Sunday, July 8, 2012

8 Easy Technological Things to Change Your Life

I have learned ALL KINDS of things today and I wanted to share them with my BF's {bloggy friends} :)

1. There is an app for iPads that allows you to create fonts!  It is called iFont Maker for iPad.  You all might have already known this, but Mrs. Stanford just told me about it! I don't have an iPad so I can't tell you anything about it, but she created a font of touchpoint numbers and has it free in her TpT store. Click HERE . to get there, but come back because you are going to want to read the rest of this!

2.  Stick Pick- Do you use Popsicle sticks with names on them in your classroom? In my room, we call them Fair Sticks because I explain to them how they help us be fair and give everyone a turn.  Well, now you don't have to write names on sticks and frown in disgust as your Sharpie bleeds into the wood and the names become all fuzzy! There's an app for that!  It is available in the iTunes Store,currently for $2.99.  
You enter your students' names, give it a shake, and out pops a stick.  Drawing names is not all it does.  During the setup, you choose a category of questions you want to focus on for each student.  If you choose Bloom's you also choose the level you want for that student: knowledge, comprehension, application, etc.  Rather than Bloom's, you can choose Bloom's Revised (the verbiage is different).  If you have a English as a Second Language learner, there is a category for that too!  Choose from beginning all the way to advanced.  Or, if you don't want the question prompts, you can choose 'stick only'.    Once a stick is drawn (by tapping the screen or shaking your phone), you can mark it as used or put it back in the can for another shot.  It even sounds like you are dropping a stick in a tin can!  This is a really cool app!  It is compatible with iPhones iOS 3.2 & higher, iPads, and iPod Touch.

3.  ClassDoJo-  An awesome behavior management tool for the classroom.  You set up your class online.  Once your class is in place, you log in to the website on your phone, save the link to your homescreen, then use your phone like a remote to add and subtract points. This.Is.So.Cool!  You can be in the cafeteria, see a child pick up a piece of trash and right then and there give her a point for helping others.  Or if you see a child out of his seat, click Out of Chair.  When you get back to the room, display the website for the class (projector, monitor, whatever you use) and they will see what they have.  There is even an option to email the behavior reports to parents.  The website is very user friendly and has fun little avatars to represent students.

4.  Dialmycalls.com-  Record a message via phone or upload, create a list of number to call, & pick a time and date to send the calls.  Bam! That's it.  Remind all your parents about the field trip or picture day in a matter of minutes, without getting stuck talking to that one parent...ha! Seriously, this is a cool website.  I haven't personally used it, but I'm agonna.  Of course there are packages to buy and fancy upgrades, but we are teachers and we like free.  Well get this, you can make up to 25 calls per week for FREE!  Check it out, but come back because I've got a few more little gems for ya.

5.  Kikutext.com- The slideshow below does a great job explaining it.  IMO, the best part is that you can do it through the computer.  You don't see the parents numbers (although you have them somewhere) and they don't see yours (if that matters to you).  Me- I just ordered 250 cards from Vista Print (For $10! Hurry and jump on that special if you need cards) and put every form of communication possible on them!  Click HERE  to receive $5 off your Vista Print order, because I love my readers! 

View more PowerPoint from Kikutext

6.  Mobile app for Facebook Fan Pages- I just recently started a Facebook page for my blog.  There was one thing that drove me crazy about it...When I was on my phone, I couldn't post things from my fan page only my personal account.  So today I was looking at the fan page (on the real computer) and there was the answer.  It was sitting right there staring me in the eyes.  An orange flag that said something to the effect of "Download the Mobile App for this Page"  so I said, DUH, here's the solution and downloaded.  Problem solved.  I now have a separate icon for my fan page and it works beautifully.  I keep saying fan page- is that what it is called? It's late and I'm not thinking very clearly so maybe not.  I'm no rock star or anything so to call you fans sounds weird.  Oh well.  Sorry I don't have a link for this one.  Search on Facebook.

7.  ScootPad- Practice Common Core reading and math skills online for FREE!  I learned about this one today from Kate from EduKate and Inspire.  She is one of the writers at Technology Tailgate.  

Both are great blogs.  Click on of the buttons below to read more!

8.  Edmodo- I am going to be honest, I have signed up for this, but have not fully explored it.  When you log in, it looks a bit like Facebook (to appeal to kids, I guess).  I THINK you have to have a district code.  Not 100% sure, but I think you do.  I found a short, voiceless, &  painless video that highlights some of the features, like a gradebook, calendar, polling options, etc.  In my opinion, this would be better for older students than younger.  


9.  That's all I've got! I hope you found something that you can use!

10.  Oh wait, I have a giveaway going on!  Click HERE to enter!




37 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, you have been busy!! I will be checking out a couple of these apps although we don't have an ipad at school....yet. One of our teachers uses edmodo (in Yr 5) and he loves it but yes I agree I think it is more appropriate for older kids. Love reading your blog will be checking out your FB page (:
    Tania
    Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

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    1. Thank you! I hope some of these really will make your life easier! :)

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  2. I think I want to buy an iPad JUST so I can create my own fonts!!!!!

