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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reader Response Prompts FREEBIE!

Reader response prompts go along great with the balanced literacy classroom. Sometimes students just need a little assistance getting started when responding to literature. The prompts can easily be posted around the room so they can choose one to respond to in their reading journals. My bilingual partner Christina L. helped me create a dual language version because our district implements the Gomez & Gomez model. The English text is in blue and Spanish text in red to fit the model. I hope you enjoy the freebie and feel free to share it out!

Click on an image to download the 12 reader response prompts.

To download the dual language version, you can click on one of the below images. There are 11 different prompts with the Spanish translation.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Online Classroom Stopwatches and Countdown Timers

Everyone can enjoy another interactive tool that helps with classroom management and keeps you organized, right? I used to love using  my egg timer in the classroom but for some reason it always hid itself around the room! I learned about Online Stopwatch a few years back and it's great to use in the classroom. I'm a huge fan of using the Promethean board so the countdown timers are awesome to display while students are working on a task. I also deliver professional development to teachers so this is always a hit to model how they can use it in the classroom. I will pull one up in training while they are working or collaborating on a group activity. There are several different types for you to choose from so it's not the same old egg timer each time. I listed a few of my favorites, but as you can see from the screenshot there are quite a few to select. I highly recommend checking out the Classroom Timers; students love them!

The Bomb Countdown is....well the bomb! You can choose your time preference then click "Set."
  You will then see the spark get closer and closer to going off as the time nears.

The rocket is another popular one, as well.
The running timer is one of my favorites. If you like it, they also have a swimming timer you can check out too.

Just a few more I like....

The next time you start looking for your stopwatch or egg timer, remember to give Online Stopwatch a try. It's always around and available when you need it

Also, Technology Tailgate is starting a Techie Tuesday Link Up. So don't forget to stop by and check out the awesome blog posts and feel free to link up your own new or past post about technology in the classroom

Monday, October 15, 2012

Smore! Flyers

Smore is a website that allows you to build quick, easy flyers within minutes! It is a great alternative for Word or Publisher. You can design a flyer from a basic template or you may want to choose to create one from scratch and add your own content.
The super easy format gives you the option to change the design, background, colors, and font. You will also see navigation arrows next to each section as you hover to view the different layout options for that section. Below is an example of a personal layout flyer. However, you can drag and drop to rearrange the sections, delete sections, or add as many as you would like to customize it.

Students can have fun creating posters, flyers, or invitations for a topic being covered in class. They can make a personal flyer for a character in a story, a personal flyer to display at open house, or create a snapshot of a story they have read. For example, they could add pictures for the setting, add text for the summary,  bio to discuss the author, or even a video or link to to provide additional information. Smore can also be a great tool to create a classroom newsletter. I like to use it because it can be easily shared through Facebook, Twitter, email, or a direct link. If you get a chance, it's worth checking out.

 *I used the spelling flyer in the post because that is how it is referenced on the website.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Author's Purpose Freebie!

As I was visiting classrooms the last few weeks, I noticed many of the teachers had anchor charts or signs posted for author's purpose. However, not many used the catchy phrase, It's as easy as PIE". So I decided I should make my own printable signs for them so I could share out with everyone. It's a fun way for students to remember the author's purpose: persuade, inform, and entertain. I know there are lots of other versions out there but if you would like one more, click to download the freebie!

