Classroom teachers are my heroes. I can’t think of anyone else who is more dedicated to the overall well-being of 23+ children on a daily basis. They wear every hat in the book and I am in awe of how … Continue reading
The first day of school is right around the corner, so hopefully your room is ready, your brain is filled with new ideas from endless hours of professional development, and the smell of brand new crayons fills the air. I’ve … Continue reading
I just recently finished the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series, by George RR Martin on my iPad. There was NO WAY I could have possibly kept all of the thousands of characters straight in my head (not to mention funerals) if … Continue reading
Last year I stumbled upon an interesting site called HSTRY. Over the past few months, there have been several blog posts published about this fabulous tool. You can read some of them below as they give excellent information about the … Continue reading
Guest blog post by Heather Miller First of all, I have to say a BIG, GIANT THANK YOU to Laura Moore for letting me be a guest blogger and also, to Moby Max for the opportunity to try out the … Continue reading
Yes, insomnia struck again. But, check out all the cools things I found! This Smore, from Laura Chaffey, contains 2 web resources I’ve never seen before (actually shouted with glee as I was exploring). Photos for Class is an image … Continue reading
Blogging has become very popular in our district over the past few months. NEISD has subscribed to Edublogs (CampusPress) for several years now, but lately there have been some VERY exciting digital opportunities for our students. Jodi Harris (@jodiharris16), Reading … Continue reading
Back in December, I attended the Region 20 Area Google Apps for Education Summit. All of the presenters were fantastic, and all shared new skills that I have added to my toolkit. One presentation in particular made me shriek with … Continue reading
I’ve been posting monthly themed tech lessons for a while now, but this month simply slipped my mind:) Oops. Better late than never…. I’ve also included (above) an animated Google Doodle highlighting travel during the holiday season. Google Doodles are … Continue reading
The week of Dec. 8-12 is the global Hour of Code initiative, a one-hour introduction designed to demystify computer science and show that anybody can learn the basics of computer programing. The promotional video that you can show your students in … Continue reading
Blogging in NEISD has come a long way over the past couple of years. More and more teachers are realizing the potential of this powerful platform to truly transform current teaching practices. In the past, I have offered several 3 … Continue reading
Earlier this month I decided to participate in the Thinglink App Smash Challenge, facilitated by Susan Oxnevad. The goal is to use ThingLink as a presentation tool to demonstrate how to combine the functionality of two or more apps to create, publish and share content. It was more difficult than I thought because I had a hard time narrowing down which apps I wanted to use in my submission. I finally decided on Book Creator because of its cross-curricular nature, and its ability to include various types of media. Here is the flow of the lesson:
- Students choose a scene maker app to create an original visual writing prompt
- Students upload their image to Book Creator
- Add original composition using the text feature
- Add narration by recording
- Publish final project as e Book or movie
All you have to do is scroll through my past blog posts and pages to realize I use Canva for EVERYTHING! I honestly don’t think I could do my job without it. If you’re not aware of Canva, it is a free graphic design tool that allows you to easily create images for a wide variety of uses. They just recently launched an iPad app for simple graphic design on mobile devices (My mind is spinning with all of the additional app-smashing projects I see in the near future). What makes Canva so incredibly simple is the hundreds of templates you can choose from to create anything from a simple image with text to a collage with multiple images and design elements. All you have to do is drag and drop your items onto your workspace. Canva also includes an entire section dedicated to design essentials: simple tools and techniques that guide you through the graphic design process.
Another reason I love Canva is they don’t require a monthly or yearly subscription to use any of their premium images or backgrounds. If you would like to use one of their backgrounds, it’s just a one time fee of $1.00 each.
Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve been introducing a group of 1st graders to Thinglink (my other go-to tool). I used Canva to create the initial image that the students would be adding tags to. Since it was their first experience with Thinglink, I kept it simple with just text. Later in the year, they will be uploading student created videos from their iPads. If you would like additional information on using Thinglink, check out my other blog post.
TEKS and Student Expectations: 8) Earth and space. The student knows that the natural world includes the air around us and objects in the sky. The student is expected to: (B ) observe and record changes in the appearance of objects in the sky such as clouds, the Moon, and stars, including the Sun; (C) identify characteristics of day and night;
Here are some other examples of how I’ve used Canva:
It’s a new month, which means a new holiday, which means new themed technology lessons. Of course, I have to begin by sharing a Thanksgiving Google Doodle from last year. My favorite lesson you should try is the Thanksgiving Timeline virtual field trip using Google Earth. I taught this a few times last year and it will take at least 2 lab visits to complete. It’s well worth the time investment!
To access the Google Earth tour:
- Students login to Active Directory and open Google Earth
- Go to File>Open and navigate to the Student Shared Drive
- Click on the KMZ file named A Thanksgiving Timeline (teachers need to save the KMZ file to the student shared drive prior to teaching the lesson.)
- You will see the tour on the left side of the screen. There are 7 place marks total with information and links to online activities.
- Double click on the red letter in the left pane to advance to each location. Double click on the red letter in the center to view the content within the placemark.
- Advance through each placemark while completing each interactive until students reach the final destination where they describe family customs and traditions celebrated by their own families.
- Students can document their learning by filling out a timeline graphic organizer or they can directly comment inside each placemark by right clicking and choosing properties. This will open the placemark for editing purposes. When complete, simply right click on the Thanksgiving Timeline folder located in the left panel and choose Save As.
- Resources to download
The following list contains free sites and apps that you can use in the classroom or computer lab: