Edcite – Engage your students with Common Core practice




If you are looking for a way to have your students practice for the SBAT with questions that are presented in the same format as the test, check out Edsite.com .  Sign up for free and see thousands of question sets that have been created by other teachers that you can assign to your class for practice – or create your own.  Questions can be presented in the same format as the standardized test, preparing students for the testing experience. Reports are also available allowing you to see what questions were missed by each student so you can revisit topics that students need review on!

Photos for Class

UntitledPhotos for Class is a great place to send your students when they are looking for photos to place in their documents. Not only is it a ‘safe’ place where only school appropriate photo’s will be found, but the downloaded images automatically cite the author and the image license terms – a great way to have kids learn to cite their sources!

National Engineers Month is February – request a free class presentation by a professional in a STEM career field

becNational Engineers’ Month is February 2015

In Oregon, the Business Education Compact coordinates guest speakers for National Engineer Month. Teachers and schools may request a FREE class presentation by an industry representative of a STEM career field.  Through grade appropriate presentations and demonstrations, volunteers raise student awareness of the opportunities and rewards of working in a STEM-related field. For general info go to the Business Education Compact site for the state of Oregon.
Registration with the BEC is required and November and December is the window for making your request.

Wondering what the ‘Flipped Classroom’ is?

Take a look at this short series of videos produced by ASCD.org. It’s a great overview of what the concept is and how it can revolutionize your classroom! (click on Play All to see the entire series of short videos)

Animate your lessons with Stop Motion Video on your iPad

Lego MovieTurn your students into budding animators! There are a variety of easy to use animation apps, some of which are free, to capture and stitch together photos of characters and objects into seamless, fluent animated movies. Best of all, the process of designing, scripting and staging animations has tremendous educational potential, and can be a wonderful mix of art, science, history, language arts, and even math. Using these iPad apps, and materials such as clay, Lego’s, drawings, or toy figures, students can create short animated sequences illustrating or teaching a concept – all while involving student teams in collaborative discussion, collective imagination and creativity, problem solving, critical analysis and a lot of teamwork. Students will be completely engaged while you observe learning outcomes that they are not even aware of!
Here’s a few apps you can take a look at:

LEGO Movie Maker –  Free  (my favorite – can add sound effects, music overlay, and voice overlay, and save to photoroll)
Animate it 2.99
iStopmotion  9.99
StopMotion  Free
Stop Motion Studio  Free (has in-app purchases)
Stop Motion Recorder  .99
sMovie  6.99
Ostanovca   Free
Stop Motion Café  Free
Osnap  2.99  (Lite version is free)
MyCreate  4.99 (Lite version is free)

Have you upgraded to the new iOS 7? Look it over before you make the change!

ios7The new OS (operating system) for the iPad is version 7.  It offers a very different look and feel from version 6, with some new functions and differences in where options are found.
Here’s a good summary of some of the changes with respect to many of the basic features.

Perhaps you’ve not yet, but are considering updating to iOS7 ?  Read some reviews first and be sure that’s your best move!  It may not be for everyone (although at some point it may necessary as new apps come out that run only on 7)
OS 7 – The Basics
  (from Apple)
Apple iOS 7 Reveiw
7 Worst things about iOS 7


Looking for inexpensive yet good iPad cases for student used iPads?

We want kids to use the iPad(s) we have in the classroom, and we don’t want to worry about it getting broken.  Having a good cover on the iPad is essential, yet the price can approach $100 for some of the more rugged ones.  Here are two covers that are less expensive, yet offer good protection:




TuffKase makes one for $25 that includes a built-in stand




silicone ipad case

One for sale on eBay costs just $10.79 and offers a good grip for young students as well as good drop protection


iPads and other classroom technologies – what should we expect?

The amount and type of technology in classrooms is growing, and for good reasons. Smartphones, iPads, and other portable devices are accepted if not essential tools we all use in the workplace, thus how would we not teach their use to our classrooms? With the new technology embedded standards in the CCSS, we now have no choice but to include the use of technology by students in our classes.  Standardized test scores may or may not be directly affected, yet how students learn will be, and the educational process will be relevant and applicable to everyday life and the workplace, as well as to the Common Core Standards we are all teaching.  We are now at the point of deciding how – not if – we can innovate our classroom with technology – by looking at our curriculum, surveying the technology tools we have in our classrooms, and deciding how we can best use those tools to meet student learning objectives.

An article in from ‘District Administration’ titled ‘iPads Expand Time and Space’ sums it up well: “.. Teachers incorporate a wide range of tools: interactive whiteboards, webcams, class blogs, Google Apps for Education, iPod touches, and netbooks [Chromebooks], as well as iPads. But, in the end, … the success of any piece of technology hinges on how it is used in the classroom. It’s about what you do with the device, not the device itself”
Pulaski ipad Ken Westphal