Daisy’s Favs Part 2

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Students teaching teachers at WISD Tech Camp

I started writing Daisy’s Favs Part 1 as a way to reflect on what worked last year in my class. When I realized how many apps and Web 2.0 tools that I loved and planned on utilizing again I quickly decided to split the post in half. These are all tools that really worked for my class. My students loved them and were actively engaged. I seriously suggest that you try some of them out. They are all easy to work, or I would not be doing them. I look really techy…..but seriously it has to be a pretty easy tool to integrate into my class, or I am moving on to something else!

1.Explain Everything – This is my new best friend. This is an interactive whiteboard that you can record on. The reason I love it so much is because it gives me the power to save any video I make to my camera roll. You know what that means? I can easily make a lesson for my students or for other teachers and embed it into an Aurasma. With Explain Everything if you mess up while you are recording you can go back to the exact point where you messed up instead of starting all the way over. This is such a powerful tool for teachers and students. Have students record how they are working out math problems, e-mail it to you, and BOOM….you see exactly where they mess up at and where they need help. Doesn’t get much better than that!

2. ThingLink – ThingLink can be utilized in several different ways but my favorite way is whole group. I would stream the app on my SMART board using my Apple TV and we would all sit together in front of it. We would then discuss whatever topic or concept that we were working on. I would pass my iPad around to the kids allowing them to add their own “target” on to whatever picture we were using. Another cool thing about ThingLink is that we were able to post our finished products on the school Facebook page for all of our parents to enjoy. This app can be used for assessment, projects, reflection and a whole lot more. 

3. Socrative – This app made my life as a mom, grad student, busy teacher and campus tech mentor so much easier. Plus, the students enjoyed it. Socrative allows you to upload quizzes through a shared room where students can access them. The teacher pushes the quiz out to the class, the students take the quiz, Socrative grades the quiz for you and then emails you the results. Not only does it e-mail you their grade, but it also e-mails you the ones they missed. How is that for immediate data? In all actuality Socrative is just like a worksheet; however, because it was on the iPad the students were extremely engaged and grades went up. They tried harder. They loved the fact that I could watch them on my iPad and see where each student was. I love this tool, and I will absolutely be using it this year.

4. GoNoodle – After starting grad school this year I realized just how important it is to walk away from the “work” for a little bit and let your brain relax. With that being said I started doing brain breaks with my 4th graders this year. GoNoodle, in my opinion, is the absolute best. They are fun, creative, bright colored and they do the trick. My students would beg for a brain break, and trust me I needed them, too! GoNoodle videos gave us exactly what we needed. We would take a quick break and head right back to work. GoNoodle was exceptionally helpful on rainy days where we could not get outside. When I started seeing how much fun they were I quickly spread the word to the teachers on my campus. Several of our teachers stared using them daily with their kids. I am pretty sure that 2nd grade teacher Robyn Glosson loved them the most!

5. Kahoot! – If you like to have fun with your students this is the tool for you. Dr. Steven Cox and his two sons have even been playing around with Kahoot! this summer. It is not an app. It is web-based; however, students can just go to safari on their iPad and access Kahoot! through there. Now, I did not use this one in my class last year, but Angela Moses and Robyn Glosson did. Their second graders loved it. I sat in a professional development session with Cori Coburn this summer, and she walked us through it. It’s absolutely awesome. You create different reviews for your students, and Kahoot! turns it into a fun, interactive game. Our superintendent, Brad McEachern, even introduced this awesome tool to teachers at our Warren ISD Tech Camp last week. I can not wait to use it with my students. 

I hope that you will try out some of the apps and tools that I have written about in Daisy’s Favs Part 1 and Part 2. These have all been “tested” out and worked extremely well for myself and other teachers that I know. As teachers in the 21st century we have to prepare students for their future jobs, not ours. We are quickly moving into a culture that is so immersed with technology that not exposing our students to it would be an injustice. Talk about no child left behind. My tip would be to not get overwhelmed. Start slow by using one or two things that you know will work for you and go from there. 




