Tuesday, January 31, 2017

When I'm 100 Years Old App Smash

I love the 100th day and always find time to do this special project with my kiddos. It's always good for a few laughs and with the addition of Seesaw, we easily share our ChatterPix project with our parents.

So without further a do.... from the 2014 archives......

I love appsmashing! This year for our 100th day of school we used 2 apps to help us publish our writing, Chatterpix and Aging Booth

We started by writing about what we would do when we are 100 years old. The ideas that the kids came up with were just adorable!! After we finished our writing, we took our pictures with the Aging Booth app which automatically aged us and saved them to the Camera Roll. The kids thought their pictures were hilarious! We had a lot of good laughs about how they turned out.

We then imported our pictures into the Chatterpix app. This app allows you to use any photo, then draw a line to make a mouth and then record your voice. You also have the option to add stickers, text, and frames to your photos as well as adding filtering effects (black and white, sepia, etc). I use the regular version of Chatterpix so that I have the option of sharing our projects via email. They also have a kids version, Chatterpix Kids, that does not have the sharing options. This is a very simple app to use and the kids were able to easily import their picture and record their story.

When we were finished with our project, we emailed them to our parents but also printed out our pictures from the Aging Booth app and displayed them in the hallway along with our writing for our parents and others to also enjoy during parent teacher conferences.

2017 Update:
After students have created their ChatterPix projects, have them upload them into Seesaw as an easy way to share out with parents! Remember that you can also easily share your creations from Seesaw out to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest simply by touching the 3 dots under your item. The best part is, when your item is shared, it removed the identifying information including the child's icon/name and any comments that have been made.

If you're interested in the paper we used for this project and a banner that you can use to display these in the hallway, you can find them in my TPT store

Also, don't forget about our 2nd Annual 100th Day Collaborative Padlet board. Come join the fun!

Monday, January 30, 2017

I {heart} #EpicPals! Come And Read With Us!

Looking for a way to engage your students when reading?
 Come check out #EpicPals 

Click on the EpicPals banner above or on either of the images of this month's book selections below to access the #EpicPals GoogleDoc (both the primary and intermediate versions are on the same doc- just scroll down to page 2 for the Intermediate version). As always, thank you to my Twitter buddy, Bobbie Hopkins (@bhopteacher) who works to create the intermediate version of #EpicPals each month. Thanks Bobbi!!


Here is the direct link to the EpicPals Primary Collection in Epic. This collection as well as the Intermediate version should be searchable in Epic in the next couple of days.


Need some additional information about EpicPals? Want a few tips and tidbits to get it set up in your room? If so, head over the the #EpicPals page at the top of the blog for additional information.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

100th Day Collaborative Fun

The 100th Day of School is just around the corner and just like teachers around the country, we are gearing up for lots of 100th day activities. 

Last year my class created a Padlet board that we shared out with our school, parents, and our Twitter buddies in hopes of getting 100 posts for the 100th day. We surpassed that goal and had a great time reading everyone's posts. So 1 year later, I am again starting this project in hopes of stretching our reach even further! 

We would love it if you (and your students) would jump on and add to our 2nd annual 100th DayPadlet board

Please leave your name (students-1st names only please
and what state you are from.
Made with Padlet

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Brain Pop Jr even better? Yup!!

Brain Pop Jr has a new look
is now mobile device friendly without needing an app!!

BrainPop went through this transition last year. Here is a recorded webinar from last year that will give you the whole scoop on the features available in BrainPop! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

#GoPackGo! Letters to Lambeau campaign

Looking to help cheer on the Packers? Check out this Letters To Lambeau campaign. There's even a pre-done template for your youngest writers. Want to get your letters there fast (snow day delays?!) you can email all of your submissions in if you'd like! Check it out and support the Packers goal of running the table! Woot! Woot!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Martin Luther King Jr Day

Looking for a few resources for Martin Luther King Jr Day?  Check these out!

Here's a Brain Pop Jr video for grades K-2

and here is a BrainPop video for the older crowd.
Brain Pop Jr and Brain Pop are subscription sites however these are both listed as the Movie of the Week and as such you can access them without an account this week!

Here's a Reading Rainbow episode. Such a powerful message for us all to remember!

And here's one more video about MLK and his life.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

From the Archives- SafeShareTV

I originally wrote this post back in 2013 but it is just as pertinent today as it was then. So if you're looking for a way to cut out the junk that your students are subjected to when you show a YouTube video.... Read on.......


Have you heard of SafeShare.tvSafeShare.tv is a website that allows you to view YouTube videos without displaying the related videos and associated comments. This has been a god-send when showing videos in my classroom.

Using SafeShare.tv is beyond simple! All you need to do is copy the url of a YouTube video and paste it into SafeShare.tv

It then creates a url like this one:

The final product looks like this. I have been embedding these video links into my smartboard documents and it works fabulously. Lots easier and lots less time consuming the the old FLV way that I blogged about in years past. 

I hope that you'll try it out for yourself and see how easy and useful it can be for your class.


~ 2017 update ~

When I create QR codes for students to accessYouTube videos for flipped learning or Daily 5 Listen to Reading stories, I will send the video through SafeShare first and then create my QR code from that address which give me some added comfort that my students are not being exposed to questionable content. 

This also worked well for me when I created an AdobeSpark video as an intro for my recent BreakoutEdu. I first uploaded the video to YouTube. Then I placed a screenshot of the intro slide into my Google Slide deck and then hyperlinked the SafeShare link to that image (you can only embed YouTube videos into Google Slides so this is an easy work around)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Check out these top 10 reasons to use Seesaw that was compiled by Seesaw Ambassadors and Sketchnoted by the very talented Sylvia Duckworth. 

