Monday, July 21, 2014

Because sometimes, you just need to PLAY: Build with Chrome

Today has been one of those days at work where I had a headache by 8:30am, 
absolutely nothing seemed to work the way it should, 
a HUGE project that should have been done last week is
still not even close to being completed, 
and the person I need to fix the issues with the project
{who works for another company} 
is as slow as MOLASSES in responding.  
I may have said once {or more than once} that I felt I was 
growing another brain tumor as a result of the insanity of the day.  

I decided that I needed a brain break before I went stark raving insane 
and so I starting working on preparing for a workshop that I will be teaching in August.  
It's part two of  a Google workshop that I am super excited to teach.  
Part of the workshop includes a bunch of different Google/Chrome 
products that teachers might not know about.

I had been keeping a list but hadn't taken the time to really 
dig into the different sites until today and I was so glad that I did.  
I'll embed the list of all the resources I plan to share at the bottom of the page 
but have to show you my absolute favorite!   

It's called Build with Chrome, is a virtual LEGO builder
and is so stinkin' fun!

Build with Chrome is a partnership between Google Chrome and LEGO 
and allows you to build LEGO creations online!  

You can choose the type and color of LEGO block you want to use
 and can even build in a specific place!
If you log in with your Google+ account you can even see where those near you have built!

There is even a Build Academy where you can train to become a Master Builder!

And best of all? 
No LEGO pieces to step on the floor!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

FREE Disney Apps {with NO in-app purchase}

Disney has a TON of apps and many are totally free!

Here is a list of 32 Disney apps with NO in-app purchases!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

FREE Lego Apps with NO in-app purchases!

Legos are so stinkin' fun and Lego has a TON of free apps!
Here is a list of 33 Lego apps with NO in-app purchases!

27 TVO Free APPS

TVO has 27 different apps for kids that are FREE today! 

If you are interested in any of them be sure to download these apps 
right away since they may only be free for a short time! 
Once you download a free app, you'll enjoy its free price FOREVER! 
For example, a paid app that you download today for free 
will remain free when you re-download it in the future, 
even if its price has gone back to paid. 
So, if you think you might ever want a particular free app, 
even if you don't need it right away, go ahead and download it while it's free, 
wait 24 hours, and then delete it from your device. 
You'll always own the app as FREE after that!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

FREE Digital Libraries for Teachers from FarFaria

FarFaria and are giving away digital libraries for 10,000 teachers! 
Pre-school and elementary school teachers who register will receive a free, 
one-year subscription to FarFaria's library of over 700 books!

To apply for your FREE one-year subscription, click the link below

There's even a way to refer a teacher!

Once you get the email from FarFaria, just download the app,
go to the gear in the bottom left corner
and log in!  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

End of the Year Printables

Holy guacamole!
How can school almost be out? 

In honor of the end of the school year, 
I decided to create a few end of the year printables for teachers to
 give to their students as little end of the year treats. 

Here is a little fun bookmark that you can give your students. 
The PDF found HERE has three to page.  

This little poem found HERE is a fillable PDF that allows
 you to type in both a students name and your name!
{This is just a sample.  When you download the PDF,
 it will have place for you to type in both the student name and your name.}

And one more bookmark that you can find HERE
 to remind your students how much you love them! 
These will print three to a sheet.
Just print, cut, laminate, punch a hole in the top, 
and tie a fun ribbon to have a great end of the year gift!  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Keyboard Shortcuts ROCK- Part 1

If you spend a lot of time on the computer like I do, 
you probably use shortcuts to help make routine tasks a little quicker. 
Most people know of shortcuts like Ctrl + c to copy and Ctrl + v to paste
but there are TONS more that are AWESOME! 

Here are some of my favorites! 

Holding the Ctrl key and tab allows you to move through your tabs quickly and easily. 
If you are like me and end up with LOTS of tabs open at once, this feature is great!

