Saturday, November 17, 2012

Turning Off Spell Check on the iPad

Can you believe we've already made it to Thanksgiving Break? This year has flown by for me!
If you're like me, I have a hard time taking a true grammar or spelling grade from things done on the iPad because of the auto-correct spelling. I love an app called ScribblePress for students to publish their books, but I have a hard time taking a spelling grade from it because I don't know what the iPad fixed for them automatically.
Well, guess what? Maybe most of you already knew this, but I just discovered yesterday how to turn off different spell check and auto-correct options on the iPad.
Take a look at the pictures below for a quick and easy tutorial!
First, go to "Settings".
Next, be sure you are on the general tab and scroll down.

Click on "Keyboard".
From there you can turn various things on or off.
I turned off the auto-correct spelling, auto-capitalization, and split keyboard (because that one drives me nuts!)
I left the check spelling option on, though, because I do want my students to be aware that something is spelled wrong. It will still shows the red squiggly line under misspelled words if the app supports it.
On that note, an app that I talked to y'all about earlier this summer called Popplet is great for lots of reasons. For one thing, it's an easy way for kids to create different kinds of mind maps. The other thing I like is that the app doesn't check spelling at all, so it really gives a true picture of where the students are with that.
Here is something my kids created with Popplet. It's a character map that requires them to infer what character traits the character displays and what the evidence is for that.
I hope you found a few things you can use!
In case you are wondering, I took a screenshot on my iPad by pressing the round home button and the power button at the same time. Then, I used Photo Skitch to highlight certain things in them for the quick tutorial.
Enjoy your Saturday!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What I'm Doing Digitally- 10.11.12

I am so excited to share with you that I have finally gotten my class blog started!
I had posted about doing that this summer, and I ended up using Kidblog. It's a site that my district already approved, and they are supposed to be coming out with an app very soon.
Of course, I got tired of waiting so long for the app to come out... so I just created a QR code for my kids to go to instead so they could log in easily.
Today we did our first posts. I wanted them all to experience how to post, and so we just wrote about our favorite part of third grade.
Some kids went on and posted about inferring or summarizing a story they were reading, but most have yet to do that.
I don't even have buttons ready to share, but I am so excited (and they are so excited) about having people besides the class, me and parents to read what they have to say. I just had to share it with you before I had any pictures, buttons or anything! I'd love it if you could read a couple of posts and comment for for one or two of my students. My expectation is that they will post something at least once a week. I'll also be including class photos of some things we were working on, too.
My first group's blog is here.
My second group's blog is here.
Please let me know if your class has a blog I can comment on. I'd love to support them and maybe even share it with my kiddos, too.
Let me know if you check it out. I would really love for my kids to realize how global their learning can be!
... and please share if you have any ideas about what you would blog about with your kids. Right now, I'm kind of using it as our digital write about reading notebook.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rounding with a Free Extension Project

Has the year been flying by for anyone else? I feel like I just blinked and we are already at the 7th week of school!
Our school is doing a book study on the book called Making Differentiation a Habit  by Diane Heacox. It really is an easy read with lots of practical ideas. I don't mind reading the theory behind things sometimes, but I really appreciate when books like this one give you plenty of ideas that you can implement right away.

Anyway, after reading the first 3 chapters I was inspired to think about my kiddos who would get rounding really quickly. They had never been taught how to round before, but I knew that there would be a handful after a mini-lesson or two who would already get it and be ready for a challenge. So, I created a little test (very short, but covered the things they needed to know) for those that wanted to try and test out of the rest of the rounding lessons. If they did it all correctly without any help, they could work on our MacBooks on the ToysRUs project.
I created a project (inspired by something the 4th graders at our school were doing with where students were to imagine that an 8 year-old was coming to a new family in the US and had no toys yet. They were supposed to figure out what the parents should buy within their budget and use rounding to come up with the total cost and a calculator to compare the rounded total with the actual total.
My students who did the project really enjoyed it. They wanted to work on it any chance they had. 
You can download it for free here!
I plan on making more of these projects to go along with addition/subtraction, geometry and other units we cover in math. My kids keep asking if they will have another chance to work on an extension project.
I'll be sure and post the rest here and on TPT. If you don't check blogger often, you may want to follow my TPT store to stay updated!
For my students that didn't test out of rounding, I was able to spend time with them as a smaller group working on the areas they were still confused about.
One of the games they still ask to play is my Robot Rounding Bump. It comes with 4 different game boards and is only $2.50.
Have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

What I'm Doing Digitally- 9.27.12

Welcome back for another "What I'm Doing Digitally" post!
This week I wanted to focus on a free app that you can download and use some things I've already created for it.

The app is called Flashcardlet. Basically, It's an app that work just like normal flashcards, but without the mess of index cards! I love that you can create them for students or even other schools to download and students can also create them for themselves.
Here's my mini-tutorial of how to download the ones I've already created:
First, install Flashcardlet on your iPad. You will want to be sure that you set up an account with because that's how you can create flashcards for your kids easily.
Then, click on "Flashcards".
Next, click the + sign in the corner and select "Download from Quizlet".
In the search box, type "Pattons Patch". It should come up with a rounding and place value set.
Click on the set you want, and click add to library.
From there you will click cancel and then library to get back to the list of flash cards you have.
Click on the set you want to view and click start studying.
Your kids can learn how to install flashcards, so if you create them and keep them public on, your kiddos should be able to download them easily.
A little tip about naming them... make it something that is more unique and identifiable. If you simply call it Place Value Cards, there will be MANY MANY MANY sets for your kids to sift from. Putting your name or your school name should narrow it down!
The possibilities with this app are endless! I feel like this could apply to pretty much any subject.
I'll let you know when I upload more... they will all start with Pattons Patch.
Let me know if you have any ideas of how you might use this in your classroom!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Place Value Practice Freebies!

For the past few weeks, we have been practicing place value up to the 100,000s. My students wrote numbers in word form, standard form, expanded form and with base-ten blocks.
Here is an anchor chart I found on Pinterest and recreated for my kiddos:
One day, I wanted to see how much my students remembered before starting to teach. So, I opened up with a four corners activity. I put four of the number posters on walls (one on each), printed the corresponding cards, and handed them out to the students. While I had music on they were switching their cards. When I paused the music, they had 10 slow seconds of think time. Then, I said "go" and they walked to their appropriate corner or wall. Once they got there, the students talked about how they knew their card belonged with that poster.
You can download the posters and cards for free below. You don't have to print them all, I only printed the ones that I thought my kids needed work on.

Place Value Four Corners -
Another day, I ended with a formative assessment. They had a small sheet of costruction paper and had to pick two of the numbers I showed on my computer screen in 3 different ways. (Expanded form, base-ten blocks, word form, etc.) It was actually their "ticket" to recess. It gave me a really good idea of who needed help on certain forms of numbers so I could pull them in groups the next day.
You can download the slide I showed on my screen below:

Place Value Formative Assessment -
My students also enjoyed going around with their bilingual buddy and showing numbers in different ways on butcher paper. I put different numbers on big pieces of butcher paper, spread them out on the carpet, gave my students my special smelly markers, and let them rotate from paper to paper as they finished. Here are a couple of the finished posters:

You can download the numbers I put on the butcher paper below:

Plave Value Show the Number -
In case you missed it, I also used the app Splash Math and created a picture direction slide to help my students get to the part where they could practice place value. Click here if you missed that from my last post. I talked about it in my most recent "What I'm Doing Digitally" post.
Next week we will be talking about rounding numbers. I'm excited to pull out my Robot Rounding Bump game for my students to play.
In fact, if you want to get it for free, head on over to my facebook page. The first 5 people to comment on my FACEBOOK PAGE with their email address will receive a free copy.
If not, you can still grab it for pretty cheap. It's on sale for today only in my store... $1.50 instead of $2.50.
Hope everyone has a great week!
I'll be back soon to share about the things we did to practice rounding!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

What I'm Doing Digitally 09.20.12

The past few weeks I have been doing quite a few things digitally... I'll try to summarize them as best as I can!

First of all, let me just say that I started out the year doing A LOT of QR codes. I wanted my students to have fun using the iPads while getting used to scanning things. I didn't want to worry about downloading so many apps from the start.

Since I was new to third grade, I didn't really have all of the chapter books in my classroom library that my students wanted to read. I used GoogleDocs to create a form for my students to fill out about their favorite books. It's pretty easy to make one. You just need a google account (which I have through gmail), click on the drive tab which used to be the documents tab, click create, and then click on form.

Here's what my students filled out:

In the end, I got a spreadsheet that I could print and take with me to Half Price Books!

I have an iPad cart that I was provided to keep the iPads in order and charged. Of course it wasn't staying as organized as I would have liked, so I used this super cool app called skitch to put text and arrows easily over a picture I had alread taken on the iPad.

Seriously, this is a really neat app and the possibilities are endless!

  • students could take pictures and then use Skitch to point out shapes they find in the real world
  • they could point out landforms in a picture you send to their iPad
  • they could take pictures of commas or another type of punctuation and point it out in the picture
Here's what I created in literally 120 seconds:

Now they are on the inside of the cart doors and students can be sure it's put away nicely.

We are studying place value in math, and I found a neat app that covers lots of math subjects called Splash Math. (I know that they also have it available in the app store for 1st and 2nd, so if you teach either of those grades, you should check it out.)

