Teacher Blog & Tech Tools
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I must admit that I am on the best grade level team in my district... maybe my state.  Each and every one of the women on my team goes above and beyond to make learning fun and enriching for her students.  As a new teacher this year, these women shared countless documents with me; lesson plans, anchor charts, pacing guides, you name it! And each time they shared something, it went something like this... "oops, I forgot to send the attachment," or "see me with a thumb drive, the attachment is too large."  Oh, the drama!  At the same time, our district was literally losing space on shared drive.  My solution; Google Drive!  I set up a shared google account and gave my colleagues a little tutorial at our last grade level meeting.  We are now able to share and see (thanks to Hayley Brown who showed me how to switch to a grid format) all of our learning materials in one place. We are actually on our way to going paper/binder-less... well maybe not quite that far!
Posted by jscully  On May 05, 2014 at 7:22 PM
There are obviously many tech. tools that I will take away from my experience as a USJ education technology student.  Some tools are far too advanced for my current experience level, but others I have been using regularly with my students over the course of the school year. I love using tech tools to engage my students and make it more meaningful for them.  But what is a teacher to do when she plans a lesson using an element of technology and the internet is down?  Or an application his/her students use regularly is suddenly Kerpoof?  What is the back up plan if worksheets and lectures are not the answer?
Posted by jscully  On May 05, 2014 at 7:12 PM
Tonight in class we played with some new tools to teach and provide information to parents, students and other educators regarding digital literacy.  My group used the iPads to create an informational book on the stages of writing development using Book Creator.  Book Creator is downloadable for $4.99 in the iTunes Store.  This app would be great to use with my class instead of the Story Buddy app we are currently using.  It would allow more than 5 stories to be created on one device.  The only drawback is that students would not be able to add audio to their stories... Presentation to follow...
Posted by jscully  On Apr 01, 2014 at 8:48 PM 3 Comments
I began thinkingabout the content of this post last night at my dinner table.  I was thinking about our opinion writing unitand suddenly my mind traveled back to last semester when we read the MikeRibble book Digital Citizenship in Schools.  Mike talked a lot about the importance ofhaving students provide feedback and/or review the technology that is availableto them.  Then I got thinking… if I amasking my students to review entire stories, why don’t I start by having themreview the apps we use in our classroom. Today was all about having an opinion; students discussed the apps theylike and why.  Our Favorite Apps*My favorite Appis Story Buddybecause I can write stories.*My Favorite Appis Cookie Factoryis fun because it helps me practice value*My Favorite Appis Math Zombiesbecause you can do multiplication, division, and subtraction.*My Favorite Appis Lexia Core 5because it is fun to play on*My Favorite Appis Teach Me becauseit has fun math games and shows you adding*My Favorite Appis Math Zombiesbecause there is easy and hard levels and I like to do both*My Favorite Appis Sushi Monsterbecause it gives you hard numbers*My Favorite Appis Sushi Monsterbecause they give you hard number sentences to solve. Like what is 400-300?*My Favorite Appis Lexia Core 5because you can get a certificate at the assembly and you learn how to readmore*My Favorite Appis Math Zombiesbecause there’s times and dividing, plus and take away and I like doing math.*My Favorite Appis Math Bug becauseyou can do place value to the thosands place and I like doing big numbers*My Favorite Appis Xtra Mathbecause it makes me learn more and makes me get better and better at math*My Favorite Appis RazKids becauseyou get to learn different things and build and design a robot with your points*My Favorite Appis Lexia Core 5because it helps you read and make words*My Favorite Appis Cookie Factorybecause you get to count and add*My Favorite Appis Math Zombies.  Do you know they have a zap button that zapsthe zombies when you get an answer right. You can also do multiplying.  Thenwhen you pass all the levels a big monster comes out. Next step is towrite a review of that app citing specific reasons and providing arecommendation.  
Posted by jscully  On Apr 01, 2014 at 4:03 PM 7 Comments
https://abcs-of-early-literacy.wikispaces.com The above link will take you to a collaborative Wiki I helped create with my University of Saint Joseph colleagues.  Being that we are all K-2 teachers with a curricular focus in foundational reading skills, we choose to create a page with apps, games and activities students from A to Z that could be used at home.  Each of these apps targets phonics, phonemic awareness and fluency skills. Additionally, there are articles for parents to read providing them with strategies to help their beginning readers at home.  I love the ability to bring what I am learning as a student into my classroom.  This project allowed my to do just that.  Enjoy! 
Posted by jscully  On Mar 25, 2014 at 8:51 PM
Thanks to the advice of my kidblog pal, I was inspired to check out this new 1.02 version of Stick Around.  My first graders have been learning a lot about the importance of adding labels and captions to their informational texts this year, and this app is a really engaging way to model and practice just that without having to write an entire story.  This iPad app created by Tony Vincent and Morris Cooke is designed to let kids create, design and label their own models, sorts, diagrams and puzzles.  There are so many positives regarding this app.  It would even be a great tool for teacher to use when reviewing for an assessment.  The only downfall of this app is that it is $2.99 and there are other free apps out there that you essentially could do the same things with (maybe not so fancy and cute, but the same).
Posted by jscully  On Mar 25, 2014 at 5:21 PM 14 Comments
Posted by jscully  On Mar 11, 2014 at 3:15 PM 2 Comments
Posted by jscully  On Mar 11, 2014 at 2:34 PM
Posted by jscully  On Mar 11, 2014 at 2:11 PM 2 Comments