Good news! This also prompted me to finally setup my TpT store so please check back often because I'll be uploading and giving away lots of other freebies in the future.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

You've Been Boo'ed! Freebie

"You've Been Boo'ed" is probably known for it's fun way of sharing treats and Halloween cheer with neighbors and friends. It's a great activity that becomes contagious because so many love joining in on all the fun. At my campus several years ago we modified "You've Been Boo'ed" to apply to our staff members. Instead of leaving treats at each others classroom doors, we actually just placed them in teacher boxes and waited  to see everyone discover the goodies! This was really easy because our mailboxes were in a separate room so we could easily sneak in and out without being discovered. I still have my Halloween gifts that were given to me and it was nice to see how quickly it caught on. By the time Halloween arrived, every staff member had received a nice little treat. Since, it's October (already!) I thought it would be great to make a few of the signs and share out so you could enjoy the fun as well. I revised the poem a little to fit nicely with the campus setting. If you haven't ever been "Boo'ed" before, I hope you consider starting the tradition this year. Just start off by leaving a bag of treats at two classroom doors and sit back and watch the Halloween cheer! I always like to check out Pinterest for some great ideas. Click on the link below for the "You've Been Boo'ed" freebie.

If you would prefer the original version and not the classroom, please email me and I can send it to you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fun Reading & Math Sing-a-long Videos

The Alphabet Video by Have Fun Teaching is a catchy way to sing the alphabet with your class. It reviews the letters of the alphabet as well as the letter sounds. I saw a few kindergarten teachers use it with their students and they absolutely loved it! The students were engaged and singing along with it the entire time. They especially like singing along to it around 1:30 of the video when the tempo speeds up.

Alphabet Video from Have Fun Teaching on Vimeo.

There are also many videos to review sight words such as: you, I , said, it, and, to, the, and so on. The video constantly repeats the sight word, spells it out, and uses it in a sentence for students.

Sight Word You from Have Fun Teaching on Vimeo.

Have Fun Teaching has math videos for counting by ones, twos, threes, and all the way up to twelves. I liked Count by Five which you can check out below.

Count By Five Song from Have Fun Teaching on Vimeo.

The Sing-a-long videos are perfect for getting the students up and moving in a productive way. Plus they love seeing and singing with them. If you want to see all the videos that are listed, you can check them out here: There are currently 79 total available. Another plus, it is compatible with iPads and iPods so you can have the students listen to them during listening center or as practice after completed lessons. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reading Bear

I hope everyone has gotten off to a great start of the year! It's been crazy busy for me lately so I'm a little behind on posting. I started my new position as a literacy specialist and so far I'm love it! I think what I like most is being able to observe so many different classrooms and grade levels. There are a lot of awesome teachers out there and I love picking up and discovering new tips & tricks while visiting their classrooms. One of the main focuses in the district's literacy block is finding time or activities to support our Word Work lessons. So, I thought I would post about a website that would support and be engaging for students to learn phonics and word work skills.

Reading Bear is a fun, interactive website that helps students learn to read. It reviews all the main phonics rules and guides students through hands-on practice. You could have students practice with Reading Bear during center time, or use it whole group with your interactive whiteboard. It doesn't replace your lesson but it can provide scaffolding, especially for your struggling readers or ELL's. The most important it free? Yes, it is completely free to use. You may also choose to register for an account that will allow you to save quiz scores and track presentations, but it is not required. If you are looking for interactive phonics lessons, center activities, or just an alternative to Starfall, you might want to check out Reading Bear. Hope you find it beneficial :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I know everyone has probably heard of Dropbox but this really is my top "can't live without" Web 2.0 tool. If you are not using it, you truly are missing out on a great productivity tool. I would used to carry around tons of flash drives and try to remember where I put them or try not to lose them. Honestly, I very seldom use them anymore because Dropbox takes care of all that for me. It is basically a virtual flash drive that is always there and you never have to worry about losing it, and you can always have access from anywhere there is internet. Currently, I have Dropbox on my home computer, work computer, iPhone, and all my other technology devices. The moment I add or modify a document it instantly updates it to all the other devices. I can't tell you how convenient it has been to pull up documents on my phone when I need them. Anyways, I have been accessing files all night from Dropbox so it prompted me to make a quick blog post about it. I will now leave everyone with a bit of humor below!

