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!

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