Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5 Tech Tools For The Elementary Classroom


Hi, friends!

Yesterday I attended a training that was put on by my district!  Finally…..this was the training I have been wanting for YEARS!!!  Seriously!  Before I went out on my maternity leave, I kept telling the tech lady at the district that we really needed to do a training where teachers got to choose their “sessions” and that the sessions needed to be broad in topic to cover the “newbies” and the more advanced users.  Almost 2 years later, I come back and we are finally having the type of training that I envisioned!

Of course, it had absolutely nothing to do with me!  LOL  Smile  We got a new tech person at the district and he is AH-MAZING!  He is so knowledgeable and proactive!  He coordinated and orchestrated this whole “tech summit” for the district and I am so excited to implement some of the things I learned yesterday!  I am going back today for Day2 so I can’t wait to share with you what I learned today as well!

My favorite presenter today was a teacher at a middle school here in town.  His name was Stephen Veliz and he was thebombdotcom!  He shared most of the tools I’m sharing with you today at the training yesterday!

So….without further adieu, here are my Top 5 Tech Tools For The Elementary Classroom!



#1 – Livebinders

Ok, Livebinders is kind of amazing!!!  I really can’t wait to incorporate this into my lesson planning!  So think about the binders you have in your classroom that hold all of your resources.  It’s just like that, but web based!!  You can access those resources from any computer, anywhere!  You need to create an account, but it’s F-R-E-E!  And you know us teachers…..we like free shtuff!  You can view other people’s binders as well!  It’s seriously so neat!  You HAVE to go check it out!

#2 Class Pager

Have you ever been to a restaurant or a store and seen those signs that say “Text ‘blahblahblah’ to 55552 to receive coupon codes”?  Well this is just like that!!  You can give your parents a code to text to a number and then you can send them updates via text message!  A good example of this would be to remind them of upcoming tests, parent conference reminders, school event reminders, etc.  SO COOL, right?  Check it out!

#3 Kerpoof

I haven’t played around with this one too much, but what I have seen so far I really like!  It is a bright, colorful website where you can create movies, cards, drawings, and little books/stories!  This would be awesome to have students use this to create a drawing and/or picture to go with a story they wrote!

#4 Zooburst

“ZooBurst is a digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D pop-up books.”  This is similar to Kerpoof, but it’s a tad bit more user friendly (in my opinion).  So this would probably be great to use in primary classrooms.  This is also available as an app so you can have it on you iPad!

#5 Symbaloo

Ok, so next to the Livebinders, this was probably my most favorite tool I learned about!  It’s like all your bookmarks on one screen!  It creates little “tiles” for you.  I have set this site as my “homepage” so when I first open my browser, this page comes up.  You can also create different “webmixes”.  You can have a “webmix” for math and bookmark all your favorite math sites there.  You can create one for language arts, and have all of your favorite online language arts resources right there.  You can also search for other people’s tiles and add them to your “webmix”.  And they tiles are cute little icons, which is great if you are a visual person like me!  It might sound a little confusing now, but go check out the website and play around on it and you will see what I’m talking about!!  You MUST check this one out!!  It’s amazing!


So there ya have it!  My current top 5 favorite tech tools for us elementary peeps!  I hope you find some of these useful!  If you have a favorite tech tool that you use in your classroom, I would LOVE to hear about it!  Just comment below!

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Bright Colored Number Round Labels {Freebie}

 Hi sweet friends!

So this year I decided to number the cubbies in the classroom instead of putting a nametag with their name on it on the cubbies.  I figured this way I don't have to change it each year and I won't have to deal with Goo Gone!  LOL  :)

But I wanted cute numbers that went with my color theme (which seems to be every bright color under the sun!!).  So I used the diagonal stripes background from the Pattern Pieces series on Sprik Space!

Speaking of the Pattern Pieces......can we just pause for a minute to talk about these?!  Aimme over at Sprik Space is AH-MAZING!  I mean....she created all these different patterns and has them available FOR FREE on her blog!  I, however, forked up the $50 and paid for the commercial license because I literally use these suckers EVERY DAY and have used them in invitations/printables/etc that I have designed and sold.  But if you have never seen or heard of these "pattern pieces", you need to stop reading this blog right now and get your hiney over to Sprik Space and check them out!  You'll love me (and her) for it forever!  :)

Ok, now back to the round labels.....

So I created these fun little round labels for my cubbies.  They can be printed on Avery's Round Labels (I found mine at Walmart).  I know they look square, but they in a circle.  Promise!  ;)

You can download them **FREE** in my brand spakin' new TPT store here!  I only have 2 items in my TPT store right now, but I LOVE creating so I'll be adding more stuff as the school year goes along!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cute Back To School Ideas

You all know, as teachers, we loooooooove presents!  Good presents too!  :)

Well I was doing a little catching up on my blog reading the other day while Emily was napping and I came across one of my favorite blogs, I Heart Naptime!  She had some of the cutest ideas for back to school!

Here are just a couple of them (she had over 50 super cute ideas).......

**Click the picture to be taken to the original source**

Are those not the cutest ideas ever!?!  You HAVE to click through to see more of the cute goodies!

Are you almost ready for back to school?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Peek Inside My Classroom

Hi, friends!

So after taking almost 2 years off to be home with my sweet baby girl, I am venturing back into the classroom!!  I am so excited to be going back to what I love - teaching children!

I spent 5 years in first grade and this year, I will be teaching second!  I am excited about this new "venture".  At least I'm still at the same school I was at before!

My new classroom was a MESS!  The teacher who was in there previously retired.  She left a lot of stuff behind.  And a lot of it was really old!  I have been working in my room off and on over the summer and I am just now getting finished with going through all her stuff and throwing out what I didn't want and organizing what I did want!  It was no small task, that's for sure!

So I wanted to give you a little peek at what I went into.  These are the BEFORE pictures!  The room already looks SO much better since I've been working in there!  I can't wait to share the after pictures with you (once I get the room all put together)!




second grade classroom

second grade classroom

second grade classroom

second grade classroom

Yeah....it was a mess in there!  But I am so proud of the progress I've made so far!  Like I said, I can't wait to be done with it and show you the finished product!

Until then......enjoy the rest of your summer!!