Monday, March 23, 2015

Apps for Android Devices

At the end of December I posted about my new Samsung tablet and that I would be posting about some of the apps I have found AND like for the Android/Google tablets.  The original post comparing iPads to other tablets can be found here and listing some of the criteria to look for when considering purchasing a tablet.  Below is a screen shot of some of the apps I added to my tablet.  I have to admit I was discouraged that many of my favorite apps still aren't available for the Android. Some of the ones I did find are:
ABC Mouse
PBS Apps
BrainPop JR
Spelling City
Lego Apps
Toca Boca
Dr. Panda Apps
Storyboy books
Montessori Crosswords

My husband has taken over the Samsung to play his games on... I will continue to steal it back occasionally to keep exploring.  I do like that you can have profiles and a kid friendly profile as well.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Seminars and Consultation Available for Your School

Teachers in the US and Canada agree- Sue Holt offers training and consulting that inspire teachers to utilize technology in new and effective ways to help students meet learning goals.

Learning to effectively use technology can be time consuming, challenging and overwhelming. Technology changes constantly, and keeping up becomes frustrating for teachers who already spend countless hours planning, preparing, teaching, reporting and communicating about their work with students, colleagues, parents and administrators.  As an experienced teacher and presenter, Sue offers up to date practical, time saving, realistic and powerful training and consultations that support hesitant teachers and inspire those ready to go to the next level in their classroom with technology.

Transform your Teaching with Technology
More and more schools are embracing the latest technology tools available, yet many devices go unused daily across the US.  Lack of training and time to find quality apps and websites make some teachers hesitant and even hesitant to embracing all the powerful learning opportunities.   Computers and Mobile devices provide opportunities for collaboration, global learning, meaningful learning and reliable assessments when used effectively.  Sue is able to support teachers in their journey to enhance and transform their teaching and student learning.

Practical Trainings for Using Technology in the Classroom

Seminars and Workshops include:
Using Technology To Transform Teaching (grade level specific, K-2, K-5)
STEM Learning in K-2
Teaching Tools: Plan, Assess and Teach using Powerful Yet Simple Timesaving Technology
Meaningful Learning with Mobile Devices
RTI and Technology- Help ALL Students Succeed
iPad 101 for Teachers

For Parents Only: More than Games and Videos- Use Technology to Help Your Child Succeed

Personalized and Practical

Sue will tailor her content to the specific needs and unique technology tools available at your school.  All onsite trainings include ongoing support.

Online Training
Bring Sue to your school virtually and benefit from online trainings and videos. Trainings can be personalized or pick from some of her most popular options!

Beyond Apps and Websites
Apps and Websites are amazing resources-but don’t stop there.  Learn how to transform your teaching with the technology you have.

Parent Training
Parents will LOVE Sue’s Parent Night training on supporting their child’s education at home using computers and mobile devices.  Access to online resources!

Contact Sue Holt about scheduling seminars and/or consulting by filling out the online form.
Or email your request and other inquiries to
Sue has practical and informative e-books and training videos available for teachers, parents and information technology staff.  
Once your consultation is scheduled you will have access to many of Sue’s resources so you can begin or continue your learning right away!

Sue Holt

Experienced Presenter and National Board Certified Teacher
MS in Elementary Reading and Literacy
BA in Education: Child Development, Early Childhood Endorsement, K-8 Teaching/Certificate

What are teachers saying about trainings with Sue?

“So many great, helpful ideas I can’t wait to try in my K class.  Awesome handbook I get to take with me.  Great sense of humor and very motivating!  Thanks for the great 21st Century Skills I will use from here on!”

“This is the best conference I have ever attended! So many great ideas.  Cannot wait to get working on this.”

"Thank you for bringing an analog girl into the digital world!  (My students will thank you too!)"

"Exactly what I was looking for! Lots of great apps and programs to use.  Shortcuts and iPads/computers for Dummies."

“Thank you for the very practical, yet meaningful ideas and strategies.  I am excited to try some new things and I appreciate that you made the seminar appropriate for all levels.”