Daisy’s Favs – Part 1

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Showing off a little Augmented Reality

As the school year quickly approaches I have been reflecting on what worked for me last year and what didn’t. If you are thinking of utilizing some technology into your classroom this year (and I hope that you are) here are some of my favorite things that worked for my class.

1. Remind – One of the most important aspects of our job is clear, effective communication with students and parents. Remind is the perfect tool for this. With Remind you can send out one message that reaches all of your parents. What a time saver! Their new updates are unbelievable. You can attach photos and send them directly to every student/parent in your class. How did I utilize this feature? I took pictures of notes with upcoming events that needed to be sent home. This way parents were immediately updated with all 4th grade news. And let’s face it…sometimes notes get lost between school and home. If you have any questions about Remind email me. Check out their website and follow them on Twitter!  

2. Popplet- I used the Popplet app for EVERYTHING in my class this year. This app can be used for any grade level and in any subject. As the teacher, you just have to think outside of the box. After all, isn’t that what we are teaching our students to do? Nouns, verbs, adjectives, homophones, state projects, etc. Every concept we covered we made a Popplet. Why the kids loved it? It is hands on. It is engaging. Students love to bring their own creations to life and share them. Why I loved it? They created and then emailed it straight to me. By the end of the school year I had basically gone paperless and did not even realize or have intentions to do so. Why parents loved it? Their kids could email their work to them, too. It’s pretty cool to receive emails from your kiddos during the day showing you what they are working on. Check out their website and download this app today!

3. Write about This – I am a writing teacher so of course I love this app, but it can be used for so much more that just writing class. Math teachers can have students upload pictures of manipulatives or geometrical shapes for example and then have students write word problems. Second grade teacher Angela Moses did just that this year! Science teachers can use this app for a reflective journal which just happens to be in the TEKS. Social studies teachers can have students upload pictures of events, famous people in history, or places and have students write expository texts about each. This app is user friendly for the teacher and the student. Students can also email their final product to their teacher and parents. Write about This has a website and a blog that you can check out. The blog is written by teachers that have used this app with their students. 

4. Augmented Reality – When I started all this techy stuff in my class I started off with Augmented Reality. This is kind of crazy because it is one of the “fancier” tools to utilize with your students. I absolutely love it, and so do my kiddos. It has transformed my class. There are a ton of different tools that you can use for Augmented Reality, but the two that I have found the most effective are Daqri and Aurasma. These two sources allow you to create and personalize the Augmented Reality for your needs. This may look tricky, but if I can do it starting off then anyone can. If you have any questions on Augmented Reality I have several examples on my blog of how I used it in class. There are tutorials on my blog as well. Also, follow Drew Minock (@TechMinock) and Brad Waid (@Techbradwaid) on Twitter. They are your go to guys. They are super friendly and helpful, and they work for Daqri. In fact, go to Daqri and create your free educators account today. If your goal is happy, engaged students that love to learn then this is the tool for you.

5. Kids Blog – This was the first year that my students blogged, and it was absolutely AMAZING. Let me tell you why I loved Kid Blog. It is safe. It is private. Anything that students write is sent to me in an email and has to be approved before it is posted. MY students never wrote anything bad; however, sometimes they were silly. They would write what’s up with a hundred million exclamation points after it. Stuff like that I did not approve to be posted. I like that I had that control. Students were able to blog in other classrooms and at home. And they did. They did all the time. I am talking about 20 different kids blogging over Christmas break. It just doesn’t get much better than that. When students finished assignments early they always asked to blog. I loved this experience and will absolutely continue it. 

I hope you will try some of these out with your students this year. If you have any questions email me at daisy.marino@warrenisd.net. I will be posting Daisy’s Favs Part 2 in the next few days. I will be talking about Explain Everything, ThingLink, Socrative, Go Noodle, and virtual field trips. I am also going to touch on Get Kahoot. I did not use it with my kids last year but two of our second grade teachers did (Angela Moses and Robyn Glosson). I have sat in two professional developments this summer where Kahoot was used. It is super cool. I am told that kids love it, and I can not wait to use it in my class this year.


Step by Step Instructions: YouTube Video into an Aurasma

YouTube to MP4 to Aurasma to AWESOME

by: Daisy Marino

You want to impress your students? Make them think you are super tech savvy? Try embedding a YouTube video into a worksheet, a book, a poster in your class, really anything. This is a great way to supplement instruction or flip a lesson. It is super easy, and it takes very few steps:

-Find the YouTube video that you want to use. I usually use short clips from National Geographic Kids.

-Copy the URL

-Convert the YouTube video into an MP4. This is easy. Just google YouTube to MP4. I prefer this one: http://youtubemp4s.com/   (it only does shorter videos, but that is all I use)

-Download the MP4 and save to your desktop

-When you are creating the overlay for your aura in the Aurasma Studio choose video. Then browse for the MP4 that you want to use. Save it!

That’s it. Super easy and super effective!!

Recently I have made videos with the Explain Everything App and embedded them using Aurasma. Super easy as well, and I will blog about that soon.

Hope everyone has a great week 🙂

Step by Step Instructions on creating an Aura in the Aurasma Studio

Creating Auras in Aurasma Studio 

by: Daisy Marino

The Aurasma Studio is a wonderful way to create Auras for your classroom work. Do not be overwhelmed by the steps below. This is seriously easy. I create Auras in less than ten minutes, and it makes a huge impact on my students’ work. When you open the studio up you will see purple icons on the right side of the screen. The purple Help icon will give you tips if you get lost. The first thing to do is make your Aurasma Studio account which is super easy. Next, it is time to create magic for your students. Here is how I create Auras in the Aurasma Studio:


-Click on the + button in the top left hand corner

-Name your trigger

-Click Browse

-Choose image

-Click open

-Click save

(Now it will “think” for a couple of seconds. When it’s finished the save button will be muted in color. When this happens click on “Mask Opacity” and scroll the bar all the way over to 100%. Now click save again.)

-Click close

*your trigger image is now ready


-Click on the + button in the top left hand corner

-Name your overlay

-Choose the type (video, image, 3D object)





*your overlay image is not ready


-Click on the + button in the top left hand corner

-Name your channel

-Add a description if you would like

-Choose public or private

-Choose an image for your channel

-Click open

-Click save

-Click close

*Your channel is now created. Students will need to follow this channel to obtain your images. 


-Click on the + button in the top left hand corner

-On the left hand side you will see the words “Aura Details” click on the down arrow to the right

-Name your Aura

-Choose the Aura you created by clicking on the down arrow beside the words “Trigger Image”

-Choose the channel you would like to add this Aura to by clicking on the down arrow beside the word “Channel”

-Go back up to the word “Aura Detail” and click on the arrow. This will shrink the Trigger and Channel selection area

-Click on + Overlay

-the number one will appear with an eye beside it, click on the down arrow to the right of that

-Choose the overlay you created from the drop down menu

-add action if you would like

-Resize or move overlay if you would like

-Click save

-Click close


-Print out trigger images for your students

-Have students follow your CHANNEL on their device

-LEARN, CREATE, SHARE, and have FUN!!!

FIND YOUR SPARK! Be a firecracker for your students!

2014-07-05 08.40.27FIND YOUR SPARK! Be a firecracker for your students!

It has been a great summer so far! It is amazing to have time to spend with family and friends. It is also time to reflect on the past school year. I have been thinking about the the wonderful things that transpired last year. What can I do differently that will impact my students on whole new level? As teachers we should adapt, change, or modify lessons from year to year. Do not stay stagnant!

I was given the opportunity to attend Ipadpalooza 2014. It was beyond amazing. It is refreshing to learn from different perspectives. I met many amazing educators that I have been collaborating with on Twitter. I think making personal connections with our virtual connections enhances our collaboration. They had such great sessions to bring back home. What I love about this type of PD is that you learn what you want. YOU CHOOSE! I can’t wait to share with my fellow teachers. We have a responsibility of sharing what we know and learn to other teachers!

I’m having the sense that we are a part of something bigger. The times are changing for educators. If we as teachers don’t choose to change, our students will be left behind. I will not fail my students. I will keep learning so my students succeed! Our students need to know more than the 4 walls! Learning is so much bigger than the classroom. Open the walls and give them the choice of direction! As teachers we need to guide, be a leader, and believe in our students. We need to be their cheerleaders and celebrate the successes together!

I have decided to revamp my room. It is going to have an open atmosphere for learning . I have already moved the teacher desk out. I am adding bean bags, lap trays, whiteboards, and collaboration centers. I’m going to use guided math this year. We will have of learning stations!!!

I am looking forward to the next school with an open mind, heart, and lots of excitement. I want my students to have a class environment that is full of collaboration, sense of community, and to know it is ok to make mistakes. We will learn together and build from our mistakes.

I am so excited about the possibilities of a new year. The amazing thing about the journey with students is the road will take us anywhere! It is so much fun to be a learning guide for kids! I hope you join our adventures in the upcoming school year!

Daisy’s ISTE – My Top 10



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My first ISTE adventure


10. So, I got lost. The one time Summer Diamond was not with me -I got lost. In downtown Atlanta. In the rain. With no umbrella.

9. I sat in an amazing Google session that seriously blew my mind. I left there pumped. I have a list a mile long of things I want to do, and my superintendent already ok’d the big one. Stay tuned.

8. The students at the poster sessions made my day. They were passionate about motivating teachers to use technology. This is what students want. Let’s meet them where they are. The kiddos I had the opportunity to talk to showed several different apps that they “persuaded” their teachers to implement in class. They built websites, they had data and they had smiles on their faces. Oh my goodness! These kids made my heart happy.

7. #CoffeCue with Alice Keeler. Do I really need to say anything else? This lady is a genius. I am not a morning person, but this event was absolutely worth getting up at 5:00 a.m. for.

6. Meeting everyone. Networking. It matters. Naysayers will disagree, but it does. This is a world of educators that are sharing. They are making their classrooms transparent in hopes to inspire, motivate and collaborate with other educators. Free resources at your fingertips to fine-tune your career if you will just let them. Why wouldn’t you want to?

5. TxEduChat people are AMAZING! Seriously. Join the chat on Sunday evenings. Everyone is so positive and so real. They share. They care. They motivate and inspire me weekly. I met a lot of these cool educators in Atlanta for the first time (ironic).

4. Summer Diamond is for sure one of my educational soul sisters. She is in it for students. She is constantly searching for new ways to make her kiddos successful. Not to mention that I would have looked like even more of a tourist than I did without her by my side. She walked me into registration. She walked me around Atlanta. She helped me pick out sessions. She attended events with me. We bounced ideas off of each other the entire time. We had an absolute blast. I am so glad that she was there to soak all of this in with.

3. I sat with Drew Minock at the Blogger’s Café for a bit where he walked me through the new Daqri for Education. First of all, it is so user friendly. If I can do it – you can, too. The ease of uploading YouTube videos to triggers will make my workflow so much quicker and easier. I am excited to start watching their webinars and tutorials. Brad and Drew are passionate about education and Augmented Reality. I cannot wait to sit back and watch their new journey unfold and learn even more from them.

2. #YouMatter – When Angela Maiers hugs you, she hugs you with her whole heart. Her love for changing the world of education is contagious. The #YouMatter panel led by my pal Todd Nesloney is something that every educator needs to hear. Maybe even multiple times a school year. We need to be refueled and recharged, and we always need to remember what matters. We need to remember why we do what we do. If you get the chance go to Todd’s page and find the link and just listen to this panel’s powerful words.


1. Remind is hands down the best group of people I know. They truly have a heart for teachers. I think they may be secretly southern because their hospitality is always impeccable, and they love to eat good food!! If you are not utilizing Remind in your district, shoot me an email. I will let you know how we use it in our district and how it has changed communication with parents and faculty. The tool is absolutely top notch, but the people of Remind are incomparable