Category Archives: Technology

My Favorite Apps for Kindergarten

I am lucky enough to have a class set of iPads in my Kindergarten classroom and I am slowly working on becoming a blended classroom.

I thought I would share some of my favorite apps (and pictures!).  I’ve got several more apps I will share later but here are a few to start with. IMG_1776

We love using Raz-Kids! I use it in small groups as a warm-up read and students can use it at home as part of their homework.  We will whisper phones as students read the books to themselves.  I also have my students record themselves reading their chosen book so I can check in on their fluency. IMG_1777IMG_3066

One of the best apps for me as a teacher is Apple Classroom! Once I get each student connected (which takes a second at the beginning of each school year), I am able to monitor each students screen and I can watch the entire class all at once or specific students.  I can group students together and I can push out apps that will open automatically on my students’ apps, which saves time instead of having my students search for them. IMG_1913We love the I-Nigma QR code reader too! One of our literacy work stations is full of QR codes that tie in with our Science/SS or IB content.  Students can listen to stories and get some background knowledge about a topic. I teach them how to scan their code and then how to push the button to “go online”.  After that, I teach them how to close all the open windows in their internet browser so that they do not end up with lots of open windows.


I use the Reflector app on my computer and the camera app on my iPad to display things live.  This is my visual presenter. Here, I was streaming our chicks hatching last May live on our Promethean Board so all my students could watch the action. Its being held in place by a flexible neck stand from HUE. IMG_1995

We love using PicCollage Edu! In these photos we are finding the number 12 around our classroom (studying teen numbers!) and we are making collages to show all the places we were able to find it. IMG_1996

We had 12 chicks hatch, so one of my students snuck in a picture of them in their collage! #brilliant  I teach my students how to AirDrop me their work so they can share it with me.  It ends up coming through my Apple Classroom app, so I am able to see who sent it to me.  I can also display their work on our Promethean Board so we can talk about what each student was able to find. IMG_1997We also used PicCollage to show examples of our 5 Senses.

IMG_2857Not an app, but we store our iPads on our tables so they are ready to use when we need them each day.  Each iPad has a number sticker on the back so my students know which iPad is theirs. I got these plastic buckets from IKEA a few years ago and there was a perfect amount of space to store our iPads in them. IMG_1998

At the end of each day, my students put their iPad back in the cart and plug their iPad in.  They are responsible for plugging in their own iPad.  I help them the first few weeks, but most of them already know how to plug and unplug their iPad from home anyway.  The number on the back of their iPad corresponds with the place their iPad lives in the cart. IMG_1999

Sphero EDU is another app we love (you have to have a Sphero to use it!).  I created this mat out of a shower curtain last summer so my students could practice guiding Sphero to different letters of the alphabet.  IMG_2449

We used Sphero to make our way through these cones and to bowl! IMG_3413IMG_3417

Notes that comes pre-installed on iPads is another great app! My students can draw pictures and annotate photos they have taken to show their understanding.  Anytime they do this, they then AirDrop me their work. IMG_3064IMG_3065IMG_3073

OSMO!!! We LOVE OSMO!! I’ve written several grants to get most of the Osmo kits for our classroom and we are able to use these during our Discovery time at the end of the day.  Here is the new Hot Wheels kit! IMG_3165

These are the OSMO Coding kits.  I’m loving the problem solving skills that I am seeing developing as a result of this activity!IMG_3331IMG_3332 is a great site that will introduce your students to the world of coding! Although its not an app, I have bookmarked it to the home screen of our iPads so my students can get to it quickly. IMG_3400

The Ozobots app.  We like our Ozobots too and the app made it much easier for my K students to figure out how to manipulate and code the bots to perform different actions. IMG_3254

Last, but not least, iMotion–this app is free and its been the best! It takes a little while to figure out how to get K students to understand how to use it, but they are all pros now! Anytime we read a book, we create puppets or props to help us develop our retelling skills.  We then use the iMotion app to create a stop-motion version of the story.  This is what it looks like when that’s in progress! You can see some of our videos on my Twitter account (@fuzzlady77).  We’ve retold Rosie’s Walk and the Gingerbread Man so far. IMG_3255

When we retold the Gingerbread Man, we also used shoe boxes as a background.  I noticed from our first attempt when making our Rosie’s Walk videos, that we needed a way to stand our props up, so we added folded index cards to the back of the props to help them stand up.  The videos were great after that!!IMG_3534

What it looks like when a room full of K students all make stop-motion videos at the same time! 🙂  The app does allow for recording sound, but we have not yet done any voice overs–that will be something we do in the future!IMG_3536

I’ve got a whole other group of apps to share with you in a later post, but these are some that I had pictures to go with. 🙂

I’ll share more about Epic!, Pattern Blocks, Ten Frames, Chatter Pix, Nearpod, Kahoot!, and more!!


