Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gotta LOVE Mr. Loegering and rocks....

  Mr. Loegering is a retired teacher from Barnesville who is an AVID rock collector.  He travels all over the US and world, literally, collecting and learning about rocks and their various formations.  Since he was and always will be a teacher, he goes into classrooms and shares his knowledge - and in fifth grade here, it's no different.  Mrs. Askegaard had him come into her classroom to share this love of rocks and how they form - BUT - it was the STUDENTS - that taught Mr. Loegering SO much about their iPads.  Here are some pictures of the students working with Mr. Loegering:
  Now here's the BEST part - students were able to IMMEDIATELY go to sites he was talking about online and read the poems he was mentioning with various rocks.  They also went to maps and locations of where he found some of the rocks - without the iPads IN THEIR HANDS this wouldn't have been possible!  Mr. Loegering, who IS a TRUE life long learner - was SO impressed with the students' abilities on the iPads - YAHOO:)! 

We DID do it right in Barnesville - Keep Being AMAZING
Mrs. I:)




Thursday, April 25, 2013

2 Free ones:)

Two that I put in Configurator today:

1. iLuv Drawing Dinosaurs - normally $2.99 but free today!  Just like iLuv Drawing People - but it's dinosaurs - our 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Forsgren, wants this one:)!

2. Sight Words and Spelling with Pixopop - normally $2.99 but free today!  Work on sight words through three different modes; seeing, hearing and spelling.  Great practice app for them!

Have a great night - Schoology tomorrow!
Mrs. I:)

Projecting the iPads

  When we got our iPads last spring, the obvious question became "How are we going to project them onto our Smartboards?"  The iPad 2s and newer all have the AirPlay option that allows you to project them.  All our classrooms have a Smartboard and projector in them, and every teacher in our district was also given a Macbook Pro - so it seemed natural to go with a wireless projection of some sort.  We had talked about Apple TVs, and I DO have one at home and LOVE IT:)!!!  However, at $99 a pop, we didn't know that was the route we wanted to take since we had just spent so much money.  Also, with the Apple TV, you can't protect it - so literally kids can project their iPads from another room and it just seemed to be too much work since our projectors are NOT HDMI, so we would need the additional VGA to HDMI cord - or another $20 - Apple TV was out for us!  Next we talked about an app for the Macbook called Reflector which does the same thing.  It's $12.99 for a single user or $54.99 for 5 users.  Works VERY well and that was a thought of ours.  Then Ryan Cox told us about Air Server.  It's $3.99 each or $14.99 for 5 so that is the route WE chose to go.  At first we had some problems because of our Internet issues - but the teachers that use it really do LOVE it;)!   The ease is GREAT, and as long as your Macbook and iPad are on the same network - you can project ANY iPad you would want to:)!!

Here are some additional articles and information regarding ways to project the iPads:


Happy Thursday,
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Apps Gone Free

There were three today that I put into Configurator:

1. Just Me and My Mom - normally $1.99 this story addresses the issues of growing up, and is recommended for ages 3-6.  You can tap on characters and hear pronunciation as well as spelling of words and names.  FREE TODAY

2. Simple Sort: Counting - normally $.99 this time your child will need to help them count, sort, add and compare numbers.  They must drag and drop the objects as quickly and efficiently as possible.  FREE TODAY

3. 3D Classic Literature Collection - normally $.99 this app has more than 50 classic literature books that can each be interacted with in a 3-D book with swipes, gestures and jump ahead sliders.  This app also includes auto-bookmarking, a night reading mode, and atmospheric sounds.  FREE TODAY

There was also one called Timeline - Calendar that is normally $1.99 and this app allows you to view your calendar of events as a timeline.  Looks kind of neat - you might want to check it out!
 
Happy Day
Mrs. I:)

  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Yeah Digital Storybooks:) Today's Apps Gone Free.....

There were a TON of Apps - ALL digital 3D storybooks that I put into Configurator today - all these are normally $4.99 - but FREE today;) -

1. Grimm's Rapunzel is ADORABLE!!  I LOVE IT:)!!  I bought this one a few years ago and think its' SO great!  Not only do you get the story - but all is interactive! 

