Monday, February 4, 2013

Idiom Example

This was created using Wixie, a Tech4Learning tool.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

FREE Apps During Autism Awareness Month!!!

This month is Autism awareness month, and free Autism apps are being given away. 

Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life.  It affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. These apps are designed to model communication skills, identify emotions, and practice sight words.  These are great apps not only for children with Autism but for all early learners. 

One of the free apps that I recommend is ABA Flash Cards - Emotions.  This app has visuals and speech associated with pictures of children displaying different emotions on their faces. 
Autistic children can have a difficult time identifying facial expressions and emotions, and this app can help with that.   It is also helpful for all children to identify emotions as it can help them develop empathy.   

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cancer Diagnose, What Would You Do? - Guest Post

The following post is a guest post by my niece Sarah Edwards.  The essay, as a blog post, is a requirement for the Rhio O'Conner Memorial Scholarship application.    

Sarah G Edwards
Iowa State University
Dairy Science Major

  Rhio O’Conner was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer and given one year to live. With extensive research and educating himself, Rhio created his own therapeutic protocol and lived more than six years after his diagnose. He spoke with doctors, researchers and patients. Rhio spent countless hours in libraries, learning about different treatments, theories and philosophies. He beat the timeline odds of this ‘incurable’ cancer and in his search of survival, he has inspired hope and is a testimony and inspiration to others searching for options and making decisions in their treatment.
  Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. Malignant cells are found in the protective sac that covers most of the body’s internal organs. Standard treatment is generally not curative. The progress is poor and most studies report survival of less than a year. You can gain more knowledge about Mesothelioma by going to Cancer Monthly is a very informative website on different types of cancer and their treatments.
  Rhio’s story on how he handled his prognoses is very inspiring to me. He took a dire situation in his life and gained knowledge in order to help make important decisions about his own treatment and the options. I would mirror how Rhio handled his diagnosis and the challenge to save his life. Knowledge is the key to make informed decisions. I would research thru reading and the scientific expertise of doctors, scientist and researchers. Speaking to patients and learning from their experience would be an inspiring journey and an eye witness to those living with cancer. Looking beyond the traditional treatments of chemo, radiation and surgery would give me knowledge of options for my own personal treatment as well as being a witness to others in search of saving or extending their life. I believe in doing this, it’s an extra hand for researchers on the outcome of cancer patients and their treatments.
  My experience with cancer has hit very close to home. I would like to share stories of two different women who are very close to my heart. Breast cancer was the diagnosis for my Great Aunt and a very close friend of our family. Each women chose different treatment methods.
  My Great Aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.At the time, she was the caregiver of my Great Granny. Her treatment included many chemo treatments, radiation and surgery. During those years, we learned a lot as a family. We shared tears of sadness and laughter of the past and present. Wigs have many styles to them and she looked great in every color. She was a very strong woman and to watch her care for my Granny, you would of never of known how much of a struggle she was actually going thru. Taking care of my Granny became too much for her and eventually we all took care of both of them. Up to the day she passed, she continued to have a smile on her face and still remained very strong. Her passing was very heartbreaking and fully opened my eyes to the challenges one faces with the diagnosis. I have to thank Hospice in this essay, as they are a wonderful organization and was there thru everything. Their group of caregivers was very special and we were blessed to have them. They shared the tears and laughter right alongside us. Their professionalism and skills were so much a part of my aunt’s care, as well as their concern for our whole families well being.
  Our close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998.Her only surgery was the biopsy to determine the diagnosis. She is 78 years old and has educated herself with the treatments available and made her decision on how to handle her diagnosis. She is content with her choice and we are blessed everyday with her life.
  Rhio, my aunt and close friend are all inspiring to me. Different decisions were made with all three on how they handled their diagnosis. One does not know how they would handle a situation until faced with it. I believe gaining knowledge on the subject at hand, is always the best approach. Educating yourself in every area of the subject is a must in making important decisions, especially when your life and the life of others depend upon it. Making decisions at times, is like walking down an unknown dirt road with a fork in it. You might not always choose the right path, but educating oneself about an unknown, puts you more in control of what could be ahead. It gives you an advantage you would not have otherwise.
You can learn more about "Mesothelioma Cancer" at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

iPod Touch Phonics Apps

Many teachers and parents are using iPod Touches to assist with early literacy skills, such as letter recognition and phonics skills.  There are several apps that can help with this.  Many of the apps are free.  If they are not free, several have a lite versions that you can try to see if you wish to purchase the paid version. 

