Monday, February 1, 2016

Apps and Websites That I LOVE!

Graphics by Kate Hadfield & Whimsy Clips
Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, I thought it was fitting to let you in on some apps and websites that I LOVE to use in my classroom!

The first app that I LOVE is called Nanzoo. This one I discovered while teaching time with my kids.  The great thing about this is that there are different levels: easy, normal, and challenge.  We used challenge because our second grade objective is teaching time to the minute.  The kids loved this.  It is great because you can either read the time and set the clock or look at the clock and set the time.  It is also self-checking.  I liked doing it in partners because the other person could tell their partner what he or she saw was incorrect if they got it wrong.  This was a great peer tutoring moment!

Another great website that I LOVE to use all the time for brain breaks and for indoor recess is GoNoodle.  You can use this for fun or for relaxation.  One time, I had a lesson that was super fun and exciting for the students.  I was noticing that they could just not calm down.  So, I threw on a Go Noodle yoga video and that did the trick!  They also love when they can use this for indoor recess or when we take a break in class.  They were thrilled when they learned that the Whip/Nae Nae was on there!  That is currently their favorite!  They also love when they get to upgrade characters.

SeeSaw is another one that I LOVE!  This is a great digital portfolio for the kids to store their work in.  I love it because I can keep tabs on center work and it cuts down on paper consumption.  For example, this past week, we did the moon phases using Oreo cookies.  I had them place the cookies on the different moon phase circles and then take a picture of it. This way, we didn't have to mess with gluing on the Oreos or turning in their work.  They took a picture and uploaded it to their account. We also use this a lot for math games.  Many of my math stations don't have recording sheets.  They either just record in their math journal or show their work on their white board.  Then, they snap a picture and upload it to their SeeSaw account.  It is cool too because it can even do videos where the kids explain the steps that they take to solve a problem.  I only teach math and science, but my partner uses it a lot for word study sorts and for writing!  You can even let parents access their child's account.  It can also be used for documentation!

The next one is another app that I use for math.  I LOVE it for my low kids that are still struggling with fact fluency.  This one is called Make Ten Plus.  It is a great review for my high kids that are practicing on quickness, and they kind of think of it as a race!  They see how fast they can get the facts.  It is kind of like Tetris where it stacks up as time progresses.  Kids see a number and have to click on the other number that would make it a ten fact.  For example, if they saw "2", they would have to click on "8."  

Kahoot is an app/website that I use a lot too.  It does take a little time up front to create an online test, but it is SO worth it.  Be sure to check out my blog post on the I Teach Second Blog about this!  The kids LOVE this app because it is so interactive and they love that they get to take a "quiz" on the iPad instead of do a worksheet review.

Lastly, I teach an inclusion class with special education students in my room.  I also have a few dyslexic and dysgraphic children in my class.  Through an advertisement on Facebook, I found an app called SnapType.  I LOVE it!  It allows me to take a picture of a worksheet or upload a PDF and have the kids fill it out by typing in all of the answers.  You can also it the microphone button on your device and it will record the words you say.  This is a huge time saver and it also helps avoid lots of frustration with my kids that have a very difficult time writing or getting their thoughts down on paper. Then, the student can save his or her work and even email it to you! You can grade it and print out a copy to send home too!

I know many of us get in a rut or don't really know what other good websites or apps are out there, so I hope this was helpful.  Be sure to stop by my TPT store and check out some other stuff that you might fall in LOVE with too!!