Looking for some new ways to utilize Seesaw with your students? You can find 100 ways on this document that was compiled by Seesaw Ambassadors in a previous post I wrote.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Seesaw PD in your PJ's

Looking for some pertinent and free professional development? Seesaw just released their January "PD in your PJ's" calendar with multiple professional development opportunities for this month. 

If you're interested in a topic but are unable to join the live webinar, you can still register and they will automatically email you a recording that you can watch at your convenience. Some sessions are 1 hour long webinars while others are what they call Sprint Sessions and are only 10 minutes long. 

Take a peek, you may find something that piques your interest! Click on the image below to access the calendar and live links to register.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


As I reflect back on 2016 and my #oneword2016, a barrage of feelings and memories, both positive and worrisome, came flooding back. It's hard to believe that only a year ago, I was teaching first grade and immensely enjoying the class of kiddos that came through my door each and every day. I had a supportive parent group, a great group of colleagues, a fantastic school community, and a beyond awesome global PLN on Twitter, yet I felt a craving for change. I was burning the candle at both ends teaching full time, spending hours upon hours every night seeking out technology integration ideas and trying to find time for my family (yes, that was unfortunately the order of how things fell- sad to say the least) Unsure of what the change was that I was looking for or how I could pursue something I wasn't sure of led to the choosing of that one little, yet powerful word, Hope. Hope, that God would guide me and help me realize his plan for my future, both personally and professionally.  

I printed off the image I created above and taped it to my classroom file cabinet, made it my screen saver, and found various other places to display my one word as a constant reminder of the hope I had and was entrusting to God. At one point I took things into my own hands and applied to teach 1st grade in a different school within my district. I got that position and at the end of the year began to pack up my classroom, excited for the new adventure, yet wondering if the choice I'd made was the right one. I'm not one to make big changes, I like a bit of routine and structure to my life, so this was completely out of my usual comfort level. Maybe I was trying to prove to myself and others that I was capable of doing something so drastic, who knows.  As I moved into my new building and began setting up my new classroom I became excited about the upcoming year, my new students their families, and how I would make this new room an inviting place for learning, yet, I still wondered if this was the change, the pursuit, that I was yearning for since it was really the same as what I was already doing, just in a new location with new colleagues, students, and families.

It was about a month later that I realized that taking things into my own hands defeated the purpose of placing hope in God's plan for me.  An opportunity arose that left me reevaluating my decision. I was torn, confused, and at the same time beyond excited at this new possibility. An unexpected opening had become available which would allow me to continue to teach and work with students while utilizing my passion for technology integration as an Elementary Digital Learning Specialist. This was truly a match made in Heaven and should have been a no brainer however, it took many days of weighing pros and cons, going to bed one night saying I was going for it and waking up the next morning saying, no, I'm sitting tight in 1st grade before I finally told my husband that I was going to put my name in and this time, truly put it in God's hands. 

That was then, and now, 4 1/2 months later I am beyond grateful for the changes and new adventures that have been put in front of me. I am working to define a totally brand new position and am loving it! I have much to learn but am reminding myself that it's one day at a time which has lead me to create my #OneWord2017~ Balance

All good things come in time and learning the ins and outs of my new position is no different. I am finding that I can balance my time differently with this position. I"m not quite sure how to explain it as I am just as busy as I was as a classroom teacher, but in a very different way. I'm still working with students and using my passion for technology integration but am finding that I now have more time for my family and they are once again becoming my #1 focus. I can still serve others, but I need to serve my family first- something that is long overdue. I have many bad habits to break and have many times had to remind myself that my work will wait. I'm working hard to say, "Yes, let's take that walk in the woods, I can send this email later on." Balance, yup, that's my one word and it's a BIG one. One that will definitely challenge me from January to December and well beyond, but one that I need to put all of my heart, soul, and effort into. I once again have printed off my picture and will be placing in multiple spots to remind me daily of what I am truly after this year.

So to 2016, I say thank you. You will forever have a special place in my heart as I am grateful for the many wonderful opportunities, connections, and changes that occurred last year but I am ready to hit 2017 head on and find the balance in life that I have been truly craving for many years. 
Here's to a fantastic and well balanced 2017!!! 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Memoirs of an Elf #EpicPals Project

Thank you to the classes and students that took part in the Memoirs of An Elf #EpicPals project this December. Below you will find a variety of ideas from students around the U.S. and how they think Santa and the Elves should help Tugboat get home. Students were able to share their ideas digitally or on paper.

Here is the Padlet board where students shared their thoughts about the story and their ideas about Tugboat as well.  If you are interested in finding out more about #EpicPals, click here
Made with Padlet

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Snow Kidding! Come check out #EpicPals

SNOW kidding- 
#EpicPals January is now live!

Click on the EpicPals banner above or on either of the images of this month's book selections below to access the #EpicPals GoogleDoc (both the primary and intermediate versions are on the same doc- just scroll down to page 2 for the Intermediate version). As always, thank you to my Twitter buddy, Bobbie Hopkins (@bhopteacher) who works to create the intermediate version of #EpicPals each month. Thanks Bobbi!!
January's Primary Version
January's Intermediate Version

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Need some additional information about EpicPals? Want a few tips and tidbits to get it set up in your room? If so, head over the the #EpicPals page at the top of the blog for additional information.