Internent Pedegogy Course Capsule Summaries

Website or App: website and App
Cost: Free with paid premium content
Geared Towards: Teachers and students
Grade Level: Any
Subject Area Focus: Any
SAMR Model Level: Augmentation: CANVA acts as a substitute for programs that allowed you to design posters, pamphlets etc.
Easy poster Creation
Beautiful graphics and design content
Easy to use and intuitive
If you play around with a design too much you lose the design feel
Website or App: both
Cost: Free with paid premium features
Grade Level: Elementary
Subject Area Focus: Math
SAMR Model Level: Augmentation – acts as a substitute for traditional analog math games.
Easy to use
Highly motivating for kids
Each student gets their own login
You can pick what your students work on
You can track what your students are working on and what they are struggling with
Name: Xtramath
Website or App: both
Cost: Free
Grade Level: Elementary
Subject Area Focus: Math fact practice
SAMR Model Level: Substitution – acts a substitute for math flash cards
Easy to use
You pick what you want your kids to work on
They only move onto the next level of math facts once they’ve mastered the step their on
Baseline assessment to see where to start students
Customization by parents students
Rote learning of math facts
Rote learning of math facts
Website or App: Website and App
Cost: Free
Grade Level: All
Subject Area Focus: Any – enables you to make interactive images
SAMR Model Level: Redefinition – allows for the creation of interactive images that weren’t possible before.
Easy to use, share and embed.
Allows you to add: video, speech, text and links to images.
Name: Fresh Grade
Website or App: both
Cost: Free
Grade Level: Teachers, parents and elementary
Subject Area Focus: Portfolio creation and assessment
SAMR Model Level: Augmentation – acts as a modification on the portfolio creation process.
You can create an account for each student in your class
Easy for students to login
Students can add content to their own portfolios
Portfolios can be shared with parents
Name: Exploratorium Light and Sound Undiscovered Apps
Website or App: App
Cost: Free
Grade Level: Elementary and middle school
Subject Area Focus: Science
SAMR Model Level: Augmentation – acts as an interactive encyclopedia
Interactive E-books
Great content
Easy to navigate
Only 2 ebooks currently available in the series
Website or App: App
Cost: Free
Grade Level: Elementary and middle school
Subject Area Focus: Science – animal conservation
SAMR Model Level: Augmentation – acts as an interactive encyclopedia
Beautiful interactive images that provide information about a number of endangered species around the world
Doesn’t air play onto other devices – hard to show a class 
Name: You are stardust by Elin Kelsey and Artwork by Soyeon Kim
Website or App: App
Cost: $5.99
Grade Level: Elementary
Subject Area Focus: Science and Astronomy
SAMR Model Level: Augmentation – acts as an interactive ebook
Beautiful interactive app that explains to students the connections between people, the earth and space. I like it as a way of sparking students curiosity about the world around them.
Website or App: Website
Cost: Free
Geared towards: teachers, schools and school divisions
SAMR Model Level: Modification.
So many ways to use Google Apps for Education!
A few:
Assignment turn in
Online document collaboration and sharing
Access for users anywhere
Website or App: Website and
Cost: Cost to schools but you can access it for free through public libraries
Grade Level: Elementary, middle and high school
Subject Area Focus: both fiction and non-fiction books
SAMR Model Level: Augmentation – acts as an interactive library.
Large collection of ebooks, read-a-longs, videos, graphic novels, audiobooks. Both fiction and non-fiction.
Students love listening and watching a book from the tumblebook collection.
Once you have access, easy to access.
Costs can be prohibitive if you don’t have access through a local library or school division

Gamification in Education

Alright, it’s been a while, a long while since I posted anything on my blog! Here’s a quick post on gamification in education. Looking forward to writing more soon!Blog GraphicHere’s a great Ted talk: Jane McGonical: Gaming can make a better world

It’s Their Education. Not Mine.


