Category Archives: Uncategorized

Explain Everything with Explain Everything App Now on Chromebooks

Explain Everything is one of the most versatile, powerful apps that I have used in the classroom setting.  Check out the website for Explain Everything at

I like this simple tutorial showing the basic features of Explain Everything:

You can add photos from your camera roll and edit the photos in a very creative way.  Watch this video for some amazing tips:

Here is a first grade Explain Everything video about the Life Cycle of Butterflies

One more resource for you to refer to is this website of video tutorials at


Publishing Student Work on Your GCSD Blog Via Schooltube

Publish Student Work

After attending several technology conferences this summer, one of the greatest “aha moments” that I would like to share with you is how powerful it is to publish students’ work on your blog.  Students learn so much by creating videos, digital stories, research projects, writing poems, stories, creating dances.  They will work much harder to do their very best and put much more effort in their project if they know it is being published to a larger audience than just their teacher or posted on a bulletin board.  When they know that students from other classes at school will watch their video, they will focus more on the content and creation. When they realize that students from other schools in the district, state, and country view their work, they get really excited. It is incredible when teachers, students, parents, grandparents, cousins from all around the world visit your blog to view students’ work and share it with others.  It is Common Core Collaboration, Research, Informational Writing at it’s best.

My goal this year is to lead teachers to create blogs and publish students’ work and screen recordings so students from other schools can collaborate and share ideas. When a student was asked “Who gets more out of you making a video to teach others how to solve the math equation, you or those who view the lesson?”  The student responded, “I get much more out of it because it makes me feel important and valued. It makes me do my best work and forces me to focus on the process.  ”

Register for a Schooltube account tutorial

Upload videos to Schooltube tutorial

GCSD Blog publish video tutorial

GCSD Blog Using HTML or Embedding

GCSD Setting Up Your Blog Tutorials

Educreations in a 1 iPad Classroom

I worked with a first grade class this week during their literacy centers.  3 students at a time used Educreations on the Teacher’s iPad to create a story using Sh, Ch, and Th words.  Students brainstormed words that began with these sounds and I used the web feature in Educreations to type in the words they wanted to write about in their stories. They inserted the picture onto the page, re-sized the photos,  and created sentences about the pictures.  I typed the sentences for them. They underlined the words with the targeted sounds. Next, they read the sentences as we recorded the lessons.  Finally, we emailed the link to their teacher so she can post it on her class blog.

Here are some examples:

Group 4

Group 3

Group 2

Group 1

Create and share amazing video tutorials with the free Educreations iPad app:

Students are the Experts: Let them Teach!

Learning pyramid

Here are some great examples of students sharing their knowledge with others using Ask3, School Tube, Video recordings, and Edmodo. Students remember 90% of what they teach others. Let them teach!

Research Using Edmodo and Ask3

QR Codes

Kindergarten Place Value

Reading Fluency: 2nd and 3rd Grade Classrooms

Geometry Menu

Electricians at Work

ActivExpression Tutorials

One of the most powerful pieces of technology that can change the face of education today is not the iPad or the Windows 8 tablet, it is the use of ActivExpressions or student response systems. These handheld devices automatically raise student engagement in the classroom.  The fact that students and teachers receive instant feedback after voting changes the environment of the classroom immediately. Teachers can see exactly which questions students missed or which students have mastered the content and need to be challenged.  The beauty of using the Activexpressions is that teachers are able to differentiate instruction based on student data and feedback. Planning lessons using the Acitvexpressions will make a huge impact on your students lives and make your days of grading papers a thing of the past. Finally, we have to share the flipcharts with grade levels with common assessments/surveys. Use these for formative assessments.

There are 4 basic ways to use ActivExpressions.
1. On the fly teaching or Express Poll
2. One question on the page using the Question Manager
3. Self-Paced questions by adding more than one question n the Question Manager
4. Question Generator for Math Facts (no more grading math fact quizzes:)

ActivExpression Tutorial for On the Fly Questions or Using the Express Poll.

Self-Paced ActivExpressions   Her explanations about levels is incorrect. 

Analyzing Test Results

Question manager

ActivExpression LiveBinder

Lessons Learned from the 1:1 Laptop Initiative in Mooresville, NC

Recently, I was able to travel to Mooresville, NC to see K-6 students using laptops in a 1:1 environment. The first school that we visited was Mooresville Intermediate School for grades 4-6.  We arrived at 8:30 just as they finished the News Show, which they broadcasted in English and Spanish. The Spanish speaking students are much more interested in and excited to hear important news and events in their native language.  The principal took us on a tour of the building,  the first room we visited was the Help Desk classroom. It is staffed with a full time Technician. She was formally a kindergarten assistant who enjoyed working with technology. She takes damaged laptops and troubleshoots issues. They also have a district technician who visits to take the machines apart if there are bigger problems involved. Some common occurrences they take care of are resetting passwords, juice or water spills on the keyboards, cracked screens, and even insects inside the computer.

At 8:45-9:15 they have Enrichment and Remediation stations during Homeroom. This is a period of time when students log onto their Portal to check assignments to see if they need to turn in any late work, redo assignments or go on to enrichment activities.  M, W, F are Math Enrichment and Remediation days, T, Th are Reading remediation.  All of their work is posted on the portal and this is where they upload their work. 4th -12th grade students can take their computers home, 3rd grade students leave their laptops at school. Differentiation and individualized instruction were apparent in every classroom. Students were working at their own pace, at their own level, and the teachers became guides on the side.

Students used graphic organizers as they conducted research and talked about their findings with partners and in groups as they completed the graphic organizers.  They used worldeducation games and study island to play games with students from all over the world. They used the website edheads  to perform hip surgery.  A class was using Edmodo for a book review, students were using Quizlet to study for tests and play games, and partners were writing a book using StoryBird. Each student had to write specific thoughts as posted by the teacher.

Many students were using virtual manipulatives for fractions and geometry. One accountability practice that we observed was the students took screen shots of their scores on games and showed that to the teacher. She was able to see at a glance if the students understood the concept or if they needed individual help from her.

Teachers used Pages (Word for non Macs) to create 100s, 10s, 1s cubes and students were to color the cubes to display fractions and decimals. A students was using Animoto to create a tornado video as she researched tornadoes.

Displayed on a bulletin board in the hallway, were book reviews. The covers of books were stapled to the board with QR codes attached. The QR codes linked to iMovie Book Trailers created by students.

Next school we visited was Rocky Road Elementary School for K-4. The students in K5-grade 2 shared laptops between grade levels. The classrooms would have 6 laptops per classroom that they used for literacy and math stations. Several students were using Raz Kids and for reading stations.  For math they were using and for math stations and

The National Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Mark Edwards, met with us after our tour and talked about the culture shift their district went through before they ever introduced the 1:1 concept.  They had meetings with the community, identified teacher leaders and led professional development about how to be teacher leaders. They began thinking “What is best for the students?”.  They met with grade levels from all schools and projects their test data (MAP data for us) on the screen for each teachers and discussed….what is it that this teacher is doing to get these test results? What is the secret? They shared their tips for success. They all believed in their philosophy Every Child Every Day and it showed.

Here is a link to a YouTube video about the visit.