Monday, October 16, 2017

Elementary Tech Kahoot

Have you used Kahoot before? I wrote a whole blog post about how to use Kahoot and why I love using it so much. I love all the updates they have made in the past year, too! Now you can assign Kahoots for homework so students can work independently, and you can also play in groups or teams. Definitely check out the updates if you haven't!

I use this Kahoot each year with my upper elementary students. I also almost always use this one of the first days with my Middle and High school students, too. This is a Kahoot that covers Windows programs, identifying keys, software, hardware, and keyboard shortcuts.  It is all Windows based, as I said before, but it could be adapted to the command key instead of the shift key if you wanted to use other parts of it.

One thing I love about Kahoot is that you can edit it to suite your needs. I'm sharing the link to mine so that you can check it out and use what you want, and change what you don't like! If you aren't interested in mine, definitely check out other technology Kahoots out there! I've used some pretty great ones.

If you haven't played Kahoot lately, you should definitely check out Ghost mode. One thing I love about Ghost Mode is that you can have your students compete against themselves. Have them complete this Kahoot at the beginning of the year, and then test them again later to see how much they have improved.

Do your kids love playing Kahoot too?
- Hilary 

Monday, October 9, 2017

iPad: Week 6 - Webquests

Webquests are so fun! Do you know what a webquest is?

Basically, your students are given a website to go to (via QR code or website link) and go there to find answers to questions that they are asked. Webquests are a fabulous way to incorporate technology and for your students to search for information on a topic instead of you just telling them what they need to know!

As a technology teacher, webquests are one of my absolute favorite ways to share information with my students. You know how they say that students remember the information better if they find it for themselves? Well I am a firm believer in that!

This week, I asked each of the teachers for a topic that they are covering in their course. I then went and created a digital resource to go with those topics for their class. Some of them included articles to read, while others just linked to webpages or kid-friendly videos. Here are the ones that we used -

You can also have students fill them out on paper like I've done with classes previously. I've done ones on Daylight Savings, Sharks, Careers, American Symbols, Seasons, and all sort of Holidays

Part of what I love about webquests is how versatile they are. They can cover all of these different topics listed above and so many more. If you've never used a webquest in your classroom before, I highly encourage you to. I have a ton in my store or you can make you own on sites like Create WebQuest and Zunal if you want to have all of the information online. 

Hope you try them out,

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fire Safety Week Resources

Next week, October 8-14, 2017 is FIRE SAFETY/PREVENTION week! I think that there is always a way to tie in these kinds of ideas into something that you are learning. Even if you aren't teaching it the entire week, teach a mini lesson or show a video before/after a special or first thing one more and have a conversation about fires and how they are preventable. 

Do you have fire drills in your school? Discuss why you do those and why they are so important. Do you have a back up location to go if your first one if compromised? One time, when the alarm goes off, tell your kids that your first location is compromised and head for the second location. 

Here are a few resources that I have found that I think are helpful for teaching about Fire Safety:

Fire Safety Rap Video 

Monday, October 2, 2017

iPad: Week 5 - Typing & Letter Identification Practice

As I start this school year with iPads instead of desktops, I wanted to share some of the apps and websites I plan to use with my elementary aged students throughout the year. While I don't think that typing is something to focus tons of attention on while on iPads, I do definitely think that it's worth covering throughout the year so that our kids don't get to the point where they're typing college essays with one finger, right? So without further ado -

  • Word Burst: This app has words pop up in bubbles, and you have to type them before they burst. Words get more difficult as time goes on, and more words appear on the screen at a time the more you get right. There are multiple levels and you score points for each letter you type correctly as your finish the word. You get 5 "lives" and you lose a life each time the bubble pops before you spell a word correctly. 
  • Flappy Type: Not quite the same concept as flappy bird, but they do have the same background. Basically different words show up on the screen one at a time and you have to type them. You see how many words you can type in a certain amount of time (1 minute). At the end, it tells you how many words you've typed and how many you got right. It also shows a list of words that you've typed. I typically have my students screen shot the words and send it to me so I know how they're doing. 

