Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Celebrating Veterans Day & Native American Heritage Month PBS Learning Media

The following information is from PBS Learning Media. I am sharing an email I received from the company.

Featured Story

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Remember Our Nation's History with Native American and Veterans Day Resources

Native American Heritage Month honors the indigenous people living in the United States before the arrival of the Europeans. Veterans Day, originally celebrated as "Armistice Day" to mark the end of battles during WWI, allows Americans to honor the more than 23 million veterans in the United States. Check out our recommended resources below! Kick things off with this short video exploring the history behind Native American Heritage Month. View Video

Recommended Resources

Native American Heritage Collection

Take a fascinating look at Native American art, history, and culture in this featured resource collection. From the story of Sequoyah, a Cherokee man who developed an alphabet for the Cherokee language, to details surrounding the settlement of the American West, resources in this collection will help to bring history to life for your students. View Collection

Celebrate Veterans Day on November 11

Looking for creative ways to mark Veterans Day in your classroom? As Americans across the country honor military veterans, this short video will help to explain the history and significance of Veterans Day. View Resource

A Different Kind of Lottery: Understanding the Draft During the Vietnam War

This series of videos will help students understand the impact of the Vietnam War draft on the lives of young Americans at the time. These oral histories give a firsthand look into the attitudes and experiences of soldiers who were selected to serve. View Media Gallery

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday, Monday Tech Freebies!

Kid Awesome Kdgn Math Premium - A Full Year of Skills to Learn!

The Jungle Book - 3D Pop up

The StoryToys - Jigsaw Puzzle Edition

Wake Up Mo! - 3D Pop-up book

Toca Boo!

Monki Shake It - Language Learning

Animal Game Show - Who's Toes Are Those? - Matching Game

Color Fractions 1st Grade

Writing Practice - Ruled lines for students to work with

Speech4Good - Stammering & Speech Therapy

Jacob's Shapes

Friday, September 11, 2015

Free App Friday 9/11

Free App Friday - download the apps while they are still "on sale" for free!

PresentPerfect - Normally 9.99.  The presentation is fully under your control. When you change pages, pinch to zoom and pan around, or tap-and-hold to activate the laser pointer, all other connected devices instantly do the same.  Imagine, everyone in the room watching your presentation from the iPad in front of them – no more bad viewing angles, fuzzy text, or shutting out the lights.  Even better, when you’re presenting, it’s simple to get real-time yes/no feedback with the built-in voting option. Just tap the button, and your viewers can quickly provide anonymous feedback to whatever you ask.

Musical Paint for Kids - Normally 4.99

Writing Wizard - Kids Learn to write Letters and Words - Normally 4.99

iLearn Geography - Normally 2.99

Mouse Alphabet - Normally 1.99 Adventures for Pre-Readers and Early Readers

Interactive Books - all Normally 3.99

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Math is Harder When Using an iPad

This is not my article, however, I thought it was so good, I had to share it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014  
Original article:
Photo taken by Christine Cousins
I do not use a lot of worksheets in my math program.  So much so, that last week, I gave a worksheet during math to my grade 2 students to do and one of my students cheered.  CHEERED! For a worksheet!  I asked the child in my class why she cheered.  I figured that she would have responded with, "I like worksheets."  If she had answered that way, I would have been fine with that. I believe that we all have our own learning preferences and some children enjoy doing worksheets.  However I would never have anticipated what she said to me.  She responded with,

"I like doing worksheets better than using the iPads because I don't have to think as much."  

I was speechless for a second... then I dug deeper and asked her to explain how worksheets are easier.  She responded with,

"On the iPads, I have to show my work, explain my thinking and make sure it is my best work because someone other than you might see it on my blog or on Twitter."  

"Wowza!" (I actually said that out loud to my student) she giggled and I continued thinking about what she had said.

