Monthly Archives: October 2013

Trading Cards app

I love when an educational app stands out as having multiple uses, especially when it’s FREE!  The Trading Cards app has been a way for me to have students reflect on a book’s events.  This app is a creation of   After reading “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears”, my third grade students analyzed various causes and effects in the story.  I demonstrated how to use the Trading Cards app on the iPad then students paired up and used our 14 iPads to develop their own digital Trading Cards to represent the characters.  I overheard rich conversations about characters’ decisions as they built their Trading Cards.  Even though I had modeled the Problem and “An Outcome” or solution to the problem, I noticed that several students had difficulty understanding the concept of “an outcome”.  I embraced these teachable moments and posed questions like, “How do you think that the problem was solved in the end?  Did the lion’s investigation lead him to blame someone?  How do we know that the mosquito has a guilty conscience?”. These questions helped students arrive at the definition of “the outcome”. After using this app for students to describe animal characters, I now want to have them CLOSELY READ articles about famous places and create a Digital Trading Card for them.   I plan to have them explore the National Parks app by National Geographic Society, choose a park that strikes a chord with their personal interests, then create a Digital Trading Card!  After reading biographies, students can develop a Digital Trading Card on the famous person.  I could even have them create a Digital Trading Card about vocabulary words from science and social studies topics.  The possibilities are endless.  I am thrilled that my PTO is purchasing Apple TVs so that students can project their Digital Trading Cards using their iPads too! I like that this app allows students to not only create, but also critically think about the topic.  I designed this lesson so that students did not do it in isolation, but collaborated and discussed elements of the story.  They liked pressing the arrows at the bottom of Side 1 of their cards and flipping to side 2 while also choosing from assorted background colors.  I gave my students the option to draw a picture of their chosen animal in the Doodle Buddy app then import it into the picture frame of the digital card frame for a finishing touch. I placed pictures that I took of iPad screens where students had built their Trading Cards here:   Image Image

Haiku Deck-TED Talk Reflections

I was asked by my technology mentor, Jill Thompson, to write a Guest blog post on her blog, Inside The Classroom, Outside the Box.  She published my Guest blog post yesterday.  I am placing the link to her blog below because it explains a multi-week project that I did with my fourth and fifth graders whom I see once a week for 45 minutes either in their class with iPads or in our school’s computer lab.  This project was my first experience using Haiku Deck as an app on the iPads!

Students created Haiku Deck presentations during the past several weeks then presented them today using the TED Talk format.  After presenting in small groups, I directed students to go to my virtual classroom that I had created using  I have selected some of their comments and placed them below.  Collectively, they show that students LOVED this project.  I have not edited their comments below so there are plenty of misspellings, punctuation errors and capitalization errors.  Nonetheless, I was blown away by gathering feedback from students for the first time using an Open Ended Written Response Question in Socrative as my Exit Ticket.  

Here are their Reflections:

i liked it because it makes kids feel creative about sharing their ideas with others.

I love to see what other people thought of their subject even if i disagreed. It was also fun to perform our ted talk to the class and see if they were convinced or not and to see if they liked what we did! Other people had really convinced me to do what they think. I hope we can do it again this year.

I think that Haiku Deck is a good way to learn the reasons of different types of topics.I enjoyed to share in front of my classmates.I thought it would be embarassing to share ALL by MYSELF but actually it was NOT embarassing.My friends all did a very good job with their presentation.Haiku Deck is aswome

I really did like Ted Talk because they are trying to convince me to believe what they believe.Plus it was really fun

I liked going around the room seeing what people think.

It was fun because it was something new we did.It was also fun because people got to chose what they wanted.

I liked it because people liked our presentation. Most people picked yes on ours  we got one no but, that didn’t get me upset! Its always good to get a lot of yes’s than no’s!!!! We didn’t really get to plan what and how we were gonna say it but it all went well. My partner and I liked it I  think well I did!

I love the TED talk because I liked to talk,presenting,and working with my partner.It was very fun talking to other people and talking to new people.A lot people said yes execpt one no but it is ok!!!I love TED talk

i think mine was good but haiku deck is awsome it is alot of fun i wish we can do haiku deck in middle school

I enjoyed it because it lets you show your creativity. You also have fun with it. Some people were not persuaded but I still had fun and I will fix my mistakes next time.

I liked how it helped me be able to present by using 2 diffrent apps at the same time.

i liked how i could only use a certain amount of letters on each slide

I think it was amazing because you get to experss your self of what you think. 