I will highlight a few of my favorites below.  

First Words Sampler 
First Words Sampler is the free version of this app.  It reinforces letters, how letters relate to sound, and how to spell words.  Children drag letters to corresponding boxes under a matching picture and the word is read to them.  This app has the option to switch to different languages such as Spanish, French, German, and Japanese.  The full version is available for $1.99. 


The "ABCs" section of's well-loved website is now available as a universal application for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Our activities motivate through positive reinforcement and play. Children delight as they see, hear, and interact with letters and sounds in words, sentences, and games. They learn to recognize letters and develop skills that will ensure they become confident leaders. All children, and especially English language learners, benefit.

Elmo Loves ABCs - For iPad only
Elmo loves this app! It has songs and videos about letters. It has coloring pages and games about letters. The paid version has all the letters from A to Z.  Both paid and lite version have 3 different alphabet songs. 

ABC Phonics Animals Free Lite

This app was developed by a group of parents.  The app mimics and automates how they would go over each flash cards with their own children, focusing in on the alphabet phonetics, spelling, reading, and sounds.

There are also 3 additional games to supplement and provide positive reinforcements:

1) Animal Match Game - supplemental to the flash cards and focus on your child comprehension skills. Recommended to play this game after your child plays with the flash cards and is familiar with it.
2) Prize Zone Game - interactive game where the prizes are unlocked after completing a level in the Animal Match Game.
3) Letter Balloon Pop Game - focus on alphabet letters and sound recognition.

Phonics Free-ABC and Words
This is an excellent introduction to Phonics. 

The alphabet section introduces the phonetic sound of each alphabet.  

The words section teaches the child how to sound out a word to spell it. It presents words from common word families and says out the phonetic sound of each letter when building the word.

Build a Word Express - Free

Build A Word Express Application helps children learn how to spell by using either sounds of the letters (phonics) or names of the letters (spelling).

According to the app developers, the underlying pedagogical methodology for this application is to teach children letters as well as to teach them how to combine letters into words. A child is offered either/both a visual prompt or/and audio prompt to “write” a word. The word is to be written by dragging appropriate letters one at a time in the designated slot in the correct order. Success is rewarded by a short fun game. The child is drawn into the world of dinosaurs. The task is to save the dinosaurs captured and taken up into the sky in magical balloons. By popping the balloons the child enables the ancient creatures to use their parachutes and land safely.

Z is for Zebra-Learn Letter Sounds Learn to Read - $.99

This app helps children learn the sounds of letters by hearing audio that corresponds with each letter. 

ABC Expedition Mini- $.99
Captain Wallace takes children on a guided visit through the Alphabet Zoo to help them learn their abc’s and animals through sights and sounds.   

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bloom's Taxonomy's Blooming Tree

I am in love with these image resources created by Kelly Tenkely of

Tenkely has created three different versions of Bloom's Taxonomy. Benjamin Bloom (1956) established the six levels of cognitive mastery, which is generally referred to as Bloom's Taxonomy. Bloom's Taxonomy divides cognitive objectives into subdivisions ranging from the simplest, remembering, to the most complex, creating.

She has the tree featured above, a pinwheel, and a peacock. Each image is a unique and colorful representation created in Pages, and is complete with accompanying digital resource links that correspond with digital resources!

This is a great way to expose students to higher order thinking and allow them to evaluate tasks.

Tenkely has a store where you can purchase these images for only $.99!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Wallwisher is an online notice board maker. It can be used to create sticky-note like bulletins, post announcements, or solicit feedback and comments in a central location.

As educators we know that timely feedback is essential for students. Wallwisher can be used as a tool to help students post their questions, or an ah ha, which we could then quickly respond to.

To use Wallwisher you will need to sign up for a FREE account. Once your account is established, you can create a personalized notice board to share with others. Your students will not need to sign in, they simply go to the url you created and post a notice.
Here is a sample wall created using

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

BrainPop iPhone App

BrainPop has a FREE iPhone app!

This is a great app for schools to download for their students onto iPod touches. It allows students access to a free weekly movie without a login.

Each movie is coupled with a quiz to help test the viewers' comprehension of the movie.

The app also saves the student's scorces for each quiz.

There is also a link to click to access more free movies from BrainPop.

The app is great for schools because it doesn't require schools to purchase a subscription to the site, but still allows students to utlize some of the great features of BrainPop!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone