New Favorite App!

I have recently discovered the beauty of a new app called Pic Kids. It’s the kid version of Pic Collage. Can I just say that it is perfect for kindergarten? Or any grade, really. I have become just as obsessed as my children!

The app is pretty basic. It allows students to create a digital collage. The best part is that they can safely search for photos directly from the internet. This is a good way to introduce searching to little ones. They are still learning how to spell correctly, so I love that they can do voice activated typing. I get tickled when I hear a child repeating over and over as clear as they can, “TROLLS MOVIE” so that they can find some pictures from Trolls. I can’t blame em.

To introduce the app, I connected my iPad to the Smart Board with our Mirroring Assist app. This is so helpful when teaching a new app! I showed them the way around the app, like how to add stickers, how to label pictures, and how to search for images. The kids love that you can design the collage the way you want!

I found a cool activity from Technically It’s Kinder that we did today! My kids created collages of long U words (what we’re learning this week!). I pulled up the instructional slide on the board and put the kids into groups. They rocked this activity. They loved researching and finding pictures of long U words. The best part is that they had to sound out the word correctly to search and find the pictures. I didn’t let them “talk to type” in the search bar! When finished, they saved them and uploaded them to Seesaw.

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Monday, I also used Pic Kids for the kids to complete a Math assignment. Since we have been working on measurement, I took a screen shot of a measuring activity and air-dropped it to my kid’s iPads. Then, they found stickers in the app that were “shorter” and “taller.”

I’m loving this new app and I love that we can use it across the entire curriculum! Next up is Science. We’ve been working on zoo animals because our field trip to the zoo is next week. I plan on having the students read animal books on Epic and then create collages about the animal they choose. This will require a lot more training but I think they will love it.

Getting random love notes from kids is nice, too. 🙂

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Rainbow Rhymes for Fluency

Happy SPRING!


We are enjoying Spring Break right now. I’m so glad our last day before break was St. Patrick’s Day because we got to celebrate leading up to Friday with plenty of fun Spring-related activities. One of my favorite crafts that I did with my students last year was this rainbow construction paper craft. I decided to step it up this year. I have a group of amazing readers and they love to work on fluency. After we made the crafts, I had them upload a picture of their work to Seesaw. They recorded themselves reading the poem out loud and it was so impressive!

 

I then used the app to create a QR code that linked to each student’s video. After printing them, I attached them to each of their crafts and displayed them in the halls. This is my first time using a QR code in the hallway but I think it’s the perfect way to pull in technology while also allowing the students to take ownership of the work others can see when they pass by! Anyone can use their device to scan and watch them read their poem.

Technology Integration in Literacy

Oh, man, I’m excited to share this activity that I did with my students last week!

As my kids have gained more responsibility with the iPads, I have started introducing them to new apps as I learn about them. Our latest favorite is ToonTastic. It’s basically a way for kids to create a cartoon story with different story elements. The app would be awesome for older students who are working on story structure, but for kindergarten, we can still make it happen!


We began by reading aloud the book Nugget and Fang. Honestly, I chose it because I just bought it from the Book Fair and I was pumped to incorporate it into the day! They LOVED it!


Next, I showed them my very professional and impressive example of a re-telling of Nugget and Fang. This may be a slight exaggeration.


We discussed expectations thoroughly and then I set them loose with a trusty partner. My kids are learning so much about teamwork thanks to the iPads. I actually am thankful we only have 6 right now. It teaches them to work together peacefully.


What fun it was. I walked around the entire time assisting as needed. At the end of the day, we watched the videos together. Altogether, it was an awesome lesson that I’m super proud of!

 

Watch a couple of my favorites HERE or HERE!

Dr. Seuss Week

This week was Read Across America week, AKA Dr. Seuss week! As a teacher, there isn’t much I enjoy more than sitting down in front of my kids on the carpet and reading aloud an engaging story to them. I love seeing them engaged in a good book. 

Our principal came to the classroom Friday as a special guest teacher!


Making oobleck was a fun time. I’ve never tried it before and I was surprised at how difficult it was to stir and combine water and corn starch, but it finally came together. The kids were more excited about this than anything I’ve seen before. They were dying to touch the oobleck. We all loved how it oozed but when you touch it, it’s solid! Crazy. They loved listening to Bartholomew and the Oobleck as well! 

Seesaw Progress

Since we received 5 student iPads at the start of the year, I have fallen in love with Seesaw! I love the opportunities it gives to my kids with the iPads and I love how many different options it gives to the kids. I wanted to share a little more about the progress the kids have made since we started.


The kids have gotten more comfortable using the different features on Seesaw. I’d say the one we use the most is taking a picture of work and then completing it by drawing on Seesaw. This saves me tons of copies and it’s also way more engaging for the kids. They sometimes can record their voices. They love it and sometimes get carried away or simply forget that they are even recording…that’s something we’re working on! 😉

Other things we use Seesaw for:

  • After hearing a story, draw a picture to recap characters or favorite part. Record voice to explain.
  • Report card testing: I send them a sight word list. They record themselves reading them out loud. I can grade them in my own time and there’s record for the parents to see what they need to work on! Perfect.
  • Take picture of handwriting practice.
  • Reading fluency practice.

 

I love that I can communicate with parents directly on their work!!

 

 

 

Seesaw is an important part of our Math Centers! 

Things I WANT to use Seesaw for before the year is over:

  • Kids interviewing each other. We need training with the video feature.
  • Kids recording comments on others’ work or things that I add for them to watch. This is such a cool feature that Seesaw has!
  • More paper slide videos. We’ve done a couple of these but they require a lot of adult guidance. I’m thinking of making this a more regular occurrence so the kids can gain some independence with it!
  • Expanding on Flipped Classroom ideas. I have been slacking on that!

 

Christmas in K

What a busy three weeks it has been since we came back from Thanksgiving! It went by slowly and yet, it was all a big Christmasy blur filled with elf shenanigans and Christmas ornaments! I’ve taken plenty of pictures so I will share them now.


We began the Christmas celebrating with a surprise delivery from our elf! This was an idea I stole from a blog. I’m not this creative. 🙂 the package was delivered by our secretary and it was even still cold from the North Pole!! (The office fridge) We read our Elf On the Shelf book and named our elf Rufus.



We also made plenty of ornaments. This was my favorite. I still have this one from when I was little, so I decided to have them make their own! The kids loved painting their reindeer.

Decomposing trees from One Sharp Bunch! 😍

My favorite thing that we worked on… snowmen! These were made for our parents. I LOVE how they turned out! Read more about them here. 


Making their Grinch faces. 😁

And finally, we made it to Friday! We celebrated with pajamas, Polar Express, and hot chocolate! They were enthralled with all the Christmas magic. It makes me so excited to see their faces light up over something as small as a candy cane to stir hot chocolate!


We ended the day with our book exchange. YAY!

Now, time to rest and relax until January. 🎄❤️

Seesaw Is The Bomb

Y’all, these iPads that we have received at school have changed our classroom dramatically! Now that we are learning more about how to use them, they are an important part of our routines. We generally use them during Walk To Read, Tier 2, and then during math rotations. That doesn’t include various reward times when I think a kid deserves some extra playtime! Our tech people put a lot of cool apps on the iPads for the kids. So far, my favorite has to be Seesaw. So what is it exactly? Here’s an excerpt directly from their website:

When students add to their Seesaw journal, content is uploaded, organized by student, and immediately accessible to teachers from any device.

Seesaw makes it easy for students and teachers to review progress over time and demonstrate growth.

I like Seesaw because it empowers the kids and also still keeps the control in the hands of the teacher. The kids sign in using a QR code, which they love. Then, they can create work in various forms: video, picture with voice-over, drawing. So far, I have been training them to do a voice-over while writing on top of a picture of work I’ve bought off TPT.

The kids are still learning how to speak up so their voice can be heard clearly. When they are done creating their work, it is sent to me. Once I approve it, it gets put on their “feed” where all work is displayed.


The cool thing about Seesaw is that parents can be directly connected and able to view the work of their child. I love this because sometimes, it’s hard for me to remember to get graded papers sent home regularly. Okay, it’s always hard to remember! This way, the parents are always up to date on their child’s skills.

Seesaw gives students an authentic audience of their peers, parents and even other classrooms around the globe, encouraging better work and real feedback.

Teachers control who can view what student content, and can customize which feedback options are available in their class.

I love Seesaw and can’t wait to get the kids comfortable doing more advanced stuff with it!