I enjoyed making my point about why we should recycle. It was fun to make a Haiku Deck presentation and do a Ted Talk.

I enjoyed listening to other peoples presentation to see what they thought and me getting to say what I thought. And plus I think its pretty cool getting to share things by pictures.

What I like about the Ted Talk on Haiku Deck was you have to make your point in one or two words.Also when people were presenting there phrases underneath there big concept.

i thought it was cool to see what other people think about recess. we got all checks. this was so cool miss.Maples is the best  technology teacher EVER.these projects are so cool.she propaly has many more coming.i am starting to love it even more then ever.these are great learing projects that i have never done.

I liked that you get to see what other people created and what the topic they typed about.An other thing that I like about the TED talk was you got to write down if you where convinced or not.The pictures where also another thing that I liked.Also, Haiku Deck can help you convince people and it was nice learning how to use Haiku Deck.Thanks Mrs.Maples!


I enjoyed all the creativity my other classmates did. It was so fun looking at other peoples thoughts. I WAS SURPRISED AT HOW WELL OUR GROUP DID TOO!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

I did a presentaiton on why kids should get an allowance. But my favorite part was finding cool pictures and geting notes .I loved it !!!!!!!!!!!

i felt very joyful after everyone said it was good. it was very hard to gather notes and find the pictures, but i felt happy doing it.

I would love it if we could do some more projects/presentations on haiku deck!

I think this was really enjoyable experince because I got to convince my peers to go with my opinion, and create a really fun haikudeck.


I really enjoyed haiku deck.I really enjoyed how you could display your ideas on different slides and present a ted talk on what you chose to do it on I really enjoyed what I did on haiku deck.

I really liked Haiku Deck.  I loved how we got to share our TED talks to our classmates.  I also learned that different people have different opinions, and that is okay. Having different ideas is what allows us to learn.  I learned allot from my classmates presentations.  I learned more about their topics and my classmates. 



DENVirtCon October 20, 2013

Today was an awesome Saturday.  I woke excited and ready to learn from the presenters at a virtual conference sponsored by Discovery Education.  A few other educators and I viewed the sessions at a Face to Face event at a Middle School in my district and shared ideas along the way.  It was great to feel connected to other teachers who integrate technology into their school day!

During the DENVirtCon today, I learned about building an app, but not the kind that will be at the App Store.  Instead, I will visit and bookmark a variety of websites, documents, and information for my students.  This site will allow students to not have to type in long web addresses when doing research and help me to organize the research process for them.  It reminds me of the type of thing that allows users to do, but is in the form of a free HTML5 web app.  (See an example of a Blendspace that I made at this link:   Kids could also make their own app by putting together resources on a topic which would give them massive Kid Empowerment!  At the website, I will receive a web link so parents or students can enter the web address for non iOs devices and still be able to open the app.  The app is expected to work on Android devices at some point in October, but for now, it works only on iOs devices.


I have plans to make my own school website ( into an app so that kids can access the information on their own BYOT devices at school or home!   Parents will love to have a quick app on their Smartphones to allow them to view my website to see updates and just to have a quick way to connect with me.  Since I plan lessons using iPads and desktop computers, I am glad that the app can be placed on the iPad screen to allow students a quick way to go to my website.  I could also see that I could build an app to bookmark topics for Project Based Learning, place the rubric there and any note taking graphic organizers.   It is truly a high impact tip that I learned today at the DENVirtCon.

Many teachers are becoming familiar with the multiple uses of QR codes in the class.  I created QR codes and tied them to my students’ digital projects at the end of the 12-13 school year.  I printed these QR codes and placed them on a bulletin board outside of my class so that students and parents could hover over the codes with a QR code reader such as I-Nigma and instantly open up the digital project.  There are a multitude of ways to use QR codes including having students create book advertisements that would be tied to QR codes to whet the appetite of others to read the book, provide math problem/solutions, bookmark websites, and direct students to directions for a science lab.

Another tip I learned about today is  Users of this website speak into the computer’s or iPad’s microphone and a QR code will be generated of the verbal message.  In the past, my students have recorded their voices using iMovie on the iPad or in the ShowMe app to explain how to do a process such as solving a math problem or reading a message that they had written about a picture that they had drawn, but today I realized that you can also record directly into a QR code making site!  Recently, I had Kindergarteners and first graders draw a Superhero who would help the world in some way.  I look forward to having students speak into so that I can then generate a QR code to print and glue onto each child’s Super Hero picture then place on the bulletin board.  I like the idea of having students use the iPads to hover over each picture and listen to their friends describe their Super Hero!  With all the buzz in education being about Augmented Reality  (AR) and apps like Aurasma and CoLARapp, I am thrilled that I can also use QR codes to achieve a voice-over on top of images for my bulletin board.  I hope to use AR during this school year, but for now, I have learned to create QR codes using student voices!

