Month: September 2014

Motivating Students to Write

The tools I have for you this week are centered on writing.  Write About This is an app that allows students to write about a picture and do quick writes.  Students can record themselves reading their writing as well and share it.  Students will learn to navigate the keyboard and type more efficiently if they type their writing.  There is a free version as well as a full paid version.  Students are also motivated to write by having a visual to work with.

ColAR mix app is an augmented reality app.  Students can print of pages to color and their artwork can come to life!  They have pages on topics of science, animals, characters, Dot Day, etc.  For example, I had my students color one of the Chinese new year pages, experience the augmented reality, and then use their imagination to write a story about it afterwards. They have free pages and paid pages.

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Brain Breaks & Wonder

I have two tools for you this week.

The first is a web based tool called Go Noodle.  This is a free resource with plenty of brain breaks so that students can get their wiggles out.  I used this in my classroom last year and the kids LOVED it.  https://www.gonoodle.com/home

The second is another web based tool called Wonderopolis.  I used this resource to spark ideas for Genius Hour last year.  It’s also just a great website for kids to explore and wonder.  There is also a different wonder every day.  I have this widget on my blog. http://wonderopolis.org/

Productivity & Assessment

I have two tools for you this week!

One tool I use for productivity for myself as a teacher is the app 30/30.  I am super task oriented and love making to do lists.  The nice feature of this tool is that you can set a time for each task.  I also used it in my classroom to manage time for reading/writers workshop.  This could be something useful for those students who need a timer.  Check out my blogpost about it here.

The second tool is a web tool called Kahoot. It is a game-based learning tool.  To find out more click here. I will be introducing this tool to the kids in technology class so they understand how it works.  So if and when you decide to use it in your classroom, they already know how.

Kumu Galang

Tomorrow marks a big day in my journey as an educator. I am ecstatic to begin teaching elementary technology at Kamehameha schools Hawaii Campus. Making the mighty move from Michigan to Hawaii went smoothly. I am acclimated and ready to hit the ground running. I am already learning having only been here for one week. “Kumu” means “teacher” in Hawaiian.

I am looking forward to working with all elementary students. The faculty and staff are so welcoming and campus is a beautiful place. I especially look forward to working with @edtechcarmen and @elliemellie. Unknowingly, I connected with them on twitter prior to establishing myself at Kamehameha Schools. It is crazy to me that I can now call them both my colleagues. So let’s back up a bit…

How did I connect with @elliemellie? I watch a podcast show on augmented reality, Two Guys and Some iPads. She was mentioned on the show one day and I decided to follow her. I knew she was an educator from Hawaii, but had no idea that she worked for Kamehameha Schools.

Being the EdCamp “junkie” that I am, I was exploring EdCamps across the country. I found that there was #EdCampHI and of course I was curious to know more. Noticing that @edtechcarmen had many things to say about #EdCampHI I decided to follow her and found that she worked for Kamehameha Schools. So why did that catch my eye? My cousin, Rod Floro, lives in Hawaii and works for Kamehameha Schools. I began to wonder if they knew each other, come to find out they did. It’s a small world after all!

Teaching somewhere new has always been a personal teaching goal of mine. I am excited for the challenges and learning to come. Stay tuned for more on Kumu Galang’s teaching adventures!