Saturday, September 30, 2017

EpicPals is Flipping Out!

Do you have Flipgrid Fever? Flipgrid is an awesome tool that is rapidly gaining popularity. It is similar to Padlet in that students will be able to share their thoughts about a book but instead of having to write their thoughts, they will create a video which will post to a Flipgrid board.  The videos are incredibly easy to create and are done right on the site or on the free app

After a lot of thought about how this could benefit the students using EpicPals, I've decided to integrate this tool into one of the primary books this month to see how it goes. Padlet boards can be overwhelming for our struggling readers and writers so to level the playing field so all students can participate in some fashion, I'm going to include a Read to Me book each month which will have an attached Padlet board as well as a Flipgrid board option. Have your students choose (or you can choose) which way they would prefer to leave their thoughts. The Flipgrid board will also have a QR code for your students for easy access as you can see on the inset below. 

Since the Flipgrid board involves video and audio, please have a discussion with your students about proper digital citizenship skills and remind them that others can and will be viewing their videos.  I have the Flipgrid board set to be moderated so I can be sure that the videos are appropriate before they are posted. If there is anything that I deem questionable, I will not approve that video. I hope that this option opens up some new doors for you students and allows them a little more voice and choice with EpicPals!

On a side note, Epic Books just released a fantastic update which provides word by word highlighting for students with the Read to Me books. Another great feature for our struggling readers!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Happy Fall Y'all!

October EpicPals 
Our October EpicPals primary and intermediate collections are ready and waiting for you with a new little twist included on the primary board this month. Want to know more about that twist? Check out my next blog post for detailed information! 
Here is the link for October's EpicPals Google Doc with this month's books and QR codes/links to the Padlet boards.

Just a reminder that the Global Read Aloud starts this week as well. If you are taking part, we have a special Global Read Aloud (#GRA17) edition of EpicPals as well. You can find the MemFox version here and the Fenway and Hattie version here.

If you ever have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. You can find both of us on Twitter- @smalchow (primary boards) and @bhopteacher (intermediate boards)


New to EpicPals and need some additional information? If so, head on over the the #EpicPals page at the top of the blog for additional information.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Global Collaboration

Each month I put together a mini PD session called, Breakfast Bytes, which is incorporated into one of our weekly staff meetings. I've always been passionate about global collaboration and connecting my classroom to opportunities that we otherwise may not have had without the aid of technology and to give my students opportunities to learn from others. As such, this month's Breakfast Bytes focuses on 5 different global collaboration opportunities that will hopefully appeal to those new to going beyond the walls of their classroom to opportunities for those that are already comfortable making global connections.

Looking for a few ideas for your own classroom? Feel free to take a peek. 

September 2017 ~ Global Collaboration

You can find all of the Breakfast Bytes I've done on the Breakfast Bytes tab above.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Fire Safety Week is just around the corner!

As the wife of a firefighter, Fire Prevention Week always has a special place in my heart. This week there are several resources you may find helpful including a Fire Safety Kahoot as well as a way to create a digital  class book of fire safety tips.

Malchow's Tech Bytes

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thicker? Thinner? Different color?

I feel like the blog is a little bit of a How To lately, but as we transition to MacBooks and questions come up, I want to be sure that we all have the same information as small as it may be.

Today's "How To" walks you through how to change the color of your Smartboard markers as well as the thickness.

Click on image to access the workflow poster

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Project your iPad to your Smartboard with AirServer

2 weeks into school and hopefully those of you who have already switched over to MacBook's are beginning to get the hang of them.

As we venture into the next few weeks, it's likely that you will want to show your students what's on your iPad. Below you will find directions on how to use AirServer on your Mac so that you will be able to display your iPad to your SMARTboard. This is great when wanting to show students how to maneuver through an app, model directions for a project, or share various content, pictures, etc.
Click on the image to access the workflow poster

Friday, September 15, 2017

Malchow's Tech Bytes Sept 18-22

This week brings with it some resources for the Global Read Aloud. If you're not familiar with it, please check it out. It's a fantastic way to enjoy great literature with your students while also creating connections and collaboration opportunities outside of your classroom walls. Here are some of my prior posts about the Global Read Aloud.

Malchow's Tech Bytes

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Setting up your class

Are you wanting to get started with coding but forgot how to set up a class? Click on either of the images below to access the How To posters I've created to help you out. (If you are not in the Pulaski school district, these posters will still be helpful but you'll need to adjust Step 4 to the course that your district/grade level utilizes.)
Click image to access the How To poster

I'll also be offering two Apple Core sessions on Getting Comfy with Coding where we'll go over these directions and give you time to set up your class in addition to giving you a few tips and tidbits as well as some time to dig into the curriculum and plan for your upcoming lessons. The first Getting Comfy With Coding class will be held on Tuesday, October 3rd at 3:30 in the Glenbrook library.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sharing Book Creator Templates from iOs to iOs

Are you planning to use the Mem Fox Book Creator project I posted about last week for #GRA17? If so, here's an Apple Clips video that will show you how to share that template with your students using AirDrop once you've made your final tweaks to the template. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Malchow's Tech Bytes

Click the image to access the doc with clickable links ~

Like what you see and want the Tech Bytes newsletter to come right to your inbox? Sign up on the Google Form below and I'll add you to my mailing list! 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Make your Mark~ International Dot Day!

Are you looking for a collaborative digital project to start your year that doesn't take much prep yet encourages creativity and collaboration? If you answered yes, I've got just the place for you to start! It's The Dot Project that revolves around Peter Reynold's book, The Dot!

This year, International Dot Day, a day to celebrate creativity, courage and collaboration, is on Friday, September 15th. 

If you are interested in participating in this project, go to the The Dot Club to sign up.  You simply need to share the book by Peter Reynolds called, The Dot and then find a creative way to help make YOUR mark. You can also enjoy the book via the SafeShare video below. If you are an EpicBooks user you will also find a Dot Day collection which includes an audio of the book as well as a great video with Peter Reynold's called, Ready, Set, DRAW-ish.

The Dot Club site has a fantastic PDF that gives lots of ideas, may of which are as simple as taking a piece of paper and having your class create their own dot pictures. Can't get much simpler than that!

Another great option is to download the Quivervision app and the coordinating Dot Day Augmented Reality coloring sheet. My students have always loved this activity and have always been mesmerized by the magic that happens when they scan their picture with the app!

Once you finish your Dot Day projects, whatever they may be, be sure to share them with your students' parents on Seesaw or on this Dot Day Flipboard with other students around the world! What a wonderful way for your students to have an authentic audience while also appreciating the work of others. Even better, reach out and find a class to Skype or Google Hangout with and share in real time!!

So... what are you waiting for? Go sign up and take part in this year's International Dot Day! The video is below and everyone has paper to do pictures with.

Click on the image to access the video

Monday, September 4, 2017

Mem Fox & Global Read Aloud? ~ True Excitement!

I  💕 LOVE 💕  Mem Fox and was especially excited when I saw that she was chosen as the K-1 author for this year's Global Read Aloud project! 
After seeing so many wonderful resources for the upper level books, I decided I wanted to find a way to create a resource for our youngers to interact with the books as well (#K2CanToo). After a lot of thought, I decided to create a Book Creator template with a hyperdoc feel. What you will see below are screenshots and explanations of each of the pages in the template. The best part is, once you download the template, you can change whatever you'd like before sharing it out with your students.

The first two pages of the book offer resources and directions for you, the teacher. You'll simply delete those pages prior to sharing the template with your students. Erin Kramer has put together some wonderful lessons to go along with the books and those are linked on this main page. They are also available in her Teachers Pay Teachers store.  On the second page there is information about a special edition of the #EpicPals project that Bobbi Hopkins and I put together each month. This special edition is specifically for the Global Read Aloud and is in addition to our normal monthly #EpicPals project.

This will be the cover of your students' book. The only edit needed on this page is for your students to add their name to the bottom.

