January 15, 2013

Top 10 Math Apps

I've mentioned my *little* app addiction before and I thought I'd post my Top 10 Math Apps. When I first got my iPad I scoured the internet reading app recommendations and so I thought it might be helpful to post some of my favorite apps for those just getting started with iPads in their classroom.
I'm linking up with Katie from Queen of the First Grade Jungle. She is hosting a Techy Linky Party. I LOVE technology so I am so excited to browse through all the great posts.

Without further adieu, here are my FAVORITE math apps (not in any particular order):
 Splash Math: This is my most favorite! I have the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade apps. They are more spendy, but they cover the standards and the kids love it! It's organized by skill, so I can have students practice exactly what I want. I think it's great test practice with it's multiple choice format. It even has a built-in scratch paper feature. Twice a week I get 30 iPads during math. If a student finishes their work early I usually have them go on this app to practice our targeted skill. If I don't have the iPad lab I will sometimes just project the app and have the kids take turns.

Math Bingo: This app lets students practice their math facts in a Bingo game. I like how you can choose the operation and the level of difficulty. How adorable are those little creatures?!?
Aaah! Math Zombies: I remember randomly finding this app and having my husband try it out. I knew if he was entertained by it, my students would love it! And they do :-) It's another fun way to practice math facts.

Math Ninja: This is another themed math fact app that my students just love to play! You can customize which operations are turned on and the level of difficulty. When you answer math facts correctly, you earn money to upgrade your ninja.
Hungry Fish: In this app a fish swims around with a number on it. Students have to make the number in order to feed the fish and make it grow bigger. For example, in the addition level, the fish might have the number 6 on it. You could combine 4 and 2, a 5 and 1, or two 3s in order to make a 6 for the fish to eat. You can change the difficulty and have larger numbers on the fish. I had one student last year that was mildly obsessed with this game. I was always entertained to watch him play because he would say, "Num, num, num!" every time the fish ate.
Math Regrouping: This is my favorite addition and subtraction regrouping app! I had my students use this today to practice their 2 and 3-digit subtraction. It gives them a problem and lets them write in red to show their work. Then they can select their answer from the dinosaurs below. After the quiz (you can set how many questions long it is) it shows them their percentage. My students were so proud of themselves and kept calling me over to show off their 100%s.
 Top-It: I have both the addition and subtraction Top-It apps. I enjoy that this app is designed for two players. They each get dealt two cards and either add or subtract the numbers (depending on the app). Then they compare their numbers. Two skills in one game!
Mathmateer: This used to be called Rocket Math. Students earn money by solving math facts. Then they use their money to design a rocket. Then they get to launch their rocket and use math to get it to fly higher.
Sushi Monster: I've only recently discovered this app. Like Hungry Fish, students have a target number that they have to make. I like both apps because students get to practice their math facts a different way. Instead of drilling 4 + 8, they focus on different ways to make 12.
Montessori Place Value:  This app really helped my students understand place value. It also led right into expanded form. It's a fairly simple app, but the visuals made a difference for my struggling students.
  Remember to check with Katie from Queen of the First Grade Jungle and look at all the amazing techy posts!

January 10, 2013

Amazing App: Splashtop 2

I'm linking up with Fern from Fern Smith's Classroom to talk about technology!
Fern Smith's Thursday's Tech Tips for Teachers Linky Party! 
I am kinda a collector of apps. I debated doing one post highlighting all of my favorite ones, but it would be forever long. So, I decided to just feature one today that I use in conjunction with my Promethean Board. 

One of my favorite apps makes my students think I'm magic. And let's be honest, that's just fun :-)

Splashtop 2 is an app that lets you interact with your computer from your iPad. This works great when I'm using my Promethean Board. I love my board, but don't want to be tied to it. When we get observed our score goes down if we're not moving around the room. This app makes your iPad reflect exactly what is on your computer so I can walk around, but still move things on my flipcharts or click on links or whatever else I want to do on the computer.

Here are some screenshots from my iPad:

When I first downloaded the app it was pretty buggy, but it has worked great since their update. 

Every time I use this app and do something on the projector while standing amongst them, my students exclaim, "How do you do that?!?!?" I've showed them the app before, but the magic doesn't seem to go away...

January 9, 2013

Kids Make Me Laugh

When I'm having a hard teaching day it's usually the things kids say that end up making me feel better. They are sooo funny without even trying! I love seeing their thought process and how truly innocent {most of them} are. Today I had to teach them about lock down drills, and I honestly was kinda dreading it. I didn't want to talk about school shootings and I didn't want to say anything that would scare them. I was so happy that the chat went well and everyone felt safe. I talked about how lock downs happen when something outside is dangerous (building lock down) or something inside is dangerous (classroom lock down). One of my sweet second graders raised her hand and said, "So, if there's a python outside we'll have a building lock down." Yes, something like that...

 It just made me smile that a python outside was the most dangerous thing she could imagine. How sweet and innocent is that!?! As I had to deal with some misbehaving students throughout the day I thought about that girl's comment and remembered how little they truly are.

I think my favorite quote so far this year though was when my coworker mentioned to a student that they couldn't wear something because it could be used as a gang symbol. Another little girl said, "But Scooby Doo is in a gang and they are good and solve mysteries." Doesn't that just make you smile! I teach in a Title 1 school in a rougher area, and it just made me happy that so far the only gang she's been exposed to is Scooby Doo's. Last year my students were not so innocent and I am so enjoying my cute little class this year. Kids make me laugh! 

January 6, 2013

Freebie Linky -- Fonts

I am linking up with Rebecca from Teaching First for her January Fabulous Freebie Linky Party. I LOVE this idea! We all love freebies, but it takes a while to track them down. Rebecca is collecting a bunch of great freebies every month in one place. Genius! Rebecca actually teaches down the hall from me and has been the one encouraging me to start this blog. She is AWESOME!
I just started making my own fonts and I'm linking my first set. This pack has 10 free fonts that you are welcome to use for personal or commercial use (just give credit). I have two packs in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. The first pack is free and the second pack has another 10 fonts for $3.00.

Click on the image below to go to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download Pack 1 for free.

I'll email my second font pack for free to the first five people to comment below.  Please leave your email address and I'll send it asap!
 Make sure you check back with Rebecca to find all the other freebies!

January 3, 2013

Best Books for Boys

Today I'm linking up with Courtney from Swimming Into Second and posting some of the best books for boys. 


I find many of my boys LOVE nonfiction. A current favorite is any book about dinosaurs.  They really enjoy this series because each book focuses on a different type of dinosaur.

Any book about animals/spiders/insects also seems to really draw them in. Especially if it includes anything "freaky" or "creepy." These are popular in my classroom:


There are also many fiction books my boys can't seem to get enough of. They will do anything for books with their favorite characters like Hot Wheels, Legos, Ninjago, and Star Wars.

Super Hero books are also extremely popular! It's nice that they have a wide range of levels.

My boys also really like the comic style of graphic novels. Their favorites are Big Nate, Squish, and Lunch Lady.

 I'm excited to read about all the other books people have posted about. Remember to check out Swimming Into Second to see the other posts about the best books for boys.