2. Grimm's Snow White

3. Grimm's Puss and Boots

4. Grimm's Hansel and Gretel

5. Grimm's Red Riding Hood

6. Grimm's Sleeping Beauty

**All six of these have the same theme - story with pop up 3D interactive ideas and activities - so cute!  Perfect for the PreK-2 kids:)**

Happy Tuesday -
Mrs I:)

Kindergarteners LOVING QR Codes:)!!!

  Kindergartners have been SCANNING SCANNING SCANNING:)!!!  Mrs. Willers has created some REALLY great iPad homework assignments where the Kindergartners need to use their QR scanners to work on high frequency words and vocabulary!  See below:

  How great is that?  Students get to do a "fun" thing by scanning at home with their parents, and then they also get the needed work on words - LOVE LOVE LOVE IT:)!!
   Mrs. Grabow also had the kids create family trees.  After she was done, I took each of them and recorded them talking about their families in the Audioboo app.  I uploaded them and then made a QR code to go with it - check out these:)
   Mrs. Grabow is then going to glue the QR codes on the bottom corner of each family tree so students and parents can then look at the picture of the family trees as the student is talking about his/her own family tree - ONE OF MY FAVORITES:)!!!

Excellent ideas - our teachers KEEP AMAZING ME:)!!
Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. I:)


Monday, April 22, 2013

Apple Frustrations!!!

Now - I KNOW that I am NOT the only person that has had a hard time dealing with Apple once in a while.  But this has got me going - UGH!!!  A couple of weeks ago a few students came down to get an app called Notion for band.  I went to Configurator - and although it SHOWS that I have 14 licenses there, when I hook up the iPads - it says "App Not Authorized" with the yellow triangle of death!!!:(  I called Apple on this to try and get my 11 codes back as they appear shadowed out in Configurator and had a hard time with them for the FIRST time - actually raising their voice at me!  Well, that's fine - but case in point - ever since doing the update with Configurator things like this have been going on and I proceeded to tell the drab story AGAIN of losing apps, etc.  They continued to really NOT believe me so I told him to take over the screen so I could SHOW him what was going on!  He FINALLY believed me - and in fact - I told him that configurator also GAVE us apps that we shouldn't have - like not one or two -50-60 in some cases once I reimported spreadsheets like their recommend - WOW!  Long story - yes - BUT here's the kicker - they want ME to just wipe Apple Configurator all together - they will reimburse us for ALL the money spent - and they want me to start over - NO WAY APPLE!!!  Mind you we have spent over $18,000 in apps - and if they think I am going to put ALL those back in wrong!!!  So now they want me to print off the sheet in volume purchasing where you buy your apps and cross check everything with them.  Only problem - I can't get the entire page to ever load - UGH!!  So I say - heck with it for now - I have better things to do - this can take place another day when I want to tackle it - UGH!!  He also mentioned that technically the developer of apps don't mean for us to (schools) to put the Apps Gone Free apps in configurator  - I told him then developers shouldn't put them in there for free ever then!!

The Battle Continues - at least no snow:)
Mrs. I:)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Schoology

  Well, we met today with the lady out in New York for a webinar on the basics of Schoology - going to be SUPER great:)!!  She went over the roles of everyone, what needs to take place before next week when we have training, and many other things that made my head hurt.  It REALLY is going to be WONDERFUL for the students and parents to go to one place for everything, and it will be great for all involved!  The first year I would imagine will be our "learning curve" year, but once everyone has everything set up, then year two and on will be EASY EASY!!!
   I am going to be starting the set up process- deleted duplicates today, figured out the rest of the emails, and am going to start emailing pictures to teachers for the profiles in their accounts!  By next week all will be a go and the teachers will be working within their OWN accounts - YAHOO:)!!

Happy weekend to everyone,
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

iPads in Minnesota

    I just wanted to give a couple of links of OTHER school districts that are also using iPads in education!  All of these sites have been schools that I have looked at - found ideas from - or just read about to find ways to do things!
  
Perham Pubic Schools - Perham has iPads in grades 9-12!  They call their iPad movement Project iEngage!  They have really done a great job of training their staff, and have some amazing people in place spearheading their initiative!  If you go to their site, they have GREAT video samples of how to do various things:)!

Minnetonka Public Schools - Minnetonka is ALWAYS state of the art when it comes to technology!  They implemented iPads two years ago and have them in grades 9-12.  Their 1:1 iPad Initiative is definitely one worth looking at!  They not only have the people in place (who are fantastic), they have the training opportunities and staff development that makes all districts jealous!

