Monday, March 2, 2015

Short Texts Online

Who needs some awesome short texts to use in your lessons? Here are some of my free favorites that students really enjoy!


Newsela: Leveled texts with quizzes. There is a free version and a paid version. The free version gives you access to articles and quizzes. The paid version provides a teacher/student portal that includes record keeping.


Wonderopolis: This has been a favorite for a long time! Each wonder includes a video, text that can be read aloud, and extension activities. No membership or log ins needed! Totally free.



TT Junior/Tween Tribune: Free resources from Smithsonian. They do provide lexiled text.


Read Works: Free informational text and lesson plans. You do need to set up a log in, but there is no membership needed.


We Give Books: Coolest site ever! Read favorite full text books online and help out needy kids everywhere! No log in necessary.




Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Texas K 2015


Thank you Texas K teachers for all the great discussion and participation in our sessions this week. I really enjoyed sharing ideas and learning from you! Below are some resources that might be helpful in the upcoming weeks:

Click Here for Additional Handouts/Resources Mentioned in the Sessions

Click Here for Readers Theater Websites for Scripts

Websites and Apps I mentioned during our workshops:

Read Write Think

Illuminations: Math Site

Buck Institute: Project Based Learning

Green Ghoulie: Camp Songs

Scholastic Literacy Games

ABC YA: Go Animate

Phrase It

Sign Up Genius


iPad Apps:

  • Write About This
  • Tell About This
  • Sock Puppet
  • Number Pieces
  • Three Ring: Conference Record Keeping
  • See Saw: Student Portfolios
  • Endless Reader
  • Endless Numbers
  • Touch and Write Phonics
  • Shadow Puppet EDU
  • Skitch
  • Chicktionary
  • Popplet
  • Futaba
  • Sushi Monster
  • Lunch Rush: PBS Math
Books Highlighted in our discussions:






New Things Teachers Shared with Me!

I am always so appreciative of teachers who share new things with me. Thank you ladies for your great tips!
Math Slide Tens & Ones App: Students can practice number sense and place value skills. 


ToDo Math App: K-2 Math Skills


Fun Picture Books: 




Monday, January 26, 2015

Valentine's Day Fun



 Click on all the red heart targets to visit fun Valentine's Day sites.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fabulous Fall


Happy Fall! I have missed visiting with you during the last few months as I was adjusting to my new schedule and responsibilities as a Literacy Coordinator. I promise I will be back to blogging on a regular basis in the next few weeks. Thanks for the kind emails, Facebook posts, and tweets congratulating me on my new job. You guys are the best!

This week I will be spending a few days in Virginia with some wonderful kindergarten teachers. We will be talking about everything from technology to journals. Here are some of the websites we are discussing this week:

Kahoot
Go Noodle
Symbaloo
Symbaloo Example: Matt Gomez
Wonderopolis
Instagrok
PicMonkey
ABC YA: Go Animate
Photo Peach
ThingLink
Smore

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Stuff


This summer is quite different for me. Usually I kick off the summer with a trip to the beach to relax and unwind. Not this year! I hit the ground running in June and have hardly stopped to take a breath. Here are a few reasons why summer is keeping me hopping.

1) Catching Up with Friends at Workshops
It has been so much fun to visit with great friends at different trainings/workshops throughout the last month. Teacher friends really are the best!!



2) Gearing Up for Vegas!
There is just nothing like Vegas in July when teachers take over the city! This year I will be seeing lots of great pals at the SDE National Conferences for Differentiated Instruction, Kindergarten, and First Grade. It is an exhausting, but energizing week for me. I plan to attend the Blogger Meet Up on Wednesday night and hope to see lots of you there as well! By the way, I have handouts for the sessions posted on the right hand side of the blog under the yellow banner that says,"Lori's Latest Links." I am adding more resources daily so keep checking in with me!



3) Books I Am Reading
There is nothing I enjoy more than reading a new book! This summer I am reading both fun and professional titles. I am diving deeper into writing instruction for older students and reviewing key concepts about reading for elementary students. I am also taking time to relax and get lost in a sweet, funny story.







4) Getting the Birdie Ready to Leave the Nest
Probably the hardest part of this summer, but most rewarding is helping my daughter prepare to go to college in the fall. We are buying cute dorm room decorations, towels, and bedding. I am filling out financial aid applications as quick as my fingers will type and we are cherishing every minute together as a family. Such a bittersweet time for all of us, but we are excited about our baby girl's new adventure!


