Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Online Countdown Clock & Using Youtube In The Classroom

Check out this amazing countdown clock that you can project on your board! It comes from
There are lots of different versions including a candle, rocket, dynamite, and an egg timer. You can even customize your own version here, which includes choosing the sound, duration of the noise and visual. They have an entire classroom page!
I'm planning on setting mine during centers to show we have 40 minutes to the students how much time we have to get all of our work done.

YouTube can be a valuable teaching resource. Did you know there are lot of educators who create free content that you can use in your classroom?

Getting Around Filters
Have you ever found a really great resource on Youtube, only to discover that it is blocked by your school filters? Try Keep to watch individual YouTube videos. You will need to have the URL of the video on your computer & then it will download and save only the video file so it will be accessible even when you don't have internet. Also, I use my iPhone hooked up to speakers to play songs from Youtube. You will need to have your Wifi turned off in settings.

Check out our class video:

What are your favorite educational YouTube videos?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Great Online Computer Games For K-2

Looking for free educational games for your elementary students to use during center rotations?
Here is a list of games I use with my students. Set a Sqworl as your homepage or create an icon the students can view from the desktop for easy access.

BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. have amazing FREE online games. The BrainPOP games are designed for older students, but some could be adapted for 1-2 grades. An example is the Battleship Numberline game, which can be set to use only whole numbers! Plus, Moby the robot (BrainPOP mascot) is amazing. The students LOVE him!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Shaving Cream 3d snowmen

For this lesson, we read "The Biggest, Best Snowman" and then created our own.
Shaving cream + glue= an afternoon of giggles and fun. Abby posted about this over at The Inspired Apple, and I knew we had to try it! She recommended to mix more shaving cream than glue- no exact formula. :) It worked out well.

I also have random art supplies like red buttons, small black pom-pom balls, and foam colored shapes.
I will probably pull in some type of writing activity to attach to the bottom of this- if you have any ideas feel free to leave them in the comments!
We've already down the steps to building a snowman on a different graphic organizer.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Visuals, I can statements, & Bloom's Taxonomy

This year we have been
undergoing a very stressful evaluation process with a strict new format. The great part is that it has really forced all of the teachers to focus on the important things and get our acts together! I will have 5 formal evaluations this year under the new system.

Here are the details of the poster:
  1. Use Visuals- State objectives. Relate past learning. Relate to real life.
  2. Incorporate Literature- When possible read an interactive story with lesson.
  3. Interactive Activity- Create & demonstrate
  4. Cooperative Learning- Group work to discover and learn
  5. Leveled Assessment- Ability leveled data connection
  6. Writing Connection- Math & Writing Journals
  7. Technology Focus- Make lessons more meaningful
  8. Use Manipulatives- Independent Practice
  9. What will we learn?*/At the end, we will know...

This is just a jump start for the lesson. Basically, you go over how you will be doing those things in that specific lesson. So, you talk about whatever visual you will use, what book you will read, et cetera. I actually plan on starting with the "What will we learn?" and the "I can" statements (the objectives in kid-friendly terms). Then you follow the chart to briefly discuss what you will be doing for that lesson. After you teach the lesson, you reference the board again for the "At the end, we will know..." I have this one on a lift-up flap on the dark blue shell.

I have the colored levels of Bloom's Taxonomy on the board. Mrs. Saylor has these amazing questions already typed up and read for you to print and use! Print them on the corresponding colored card stock, laminate and put them on a binder ring. Thanks for sharing, Mrs. Saylor!
*Picture from Mrs. Saylor's Blog

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Screencasting: How to use the Pearson Successnet Website

Step-by-step details for how to navigate the Scott Foresman Reading Street & Envision Math Successnet website for parents or teachers:

Create your own screencasts:
This video was created using Jing, a simple FREE screen casting tool. I upgraded to the Pro version for $14 a year to enable .mp4 files and direct uploads to

If you have never tried it, I highly recommend downloading Jing! Play with this fun simulation to see if Jing is for you:
*Basically this is a hands-on tutorial without having to download anything, except it is really fun to play with!

If you want to use this video or see my upcoming creations, check out my Screencast Page.

You could use screencast to show students exactly what to do on a computer (like a webquest), or leave them for a sub, or create them for parents, or faculty! What do you do with Screencasting?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Podcasting in the classroom: Audio Boo

Today we created our very first podcasts! It was an exciting time in Room 1. It was the 100th day of school, so students brought in a bottle of 100 things. Next, they hid their bottles in paper bags and wrote three clues to describe them. I used the FREE app AudioBoo to record their clues and took a picture of each kiddo with their bottle. If you don't have an ipad/ipod/phone that you can download apps on, not to worry! If you have a computer with a microphone, you can use their website.

On the right are screenshots of AudioBoo.  It's so easy to do!  Just hit the red "record" button.  Next, it takes you to the second screen where you can add a picture and name your "boo" aka podcast.  Make sure to turn off the location part under settings- the first time I published it was including the address of the school!  Also, make sure you have some sort of form from the parents that says you can publish their kid's picture/work on the internet.  I just keep referenced the ones from the county from the start of the school year.