Little Falls Public Schools - Little Falls is another great source to go to for finding out information.  With a 1:1 initiative in grades 5-12 they have been through some amazing things!  I can't find their information directly, but you can go to the technology directors' page and get contact information.

Farmington Public Schools - Farmington is another famous school district for initiating a 1:1.  They have iPads at the high school (or maybe 5-12 - not sure here), and they have been a driving force also.  You can see what they have done with iPads here!

That's it for today!  I would REALLY recommend that you keep checking around at other districts regarding iPads!  We didn't do many things the right way, and I would imagine all these districts would say the same thing - but learning together has been amazing!!

Happy Night,
Mrs. I:)

Apps for Free today.....

Hi all!  Today I would put three apps into our Configurator:

1. Alphabet Animals i Mix- word game for children - normally $1.99 - free today!  This app will help improve reading and pronunciation skills by mixing and matching parts of characters.  Each part has a syllable attached to it, which can be pronounced by itself or as a whole.  Students can create over 2,000 characters:)

2. 7 Planets - normally $.99 - free today!  This iPhone app has you rolling wooden balls around with your iPhone/iPad to get them into their correct rows.  If one ball is removed, all the balls move in that row and you have to start at square one - a great one for critical thinking skills.

3. Take it Easy - normally $1.99 - free today!  This challenging puzzle game is a knock off the board game by the same name.  You're given random tile pieces that have different colored stripes.  You job it to place the tiles so they form continuous rows of the same color edge to edge.  Tiles that don't match will break the row.  Another great critical thinker!

Happy Thursday -
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Apps Gone Free.....3 today:)!

Three apps were put into Configurator today:

1. SimpleSort: Continents - Man made and natural wonders of the world have been mixed up and jumbled and students have to sort them into their appropriate continents.  A narrator will provide descriptions and explanations for each object.  Normally $.99 - FREE TODAY!

2. ASE A-Series Practice Test and Questions - This app will be popular with mechanics - it includes a practice exam that features 450 total Automative Service Excellence questions.  I LOVE that we have finally found one for this area of education! Normally $.99 - FREE TODAY!

3. Shopmate - Create shopping lists with this utility app.  You can add items with the built-in catalog on more than 220 or by creating your own lists. Normally $1.99 - FREE TODAY!

Have a great day today all,
Mrs. I:)

A Little Careless?

   Well, our eighteenth and nineteenth iPads came in today with cracked screens:(!!!  Both seemed to be because of student "carelessness!"  One was stepped on, the other sat on - ugh!!  Ironically enough, I sent out an email JUST last week reminding kids to PLEASE remember that the end of the year is near, but that means you STILL must take care of your iPads, not leaving them laying around and such - apparently it wasn't read:(!!
    So, that brings us to a grand total of 19 iPads with cracked screens - actually not bad for the entire year, however - we only have 4 total cracked back in December, so obviously the kids have become a little complacent!!  Hopefully we will be able to close out the year with no more:)!!
    We talked this morning in our administrative meeting about iPad collection.  I think I had mentioned before that we will be collecting K-5 iPads the Thursday BEFORE the last week of school - that way we can get a jump start and hopefully get those cleaned and such before the high school.  Monday we will collect the senior iPads, and then follow suit from there - with the LAST potential date of collection being the Thursday before we are out!  We are also going to have students clean their OWN iPads in grades 6-12!  Casey and I will take each grade level for about 30 minutes to walk them through it - have some wipes on hand for the outside case - cloths for the inside - and then they can assemble them again!  That is a HUGE TIME SAVER - THANK YOU MR. LOESLIE:)!!!  That way, Casey and I will only have to worry about the apps and configuration for the remainder of the summer - thankful for that!
    Our teacher app lists are due April 26, so that will be nice as I can start adding those into configurator that are needed, and taking those out that aren't!

Happy Day - I post again once Apps Gone Free comes out
Mrs. I:)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Nothing today.....got some fixed, though:)!

   There weren't any apps today from Apps Gone Free that I put into Configurator!  There were a few photography ones that looked kind of neat, but I am not sure how many is too many; the burning question for all I think. 
   GOOD NEW:)!!  Casey fixed his FIRST screen - YAHOO FOR US:)!!!  At a mere $70 for total cost  I think we might be going this direction instead!  Besides, when you bring it to someone OTHER than Apple, you lose warranty anyways - so why not try to do some yourself!  Casey found a great site called iFixit.  All you need to do is pick iPad 2 (or whatever it is you are trying to fix), and it gives you step by step directions on how to fix it and what parts you will need!  Pretty neat!  I of course have REFUSED to learn how to do this - Casey is the man:)!!!
    Below are some pictures of what the inside of the iPad looks like - a little disappointed indeed!  I am not sure which looks LESS appealing - the inside of the iPad

OR the view from the outside of my window yesterday! - UGH!!!

Happy Monday to you,
Mrs. I:)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

FREE APP - GET IT:)!!!

   There's a GREAT app that we could have used at the BEGINNING of the year called Templates for Pages Pro!  Mr. Krause, a social studies teacher in Barnesville, wanted his students to create a brochure.  We had to go through SO many template patterns online before we found one that KIND OF worked and the process to get it was CRAZY!!!  No more!!  This app has a TON of templates on there from brochures to business letterheads to resumes - a great one!  The only downfall I would say, is you HAVE to have the Pages app, as they work hand in hand;)!! Normally $4.99 - FREE TODAY!  Grab this one up FOR SURE:)!!

Happy SNOW day - ugh!!  I HOPE AND HOPE that we have school,
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Puzzle Quizzes Deluxe

Apps Gone Free has ONE app that I would recommend - New Puzzle Quizzes Deluxe - normally $2.99 FREE TODAY! Test your wits with this challenging puzzle game.  Over 450 hand crafted  puzzles with no two being a like!  The game does have hints for those kids that might really struggle with a certain puzzle!
This is what the icon looks like - definitely one that I think would be a great "I'm done, what can I do now?" kind of kids:)!!

Happy Day,
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Apps and Bloom's Taxonomy

  I was reading a blog and came across a great site that links Bloom's Taxonomy with iPad apps.  It might be worth checking out - it's a K-5 list! Once you go to the link - look on the left hand side and it will give you additional links for the ares of Bloom's Taxonomy. 


There was ONE app today in Apps Gone Free that I put into Configurator - actually Mrs. Peterson and Mr. Hermes told me to download it as they plan on using it with their 7th graders next year:)!!  Sakura Quick Math is the name of the app.  This is a "beat the clock" type of app.  Students try to answer as many math problems as quickly and accurately as possible!  Normally $1.99 FREE TODAY:)




Charge Me!!!

   SO SO CUTE TODAY:)!!!  A teacher came up to me, well actually two of them today, and said that their ZAGG Keyboard wasn't working any more.  No matter what they try it doesn't work - I just asked them about a cord that would have come with the keyboard for charging - they didn't even know it had a cord:)! I showed them how to charge it - and NOW they will work!  This is the FIRST time that the keyboard hasn't worked for EITHER of them - that's since last May - pretty good life I would say!  Here is a photo of one charging - UBER simple:)!
Love that - the simple things that make people SO happy when I show them - what a great job:)

Happy day until Apps Gone Free time,
Mrs. I:)

Type on PDF - CONSIDER A PAID ONE:)!!!

   The last month or so we have REALLY had trouble with the free app Type on PDF which is now a $4.99 paid app - for OBVIOUS reasons!!!  SO many kids have been coming to me saying that it doesn't work - it's glitchy - works sometimes - deletes my stuff - UGH UGH UGH!!!  I FEEL SO BAD when I have to tell the kids that I can remove it and put it back on - but it MIGHT work or MIGHT NOT - and they lose everything!!  UGH UGH UGH!!  Obviously case in point - most apps are free because they "LACK" something - TRUE TRUE TRUE in this case!!!  
     I keep reminding myself that we only have to get through ONE MORE MONTH with it:)!  Then we can ALL have Notability - AMAZING, FANTASTIC, LOVE LOVE IT:)!!  You're TOO smart - Mr. Nathan Strand - he put in for it for HIS classes - and they have had NO problems all year - I should have paid more attention to that - WAY TO GO Mr. Strand!!!:)   The only bummer part - it used to be $.99 and with volume purchasing only $.49 - now they bumped the price to $1.99 - still only $.99 but obviously cheaper before!

TYPE ON PDF NO NO NO - NOTABILITY YES YES YES!!!  Spend the money on this one - you'll be sorry if you don't - sigh!!

