Friday, August 5, 2016

Augmented Reality

Throughout the last few weeks I had the opportunity to research augmented reality.  This rapidly growing industry is putting its fingerprint on every aspect of our lives.  Take a look at my 10 minute sneak peek video here.

You can take a look at some of my research here via my Pinterest board that I created for augmented reality.

During my research I had the opportunity to interview Jen Kimbrell from her blog Tech With Jen.  
Jen is an educator who focuses on technology integration and hosts her blog to provide professional development and resources for educators.  If you are looking to integrate augmented reality into your classroom, Jen's blog is a great starting point as she has several products for teachers to use in their classrooms.  

You can see our complete interview here.

I also had the opportunity to interview Amanda Dewall who is a technology integration specialist and media specialist for her district.  Take a look at her responses below.

What is your current teaching role? My role is technology integrationist and media specialist. In our district, each building has a teacher assigned to teach library classes as well as technology. It's a fairly new role for our district and new for me. I am used to being the technology coordinator, as this was my role at previous schools. I have lots of experience trouble shooting technology as the IT person, but thankfully I do not have to do this in my current role. I hope to some day pull away from the library and just be a technology integrationist either for the district or just my building.

How have you implemented A.R. into your classroom? I used AR 2 years ago at the high school level when I was a technology coordinator at a 9-12 building. I showed my students how to use AR and they created their own projects in my small, technology class. One student created a building that you could "go" inside of to view the inside. They created the house in Aurasma and exported it using Blender. At this building, I hosted a Tech Tuesday meeting for teachers which I had my technology students present AR to other teachers in the building. I had my students create examples of how AR could be used in classrooms. For example, they made a "meet the teacher" display where pictures came alive with a video recording of someone talking about themselves. I also had them show teachers how they could use worksheets to provide students with directions using a video overlay. Another example they created was a Spanish note card. Here, the English word was on the note card, but when you scanned the note card with the app, it revealed the Spanish translation in words as well as a voice saying the word. You can see these examples on my website.

What are some of your favorite resources to learn new ideas about using A.R. in the classroom? Since I haven't been able to use AR in a while, I haven't kept up with the resources. However, I do follow @allaugmented and @aurasma on Twitter for ideas.

What is one project with A.R. that you have heard about, but not tackled yet?  I would love to find the time to implement AR in the bulletin board example that I have on my website. I have also been toying with the idea of using AR in the library. I have been thinking about putting something up in the library that gives directions on how to find books in our online catalog. I have also been thinking about using AR for book reviews. There is also a library scavenger hunt that I found on TpT that I have thinking about doing. The biggest struggle I have with using the AR is the amount of set up in the beginning. If I use Aurasma, I have to make student accounts and they must be following my Aurasma channel or it will not work.

What app(s) do you use for A.R.? Aurasma. Others have used Layar

What else should teachers know about A.R.? When I used it 2 years ago, the process was not very user friendly. To get an aura to work, you must follow that person's channel.  This has deterred me from using it again with younger students. I need to look into the process on more time to see if they have changed the way it's set up. The app had lots of glitches so we were confined to using the website instead. I hope someone comes out (or has already come out with) an app that is geared towards younger students. From what I can tell, the Pokeman Go game is augmented reality at it's best. I guess this would be a great "in" for using AR in the classroom.

Five Minds For The Future

Howard Gardner's Five Minds For The Future book is a wonderful tool for teachers to reference to continue to develop as life-long learners.

You can find my Five Minds For The Future Vlog here.

 Gardner, H. (2008). Five Minds for the Future. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Back To School Sale

Don't miss some great deals during the Back To School Sale today and tomorrow!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fractions and Place Value Flipbooks Now Available!

I have two more flipbooks to offer you!  Take a peek at our Place Value and Fractions Flipbooks that are now available!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Now Featuring Flipbooks!

The drought has stopped!  I finally had some creative juices flowing and came up with 11 new products!  Spring Break does wonders for your brain!  Check out my new ELA and Math Flipbooks!  All of the addition facts from 1-10 are available as well as a bundle.  Click on either picture below to head to the flipbook category of my store.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday Savings: 3/13/16

Target has board games on sale, buy two get one free.  Grab classroom favorites such as Bananagrams, Connect Four, or Jenga and turn them into educational games for your room.  I wrote math facts on Connect Four pieces and Jenga pieces for an easy game center in my room.