I think this pretty much sums up how a lot of us are feeling at the moment!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Spell with flickr

By now, most of you have probably seen the personalized name frames that spell out each letter of the name uniquely. My colleague Cathy came across Spell with flickr several months back and introduced it to me. The website basically creates the same effect in such a quick, simple manner.  You type in a name, phrase, or word and Spell with flickr creates it by pulling single images from flickr and using it to generate what you have typed in.

Now the really cool part! You can click on each individual letter and filter through images of the letter until you find one that you like; so, you have the ability to do some customizing. Notice the B and A are the same style of letter. After browsing through a few of the letter B's my word "Back" now looks like this...
I am all about simple so I thought this would be a good resource to share. Besides, think about how much fun students could have practicing their spelling words like this!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Get Your Voki On!

Voki is a fun way of introducing technology into your lessons. Teachers love it because it motivates students to present book reports, projects, read alouds, poems, speeches, or review comprehension of a lesson. Students love it because they can be creative and design their own avatar from lots of character and setting choices. The coolest thing about Voki is it allows you to record your own audio! However, you can also use the text-to-speech feature or use a phone to make your recording. Check out the Voki I just created...

If you want to get started on your own, go to and sign up for a free account. You can start out by browsing through character choices.
Have fun customizing your character with different hair styles, clothing, and bling! There are also options for you to customize the color and size of the character's mouth, eyes, hair, and skin. As well as, tweaking features such as body, height, and width.
Next, select a background for your character's setting. This may take a long time if your like me and browse through tons! And of course, choose how you are going to give your Voki a voice.

Don't forget to Publish your Voki when you are completely finished. You can then share your Voki through email, website link, or embed within your blog or website.
Want to check out some super cute ones? This link has student created examples from a kindergarten class. My favorite is second row down, third across :) Click HERE.

Have fun getting your Voki on!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

TpT $10 Gift Card Giveaway!

I can't believe it is already August and everyone is gearing up to go back to school! This week was actually my first official week back for the new year. I'm really excited because I have been an educational technology specialist for the last four years but will now be a literacy specialist and looking forward to the change. I started this blog at the beginning of the year but haven't been able to post as much as I would have liked due to all the training and transition over the summer. So, I really appreciate all my followers and just hit #50!

I thought this would be the perfect time to do a small giveaway where someone can pick out a few back to school items from TpT. I'm trying out rafflecopter for the giveaway so be sure to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 30, 2012


This is a fun little website that has an interactive alphabet book, ABC song video, name typer, free printable resources, and even an app you can download to your iPad. Super cute for the primary grades.

I have to be honest and say I absolutely love creating words and names with Name Typer! This can also be an engaging way for your students to practice spelling words and typing skills at the same time. You have the option to print it out or share by email. I also like creating cute names like this for myself and using it as my email signature. It is amazing how many more teachers read my emails when I have something cute on it!

You can also have students read the interactive alphabet book. There is an animal that is shaped like each letter of the alphabet. Students can click to hear an audio sound of what the animal sounds like or hear the word pronounced.

Remember to also check out the ABC video song, free printables, and iPad app. Also, if you are lucky enough to have an interactive whiteboard, this would be great to project and have students interact with it.

I took a little break from blogging this summer so check back often because I'll be posting a lot more fun, interactive websites for the beginning of school. I have so many I can't decide which ones to highlight first :)

New Blog on the Block!

I am happy to announce that one of my best friends, who is super talented, just started her own blog. She is a technology specialist and always has great ideas and resources to share. So if you get a chance, stop by and check it out.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lovely Blog Award

I was excited to learn that my blog was awarded the Lovely Blog Award by Primary Possibilities. So if you haven't checked out their blog, you should head on over there. It's now my turn to pass on the award to other lovely blogs!

Once you receive the award, you must follow 3 rules:
1. Follow the person that gave you the award
2. Link back to the person that gave you the award
3. Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers

Here are the blogs I'm passing it on to (sorry if some of you have it already):

Heather's heart

Kindergarten Korner
Adventures In Teaching

Third Grade Etc.

The Hip Teacher


Science, Etc.