Sunday, March 30, 2014

Book Creator App

"Can we have more time to write PLEEEEASE?!?!" This is what I have been hearing in my classroom since I introduced the iPad app  Book Creator by Red Jumper Studio.

Once my students have gone through ALL the steps of the writing process (following my posters) they may digitally publish their writing. 
This app is easy to use and allows students to add text and images,

draw their own picture,

add photos and even video! 

My favorite part though is the ability to add audio. I love to hear an author reading their work!
My students love that they can choose different book styles and change the colors of the pages and fonts.  

After I presented this app at our last staff meeting, I started talking to a kindergarten teacher who was very interested but unsure about her ability to use this with her class. I suggested my second graders come over and be their tech buddies. OH MY WORD, it was adorable!!!! 

They asked if they could go outside when recording the audio so it would be quieter. There is nothing cuter than a kindergartener reading!

Every single student was completely engaged and the About Me books they made were terrific! 

My favorite movie is Frozen.
I have a brother and he is 9.

I am going to send them to the parents so they can view the book in ibooks!

I am not affiliated with this app in any way,  I just love to share what is working in my room. Hope you can use it! 


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Brain Breaks with GoNoodle

Do you use brain breaks in your classroom?
I recently found, a FREE way to provide those breaks in a fun and easy way! There are a variety of choices with different levels of activity.

You can make different classes which is helpful since I teach two different grades. I let the kids pick the mascot. He makes weird comments the kids enjoy and the thermometer looking thing on the right keeps track of the minutes of activity we log. We only need one more minute to level up. The kids are so excited to see what happens.
This photo and the one at the top are my first graders doing yoga with Maximo. 

Both the 1st and 2nd graders beg for the Zumba!
The girl in the front flipping her hair was cracking me up because she was totally imitating the girl in the video!

I'd love to hear what you do for brain breaks.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014


My students listened to the ebook Fluffy's Lucky Day during their center time this week.

You can download the ebook HERE if you use the Scholastic Storia app.
I made a response sheet that I've uploaded for FREE. Just click on the picture.  I hope you can use it!


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Luck Needed and a FREEBIE!

Have you grabbed My Lucky ABC Order FREEBIE?  Click on the picture to download it.

This Friday, my son's 6th grade class sponsored a waffle breakfast to raise funds for their graduation trip to Disneyland.
It was so cute! Their advisor held a Waffle-making 101 class the day before. There was a waffle maker in each classroom and groups of 4 would take turns cooking all by themselves and sending a runner (literally LOL) to bring the finished product to the kitchen warmer.
This is my son getting ready to serve.

Look at all the topping options!

I thought it was great that all the kids pitched in to help and learned the value of working to earn their trip!

I was asked by the Technology Committee to present at our staff meeting tomorrow.  This is my first time getting up in front of my new staff so wish me luck!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Awesome Teaching Moment FREEBIE

I had one of those awesome teaching moments on Friday. It was after school and I overheard two of my first grade girls talking outside my door. I didn't hear every word but the tone was so sweet and I caught the important bits.

"Avery, I feel sad when you ___. Could you please ___. " Avery then cheerily said, "Sure, Violet. Sorry," and gave her a big hug. Awww…….

My heart swelled. I had taught them to resolve conflicts using this I Message poster. 

This could truly be the thing I am most proud that they have learned this year. This is a life skill that will serve them for years to come!

I originally got the idea from my friend, Robi. Miss you, girl! 

I teach my students to use this sentence frame the first week of school. We go through possible scenarios and practice with our partner. Then I reinforce consistently through the year.

For example, if a student comes up and tells me, “Joe just yelled in my ear.” I don't yell to Joe to cut it out because I want my students to learn to resolve their own issues. Instead, my response is always, “Did you use your I words?” In the beginning they usually say, “No,” so I walk them over and facilitate. 

It sounds something like, “I feel mad when you yell in my ear.  I would like you to stop yelling because it hurts.” 

I teach the offending student that they may not interrupt and must give their full attention to the speaker. The only appropriate response is something like, “Sorry, I’ll stop.” I do not insist on an apology since it wouldn’t be sincere but they must verbalize they will stop the offending action. If the offending student is also upset, I encourage them to use their I words back. It might go something like, "I was frustrated that you weren't listening to me. Will you please answer me when I am talking to you?" 

It works amazingly well! At this point in the year, if the student says they did use their I words, I ask them to try one more time before I get involved. In the rare case that I do have to go over, we also have a talk about respecting the I message, and that they want to be listened to when they use it.

The other day I had to laugh because a student came up to tattle and another student said, "You know she is going to ask if you used your I words. Did you?"    

If you click on the poster or HERE and you can download it for FREE. I hope you have as much success with it as I have.

Congrats to Laura Scheunemann on winning my Magic Tree House Book Club 2 Pack Giveaway!