Favorite Time of the Year and Something New!

pumpkin spiced lattes. jeans. converse sneakers. crisp, cool air. pumpkin patch pictures. fall decor. family. food. friends!  These are just a few of some of my favorite parts of fall! It is my most favorite time of the year! Here are a few activities I like to incorporate in the fall! All of which can be found in my two new bundles Piles of Smiles {K-1} and Piles of Smiles {2-3}.

Apples, galore! How do you like yours? I love mine with peanut butter or Nutella. Yummo!  Here is a fun activity you can do at home with your own littles or in your PreK-1st grade classroom.  This activity turns into a great keepsake for parents!! 

Do you love candy corn as much as I do?  What about incorporating it into a math assessment or math station? Students will have so much fun showing what they know with comparing numbers! This product is also very easy to differentiate and can be used in kinder through third grade!

My last activity to share today is the Tree of Thanks! I thank the good Lord every day for the blessings in my life.  We need to share with our kiddos how truly blessed we are! It's a great conversation!   The Tree of Thanks is also easy to change up for older students.  You could have students write a short poem including things they are thankful for or have them write a few sentences.  I cannot wait to see what our tree will look like at the end of November! If you use this idea at home, add one leaf each day to show your family's gratitude! If you use this in your classroom, each student can add their own "thankful" leaf. 
All of the above activities along with a bunch more can be found in my two new fall creations: Piles of Smiles!
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What is your favorite fall classroom activity?  I'd love to hear from you!

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Back 2 School & Technology Buzz

Hey All! Whew! It has been a great two weeks of school! Besides my new, fun group of third graders....my son started first grade and my daughter is enjoying her new Pre-K class! 
I am sorry that I have been MIA! It has taken me about two weeks to get back in the swing of things, but I plan to have at least a couple of posts this coming week:-) I wanted to share a few amazing 21st century learning tidbits! Some of these tools I have used in my classroom...and the others I can't wait to implement!

1. Aurasma
Wow! Augmented reality is now possible.  If you like QR codes and using them in your classroom, check out what you can do with Aurasma. This eight minute TED video gives the basics of what Aurasma is and how it can be used.
Now, take a quick look at how you could use Aurasma as part of a math station in your classroom:

The sky is the limit with this free app in the classroom.  There are so many great uses for Aurasma!

2.  Path On - The ideas I have for the classroom with Path on are endless!! A picture + words with a path that you determine! My mind immediately goes to characterization and the cool things you could do when studying characters and character traits. What about science? Upload a picture of a science tool {beaker} and have students trace a path around the beaker and then insert text that explains how to be safe when handling liquids during science activities!! Path on looks like a TON of fun and I know my kiddos will love it!!
3. Picturebook - Students can make books on almost any topic! My first grade son adores this app! He is constantly making books about things we do or different people in our family.  This app has so much potential and could be used K-5 in a variety of content areas. 
4.  Pic Collage - I have used Pic Collage in many ways in my classroom.  I love that students can add text and pictures in a creative product! Last year my kiddos picked their own topic and had to create a pic collage and write 2 facts and 2 opinions about their topic.  I was able to take a language and reading grade on their creations.  The best part...the kiddos LOVED it!  

5. Funny Movie Maker - This app is too cute! Again, the possibilities are endless! I envision students making a speech to review a concept or skill...or maybe students come up with two different "characters" to debate a topic! Check it out!

Two Cool Web 2.0 Tools!
If you are anything like me, you visit many sites a day on the computer for this or that.  Enter - Symbaloo! Symbaloo allows you to save a webmix of documents or websites for future reference {it's super user friendly too}....a way to stay organized and keep up with all the places we visit online.  Think of it as a one stop bookmark for many sites! You can also make webmixes to share with students or parents.  You could make a webmix of student approved websites in content areas that would come in very handy when you don't want students to have to enter a URL address....they just click on the icon and boom...they are on the site or part of the website without having to jump around or navigate the site! :-)

 Sign generators from redkid.net. 
 Last year I came across these neat sign generators.  I used the iPhone and iPad generators in my class.  Students created fake texts and emails as part of a reading response activity on characterization. They "sent" emails and texts as a character in our story to another character in the story.  This was a VERY popular station, as you can imagine! Be careful, not all the sign generators are kid-appropriate! 
What apps or technology are you excited about this year? I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

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