ThingLink Celebration Project

scroll over the red bullets on the above image

Today at iPad camp our main focus was to create attention grabbing graphics. Say that three times fast. We used several different apps and created many different visuals throughout the day; however, I want to focus on our ThingLink Celebration Project. If you would like to check out all the apps and tools we used today please check out my website. Our ThingLink Celebration Project focused on The 4th of July. We started off by watching a short YouTube video that you can check out here. Before the students started watching the video I passed out the following really cute graphic organizer.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.20.48 AM

I found this graphic organizer on, and it was free. The students took notes while watching the YouTube video. We then went to Google Junior (a safe search site for children) and looked for our favorite 4th of July image. I showed students how to save their image to the camera roll. From there we opened our ThingLink app where we added our image. The students then took their notes and made “targets” for each one. The targets are the little red bullets that you see on the image at the top of this page. These targets are interactive. You can add text, YouTube, links, & more. This lesson was a lot of fun, and it was so easy to teach. You could do this at any grade level and with any content. Get creative, and don’t be scared. Your students will pick up how to navigate the iPad faster than you can read this blog. When we finished we took our notes and put them into the Word Clouds app, and here is what that looked like:

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S.A.M.R. – What’s it all about?

S.A.M.RThis week several faculty members from WISD attended iPadpalooza, which is always my favorite “techy” conference. My awesome friend, Sherri Nicotre, attended a class on the S.A.M.R. Model and sent me some pretty good notes. Thank you, Sherri! So, what the heck is S.A.M.R.? We hear a lot about it in our district because we are 1:1. Kathy Schrock’s definition is pretty good: “SAMR is a model designed to help educators infuse technology into teaching and learning. Developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, the  model supports and enables teachers to design, develop, and infuse digital learning experiences that utilize technology. The goal is  to transform learning experiences so they result in higher levels of achievement for students.” Check out her website at: Here is a simple visual that explains the S.A.M.R. model in greater detail.

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Image the creation of Dr. Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D.

I like to say that this model is the “Bloom’s” for teachers that are using technology. How can we think outside of the box to create lessons, and how can we help our students reach the very top level? We have to model this type of thinking for them, and the S.A.M.R. model will help guide you in the right direction. Sherri took the following notes, which aligns different apps with the different levels of S.A.M.R. If you are overwhelmed by S.A.M.R. or just do not know where to start – the following will be very helpful. Again, thanks to Sherri Nicotre for sending me this information.

Substitution: Popplet, Doodle Buddy, Baiboard, iBooks, Photo Collage, & Symbaloo

Augmentation: Pages, Google Search, Haiku Deck, Chatter Pix, & Morpho

Modification: Thinglink, 30 hands, QR Code readers, Skitch, Flipboard, & Dragon Dictation

Redefinition:  Nearpod, iMovie, Infinite Monkeys, Book Creator, Explain Everything, & Sock Puppets.

KidBlog + WeeMee = Learning 2.0


Mrs. Marino & Maverick Marino’s Kidblog Avatars

Do your students blog? If not, y’all are all missing out. I first heard about Kidblog this summer while attending EdCamp in Region 6. While sitting in Jake Duncan’s class on tech tools in the classroom (follow him on Twitter) two teachers from Brenham mentioned KidBlog. I was intrigued. I instantly wanted to hear more about this blogging business. So, they pulled their KidBlog up right then and showed me what I could do with it. It was absolutely the coolest thing I’ve seen. I believe I started my KidBlog the second week of school. I first sent out a permission slip for all my students ensuring parents that it was safe. Every parent signed YES! Next, my students created their very own avatars using the WeeMee app. We will never post pictures on our KidBlog. My KidBlog is private, so you have to have a password to view it. Also, every comment that is posted has to be approved by me before it actually posts. This is what I love about KidBlog. It is a safe place for kids to be creative, to share their feelings, and to sometimes chat with their friends (when I put a “chat” post up.) My students love to blog. They can’t wait to blog. They beg to blog! They blog at home. ALL THE TIME. So, they are sitting at home willfully answering questions that I have asked them. They are writing at home. They are thinking at home. The skills that they are using to “blog” are covered in my TEKS. They work on capitalization, punctuation, spelling and grammar. They are reflective. It is amazing. I have my KidBlog set-up so that when they blog, I get an email alert. I am not trying to be cheesy, but it is one of the coolest feelings in the world when I pick up my phone and see that I have 14 new posts to be approved. That happens all the time. They blog in my class, and they blog at home. I simply love it. Below are some of our blog topics so far:

1.  What do you miss about 3rd grade?

2.  What is your favorite part in Hank the Cowdog so far?

3.  What is your favorite thing about our iPads?

4.  What are you learning right now in your classes?

Augmented Homophones


Mrs. Marino’s 4th Grade Class

Do your students struggle with homophones? It is a hard concept for young minds to understand. Why do these words sound the same…but they’re not? And how are they supposed to remember which is which? This year, thanks to our classroom iPads, we took homophones to a whole new level. We made it visual. When students hover their iPads over their paper, a video of that student pops up explaining what their homophone means! Not only did we make it visual, the students created the lesson. Not only did they create the lesson, the lesson is saved and will be up for the rest of the year. If at anytime they forget what a certain homophone means, they will just simply have to scan in. I mean, seriously! I am going to try and walk you through this process as simply as possible. If you have any questions on how to do this, please email me. ( I would love to help you out. Before you start with the Aurasma part of this lesson, have students make videos on their camera roll explaining their homophone.

