Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'm SO "Appy" Today!

I LOVE technology, and I was thrilled when I discovered the awesome number of apps that were FREE today!  I don't know how long they'll be free, so don't wait to download them.  Clearly I haven't had time to use them all, but I wrote a little blurb so you know a little about what each appears to do.  (I have had some of the McGraw Hill ones for a while since they were free last time, and they're WONDERFUL!)  I also noted some awesome discounted apps below that might interest you.  Have fun!

My Favorites
  • ELL Teacher GPS - I'm a HUGE believer in high quality professional development; I love to present to others, and I love to learn from others.  When I saw this app, I almost jumped from my seat from excitement!  Most teachers today don't get the training they need for English learners in their teacher training program, yet ELs are one of the highest growing diverse populations of students!  I always try to provide great PD for my co-teachers, but this app appears to already have it all!  It has videos, articles, quick tips, and more...what a great reference tool!  I haven't explored it yet, but it's from McGraw Hill so it has to be great!   
  • Number Line Manipulative - This appears to be a new app.  I'm really excited about it, especially with the new levels of conceptual thinking required by Common Core standards.  I'm hoping this will give my students a better understanding of the space along a number line and a better visualization of operations as they problem solve. 
  • Mind Your Own Budget - This one is usually $9.99!  From the University of Oklahoma.  It teaches teenagers about budgeting and financial literacy.  Maybe it will teach me something too! 
  • Cell Storming Presenter - TEACHER TOOL!  Usually $6.99.  I can see us using this to make some professional development plans and organize all those awesome ideas we have for new lessons and units!
  • Magic Chinese Books - I included the link for Magic Chinese Book 1, but Books 2-6 are also FREE today!  They appear to grow in difficulty as the apps progress.  For example, Book 6 appears to be more difficult than books 1-5, etc.  (Type the titles into your search bar or check the margin of the pop-up to see links to the other five apps.) 
  • Princess Coloring Book - BRAIN BREAK!  Time for coloring!  And who doesn't love princesses?
  • Physics, Heat and Cold - STEM-based science app that teaches about the physics behind heat and cold.
  • Easy Kid Cam - Kids can take pictures that are stored/saved inside their OWN camera so you don't have a camera roll full of "in motion" and blurred pictures. 
  • Numbers Memory Match! - Students match a counted quantity with the numeral and exercise memory skills.
  • Charlie the Chocolate Chihuahua Interactive Storybook - This just looks like fun!  I'm a "dog mom", so it didn't take much to convince me!
  • Learn Words 1 and Learn Words 2 - Great vocabulary builders for early learners. 
  • Converting Fractions - This flashcard math app helps students who are learning to convert fractions.  You can customize the set to target student needs.  
  • Complete 1st Grade Math Primer - I grabbed this app yesterday, and I was most impressed that it targets math vocabulary and language concepts!  This is perfect for ELs who may struggle with word problems or directions due to language.
  • Geography Drive USA - This geography app allows students to learn about our country while "driving" through the states.  
  • Achieve It With Sesame Street - What a better time to begin financial literacy than when your toddlers are watching Sesame Street?!  Elmo teaches students about saving, spending, and sharing in this app.
  • The Big Moving Adventure - An app to teach youngsters about what happens when you move.  It takes children through the entire moving process. 
  • Soccer Pre-K for iPhone - Begin early literacy and mathematical skills with an engaging soccer game that lets students write letters, match colors, and identify numbers.
  • Wild, Woolly, Wonderful Critters - Targets animal identification through early reading practice.  This one lets students record their reading, so it's great for reflective feedback!  
  • The Jungle Book - Classic tale, now in the interactive edition! 
  • Sparky Shark Interactive - Tale of a misunderstood shark.  I haven't read this one yet, but the animation is adorable, and it looks like it does a great job in explaining that things aren't always what they seem.
Apps from McGraw Hill
I didn't leave any commentary on these because they are ALL fabulous!
Apps Worth Purchasing (Especially Since They're Discounted!)
  • LanguageBuilder for iPad - This app is awesome for language learners.  It has immediate feedback, literacy building, conversational practice, receptive/expressive language functions, and SO MUCH MORE!  I can use it to track data for my students.  It's NOT free, but it's usually $9.99, and today it's only $1.99.  In my opinion, it's definitely worth buying.
  • Buzz Monster - WOAH!  I can't wait to try this one out with my students.  You can build your own Jeopardy-style game for students to play!  It's usually $5.99, but it's on sale for just $1.99 through the end of January.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snowpocalypse Sale!