“This was fantastic- Sue did a fabulous job I learned SO much; practical, hands on ideas I can use tomorrow.”

“This is the best seminar I’ve ever attended in my 18 years of teaching.  Sue Holt is a fantastic presenter!”

“Well paced, information packed, encouraging, can-do, practical seminar!  Thank you for the amazing resource handbook.” 

“This seminar was eye-opening.  I will now be able to use iPads more effectively in my Kindergarten classroom.  Thank you for all of the fabulous ideas.”

"Great seminar!  I now feel empowered with new information and free quality apps!"

“Super useful information!  I cannot wait to jump into technology! Excellent.”

“I loved every single second of Sue’s presentation.  I can’t wait to get back to my classroom and start using what I learned.”

“Fabulous, best tech seminar I’ve attended EVER!  So many great ideas delivered in a humor filled way by a highly trained teacher.  The time flew!”

"I am a 'mature' teacher, am easily overwhelmed with technology.  This seminar got me excited about learning things very well, gaining confidence and moving forward!  Would love this seminar for our district K/1 teachers!"

"Before I felt intimidated, now I feel empowered!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why Worksheets? Make learning meaningful using technology

There is a lot of talk about what is appropriate practice for early childhood classrooms- with the hot seat focus on Kindergarten.  There are more and more expectations placed on schools to have children reading, writing and fluently adding and subtracting before first grade. All skills at used to be TAUGHT in first grade. The emphasis has affected kindergarten curriculum- there are more and more worksheets and skill practice than ever before- and yes, it's happening in preschool too. I've even seen worksheets in toddler classrooms!

Right or wrong- can you tell which side I'm on?!, worksheets are often part of purchased curriculum. Some schools require them. And yet, they are not necessary or even beneficial to learning. There are many ways to practice skills in more engaging, memorable, developmentally appropriate ways while meeting learning goals, such as those found in CCSS, the Common Core State Standards.

I had the privilege of working in two kindergarten classrooms and observed the same concept being taught in both rooms. The students were learning positional words, such as in between, above, under. 

CCSS KGA1. Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
The teachers talked to the students about the vocabulary, and demonstrated with objects. The lesson had an accompanying worksheet page- the students were supposed to listen to the teacher give directions to draw a line from an object to a location. A pencil to the 'top of the table' or a book 'under the chair'. 

Using the worksheets practice the concepts sounds easy enough right? Except first you have to pass out the books, pencils, erasers, get the kids to tables, all on the same page (do they know what page number 86 is. Some kinders don't know page number 8!) once they're on the right page they have to listen to the directions, and draw lines.  This involves fine motor skills, visual planning, and listening skills. If they make a mistake they might tear a page erasing, or they may need to go to the bathroom and miss directions.   It's not possible to watch each child as they complete a worksheet  to monitor and assess learning. Time is taken by helping children struggling, with pencil grip, monitoring behavior and so on. Whenever possible I try to find a real world way to practice skills or a hands on activity instead of using a worksheet. The teacher evaluating student understanding of the concepts by looking at the worksheets doesn't know if the child made a mistake because they didn't know the positional wording, weren't listening, out of the room, copied another student or... 

Instead of using the worksheet I suggested to one of the teachers that we have the students use the iPad to work on the skill and helped by giving a mini-lesson on using the iPad to create an e-book using positional words.  

CCSS WK6. With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Using StoryKit (a simple free iPhone app that allows drawing/writing, typing, adding photos and audio recording) the students used a classroom toy and took a picture of it in relation to other objects. Then they typed the positional words and dictated using the audio recorder the position of the objects in a complete sentence. 

CCSS WK2. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
We showed the students to put their names and photo on the first page. We discussed the role of author and illustrator/photographer. 

CCSS KRI 6. Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the role of each in presenting the ideas or information in a text.

Mrs. Ford demonstrated how to type the positional words. We wanted the focus to be on the concepts not writing, so other than copying the positional words, they didn't need to write anything else. 