1. Download the Aurasma App

2. Create a classroom account

3.  Create a classroom channel (very important)

4. Have students log on to their iPad with the classroom account information

5.  Start creating your Aura ( has an awesome tutorial on this)

5.  Students choose their overlay which is their video on the camera roll

6.  Students choose their trigger image which is the picture of their homophone

7.  Students save this as public

8.  Students add it to the classroom channel

DONE!  The kids can then take their iPad and scan any students’ paper in the class and get their video to pull up. Now, how can parents or other teachers get our images? They need to download the free Aurasma app. Then they need to follow our channel (just like you follow someone on Facebook). Once they follow us, they can hover over any of our images and see the same thing we see.

This is free people!  A free app to enhance your student’s learning. Use it. They will remember these concepts…..more importantly, they will love to learn.

(look closely at the left hand side of the picture above….you can see the homophone picture with  one of my student’s “auras” hovering above it)

Learning in 3D By: Angela Moses


Have you ever been in a hot air balloon? I have not physically been on one.  After this lesson, I sure felt as though I had floated into the sky on a hot air balloon with my students. Thank you to an Augmented Reality App called ColAR Mix (now named Quiver) my lesson became three-dimensional! Teaching the concept of the 3 States of Matter is not a paper and pencil lesson. It should be hands on and visual. We have been discussing the 3 States of Matter for the past week. We have a wonderful online resource called United Streaming. The students and I watched a few videos of hot air balloons lifting off, which allowed the students to see the gas enter the balloon. Before the students colored the hot air balloon sheet, they had to write 2 facts about gas. Then they colored the hot air balloon in any color they wanted. The students were working on-task and independently. Was learning happening in my room? YES!  They were intrigued about the coloring sheet! When they finished coloring, they had to open the ColAR App (now named Quiver) with the iPad and press play. Then they could hover over their hot air balloon. I wish I would have recorded their reactions when the balloons started popping up throughout the classroom. It was hands down AMAZING! Not the normal way to teach the concept of “gas”, but my students know the information! Quiver has many different coloring sheets to print, and it is a great way to engage your students in the lesson. What a great way to bring a story to life! Lots of possibilities with this one.

Skype in the Classroom


Have you Skyped? Me either….until today! I have read about educators all over doing this thing called a Mystery Skype for months now, but I have not stopped long enough to even research it. I’m glad I finally did. Today was my first Skype ever. I am absolutely hooked. Seriously. It was incredible. I was lucky enough to Skype for the first time with Heather Cooper from Flower Mound, Texas. Find her on Twitter. (She also plays a huge role in The World Book Talk…look it up!) Yesterday, when I was scared to death that I was going to mess something up on my first Skype, my friend Angie agreed to practice with me. We sat in her classroom and Skyped each other.  It was hilarious, but we learned how to maneuver our way through a Skype and eased my mind in the process. The first thing I did today when I got to school was hang a huge Texas map up in the hall. That way we can keep track of all the Skypes we do this year. And I plan on doing A LOT!  Then I set up the room. I scooted my pods of desks back to make space for kids to spread around on the floor.  We set up different stations. Three groups had Texas road maps and one iPad. Several people were on desktops.  Two children recorded all the questions and answers and two children asked the questions. When researching how to do Mystery Skypes, I read about the importance of student jobs, and I am so thankful that I did. It kept everything organized. We all knew our roles. Then we waited patiently. We literally stared at my computer waiting for the call. When Mrs. Cooper’s class popped up on our screen, we all started applauding. Mrs. Cooper’s class then lead us through our very first Skype. They were pros. It was so cool to watch them with their dry erase boards and maps and iPads. They asked great questions. They were organized. They were engaged, and so were we. They guessed where we were, then we did the same. My favorite part of this project happened toward the end. We just chatted with one another. They told us about their HUGE city, and we told them about our little town. We have dirt roads and “flood days” at our school. They have highways and “snow days”. We live close to the beach, and they are very close to Six Flags. What did we have in common…Video Games of course. This was a wonderful experience, and I am glad that I get to provide my students with the chance to connect with other towns and cities in Texas. My question for you is….when do you want to Skype with my class??


The One Device Classroom


Are you the only person in your classroom with a device? No problem. You can still do amazing things. Last March when we received our iPads I really had no idea what I was going to do with this tool that they had just placed in my hands. Rafranz Davis, follow her on Twitter, suggested that I download Haiku Deck on my iPad. What a great suggestion!  Haiku Deck is a wonderful tool for any grade, any subject and any project.  It is the modern day Power Point….but way better. My very first iPad project that my students and I created last year was a Haiku Deck about colors. Every year we write color poems, and I absolutely love them. Every year my students come up with ideas that seriously blow me away. This is how the project went down. Like always, I read the students Hailstones and Halibut bones which is my favorite book about color poems. We then took out our dry erase boards and brainstormed how certain colors made us feel. Next, utilizing my iPad, reflector and the SMART board I projected Google images for everyone to see.  We collaboratively picked out our favorite images.  We opened up Haiku Deck and inserted the images in. Our next step was to write a caption on the picture. Haiku Deck is an amazing tool.  It’s easy.  It’s simple.  But, boy, does it look amazing when you are finished with it!  Maggie, my 4 year old, has even made a Deck about the letter A. Don’t let the simplicity fool you. With Haiku Deck your high school student can make a presentation that is sure to wow! Try it out. You won’t be disappointed. If you would like to see my students’ Haiku Deck on Color Poems Click the link below.