Online (iPad friendly):
  • Typing Class: Choose from 56 different lessons and use the onscreen keyboard to type. Sometimes it is a little laggy and I don't always like that you're using their keyboard instead of yours on your iPad, but it serves its purpose. It does have a time and accuracy level across the top. 
  • Keybr: You can pick one letter to focus on at a time and then use your iPad keyboard to type. It keeps track of your speed, score and errors. Super easy to use and you don't need to login to try it for a class period. I like to use this when I have a sub because it's easy to access and needs little explanation. 
  • Here you can pick to use the onscreen keyboard or the one on the iPad. You can also choose from beginner, intermediate, advanced or practice levels. This site walks you through the fingers you should use to type each letter and then slowly builds as you add more letters. The advanced levels add in symbols and numbers and have you type jokes or medical terms so you can practice full sentences or unfamiliar words. 
  • Nitro Type: Teach typing through an interactive race car type camping game. There are sentences that appear at the bottom of the screen, which I love because students aren't just aimlessly typing words. They car goes slower or faster depending on how quickly you are typing, and get a place at the end of the game based on how you do. You can play as a guest, but it doesn't save your scores. To help with this, just have your students screen shot their results and then the picture will save with the date on it so they can see how far they've come. 
  • Typing Home: Full of over 20 hours of free typing practice, with different lessons to choose from. Part of what I really like about this program is that it really does focus on which finger you are supposed to be typing with. Obviously that isn't as important on an iPad, but still a good lesson. There is also a typing test so you can see your typing speed and accuracy. I like my students to take this first without saying that it's a test so that we can see how they improve over the year. 
Happy Typing,

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

iPads: Week 4 - Garage Band

Garage Band is such a fun and free app to use with the iPads! Although it can be loud (especially if your kids start singing to add their own vocals), it is so worth watching them create. I do not know about you, but I love activities that let my students express their creativity. I sometimes create assignments with limited parameters, just to see what they can come up with. This does take excellent classroom management skills (which I only have some days) in order for your students to stay on task and work hard, just be forewarned.

Anyways, if you haven't ever used Garage Band, it is pretty self explanatory. First you choose your instrument from keyboard, drummer, drums, guitar, world, amp, strings, bass, and audio recorder.

Then you choose one of the options for instrument preference.

Then you play around until you get a feel for the instrument. Once you have decided what kind of noise you want to record, you click the red record button at the bottom to record your jam. When you're done, you just click the stop button. You can listen to it, rerecord it, or move on to another instrument. 

This is an activity that I created for my students. It has limited directions, but helps them know where to find all of the Garage Band features. I used this in 2nd - 4th grade with my kiddos, and it was a blast. Check it out in my store here to snatch it up for only $1!

Jam On,

Thursday, September 21, 2017

What's So Great About Keynote?

I first started using keynote when we switched to iPads because it gave the students the ability to work like they did on PowerPoint on desktop computers, but on the iPads. When you are using iPads for multiple students, you run into licensing issues with things like Microsoft office where each user requires their own account. Microsoft and Google accounts all require email addresses, which are really tough to assign to elementary age kids.

One thing that I always didn't like about being a Microsoft school, was that we didn't have the ability to interact with our students sharing things like Google docs, or at least it wasn't as easy for us as everybody who uses Google classroom. Imagine how excited I was when I found something they can do almost that for my students using the iPads. Collaboration is not a Microsoft specialty, although they are working on some options. 

That being said, we thought that Keynote was a good alternative, and it already came on the iPads so it was easy to access. I have never really used Keynote before, even though I own a Mac, because I am most familiar with Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides so I would just use those, because most of us like to stay in our comfort zone, right?

Keynote allows you to send fully editable presentations to your students via AirDrop and Apple classroom. You sent each student a copy, so they are not messing with your original. It is super easy for them to send it back to you via AirDrop, or through Google classroom. If you are just using it for something like lecture notes, then they can just store it right on their devices. I love how easy it is for students to add text to blanks or thought-provoking questions that you leave them in your keynote presentations.

With some exploration of the app, I've quickly become relatively proficient at it after just a few uses. You can easily add links to anything you want your students to open and view or research on the internet. My students have watched videos, navigated to websites, and to other slides in the presentation, and it has worked really well for my students. It also has many of the same features that normal document editing would have. You can also add animations and such, just like you can with regular PowerPoint. 