Wishful Wednesday 4

Wishful Wednesday BannerI’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my Listening Work Station for next school year.  I would really like to move from CD’s to iPod Touches so that I wouldn’t have to keep track of all those CD’s and their cases anymore!  I also want to get everything moved to an iPod so that my Listening Work Station can be anywhere in the room (as long as we remember to charge the iPod).  The kids won’t have to be tethered to the wall anymore because they won’t need a plug! 🙂

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Have any of you tried this idea with success?  I got one of these headphone splitters at Target a few months ago so that I could use the one iPod that I have with more than one kiddo.

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I can have up to 5 kiddos listen to the same book at the same time.  I would like to get one more iPod just so the kids can listen to separate books if they choose, but I think to begin with, one will work. 🙂

For those of you who have used this idea, how has it worked?  I’ve been researching it and it seems to work okay (as most kids know how to run an iPod already!) and the kids can navigate through books easily.  How do you make sure your kiddos match up the book audio track with the right book in their hands?  I read somewhere that you can put a picture of the book cover to help this, but I haven’t tried it yet–any suggestions? 🙂

Kristen 🙂

We Give Books

I came across this great website sponsored by Pearson Education a few months ago and I thought I would share it with you.  It’s a great resource if you don’t have enough copies of a book for your students or if you want to read a book on an interactive white board with your students. 

We Give Books. org

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These are some of the first titles that popped up when I log in.  You will need to create an account to use the site, and you have the option to donate money on the site to Pearson so that they can give books to other children.  Every once in awhile, I will donate some money after we’ve read a particularly fun book.

There are a WIDE variety of books on here, both fiction and non-fiction.  Almost every DK reader or book they have written is available, and all the other Pearson imprints.

When you want to read a book, just click on the word, “READ” at the top of the page.

If you want to make the book full screen, you just click on the button with the four arrows on it above the book:

Screen Shot 2013-01-07 at 7.15.25 PMYou then click on the left/right button to turn the pages.  I like using these books on my Promethean Board when I do not have a big book copy for us to use and to make sure everyone can see.  If you know how to drop out the ActiveInspire software, you can use your pen and write on or highlight pages in the books.  My kids love it!!  The only downside is that the site will not read the books to you, you have to be the one who reads them.  It’s great for practicing fluency!!

You can also search for books for different ages, genres, and by author:

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There are also books written in Spanish on this site. I am usually able to find a fiction and a non-fiction book that I can pair together and we read them over several days.

Let me know what you think!

Also, be sure to check out these sites for more online books:

Storyline Online

Bookflix (To try this one out for 30 days, each of my colleagues entered their e-mail for a 30 days stretch, then another one would sign up for another 30 days, and so on…)

Tumblebooks (you will need to sign up to use this one, although our local library has it for free if the kids know their library card number)

Kristen 🙂

My Book of Colors (Review)

Hi everyone!

I was sent a link from the nice folks at Blucher regarding a new color book they had just published for iPads and the like.  I’ve had lots of fun trying “My Book of Colors” out and so have my Kindergarten kids!

As a teacher, I like this interactive book because it has many ways to interact while learning colors (not just the primary colors either!).  The children can use a two finger swipe to make hidden objects appear and can tap on the color words to hear them spoken aloud.  In addition, there are at least three pages showing items that are found in each color and many of the items have actions that accompany them (for example, when learning about the color blue, tapping on the Earth will make it spin).  My 7 year old even though it was fun to tap and swipe to find hidden items and actions!

My students liked this book because it had many objects to explore.  I made sure that the students saw the tutorial given in the sample copy so they would know how to use this book to its fullest!  They loved finding their favorite colors, swiping the pages back and forth to revisit their favorite pages, and listening to the color words read aloud.  I also used this book with some of my ELL students to help them review their colors.  We talked about the colors and named many of the objects and then they tried to guess what was hiding behind some of the different pictures.  There are 10 different colors in this iBook and 45 pages total, making the $2.99 price tag (USA) a steal for this quality book!  I loved the high quality pictures and how clear they appeared on my screen (you know how some colors are wonky on certain devices?–not these colors!).  There are also a total of 120 images throughout the book and 120 more hidden objects for your Pre-K or Kindergarten student to find.

If you have access to a device that has iBooks on it, I would spend the $2.99 and check this book out.  It will be such a great tool to share at the beginning of the Kindergarten or Preschool, and even more wonderful for those ELL students!

Here is the link to find out more information:

My Book of Colors 

This will take you to the iTunes site online, but you can search for “My Book of Colors” in iBooks and it will also come up.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Kristen 🙂

I was given a complimentary copy of this iBooks title and offered to write a review on my blog.  I received no other compensation for this review and these opinions are entirely my own.

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