Monday, December 16, 2013

Flippity Flashcard Creator

Flippity is an online flashcard creator that converts a Google spreadsheet into a set of flashcards.

To Create Flashcards:

  1. Create a Google spreadsheet in Google Drive containing your information. You must use the Flippity template found at the URL above.
  2. Name the set of flashcards by naming the worksheet at the bottom of the spreadsheet.
  3. Go to File/Publish to the Web and click Start Publishing.
  4. Copy the link under Get a Link to Published Data.
  5. Paste the link in the field on the Flippity website and click Go.
  • To make changes to the flashcards, make the changes to your Google spreadsheet and republish. You can also set up the spreadsheet to automatically republish when changes are made.
  • You can insert pictures and embed Youtube videos on the flashcards.
  • Works in all browsers. Uses Java.
  • Text on the flashcards is modifiable only using basic HTML tags.
  • The flashcards are not private since the spreadsheet has been published, however, you control who has the link to the set of flashcards.
  • To delete the flashcards, click Stop Publishing on the Google spreadsheet.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Into the Book Website Updated!

Into the Book

The great website for learning and practicing reading strategies has been updated!  It's no longer Flash based which means it now works on iPads!  Very exciting news.  

From my previous blog post about Into the Book:

Into the Book is a great free website for elementary students to learn and practice reading strategies. It can be used for whole class, group or individual instruction.  You'll find interactive lessons and videos for 8 different strategies (see below) as well as lots of teacher resources in the "Teacher Area".

Strategies for Learning:Prior KnowledgeMaking ConnectionsQuestioningVisualizingInferringSummarizingEvaluatingSynthesizingUsing Strategies Together

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Math Slide Apps

Math Slide Apps

The free Math Slide apps are great for elementary students to practice number recognition as well as basic number facts (addition and multiplication).  The free version of each app has 10 games that can be played by 1-4 players at a time.  Students can compete against each other or try to beat their own best time.

Problems are presented in the center in a variety of formats.  

Screenshot samples from the multiplication app:

Screenshot samples from the place value to 1000 app:

Students drag number card with the correct answer to the center.  The student who gets their card to the middle first gets the point.

Students love these apps!  Try them out today!

Friday, November 22, 2013

North Texas Libraries on the Go and the Overdrive Media App

Check out an ebook or audio book (or more than one). Some titles can be burned to a CD to enjoy anytime. The service is free with a library card from a participating library or institution.

Many of the libraries in North Texas belong to this system.

Sign in using your library card. For an eBook, click Borrow to check out a title. You’ll be taken to your Bookshelf where you can begin reading the title in your browser or choose a download format for a mobile device.

Getting started step-by-step:

There is also an app for that!

Overdrive Media Console:
The Overdrive Media Console is a free app available for Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones and tablets, Kindle, NOOK, Windows 8 PC and tablet, Blackberry and Windows Phone. Read and listen to eBooks and audiobooks from your library on the go or at home.

  • A valid account with a participating library or institution is required
    • Library is open 24/7
    • No late fees. Titles are automatically returned at the end of the lending period. OverDrive Read eBooks and and titles that have not yet been locked into a format give the user the option to return early. 
    • App has customization tools, bookmarks and built-in dictionary
    • Place holds for items and create wish lists
    • Use the built-in browser or browser of choice
    • Sync recent position and bookmarks across devices. OverDrive Media Console v3 must be installed on all devices and be authorized with the same Adobe ID on all devices. Titles must be downloaded to all devices
    • Listen to audiobooks from within the mobile app or on your computer. The desktop app also supports transfer to a variety of devices and, in many cases, burning to CD for listening anytime

    Wednesday, November 20, 2013


    Geoboard is a free iPad app used to explore a variety of mathematical topics. In addition there is a Geoboard app for the iPhone. It is intended for the elementary and middle grades.

    Students stretch virtual bands around pegs to form line segments and polygons and to make discoveries about perimeter, area, angles, congruence, fractions, and more.


    • Create line segments and polygons by stretching bands around the Geoboard’s pegs. 
    • Choose from 5 different band colors; 8 band colors on the iPad.
    • Fill individual shapes with a transparent color, or use the Fill All button to toggle all the bands between filled and unfilled.
    • On the iPad, switch between the standard 25-peg board and the expanded board with 150 pegs. The larger board makes it possible for students to create a wider variety of configurations.
    In addition there is a web app:

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    Number Pieces and Number Pieces Basic

    Number Pieces
    Number Pieces Basic
    Number Pieces and Number Pieces Basic are free iPad apps with digital manipulatives to help students develop a deeper understanding of place value, counting, addition, subtraction, grouping and multi-digit numbers. Number Pieces has additional features for older students (see below).

