Monday, November 30, 2015


Capture a picture, student work or samples of manipulatives, then add handwritten notes or type annotations to add detail or take notes.  Notability can be used to document student work or to curate student data.  Teachers can use it to take a quick picture and add notes or just simply jot down some notes while conferencing with a student.  Notes can be shared via Google Drive, AirDrop, Drop Box or Email.  Features include recording audio, highlighting, handwriting, typing and more. Students can also use Notability to record notes (handwritten, typed or orally) or add a diagram to a project.

Sample Note:

Check out the possibilities of Notability by signing out an iPad or add the app to your smartphone.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Story Maker

Bonus resource tip, especially first and second grade teachers!  Check out ABCya's Story Maker.  Student's can write a short story or how-to book, include an image or print and add a drawing to support their story.  When their writing is complete, their creative stories can be printed creating professional looking books!  

Let me know if you have any questions or want to work on a lesson or project together!

Hour of Code

The week of December 7th - 13th is the "Hour of Code" Week sponsored by During this week, students around the world will be introduced to computer programming or coding.  There is no prior experience necessary on the part of the student or the teacher!  Students (or teachers) will choose how to spend their hour of code by completing game-based activities online or on an iPad and will receive a certificate upon completion.

If you would like your students to participate in an Hour of Code, you can dedicate a full hour during the week of December 7th or you can break it up into mini sessions as long as the total time is one hour.  You can use computers, Chromebooks or iPads.  If you do not like the activities provided on, you can try apps like HopscotchKodable or Scratch (especially appropriate for the younger grades). has some wonderful, engaging activities including Frozen, Minecraft, Angry Birds and Star Wars themed activities.  

The goal of this week is to promote interest in computer science.  Over 100 Million students have tried an Hour of Code.  It is available in 40 languages!  We hope to peak the interest of both boys and girls to explore coding in the future. 

If you are interested in exploring coding options or activities, I would be happy help you plan or teach these lessons.  

Happy coding!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Lexia Core 5

Just wanted to remind everyone about Lexia!  Lexia is available for K-5 students identified by the classroom teacher and the literature specialist as needing some support. Lexia provides personalized learning on fundamental literacy skills.  Teachers have access to real-time performance data without testing.   If you have an account, you can visit , sign in as an educator and play the activities as a student.  Image below:

To check reports, usage, etc., you need to sign into MyLexia.  Your username and password are your email and your network password.  If you think you have students that are in need, please talk to your lit specialist.

Lexia is a great resource.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thanksgiving Videos and Reading Passages

Thanksgiving is truly my favorite holiday. Every year, my family gathers together for some laughs (sometimes tears) and lots of food! We honor our parents at an annual Mass, prepare all the food my Mom once cooked for us and share stories with our children. With the recent news events, we are especially grateful this Thanksgiving to have our family safe both at home and abroad. I hope that your families are safe too. It is a sad reminder to respect others as well as honor our country's traditions.

ReadWorks has collected a variety of Thanksgiving articles and videos that you might like to share with your students. Check out their other collections as well.  You can search by grade level, content/topic, skill or type of text.  These articles are free to be reproduced for your students.

Have a grateful day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Zaption - Personalize a video by embedding questions

Videos are in every teachers tool kit.  Now you can personalize your videos (or YouTube videos) by adding comprehension questions, images and text reminders with Zaption.  Zaption is very easy to use and free!  You can add multiple choice, multiple select or open response questions.  You can even add questions in which your student draws a response. (Ex:  Circle Pluto in this image of the solar system.)  Teachers have direct instant access to students responses.  Zaption enables you to clip the video to shorten it to your specific needs.  Videos can be used for flipped classroom opportunities, homework assignments or even a workshop station!  Or share a video whole class and work on note-taking skills or synthesizing skills.

Here is a sample video.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Exit Tickets and Polling Options

Ever wonder if your students understood your lesson?  At the end of a lesson, you may wonder did my students leave with a solid understanding of today's skill.  Upon reflection, you may ask do I need to reteach to the whole class, switch up my approach or review with a small group of students?  Exit tickets provide quick, reliable data as to the needs of your students and the next steps for you.

Plickers is a quick and easy tool which requires only one iPad or smartphone.  Students hold up a card indicating their response.  With a quick scan of the room answers are anonymously collected. Teacher can view which students responded correctly and which may need intervention.  Or responses can be instantly displayed in graph form for peer instruction.  Thank you to Judy Kress and Karen Carbone for creating this brief video of Plickers in action in the classroom.

Plickers, Poll Everywhere, Padlet, or Google Forms are all great choices depending on the lesson! There are many Exit Ticket tools highlighted in this article.  Let me know if you would like to try a new tool in your classroom!