down and click on Flash Vido File (FLV).
When the insert window opens, follow the path to where your files download, choose the file you want to insert and...


I'm sure many of you already knew how to do this, but for those of you that didn't I hope this helps you to jump for joy too!!!

Thanks again Sarah, for the tip on how to do it in a few less steps!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More Free iPod Apps!!

To celebrate Autism Awareness Month, Kindergarten.com has made all 24 of it's Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) apps FREE to download during the month of April!

The following description is taken directly from the kindergarten.com website.

Children with learning disabilities such as speech or language delays, hearing loss, ADD/ADHD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Autism, Down Syndrome, Dyspraxia or PDD learn much less from their natural environment.  They are very much capable of learning but they require a more structured environment right from the start.  The point of ABA is to teach the prerequisites to make it possible for a child with disabilities to learn more naturally where they are not “picking up” information or skills such as social, motor, verbal behaviors or reasoning skills on their own. 

I downloaded several of these apps last year on the recommendation of our speech and languge pathologist to help my then kindergarten son with some concepts. They are well put together, colorful and use real images. My son enjoyed using the various apps that I had. They were well worth what I paid for them last year, but FREE means that I can now have ALL of them!!!

Head on over and get yours before April 30th!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Earth Day

Sorry for such a quick post tonight but it is getting late. As I was searching for Earth Day resources tonight I came across this site. My kiddos last year enjoyed the Michael Michael Go Recycle game. Click on the picture to go to the site.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

FREE Everday Math Games for iPods/iPads

Calling all Everyday Math teachers.........
Just saw this in iTunes...

All Everyday Math Games Apps are available for FREE download during the NCTM conference (April 13-16)!!!

These apps are normally priced around $1.99.
App titles include Addition Top-It™,  Subtraction Top-It™, Monster Squeeze™, ,Beat the Computer™, Name that Number™, Equivalent Fractions™, Tric-Trac™, Monster Squeeze™, Baseball Multiplication 1–6™ Facts, Baseball Multiplication 1–12™ Facts, and Divisibility Dash™.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Daily 5- Listen to reading

I love Daily 5 and the structure and independence it allows my kiddos to have in their learning. During our Listen to Reading time, my kids currently have access to a wide variety of books on tape and CD. I have one tape player and 4 personal CD players (thank God for rechargeable batteries!) I also let my kiddos use the Tumblebooks apps I have on my iPod Touch. These are all wonderful but obviously cost money to purchase and maintain. With so many great free online resources, I began a quest to find free, online resources for books for my students to enjoy.

In a previous post I mentioned an awesome site called Sqworl. The more I use this site, the more I love it and the more uses I find for it. It has definitely become an organizational addiction. Sqworl was the perfect tool for the resources I found and over the past couple of weeks I created a new Sqworl for my firsties to use during our Daily 5 Listen to Reading rotation. Feel free to check it out by clicking on the image to the right. 

My plan is to save the Sqworl link on my desktop so my kiddos will have easy access to the site. There are some great resources here but I am especially excited about the nonfiction selections that National Geographic Young Explorer offers.

If you have a Sqworl account and you're interested in accessing this Sqworl instead of creating your own, you can add it to your group page by simply scrolling to the bottom of the page, locating the gray box, and clicking on the heart. This will add the Listen to Reading group to the bottom of your group listings page.

Monday, April 4, 2011


You know you have become dependent on technology when your projector bulb burns out at 9am and the first thought in your mind is, "Oh crud, how am I going to teach math? do my word sort, and intro the science lesson?" Last year when my bulb blew, I was fine waiting until the next day for technology to come over and replace it, in fact I think if I had to wait for 2 days I would have been ok. Today however, I was in panic mode, God forbid I had to intro this week's sort low tech, well actually, no tech and if that wasn't bad enough I was totally in a panic on what I would do for math as all of my lessons are now on the SMARTboard.  I am fortunate that our district technology department is located on our campus and one of our awesome techs came over on his lunch hour to replace the bulb so we were up and running again for the afternoon, but seriously, what if ...

It was an eye opening experience for sure and one which made me reflect even more on what would have happened if I had been out today and it had happened to a sub. What will I do next year as a model technology classroom when I need to be out? Technology is supposed to make learning more engaging and easier in my opinion (although substitute teachers don't always think so). What kind of a day will I need to leave for my students?  Just the few hours we were without our projector today were enough for me to realize how much my students have come to expect this type of learning/engagement.

I would imagine that as we become more and more dependent on technology we will have many issues such as we ran into today that we will require us to be problem solvers of a different type.

All I can say is,
"If you're reading this Ken, THANK YOU! I definitely owe you ice cream now!"
If you've not checked this out, find time to take a peek with your class. We have been studying organisms in science and over the weekend a friend sent me this link. It is a link to a Ustream video of an eagle family in Decorah, Iowa.  We have been checking in at school whenever we have a spare minute or two and have been able to see the mom actually feeding the eaglets- there are 2 hatched already with one more expected to hatch in the next day or two.  This kids are absolutely fascinated with it and it has been a great resource for our unit. We've talked about the life cycle of the eagle as well as the food chain.The nest is estimated to be 5-6 feet wide and 5-6 feet deep and weigh 1 1/2 tons! Wow!!!
Take a peek for yourself. It's fascinating to watch!