    In addition, there is a web app available:

    Number Pieces Basic:

    Number Pieces:

    Features of Number Pieces Basic (Intended for primary grades):

    • Digital manipulative pieces in ones, tens and hundreds focusing on place value, counting, addition and subtraction
    • Join pieces in groups of ten or break them apart
    • Choose from three colors to identify groups or pieces
    • Rotate the manipulatives 90 degrees (both Number Pieces and Number Pieces Basic)
    • Use drawing tools to label representations (both Number Pieces and Number Pieces Basic)
    • Take a screen shot to save to camera roll (both Number Pieces and Number Pieces Basic)
    Features of Number Pieces (intended for older students):
    • Students can use the pieces (in ones, tens and hundreds) to represent multi-digit numbers, regroup, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
    • Join pieces in groups of ten or break them apart
    • Choose from three colors to identify groups or pieces
    • Use the expanding edge piece like a measuring tape to show the dimensions of arrays created with the pieces
    • Rotate the manipulatives 90 degrees
    • Use drawing tools to label representations
    • Zoom and scroll to work with larger collections of pieces.
    • Take a screen shot to save to camera roll

    Sunday, November 10, 2013

    Poetry Creation Apps from

    Theme Poem, Acrostic Poem and Diamante Poem

    Acrostic Poem, Diamante Poem and Theme Poem are 3 more apps from the International Reading Association and  The final product from all of these apps can be "smashed" or "layered" into another app to create a more complex product.  For example... create a variety of poems, save to the camera roll and insert into an app like 30 Hands.  Record narration over each poem, save as a movie file and upload to YouTube or a blog to share with the world!

    Acrostic Poems - Students type a word and brainstorm words or phrases that explain or relate to that word. Then create an acrostic poem.  The app does all the formatting. Students can save as Draft, save final product to the camera roll or email it.

    Ideas for using:
    • Biographies
    • Famous people, places or events
    • Science vocabulary
    • Formative Assessment strategy "First Word/Last Word" to check for understanding about a topic.
    Check the for lesson plans using this app:

    Diamante Poems - Diamante Poems are kind of like mad libs.  

    The poem is in the shape of a diamond with specific types of words on each line.  The app has a template that students fill in.

    The app does all the formatting. Students can save as Draft, save final product to the camera roll or email it.

    Ideas for Using:

    • Compare 2 pieces of literature
    • Book summary including characters, conflict, events and genre
    • Synonyms, antonyms, grammar practice

    Check the for lesson plans using this app:

    Theme Poems-  Theme Poems is a little like the Stationery Studio software on the computer. Students write poems in a chosen shape.

    There are 5 categories with 4-8 options per category.

    The app does all the formatting. Students can save as draft, save final product to the camera roll or email it. 

    Ideas for Using:

    • general poetry writing
    • short stories for primary students
    • signs or flyers

    Check the for lesson plans using this app:

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013

    Free Timeline Creator App + More from

    Another online resource that you may be familiar with is the amazing (  They offer 57 interactives for creating student products in all grades K-12.  You can search by grade level, topic, learning objective and more.

    The problem is that their interactives only work in a web browser on a computer. They are, however, slowly creating free iOS apps of their most popular online interactives. 

    RWT Timeline-

    I've been looking for a free timeline app for a long time so I was very excited to recently learn about the RWT Timeline app.  With the app, students can create timelines by date, time or event. Multiple user accounts can be created so that students sharing iPads have their own space to save drafts if they don't finish in one class period.  The final product can be saved to the camera roll or emailed.  

    Trading Cards-

    I shared the awesome Trading Cards app on this blog in the spring.  If you haven't tried it, be sure to check out the blog post to learn more. 

    VENN Diagram-

    I mentioned the VENN Diagram app in the blog post about the Mind Mapping app category. Students can create VENN diagrams with up to 3 circles. Just like the Timeline app, drafts can be saved and final products can be printed or emailed. 
    Stay tuned for more awesome free apps from!

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013

    Thinking Blocks Math Apps and Website

    Thinking Blocks

    Many of you have probably used the Thinking Blocks online interactives from Math Playground but did you know they are now free apps too?  They are an awesome resource for helping students understand how to solve word problems by using online manipulatives in a step by step manner to create concrete models of their solutions.  

