Archive | May, 2012

Vimeo for Videos

31 May

A fantastic alternative to YouTube is Vimeo.  Unlike YouTube, Vimeo’s website isn’t block by Websense on most networks and its HD quality videos look beautiful on all screens, including the iPad.  In addition to its search function, the Vimeo iPad app allows users to shoot, edit and upload their own videos.

I’ve used HD videos from Vimeo when creating interactive textbooks for the iPad.  This time lapse video of the Canadian Rockies is a great example of the quality of clips available on the site.

Here’s a Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app!

Check out this Common Core lesson plan on using interactive textbooks in your classroom!

*This website isn’t censored so make sure you search and preview before sharing with students

This app is also available on Android devices.

ESPN Map Madness

29 May

After pinpointing a location on the map…

UPDATE: This app is no longer available in the app store.  In the meantime check out this great map app!

A great game for getting students excited about United States geography is the ESPN Map Madness app. Using clues like team logos and home courts, this app asks you to pinpoint on a map the location of professional and college, football and basketball teams. Players are awarded points for their speed and accuracy. It’s a great alternative to straightforward geography practice. A little prior knowledge about popular sports teams can go a long way!

Check out my common core aligned lesson plan using maps on iPads in the classroom!

… you’re awarded points for your answer.

Test Prep Aids for the Teacher – Pacing

27 May

Although the New York State tests for elementary students are finished for this year, I know that I’m not the only person with test prep still on their mind.

My students always need help with pacing and it’s tough keeping kids excited about something that is stressful for everyone. I love the free iPad timer apps that help us stay aware of the time we spend reading passages and answering questions.

There are free timer apps to help students practice pacing. I often project the timer on the board like a countdown clock, working my students towards a goal. When students are practicing independently or working with partners they can set their own iPad timers to keep track of their progress.

One free timer app I like is Timer+.

Other uses for the timer:

  • Setting time limits for classroom activities
  • Monitoring everyday reading stamina
  • Share your ideas in the comment section!


25 May

If you’re interested in starting a class website WordPress is a free site that offers you a blog format to update homework assignments, upload pictures and share links with students and their families.

The WordPress app makes it quick and easy to update your blog on the go. This app works just as well on the iPhone as the iPad. I’ve taken a quick photo at an school assembly and uploaded it with one or two sentences to the school website in a minute or two – just like sending a text with a photo.

This app is also available on Android devices.


Stack the States

23 May

Stack the States in a must have app that’s fantastic for geography practice at any age. Students answer multiple choice questions and have visuals of each state as they choose their answer.

There is a free version of this app that my students use on their iPad, the paid app seems unnecessary because the lite version is solid. Check out Stack the Countries for world geography questions.

Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app in the classroom!

Here’s another Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app in the classroom!

Check out my lesson using iPads to teach geography in the classroom!

This app is also available on Android devices.

Curriculum Planning – Common Core Learning Standards

21 May

Most schools are beginning to embrace the national Common Core Learning Standards. If you haven’t heard of them or are not sure if your district is moving in this direction, learn more here.

The Common Core Learning Standards are straightforward and user friendly – but you need to know them in order to plan instruction aligned with these new standards.

I like to avoid carrying folders and creating piles of paper as much as possible. There are free Common Core Learning Standards apps that allow you to keep these standards – for allgrades and subject areas – at your finger tips. Instead of sifting through google search results or piles of paper, a copy of the Common Core Learning Standards will always be close at hand.

This is one free Common Core Learning Standard app that I like.

This is a great resource to share with parents and students too!

Check out my Teachers Pay Teacher Store for common core aligned lesson plans that correspond to different iPad apps!

This app is also available on Android devices.

Reader View – Internet Browsing

19 May

My students conduct Internet research on a variety of topics throughout the year.  Many sites give the option of a “Reader View” that eliminates sidebars, advertisements and focuses only on the text of the website.  This is a feature that works on iPads and Laptops – try it out!

Wikipedia isn’t always my favorite but reader view works great on this site

Students can navigate the text in a more user friendly view

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