Saturday, October 12, 2013

Have you heard of...

Have you heard of 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 is beyond simple! All you need to do is copy the url of a YouTube video and paste it into

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.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

People, Places and Things...NOUNS!

Anybody else feeling overwhelmed? Whew! I feel like a brand new teacher again. We have so many new initiatives in our district this year- a new math program, a new writing curriculum, new state-wide 1st grade testing, Teacher effectiveness, RtI... and the list goes on. My brain is on overload and then don't forget I have to teach 16 little cherubs daily with a range of needs from CD, to S/L to EBD. It's going to be a year of learning in many ways and one which I am excited to tackle, but at the same time, one which is leaving me exhausted. :-)  Needless to say, I've had a hard time getting on to update the blog with things that we have been doing. 

Today though we tackled our first  second creation-based project. Today's project revolved around learning about nouns. I started by creating a smartboard document which I've taken screen shots of below.
We started by talking about what nouns are and then sorted pictures into the 3 categories. 

Next, we watched the School House Rock video, Nouns. Ahhhh... the memories. I use to love School House Rock videos on Saturday mornings when I was kid (I may have aged myself with that comment) 

After these 2 activities, I set the kids up for the tech-integrated portion of the learning. Partners took their iPads and the Noun Scavenger Hunt sheet seen to the left (you can find the scavenger hunt sheet on Mrs.Lemons site- follow the above link) and walked around our room and hallway to take pictures of the 3 different types of nouns. 

When we got back to the room I introduced the kiddos to the app, PicCollage. We started by inserting our title and the 3 subheadings. I had these on a Smartboard doc page as well for them to use as a resource. If they finished early, they were able to change the font and color of their words. We then walked through how to add the pictures that they took. This was where the mini-assessment came in as they again had to sort, but this time with their own pictures. 
In the end, the PicCollages turned out wonderfully- I on the other hand and my co-teacher, were exhausted. I will definitely do this project again, possibly a little later in the year (November-ish) next year -although truth be told, it may just be the challenges that this close possesses that made it a bit more exhausting than what it should have been.

I will upload some pics soon as the kiddos devices do not yet have an easy way to share their creations as our email accounts are not yet active.

**UPDATE** Here a few examples of our finished products...