Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Story Buddy App

This summer I am working with the Lunch and Learn summer school program at my school.  With the K-1 class, I am using an iPad app called Story Buddy.  In class they read Nate the Great and the Monster Mess. Then, students wrote a story and drew a picture about their own monster. I then got to pull small groups of 5 to have them type and illustrate their stories on the iPad. They loved this part. I heard... "I love writing." "I love typing." "Writing on the iPad is so fun."

I had students first type their story into the app. They included a title page and then they typed one sentence per page. Then they got to go back in and add illustrations to each page.  The app also has the option to insert pictures from the Camera Roll so students could have saved pictures from internet research or taken their own with the camera. After I print out their stories then they will be able to staple them together and take the stories home to share with their parents.

Check them out hard at work....

Here are a couple finished works of art...

My Munster (love their spelling/typing)

*Since the school iPads aren't hooked up to print, I saved them as a PDF and opened in my Evernote account to print from the computer.  From Evernote I also have the option to email the stories straight to their parents.

While they really enjoyed using the iPads, the monster cookies that they also made were a huge success :-)
Pre-Icing Cookies.
Our fabulous chef in the kitchen baked them for us!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


So this time last year I left the school, state, and grade level where I was teaching.  This time I'm staying at the same school and only switching positions so in theory it should be easier...right?  I keep telling myself this but a lot is going to be different next year.  For 6 years I have taught in the classroom whether it be grade 3, 4, or 5; inclusion with special education or gifted/talented; math and science or everything.  Now I'm leaving the regular classroom and I will be one of the school's two technology teachers. I will teach grades K-5 as a related arts/specials/elective teacher.  There are lots of good things about this (in no particular order)...

  1. Experience teaching the little ones.  Having only taught grades 3-5 this new position will provide some much needed experience teaching K-2 if I want to move into other positions.  Plus they are just so darn cute :-) ... when they're not having bathroom accidents, their hands aren't in their mouths or up their nose, etc.
  2. Opportunities to lead professional development.  I read blogs and spend way too much time on Pinterest (follow me here) so I have all these ideas swimming around in my head.  I love the opportunity to share them with others - friends, colleagues, new teachers, etc.  I already have the chance to present a session on iPads in Kindergarten with a K teacher at my school this August.  In this role, I should be posting on the blog more regularly.
  3. 1 subject to teach - just at 6 different levels
  4. No homework to assign (or grade)
  5. None of the paperwork that comes from being a homeroom teacher
  6. Only 45 minutes with each class - blessing and a curse
There are also some things that I'm not looking forward to....
  1. Teaching the little ones.  I think it will be a big learning curve on breaking everything down into smaller and slower steps.
  2. Breaking technology down in 6 different levels.  The NETS standards aren't very specific.
  3. Teaching 6 different grades and trying to integrate 6 different reading, math, social studies, and science curriculums.  It is a great opportunity to help support teachers in the implementation of Common Core standards but I just have to learn them all.
  4. I'm packing up my classroom library and math resources.  I love books. I love math. I must find a way to still pass on my joy for these subjects.
  5. Only 45 minutes with each class. Luckily classes come to technology twice in a 6 day rotation so I'm able to see them a bit more than the other related arts teachers.
  6. No kids that are "mine." I realize that I will now get to claim all the students at the school but I won't have the same relationship with them.
  7. Oh and did I mention that as of June I was actually going to change from 5th grade to 4th grade so my students just took stacks of things and put them in my new classroom and now I have to go through everything to decide what to send to storage and what to move to the computer lab?! Ahh!
Wish me luck!