A simple picture (the blue box) showed the kids the expectations (1. Take a picture, 2.  Add positional words 3.. Record the position of the toy in a sentence). We asked them to try to demonstrate each concept, taking turns making a page. 
Copying the words
Taking pictures

CCSS SLK5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.

Sharing the books they created 

CCSS SLK6 6. Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

The students worked in pairs since we only had 6 iPads and took turns demonstrating the positional words. They then shared the resulting 'books' with their other classmates, reinforcing the concepts and practicing their public speaking skills. The books can also be read and reviewed later in the year.  The project turned out very well. It was the first time the students had used the iPad to create an informative text and it was very successful!

Other apps you can use to demonstrate learning:
Explain Everything
I like Stories

For the apps that don't allow you to share the end result easily I usually just video record the presentation (see a video made during this activity at my Facebook page facebook/adigitalkindergarten) and upload to Youtube.  I like Stories and StoryKit don't have ways to share the books, but the video works well.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ideas for Using Computers and Tablets for Reading and Writing Centers in K-2

Using Technology for Reading and Writing Centers

Think for a minute about how you're already using your computers or tablets for writing and reading practice. Do your students only use apps or webpages?  There are many great free and paid apps I could recommend you use for reading and writing in your classroom. This post isn't about them! Instead I'm going to share some simple ideas for using your device's built in features and apps for center work; in my classroom I call it word work. 

Use 'Contacts' for a built in classroom dictionary/thesaurus. 
A colleague shared this idea with me- and I was blown away by its' simplicitly. 
Open the built in contacts app or address book (on most devices). If there are already entries in your contacts, you'll need to go to settings, and then accounts, and turn off the accounts that are associated with the contact app. Your Contacts should be empty now.

Enter (or have students enter) your sight words/spelling words/vocabulary as they are introduced. Then, during work time students can write them in alphabetical order, use as a reference for spell checking their writing, or for spelling practice. Add pictures saved from the web (or pictures drawn by students in another app) to illustrate the word list.  On the iPad students can type the words directly into the note section. Students or the teacher can also write a sentence using the words in context into the notes section. Add student names and pictures so students can correctly spell classmates names.  You can also add building staff and pictures/names the children bring in (or have parents email to you) of their families/pets so they can write using those correctly spelled. Add any words the student consistently misspells. 

Use the Camera/Device to  'write the room'
Do you have a print rich environment? If you're not already having students 'Write the Room' it's an easy word work center to create and maintain. If you already have students do this, add using your device's to the center.  In my classroom I have 6 clipboards (attach a pencil to the clipboard using yarn and tape). The students walk around the room and write words they see.  It might be off the word wall, posters, anchor charts, books, cubbies or desks, etc. 

Spice up writing the room using devices! This activity involves mobility so it's suggested to use with tablets, not laptops, of course!  However, laptops with a camera CAN be used with your traditional write the room center. Once the students have written their words, they can use the camera on the laptop to record a video of them reading the words. Or, after writing the room, they can type up the words in a word processing application or use them in sentences. 

Using the tablet students can type sight words/spelling words they find right in the built in notes app. Many of the note taking apps have the ability to insert or take photos too- they can write and photograph where they find the photos. They can email you or their parents the note if you've entered the emails already. 

If you want them to still write the words on paper, have them take pictures of the words they write on the clipboard to show where they found it. Review the words in group time (or have them share with partners) for additional review.  

Read the Room
An alternative to write the room is read the room. As students move around te room looking for the words they can read have them take pictures of the words. 

Have students focus on sight words and find the same word in four different places/fonts  (walls, books, posters) and snap pictures. Or, they can read the room and video record their voice as they read the word. 

Practice Fluency using Video Camera
Have lists of sight words, cvc words, spelling words, phrases or books for students to practice their reading fluency. Students can record themselves or a partner reading, replay to listen and self evaluate. Then they can rerecord. Teachers can record themselves reading too: have the student read with the recording. Read and record slowly and then faster and have students read along as they listen.   

Type type type

Many beginning writers struggle to use 'fingerspaces'. I've used all the usual strategies with the few who still forget by January and don't use them. I will always remember the first time I used typing as one of my strategies... And it worked!  One of my students who just didn't get it no matter what, finally had it click. I asked the students to type a simple sentence using sight words and asked her to reread what she'd typed. 


She wasn't able to read it of course, so then I pointed out the space bar, its size and together we went back and added the spaces and read her sentences. 

I am Olivia. I am six.  I like my mom. I love my dad.  

She was SO excited to be able to read her own writing, and the learning transferred from typing to writing.  Ever since, I point out the importance of the space bar and get the kids typing earlier in the year and I've noticed a huge improvement in use of the spaces. 

Have kids take a picture of the word list they need to work on and type them up in the note taking app or in a word processing program.  

Make word patterns.  
Have students type their target words in an ab or abc pattern. For example:



Look cook took look cook took look cook took. 

Or have them type out the words adding one letter at a time and then taking them away:

The repetitive nature will help them memorize the words!

Making Words
Do you do Making Words lessons with moveable alphabets? Have the students use their note taking app or a word processing program to follow along in a small center or whole group. If you're doing it as an independent center have a recording of you leading the lesson and they can type the words as you go through the list. 

An example of a making words lesson is:
Using a handful of letters students manipulate them to create words the teacher says a word, uses it in a sentence and then the students type or move tiles to make the word. 
Using letters amptsi

Spell the word at.  I am at school. At. 
Now add one letter to spell the word mat. I sit on the mat. Mat. 
Change one sound to make the word map. Find my city on the map. Map. 
Change the letters around to make the name Pam. Pam is my friend. Pam. 

And so on...  Making word lessons are so powerful for students in K-2. Be sure to look up Patricia Cunningham's books, Making Word Lessons for ready made lessons and more support on getting started. 

Have an idea to share of how you're using your basic technology to practice literacy skills? Comment below!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Pick a Device, Any Device!

I am frequently asked "What about other Tablets? Chromebooks?  My district just bought us tablets but they're not iPads.  Can I still use them to teach my students?"

YES!  While I am biased towards using Apple devices after years of using them professionally and personally, any mobile device can still help you enhance and even transform your teaching and student learning.  

Not all devices are created equally though.  There are pros and cons to any device- primarily their capabilities, apps available, and cost.  I still encourage schools embarking on a new mobile technology journey to seriously consider adopting the iPad.  The higher (sometimes) cost pays off in quality and cost of the apps available, especially for primary grades.  

If you or your school has already invested in a non-Apple tablet or laptops, don't worry though!  My goal for the new year is to dive into alternatives to the iDevices, and to share my learning with you!
Today I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, 8inch version.  My favorite iDevice to use is the Mini so I purchased the Galaxy Tab 4 that was similar in size and memory.  The 7inch tab was cheaper but only had 8mb of internal memory!  The other tablet I considered was the nabi DreamTab, but it wasn't in stock at my local store.  

I had an Android smartphone before I became addicted to all things Apple, so using the device and app store was familiar to me.  My kindergartner has already nabbed my new tablet so I know it will entice my students just like the iPad does.  My biggest concern upon opening the box was how would it compare in quality and quantity of applications available?  

So far I've located some apps I use on the iPad- mostly games, play apps, and productivity apps.  I'm downloading free and lite versions for now- I'll start exploring unfamiliar paid apps after I've tapped out the freebies!  
ABC Mouse has a few apps- two CVC books and their ABC Mouse learning portal app.   Starfall has their family of apps available, with the Free Starfall More app offering several activities.  There are play apps available by Toca Boca, My Playhome, Dr. Panda.  There are lego apps as well.  We especially like the Story Creator. Evernote and GoogleDrive are available to help teachers out.   

My biggest disappointment in the Android tablet so far is that Flash websites don't work on it like they used to.  Now, like the iPad, Flash is unavailable so some of my favorite websites won't work. So... my main reason for giving other tablets a benefit over the iPad is gone.  I have a Surface computer/tablet, that does allow me to use Flash websites, but the operating system and navigation aren't as easy as regular tablets.  The surface looks like a tablet but acts like a computer.  

I'll be adding more information as I explore my alternatives to the iPad over the next few weeks.  In the meantime here's what to look for when purchasing a mobile device:

Does it have forward and rear facing cameras?  Having cameras are important for classroom use. The camera is a powerful tool for reading and math skills, vocabulary development and storytelling. Definitely make having a camera on the device a priority.  

Does the device have a wide  range of apps, especially open ended apps available?  Some devices made for children require a subscription, or come with a handful of learning apps that are primarily skill practice.  Having a variety of apps, at reasonable prices is important for classrooms.  The best apps are those that allow children to create, tell stories, document  and share learning.

Please let me know what tablet you're using... What are it's pros and cons?  Your favorite apps?

Friday, December 26, 2014

My iPad isn't working right! Now what?!

My iPad isn't working, now what?!

Anyone who has attended one of my seminars or talked with me about technology in the classroom knows I'm appnoxious about Apple products. Yes, I know that other tablets are usually cheaper. IPads and MacBooks are investments in my opinion. While they may cost more initially I believe they more than earn their way once the user is trained and had learned how to effectively use them in the classroom. 

One of the reasons I love Apple products is that they work. They are reliable and sturdy and are quick to turn on, ready to use almost immediately. All three important qualities for classroom use. However, they are electronic devices, made from lots of tiny parts and run by complicated (to me) processes. Sometimes those tiny parts and complicated processes don't work together even on an Apple device. So what do you do when you have a problem with your iPad, or for that matter, any piece of technology?

Do what I do and Google it!  I will explain a few iPad specific tips below for solving some common issues. However, if your specific issue isn't mentioned, before you email me, just Google a brief description of the problem. Almost every problem under the sun will have a few possible solutions somewhere on the World Wide Web. Most often a Google query about problems with the iPad will result in many pages with fixes from the Apple Support Community. More often than not one of the first suggestions solves my problem. 

If you still don't have a solution that fixes your problem try using one of Apple's many support options:
The time I called (after searching for solutions on their webpage) 
I was given the option to wait or schedule a call back time. I chose the call back since it was late at night and got a call within two minutes of the time I had requested. 

So your iPad (MacBook, tablet, computer) is misbehaving- what now?

Today's problem that prompted this post was all my third party apps (apps not made by Apple) were crashing as soon as they were opened. After restarting the iPad and closing all the apps that were open I Googled 'apps won't open on iPad' or something similar. The first solution on the Apple Community page was to install a new third party app. This was such an easy solution and worked immediately.  I may have skipped having to find an app to download just me signing out of the iTunes Store and re-signing back in, but I won't know until the next time if I have the same problem. The solutions I'll post next are all iPad specific, but just keep in mind for any question or problem- Google. If Google doesn't have an answer for you I'm not sure it exists! ;)  Ok, so I'm goonoxious too. 

Simple iPad fixes: 
An app isn't working right:
1) Close by pressing the HOME button (round button on bottom of screen). Reopen the app. 
2) Swipe up OR push the home buttons quickly two times in a row. This will bring up all the open apps running in the background on your iPad. Swipe up on the image of the app to close it.  Reopen the app. 
The iPad isn't working right:
1)press and hold down on the home and power buttons (round button on bottom of screen and oval button on top right of the iPad) until the screen goes black and the white apple icon appears. It will take 5-10 seconds. When the home screen comes back on swipe and see if it's working again. 

If those solutions don't work, be sure to Google the problem. Check for updates on the apps and iOS. Occasionally an app or iOS updates and doesn't play nicely- you may need to be patient and wait for a fix. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Getting iPads into Your Classroom

One of the most common questions I am asked is "How did you pay for your iPads" or "Do you know of any grants to get iPads (or other technology) into my classroom?"

I was lucky enough in 2010 to have administration whose priority was to update and increase technology in our district.  I wasn't in on the process so I'm relatively clueless on how they got them- I do know they applied for grants and used general budget funds to purchase our iPads, initially for a 1:1 program in our high school.  Once I saw how perfect the iPads for Kindergarten I begged and pleaded and justified how I would use them in my classroom.  Here is some of the original email I sent to the administration team:

"I am requesting 3 to 6 iPads to use with my 26 kindergarten students.  I use the three computers in my classroom on a daily basis; the kids are very engaged in the learning activities available.  In addition to some programs on disc I also utilize multiple websites that reinforce skills we are working on.

My students intuitively touch the screen when they use the computer and I think that the iPad is ideal for kids of this age.  My students use computers/would use the iPad daily at literacy and math center time (6 kids share 3 computers currently)  and at choice time.  Using computers/ iPads allow my students to work independently on important skills while I differentiate instruction to meet the needs of the diverse learners in my class. 

Some of the apps I would like to use (I would have to try them out first) would be:
Read, trace words
Count write numbers
NOTE: I did buy this app as it was featured in Apple's iPad commercial but almost immediately deleted it. As a learning to read, count and handwriting app it was no better than a worksheet. 
Read books for advanced readers (not sure what’s available yet, but I have several kids currently reading  well above my advanced leveled readers.)
Interact with web pages
abc PocketPhonics: letter sounds & writing + first words
See Read Say sight word practice
iWriteWords (Handwriting Game)
KidCalc 7-in-1 Math Fun  (I would definitely like to find some good math practice apps to use during math centers.)
There are multiple other applications I’d be interested in:  such as Super Why, Tangrams, and I am sure I’d find more once I start exploring the app store."
NOTE: most of these apps are not on my 'favorite' app list as my criteria for what makes a good app has changed so much since I started using the iPad. From the original list the only one I really use is Pocket Phonics. 

They eventually gave me ONE iPad.  I started using it, researched apps and iPads in K (I started this blog when I found nothing helpful on the web).  I kept justifying why I needed more iPads- I REALLY wanted 6 so I could have an independent center.  They gave iPads to the other elementary teachers, all of whom seemed ambivalent about them (they were still adjusting to new Mac computers and had no idea how to use the iPads).  I offered to take them until they were ready to use them ;) and they agreed!  Needless to say I didn't give them back.  My husband bought me an iPad2 when they came out in early spring, so then I had 7.   I attended a training that cost $700, paid for with staff development and got another iPad2.  By the end of the year I had 11 iPads to use, and 22 kids so I had a 1:2 situation.  Over summer I explained how a 1:1 program would benefit my students.  Some of the ways I justified:

At that time we were spending about $50 per student for consumable reading, handwriting and math workbooks.  Every year we bought packages of dry erase pens, and every few years new boards.  I totaled those costs up for 5 years and compared it to the cost of purchasing more iPads, and the handful of paid apps I wanted loaded on the iPads.  I explained how handwriting on the iPad offered support for children and helped them individually work on proper formation at their own pace.  The apps I wanted to buy and had found for free gave students opportunities to practice and learn skills with support, at their own differentiated level of learning, and at their own pace, unlike worksheets.  After using iPads for years now I would also explain how many of our learning goals would be met by using the iPads.  They help me do authentic assessments and share those with parents.

So how can YOU get devices for your classroom?  Many teachers have told me they have had great success getting iPads donated through  Others have set up GoFundMe accounts and asked family and friends to donate.  You can ask families of students and your own circles of friends and family to donate older devices when they buy new (keep in mind old iPhones can be used as iPods!)  When all else fails, buy one for yourself- get a good cover- and teach with it and let the kids use it.  You won't regret it!  

I've mentioned before if money is a constraint (and when isn't it, really?) go for the iPad mini's over the full size.  They do everything the full size iPad does and cost less!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Have you 'Liked' Facebook yet?

Just in case you haven't, follow the link... this busy iPad loving teaching momma is much more likely these days to post information about how I'm using apps or free apps on Facebook- it's just so much easier!  And it's more interactive!  Pop on over there today and 'like' A Digital Kindergarten on Facebook.

Friday, July 18, 2014

What's New!

I've been busy working on updating and improving the handbook that accompanies my seminar (along with taking care of the new baby and his three siblings and LOTS of baseball games); I turned it in Monday and thought I'd share a sneak peak of what's included by sharing three pages from the handbook.  The pages are step by step directions for using (eliminates ads from YouTube videos) and starting a Symbaloo account.  Enjoy!  Here's the link to the BER brochure to find out more information about my Fall 2014 seminars: Using iPads® and Other Cutting Edge Technology to Enhance Learning and Teaching in Your KINDERGARTEN CLASSROOM

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hooray for a May Giveaway!

A giveaway has begun thanks to and featuring:
Speck Products one lucky winner will get an awesome Speck Case!
Rantek's Mobile Montessori apps
Digital 24x7 apps 
Pxywise apps
Artgig apps
Apps In My Pocket apps
iTrace apps

Stick Pick

The giveaway will end June 2nd, to give the attendees of my next 7 seminars a chance to enter...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A few notes from Mobile Montessori, an app developer who contributes codes to giveaways and seminar attendees often!  

Our new website:  Browse through everything we have, easily.

We have free worksheets that go along with our Asia apps:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Collage apps to share info with other classes, parents...

Using a collage app to share about our country/state flags with other K classrooms... Here I used Frame Magic, although almost any collage app will do the same so find one that's free and has good ratings. It took only seconds to make the picture and share on Twitter with the other classes.  I use collage apps often to condense multiple pictures into one for newsletters, webpages, etc.

Spin and Write with the Decide Now app for quick skill practice

Lily needed to work on recognizing and writing some sight words and numbers. I quickly made a spinner using Decide Now app and a hand drawn recording chart that wasn't too pretty (I need to print some blank ones off!). Within a minute she had an activity tailored to her learning needs. I used to do this with blank dice but didn't make them for individual children but rather units. I love how easily this app can be changed to meet a child's individual learning needs. This could be a center (spin and write together) displayed on the board as kids write on white boards or at desks, or used individually.  The app costs $.99 and comes preloaded with silly spinners- delete those and add your own words, numbers etc.  link to Decide Now in iTunes

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Awesome "getting started' videos for Teachers New to iPads

If you're in dire need of an iPad 101 session, here's a playlist by GeorgetownISD that will help you tremendously!

iPad Basics Video Tutorial

because while it may be simple enough a toddler can use it, us adults need all the help we can get!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Have you "liked" my Facebook Page yet? A Digital Kindergarten on Facebook yet? I'll be giving away app codes this weekend... So follow it now!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Live Binder Access

Click HERE to access today's livebinder for resources

Other sites to note: 'like' it!  I will have extra codes to share for free apps after today.

How to redeem codes:

Download to computer to display ipad using sync cable

Kinderchat homepage

Friday, October 4, 2013

Help kindergartners learn their address with Explain Everything and MAPS

Fun new idea for helping your students answer the question "Where in the world am I?"  Teach geography and their address in a fun way and they can practice independently. Video

I made the video using Explain Everything and MAPS.  

Also available to view on Facebook on my A Digital Kindergarten page.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Find A Digital Kindergarten on Facebook

I've created a page to make sharing my favorite finds and ideas about using technology with young children on Facebook.  Look it up or follow this link to 'LIKE' the page and see posts in your feed... 

As requested... coming to more cities near you!

I've been asked by many blog readers if I'll be going to more cities this year to present about using technology in Kindergarten- and the answer is YES!  BER just released the brochure for my west coast seminars which will be held in December.  The full brochure can be found by going to website Seminars and Conferences and clicking on Arizona (Pheonix), California (San Jose), Washington (Seattle and Spokane) and Oregon (Portland).

I'll be heading east in the spring to 15 more cities (even Canada) and will post the particulars as soon as the details are worked out.  In the meantime go to for all the wonderful professional development offerings in your area.  You can also visit this link: to request a quote to have me come directly to your school through the onsite seminar program. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Great Free App and news for schools from Apple

Interesting changes coming from Apple on how iDevices can be used in education... read up here!

Also, TeachMe Toddler is free today (August 5th)... great for preschool and K and struggling students. Works on alphabet and numeral recognition, shapes, counting...

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