5) NEW JOB!
As if we didn't have enough changes going on around our house, I have just taken a new position as the Coordinator for 21st Century Literacy for Springfield Public Schools. I just moved into my new office and haven't even had time to decorate it yet. It has been such a blessing to be able to travel all over the country and share ideas with teachers the last 3 years. What an awesome experience! I will continue to do workshops, conferences, and trainings throughout the year just not as many. This wonderful opportunity popped up and I had to take it because it involves the things I love most about teaching: Literacy, Technology, Teachers, and Students! I can't wait to share with all of you the new things I am working on and learning this year.

Love These!

Summer Time is the perfect time to check out new tech tools! We are more relaxed and have time to just play with some great apps/webtools for the classroom. I have some real winners for you today!


Shadow Puppet EDU: I've been sharing with you about the app Shadow Puppet since Christmas! I have loved using it with students to create videos. Just this week Shadow Puppet premiered the new Education version of their awesome app. Now you can not only add your own pictures, videos, music, and narration; but you can select pictures and animated gifs from a new gallery of resources from the Library of Congress, NASA, etc. Fantabulous!!! Download the free app now!


Biblionasium: Shout out to all my BOOK LOVERS! This website is perfect for you and your students. Biblionasium combines record keeping, student book recommendations, and guidance with book selections. The best part of this online reading community is that it is free! No more tracking down reading logs. Everything is done online to keep your students organized for independent reading. I know you are going to want to use it in the fall, so go now and setup your account. Your students will love talking about the books they are reading and getting recommendations and reviews from other students. Reading is going to come alive in your classroom this year!


Kahoot: This game based student response website is a HOOT! It is perfect because it doesn't matter what type of technology you are using in your classroom.. iPads, computers, Chromebooks, etc. It Works! Now your students can answer questions, play review games, and interact with your content in a fun and engaging way for FREE! I especially love it because it is colorful and much more eye catching than some of the other student response apps/sites/devices. Go to Get Kahoot to register and get started.

Newest Appleseeds Post


Here's my latest post for SDE's Appleseeds Blog:



Finding the balance between using technology and being unplugged has become a real challenge. We benefit so much from having tools to help us learn, create, curate, and communicate, sometimes it is easy to get distracted by our resources and miss the very best moments of life. Let me explain.
If my family had a mantra, it just might be, “Let’s Hit the Road!” We love to travel and take vacations. It doesn’t matter if it’s a beach, the mountains, or anywhere in between. We are always ready to explore. Recently, we took a weekend trip to Chicago, one of our favorite places. We visited the Bean, had our deep dish pizza, and made our way to check out life under the sea at the Shedd’s Aquarium.
An interesting conversation emerged within minutes of our peering into the water tanks filled with colorful fish and peculiar eels. My son, Austin, was the first to notice so many people snapping pictures of anything that seemed to move without much thought to what they were photographing. Austin stated that as much as he enjoyed taking pictures, the aquarium should be experienced without photos. He said the memories made would be stronger if you actually interacted with the exhibits, animals, etc. by observing and reading the information provided by the aquarium. We all agreed and we leisurely moved from room to room taking in the sites and chatting about the unusual critters we noticed. We had a very relaxed and enjoyable tour.
The next day we were watching the local news as we prepared to go back out into the city and a story caught all our attention. The newscaster was reporting on recent scientific studies that seem to show our brains will remember more in places like museums and zoos if we experience them with our own senses and not through the camera lens. When most people take pictures at events or new locations, the shots are usually random and without much understanding of what they are photographing. The argument can be made that we take those photos to remember things later, but the research goes on to show that the chances of us actually looking at all those random pictures are slim to none. So, my brilliant son was correct! We all felt a lot better about not having nearly as many pictures on our phones and cameras from our travels the day before. There is power in just living in the moment and creating our own memories without the worry of snapping pictures at every turn.
I believe we need to remember this idea in the classroom as well.  As we choose technology and digital tools, we want to balance them with hands on learning and rich discussions. We must live in the moment and have students experience learning with all their senses so that they will not only retain the information, but also create their own mental images of the content. It is certainly ok to snap a few pictures along the way. We just don’t want to miss something amazing while we are adjusting our cameras.