Tech Tuesday: Animoto

I spent my first 2 years of teaching in the second grade hallway, where I was the only teacher under 30. I was the designated technology go-to person, which earned me the nickname Tech Weck. Clever, I know. I've now made my way to the first grade hallway, and I'm not the only technologically savvy teacher, so I've got to stay on top of the game. So today I'm bringing you a simple tech tip!

I've seen all these fabulous teachers putting together heartwarming end of the year slideshows, and I keep thinking, "Oh, I should do that." I'm tired, however, and I had no desire to spend lots of time on such a project.

We have a great technology coach in our district, and she kept telling us about this great site where you can make fancy looking slideshows, and she insisted it was just soooo easy, and I kept thinking, "Oh, I should try that." Again, my motivation for anything other than survival is currently minimal. One of my teammates used the site to put together an end of the year slideshow for her class, and she insisted it really was that easy. So I decided I really should actually try it. What do you know? It actually is THAT easy.

Animoto allows you to make really cool video slideshows, it's extremely simple to use, AND you can get a free account as a teacher.

Simply visit the site here, and click apply now. Your account will be good for 6 months, but you can renew it again once the 6 months are up.

When creating your video, you start by choosing your background. There are plenty to choose from and there are different styles for different needs.

Then you get to choose your song. You can only use one song, but there is no length limit, and you can upload your own song or choose from their library.

Then you can add as many pictures as you'd like!

One small tip is to click on Settings and set the pacing to auto.

Preview and enjoy!

You can check mine out below. More examples and information can be found here.


Five for Friday!



We had field day yesterday and it was a blast! Our gym teachers are amazingly creative and always have great games for the kids. So fun!

Also, check out my student who was doing clap push ups. For real, though...


We are finally done with our reading series, which meant it was Robert Munsch week! We completed a handful of activites from Ashley Reed's Much Ado About Munsch author study. 


We also finished up our American Symbols unit. It's definitely one of my favorite social studies units, and we always do tons of fun craftivities, so I like that I can plan it for the end of the year. I use the American Symbols Bundle from Teacher to the Core.


I wanted to do some fun activities at my teacher table this week, so we played lots of games, and I also did noodle dialogue with my kids. Nothing new, but always loads of fun. Except when they ask me to cook the noodles 500 times. Never.gonna.happen.


Kindergarteners came to visit this week and we had a great time teaching them all about first grade. We had a full classroom, but it was a lot of fun.

3 day weekend and then 2 days left! Unbelievable! 


Five for Friday



We are finishing the year with informative writing. I learned my lesson with animal research projects when we tried one in the fall. Last time I let students pick their animals, and then scrambled to find multiple, first-grade appropriate books on all of their animals from the library. This time, I went to our school library, which has a separate non-fiction section for younger grades, and picked 6 animals that had at least 5-6 books available. Students then wrote their first, second, and third choices and I assigned them animals. Worked like a charm. They are having a blast! 


We made these fabulous compound word flip books this week. So fun!


Our final unit in math is a review of the year. We are supposed to teach time to the 5 minutes (seriously?), so I pulled out the giant floor clock for my higher math groups. It makes teaching time bearable. My lower friends are still working on half hour and quarter hour. Even quarter hour is pushing it.

We also did a little review of coins and graphing, using Coin Spill from Michelle Hudgeon's Coin Craze pack. This cutie even made his own graph with his coins. In addition to going through the data, I made them count up the value of each group of coins. #2for1


It has been so AMAZINGLY nice outside, so I decided we needed to work outside for a little while. My classroom is right at the end of the hallway, so it's easy to slip right outside. Glorious.


Our wonderful principal rewarded our class with 20 minutes of extra recess because she was so impressed with our persuasive letters we wrote a few weeks ago. We cashed it in this morning and they soaked up every minute of it. They didn't even care that they were stuck on the preschool/kindergarten playground.

12 days left!


Five for Friday


We did bubble gum fractions today, and we had a blast! Each student was given a piece of Dubble Bubble and a few minutes to get their gum warmed up. We did five 1 minute rounds and they tried to blow at least 1 bubble per round. Students were either able to blow bubbles or they weren't, but most of them had so much fun watching the others ham it up, that they didn't care. 

This girl was cracking everyone up. She had the biggest bubbles, but they kept popping on her face, and she was loving making everyone laugh.

Students recorded their data, made their fraction, and then we came back in and made this adorable craftivity from Michelle Hudgeons.

I was telling my teammate about all the Mother's Day activities I had planned for this week and she kindly pointed out that Mother's Day isn't until NEXT weekend. Nevertheless, it was in my plan book, and I was ready, so we were going to push on. Come on. Look at how adorable these turned out! I couldn't wait another week for this cuteness! I 100% stole the idea from Melissa Machan.  

We revisited fractions this week, so I pulled out the sticky notes again, but this time we just stuck them on paper and drew the lines, unlike last time (seriously, what was I thinking?!). We talked about equal shares again and then practiced some more serious fractions. I have no idea why my kids want to turn everything into books. Whatever works.

We made a worm habitat to start off worm week in science . I was so proud. The kids were so excited. It was going to be fabulous... and then the worms died. Within 24 hours. Apparently I didn't research this process thoroughly. But seriously, who kills earthworms? I thought they were indestructible. They aren't. Of course, the kids begged to see the habitat 2 days later, and I told them it didn't really go as planned, and, apparently, the worms didn't like our dirt/sand. Lovely children didn't understand this was code for, "I killed the worms." They asked when I was going to release them. "Right after school." #epicfail 

I got a bread maker! For free! Thanks to my generous teammate Mrs. B! I went home and immediately made a loaf of bread. I just made plain white bread, to dip my toes in the bread making water, and sure enough, it tasted like bread! I can't wait to test it out some more this weekend. My teammates are already making requests. The cinnamon bread looks complicated, so they'll have to wait till I make my way up the bread making ladder for that one.

Only 3 Fridays left till summer break!