If students just press play, the app will take them through any math subject, but I created directions (with the help of taking screen shots and the app skitch) to create picture directions for them. If you would like to use them, feel free to download it below.
Another site the students have enjoyed using is called Today's Meet. At, you can create a room and students can go to that link (mine arrived through a QR code) and respond to a question. The neat thing is that they can join with their name and then see what their classmates are saying in realtime. Here is a screenshot:
Of course, we need to keep in mind something very important when we use technology... the safety of our students. Part of that includes looking at the terms of use for apps and websites. Today's meet is a site that requires people under the age of 13 to have parent permission. I sent home a letter to get permission from my parents for all Web 2.0 sites that have been approved by our district. I am sharing it with you below. It should be editable.
I hope something in here was helpful to you or sparked another idea.
Have a great Friday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

QR Codes for Community-What I'm Doing Digitally

I hope everyone has had a great start to the year. This time is fun getting to know your new kids and beginning a fresh start, but can be pretty overwhelming as well.
As most of you know by now, I was very blessed to be picked as a new digital classroom teacher. I've now completed all of the training, and am enjoying using the iPads and MacBooks with my students.
I've had quite a few requests to share my experiences and tips that I find for using technology in the classroom, so I have decided that I will have a "What I'm Doing Digitally" post once a week to keep you updated. I will post my technology tips and ideas on Thursdays.

Here is an activity I created for the first day of school:

I wanted my students to start off the year will a great relationship with their buddies. (In Dual Language, the students do a lot of work with their bilingual buddies.) I came up with the idea of them creating a handshake to build their bond. In order to give them some ideas, they used the Scan app to scan these QR codes. My students absolutely LOVED doing this. Some of them still do their handshake with their buddy. :)

In the PDF file, the first sheet is what I printed on colored cardstock for my students. I found the videos on YouTube and then created a safe link for the QR code so they wouldn't see any of the advertisements. In case something happens in the future and they do not work, I provided the links on the following pages.



Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bee Theme Classroom Photos

Phew! This first week of school and the week before were incredibly busy. Why does it always surprise me that I am so busy? I ended up going up to school yesterday so I could be prepared for the entire coming week and feel like I'm actually on top of things again. Anyone else always feel this way?

Anyway... as you may know, I am teaching a 3rd Grade Dual Language Class this year. I have two groups that I teach, one is called the Bees and the other is called the Chameleons. Since my homeroom is the Bees, I decided to decorate with a bee theme. I still kept a lot of my bright colors and lanterns from last year, though. 

Here is a little tour... don't judge if you see it a bit messy. I did end up cleaning and straightening up yesterday afternoon!

Here is the view you see when you walk in the door:

Here is my library/reading area:

Here is a better view of the curtain and the reading tent... made for me by my husband's sweet grandmother:

Here is the front of the room:

Here is my calendar board... so less detailed for third! (Side note... the calendar cards on rings represent the students who are my helpers for the day. So much easier to use numbers each year than to print out labels every year with the students' names.)

Here is the iPad bulletin board. After we learn how to use an app, I put its icon on the board.

On the side of my room next to the door, I have a technology section. It is complete with technology rules and the technology cart. Since I was selected to be a digital classroom, I am so blessed to have 25 iPads and 6 MacBookAirs.

Here is my display board this year. I took the sections I had in my inch worm last year and I will be using them to hang student work. (This bulletin board has burlap as the fabric. Much cheaper than cotton fabric and it adds a little texture to the room. One of my sweet colleagues gave me this tip!)

Here is the back of my room (remember, I did end up cleaning it better. Just didn't think to snap another picture...)

I have a vocabulary bulletin board to help my students learn the English words for things they learn in Spanish.

I also have a math, writing and research bulletin board on the back wall.

And here is a close-up of my favorite part of my room (next to the reading tent, that is):

I have already taken pictures so I can give you all a tutorial if you want to make these table signs yourself. I plan to post that tutorial this week.

This has to be my favorite classroom design I've done yet! I really wanted to include bees in my theme, but didn't want to be stuck with only black, white and yellow.

If you would like to check out all of the things I made for my bee theme, you can see it here.

I am so proud of it because I didn't use even one piece of clip art or digital scrapbook paper created by someone else. It was all me and my friend, Adobe Illustrator!

Have a wonderful LONG weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tissue Paper Flowers on Bulletin Boards

Today I had a chance to get back in my room and I started working on the bulletin boards. (It's a new room to me, so I had nothing up yet... less than two weeks until day one!)

After looking at some different ideas online, I decided I could add some tissue paper flowers to my boards!

Here is the first one that I added them to:

I found a tutorial here.

Here's the basic run-down...

First of all, I had to buy this Fiskars punch. It makes it soooo much easier!

So here's what you need:
  • tissue paper
  • regular paper
  • Fiskars Punch
  • stapler
 1. Cut the tissue paper into long strips.

2. Sandwich the tissue paper with regular paper to prevent tearing.

3.  Cut as many scalloped circles as you want (the more, the fluffier) and staple them together in the center.

4. Pull the top piece up toward the top.

5.  Continue pulling up the pieces until it is finished. I kind of squeeze it together as I pull it up to get it to look how I want it to.

6. Add the finished flower to any bulletin board to add a little pop!

I was a little disappointed at first because somehow I expected the tissue flowers to be a bit bigger. It didn't look very good when I just added one, but with three I think it looks great!

How do you add a little pop to your bulletin boards?