Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chinese New Year Interactive E-Book for Smartboard

My students this year are absolutely LOVING non-fiction texts!  It took them a while to become interested in them, but every since I started making these interactive e-books, they can't get enough!  They have to play close attention to the text in order to be able to answer the questions, and they love to hear the sound effects when they get the question correct!

With the Chinese New Year (a.k.a. the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival) coming up this Friday, January 31, I figured I'd give them a look and the history and traditions of the holiday.  I learned so much while I was researching to write this book and I can't wait to share it with my students this week!

This Smart Notebook file is sure to get your students interested in the Lunar New Year!  I hope this helps to inspire all of the students to learn more about other cultures!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to Make a Photo Mosaic

I have to admit I am obsessed with these photo mosaics.  I've given them as gifts for bridal showers, birthdays, and Christmas!  I also made one with all of the pictures from my wedding and had it printed on canvas and it's hanging up in my living room looking absolutely fantastic!  Do you want to know the best part of all!?  They're actually SUPER easy to make! 

I gave one of these as a gift to a coworker this Christmas and another coworker's first reaction was, "So you're making a tutorial for that, right!?"  So here it is... I added this option to the poll just for her... and it won the poll this week!

First things first, download the program here:

Now it's time to play along.  I promise it's much easier than it looks!

Here are two versions of the mosaic for you to see close up.

This one has 1500 tiles:

This one has 5000 tiles:

All of your settings will depend largely in part on what pictures you use, so be sure to play around with the settings!

You can download this tutorial as a PDF by clicking this picture!
Note: This tutorial is hosted on Google Drive.  To save it from there, just open the file and click File > Download to save onto your computer!

 I've been playing around recently with using Smart Notebook files on other types of interactive white boards, and I figured I'd offer help for one of the whiteboards on the poll: How to open a Smart Notebook File on a Mimio board!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Change the Colors/Features of items on Different Slides in PowerPoint!

We’ve all been there.  You finish making a document (or want to re-design an older document), then you change your mind about what font or color scheme you want to use.  It's such a pain to switch each item individually... but no worries, it's super easy to switch!

This one won the poll by a landslide!

Please note, this doesn't work in all versions of PowerPoint.  Please let me know if it works/doesn't work in your PowerPoint version!

You can download this tutorial as a PDF by clicking this picture!
Note: This tutorial is hosted on Google Drive.  To save it from there, just open the file and click File > Download to save onto your computer!

If you want to know how to change the formatting in the first place, try these tutorials:

For next week's poll, I'll be adding an option based on the request of one of my lovely coworkers... how to make a photo mosaic!  I love making these as gifts!  I can't take credit for having created this one, but it was easier to take it from the internet than to text all of my friends to see if they'd mind me posting their photos online!

Monday, January 13, 2014

How to Track Your Students' Data Digitally

As teachers, we spend so much time on assessing our students so we can provide data-driven instruction for them.  How nice would it be to keep track of everything easier?  I came across the website ESGI (Educational Software for Guiding Instruction) and I am loving it!

It has so many pre-made assessments, such as alphabet recognition and letter sounds, plus, you can create your own assessments based on your school's curriculum!!!  Once you enter your students, you can pull them one-on-one to run the tests.  Once they're done, the system scores the tests and tells you how many they got correct!

Giving the child the test is really easy also.  The only thing on the screen is the letter or word that the child needs to read, and all you need to click is yes or no based on if they got the letter correct.   If you want to reassess the child a few weeks later, it will automatically test them on ONLY the letters that they missed unless you want to test them on all of them again. Nice and easy!

If you want to re-test all letters or words (e.g. if you're worried someone has lost progress), you can click "Edit Details" and move all words back to incorrect in order to test all of the words again.

The website also has some really cool options to analyze your data.  Check the items in the right hand side. I picked a few of my favorites and show them below.

You can export the data of the class if you want to import it into excel, or if you like a numbers based view of things.  This is under the "Class Total Reports."

You can also do a "Bar Graph Analysis" which shows how many of your students have mastered each individual piece of information.  This is awesome for grouping students or finding what concepts need to be taught to the class on a whole.

You can also print a letter to an individual student's parent (or to all of your parents) with whatever data you want.

This is what the letter looks like.  Very straightforward and to the point!

You can also print flashcards for individual students with whatever information they're missing!

Now... for my FAVORITE part of ESGI... making your own tests!  There are so many pre-made tests (sight words, CVC words, CVCe words, blends, beginning sounds, final sounds, and many, many more), but curriculum from school to school is so different that it's nice to be able to customize everything to your curriculum.  I decided to make lists for the sight words we teach each month.

 Making the test was easy, I just clicked "Add New Test," then started "Adding New Questions."

I added my words individually (with the title "me" and the text as "me"), then clicked "Save Question and add another."  I kept adding until all of my words were done.  

It showed right up on my main page and all I had to do was run the test!  

So easy!  The best part is that now I can save myself LOTS of time grading and I can still share the information with parents easily just by printing the parent letter!  I'm so excited to use this with my class!

If you're interested in learning more about ESGI, you can check out this video here! I've been using it on my iPad right through the website without any issues which is very convenient!

If you're interested in the program you can try a 60 day trial for free.  And... it normally costs $199, but if you sign up through this link  you'll get it for $159 for your first year!  In the scheme of things, it's well worth the money for the amount of time it saves!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Martin Luther King Jr. Interactive E-Book for the Smartboard

My students are just loving the interactive e-books that I've been making lately!  The interactive elements really help to keep them engaged with the non-fiction text.  And of course, they love reading the books on the smartboard - the large pictures are so much easier to see!

Martin Luther King Jr. Interactive E-Book for Smartboard

The book has great information text about MLK Jr., as well as questions to test for comprehension.  When they get the question correct, it cheers for them!  They just love it! Click the picture above to check out the book on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Or... be one of the first two people to comment and I'll email it to you for free!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Day Interactive E-Book

Common Core is all about non-fiction texts... which is absolutely awesome IF you can find a high quality non-fiction text that is appropriate for your grade level.  Sometimes, this is easy, but other times this is a major pain... especially when you teach Kindergarten.  Most books are incredibly advanced, while others are way too simple.

Anyway, this year, I decided to start creating more e-books so that I can really tailor the curriculum to the needs of my students.  Last month, I created an e-book called Animals that Hibernate and my students just love the interactive pages.  This month, I struggled to find a nonfiction text for New Years Day... so I researched the holiday and wrote one!

I actually learned a lot while I was researching and this book has all of the important information that I found... including the fact that New Year's Day used to be on March 1st!  (No Joke, January and February were non-existent for quite some time!  I was shocked and my students LOVED learning something that their siblings and parents probably didn't know!  Click the picture below to check out the book on TPT.  It's a Smart Notebook file and has informational text as well as question pages!

Sorry for posting this so late!  For all of my lovely blog followers, I'll share it with the first three people to comment for free!