Happy mid-week to you,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Favorite Things - by Mrs. Grabow's Kindergarteners

  Mrs. Grabow, a Kindergarten teacher here, had her students use the app Educreations to create a "slideshow" about their favorite things!!  Look at this link for Ryder's - LOVE LOVE LOVE IT:)!!


  She also had them create a diagram collage and a collage with words:


What a GREAT idea:)!!  Love the one on the left that labels parts of his body - so great:)!!

Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. I:)

Apps Gone Free Today:

There were a few that I would recommend from the list that appeared today:

1. SimpleSort - normally $.99 but FREE TODAY!  This app allows students to work on their sorting and categorizing skills.  Students have to drop and drag items into the appropriate bucket.

2. iMashup - normally $4.99 but FREE TODAY!  Create mashups and remixed from songs in your library with this music app.  Although it might not work with our students, as they can't download music on their iPads, it might be a great one for music teachers and music lovers alike:)!

That would probably be it from today's free ones!
Happy Day,
Mrs. I:)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Apps to Check Out: My Personal List

   Here is a list of the apps that I have found throughout the year - some free on the days that Apps Gone Free had them - but others are ones that I think people should just LOOK at and see the possibilities with it!  Again - there are SO many out there - SO overwhelming - another list to look at - yahoo:)!!

   Another one that I came across this weekend is an app called Robots for the iPad!  It looks SUPER neat and we have a Robotics team here that might benefit from it!  It's free THIS WEEK ONLY!!  It's a HUGE file - but it looks like a keeper:)!!

I will let you know the list I throw in today from Apps Gone Free
Mrs. I:)

End of the Year Procedures....

   We have been having discussions about how to go about rolling the iPads IN for the end of the school year.  I have emailed various districts, and of course, found different ideas at ALL places I emailed.  I think in a nutshell - here is what we will be doing:

1. Collecting ALL elementary iPads - Grades K-5 the Thursday before the last week of school - that way we will be able to get a head start on cleaning them, checking them back in - etc.  Initially we were NOT going to collect cords and wait until the three-year lease is up - but now we ARE going to collect them to try to keep a better track of them and not lose so many in the end.

2. Senior iPads will start to be collected on Monday of the last week of school.  With senior privileges, they actually are done with school that Wednesday, I believe - so this will alleviate the headache of tracking down those that don't turn them in. 

3. Now - the rest of this is a little "shady" but here is my best stab at it - I believe that we will start collecting them based on teacher need - something like starting with the 6th graders and working our way up.  However - I also am a firm believer that if a teacher needs it - why can't they bring their class down to the library when they are done testing, etc.. and turn them in with their class - this area is still to be determined - and discussions are still in place regarding this.

4.  I DO know that ALL iPads will be cleaned - so we have thought about using those seniors that do NOT have senior privileges to help us with that.  The plan is to remove EVERY iPad and wipe is clean - thoroughly clean cases if needed, and then snap them back on - obviously the LONGEST part of the entire process:)!!

5. KEY KEY KEY - be sure to remove ALL PAID APPS before wiping them to retain your licenses!!!  Many teachers have asked the question - do I have to buy the app again - NO NO NO is the answer as you still have licenses for all those paid apps once they are removed.  You might have to buy an additional few here and there because of changing class sizes, but nothing like this year - in fact we have allotted $2000 at each building for apps for next fall!

6. We are going to "rename" each iPad to the name of the student who uses it!  This way when I hook it up to Configurator, I know IMMEDIATELY whose iPad is whose and I won't have to go into the settings to find the particular number to go with apps.  This will especially be helpful when putting apps on for elective classes.

7. I believe we are also going to do SOME sort of training with the parents and students on Schoology.  Not sure if we will be giving students iPads early - this hasn't been decided - but Schoology training is IMPORTANT since we are expecting every teacher to use it - and ONLY it!

8.  I would imagine that we will hook up all iPads before leaving for the summer to remove all paid apps and rename all iPads - they will be stored in Casey's lab as it's air conditioned!  Then when we come back next fall - yea right, like we won't be here before:) - all will be ready to go and we just have to put the new apps on for the following year!

As things develop on this end I will continue to update you!  If you have a GREAT idea or way that YOU plan on rolling your iPads in - would LOVE to hear it!

Happy Monday
Mrs. I:)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Apps Gone Free.....

