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5 Ways to Integrate Technology in Your Classroom Routines

More and more teachers are hopping on the "paperless classroom train" and it's no surprise that they are seeing amazing success. Their students are more motivated, they are seeing improvements in their students' focus and productivity, and they are LOVING the reduction in photocopying! Integrating technology in your daily classroom routine is a great way to get your students engaged in their learning without creating more work for the teacher. It's a win-win!

There several ways that you can start using paperless activities in your classroom today. Here are 5 ways that you can easily integrate technology in your classroom and reduce the amount of paper being used by you and your students.

Collage apps are an easy tool that your students will love! We use Pic Collage in my classroom to create collages. We create these for a number of reasons: checking student knowledge before a new lesson, practicing new concepts, and reviewing old ones. Students can add pictures, words/sentences, and backgrounds to create beautiful collages.

In the picture below, students are working on a digraph sort. They had to search for images of "ch" and "sh" words and add text to their collage. In case you're wondering, it was crazy hat day!  ;)

This was a collage we made during our plants unit. Students had to search for pictures and write facts about plants. It turned out to be a fun "show what you know" activity!

Seesaw is a great tool for students to share their work with peers and parents. They can upload pictures, record their voice, and draw on top of images. Their work is shared in a private classroom account (it sort of looks like a classroom Facebook or Instagram) and parents can see their child's creations. I love how Seesaw is completely customizable to meet your classroom needs. You can make posts private or public, depending on what they are and how you use them. Take a look at some pictures of Seesaw in action:

The EPIC app is free for teachers and perfect for Daily 5, reading centers, and leveled reading groups. Students get access to a HUGE library of free books. Epic has a bunch of awesome features like the "read to me", categories for easy searching, reading logs, and rewards for reading. They also provide a letter for parents, so you can ask them to join at home. We love using this app in centers and partner reading!

Interactive games are the way to go when reviewing new concepts. They can easily be shared with students three ways:
- Send an email and opening it on a classroom device
- Use AirDrop (if you use iPads in your classroom)
- Share with your class using Google Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox.

Once you have shared the file with your students, they can play the games on a computer, iPad, or tablet. These can also be used as whole group lessons on an interactive whiteboard!

Want to give these games a try? You can download a FREE game here!

Digital graphic organizers are perfect when you want to save paper and integrate technology in your daily lessons. They can be shared with students (just like the games above) and can be used for reading responses & brainstorming stories. The best way to use these is by sharing the files with your students and having the kids fill in the spaces in the Pic Collage and/or Seesaw apps.
You can try a FREE digital graphic organizer HERE or you can purchase the entire set HERE.

Want to start integrating technology in your paperless classroom today? Try one of the tips above and come back for more once you have mastered it! PIN the image below in order to refer to this blog post later.

Happy teaching!

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Writer's Workshop {Flipbooks}

One of my teaching goals this year was to improve my writer's workshop. Every year, I feel like I need to work harder at getting my students to write GOOD narratives. I started this school year with this huge goal for myself and I think things are working out pretty well so far!

A few months ago, I started teaching my kiddos about beginning, middle and end. Before that, most of my students were basically writing random sentences that didn't really flow into good stories. I was happy to see how well most of my students were grasping this new concept. However, I had several writers who still struggled with understanding that the three parts of their story needed to create a sequence and form a meaningful story. In order to help these eager writers, I decided to break it down for them. By putting each part (beginning, middle, and end) on a different page, they seemed to better understand that each part had to have good substance in order to create a story that made sense. Also, by putting these pages together and making a "book", my students were REALLY motivated to write and to create their very first book! They got it. I was happy. Life was good! HA!

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Reading Intervention K-2

Working with struggling readers can be quite the task. We worry about these kids the most and spend so much time trying to figure out what can be done to help them succeed in our classrooms. If you're looking for new ideas, keep reading for 5 ways to help your struggling readers.

** Stick around.. I have a BIG FREEBIE for you at the end of this post **

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Christmas Activities!

Hi there, friends!

Are you ready to tackle the final schools days before winter break? I am! Let me share my plans for the next couple of weeks with you Christmas lovers ;)

My goal this week is to keep my students as engaged as they can be, while learning lots until the very last day of school. How will I attempt this? With fun writing craftivities, of course! I'm throwing some fun crafts into my plans for the next couple of weeks and I just know that my students will be thrilled.

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