Great Apps, Gone Free

I stumbled upon a great post on Appy Mall, chock full of a lot of great free apps for the classroom.Check it out, you won’t be sorry. They always have great postings, so be sure to like them on Facebook too!

Free App Post


We Haiku – Do You? – Haiku Deck in the Classroom

Haiku Deck

If you are looking for a presentation app, there certainly is no shortage of apps available in this arena! While many are excellent choices depending on what you are looking for. Haiku Deck is an excellent choice for student presentations at the elementary level because of its simplicity (but also a great choice for all grade levels too).

Haiku Deck has limited space on each slide, and this forces students to write short and precise thoughts. It also has a very simple interface that is easy to use. The app also offers quick access to a vast collection of high-quality images and has beautiful presentation themes. Oh and it is FREE!

Simple Steps of Haiku

  1. Open the app and tap on the add icon to begin creating a new presentation.
  2. Type in the title of your presentation.
  3. Your first slide will open with three options displayed on the left side. Tap the text to enter your own text. Note – You will be limited to one headline and a sub line for each page.
  4. Tap on the image icon to search for images based on keywords or select an image from the Creative Commons photo library.
  5. Tap on the layout icon to adjust the placement of text.
  6. Tap on the add icon to add another slide and repeat steps above for each new slide.
  7. To change the theme, tap on the theme tab above the slide to switch to another theme. There are four themes that come with Haiku Deck, however  others can be added with an app purchase.
  8. To Share: On the main menu, tap on the share button to export your presentation. Tip: The presentation can also be played within the app.

More Useful Tips

  • The easiest way to manage a classroom of iPads is to create a single email account for the entire class to use. You’ll need to sign in to the app on each individual iPad once–after that, the app will keep you signed in.
  • If like us, you have a class blog or website, you can  embed your Haiku Decks straight from the app. From the app, tap SHARE, then PUBLISH, then POST TO BLOG. From the website, look for the EMBED button right under the deck.Then simply copy the code string and paste to your blog!
  • Follow their Pinterest board to see how educators are using it in their classroom! Education Case Studies on Pinterest

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Nearpod – “App”-tastic Way to Engage and Assess

Nearpod- Free App

Last month, I attended the Edscape conference held in New Milford, N.J., hosted by NMHS and principal Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal). I was delighted to be surrounded by fellow educators who shared a passion for technology and social media (seriously, I got to learn and tweet at the same time… amazing!). After an incredibly motivating and inspiring keynote speech by George Couros (@gcouros) we were off to break out sessions to learn more about specific ways to further integrate technology into our classrooms.

Not knowing what I was in for, I decided to visit a workshop on an app called Nearpod. About 3 minutes into the presentation, I was sold! Last year I relied heavily on the limited capabilities of the Socrative app to poll and assess my students. There is just no comparison between the two, and I am now a happy convert.

What is Nearpod?

Nearpod enables teachers to use their iPads to manage and send out content on students’ devices. This allows the teacher to set the pace and ultimately control what is on the students’ iPad. Nearpod is an interactive presentation that allows for engagement and the use of real-time assessment tools, all in one powerful app.

How Does Nearpod Work?

There are 3 basic components to the Nearpod experience : Create, Engage, and Assess

Create – Teachers login to the Nearpod site and create multimedia presentations with interactive features like quizzes, videos, polls, drawing tools, and more. For a fee, teachers can also access pre-made presentations from publishers and fellow educators.

Engage – In the classroom, teachers use the Nearpod iPad app, logged into Teacher end, to share content with their students and manage the flow of the lecture. Teachers simply provide the students with a short key, that allows the students to enter the session. Students use the Nearpod Student end of the app0 on their iOS devices to download and receive the curricular content, participate in activities and ultimately submit their individual responses.

Assess – The coolest part about this app is  that teachers can see students’ answers in real-time on the Nearpod Teacher app. In addition, to access post-session data, teachers can log in to and view detailed activity reports!

Take a Look at Nearpod in My Classroom  : Nearpod Video

Get Started Now!

To start using Nearpod you must download the Nearpod Teacher app (free) and create a free account. Next you need to download the Nearpod Student app on each student device. Now you are ready to amaze!

Some Helpful Links to Get You Started:

Nearpod Video Tutorials

Youtube Video : Getting Started with NearPod: Creating Presentations

Educreations: The App With Endless Possibilities

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time – Chinese Proverb


There are no shortage of apps in the “Interactive Whiteboard” arena and over the years, I have tried most. While many of the similar apps have great features that make them unique, I have found the Educreations app to be my go to in this market. I showed my students in about 3 minutes how to use it yesterday and sent them off on their own to create videos. Amazingly, they did so quickly and without having to come to me for any help!