Finally, I learned of the Socrative website and app this past summer but realized today it’s functionality as it relates to me.  I created a free account at then went to to create questions to pose to students.  I could choose the format such as open ended response, true/false, multiple choice, etc.  I received a code to give to students so I logged into and placed the code into the student version of Socrative.  I saw the question that I had posed in my teacher account appear on the student screen.  I answered it as an open ended question by typing my answer.  Back at the site, I exported the results of my quiz to an Excel doc and could have emailed results to myself.  Suddenly, it dawned on me that I could use this site as an Exit Ticket after a lesson and gather data informally then print it to provide documentation of my assessment.  There is currently a new beta version where teachers can add an image to a quiz that they create from Discovery Education or from any source which is nice when students need to reference an image, for example, on a math quiz or test.  I am truly excited to have students present digital projects this coming week in fourth and fifth grades and have them assess themselves by typing a reflection of their project into a question that I will pose to them using

Doodle Buddy with Kindergarteners

I have enjoyed being the Technology Teacher at my school for the 2013-2014 school year. After teaching for 20 years mainly as a third and fourth grade teacher, I have now had the privilege of working with all students in grades K – 5. One of my favorite times during the day is when I see Kindergarteners. When I walked into a Kindergarten class recently with iPads for them to use, a little girl exclaimed, “I love your gown.” Another little girl commented, “It’s like you’re Cinderella!” I was wearing a long flowing skirt. Although I didn’t perceive my outfit as a gown, apparently the children did! Their excitement to see me and discover what I will show them has been invigorating!

Kindergarteners have been drawing illustrations in The Doodle Buddy app on iPads during the last few weeks. I read aloud to them “Ten Flashing Fireflies” by Philemon Sturges, a book recommended to me by a colleague with whom I plan Technology lessons. It is an excellent picture book showing what happens when you “add one more” to your collection of fireflies.

I knew from the Kindergarten Team’s Six Week Long Range Plans that our Academic Facilitator had sent to me that Kindergarteners had been working on counting to 10 then adding on one more. I decided to show students how to create their own math problem where they would show a set of the same image then add on one more while also writing the correct numerals to identify images. They selected a stamp from the Doodle Buddy app today and stamped it on the canvas then they drew the corresponding numeral. Next, they chose a different stamp to ADD ON to their canvas and drew the number. Finally, they counted the total number of stamps and discovered the total. I was so excited to see their faces as they would either collaborate with a partner or create a stamp problem for their partner to solve. I have included a few images from my time in Kindergarten today which I annotated using the Skitch app. I look forward to using iPads in the future with Kindergarteners and watching them develop digital stories. 

Doodle Buddy and Comic Maker

I was struck this past week by the images that my students drew in the Doodle Buddy app on the iPad. I read aloud “A Chair For My Mother” to my first grade students. We discussed all of the ways that the characters acted responsibly such as the mother saves her waitressing tips, the daughter saves half of the money she makes, the neighbors bring helpful items, the aunt makes new curtains and the uncle brings the new chair home in his pick up truck. I encouraged students to draw their favorite scenes from the beginning, middle and end of the book in Doodle Buddy, save their images on the Camera Roll, then import the images into the Comic Maker app. Comic Maker allows users to select the number of panes in the comic that is being created, import images from the Camera Roll or use a variety of settings and characters found in the app, write speech bubbles and save the comic in the app. I have included a picture that I took of two students’ comic. I like how the students told the story on words and images.
I have also done a similar lesson but read aloud to second and third graders “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears”. Students selected a Cause and an Effect from within the story, created scenes in Doodle Buddy, saved scenes to the iPad’s Camera Roll, then imported their images into Comic Maker where they composed dialogue in speech bubbles to show the character’s thoughts and words.
I read aloud each book to a class during my 45 minute time with them then allowed them to explore with drawing favorite scenes from the book. I even exported some of their drawings to the Show Me app where I recorded students reading aloud the sentences that they had written on index cards describing their pictures. I gave the first graders a sentence that they copied and filled in using their own words: ___________ was responsible because _____________. The first graders had been working on giving supporting reasons in their writing with the use of “because” so my lesson supported their classroom teacher’s efforts too. image