   There seemed to be a TON of free ones today that I liked from Apps Gone Free - the ones that I popped into Configurator are these six:

1. iLuv Drawing People HD - normally $2.99 - free today!  This app guides children through the process of drawing people.  Audio instructions included, too!  20 drawings to choose from and the option to save to camera roll!

2. Solar: Weather - normally $1.99 - free today!  The app presents you with two colors on the main screen - the top color is the current weather while the bottom represents the current temperature.  Swipe from the bottom to the top to see the weather changes throughout the day - pretty cool:)!

3. Puppet Workshop - normally $2.99 - free today!  Allow your child's imagination to go wild!!  Kids can choose from 20 different sock puppets or craft their own.  They can also choose backgrounds and put the puppet on display - I can see a TON of uses for this;)

4. Retromatic HD - normally $2.99 - free today!  Craft your own retro-style poster with this photo effects app.  You can import a photo or snap a new one - then grab what's necessary!

5. Composer's Piano - normally $4.99 - free today!  Compose your own music with this digital piano app!  You can also layer sounds together if you wish!!  When you're ready to play - hit record and tap away at the keys:)!

6. DoReMi 1-2-3: For Kids - normally $1.99 - free today!  This app teaches children major scales, scale placement and pitch recognition.  This includes 6 songs , a free play mode and the ability to record the child's tunes!

WOW - That was A LOT for today!  Again - I TOTALLY encourage you to download them and TRY TRY TRY!  Please know that we will NOT be having ALL THESE apps on our iPads next year!!  You still have to find the BEST ones that will help with the content that you are teaching - KEEP THAT IN MIND:)!!

Happy Friday - we have been starting to talk about end of the year procedures, so I will post that as we have a "plan" in place - thoughts have been rolling, though!
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Accelerated Math LIVE update

   I just want to "UPDATE" the news that I found out about Accelerated Math LIVE.  I talked with a gentleman from Renaissance Learning, and if your district currently has Accelerated Math, you will get BOTH options next fall for it!  You can still do AM the paper pencil way, or you can do the online version via a computer, mobile device or tablet (YAHOO FOR OUR iPADS:).  You will have them BOTH available to you!

Just wanted to clarify that
Mrs. I:)

Apps today....

    The only one that I put into Configurator today is an app called Sight Words Hangman!  This app utilizes over 300 sight words most commonly used in the English language.  There are also flashcards if your student needs a little more practice - 30 word lists to choose from and game history.  Normally $1.99 - free today!!!
    Keep checking Apps Gone Free - very valuable app - and money saver indeed!!!

**LIED - I just put PDF PROvider which is similar to Jetscanner app I talked about yesterday - convert ANYTHING into a PDF file to use with Notability or another PDF app for note taking - looks great and normally $6.99 - FREE TODAY!***


Happy Thursday,
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Apps Today - FREE:)!

Here are the ones I felt "worthy" today:)  Again - all these apps are PURELY guesses on my part as I have merely downloaded them today and will play later:)

1. The Purple Frog is an interactive children's book that tells the story of a purple frog who is looking for acceptance from his peers.  $3.99 normally - FREE TODAY:)!

2. Ed Meets the Dentist allows you to travel to the dentist with Ed to go through the process of a dentist visit.  It also will follow the fears that children fear.  $1.99 normally - FREE TODAY:)

3. JetScanner: Camera to PDF seems like a really great app for teachers!!!  This app allows you to take a picture or anything and turn it into a PDF file!  No more running to the copier anymore - snap a picture and email it yourself:)!! $3.99 normally - FREE TODAY:)!

Those would be my selections today - Have a great night,
Mrs. I:)

Accelerated Math LIVE - YAHOO:)!!!

