Epic!

Oh my goodness! Is it really Sunday already?? I think that this was quite possibly the fastest Spring Break of my teaching career. My family and I bought a house and moved in last Saturday. This week has been a flurry of unpacking boxes, putting furniture together, and wrangling my kiddos. Although I’m sad to leave my kids and go back to work tomorrow, I am glad that I have most of the house in order!

One thing that saved me this week during reading time (when all of the books were still packed in boxes) was an app called Epic! Books for Kids. Epic! is an absolutely amazing app that offers thousands of books for kids to read on the iPad (or web or Android device). Kids can sort books by IMG_0481type or by age. They can also search for topics they like or have books read to them. Epic! is free for teachers and librarians with their school email. Teachers can then create profiles for their students in their class. When creating profiles, you will be asked for an email address for each student so that the app can send an email to parents for approval. The email also includes information for parents if they would like to sign up for Epic! at home ($4.99 a month for parents).IMG_0483

My son is 4 and he can access and run this app on his own. I can also access his progress, reading log, reading minutes, etc. He never sits down for anything but will sit and have books read to him on this app for hours if I let him! I’ve also been using it in the classroom for about 3 months and my students are in love with this app! They beg me two or three times a day to be able to read books on Epic!

IMG_0482

You can find Epic! Books for kids in the app store here. Follow Epic! on twitter @EpicKidsBooks or on Facebook here.

Shadow Puppet EDU

Sick kids, and teaching, and trainings….oh my! Wow what a week and it’s only Tuesday! I am so lucky to have such an amazing student teacher that I don’t even have to worry about my class while I’m gone. When you’re class is working on a tech project, what do you do when you are gone? Do you plan for the kids to keep working and hope for the best? Or do you plan something else and have them finish when you return? Luckily I have been able to pass it off smoothly to my student teacher most of the time but since she is only there for half of the day it is much more difficult when I am gone in the afternoons. Right now we are working on our Solar System Research. Each student in my classroom gets to pick one planet in the solar system and research certain information about that planet. This year, instead of making each student a research packet to fill out, my students made Shadow Puppet presentations for their planet. Here is one of my favorites:

If you haven’t checked out Shadow Puppet EDU yet….YOU NEED TO! Even if you are just going to use it as a presentation app for your own use, this is a must have and it’s free!! Shadow Puppet EDU allows you to add pictures or video from your camera roll, standard or satellite maps, landmarks, search the Library of Congress, Met, British Library, NASA, NOAA, Flickr Creative Commons, etc. in a safe way right in the app. IMG_0436.PNGOnce you find images you want to use, just click on the images to add them to your presentation. You can then order or reorder your images and they are automatically added to your presentation. IMG_0437Once you have your images in order; add text, background music, and record your voice over your presentation slides.IMG_0438

Save your presentation and share it with one click through email, YouTube, SeeSaw, and more!

IMG_0439

Check out their blog here where they have great ideas for using Shadow Puppet in the classroom!

Also follow them on twitter:  @puppet

Until next time,

Heather

Handouts

Handouts App

H8.PNGI can’t believe it’s already March! This school year is going by so quickly. For so many reasons this year has been better than others. First, I have an amazing class! Some classes just gel better and my class this year is seriously wonderful! Another reason is that I’ve been able to use our class set of mini iPads more this year. I am a huge tech fan and I always have been!

One of my favorite apps that I have discovered this year is the Handouts app. Handouts is an amazing workflow app that has made my life so much easier!! Work smarter, not harder!!

First, you sign up with your educator email. Then you have your students sign up either with the class code or with their email and password.

You can then add assignments by taking a picture of the assignment, import it from Google Drive or Dropbox, use a screenshot, or a picture that you can access in your photo library. After you add the assignment, you can

IMG_0273.PNGpush it out to your entire class, certain groups, or individual students. 

Students then have two options to show their work: the pencil option which offers many different color and size options or the text box which offers students the ability to change the color and font. When students are finished, they return it to you with the click of a button and all of the assignments show up in your inbox in the app!! So now instead of taking stacks of homework home, I take my iPad and can grade anywhere, anytime!! This really meant a lot to me since I have two young children and almost no time to do any grading. Not only can you grade the students’ work but you can also make notes and provide feedback directly to the student through the app.

Here is a link to a Keynote presentation walking you through the steps to sign up and get started!! I hope that you enjoy using Handouts as much as I do!

For more info on Handouts go to their website at http://handouts.in/

Until next time,

Heather

Welcome

Hello and welcome to my blog! I can’t wait to dive in and tell you all about the amazing tech my students are doing in my classroom! But first, a little about me….I’m a 3rd grade teacher in Southern Oregon. I have been teaching for 7 years and this is my first year with a student teacher and it has been such a great experience! I have a husband and two young children. Jordan is turning 4 on Saturday and Maddie just turned 1 on New Year’s Eve.

IMG_1208

Lately, we have made huge strides in the classroom technology department. I now have an iPad Air 2 for my own teacher use and a class set of iPad minis that we share with two other classrooms. Having this access to the iPads has completely transformed my classroom! It is amazing to see the learning and creating that has been occurring in my classroom. My hope is to share what I have learned this year with you. My favorite techy projects and some that have not gone so well. Apps that are worth having and some that are not worth the space that they take up on your iPad. I can’t wait to hear your feedback and get more ideas from you! Until next time…

Heather