    Both versions (online and apps) offer word problems in 4 categories:  addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, fractions, and ratio/proportion.  

    Each app is set up the same way:

    1.  Students are presented with a word problem.

    2.  First they use the blocks to label the known and unknown parts the problem.

    3.  Then they fill in the known and unknown numbers.

    4.  Finally, they solve the problem.

    Check out this great resource today online at (computers only) or download all the Math Playground apps at

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    Infographics: A Creative Assessment and Attention-Getter

    Infographics are intriguing. 

    Infographics show what our brains are programmed to see. They are bright and colorful visual representations of information presented in e-posters, printed, and digital documents that grab student attention. Additionally, they  provide a creative way to assess student learning while incorporating the 4C's: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and curation.  Check out a wall in your classroom or your bulletin board. That area in your classroom is presenting information in one place, with cutouts, colors, letters and artwork. Think of the infographic in the same way, as an informational bulletin board.

    Infographics are a great instructional/learning tool.

    Infographics can be great instructional tools but they work best as learning tools as they incorporate most of the traditional teaching elements of research, planning, writing, and process. Teachers can create their own or find an array of infographics online to share with students on interactive boards, via class blogs or websites, or as a part of an assignment. Some ways that an infographic can be used as an instructional/learning tool:
    • Students make interpretations based on statistics presented in the infographic
    • Students answer questions about the information presented.  
    • Students discuss why certain elements were included (critical thinking, anyone?)
    • Students can visualize what might not be the most exciting information in an exciting way.
    • Complex ideas and concepts are presented visually, making it easier to understand.

    Infographics are inviting. Invite your students to create one.

    Allowing students to create infographics is a great creative project and provides the teacher with a way to assess a student's thorough knowledge and understanding of a topic. Getting students involved in the creation of this product addresses all levels of Blooms in addition to providing the students the opportunity to:
    • Collaborate/Communicate - working together students discuss ideas on what is the best representation of graphics, fonts, colors, and ideas to relay information in a visually appealing format.
    • Critically think - students must decide what information will go into the project and why it should be included.
    • Create - students decide how the information will be displayed. Will they use PowerPoint? An app with templates? 
    • Curation - students must sift through and collect information for their infographic then organize it in a way to effectively communicate the objective.
    • Use Creative Commons as a means to find images to reproduce, share, and modify.

    Steps to Create an Infographic

    Before assigning this project to students, the teacher first must determine what will be assessed and communicate to the student what information must be included. Providing a rubric to students is a helpful way for them to keep on track. Here is a sample rubric from Kathy Schrock as an example to get you started. If you want to create your own, try Rubistar4Teachers which provides a simple way to make your own customized rubric.
    • Look at rubric samples of all types: informational, data driven, etc. Discuss the features of all different types. For sample infographics, click here.
    • Investigate and Research - Research and gather the information, data, images and tools needed to relay the information. 
    • Create a rough draft. Draw out on paper (low-tech) to organize thoughts and decide what goes where. 
    • Choose a tool to create your infographic. There are apps and websites available to make the process simple or programs like Photoshop or PowerPoint could be used. 
    • Follow a few simple rules:
      • Keep it simple. Help the audience know your topic with a large headline.
      • Color, font, and layout are important. Decide on a color scheme and fonts that best represent the message you wish to communicate.
      • Flow is important. The most important facts first then minor, supporting elements follow.
      • Use graphics such as arrows, lines, and color blocks to help your audience navigate the infographic with ease. 
      • The five-second rule: The audience should be able to know what your infographic is about and a few facts in just five seconds. Try it out on a classmate. If they get the basics in five seconds, you are on the right track. 
      • Dont be afraid to make an interactive infographic. Incorporate other sites such as Thinglink or add QR Codes.

    Apps, Sites and Resources to Get Started

      The Anatomy of an InfoGraphic
    Everything you ever wanted to know about using infographics in the classroom can be found on Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything: Infographics as Creative Assessment.

    Some apps and web based sites that were favorites of Heritage Middle School teacher, Kelli Mann's class:

    Grafio Lite
    iVi Touch Lite
    Inspiration Lite



    Comment below with questions or answers. How can you use infographics in your classroom?

    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Infuse Learning 

    Infuse Learning is a great (and free!) tool for formative assessment that works on every device.  There's no app!  Just go to the website on your iOS or Android device or computer and choose the appropriate login in the top corner.  Teachers create an account and students join the teacher's "room".  There's no need to create student accounts. 