 Zippo photo credit: liber via photopin cc

As the months have ticked by and my students have slowly grown into the big shoes that Grade 4 holds I have noticed something interesting happening in my classroom. My students absolutely love teaching each other. Now I know this is nothing new but we are currently experiencing a major shift in my room.

It all started earlier this year when one of my students came to me asking when we would be studying the Canadian government. You see, he had heard via the grapevine that it was something that Grade four’s always learned and he couldn’t wait to get started. I let him know that we would be exploring the government in January – February and thought that’s where the matter would end. Well, I was wrong. Almost on a weekly basis after that I was asked when we would be starting and why we couldn’t start sooner. Clearly I had a Canadian government aficionado on my hands.

One day as I was peppered with more questions about what we would be studying I had an idea: would he want to kick off our unit with a presentation? I posed the suggestion to him and he jumped on board but before he started he had two questions for me: 1) What should he do his presentation on? 2) What were we ‘supposed’ to  cover? I pulled out my curriculum document and said: “You have free rein on what you want to present on and here are the topics we are ‘supposed’ to cover. He asked if he could add in extra topics: the privy council, how supreme court judges are nominated and the history of the various positions within parliament. Sure, why not? If it interested him I said and it is within the big topic he could go for it! With a route to follow and a spark of inspiration off he went ready to do his research!

The weeks ticked by and I watched him diligently research and tinker with his presentation. Every now and then I was asked if I could look over his work and perhaps give him another look at the curriculum document. As things starting winding down to winter break I let him know it would be time to present in January once we got back from our break. I could see the excitement and nervousness building. I too was excited to see how this would all pan out.

When the day arrived and as he walked up to the front of the room we both took a deep breath. As he worked through is presentation, I was blown away. The depth and level of research was incredible. Best of all, he spoke at the level of his peers and in terms they would understand. (He even had a full bibliography. Something I had worked hard on with them earlier this year. Yay!) As he wrapped up his peers cheered and clapped. They asked insightful and thoughtful questions. This was the best kick off I could have asked for.


Fast forward a few weeks and another member of my class approached me. He was wondering when we would be studying rocks and minerals and, if he could do the same as his classmate and kick off our unit for us. Cue a repeat of the same process: careful preparation, curriculum consultation and another presentation that blew me us of the water.


These two presentations have sparked something in my students. They now know that if they would like to teach each other something they are most welcome to. Since then we have had more presentations on rocks and minerals, birthstones,  star formation, sea life and one of the most in-depth video game analysis I’ve seen. And, just because they can and know how, a group of boys are building a website all about rocks and minerals.

Sea life

Now as I sit thinking about the events of the first few months I have begun to realize something. Yes, I have incredible students. And yes they love learning. But like every single student in our classrooms it is their education and not ours. This is their schooling experience and the learning journey of their lives. They deserve to explore their curiosity and follow their interests. With the right tools, freedoms, guidance and empowerment they are the most incredible resource in our room. They can teach each other anything and with me as their guide, I can help make it happen.


The trouble with going paperless.


 Letter Dance  photo credit: rosmary via photopin cc

As the year progresses I am realizing I have a small problem that seems to be getting bigger and nagging on my mind. We are quite privileged to have a classroom set of laptops that we use all the time. We use them for so many things it’s hard to keep track sometimes. We have created many things this past year: Thinglinks for our Science projects, Websites for our Social Studies Projects, Endless Google Docs for our writing and collaboration. The list could go on and on but back to the problem at hand: I don’t know how to proudly show off these pieces of work in my classroom.

We’ve tried printing out our projects to put on the bulletin board but then we lose what makes these tools so awesome and end up with 2D dullness. (Sound! Animation! Video! All gone.) We can display them online but, it still doesn’t help with the classroom/hallway display space. I think I will try QR codes next to the print ups. I will teach the students to link their work to them and hope that people will a) have a device with which to scan with and b) know what a QR code is.

Ideally, I would like an interactive display. Something where a passerby could interact and explore our work on the wall. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just a touch screen display where we can link our work. *Ah a girl can dream*.

How do you display your digital work in your classroom/hallway?