Why Educreations Rocks!

  • Quick and easy set-up
  • User friendly interface
  • Ability to use camera to insert pictures, as well as ability to adjust pictures to your desirable size
  • Records your voice, drawings, typed texts, images, and hand-writing ALL with the ability to pause
  • Allows you to add more than one page, to create a video presentation (which you can flip back in as well)
  • Crowdsource for content – not only are your videos stored, but you can search video tutorials made by others as well
  • The videos are embeddable too, allowing you to easily add them to a class website
  • Student accounts can be linked to teacher’s “Course” using a code, and do NOT require an email to register
  • Printing options

Ideas for use in the classroom:

  • Assessment of student’s knowledge (because who doesn’t love an alternative to pencil and paper?)
  • Flipping the classroom
  • Creating tutorials for students to revisit at home when extra help is needed
  • Study Guide
  • Have students create videos to share their thinking
  • Reading responses
  • Oral paragraph writing
  • Reading fluency practice – child reads the book and records, then replays it to rehearse
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Jig-Saw Activities
  • Parent – Teacher Communication
  • Digital portfolios
  • Step-by-step instructions

Time Saving Tip: 

To restart a recording while recording the lesson, you can tap on the Eraser tool and then tap a second time to get a menu. The menu will have a Clear Recording option that will clear the audio, but leave the slides in place.

They do not yet have a way to re-record the audio for a lesson that you have already saved or a way to undo part of the audio. However, they are looking to add this feature in a future version of the app, so stay tuned!

Web 2.0 – The Top Sites Every Teacher Should Know About

If you know anything about me, you know that I love technology. I am not talking only about my iPhone and Macbook either (because truly my affection for them must be lust, no?). What I am really talking about is technology where it belongs, in my classroom!

So I figured, why not combine two things I love? – technology and over-sharing! Lucky for you, this means a peek into sites that my classroom revolves around. Sites that your classroom should also revolve around!

Web 2.0 – Prepare to Be Amazed!

… soon to follow, sites to help you be a better teacher!


Kidblog is a site that is designed for K-12 teachers who want to provide each student with their own individual blog. Students publish posts and participate in academic discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs and user accounts, and trust me, you don’t want it any other way!

Tagxedo – Word Clouds with style

Tagxedo turns you or your student’s words into a visually stunning word cloud.  I’ve used this for  – All About Me Word Clouds, Poetry, Biographies, Book Covers, Vocabulary Review, to name a few.


From thier site: is the leader in free educational kids computer games and activities for elementary students to learn on the web. All children’s educational computer activities were created or approved by certified school teachers. All educational games are free and are modeled from primary grade lessons and enhanced to provide an interactive way for children to learn.

Sumdog – Free games that make learning fun!

My kids love using the game based learning site. It is free to use most of the site, and you can select skills for each student by standard! The hard part, is getting them off this site.

Glogster – Online Interactive Poster

From their site: Glogster EDU is the leading global education platform for the creative expression of knowledge and skills in the classroom and beyond.  We empower educators and students with the technology to create GLOGS – online multimedia posters – with text, photos, videos, graphics, sounds, drawings, data attachments and more.


Helps kids master basic math facts- and what teacher doesn’t need help with this? Easy to use and set-up; we use it every day in our classroom! It has made a huge difference with math fluency in my students.


LearnZillion is a learning platform that combines video lessons, assessments, and progress reporting. Each lesson highlights a Common Core standard, starting with math in grades 3-9.


Students can practice their spelling or vocabulary words on a game based platform. My personal favorite, Word-O-Rama.


Often called, Facebook for the classroom, Edmodo is a highly engaging educational site. Edmodo helps connect all learners with the people and resources needed to reach their full potential. Seriously, why haven’t you signed up your class yet?

Starfall – Learn to Read with Phonics

A free website to teach children to read with phonics. For preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. Exciting phonics games and online interactive books. Great for your ELL students!

Wonderopolis – Where the wonders of learning never cease.

Welcome to From their site: Wonderopolis®, a place where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery in learners of all ages. Brought to life by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), our Wonders of the Day® will help you find learning moments in everyday life—ones that fit in with dinner preparations, carpool responsibilities, a stolen moment between breakfast and the bus, or within school curriculum and education programs.

Interactive Sites – All of the best K-5 online, interactive, educational games and simulations in one place!

Great for use on the SmartBoard, as they are all interactive games.

Padlet – Virtual Post-it Wall

Love to use this for Reader’s Workshop or any type of whole class collaboration. Each student can add a sticky to the wall…. so many possibilities!