A few disadvantages I've found with the Keynote iPad app, is that it isn't easy for adding pictures. If you have a picture on your iPad, the students can easily add that, but it isn't easy for them to search the internet for pictures of content you're discussing or to add to a research presentation that they are creating. For my students who like to wander while working on iPads, this is nice because they have less distractions. For me when I'm creating these presentations and like to add lots of visuals, it's a little bit of a hassle. 

Overall, I love working with Keynote and look forward to exploring more of its features. If you've used Keynote before, tell me how it works in your classroom!

Monday, September 18, 2017

iPads: Week 3 - Coding Apps

For those of you that do not know, I love to teach coding to my technology students. I don't think that there is any bad that can come out of student having some coding knowledge. Coding also is the base of many careers in many different career fields. That being said, anyone could benefit from knowing some code. I share some of my favorite computer based coding websites in another blog post.

This year, though, I have switched from a computer lab to an iPad lab so I set out to find some apps that I could use this year to teach coding. We have Dot & Dash robots that we use to program and combine robotics and code and I talk about how I use them here.

I highly recommend the Sololearn Inc apps for Middle and High School students. I used them myself when learning different coding languages to teach little bits to my students and they are super informational and effective. I love how easily I could move through them, and they had great help features for when I got stuck. There are Sololearn apps for C#, Java, SQL, JavaScript, HTML, Python and C++.

For my K-5 kiddos, though, I needed something a little more basic. I went searching through the App Store and downloaded the three that I thought looked most user friendly and popular - CodeSpark Academy, Kodable, and Tynker. Below I'll share with you my thoughts on each, and which I decided to use first in my K-5 classrooms.

Kodable: Kodable requires student logins in order to use the app. The advantage that Kodable gives you over other apps is that you create logins for the students, and then monitor student progress. It is nice to be able to make student logins and give them a class code, and not have to use emails for each individual student. In the setting of the mobile lab like I have though, creating accounts means all 200 students that I reach need to have accounts created for them. That is a ton of work for the rate and speed at which we will code. That being said, Kodable has some really great options for coding, but you have to pay for a lot of it. I did send out a cost request on their website, and it was reasonably priced for the amount of students that I have. That being said, our budget is pretty set for the year so Kodable isn't something we are going to purchase this year. I did have my students work through the beginning levels (there are only 5 that are free) just to get a little glimpse at coding, because of the 3 apps, I believe this one starts at the most basic level.

Tynker: My favorite part of the Tynker app is that once you open it up, you are free to code. It does start at probably a 2nd grade level (although most of my 1st graders fared okay), but with good directions, any students can follow along. There are MANY levels of Tynker and they are almost all free. They really start at the basics and quickly move your students forward. If they get one wrong, there are really great help features to update them. Another thing I really love about Tynker is that it starts with drag and drop coding. For those older students who can read, this is such a great way to teach coding. Using the words instead of pictures is ideal for their future in coding.

CodeSpark: As soon as you open up the CodeSpark app, you have to login as a parent. The parent login requires an email and password. It also costs $7.99 per month after a 1 month free trial. It does have a ton of coding challenges and adds new puzzles every week.  If you are a teacher, you can sign up for free student accounts, but you must add each students parent email to their logins. Again, you must do this for each of your students, or you can do a bulk import per class. Once you login to the device once with your teacher account, the students will just need to click their name in order to log in. They get to design a character and pick a fake name to be identified by. There aren't a ton of written directions once you get started - your student is mainly taught through pictures, but there are many levels that you can access with this free account.

Like I said, I did use Kodable with my K/1 students because it starts at the most basic level. I started my 2-4 kids on Tynker right away and they are loving it. We did do Hour of Code with last year, but even my new kids who haven't ever coded before are doing fabulous with Tynker.

Do you use a coding app in your classroom? Do you love it? Share it with me below. I would love to check it out!

Happy Coding,

Thursday, September 14, 2017

iPads: Week 2 - Keynote Technology Project

After last weeks fun "About Me" activity on Pic Collage, I wanted week two to concentrate on the technology side of things. I wanted to know what students think about technology, how much experience they have with it, and how they use it. I decided to use Keynote because it is an easy way to have students interact with technology while answering questions that you give them. It is also easy to add links to additional sites or information through it.

I wanted my students to answer questions about technology and then us discuss them as a class. Enter my Technology Interactive Lesson. I used this in each of my 1-4 grade classrooms, and even though the first graders took longer to spell and type, it was a hit in each class.