As most of you already know, Alabama experienced a little bit of an emergency situation yesterday!  SNOWPOCALYPSE 2014!  We don't typically experience this kind of weather so our vehicles and roads just aren't ready for those conditions.  It was a tremendous blessing that our loved ones arrived back home after quite a busy day yesterday.
(Here's a picture of my snowy baby playing outside this morning!)

Since we're out of school for two days, I've been busy working on some TpT products!  My original plan was to wait until Friday to host a sale on my Chinese New Year Burrito Booklet...but I'm TOO EXCITED!  So, in honor of Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year) starting this Friday, I'm running a half-off sale through the end of the celebration!

But, wait!  There's more!  I've also decided to run a half-off sale on my other products in honor of the Snowpocalypse!  Don't go back to school unprepared...snatch up some of these products while they're hot off the press and discounted 50% off!

Psst...I might be having a giveaway soon too, so stay tuned to my Facebook page, Inside Bell's Brain!  Be sure to "like" it so you don't miss a single post.  And follow me on TpT so you receive updates when I post new products. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy "Appy" Saturday: Freebies for Your iPad!

There are so many great educational apps out there that it's almost impossible to keep up with them all.  I LOVE technology, but it can be overwhelming at times to know what and when to integrate it with your "pencil and paper" instruction.  That's why I did a little research for your classroom and mine!  The apps in this post are currently FREE (checked again this morning), though some are always offered as free apps.  I downloaded them too...but I haven't played them all yet, so I can't vouch for each one.  The descriptions and concepts behind each one, however, look like they'll be definite wins in your small group centers or daily practice work.  

Reading and language apps
Word Wizard
The Really Groovy Story of the Tortoise and the Hare
Gappy's Mystery Letters
Kindergarten Bingo
ABC Wildlife
Space Voyager Letters 

Math apps
Place Value Chart
Algebrainiac: Multiplication Table
Chalkboard Mathematics
Counting Dots
CyberChase Space Quest
Match 10
Science and critical thinking apps 
Shout Science
Lipta Train

Other games and conceptual thinking apps
Professor Garfield Online Safety
Tizzy Cowboys and Cowgirls

Friday, January 10, 2014

My First Linky Party

I am THRILLED that I just jumped in on my VERY FIRST linky party!  Check out this link to grab some awesome FREE resources from some amazingly innovative teachers.  I already snatched mine up!  Yours truly is at #25 with my Accommodations Labels.  I hope they help a lot of teachers; I know they have been a great time-saver for me.  I know I've already posted them once on my blog, but hopefully I will have more fun freebies up on my TPT store before my next opportunity to linky!  Don't miss out on this linky party...these freebies may only be available for a limited time!  (Image above provided by The Primary Gal.)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Attention Grabbers: Call & Response Poster

This year, one of my focus areas has been to incorporate more Whole Brain Teaching strategies in my daily instruction.  In my opinion, one of the best - and certainly most fun - components of WBT is "call and response".  These "attention grabbers" are very popular on Pinterest; you can find so many premade posters out there with creative calls and responses for teachers and students.  But I wanted something a little more individualized for my classroom, so I made my own!  I printed each page (pair) on a different color of bright paper.  I cut out each phrase using several designs of craft scissors and glued each pair onto a large posterboard.  (See photo below.)  My students really enjoy them; it makes a big difference in student engagement and adds variety to our lessons.  I'm sharing the file with you so you can do the same!  It will be free for the first 24 hours, so grab this one while it's HOT!
NOTE: I took out some phrases from popular movies and songs to avoid copyright infringement.