Target also has Easter eggs and grass on sale this week, making it cheaper than Dollar Tree!  I used some grass and eggs to make a sensory bin for Little Man.  I use the eggs in my classroom to match math facts or hide a question inside.

HP Instant Ink Program is great!  If you have one of their specified printers, you can sign up to have ink automatically shipped to your house or classroom every month for as low as $2.99.  You get to choose the plan that works for you based on the average number of pages you print each month.  No more running out of ink at 9 p.m. when you have one last page to print.

Walmart has 55" stability balls on sale for $5.99!  This is an awesome price!  Grab a few for your classroom while they are still on clearance.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tech Tuesday - Flocabulary

Flocabulary is a hip hop/rap website focusing on vocabulary in the classroom.  I pick out my Flocabularies (yes, I made up that word) for the week and the kiddos are thrilled.  They ask for them and are thoroughly disappointed when they haven't made one for the topic we are covering that week.  The money rap is by far our favorite!  They had it memorized and belted it out every morning when we started math during those lessons.  The non-fiction text features one is also pretty awesome.  I typically use the Flocabularies at the beginning of each lesson so that they review what we talked about.  They would much rather sing along than even talk to their neighbor about our topic.  

We used the multiplication raps in order for 1-2 weeks for each set of facts.  This really helped the kiddos memorize their facts.  Check out this one on YouTube.  Don't worry, Flocabulary doesn't actually run through YouTube.  They just have a YouTube channel for you to check out some of their raps for free.

The price is a little much...$96/year, but it's worth it!  Not only do they have the raps for topics, but they also have a set of vocabulary words for each grade level with a rap for every 5-10 words.  Then, they include worksheets, quizzes, study guides, the lyrics, etc. to go with each rap.  

Check out the the free month long trial and then make your decision.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tech Tuesday: Epic Books

Have you heard of Epic?  It is an amazing way to get kiddos excited about reading.  The best part's free for teachers!  Sign up with your school email address and gain access to over 10,000 digital books.  You can even make up to 36 accounts for your students that they can customize with their interests and ability levels.  Take a peek below to see a small sample of what they have to offer.

 Do you see the chapter books?  Did you notice the non-fiction?  What about those classroom favorites like Eric Carle and Click, Clack, Moo?  These aren't just random books that no one has heard of, they are the best of the best.   The curriculum books are a fantastic way to incorporate literacy into every subject.  There are more science and math books than you could ever imagine.

My kiddos have been working on animal brochures on either penguins or polar bears.  I did a quick search, marked all of the books, I thought might work, as favorites and handed the iPads off to small groups.  They were in awe!  Half my groups had books and half had iPads, the next day, they switched.

The other day they asked if I would read Bear in Underwear on the smartboard.  I asked how they knew that Bear in Underwear was available and they said " is about bears."  How could I be upset?  I also got to introduce them to Scaredy Squirrel and they even bugged the librarian to order some Scaredy Squirrel books for the school.

Click on the Epic logo above to get started!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Savings: 2/28/16

This week's Sunday Savings are from Sam's Club.  I love shopping there for school supplies because they are so much cheaper than Staples, Office Max, etc.

$6.18 - Who needs that gooey white stuff that never seems to dry?  I always have these on hand.  These are white out tape dispensers and they are wonderful when you make a mistake in your grade book or need to change something in your calendar.  No more scribbles! 

$19.28 for 25 - These are vinyl page protectors that would work great for centers or small groups!  I made 5 copies of my center games or small group pages and put them in here.  It saves a ton of paper!  Do they really need to take every paper home?  Do you really need to check every paper that they do? 

$9.88 (online) or $8.64 (in store) for 32  -  Did you hear about the teachers that started ditching the regular pencils and only use mechanical pencils?  No, I'm not one of them...yet.  If you are ready to take the leap, this would be a great way to get started.  The teachers that I have heard about typically number their pencils so that they know who each pencil belongs to.  They only fill lead once a week and when they are out, they have to use a "boring" yellow pencil.  This discourages kids from purposely breaking their lead. 

$4.58 for 270 pieces - Of course you need the lead to go with those mechanical pencils.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday Savings!

Check out these deals that I found this week!

10 - Drawer Carts Only $24.98 At Sam's Club

Receive 20% Off Everything You Can Fit In The Bag At Staples

$4 BIC Mechanical Pencils At Staples

$40% Off All Valentine's Day Items At Michaels