This is honestly a great introduction activity to see what students already know about technology. There are a few brainstorming questions that ask questions like what they wish technology would do for them! Listen to them and have them share their amazing ideas like creating something to stop a hurricane, or a robot that can cook all of their food for them. It is amazing to hear what their little minds can come up with and whats important to them. Sometimes you even get a little snapshot into their lives.

Here are a few sample shots from the activities.

If you are interested in purchasing this, just click the link to my TpT store and snatch it up for only $2! 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dot & Dash - Programming Robots in Lower Elementary

Last summer I was prepping for a summer camp with a programming focus and wasn't finding everything that I needed through websites. What parent wants to pay for their kids to come to camp for 4 hours a day for them to sit in front of a computer the entire time. Even I get restless staring at my computer for that long! I knew that I wanted to keep that programming and coding focus while getting students out of their seats and moving around.

Now there are SO many robot choices out there, but I was looking for ones that would run on software that was easily accessible, work on tablets or computers that we already had, and that were reasonably priced.

We settled on these and do not regret it.

There are apps that we installed on our class devices that are super easy to use. I had first graders using them within minutes of handing the devices over. We used the Go app to start to figure out the robots, and then built from there. The Go app basically just lets the students drive Dash, and then program sound, color, and movement for both Dot & Dash. This was an easy place to start and it really got the kids excited about using the robots.

If you want to know more about what we did with the robots in grade levels K-4, just shoot me a note in the comments and I can share more with you.

Here's To Programming Fun, 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Real Life Thoughts on Hurricane Irma from a Florida girl on the West Coast

Growing up in Southwest Florida, I am not new to this phenomenon of hurricanes. I've been through them before and remember being nervous, but never being scared. Honestly y'all, this has been one of the scariest weeks of my life. 

Everyone is freaking out. Even when we aren't freaking out, the rest of the world is. Josh and I had a decision to make on Wednesday night. We knew we didn't have school Thursday and Friday, and we knew the hurricane was coming this weekend. Evacuate or stay? We made the decision to stay. 

Why? I'm sure that's the question on your mind. Well a couple reasons weighed into our decision. First, I have a grandpa who needs 24 hour around-the-clock care. At the time, they said that he need to leave his home on the Fort Lauderdale coast, and evacuate elsewhere. So now he's in Fort Myers and staying with my parents. Second, my dad is a pharmacist, which means he's responsible for being at the hospital when a hurricane hits. He couldn't evacuate, so my mom and sister were staying put also. Third, Josh has both his parents and grandparents in town. After talk of evacuation, they decided to stay also. We are big kids and can make her own decisions, but what is more important during a tough time than family? Also, we have a pup. Our pup is like our child. He goes wherever we go, and not a ton of hotels and such are friendly for a dog like Cincy (a big ole 80 pound coonhound). Lastly, we have only lived in our house for two years. It is an old frame house built in the early 80's. We don't have shutters and weren't at all prepared to get our house "Hurricane ready" in a short amount of time to leave. So here we stay. 

Evacuating is a whole other beast. We had lots of friends who made that decision, and more power to them y'all. We stayed in touch with them and listened to their journeys. It wasn't an easy one guys. Florida only has two major highways and those are the only ways out of the state. Think about all the people trying to leave traveling on only those two roads. It wasn't pretty. Some of them got off multiple exits before they found one with gas. Some of them were in a car for almost 20 hours before they got to their destination (which was only 8-10 hours of normal travel time). Some did this with dogs, while others did this with small children. And just think - everyone will be entering the state again at the same time, so yes - more traffic. 

For those of you who have never experienced an impending natural disaster, you might not understand how this works. Let me explain it to you – everyone panics and everything disappears. Everyone panics as in I like to think that people are generally good, but when people are at Costco arguing with employees over how much water they can take because my their own admittance "they don't give a f*** about what other people need" - yeah that's panic. Everyone is trying to prep their house, many people for the first time or for their first hurricane. That's why people with houses the size of ours are leaving with enough plywood to board up the White House and leaving some of us with none after hours of waiting in line. It's the reason there are limits on things like plywood and water. It's the reason stores and restaurants are closing. Everyone is panicking.  People don't know what to expect and that's what causes the panic. The cone of uncertainty is just that - uncertain. With every shift and movement, another city sinks deeper into the panic. Then on top of that, everyone you've ever known is texting you telling you how worried they are about you. Well yes, we are worried about us too. We just haven't really had time to sit back long enough to let it sink in. 

