Shadows in YakIt Kids App

These Kindergarten students have been excited about shadows this week. On Monday, they learned about the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, and talked about how shadows are made. On Tuesday, the teacher constructed a KWL chart on the board and the students discussed what they already knew about shadows and what they wanted to know. The teacher read What Makes a Shadow? by Clyde Robert Bulla, Illustrated by June Otani to help answer the questions they had about shadows. Then the students went on the playground with the iPads and the teacher took a picture of each student with their shadows. When they got back to the room, the teacher and I pulled small groups to bring their shadows to life. We used the YakIt Kids app to add eyes and a mouth to their shadow. We also added a sun in the picture to reinforce the idea that shadows are created when light is blocked by an object. Finally they recorded their voice to make their shadows talk about what they had learned. The finished products were easily saved to the camera roll and the teacher used Dropbox to transfer them to her computer. Check out a few of their finished videos!

Meet My Shadow from Karen Hues on Vimeo.

Tech Takeout @ Adams Elementary

Last Friday the #TechTakeout crew went to Adams Elementary to do some awesome technology lessons with the fourth graders. As a group we planned four different interactive math stations for the students using digital tools such as Google Earth, Google Draw, CheckThis, and ActivInspire flipcharts. Everyone had a blast throughout the day! Check out what we did below. Keep your eye out for us Glen Lea, because we are coming your way next!


Mr. Covais and Mr. Caratachea had the students using Google Earth to measure the perimeter of historical sites aligned with fourth grade SOLs. First the students opened up Google Earth. Once Google Earth was opened the students went to the student server where they could drag a .kmz file onto Google Earth to take them to specific places. The first place that we traveled to was Jamestown. After Jamestown was located the students used the ruler tool to measure the three sides of the Jamestown fort.

The students then added the length of the three sides and posted their findings on a collaborative Padlet Wall.

After the students posted to the Padlet wall they were able to repeat the activity and measure Mount Vernon, St. John’s Church, and some groups even had time to measure Adams Elementary!

Click Here to download the files of the different locations we visited!


Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Robinson’s groups started by signing into their Google accounts. We then opened a blank document in Google Drawing and worked to create our own Gallon Girl, Gallon Guy or Gallon Man! Students used the shape tool to create various representations for the gallon, quarts, pints and cups. Each child changed their shape colors and added a key to their drawing as well. Finally they used the webcam to take a selfie and insert their own image into their drawing.

Check out some of their creations:


Mrs. Hues made an ActivInspire flipchart focusing on elapsed time. Elapsed time is always a tricky concept, so this was an awesome activity for these fourth graders! The students were able to use the interactive clocks within the flipchart to find how much time had passed between two events. On each slide, there was a sound recording with an elapsed time scenario, They listened to, and filled in the important information (start time, stop time, etc.). Then the students used the interactive clock to solve the problem.

While the student at the board was working through the problem, the other students had whiteboards and used whatever strategies they preferred to solve the problem.

When the students finished they looked at all of the final answers and shared the different ways that they arrived at the same answer, as well as figuring out where mistakes were made. The best part of the lesson was when another student perfectly explained the method that works for him and the other students benefited from seeing him work out the problem in this way. True collaboration and communication in action!


Ms. Wright and Mr. Clough used an awesome website called CheckThis for their activity. The students began the lesson by choosing items to weigh. Once the student selected their item they then used a balance to measure the mass of the item. After they knew the actual mass the students were ready to head over to CheckThis to make their own website!

Within CheckThis the students were able to take a picture of themselves holding their item. They then created a poll under the picture asking the weight of their item. At the bottom of each website the students took a second picture of themselves holding a piece of paper with the correct weight.

Mr. Clough and Ms. Wright made sure to grab the address of each website so that they can share them with the four teachers we worked with today. When the students visit the websites they can answer the question and then scroll down to see the correct answer.

Check out there awesome websites!


HUGE shoutout to Mrs. Browne and Mr. Favale for hanging with us at Adams and helping out too!

Check out all the fun we had!

#TechTakeout at Adams (01/2015) by Slidely Slideshow

Using Prezi to Present Information on the iPad

Prezi is a great presentation tool. Next time you have information that you want to teach to your kids, you may consider using Prezi as your tool to deliver the information. Prezi captures your student’s attention because it jumps from side to side, up and down, zooms in and out, rather than just advancing in a linear motion. There are copyright free pictures that you can search for and use right within the program. You can also search for and embed YouTube videos right into your presentation. Another great feature is the ability to record your voice over each slide. This is especially helpful in Kindergarten and 1st grade as they are still learning to read. By viewing this Prezi on the iPad, the students will click through the presentation and it will automatically read aloud to them, so they can track with the text as it is read aloud. When viewing on the iPad, there is an arrow that appears and prompts the students to click to the next stop in the presentation. Here is an example of a Prezi that I created for Maps & Globes.

Feel free to scan this QR code with your iPad and let your students give it a try!

Winter in Educreations

This 21 degree morning was the perfect time to have students create a page in Educreations to describe winter weather. Using a variety of picture books that they have been reading in their Kindergarten classroom, the students took a picture of a page that they thought showed the season of winter. Then they used the recording feature to point out what in the picture told them that it was winter. They also used the typing tool to write a sentence and type their name. Here is a great example of what the students created in stations today:

Elapsed Time in Inspire


The 5th grade students at Trevvett are preparing for their upcoming benchmark tests. Elapsed time is always a tricky concept, so today we did math review stations. At the Promethean Board, students took turns using the interactive clock as a model to solve the elapsed time problem. On each slide, there is a sound recording with an elapsed time scenario. They have to listen to, and fill in the important information (start time, stop time, etc.). Then they use the interactive clock to solve the problem.