   Renaissance Learning has announced new to the 2013-14 school year Accelerated Math LIVE!!  WE are SO excited here at the elementary level - we can hardly contain ourselves:)!!! 
     If you are NOT familiar with what Accelerated Math is, it works in the same way that Accelerated Reader does as students take math practices, exercises and tests targeted at their grade level; which they take a STAR Math test to determine this.  The way that is currently is set up, students get an assignment to work on - then they bubble a scan card.  When they are finished, they run their card through a scanner that automatically scores it and prints a TOPS report.  It shows how the students did, which problems they got wrong, and then it spits out another assignment for them to work on based on how they did.  It really is GREAT:!)!!  We used it DAILY when I was in fifth grade, and I know they still do.  For those students that are higher ability, you can assign libraries appropriate for them; same if they are working at a lower ability. 
    Accelerated Math LIVE, however, will allow us all these same GREAT, AMAZING and TRULY FANTASTIC options on the iPads:)!!  This version is an online version - NO MORE PAPER, NO MORE SCANNING, NO MORE FRUSTRATIONS - YAHOO:)!!! The part that I LOVE LOVE LOVE is that students will now be getting the PRACTICE doing math this way.  Therefore, when the Math MCA tests come rolling around, they would have been exposed SO MUCH to testing on a device that it will really be SO much easier for them!
     Also, now I am ALMOST certain on this, I will change if I find something else out - when you renew your license each year for Renaissance Learning, you will have the option to keep going with the paper version, or switch to it online - a no brainer for us!

Happy Wednesday,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A TON of Free Ones Today:)

Today was a GREAT day on Apps Gone Free.  There are a variety of ones that I put into Configurator today:

1. Colorific - $2.99 FREE TODAY:)  This digital coloring book allows your child to color or draw their own pictures.  It include templates and various colors, markers and pencils.  You can also share your work!

2. ABA Flash Cards - Food - $1.99 FREE TODAY:) A collection of talking flashcards that will teach your child over 100 different foods.  You can also quiz you child on this.

3. ABA What Rhymes? - $1.99 FREE TODAY:)  This app displays four images and requires the child to find the rhyming target items.  Over 350 images are included!

4. ABA Receptive Identification $1.99 FREE TODAY:) Over 300 images are used to help children find the required noun.  It also included pronunciation.

5. ABA Receptive Identification - By Class $1.99 FREE TODAY:) Emerging learners will gauge in finding targeted items.  Pronunciation and hundreds of images are used here.

6. ABA Flash Cards - Alphabet $.99 FREE TODAY:) A collection of talking flash cards that will teach your child the letters of the alphabet.

7. ABA Flash Cards - Animals $.99 FREE TODAY:)  Talking flashcards that will teach your child over 100 animal types!!

Many of the app that are listed above are from a company called Kindergarten.com!  In honor of Autism Awareness Month, their apps are FREE for the ENTIRE month of April!!!  CHECK THEM OUT!!!  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. I:)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Schoology

   Well, the wheels are rolling and the process has started for our school with Schoology!  If you haven't yet seen what it's all about - I will give it to you the top 5 reasons why I am excited about Schoology:

1. Organization - THIS IS THE BEST FEATURE!!!  Students, staff and parents will go to ONE PLACE:)!!  Long goes the day of logging onto one site of one teacher, going another place for photos for another, and yet another blog for the third - GONE!!  ONE PLACE FOR EVERYONE:)!!!  At the beginning of the year - each teacher will invite the students to their courses with an access code that the student puts in and they are ready to go.  Each parent will get an access code for each of their children to enter in and they will be able to see a

2. Ease of use - the account is similar to that of a Facebook account, which most everyone is accustomed to.  The interface is familiar, it's easy to navigate through, and everything is VERY easy to do from uploading files, to correcting, to creating groups, to blogging. 

3. No more emails - students can directly download files and assignments, open them in an app like Notability and then submit their assignments back to Schoology.  No more messing with filtering and bazillion emails that come in each day and no more opening emails, opening apps, correcting and emailing them back to students!  Correcting and comments can be made on assignments right in Schoology and then saved for students to see. 

4. On Line Storage - we don't have to house ANYTHING!!!  All the data, files, downloads, etc... will be stored, backups and managed by Schoology.  It won't bog our system, the space it taken up on the Schoology network - issues come up - Schoology handles the - this I LOVE:)!!

5.  Consistency - this is always the best for ANYONE involved, and in this case, kids will start using it in Kindergarten and continue through.  Can you imagine how easy this will be for them when they are in 2nd grade - and just like second nature as they age;)!! 

    Now the biggest question our staff asked - if we are trained in this are we going to stick with it?   I can't guarantee that FOR SURE - but I know that this is here to stay for a while.  Minnetonka will be starting their third year with it, and they generally don't keep using something if it's not great!  Also, something we always have to keep in mind as educators - we are LEARNERS, too:)!!  That means that we are constantly going to be learning new things just like our students:)!!!

Happy Day to everyone -
Mrs. I:)