Every moment of preparing for a hurricane is basically just waiting. You're waiting in a line for plywood at a Home Depot that knows a truck is coming today, they just don't know when. You're waiting in a line because you saw on Facebook that generators were delivered to a store and you hope they still have some when you get up there. You wait in line at a Publix to get water so that you can survive in the coming days without power. You wait while your significant other runs into Walmart and Targets and Winn Dixies in an effort to find simple snacks that you can live off of like bread and peanut butter. You wait for people to answer your Facebook pleas about a station that hasn't run out of gas yet, and then you wait some more while people in front of you fill up their tank and five gas cans to run their generators. Maybe you even wait in a 5 hour line to enter a shelter because you just don't feel safe. Then finally, when you think you might have enough snacks and water and your house is boarded up and you're exhausted, you take your last shower for what might be days and then you do the most excruciating wait of all - you wait for this beast to make landfall. You wait to see what parts of your house, car and other worldly possessions will survive the storm. You wait to see if your classroom and school are still standing. You wait to see if you still have neighbors, if your family still has their house, and if you still have your job or favorite restaurant to go back to. You wait to see if life will ever be the same again. 

So in the waiting, sweet friends, I encourage you not to panic. Panicking won't get you anywhere and worrying won't add one hour to your life. Irma is coming whether we're ready or not. People are not replaceable. Possessions are. That doesn't mean you can't put all of your favorite things or items that hold memories in a shoebox and sleep with it right next to your head. But while you're picking out those things and the memories come flooding back, just remember that you're going to get through this. I shed tears today as my husband and I sat in our living room praying over our home and asking God to spare it. It's okay to cry. It's an emotional time and the uncertainty of it all is overwhelming. You don't have to be strong all the time. Just remember that together we're #FloridaStrong and there are people around you who will be there for you through all of this and in the aftermath.  Surround yourself with those you love and those who will be there with you to pick up the mess that Irma leaves behind. If you're near family or friends, hug the ones you love a little tighter and be thankful that you don't have to go through this alone. 

And in the coming days when it seems so surreal that everyone else around the world is going on with their daily lives while you feel like yours is in shambles (or will be soon), just know that you're not alone. That there are some of us who are feeling the same way, and that together we will get through this. 

Stay safe & stay strong, 


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Apple Classroom & 5 Reasons you need Apple Classroom in your iPad classroom

If you don't know already, I am using Apple Classroom in my technology classes this year. I talk about how it came about, how we use it, and what it is like to set up for multiple classes in another blog post here.

Today, I want to focus more on what Apple Classroom does, and why I think that it is such a valuable tool to use in any iPad classroom. Here are my top 5 reasons that you should look into Apple Classroom.
  1. Screen Control: Did you know that you can view all of your students screens at one time? It also tells you what app they are on. You can see what program they are using, and close them out of it if they are not on task. Talk about having eyes everywhere - you're like Santa Claus. You really can see everything they're doing. 
  2. Instant App/Internet Opening: With just one click, you can open any app on the students device. You can do the same thing with any favorite that you have on the internet. How great is it to be able to say go here, and it open automatically on your students. With my older students, I like them to navigate the iPad and get to where they need to be. My younger students, I love this function because it could take half of my time in their classroom getting each student unit the program I need them to be in.
  3. Locked Devices: At any point in time, you can lock the student devices. This means that their screen turned black, says that it was locked by you, and they can't do anything with it until you unlock it. 
  4. Sharing via Keynote: For those of you that  are like me and are a Microsoft school instead of a Google one, it seemed that I was out of luck when it came to Shari g presentations and activities with my students. While I can't do everything that a GoogleDoc or Slide can do, I can share any presentations that I make in Keynote (like Slides or PowerPoint) with my students in an editable form. 
  5. AirDrop Turning In: Again, while it's not quite as easy as Google Classroom, Apple Classroom does allow students to turn anything into you via AirDrop. You can then save those files into anything on your device for easy grading. 
 If that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will. Seriously, it is fabulous and I love the way it works. Let me know if you have any other questions. I would be happy to answer them! 

