Monday, April 24, 2017

Google Story Builder

Google Story Builder is a fun online tool for building conversations and stories. Google Story Builder is a FREE web based tool that works on both laptops and tablets and you can use it without an account.

Google Story Builder is easy to use.

  • Works on both laptops and tablets (iPads)
  • Sound/music may not work on an iPad though
  • Maximum of 10 exchanges between characters and a maximum of 10 characters
  • You cannot "save" your story so be sure to save the shareable link
  • Students could add their link to a shared Google document, add to Google Classroom, add the link in Seesaw. What other ways can you think to have them share?
  • Have student plan their stories prior to writing
Ideas for using in the classroom: 
  • Exchanges between book characters or historical figure
  • Retell a story from the point of view of different characters
  • Digital book report
  • Problem solving dialogues
  • Write a math story
  • Create a debate
Additional Resources:
Doc Story Planning Template (you will need to make a copy in order to edit) 

Develop Writing Skills with Google Story Builder

5 Ways to Use in the Classroom

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Memes in the Classroom

Memes are everywhere today in our culture - sometimes humorous, sometimes educational, sometimes philosophical or political. Memes are ideas, behaviors, or styles that spread from person to person within a culture often via the Internet ( They have become mainstream - a dominant trend in our culture.

During a recent professional learning community, teachers were introduced to the idea of using memes in the classroom - created by both them and their students. These teachers knew a lot about memes but we wanted them to start thinking about different ways to use them for student presentations, sharing thoughts and ideas, or to show learning and understanding of concepts.

6 Ways to Learn Through Memes:

5 Ways to Use Memes with Students:

The time really was two-fold though. We also wanted to introduce them to the Mark-Up tools in the Photos app on the iPads. Students and teachers can create memes or mark up images right in the photos app. No need to download another app or access an online tool!

We looked at some student create memes, such as this math meme project video:

The teachers were provided project instructions for creating a meme. Using the instructions sheet, they worked independently to explore ideas and create their own meme: Meme Project Instructions

The instructions included the link to this online article about how to use the Mark Up tools in the Photos app on their iPads.

Annotating Images on the iPad: 

Teachers were encouraged to use images they had taken with their iPad camera or downloaded from websites such as Pexels or Photos for Class to ensure they were copyright friendly.

Teacher created memes were upload and shared on this Padlet wall.
Meme Padlet:

A great learner driven activity that has sparked a variety of classroom activities and projects!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Photos For Class - The quick and safe way to find and cite images for class!

Want students to use great photos to enhance their projects but want them to follow copyright rules? Photos for Class is a student friendly website with images appropriate for the school setting. Each image is automatically cited and has Creative Commons licensing for public use.

Here's a great example of a reptile photo.

Check out Photos for Class:


Friday, December 16, 2016

Kahoot! Has a New Feature

Many of our teachers are using Kahoot! ( for review games with their students. Kahoot! just released a new feature – Jumble Kahoot! that promotes "accuracy over speed.” Rather than just selecting a correct answer, players must move answers into the correct order – build equations, order words to create sentences, place historical events in order – the options are unlimited. 

Here are a couple of links to help you learn more and get started – you can even play some sample Jumble Kahoots.

If you have not used Kahoot! before it also has features to create great quizzes, discussions, and surveys. Only the teacher needs to have an account - students simply join the Kahoot! with a code.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

ISTE Conference 2016 Here We Come!

It's that time of year once again! The annual ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference. So excited to be attending. It is five wonderful days of learning, sharing, and building relationships.

We will be in Denver once again. Wondering is this guy will be greeting us at the convention center?

 Maybe grab a little lunch here and say "Hi" to Forrest


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Flipping in Kindergarten

A couple of 1:1 iPad kindergarten classes are flipping the learning in their classrooms. The teachers are using an in-class flip model where the iPads do not go home but instruction is done via teacher created videos viewed in the classroom under the teacher's supervision.

I recently had the opportunity to watch one of these lessons in action! These students got right to work downloading their lesson using the Showbie app, opening the lesson in Explain Everything, and viewing and interacting with the Explain Everything project created by their teacher.

I was really impressed by the supports and scaffolds the teacher has put into place to assist the students throughout the lesson.

The teacher created colorful and explicit posters for both Showbie and Explain Everything to help the students with using these two apps.


The teacher also modeled the process for the students and provided a chart with information on what to do after watching their video on number bonds.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Teachers Love Field Trips Too!

Each month during the school year, our 1:1 iPad teachers participate in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) session. The format is switched up from time to time to keep things interesting. Sometimes teachers work together in grade levels bands, guest speakers come in to present on a specific topic, or utilized the EdCamp Style of professional development with the teachers determining the sessions for the day.

For our February PLC, we decided to go on a field trip to our local Apple Store. Employees at the Apple Store shared tips and trick on creating and editing movies using the iMovie app on the iPads. Teachers were tasked with first going out and taking some short video clips and photos to use for their movies.

To best meet everyone's specific needs, teachers were divide into beginning, intermediate, and advanced groups.

Everyone left excited and ready to create movies!