New Parent Training Follow Up

Dear All,

This past Thursday the Coaches and Librarian provided a curriculum overview of ISB for new parents.  We focused on the Library, Math, Technology and Literacy.  As a follow up, we wanted to provide resources in case you wanted to learn more or follow up on any of the things we presented.

Library Focus: The Hub – parents and kids one-stop-shop for book recommendations, links to Destiny Quest, etc.

Math Focus:

YouCubed – A math website out of Stanford for students, parents and teachers.  There are interesting research articles, “high-ceiling” problems for kids (and adults) to be challenged with, and videos.

Stanford Online Class for Parents – A great course on How to Learn Math, with recent research on growth mindset, and support for helping your children build conceptual understanding.

Here are some of the slides for you reference:

NewParentTraining2014 Extract 2.001NewParentTraining2014 Extract 2.002Technology Focus:

Common Sense Media: A great site for parents which reviews apps, games and movies with articles and tips for parenting in a digital age.

Recent Research on Screen Time:  Catch up on the most recent guidelines.

For typing practice in younger grades, use Dance Mat Typing, and in grades 3-5, each student as a Typing Pal account.

Finally, here is some advice for balancing technology use at home:

Technology @ Home.001Thank you so much for joining us, and we look forward to learning with you at our next Parent Training!

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3 Truths and 1 Lie!

Hello friends! Take a look at the statements below about me. Three of them are the truth, but one of them is a lie. Which one do you think might be the lie? Add you comment below!

I really strongly dislike bananas – yuck!

I have never had a McDonalds hamburger in my whole life.

I can speak English, Thai, Spanish and French fluently.

I am a excellent at sleeping, and can fall asleep anywhere: the plane, a train, the car, even the floor!

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Continued Summer Learning

First of all, thank you for joining us at our last parent training of the 2013-14 school year! It has been a pleasure learning and working with you all.

A reminder that the best app for the summer is… being outside!

Other ideas that you might consider:

*Use travel opportunities to teach photography skills with iPhone apps such as Camera+ and Snapseed.

*Write and create videos or edit together videos of your adventures with iPad app Youtube Capture.

*Break down your child’s golf swing or front crawl using iPad app Coach’s Eye.

*Explore website Wonderopolis and learn about the ‘wonder of the day’ together.

*Download travel games in their iPad app version: Boggle, Blokus, Monopoly etc.

*Write reviews of the books they read on Amazon.

*Send virtual postcards to family members using iPad app Postale.

*Continue to write blog posts over the summer; use iPad app Write About This for inspiration.

*Create little quizzes or games for brothers and sisters with iPad app Tiny Tap.

*Learn coding skills on Code Academy, iPad app Hopscotch or Scratch.

*Use iPad Headspace to teach mindful meditation.

*Do something each day without technology!


Board Games We Love

Apples to Apples
Taboo for Kids
Clue Jr.
Shape by Shape
Block by Block
Rush Hour
Spot It
Cranium Cariboo
Scrabble Jr. 
River Crossing

And a few Resources from Tammy, Our Literacy Coach!

Story Kitchen
Story Jumper
K-12 Reader
Reading Rockets

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iPad Parent Training Follow Up!

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for joining us this morning. We enjoyed the discussion and learning with you. Here is a summary and the resources from the training:

Here is the video we shared promoting Computer Science Education:

Here are the websites we mentioned to get your children started on coding:
Code Academy

To read the recent research on Mobile Device Usage out of Common Sense Media click here. To read more about Minecraft, see the New York Times article here.

Safe Technology Practices

Teach your children to manage distractions
Honor family values
Create a family media agreement
Do not allow devices in bedrooms
Choose meaningful content
Enable safe search in Google and YouTube (Under settings in the web browser)
Enable iPad Restrictions in Settings (For example: disable in app purchases, limit content etc)

Recommended Apps

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Sample Virtual School Post

*This is not a real post.  This is a sample of what a virtual school blog post could look like!*

Dear students,

As you may have heard, we won’t be learning in class together today.  However, learning will continue at home with virtual school!  The learning activities will take you between 2 and 3 hours, and you should give yourself a nice brain break in the middle to have a snack and get some fresh air.

I will be online today all day today from 7 AM until 3 PM answering e-mails, reading your blog posts, reading your blog comments, having virtual conferences on Google Docs and helping you with your learning in any way that I can.

It is very important that you remember that virtual school is not optional.  School will be continuing as normal, and there will not be time to make up for missed learning when you come back to school.

Reader’s Workshop: 30 minutes

We have been reading Mysteries and learning how to be detectives.  In our class read aloud, we have been reading Nate the Great books, and noticing how to identify and track clues.  Sometimes the author even leaves us false clues to confuse us!

As reader learn new information, they need to ask themselves, “How does what I’m reading now fit with what came before?”  Readers reread to adjust their thinking when they encounter new clues and may revise predictions because the story showed a new angle or clue that wasn’t known before.