Happy Teaching,

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Apple Classroom Thoughts

About a year ago, my principal and I started discussing what it would look like to use Apple Classroom with our class sets of iPads. From what I had read, this was a relatively new tool and although lots of people enjoyed using it, there were still some kinks that needed to get worked out.

My IT director and I began to work on setting up Apple Classroom about 2 weeks before school started. There was a steep learning curve and it took us a while (along with all of our other projects) to get this up and running. If you aren't a tech genius, and you don't have one at your school, this could be a big road block for you. The biggest thing you need is a CSV file with all of the students information. (talk nerdy to me, am I right?) If you don't pull a CSV file (it's just a fancy Excel spreadsheet), then you will have to input each students information by hand - no fun!
**Again, I think that reason that it was so time consuming for us was that we were trying to get 10 class profiles on each iPad. I'm sure that if you were just using them in your one class that it would not be as difficult or time consuming.

Anyways, it did take about 2 weeks to perfect it with all 200 of our students in there. It is also difficult to add students once the school year started, so we waited until a week in to hopefully catch most of the stragglers. Once we got it all set up though, it has worked so wonderfully. We did lock our students down on some of the settings so that they can't do things like use the iPads to text, email, or airdrop (unless it's to the teacher). These are settings that I recommend you think through before you begin this process.

After this ridiculous process, we were ready to take them into the classroom. I was kind of like a little kid in a candy store the first day in the classroom. A whole class set of iPads and a fun cart to carry them in! Best Present EVER! It was so fun to be able to have a program that allowed me to control all of the iPads. I was excited to see how this helped with kids staying on task.

Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend Apple Classroom. It is a fabulous way to see everything that your students are doing on their iPads so that you can make sure they are on task. It is also a great way to quickly push out websites, or to lock them into apps.

I will share more about the features of Apple Classroom later, but wanted to give you the thumbs up or down on it. So definitely two thumbs up.

Do you use Apple Clasroom in your class? Do you love it? Hate it? 
Tell me about it. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

iPads: Week 1 - PicCollage Student Introductions

One of the first things I do when I get a new tool is check out all that Google search has to offer about how other educators are using it. This year, I really wanted to use Pic Collage with my students. I found this post on the Pic Collage page and figured this was as good a place as any to start.

I know that Pic Collage can be a fun way to incorporate technology into many different aspects of your curriculum, so I figured I would start out my tech lessons with teaching the students how to use this simple app. I went ahead and walked them through how to add a background, take pictures, add text, and doodle within the app.

At the end, I had the students save it to their library, but I also had them Air Drop it to my iPad. I then collected all of the students portfolios, and I am going to put them together in a slideshow for our elementary team. I think it will be super fun to see all of the facts about our kids (and all their silly selfies!).

Of course, I had to have a handout or visual aid for my students to use. You can download the one I used from my TpT store here.

Here are some fun ways you could use Pic Collage in your classroom:

  • Share information about a famous person or a state of your choice just like they made their About Me but with information about this other person or place
  • Have students compile pictures from an event at school or a field trip to share about their adventures to share with their families
  • Go on a nature walk and have students add pictures and text to share their findings
  • Have students interview a classmate, teachers, parent, or friend about how they feel about a particular topic and share the information they collect in a creative way 

**If you don't know about my iPad mobile lab adventure, you can read my post about my new job this year here and how it ties into this blog series on iPads.

How do you use Pic Collage in your classroom? Have you?

Let me know. I would love to hear :) 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

New School Year. New Job.

For the last two years, my job has consisted of working with our 5-12 graders and their 1:1 devices. I set them up with emails, passwords, and train them on how to use Canvas, our Learning Management System. I have also worked with new teachers to train them on these same topics.

The other half of my job was working with K-4 students one day a week when they came to the technology lab. In discussions after school last year, we decided that this was a little outdated and we needed to up our game in the technology field. Enter the mobile lab.

We purchased a class set of iPads, put them on a jumbo charging cart, and decided the best way to integrate technology within the curriculum was to send me into the classrooms to work with the teachers directly. My job is to take what the teachers are teaching in their classrooms and find some technology that integrates with what they are learning. Sometimes it will just be using Word or Google Docs to type about a topic they are learning in their classroom, while other days it will be using fun and interactive apps to cover topics.