While the student at the board is working through the problem, the other students have white boards and are using whatever strategies they prefer to solve the problem.

When everyone was finished we took a look at all the final answers and shared the different ways that they arrived at the same answer, as well as figuring out where mistakes were made. My favorite part of this lesson was when another student perfectly explained the method that works for him and the other students benefited from seeing him work out the problem in this way. True collaboration and communication in action!

Magnitude & Estimation with Educreations

These 1st grade students at Trevvett are working on understanding magnitude and how to estimate an amount. To practice with this concept, the students looked around the room for a group of something they could photograph. Then they used educreations on the iPad to explain how they determined their estimate for the number of items that they photographed. Here are some great examples!
This student wanted to estimate how many textbooks were on the shelf:

This student knew exactly how she wanted to approach solving this problem, but she really wanted to count all of the items. She created some groups of 10, but then stopped and guessed how many PlayDoh toys she would have altogether. She estimated 80. The actual amount was 103.

This student wanted to estimate how many words were on the word wall:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

These Kindergarten students at Greenwood have been learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. Through non-fiction texts and PebbleGo, they researched as a class to gather information about him. They then used Tellagami on the iPads to take a tour of important places in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and explain why this place is important. Check out their finished video!

Martin Luther King, Jr. from Karen Hues on Vimeo.

VSTE 2014

In December, several ITRT’s and I traveled to Virginia Beach to attend the 2014 Virginia Society for Technology in Education’s Annual Conference.

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While there, participants were given the opportunity to sit in on various concurrent sessions, listen to awesome keynote speakers, visit various exhibits, see student work from around the state, and collaborate with other teachers from numerous other counties. Some Henrico County students were also recognized for their awesome work this past year!

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The ITRT’s and I are excited about some of the new things we learned and can’t wait to get into your classrooms and share these tools with you and your students! Here are a few highlights of what we saw:

Google Tour Builder
Teachers from Fairfax County Public Schools had their students read the book Around the World in Eighty Days. After completing the book they created a Google Tour based on the cities that Phileas Fogg visited. The students inserted images using Encyclopedia Britannica Image Gallery and added facts about each location. Lastly the presenters shared Jerome Burg’s seminal and evolving collection of Google Earth Literature Trips. These ready to go lessons incorporate various picture books and novels that the students read prior to creating their Google Tour.

Google Classroom: Join the Paperless Revolution
Most of your ITRT’s have been pushing Google Drive this year! In August, Google recently unveiled Google Classroom. An interactive Learning Management System that allows you create a virtual classroom, have your student join, add assignments and announcements and collaborate with your students. Contact your ITRT if you’d like help setting up your own Google Classroom.

15 + Tech Tools You Can Use Next Week
Niki Jones, Prince William County, presented on 15 awesome resources that are ready for implementation in your classrooms immediately! Check our her handout from the session!

Powerful Primary Projects Combine Creativity and Content
As most of you know Pixie is a software program already loaded onto our new Dells. Many of you have already been using Pixie with your students and have created some awesome projects. This session focused on some of the new features of Pixie and how they have implemented Pixie in Hanover County classrooms. Jennifer Hicks, an elementary ITRT, shared her Pixie wiki with us. It has some awesome lesson ideas.

Google Apps for Education Add-Ons
Henrico County’s very own Jon Wirsing presented at the VSTE conference. He shared some awesome features found within Google. Since there is a big push for Google this year he showcased some samples from HCPS classrooms and discussed the various add-on featured within Google Drive. Some of these included: Awesome Table, Flubaroo, Doctopus, Goobric, DocApender, Formmule, Autocrat, Google Moderator-polls based on popularity, Cultural Institute: art projects, historical moments and Google Keep.

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X Marks The Spot: Digging Up Tech Treasures
This session sent participants on a scavenger hunt to locate various QR codes. Each code was linked to a digital resource such as Kahoot!, Educreations, Symbaloo, Poll Everywhere and Socrative. Symbaloo quickly became our favorite! This free resource functions much like PortaPortal but is more visually appealing to the eyes! It allows your to create bookmark “tiles” that link to various resources!

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Lastly, she showcased the features of Educreations. HCPS already has Educreations loaded onto our county iPads but we were most impressed with Educreations on the computers! If you haven’t had a chance to give it a try get with your ITRT!

Makey Makey
MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. It allows student to turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple invention kit for beginners and experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between. Our ITRT’s were excited when they were able to make a banana piano! There are tons of MakeyMakey resources available on the internet. The kits run about $50 and students are able to create all sorts of projects and inventions. Check out this video explaining MakeyMakey.

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Meaningful Technology for Our Youngest Learners
This session was led by a kindergarten teacher, Jenn Orr, who shared some wonderful resources about ways to include technology in the classroom for younger learners. Some great websites to visit for read aloud books besides Raz-Kids and Tumblebooks include: StorylineOnline, Unite for Literacy and Toon Book Reader. Toon Book Reader reads aloud graphic novels as it highlights the text. The books can be read in multiple languages…great for your ELL students! Also, be sure to check out all of the fun math games found on Illuminations.

If you are interested in any of these new resources please contact me, and I will help you get started!

Rounding in Educreations

This 2nd grade class has been working on rounding and estimation. Their teacher put together some advertisements for Toys R’ Us, Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Target. The students had to take a picture of the item and price in the Educreations app. Then they rounded the amount to the nearest 10. Here’s an example: