Friday, June 28, 2013

Free Friday Find For YOU! Graphite

     I stumbled upon this fantastic site last week and was so excited to share it with you I almost did it before Friday, but I've held off until this morning! Graphite is a "dynamic community"  where educators can share their personal reviews, ideas, and suggestions on how to use specific websites, games, apps, and technology that works best with their students.

Free Friday Find For You, Heidi Befort, Globicate

"Graphite  is brought to you by Common Sense Media, the largest, independent nonprofit organization committed to helping kids, teachers, and families manage media and technology in life and learning."

Graphite has several pages when you visit the site including "Top Picks" and "Reviews and Ratings" that give you an idea of how well the site or app will work with students.

     The site also connects and tags items related to subjects, grade levels, Common Core and state standards, and skills.  What more could you ask for?  Well, they have a page for getting inspired and a blog to follow with tons of helpful advice!  As I roamed the site, I felt like Graphite and Common Sense Media truly do have educators and students best interest in mind.  And as always, it's FREE!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Shh! I Have A Secret!

Lesson Planning, Heidi Befort, Globicate

     I have a secret!  I feel guilty just writing about it today, but I wanted to share my personal delight.  I splurged and bought an Erin Condren Teacher Planner.  Now, I know what you're thinking, there are great products out there (I have one myself that I use) that you can use without spending that much money.  Well, I thought about it and decided I wanted everything in one place.  No more desk calendar, no more lesson plan binder, no more binder with student grades and such, everything all in one place! And the best part, it's personalized just for me.

     My second splurge was those fun pens you see in the picture.  These great pens are colorful, gel roller pens that are fun to use, and the best part...erasable!  How sweet is that?  I can write all those great ideas and plans and don't have to worry about making a mistake!

      My new planner has a durable cover and spine with different spots for all those notes and such you want to keep during the year!

     I haven't given up completely with my digital lesson plans and technology.  I'm still a proponent of technology to store all your products, resources, and plans.  I'm planning on using Google quite a bit this year especially since our district has Google Apps for Education.  Here is a glimpse at the beginning of my curriculum plans for next year.

The nice thing about using Google Docs for your work is it's easily accessible from everywhere, you can share with a team or partner, and it works just as easy as Microsoft and can be converted to/from those formats. 

So, you can see my summer is in full swing with planning and preparing for the next year.  My husband can't figure out why I spend my summer doing this, but I know that you get it...good teachers are always looking for ways to be better at what they do.  How's your summer going so far and what are you working on?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gami's and Avatars

     This past week, I had the pleasant opportunity to spend almost 5 days with other educators from around my state discussing, exploring, sharing, and applying ideas, technology, and skills together.  I'm always excited to do this when I get a chance, because during the school year I don't get around to other teacher's rooms very often.  Today, I want to share with you 2 new apps that I love not only for myself, but for my students to share their learning and they can easily be aligned to the Common Core Standards.

Globicate, Heidi Befort

     Tellagami is a quick, fun, and easy way to create a short video.  I found it very intuitive and simple to use and share my video. My favorite part is how it shared my video in my gallery on my iPad.

     When you download the app, the first screen you see will be this one which offers you a choice of creating or leaning about the app.  It was so simple, and offered so many choices that I had a blast creating a video for my students to welcome them back to school.

     Here was the end result!  I love this app because it offers my students the opportunity to share their learning in an alternative way and because it's free!

     The next app that I had fun with is called Buddy Poke! Buddy Poke allows you to create avatars with a lot of options including hair, clothes, backgrounds and videos.

     As you can see, you can also save it to your iPad camera roll for easy sharing, create a snapshot, or catalog it.

   You can also create a video like the one above,

or a QR code to share with others! I can totally see my students going crazy over this as they share not only their learning, but messages with their friends.  And once's free!

Both of these apps are great ways for students to show their learning!

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