This is my absolute favorite shortcut! 
I often accidentially close a tab without meaning to and with this shortcut
I can open it right back up.  
In fact, in Chrome, I can open the last 10 tabs closed. 
How cool is that? 

Depending upon how someone set up a link on a webpage, 
clicking a link doesn't always take you to a new page.  
Of course you can right click on the link and choose 
open in new window from the drop down, 
but using this shortcut is even faster! 
Just hold the Ctrl button when clicking the link and
 it automatically opens in a new window!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What the heck should I write about?

Creative writing can be crazy difficult for students who can't
easily come up with story ideas.  
Luckily there are a ton of online sites and iPad/iPhone apps that 
can help them gather ideas and get started writing! 

Scholastic has an AWESOME Story Starter that allows you to
pick a theme{adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, and scrambler},
your grade level{K-1, 2, 3, 4-6}, 
and then generates a creative story starter. 

If you don't like one of the given choices, you can spin again!
You choose your format {notebook, letter, postcard, newspaper} 
and if you'd like to include space for a picture. 

Once students complete their writing they can even print it out!

The Story Starter Jr. is a fabulous and simple site created by Joel Heffner. 
The name tells exactly what the site is- it's a place to get help starting a story. 

You simply click a button and it gives you the beginning sentence of a story. 
If you don't like that story starter, just click the button again to get a new one! 
There is also an original Story Starter site for older kids and adults. 
What a great way to get kids who are stuck started writing! 

Sometimes you just need a good title to get you started.  
Portent's Content Idea Generator has a place to enter your subject.
Once you enter a word and click the arrow, 
a fun title is given. 
If you don't like the title, just click the arrow and a new one will appear.

Here's one I did with the subject of monkey: 

Hubspot's Blog Topic Generator is another fun way to get a few writing ideas. 
Simply type in three different nouns, click Give Me Blog Topics, and you'll be given several ideas!

This Writing Prompts Tumblr account has some GREAT writing prompts
for middle and high school students.

Seriously, these prompts make me want to write a story- there are so many great ones!

There are also some fabulous apps that can help with creative writing topics and starters! 
 I shared about this first one earlier this year and it's still one of my favorites! 
Stories on Stix is a super fun app that is 
great for helping kids think of creative writing topics!
I learned about this app at TCEA and although it isn't free
{it's currently $1.99} I really like it and think it's worth the price! 

The app randomly selects 5 elements of a story: 
who, what, when, where, and a details. 
Students then must write a story using all of the elements.  
Once completed the stories can be shared via email. 

Here's how the app works: 

Open the app and click New Story in the top right corner. 
The five blank sticks will appear. 

Tap on Choose Sticks in the top right corner to generate the 5 elements. 
If you don't like the 5 elements, click Choose Sticks again to get another set. 

Once you have the elements you want to use, 
click the Start Writing button in the top right corner. 
A writing page will appear with the sticks over on the left side. 

Tap the title to edit it and then tap on the first line and begin writing. 

Once the story is completed, click the Share Story button in the 
top right corner to send via email or 
take a screen shot to save the image of the work
{by holding the home button and on/off button at the same time}. 

All stories you create will be shown on the 
home screen of the app each time you open it. 
You can even click the tiny colored notebook on the 
bottom left to change the color of a storybook. 

Writing Prompts for Kids is currently $1.99 and has options for 
Adding a Situation, Adding a Character, Adding a Setting, and Adding an Object. 

This app even includes word option lists and hard to spell word lists. 


Write About This Free is an app that provides visual and voice writing prompts.  
This free version provides more than 50 leveled text and voice prompts! 

Write About This is the full version of the above app and currently costs $3.99
and includes 125 categorized images and 375 text + voice prompts.  

iDeas for Writing is another great creative prompt app that currently costs $1.99. 

This app includes creator of first lines, creator of titles, creator of characters,
creator of random words, and writing exercises. 

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