I will be updating my journey within the classrooms throughout the year on my blog. They will be title iPads: Week __ so that you can check them out if you’d like. I am hoping that some of the apps and ideas that I use with my K-4 teachers will be useful to you in your classroom as well!

It’s going to be a GREAT school year!

- Hilary 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Solar Eclipse Resources

How fun is it to hear all about this Solar Eclipse that is happening? I was doing some research to see how I could share it with my students!

I found some great information about the Solar Eclipse 2017 on Space.coms website. It has a countdown until the eclipse and answers a lot of questions that your students might have.  

This YouTube Video tells students what a Solar Eclipse is in terms that they will understand.

Kids Discover has some great discussion questions to use in your classroom or with your kiddos at home.  

Look What We're Learning shares an easy and inexpensive Solar Eclipse craft using coffee filters. 

Any why not let your kiddos chew some Eclipse gum while you talk about this years Solar Eclipse?

Are you planning to talk about the Solar Eclipse with your students? Tell me how in the comments below! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Shark Week Resources

Wow! Summer is flying by and I am loving time with my husband & pup. We love having extra time to adventure around the states & even our own city.

I was watching TV this morning and saw an advertisement for Shark Week 2017 and got so excited. My husband is all about these kind of specials. He is so intrigued by sharks, as I'm sure are many others.

Due to this, I wanted to highlight a few really great Shark Week resources that I have found online for your students or kids to try out during this week.

Discovery Kids has some great shark based games that are definitely worth checking out.

The Crafting Chicks share a super fun drink you can make with your kids that is ocean themed. 

Preschool Powol Packets shares a fun science experiment to explain how sharks float.

A Night Owl shows how to make shark slime! 

Glue Sticks & Gumdrops shares a fun craft using a toilet paper roll to make a shark. 

Almost Unschoolers shares how to make shark teeth out of salt dough. How cool!

Happy Shark Week,
Hilary @ Mrs. Tech

**If you want a print & go resource, check out my sharks webquest to teach your kids and students about sharks. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Flag Day

Flag Day is a holiday I didn't even know existed until this year when I was doing some research on the American Flag. I learned a little about Flag Day and wanted to share some of the resources that I found with you. 

If you are interested in talking more about the American Flag with your students, check out these links below! 

Kids Fun Facts on the US Flag

**Use these QR codes to watch videos or read informational text about the American Flag. 

I {heart} America,

Thursday, June 8, 2017


I have a job where I have to send out tutorial videos for educational technology all the time. I do a lot of teacher training in staff meetings, but sometimes those 5 minutes just aren't enough to show the steps on using a tool or all that it can do.

This got me out looking for something that I could use in my room to record myself and my screen sharing more about the tools that I teach about. Cue Screencast-O-Matic. This FREE tool lets you record your screen for up to 15 minutes. I love to use it while I talk through a new tool with my teachers. It also highlights your cursor so they can easily follow along with what you are doing. All of my videos that I publish on my blog about tech tools are all recorded using this tool. 

Now there is also a paid level ($15/yr) on Screencast-O-Matic, but I have found the free version to work just fine for my needs. Here's a break down of the differences off their website. 

If you use it, let me know what you think! 


Monday, June 5, 2017

June Newsletter


How many of you are on summer vacation!? This is my first official week and it has been wonderful! I wanted to reach out and share some of my summer or best selling resources that I thought you might be interested in as you plan for next year!

There are some great new Digital Resources that I have added to my store that are worth checking out! This digital resource is to use with Google Slides which will download as a PDF with a link to the Google Document. This resource includes interactive activities to complete in small groups, or individually, as well as a webquest to learn about the topics at hand.

If you are still in school for Father's Day, make sure to snatch up my Father's Day webquest. 

If you like to use webquests to teach about more holidays like Father's Day, then grab my bundle with resources for almost every holiday. It has over 100 pages of webquests with some fun bonus ones added! 

I also have a Seasons Webquest Bundle to teach students about seasons and how each is celebrated. Each webquest also includes some writing prompts to get students thinking and discussing the season. How fun to start of each season with facts about it, right? 

Check out my my Careers Webquest Bundle to have students explore all about jobs that they are interested in. 

Also check out my American Symbols Webquest that highlights songs, symbols, and buildings that are the pride of the USA. 

Enjoy your Summer & Relax a Bit,
Hilary @ Mrs. Tech

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