Thursday, June 19, 2014

APP ALERT: Little Story Creator

We have been blessed with the opportunity to use the iPads in the classroom for the summer (no other teacher was given that option!), so I have been trying to integrate the iPads into both my ELA and math instruction.

One app that we've been using in ELA is an app called Little Story Creator. It's similar to the Book Creator app that I blogged about here back in February but it's FREE and serves many of the same functions that Book Creator does.

Little Story Creator allows users to create collages, arrange photos, or get creative with videos, text, borders, stickers, videos, audio, drawings and more.

It has a quite a few features but the ones I particularly like is that you can import photos from your photo library, Dropbox, Facebook or Picasa. You can also add 30-second videos to each page. The app allows support for an unlimited number of pages and to top it off, stories can be shared via email.

It's simple interface is very user-friendly and my students were able to pick up the app and learn its functions with only a few days of practice.

The only con that I can determine at this point? Unlike Book Creator, the stories cannot be shared or read through the iBook app. I'm hoping that with future updates this function will be added.

If you're looking for a great storytelling app that's free and function, check out Little Story Creator!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

APP ALERT: Schoolkit Math

I was at a Common Core in Special Education training today and our presenter was having us do some work with the CCSS. Our task was to "represent" two fractions in a way that showed they were equal.

Being the techie I am, I whipped out my iPad and was the first to volunteer my answer using the app Schoolkit Math. Quite a few of my colleagues asked me about the app after the presentation and I was all too eager to share this awesome app with them.

My kids have been using this app for a couple of months and they love what it can do. I, of course, love that it allows me to hit several CCSS standards while providing engaging activities for my kiddos.

The app serves several functions - ten, if you want to be picky. Using Schoolkit Math, students can work on arrays, fractions, hundreds charts, money, number houses, number lines, number tiles, ten frames, along with other functions such as "math challenge" and "tether math."

I've been using it primarily to introduce and work with fractions, but we have used arrays to introduce and practice multiplication concepts, as well as the number lines and number tiles to practice addition and subtraction. Its newest version also supports algebraic concepts for older students.

With the work we've been doing with CCSS and the emphasis on base ten operations and utilizing tools such as ten frames and the number lines, this application is perfect for teaching these concepts with my 2nd and 3rd grade students.

The one fault of the app? It's nearly impossible to find on iTunes when you look for it. If you'd like to download the app (which is completely FREE - another reason why I love it!) check it out here! Let me know how you're utilizing the app in your classroom!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

School's In?

We began summer school yesterday! It's my first time in the three years that I have been teaching that I have been offered a summer school teaching position.

We started with 14 kids on my roster. Eight showed up yesterday and only six were here today. What a nice couple of days it has been!

Most of my students from this past year are in my summer school class and I have two from another classroom. Both students (who haven't previously had me as a teacher) seem to be fairly well-behaved with minor behaviors.

Stay tuned for our summertime adventures...