Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Brain and Body Breaks

Good Morning,

Are your students having a tough time settling back in after vacation? Spring fever getting the best of them?  A quick brain and body break may be just what they need. Depending on the needs of the students you may want to try some yoga stretches or if they are feeling sluggish, a dance break might do the trick.  

Some thoughts on the educational value of Brainbased Education.

Brain Breaks can be incorporated into your day.  Some opportunities are:
  • in the morning to energize your students
  • before or after an assessment
  • transitions
  • to refocus following recess
  • or to break up a long day with some fun!                           

Screenshot 2014-04-16 10.54.01.png
Some resources:
GoNoodle - Can be added to iPad as a shortcut or accessed through your computer - energizing and calming breaks for younger children (I can show you how to create an iPad shortcut.)
KooKoo Kanga Roo Music videos (YouTube) - all ages
Just Dance 3 - Dynamite - Taio Cruz - dance break for older children
20 Three Minute Brain Breaks includes a list of specific activities you can try.  

Thank you to Tracey Truman, Carli Kyvelos and Jen Stygles for sharing their Brain Break ideas!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Voice Recordings

Good Morning,

Many of your students are working on writing and publishing poetry.  The next step is to share their creative writing. Traditionally, you may have sent home the students' poems on paper.  Have you considered sharing their poetry online with audio clips?  When you share digitally, grandparents, aunts and uncles will all have access to your students' work. Students tend to take their writing more seriously when they know that it will be shared with a greater audience.  You will also address the ISTE NETS (Technology) Student Standards of Creativity/Innovation and Communication/Collaboration.

Poetry can come alive through the author's voice.  Voice Record and Vocaroo are both great options for recording your students. Student recordings can then be uploaded to your website or emailed home to parents.  Voice Record Pro is available on the K-1 iPads and the Tech Pack iPads (see the MJ Calendar or the SH Calendar to sign them out). Vocaroo is available free online.

Other uses for voice recordings:
  • Music class - send a sample reminder to your parents before the end of the year performance or practice an instrumental piece and then self-reflect
  • Reading - practice fluency
  • Social Studies - re-enact events or discussions such as the Patriots vs. the Loyalists
  • Debates on current events
  • Public Service Announcements created by your students
Sound effects can also be added!  Let me know if you need anything or if you have any fun recording ideas to share.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Good Morning,

ABCya.com is a free educational site with games and activities for children in kindergarten through grade 5.  Engaging and interactive games reinforce math skills, language development or even typing skills. These activities will reinforce parts of speech, verb tense, math concepts, and much more. ABCya.com includes games from across the curriculum and is broken down by grade level.  You may want to use this site as a math station, for morning work or as an alternative to your IXL or Type to Learn homework assignment.  

Check out ABCya.com!  

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Cleaning

Happy Tuesday,

It finally feels like Spring!  So that means it's time for some Spring Cleaning. Some quick tips you may want to consider.......

 ~ Back up your images and documents....USB stick (flashdrive), cloud or external hard drive - take your pick!

 ~ Empty your Trash - Just because you put it in the trash doesn't mean it's gone. You still have to empty the trash or permanently delete the items.  Select Trash/Empty Trash

 ~ Organize your emails, delete, categorize or label those you need to keep! Gear Symbol/Settings/Labels

 ~ Completely close out of browsers and programs.....if the little bubble appears beneath the icon on your dock, then the browser or program is still open.  Right click on the icon, a menu will appear, select quit.

 ~ Create and/or organize Folders within Google Drive, your Documents or on your iPad.  In your Google Drive, you can even color code your folders:  blue = writing, purple = parent correspondence, yellow = student council, etc.

 ~ Clean up your Desktop - having too many items stored on your desktop will slow down your computer.  Move these items to Documents.

 ~ Update apps on your iPad

 ~ Stay healthy - wipe down your computer, iPad, iPhone with electronic safe wipes.

 ~ Streamline your RSS Feed (Feedspot) - too many items to ever read?  Pick your favorite sites or blogs to follow and get rid of the rest.

Refresh and recharge....choose one item (big or small) from your to-do-list (orTodoist) and do it!  You will feel great checking even the smallest items off your list!

Have an awesome week!