Thursday, June 26, 2014

How IVC Relates to CC ELA Anchor Standards

Here are some words and phrases from the Common Core ELA Anchor Standards that I think you could easily apply to interactive video conference connections:

Content presented in diverse media and formats

Use technology… to interact and collaborate with others

…Participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners

Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, use of evidence/rhetoric.

For times when you want kids to present by IVC:

Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks

If you are doing video conferencing and keep track of the CC standards you embed in your lessons, this might help when you plan your next connection...  

Can you think of other ways the Common Core standards relate to the use of interactive video conferencing?  Comment below and let me know!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A History Lesson Tied to CCLS & ELA

I had heard of Anna Jarvis, the woman responsible for Mother's Day, but wasn't aware of the whole story.  I just read an article called "Mother's Day Turns 100: Its Surprisingly Dark History" from National Geographic.

I found it interesting and could see this type of article being used in a few ways. 

For example, if you're doing a lesson on singular and plural possessives, this article talks about how Anna Jarvis fought to keep Mother's Day as a singular possessive.  She wanted Mother's Day to be less about capitalism and more about honoring someone's own mother. 

When I think of lessons that I remember, I think of stories tied to the skill that helps me remember long term.  This article might be a good example to help students understand the difference between Mother's (singular possessive) and Mothers' (plural possessive).

If I were preparing students for Common Core assessments, I might ask the following questions to help students learn to make claims and cite evidence:

1. In the title of the article, Mother's Day is described as having a "dark history."  What does "dark" mean in the title?  Use evidence from the article to support your answer.

2. How did the observance of Mother's Day change over time?  How did this change affect Anna Jarvis?  Use details from the story to support your answer.

Use the Comments section to share questions that you might ask your students about this article. Feel free to comment about how to adapt the questions I created to help make them better.

Monday, January 27, 2014

iPad Apps that Support Literacy

I did some research for my Addison teachers on iPad apps that support literacy.  I thought I would share with everyone.  If you have others that help develop literacy skills, please comment and share below.

Before I started hunting for apps, I wanted to familiarize myself with some strategies for using iPads to foster literacy.  I found this archived webinar in which Richard Colosi shares strategies for integrating iPad in Literacy Circles.   It is an hour long, but well-worth the time.  He shares some incredible strategies.

Chicktionary: (Free w/ the option to purchase more puzzles) This is a great game to play different levels to learn new vocabulary, review spelling and have a great time with different challenges.

Conundra: (Free) Conundra is a simple anagram game that is easy to learn, but hard to put down. Solve anagrams that are from from six to ten letters long. See how your performance varies over time and by time of day and day of the week. A great way to find out when your thinking is sharpest!

English Idioms Illustrated: (Free) What is the meaning behind English IDIOMS, and where do they come from?  Join Professor Potts to discover the history of HUNDREDS of beautifully illustrated English idioms.

Martha Speaks: ($0.99) A US Dept. of Education-funded study found target vocabulary improved up to 31 percent for children ages 3-7 who played this app over a two-week period. Includes FOUR games starring Martha the talking dog from the popular PBS KIDS TV series.

My Word Wall: ($1.99) Help your child develop early reading skills with Word Wall. Watch them develop into confident and strong readers.

Phrase Game: (Free) Try to get your teammates to guess the phrase before time is up. The timer is ticking throughout the entire game and becomes more urgent toward the end of each round. In Classic mode you pass the device from team to team after each phrase.

Word Wizard ($2.99): "Speak ‘N Spell for the iPad Generation" - The New York Times

ABC Pocket Phonics: (free) work on letter sounds, letter writing, and 160 first words (try the lite version first and see if you think it is worth upgrading)

All About Letters Interactive Activities: ($1.99) Kids explore the whole alphabet.  Animated lessons cover letter formation, letter sounds, etc.  Ages 4-6 years

iWriteWords: ($2.99) teaches your child handwriting while playing a fun and entertaining game

Montessori Letter Sounds: ($2.99) teaches pre-reading skills such as letter sounds and shapes in colorful, uncluttered, and self-directed activities

Phonics Genius: (Free) over 6,000 words grouped by phonics sounds. This app is awesome to teach phonemic awareness.

Open Wide Snap eBook: ($0.99) Kids build reading confidence and become better readers with words that highlight as they are read.  Animated and Interactive, words that zoom up and are spoken when pictures are touched

Audio Memos: (Free) voice recorder for the iPhone and iPad.  Great for recording student voices to talk about fluency with students. 

Garageband: (Free) turns your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch into a full-featured recording studio to record audio (and to add musical accompaniment) – great for podcasting.

Puppet Pals: (Free) Create your own unique shows with animation and audio in real time

iMovie: ($4.99) create movies with special effects, sound, music, images and video shot with your iPad

Idea Sketch: (Free) draw a diagram - mind map, concept map, or flow chart - and convert it to a text outline, and vice versa

Tools 4 Students: ($0.99) 25 graphic organizers supporting common comprehension skills like main idea and detail, sequencing, compare and contrast etc. Each organizer can be used again and again

Friday, December 6, 2013

Embed YouTube Video in a Flipchart

If you want to embed video into an ActivInspire flipchart, I have a blog post for you  :-)

There are several online tools you can use to download and embed video right into your flipchart.

This helps make sure you have materials you need in case the internet is down and you have a class to teach.  It is also great for avoiding inappropriate "suggested videos" at the end of YouTube videos, if you are showing a video to little ones...  You also avoid seeing the comments at the bottom of the videos that are sometimes inappropriate.

Keep copyright law in mind and cite your sources! Once downloaded, you should use a program like Any Video Converter or FreeMake Video Converter to take a shorter clip out of a longer video before you embed it into your flipchart. (FreeMake Video Converter is on our GST Software Center for you to download at work). Handout (Go to website) Handout (Go to website)


You can also embed a video directly from YouTube without downloading it.  Follow the directions below:

Go to

Search for and locate a video you want to embed.


Deselect the checkbox next to SHOW SUGGESTED VIDEOS

 Left click and drag to select the HTML code in the box, right click and COPY it.

Go to ActivInspire:


Right click in the box and PASTE the HTML code in it.  Add http: to the YouTube address in the code before you click OK.

That's it!  You'll see a player with a play button you can use to play and pause the video.  Have fun!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Promote Language

I was meeting with a middle school French teacher today and she shared this site with me:

It looks like an excellent resource for ELA and World Language teachers.  There are ideas to help you plan lessons using a wide variety of strategies.  Their goal is to "... share tried-and-true activities that are also rooted in research...".  They want  you to look at the techniques and associated the activities, change them to meet your needs, and share them with colleagues.
Check it out and let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Common Core Checklists and Rubrics

Have you seen these Common Core resources for teachers?

I found these Common Core Checklists on a blog called The Curriculum Corner.  These checklists are an excellent tool to help you track the standards you've worked on with students during the school year.

Kathy Schrock also has a list of Common Core assessments and rubrics on her website.

Here is a Common Core Standards Writing Rubric for Grades 9-10 and 11-12.

Check out the Smarter Balanced Writing Rubrics posted on the Saluda County Schools Website. 

Do you have any Common Core resources you'd like to share?  Please leave a comment!  :-)