This week I plan on creating digital stories from our Penguin Books we have been working on all month. I am going to use the app StoryRobe ($0.99) to have the students take a picture of their work and read it. Then we can upload the link to the class website to share with friends and family. This also will allow me to create an on-going digital portfolio of work.

Screen Chomp is another great app for podcasting/demonstrating student work- and it's free! A slight limitation is that I can only find how to use one background per session. I plan on using this app to have students demonstrate concepts, like how to solve a subtraction problem. This is great learning and can serve as a future reference for my upcoming classes. If you are going for more of a movie, you can also use iMovie for the iPad.

Our 100th Day Bottles

100 day hats from a kindergartener

Chinese New Year (in a retired teacher's classroom who is working as an interim. She's AH-MAZING!)
There she is in yellow! :)
Check this guy out!!!! Apparently he was a yard sale find. Too cute!

How are you using technology in the classroom?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chinese New Year 2012

Be sure to check out my archived post on Chinese New Year Ideas here!
The Year of the Dragon begins Monday!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blubber experiment

Blubber Experiment on PhotoPeach
I'll post details later :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Awards and Google Reader Question

Online PhD ProgramsHey all!  Thank you very much for the nomination!  Sorry I haven't been as active the last few months.  You guys are very amazing readers!

Ok, here's my question: My pictures aren't showing up on Google Reader!  Is anyone else having this problem?!  Help please!

 AlexMiss Russell, Mrs. Unger also recently commented about how they passed the versatile blogger award to me.  You guys are very sweet!  Thanks for the comments.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Place value name snowmen

So I'm loving the Comparing Snowmen as the backdrop to the igloo :)
I sent my husband to the store to pick up all this crazy stuff. He refers to it as my 'unholy science experiment'. I call it engaged classroom fun! Projects include: Marshmallow Place Value (toothpicks, marshmallows, cereal) <did this today and they loved it!!!!!>, Blubber experiment (shortening, petroleum jelly) & 3D snowmen (Shaving cream + glue)
So I had an unannounced pop-in evaluation today. And we were right in the middle of putting this beauty together. They kids were EVERYWHERE around the room with some amazing cooperative learning. It was pretty much rockin'. Then my sweet angels went on to ask amazing questions and had excellent small group discussions. <3 Then we did reading groups. Not bad for a random 1 hour pop-in (dontcha love those?) This idea is found on many blogs, but I particularly liked the post from Marvelous Multiagers.
Marshmallow place value idea from Babbling Abby AMAZINGNESS! This really helped me get through our math lesson today. We just adopted Envision math this year, and chapter 11... dear me I thought I would cry. This helped a TON with the start of chapter 12. Anyone else using Envision? I could use some help with extra resources/ideas!

Place Value Lesson Ideas
Crayon Bits has a really neat idea about comparing numbers by using two cups of colored water. Talk about greater than, equal to, and less than using the amounts in the two cups.

Crazy for First Grade has an amazing guest post than has a ton of resources for place value! Definitely check this blog out- lots of great free printables!

My principal wasn't a big fan of The Daily 5 :((((( And so now this is my new rotation chart. This is off of Debbie Diller's stuff.

Let it snow let it snow let it snow. Igloo side shot! :)

New special ed chart to help out my austistic kiddo gauge his emotion. This also gives us strategies and a way to talk him down when he starts to get upset.

How's your week been going? I'm so excited about the upcoming blogger meet-up with Abby and Michelle!

Friday, January 13, 2012

January fun and 100th Day!

My grandmother came up to visit my classroom and check out our Igloo!  :)
We have been studying Polar Animals!  Check out "Penguin Penguins" app with streaming webcams of real penguins.  The kids love the underwater view!  You can also check out the penguin cams live on the web here.
We saw the first snow day of the year on Thursday.  I froze black construction paper and cut it into squares.  Take the kids and the paper outside and you can catch snow flakes without them melting!  Great for upclose observations.  Check out the book Snowflake Bentley about the first man to photograph snow. Here is his website with lots of great resources.

100th day is coming up soon
PhotobucketRachelle over at What The Teacher Wants has a really great free packet if you are looking for activities

Along with a 100th Day Pinterest board link up!
You can also check out my 100th Day: Meet Granny Cross post from last year

The Mitten
Check out these great posts and freebies for the amazing Jan Brett book "The Mitten"
First Grade Parade's Mitten Post
Teacher Bits and Bob's Mitten Post

Great Winter Themed Activities and Ideas!
Chalk Talk Winter Posts
Mrs. Kilburn's Kiddos

Blogger Meet-up
I'm in!  Anyone else going to Babblin' Abby & Michelle from Fabulous in First's amazing meet up in Cincinnati?  I'm *12kindsofexcited*!  :)