Top Apps for Teaching and Learning

A fortnight ago we had a great PD at school about iPads and how we can use them best in the classroom.  I asked our eLearning Teacher for her top 3 apps to use in the class, here they are.

1. PicCollage lets you instantly arrange your photos into frames - or get creative with freeform collages, cut-outs, filters, borders, stickers, and text. Your friends will be amazed with what you can create. It's like Photoshop with your fingers!

  • Import photos from your photo library,
  • Instagram, Facebook and web image search
  • Simple touch gestures to rotate, resize, flick to delete
  • Double-tap a photo to edit photo with Aviary photo effects, clip photo, adjust borders, copy/paste and “flip” images
  • Just tap on the lower-left Frame icon, and swipe to select a frame to make an instant collage!
  • Clip photos by outlining the area you want with your finger
  • Lots of backgrounds and stickers to choose from!
  • Download a “Remix” collage to use as a template for your collage!
  • Share your creations to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and now... Path!
2. iMotion HD is an intuitive and powerful time-lapse and stop-motion app for iOS. Take pictures, edit your movie and export HD 1080p & 720p videos to your device or directly to Youtube.
Time-lapse is a cinematography technique which accelerates movement. It can be used to photograph cloudscapes, plants growing, crowds...
Stop motion is an animation technique which makes a physically manipulated object look like it’s moving on its own.

  • HD 1080p & 720p capture & exports
  • Universal binaries iPhone / iPad / iPodTouch
  • 4 capture modes (time-lapse, manual, wifi remoted, microphone)
  • Ultra speed shooting up to 10fps (iPhone5/4S/4 & iPad3/4 only)
  • Variable frame rate playback
  • Portrait and landscape orientations supported
  • Useful capture tools (Manual Focus, Exposure Lock, Onion skin, …)
  • Export your videos and photos to your Photo Library, iTunes Sharing Folder
  • Export your videos to Youtube, Facebook and Mail (Full Version In-App required)
  • Quick and smooth interface
  • Autosave and direct preview
  • Unlimited movie length
  • Retina Display
3. Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. You can create dynamic interactive lessons, activities, assessments, and tutorials using Explain Everything's flexible and integrated design. Use Explain Everything as an interactive whiteboard using the iPad2 video display. Explain Everything records on-screen drawing, annotation, object movement and captures audio via the iPad microphone.  Import Photos, PDF, PPT, and Keynote from Dropbox, Evernote, Email, iPad photo roll and iPad2 camera. Export MP4 movie files, PNG image files, and share the .XPL project file with others for collaboration. Explain Everything has been designed for use in educational, business, and entertainment settings.

This Friday I am off to an all day PD for Ipads. Stay tuned, I'll share with you what I got from the day.


QAR - Question Answer Relationships

Hello everyone.  Tonight I thought that I would post about something that we have been discussing and implementing in our teaching at our school, The QAR strategy. The question and answer relationship (QAR) strategy is an awesome way to help students understand different types of questions. By seeing the relationship between the question and the answer, students can identify what type of question they are being asked and what type of answer they will give. 

Why use the question and answer relationship strategy?
  • It develops higher order thinking skills.
  • It teaches students how to ask questions about their reading and where to find the answers to them.
  • It helps students to think about the text they are reading and beyond it, too.
  • It helps student to analyze, comprehend and respond to text concepts
  • It helps refute the common misconception held by students that the text has all the answers.
There are four different types of questions:
  • Right There - The answer is in one place in the text.
  • Think and Search - The answer is in several places in the text.
  • Author and Me - The answer is not in the text.
  • On My Own - The answer is not in the text.
These four types of questions can be put into two categories:
  • In the Book - Right There, Think and Search
  • In my Head - Author and Me, On My Own 
The easiest way to implement QAR is by using question starters when reading a text, either in a small group or whole class discussion.  First, I explicitly go over what QAR is and the four types of questions.  I then read a text with my class and we look at the QAR questions starters.  I also read a text and ask my students' to come with their own QAR questions.  I might say who can give me a 'Right There' question about this text.  It can be quite difficult for students to come up with questions on their own rather just answering the ones we ask. 
Here are some examples of
- Right There question starters
  • How many...
  • Who is...
  • Where is...
- Think and Search question starters
  • What caused..
  • Compare/Contrast...
  • What happened before/after...
- Author and Me question starters
  • What do you predict...
  • What is the theme...
  • What does the author mean...
- On My Own question starters
  • Have you ever...
  • If you could...
  • Do you agree with...
I have created my own set of question starters that I use everyday.  I have them printed and laminated into four different tubs, so I can grab them whenever.  As I am a sucker for cute clipart, I found some very cool moustaches and used them to create 'I moustache you a QAR question'.  Take a look!
Check the link to my TPT store -

I am feeling very generous today, as I just cracked my $25 milestone on TPT (no that's not short for $25,000).  I am going to give this item away for free to the first person to leave a comment. Don't forget your email.

