Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wordle Vocabulary Activity

Wordle: Depict
I have had students work more and more with vocabulary this school year due to the vocabulary push in the CCSS. My school has a subscription to Visual Thesaurus, but would work too! In this activity students evaluate the word and the synonyms/words associated with it to help them understand the meaning of the word. This would also be a great activity for the connect part of Vocabulary's CODE if you are using the Core Six Model. After students evaluate the words associated with their vocabulary term they rank them and create a word cloud in Wordle.

Here are the directions for this activity-

Cracking Vocabulary's CODE with an iPad Activity

The school district that I teach at has adopted The Core Six: Essential Strategies for Excellence with the Common Core as a guide for us as we work with the CCSS. the last of the six strategies is Vocabulary's CODE. According to the book, "Vocabulary's CODE is a strategic approach to direct vocabulary instruction that helps students master crucial concepts and retain new vocabulary terms. Students work their way from initial exposure to in-depth understanding through a series of progressive learning activities, which help students "crack" Vocabulary's CODE."

This is how CODE is defined in the book.
C - Connect
O - Organize
D - Deep-Process
E - Exercise

These are the apps that are use for CODE.
C - Connect - Safari and go to
O - Organize - Card Sorting app
D - Deep-Process - Haiku Deck app
E - Exercise - Haiku Deck app

The step by step directions for this activity are shared here -

Augmented Reality is a Reality in Our Classroom

We have been experimenting with augmented reality for a few months now. Students think it is MAGIC! They are excited to do anything with augmented reality, and I am too! We started out with the colAR Mix App and then moved on to Aurasma. We have used colAR for International Dot Day, for Halloween, and for winter holidays. We will also be using it for Chinese New Year at the end of this month. We have used Aurasma to create book talks and to share our book trailers we created in iMovie. Students are motivated by the magic of augmented reality!

Here are some other augmented reality options that may be of use to you and your students!
-Anatomy 4D
-AR Flashcards Animal Alphabet
-CyberChase Space Quest
-Elements 4D
-NASA Spacecraft 3D
-SolAR System Discovery
-Tour of the Nile

Check out my Pinterest Board for Augmented Reality

Friday, January 10, 2014

Classroom Adventures with Apple TV

Last year I was given an Apple TV to use in my classroom. I fell in love with it when kids could sit at their desks and share their projects on their iPads with the class wirelessly! We shared all of our projects and taught each other how to use apps with the Apple TV and mirroring on the iPad. It was wonderful, but not until this year did I really start to harness the power of Apple TV in the classroom. I wanted to use it to allow me to not be tethered to the projector cart. Our projectors are not mounted in the ceiling and we each have a cart with a projector and a document camera on it. I am thankful for it, but miss the ability to move around and use proximity control when using the projector or doc camera. This year I was determined to be able to move.

To help me with this I found the apps Stage and iAnnotate

Stage with Apple TV allows me to write on the iPad like a whiteboard. It will record my writing and my voice as I use the app. This allows me to record my lessons and examples and publish them for students to use when they need to access it. I usually share with students on Edmodo. They appreciate this and thank me for it on a regular basis.

iAnnotate with Apple TV allows me to use my iPad like the cart on my projector and the document camera. If I have activities or worksheets that we are working on together or doing examples on I upload them to Google Drive or share them to my iPad through email. Then, I can write on them and then email them to myself and then post them to Edmodo for students who are absent or who need reminders of what we did in class.

When I use either of the apps I use a stylus to help me write neatly. My stylus of choice is the Jot Pro Fine Point Stylus. It may be a bit on the expensive side, but once you use it you will realize that it is worth the price.

One of the best kept secrets of Apple TV is all of the free content that comes on it. There are channels, like the Smithsonian Channel, PBS, and the Weather Channel that have plenty of quality free content in the form of videos and video clips that can be used in the classroom to support learning.  If you don't check these out and use them in the classroom you are missing a lot of great stuff!

Webpages Made Easily and for Free

I have published my webpages for about 10 years with iWeb. My pages were hosted using Apple's Mobile Me until that service ended a few years ago. After that, my school district hosted the pages and it was fine, but I had to be on the school network to publish. I was thankful that they hosted them, but it was a pain to have to be at school to publish. Finally, when I was frustrated enough with it and wanted a more up to date look, I went to to publish my pages. It was simple and easy, best of all it was free! Yes, there is a paid version, but I an content with the free version. Weebly features beautiful templates, many options for page layouts, drag and drop, and text editing like a word processor. Weebly is simple, beautiful, and easy. Give it a try today.

Here is the link to my class webpage -

Here is the link to my professional webpage -