Thursday, October 18, 2012


Have you seen this handy screen capturing app? Educreations is a FREE iPad app that allows you to create screen cast videos of your lessons and then share them. Some really great features are that you can take pictures of items to use in your videos within the app or even import pictures from your album. The screen cast allows you to create multiple page before or during your recording. You can even duplicate pages. Once your video is complete, you have the option to share it on the Educreations site, get the link, post to Facebook, or post to Twitter. You can even grab the embed code for posting online! Here's a simple one I made:

I'm using it to record quick demos of each math lesson. My parents are great about helping their children, but this new math program is so different, they're not sure how to help. I'm hoping these videos will clear things up. They'll also be great for students who are absent, or just need a review.

*One downside I noticed is that there doesn't seem to be a way to save a video, then come back and edit it. Maybe I'll find a way when I spend more time in the app. 

Have you used this app? Any advice or ideas?

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nouns, Anyone..? Anyone..?

Anyone...? Anyone...?
Yep, that's me. Okay, I look slightly different, but imagine me with that look on my face. It's the look that says, "Really? Are you serious? Please tell me your joking?" Why would a positive person such as myself have this type of reaction, you might ask? Well.....

Picture it: Monday morning. Nouns unit about to begin. Did I mention that's usually the EASIEST grammar unit of the year? I'm thrilled because we're finally finished with the sentence unit! According to my carefully thought out plans, my lovelies were to create a web and jot down everything they knew about nouns, thereby activating their schema. I would then build upon their previous knowledge and add lots of great, new ideas... Eighteen students sat with pencils and writer's notebooks poised to begin when I said, "Draw a web and list what you know about nouns." That's when it happened. Crickets...

I glance hopefully around the room. Students are looking a little confused and slightly apprehensive. "Are you kidding me?" I managed to just barely say in my head instead of out loud. Not one of my babies could list a single thing they knew about nouns! (On a positive note, at least I found that out, so I'd know where to start teaching). After a little prodding, one of them asked tentatively, "Person, place, or thing?" Of course, that is where we started, and we're moving right along, but I'm concerned and confused.

How does an entire class know NOTHING about something that they've been taught for 3 years in a row prior to reaching 4th grade? 

Is this an issue of kids learning it just for the test each year, then forgetting?

Does the curriculum not address it appropriately in the lower grades, or perhaps use a different terminology?

I'm not complaining or trying to blame previous teachers---I know they're doing a great job! I'm just simply on a search for answers. Has this happened to any of you? Did you discover the reason why? Were you able to do anything about it?

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