Today you are going to read for 20 minutes.  As you read, collect clues you notice on your post it notes, asking yourself “How does what I’m reading now fit with what came before?”.  Then, go back to the prediction you made at the beginning of your book.  Consider if you need to revise your predication based on the information you have collected today!  Post your thinking in a comment on this blog – either explaining that your prediction is still the same; or explaining why your prediction has changed.  Your blog comment needs to be at least 3 sentences long.

Writer’s Workshop:  30 minutes

In Writer’s Workshop we have been working on our independent writing projects.  Even though we are not in class, I have posted this video of me teaching a mini lesson.  Please watch it, and then spend 25 minutes working on your draft in your Google Doc.  I will be taking a look at your pieces of writing around 11 AM to offer you some feedback and “digital conferences”.

Math: 30 minutes

In math we started our unit on geometry and we’ve been identifying parallel and perpendicular lines.

095 | 365  September 1, 2011

Today you will go on a geometry scavenger hunt in and around your house. Find at least 2 examples of parallel and perpendicular lines and take a picture. Email the picture to me and explain how you know they are parallel or perpendicular lines. If you have trouble with taking a picture you can describe what you saw.

Bonus! If you have time, find examples of right angles in real life. Take a picture and I will post them on our blog.

Math Dictionary: Click on the math dictionary to see a definition and example of parallel or perpendicular lines.

Video: Watch this video for a mini-lesson on finding parallel and perpendicular lines in polygons.

 Specials: 1 hour

Click here to see what you need to do for Music, Art, World Language and PE!



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New Parent Training

Thank you to all the new parents who were able to join Mary and I on Thursday for our new parent training on Math and eLearning at ISB. We hope you were able to get a sense of ISBs philosophy, and know that you can contact us at any time with questions you may have.

#271 eLearning

As a follow up, I wanted to share the advice I share for Technology @ home.

  • Read ISBs Acceptable Use Policy with your students
  • Monitor screen time
  • Keep devices in family areas (never in their bedrooms alone)
  • Place emphasis on face to face time
  • Be mindful of your own tech habits
  • Consider a family media agreement
  • Discuss Netiquette with your children!  Do not assume they will learn it on their own.
  • Be present
  • Consider what is age and developmentally appropriate
  • Help children manage their online learning

Here are a couple of great resources specifically written for parents:

Common Sense Media


Learning Lab

Looking forward to learning with you at future parent trainings!  Please contact me with any questions at

Photo Credit: adesigna via Compfight cc

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For Departing Staff: Google Transfer

If you are interested in transferring any of your Google mail, docs, bookmarks etc. please follow this link with directions for the process. The first part is about Haiku, which does not apply to ES, but if you scroll down, there are step by step directions for what to do with your Google content.

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Parent Training: iPads for Learning

Good afternoon parents!

Thank you so much for joining me today in our session. It was wonderful to meet you and to share ideas.

Remember to use this website for ratings, media agreements and general helpful tips on parenting in the digital age: Common Sense Media.

Here are some of the apps that we spoke about today:

Starfall: Learn to Read (Great for English Language Learners)
Fry Words (KG-1)
Chicktionary (Fun word game!)
Rocket Speller
Little Story Maker (Allows you to publish stories with pictures and voice, wonderful for during family vacations!)
Book Creator

Addition Wiz/Subtraction Wiz/Division Wiz/Multiplication Wiz (Math Facts)
Rocket Math
Motion Math: Zoom
Motion Math: Hungry Fish
Math Doodles
Beat the Computer (McGraw-Hill)
Addition Top It (McGraw-Hill)
Math Bingo (Excellent for Math Facts)
Pick a Path (NCTM – Good challenge game)
Concentration (NCTM)
TanZen (Great for visual/spatial learners)

Critical Thinking
Cut the Rope (An addictive game that requires critical thinking and decision making)
Scribblenauts (Brain teasers and problem solving)
DragonBox+ (A challenging game)

Science Fair
BrainPOP (A free video a day, includes quiz)

Digital Books
There is a Monster at the End of the Book (Interactive and entertaining)
Tea Party
Tumble Books to Go (Any in this series)

Creation Tools
Educreations (Allows students to make tutorials)
Comic Life (For reluctant writers, high engagement!)
PuppetPals HD (Kids LOVE this app!)

WolframAlpha (For kids who are older, and need a challenging search engine)
How Stuff Works HD
Khan Academy (Tutorials for students requiring extension and challenge)
Stack Countries (A fun geography game to encourage our kids to become global citizens!)

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Creation Tools

Some of these require an account to sign in. I usually suggest creating a class or teacher e-mail where your students also know the password. For example, I created an e-mail called and I use that to sign into all the various online tools.


Edu Glogster

Go Animate


Flock Draw



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Where Do I Find Apps?


Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything iPad

i Education App Review

Langwitches Blog

Apps by Content Area and Age Groups

Only One iPad in the Classroom

Top Ten Apps for Single iPad Classroom

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