In other words, there are two major reasons (other than they are engaging and fun) to continue using the iPads and social media during math class:
1.      Using the iPads leads to a higher level of understanding because students have to explain their thinking with pictures, numbers, words AND their voice. 
2.       If you use social media in your classroom like we do, it leads to higher quality work because there is a larger audience that may see the student's work.  
As I continued to think about what my student had said, I thought about the recent math activities that we had done on the iPad.  My student was right.  It typically takes longer to complete a task on the iPad because there are multiple tasks that need to be completed.  We usually do an anchor chart with the learning goals and success criteria for the task.
An example of a finished product Sidhak's Skeleton
An example of a finished product Ryan's Blog

Could I have handed out worksheets for the students on these two math concepts?  Of course.  Would it have taken less time?  Probably.  Do I think they gained a better understanding of the concepts?  Definitely!  I also love using these pieces for assessment purposes.  These two examples were completely done independently and I can go back to their blogs and look at their work whenever I want to.  So can their parents.  A very powerful tool if I do say so myself.

Will I continue to use the iPads and use worksheets on some days?  Of course. In fact, I gave out a worksheet today for my students to complete.  They said, "It was an easy math class today."  Hmmm, maybe I need to give them harder worksheets...

Thursday, February 5, 2015

This is IT Pre-conference Registration is Now Open!

Don't miss out on Southwest/West Central's Technology Conference for Education. Connect with educators in our area and learn new ways about IT (Integrate Technology and Information Technology).

Pre-conference registration is now open! Take a look at the sessions and register today. Pre-conference is March 5 and the Conference is March 6.

Registration will be open soon for the This is IT2 Technology Conference on March 6.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fun With Squishy Circuits

Fun with Science & Squishy Circuits!

Pipestone Area School 3rd Grade students had a blast on Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 learning about science through Squishy Circuits. I have 5 Squishy Circuit kits and made a Makerspace in the teacher's room. The students were so excited to use the Squishy Circuits even though they didn't know anything about them. 

I briefly told the students a little bit about what we would be doing. I purposely didn't explain how to do everything because I wanted the students to try and try again before asking for help. I found a worksheet on the Internet that I left at each station to assist students in their quest with Squishy Circuits. Once students got the hang of it, science and learning took off!

Below is a video I took with some students while they were trying different things. I tried ask questions that would make them think about the outcome. If something didn't work, I talked to them about what they thought were issues and how we could solve them once the camera was off. 

Squishy Circuits were invented at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. The kit can be purchased online.  The kit includes a recipe card to make your own conductive and insulating dough, 1 motor, 1 Piezoelectric Buzzer, 1 Mechanical Buzzer, 1 battery pack, and 25 LEDs in red, yellow, green, white, and blue. I think the price is very reasonable, especially to incorporate into your classroom ($25.00 per kit). The company does offer a price break the more you purchase. 

I hope you follow our journey as I bringing Squishy Circuits to more schools that I work with. We will also be showing them off at our "This is IT" Technology Conference in March 2015. 

In Education & Tech,
Kara :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Free Leveled Reading Program from Smithsonian

We love the word free in education, especially when it is paired with a great resource. Today, I bring to your attention the Free Leveled Reading Program from Smithsonian for grades PreK-12 and even in Spanish!

Teachers will need a free account from Smithsonian TTribune. Once your free account is set up, the teacher can enter classes and student names. No information is collected from the student.

The TTribune consists of daily news site for kids, tweens, and teens. The articles contain text, photos, and audio/video. The site also contains lessons, with instructional and assessment tools.  The articles are grade-appropriate. Users can also choose their Lexile Level for each article.

Be sure to check out this awesome resource for leveled reading. 

Free Apps Monday 1/12 iPad

All apps were free as of this posting. Only the publisher can determine the length of how long an app will be on sale for free.  If you are interested in one, be sure to grab it right away! 
I do not endorse any of the following apps. Just passing along freebies.

Apps to know about:
  • Evernote Scannable - always free
  • RefME - allows you to scan a book/journal barcodes, search via DOI, URL, ISBN, etc and sync with to create citations, bibliographies and reference lists in a click.