Monday, May 20, 2013

Where has time gone?!?!?!

I can't believe that it has been so long since I posted on here. I have so much to share and just not enough time to share it! In the past 8 months, I accepted a new teaching job and moved to Japan. It has been quite the transition, but I am finally starting to feel settled and excited to get back on track with sharing what I am doing with my students and technology.

I recently started a Teachers-Pay-Teachers store to share come of the Computer Lab Posters and student technology activities that I have created. Check out my store and be sure to come back here as I get back in the swing of posting regularly.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Infographic: Components of a 21st Century Classroom

With teachers around the world(including myself!) preparing for the beginning of the school year, I will be sharing this infographic with my staff on the Components of a 21st Century Classroom. I plan to use the "Top 3 Reasons for Teachers to Use Technology in the Classroom" in the upper right hand corner to help drive my professional learning sessions that are focused on technology integration.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Google Searches with Students

One of the most well known sites on the internet is, but for elementary students doing a Google search can be daunting with so many links to select from. 

Here are a few things that I have done to make using a search engine a more authentic and age appropriate experience for my students:

Google Search Modules
Google has created tiered modules that cover the three topics of Understanding Search Engines, Search Techniques and Strategies, and Features and Operators. These are great to do whole class on a SmartBoard or have students do individually.

Changing the Reading Level
When doing a Google search, you can customize the reading level for the students in your classroom. Once students get the hang of it, you will find them modifying the reading level for themselves to ensure they are getting content that is appropriate for them. Here is how to change the reading level in 3 easy steps:

With intermediate students often times, they search for a topic and go with the very first link that pops up without consideration for the quality or source of the information. This is where a CSE comes in, with it you have the capability to input the specific sites that you want students to get their information from and it limits the hits to just those you select. Once you input the sites you want, you are given the HTML coding to paste into your site.

Here is a search that I created for animal research with Third and Fourth Graders that only pulls information from the 6 sites I pre-selected for them.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Websites for Preschoolers

If you have tried searching for quality sites for Preschoolers, you might share some of my frustrations with what is out there. Many sites are a challenge for little guys to navigate or are overloaded with distracting ads; over the past couple years I have found some great sites that are age appropriate, academic focused, and easy to navigate. These sites have helped my preschoolers to develop skills like clicking & dragging, using arrows, letters, and numbers on the keyboard, and basic web navigation skills like clicking on an arrow to go back a page or "X" to exit out from an activity. Here are some of my (and my students) favorite:

Poisson Rouge (aka Red Fish)

KipTown (Also in Spanish)

Aven's Corner (some activities require the SilverLight plugin)

Game Goo

PBS Kids Sprout

Curious George's Busy Day

TVO Kids for ages 2-5

Tonka and Friends PlaYard

Funbrain Playground

Thursday, June 14, 2012

48 Summer Sites for Kids and Teachers

Looking for some great sites for kids this summer? Here are 48 great sites for kids compiled by Ed Tech Ideas. It has everything from reading and math to science and geography. I have used a number of the sites listed in the classroom including ReadWriteThink, Cool Math, ABCya!, and Kerpoof. A couple new sites I am excited to review this summer and use in the fall are Academic Skill Builders and Story Jumpers.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Computer Lab Bulletin Board Ideas

Even though summer is only 5 school days away, I am already starting to think about next fall. I am slated to teach elementary computers again and due to the limited supplies available on my tiny island I need to plan in advance for any creative bulletin board ideas I want to put up in August. 

For the 2011-12 school year, I opted for a bulletin board that highlighted the home row keys and proper hand/finger placement while typing. I purchased square plates at The Dollar Tree and made color coded letters to go on the "keys". The color coding matches a set of printed card stock keyboards that I have for my little guys when I first introduce the home row keys(on a side note, I put a thick line of liquid glue on the F and J keys, once it dries it mimics the bumps on a real keyboard). On the bulletin board, I underlined the home row keys and also put a split down the middle to help designate right hand keys from left hand keys. I use my wall-sized keyboard as a teaching tool, as well as when Kindergartners have trouble locating letters, I show them on the big keyboard.

The keyboard I created for the 2011-12 school year.

While I plan to keep this bulletin board up, I have 2 smaller ones that I want to redo. Here are some of the ideas I am considering:

A technology word wall
This one is sorted by grade level.
This one is color coded by categories (internet terms, hardware, desktop functions).
This BB has terms that are specific to the internet.
 Computer Shortcuts

Computer Hardware

Other Bulletin Board Ideas

This would be a great bulletin board to display student work.
I was thinking something like this would be cute and have the kids design what they think a "computer bug" looks like.

UPDATE(May 21, 2013): Here are a few Bulletin Boards/Posters in my current Computer Lab.

This is my Keyboard Shortcuts Bulletin Board. If you are looking for a shortcuts set, but don't have the time. I have made this set available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for $3.00.

I also have several reminder posters up in my lab to help students. Three of the posters in the top row were created by me and are available in my Teachers-Pay-Teachers store.

One last thing, here is a Bulletin Board that I created that compares data storage for students.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

We Will Rock You!

Every year our PTO puts on an elementary school talent show that is a BIG hit with all the families on island, and every year the teachers put on the last performance of the night and try to top what we did the year before. This year we definitely outdid ourselves with total darkness and a couple hundred glow sticks from the dollar store. Some of the glow sticks don't appear as bright on the video as the did in person, but ohh well!

With our further adieu, here is the performance that we have to try and top next year:)

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