    Shanyn
    Coffee, Kids and Compulsive Lists

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    1. I will second that! How fun would that be?!

      Kate
      EduKate and Inspire

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  3. I just came across your sweet blog- I don't know how I was not following you before but I'm glad I found 'ya!! Thank- you so much for sharing these wonderful ideas!!

    ColorMeKinder

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    1. Well thank you very much! I hope I don't disappoint! I really appreciate you stopping by.

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  4. LOVE the stick picker....I'm using that this next school year for sure!

    Thanks for all the other ideas too!

    Holly
    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

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    1. I think it's definitely goin to be worth the $2.99. Now I just have my fingers crossed that my district will ease up in the no cell phones policy and let us use them for instruction!

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  5. Great post Dana! I am pinning it so I can remember all of these great apps! I love the popsicle stick one! I am definitely buying that for next year. Thanks for sharing these. :)
    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

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    1. You're welcome. I love the Stick Pick too. I usually only get free apps, but I couldn't pass that one up!

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  6. This is such a helpful post! I love the Stick Pick and Class Dojo ideas! I just got an iTouch for my classroom last year so these will work great with it. So exciting....
    -Jaime
    Bright Concepts 4 Teachers

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    1. I'm so glad you found something that you can use!

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing this! I looove ClassDojo, & Scootpad looks great. I may have to look into purchasing Stick Pick =)

    Ashley
    The Resource Room Teacher

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    1. I did and it's really cool. Since I don't have my class roll yet, I played with it using my family's names!

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  8. Love me some Class Dojo. I can't wait to try out dial my calls. Do you think kikutext is similar to Remind 101? I've been using remind101 and LOVE it.
    Thanks for sharing your fabulous finds!

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    1. I knew I was forgetting something! I meant to mention Remind101. Yes it is very similar. With Kikutext you can send messages to individual people In addition to the whole group.

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  9. Thank you so much!! These are great ideas!!

    Melissa
    Frogs in first grade

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    1. You're welcome! thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Thank you very much for the great shout out for both blogs! This was a great blog post... I've been meaning to check out a few of those apps and sites. Thanks for the reminder!

    Kate
    EduKate and Inspire

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    1. Sure thing! I'm glad I found you!

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  11. YAY! I love your list! I plan on sharing about Scootpad on my blog today too! (Thanks Kate!) I hope you don't mind I share the stick pick app too? That is AWESOME! :) I just wish I could share with my admin that when my phone is out, it's not because I am texting but using apps! ;) I love following your blog!
    Dani
    Patterson's Porch

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    1. I don't mind at all- share away. I found it posted by someone on Facebook, I just can't remember who. I am totally going to ask my principal if I can use mine and promise I will ignore all texts!

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    2. Hi Dani! Thanks for spreading the love about Scootpad. I just heard back from Scootpad in an email and am going to update my post with the news they shared. They have been very responsive to my questions! Also, good luck with your admin! We are allowed to have our phones out, but are strongly encouraged not to have them out! We actually had 2 third grade teachers whose phones were stolen by students this year! Funny this is, we used the "find my phone" feature since they have iphones and were able to easily find which students took them!

      Kate
      EduKate and Inspire

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    3. Oh my gosh. That's hilarious that you found them that way! Love it!

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  12. How fun! Thanks for sharing so much! I love the Dialmycalls idea. I could really use that!

    Heather at TeachItToday!

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    1. I am looking forward to using that one as well!

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  13. Oo I really love the Stick Pick tool. I so wish we had Ipads so we could use all of these wonderful resources. Might just have to do up a Donor's choose project. Thanks for sharing all of the great finds. I have only heard of and explored a couple of them, but can't wait to explore a few more.

    Heidi
    My (Not So) Elementary Life

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    1. That's a great idea. Maybe I will look into that program too. I don't know much about it.

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  14. Thanks for sharing!
    Drop by anytime :)

    Tracy
    Creekside Teacher Tales

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    1. You've got a great classroom! Thanks for sharing all of the pictures. You gave me some ideas!

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  15. Thanks so much for sharing! These are all new ideas to me, and I think they are great!

    Delighted in Second
    Hope you will join my $20 TPT gift certificate giveaway!

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  16. I've been eyeing up the iFont Maker for a while. I'm also planning on using Class Dojo next year in one form or another. I still have to figure it out. :) Dialmycalls.com will be great for those parents who love to chat. Thanks for posting all these great ideas!!

    Angi
    ★ First-Graders from Outer Space ★

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    1. That exactly what I thought about Dialmyalls. I can save so much time-and possibly paper if I make a recorded phone call instead of little slips of paper with reminders!

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  17. This is an awesome list Dana! Thanks so much for sharing this :)

    Miss L
    Miss L's Whole Brain Teaching

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    1. Thank you for reading all the way to the end of my ramblings! I plan on giving a list of tetchy things I discover every now and again, so stay tuned!

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Thanks so much for your comments! I love reading them!

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