    Teachers can ask questions "on the fly" or create quizzes ahead of time.  There is a wide variety of available question types including multiple choice, true/false and even a draw response where students can work a math problem or draw a diagram.

    The "Interactive Tools" give teachers even more options.  InfuseDraw allows the teacher to send a picture to the students to label or annotate and InfuseLink sends a website URL for students to simply click to go to the website. 

    For more information, check out this video (if reading this via email, click this link to view the video

    What's your favorite digital tool for formative assessment?  Leave us a comment!

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    GoneGoogle Story Builder: See Writing Come to Life!

    Google has made writing and collaboration easy and fun with the GoneGoogle Story Builder.  Anybody can create a quick animated video of the writing process with the look and feel of a Google doc.  The process is simple: choose your characters and your music. Write. Then grab the link to watch and share.

    Using Story Builder 

    • No login required. Navigate to and get started. You can also view some great samples before you begin.
    • Customize and Personalize: Choose up to 10 characters that you create.
    • You may have up to 10 dialogue exchanges of your own creation.
    • Watch the writing process unfold as you add and edit to the conversation between characters.
    • Create your own title.
    • Publish and share your writing video.

    Ideas for Classroom Use

    • Attention Getter: Introduce a lesson in a different way
    • As a warm up activity - have students review the previous lesson
    • Have students create a conversation between two characters.
    • Write a new introduction or ending to a story, song lyrics, or a poem
    • Use as an editing tool for spelling, grammar and punctuation
    • Discuss how to solve a math equation.
    • Create a hypothesis for a science experiment
    • Have a debate
    • Hit all levels of Bloom's
    • Once you try it, you and your students will think of many more ideas to implement this tool.
    Although the technical creation process is simple, students are forced to think critically about how the information and ideas are to be presented in a brief format. Word choice is a crucial element. The only negative about the story builder is that you can't actually download the creations. However, if you can create a quick Google form and have students submit their links to you there so everything is in one place. Even though you can't get the embed code directly from the story builder, you can use an embed code creator such as and it creates the code for you so you can still embed the stories on your blog or website.

    Sample GoneGoogle Stories

    Here is a sample story I created while experimenting. It took less than 3 minutes.  

    "Nothing's not here." by Ima Teacher

    Here is a promotional feature sample from Google:

    Try out GoneGoogle Story Builder and leave a comment about how you used it in your classroom.

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    IPEVO Whiteboard


    Draw and annotate directly onto real-time video using an iPad and the Juststand, document camera or iPad camera. IPEVO Whiteboard can also be used as a whiteboard to draw onto a blank canvas using the default white background or annotate an image from the iPad photo library. In whiteboard mode, you can make a screen recording and save it to the camera roll. Multiple boards can be created. No login is required.


    • Add text boxes, shapes and lines to emphasize and highlight key points or parts of an image
    • Use different color pens and line thicknesses
    • Undo and redo functions
    • Pointer tool and a clear all functions tool
    • Record the screen In whiteboard mode and save to the camera roll
    Saving options:
    • Save to the iPad camera roll
    • Send to Evernote
    • Email image

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    Viewpure - YouTube without the Ads

    Today's post comes to us from Patrick Lollis, music teacher at Cannon Elementary.  Patrick writes:
    I found a great tool called Viewpure that I really like to view YouTube videos without ads, other search results, or suggested videos.
    Here's how to use it:

    1. Go to
    2. Drag the "purify" button to your browser's shortcut bar.
    3. When you locate a YouTube video that you want to use, press the button.
    4. Create your QR code to the new ViewPure page.
    What the button actually does is change the web address from a YouTube address like this one:
    to a ViewPure address like this one:
    You can use the button, or just remember what to change and do it manually.

    Thanks for the tip Patrick!  Do you have a great tip to share?  Fill out the "Tips from our Readers" form on our blog or click this link: 

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    SpeakPipe - Voice Mails for Your Blog

    Do you have a class blog using Blogger, WordPress, Weebly, Tumblr or Joomla?  If you do, SpeakPipe is a cool way to connect with your readers.  SpeakPipe add a "Send Voicemail" tab to the side of your blog that readers can click to record a voice message to your class.  The free plan allows you to receive up to 20 voice messages a month (90 seconds max per message).  

    To get started, just go to and create a free account.  Choose your blogging platform on the setup window and it tells you exactly what to do to put it on your blog.  Very cool!

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