Mind Blown!!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014 2 comments

First, I need to apologize.... I feel like my blog has become nothing but an ad for my teachers pay teachers store. I've been spending a lot of time on my teachers pay teachers because well.... it's summer. I've been treating it like a part-time job that I work on after the kiddos go to bed and I've been creating some amazing stuff to revamp my beginning of the year units. But I need to get back to blogging!!!!

I have also been doing some amazing things with Ed Tech this summer. First off I took my first grad class since 1998. It was a fast and furious five day tech course and it was great to have a week to just play around with edtech. The coolest tech thing I've done, though, is attend a course I started today. It's given by the Edtech Teachers and if you haven't heard of them you totally need to look into them. I took this amazing two day workshop on how to use tech to meet the needs of all the students and your class as well as struggling learners. The class was the best class I've ever been to my entire career. I learned so many things that I didn't know I could do just with my own computer! I decided to create a list of five things that absolutely just blew my mind. I also included a Blendspace I created at the end of the page to show you everything that I learned.

Mind Blown #1 Did you know that you can organize your Google searches by reading levels? If you Google "Advanced Google Search". You will get a page like this.

You can organize your searches by file type, date published, and other filters. I love that you can organize by reading level. It's not the foolproof but when you choose show "only basic result" very kid friendly searches show up.

Mind Blow #2 I am always looking for new ways to differentiate readings in my class. I was introduced to this amazing website called printfriendly.com. With printfriendly.com you insert the URL of the webpage you would like to read. Once it loads it up, you can actually delete pictures, sidebars, paragraphs, an actual sentences. It saves as a PDF file. This is a fabulous way to take a current event article and make 3 to 5 different versions for the struggling readers in your class.

Mind Blown #3

For those of you that have been reading my blog, you've probably noticed that I've been trying to accommodate readings in my classroom by adding videos, screen casting, and audio. I've been using different apps and trying different websites. What I didn't know is that the fabulous MacBook I have can do it without downloading anything. If you go to your QuickTime player underneath File you can do a new screen recording. I can screen cast right from my computer with no other add-ons whatsoever. Fabulous!

Mind Blown # 4

Did you know that if you have a Mac you have the amazing capability of taking any reading and summarizing it quickly? Find an article that you like on the Internet and copy it. Open up notepad on your Mac computer and paste the article into it. Once you do this you can right click and "summarize" is one of the options. There's a bar that you can actually scroll up and down to tell how large how small you want the summary. How unbelievable is this? Now I can take any article and summarize it so I can make different copies forget! Amazing!

Mind Blown #5

Lastly, I just found out that just by clicking the little microphone and my iPad I can dictate. I started in special-education 17 years ago. When we first started we would spend hundreds of dollars on Dragon speech software. I have never seen a more intuitive speech to text app and than what comes right inside this iPad. Actually, this entire blog post was written just using the speech to text app. Again mind blown!

Below, I've included a link to my Blendspace page that incorporates how to videos and websites I described that I learned from that fabulous Edtech teachers conference. Look at the last two links on the page because those go back to the Edtech teachers website which is just amazing within itself.


So, are there any amazing things that you were using in your class to accommodate fear struggling learners? I would love to hear from everybody!



13 Colonies Interactive Notebook and sooooo much more!

Friday, July 18, 2014 No comments
So I just finished a new item and I'm really proud.  It's an interactive notebook activity on the thirteen colonies.  I've included soooo much, but let's not read about it.....let's watch it!

I saw another seller who made "commercials" for her goods and thought, "This is right up my alley!"  If you like what you see, head on over to Teachers Pay Teachers and check it out!!!

Find the Claim Before You Write One!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 3 comments
I totally forgot to tell you about this great item I made because I started making it over April Vacation stopped and didn't finish till the first days of summer.  Labor of Love!!!
I have found that many of my kiddos struggle with writing a claim because they just can't recognize one themselves.  I created these task cards to help them.  On each task card, students are given two to three pieces of evidence supporting one side of a contemporary debate.  Using the evidence, students have to choose the best possible claim from three possibilities.  This is great as a quick review, a launch to claims, or remediation for your struggling writers.  Head on over and check it out!!!

Ancient Geography

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 No comments

Sorry my blogging has been spotty! I have been having an amazing summer between long walks, swimming in the pool, weddings, and grad classes. I have been able to fit in a couple of things I have wanted to do on Teachers Pay Teachers. First, I was able to finish up some fun geography task cards for Ancient India

Ancient China

And I bundled all my ancient geography task cards together for 20% off. These would make a great addition to your curriculum and a fabulous way to start all your units!!!

Head on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers page and check them out!!!