Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Using Prezi for Presentations

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Technology in my classroom...

Unit Overview:  Literature Unit
Evaluation Form:   Pinnacle Evaluation
Monday, November 7, 2011

ClassDojo part two

I have been using ClassDojo for about a month now.  I am very impressed with the results I have seen in my classroom.

For those of you unfamiliar with ClassDojo, it is a behavior management tool that keep even the most difficult students on task when used frequently. I am a reading teacher for 5th grade at a school sometimes known for its challenging student behavior. Here is a run down of how I use ClassDojo.

Before students even come into the classroom, I have their class loaded in ClassDojo and projected on the SMART Board. Student go to their seats and take out their homework (which consists of a signed reading log and a spelling activity) and wait for me to call their names. I run through the whole class, awarding points for completed homework, and deducting points for incomplete homework.

Next we move to our daily read aloud.  ClassDojo is still projected at this time.  I ask students to provide a brief recap of the story so far, providing opinions and details, summarizing the story so far.  Students who participate in the discussion earn points for participation.

I move on to my read aloud portion, and although ClassDojo can no longer be seen on the SMARTBoard because it is now being used to project an eBook, it is still running in the background.  During the read aloud, students can continue to earn points based on participation.  They can also lose points for talking or disrupting the class and/or teacher.  I keep track of these points by toggling back and forth between ClassDojo and Adobe Digital Editions.

When we move to literature centers, I use my SMARTBoard as a center, so I award points using either my SmartPhone or another computer, not in use by students. If I am out of the room with my class, students can still lose or earn points. I do this using my SmartPhone.

Students are given a points goal each month.  If they earn the required points within that the time frame given, they are awarded with a special activity. (extra recess, lunch in the classroom, computer lab time, etc)

So for I am very pleased with ClassDojo.  You should try it out, and see if it might work for you.   
Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Literacy Centers with Imbedded Technology

Literacy Centers:

Adobe Digital Editions (eBook projected on SMART Board)
Literature Discussion Groups (using Flip Share video camera)
Fluency Center (record students reading using Audacity)
Listening Center (mp3 player plays audio text while students follow along with printed text)
Literature Response Center ( Classroom Blog)
Sunday, October 16, 2011

ClassDojo Rocks!

Managing classroom behavior is often tedious and takes up a significant amount of my instructional time.  I stumbled across ClassDojo and I have been totally impressed with the results.  The kids have responded very well to the immediate behavior feedback.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Using Photostory to promote reading fluency...

My students collaborated in small groups to produce a video of them reading a book of their choosing.  They decided what sound effects they wanted to add, and practiced reading their book aloud.  They took pictures of the book and then edited them with Picasa, cropping and enhancing the photos. Finally they put it all together using Photostory.  The project above was created by four of my ESL students. 

The book is The Icky Sticky Frog by Dawn Bentley, illustrations by Salina Yoon
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Posted by Picasa
Monday, August 1, 2011

Tagxedo - and Zazzle

Run Barefoot shirt
Created this t-shirt design using Tagxedo and Zazzle
Run Barefoot by beckytoad
Browse other Minimalist T-Shirts
Wednesday, July 20, 2011


By Katherine and Becky

Voice Thread

Created by:  Penny Barker, Sarah Gardner, Leslie Kalmbach, Becky Perkins, Lauren Piasecki
In response to A Whole New Mind, Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink

A Whole New Mind

Meet Becky Perkins

Monday, July 18, 2011


I made it until 10:01 before raiding the chocolate bowl on the Pinnacle table.
But...I found a cool article justifying my chocolate consumption at because Chocolate Helps Learning!
Sunday, July 17, 2011


GIMP is an open source GNU Image Manipulation Program.  

GIMP is an image editing tool.  Re-sizing, cropping, combining layers of multiple images can all be done with GIMP.  It is not quite as intuitive as Photoshop however offers many of the same features.

Here is the original image taken with my Canon 50D.

After selecting specific objects to stand out I enhance the color and fade out the background.

I added flowers by creating a clone of some of the original flowers and cropped the image closer to tighten up the composition. 
Friday, July 15, 2011


I have used Audacity before, but never to the extent I been playing around with it over the past few days.  The classroom applications continue to expand as I work more with it.

Audacity is a relatively easy program to use.  Sound files can be created as simple or complex as you choose which can allow for students at varying levels of competency.

The only difficulty I have been encountering frequently is managing multiple layers of sound. It is tedious to have to scroll up and down to few multiple layers.  I could see this issue frustrating some of my students, and it might be easier if I had a set number of layers for them to work with initially.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 2 Pinnacle

I used Artisteer (courtesy of Brett Bumeter my hubby the WordPress/social media marketing guru) to design my blog in Blogger.

I usually don't like the canned designs.  I find I want to tweak things and make it my own no matter what.

I have been exploring several sites I hope to use to expand the way my students collaborate on novel studies.  Given the different learning styles and preferences, I think the following sites may have potential.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Technically it was painful just to create my new blog, although the steps were not really all that difficult.


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