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.



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