Monday, September 1, 2014

The Most Amazing App in the World!

I just recently came across a list of helpful apps for educators. As I was perusing them, I stumbled upon an app called iTranslate Voice (for iphone). If you have a high ELL population, then this is the app for you! My school has many students that move in and do not speak any English. I have struggled with trying to communicate with them. I've used dictionaries or tried having other students translate. I downloaded this app and it changed my life! This app can translate into 42 different languages. All you do is speak what you want to say (kind of like you're speaking to SIRI) and it translates into the language, speaks it out loud, and writes it as a text! So far, I've used the Arabic, Spanish, and Chinese (mandarin) the most. After explaining an assignment to the whole class, I asked my non-English speaking students if they understood what to do. They were confused, so I spoke into my phone and it translated it for them. They completed the assignment knowing what to do! AMAZING! Where has this been all my life?

                                                             Thank you iTranslate Voice!
I have also started creating word walls for science in order to help my ELL students with new vocabulary. I have created them for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. Here is the link to my 4th grade set:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Carnival-Themed Classroom!

I decided to keep my carnival-themed decor this year. I added a few touches this year. Here is my book corner. The "tent" is from Ikea. I have decided to just purchase a cheapy rug at Big Lots for $30 and pitch it every year. My kids track in mud from playing soccer at recess and it's not worth it to keep fighting an uphill battle. 

I love these faux clipboards. I attached a paperclip to them to just easily slip student work underneath and display! I even have a giant paperclip for added effect...

I bought this from Oriental Trader. If my students earn it, they get to spin the wheel. Whatever number they land on, they get to choose from that # of bag. Hey, you get to pick a prize from bag #7!!!!

I purchased this along with the wheel. It is a basic version of my very favorite PLINKO game from Price-Is-Right! There are little discs that students will drop, and whatever number they land on, that's the bag they choose from!

This is my favorite place to rest. This stool is so retro and swivels!

Ok, this is not really carnival-themed, but I had to get it. It was like $12 at Target! Gotta love Target!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ways to Use Technology

Here are some cool tech tips I will definitely be trying in my classroom!

Zaption is a way to make videos on You Tube more interactive while showing them in your classroom. There is a quick and simple tutorial that you can watch. Basically, you can show a You Tube video that has questions, notes, open responses, and drawings. So, as you reach different points in the video, these little side bars pop up and you can ask your class questions or check for understanding.
Here is the link:

Another cool site is Google LitTrips. Basically, you can choose from different books and travel/see photos of places the character goes or things the character does using Google Earth. In the book, Opossum Magic, the character eats different foods around places in Australia. Using Google Earth, you get to see the places the character visits. I LOVE Google Earth and am always looking for ways to use it in my classroom!
Here is the link:

I am always trying to find and use the latest "tekky" stuff in my classroom, so stay tuned for more tips...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Easy Way to Set Up a Science Center

Setting up a science center in your classroom can be a great way to supplement what you are already teaching in this subject area. Kids love science topics. I like to have an established science center that is permanently set up and kids can visit when they finish with their work. I have created a hassle-free science center that can be established and used all year. If you choose to make it permanent, you will need to purchase a trifold board that is used for science fairs and displays. Feel free to add any of your own cute embellishments! I kept mine kind of plain seeing that I have 4th and 5th graders. The labels in my kit are cute all on their own. Once your center is set up, then you just have to change out the activities when your topics change. It's as easy as that! And, I will be providing the replacement parts for the center as well (ex. Animal Adaptations, Ecosystems). All topics are the major standards you need to hit in the intermediate grades. Here is what my center looks like:


My New Blog!

I finally have my new blog up and running and am really excited about it and how cool it looks! I owe special thanks to Courtney Juneau of "Blogs Fit For a Queen!" She is awesome! Can't wait to start posting cool ideas on here! Here's to happy blogging!