Page 1 offers your students a little information about Mem Fox. There is also a map of Australia where they can use the pen tool to find and circle where Australia is located. They will also use the Add Sound button to record something they know about Australia.
Week 1- Koala Lou
Students will see a picture of what the Australian Bush looks like. They will be asked to create a PicCollage of animals they would find in the bush. Use the animals from the story to guide you. You may consider writing these on chart paper to help your students as they look for their pictures in PicCollage (You may use any app that will help you accomplish this goal).
Week 2- Possum Magic
Students will draw a picture of their favorite food and also use the included menu to find the cities that Hush and Grandma Poss traveled to in Australia. If this is difficult for your stuents, consider mirroring your iPad on the smartboard to guide your students around the map if needed.
Week 3- Whoever You Are
Students will take a selfie of themselves and then compare and contrast themselves to the pictures of children around the world. Students use the Add Text tool to write their ideas.(consider having them also use the Add Sound button to read their ideas).
If your students are not able to write their ideas, simply use the Add Sound button and have them record their likes and differences.
Week 4- Hattie and the Fox
Students will drag the animals to the sentence that they said in the story. (Remember, if your students press the play button in the top right corner, it will read the page to them to help remember what each sentence says) After placing the animals, have students practice reading the sentences with fluency and expression. Then use the Add Sound button and have them record themselves reading the sentences.
Week 5- Tough Boris
After reading the story, talk about Tough Boris' character traits. Then, have your students take a picture of themselves to create their own character traits. PicCollage or Seesaw would be great apps to use. Have your students share their creations to the coordinating Padlet board. (A QR code is embedded onto the student page not seen here. I've also added the QR code to the Padlet board so if you project it onto your smartboard, students can easily scan the QR from your board) This board will give your students another opportunity to compare themselves to others and how we are the same based on the lesson we learned from Whoever You Are

Week 6- Your choice
Whatever book you choose for this last week, have your students take a picture and add it to the top left corner (you could also do this prior to sharing the template out if you know which book you're going to use) After reading your selection, have students take a picture of a page that shows the main characters to add to their Book Creator. They will then use the Add Sound button to tell something about the characters.

Have you heard of Flipgrid? Here's an opportunity for you and your students to try out this great new resource. Have your students scan the QR code in the Book Creator template or go to this link. Students will be able to easily add a one and half minute video to the grid telling others what their favorite Mem Fox book has been and why. They will also be able to watch others' videos as well!! There is also a small video embedded of Mem Fox introducing herself which will be fun for kiddos to see and hear with her wonderful Australian accent!

Here are the directions to download the template. It is saved as an ePub so that you (and your students) will be able to edit it. This will take a few minutes like it says in Step 2, so be patient. Here's the direct link to the Book Creator file.

Click here or on the image to access the directions to 
download the Mem Fox Book Creator Template
When you are ready to send it to your students, remember to share it with them as an ePub as well so they can still edit and add their content. I would highly recommend using AirDrop to share it to your students as it's super EZ and super fast-in fact, almost instant! 

One last thing, if you are a Seesaw user, when your kiddos are completely done with this project, have them share it to Seesaw. At this point you'll share it as a video which will keep their voices as part of the file and also flip the pages automatically. 

that I've included everything here that you need to know to make this successful for you and your class! If you have any questions or issues, hopefully your technology integration specialist can help you out, but if not, feel free to get in touch with me and I'll do my best to help. You can find me on Twitter, @smalchow or via email

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Special Edition Global Read Aloud #EpicPals

Are you taking part in Pernille Ripp's 

Bobbi and I have worked to create a special edition of our monthly #EpicPals collections to coordinate with two of the Global Read Aloud choices, the Mem Fox (K-1) and Fenway and Hattie (2-3) choices for this year. We hope you will find these to be a nice addition to your Global Read Aloud experience!

Click this link or the image to access the
Mem Fox collection

The Mem Fox collection  (recommended for K-1)has a variety of informational texts about Australia, Koalas, Kangaroos, and Possums. These books were all chosen due to the connection with characters and events in the Mem Fox stories your class will be experiencing.  I've made sure to include several Read to Me books as well to support your emergent readers. Also included are two audio books of Mem Fox's Possum Magic and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge and a few videos as well.

Click this link or the image to access the
Fenway and Hattie collection
Bobbi's Fenway and Hattie collection includes books about squirrels and dogs, both of which your students will encounter as they enjoy Fenway and Hattie with you. Bobbie has also included some Read to Me books to help support your emergent and transitional readers as well as including a few coordinating videos.

Both collections include a Padlet board for your students to respond on but we have given them a bit of a different twist for this project. The links to the Padlet boards are included on the Google Docs. We encourage you to check them out and have your class contribute them.  
Example of the Mem Fox Padlet board for the #EpicPals Special GRA17 project

If you ever have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. You can find both of us on Twitter- @smalchow and @bhopteacher


New to EpicPals and need some additional information? If so, head on over the the #EpicPals page at the top of the blog for additional information.