Storybook Saturday

I'm a little bit nervous about this, but here I go!  This is my first attempt at a link up with another blog.  I love reading about what other teachers do in their classes, I get so many great ideas.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love, love, love maths.  The more hands on the better.  I am a sucker for place value.  So hence I am linking up with Paula, from Paula's Place with her weekly Storybook Saturday.  This week she has posted her favourite maths storybooks, so I thought I would post mine.

I have to decided to write about my favourite maths storybook author.  The ever almighty Stuart J. Murphy, who created the MathStart series.  I love these books!  Not only are the storylines wonderful, the illustrations are so eye catching and reinforce what the objective of the maths lesson is.  Not only that, the books come in 3 levels.  Level 1 is for ages 3+, Level 2 is for ages 6+ and Level 3 is for ages 7+.  At last count I have around 20-25 from all 3 levels.  I have Year 2s and found that any level is appropriate for them.  I would read a level 1 book when we are introducing a new concept.  Level 2 and 3 really reinforce some of the concepts from level 1. 
I order my books from Books Depository, but I have also seen them on Amazon.  The books range between $5 to $7 Australian dollars, which are great value for money.  The best thing about the books is that at the back, Stuart lists activities that you and your students can do while reading the text and after.  Not only that, he also suggest other books that also relate to that concept.  As you can see I am a huge fan of MathStart and I hope you will be too!
Here are 3 of my favourites, one from each level.
Level 1
Henry the Fourth Thumb
Henry the Fourth (Ordinals): It's "Dog Show Day" and the kids in the neighbourhood have all gathered together to see four perfect pooches compete. Maxie's first, Baxter's second, Daisy's third, but will the stage-shy Henry the Fourth end up stealing the show? Identifying order is essential for developing sequencing skills.
Level 2
Give Me Half! Thumb
Give Me Half! (Understanding Halves): When a boy tries to eat a whole pizza without sharing half with his sister, it's not pretty. Of course, she isn't too keen on sharing her juice or cupcakes. With a little adult prodding, however, they soon learn the benefits of sharing and split everything in half, including clean-up chores. Recognizing that half means one of two equal parts leads to understanding fractions.
Level 3
Too Many Kangaroo Things to Do! Thumb
Too Many Kangaroo Things to Do! (Multiplying): Poor Kangaroo! It's his birthday but everybody's too busy to play with him. Emu has to bake one cake (1 x 1), spread two colours of frosting (1 x 2), decorate the cake with three flowers (1 x 3) and add four big candles (1 x 4). That's 10 Emu things to do when you add them up. The two platypuses, three koalas and four dingoes are likewise occupied with multiple tasks. Multiply each group's tasks, then add the totals together and it equals…a party! By learning how to multiply by 1, 2, 3, and 4, children are introduced to multiplication, one of the four basic arithmetic operations.

TPT Sale

Be quick TPT is having a sale.  There is way too much stuff on my wish list! What will you buy?

Here are the details - Teachers Pay Teachers has reached 100,000 facebook followers and is celebrating with 10% off - I am over an additional 20% off in my store, so a total of 28% off! Just don't forget to enter the code "FB100K".

Here is a link to my store -

I'll do another post with my purchases!

Have a great weekend and happy shopping!!

Holiday Fun in Hawaii

During the first 9 days of the school holidays, my family and I headed to Hawaii for a family trip!  It was great to relax and unwind in the sun.  We did lots of sightseeing, ate lots of food and even tried our hand at surfing. Here are a few photographs from my trip.

This was the view from the breakfast bar every morning.
Here I am with my partner Mick on a sunset dinner cruise.  Wasn't what we thought it would be as there was no sunset ..... hmmm.

The lobster was good though!
We visited the U.S. Arizona, was a really good tour - so much history.

We hired a car and went to the Northshore, was really great to get out of Waikiki.  I will definitely be going back one day!
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