NEO-Blogger Meetup and Presenting at My First Conference!

I've been one busy gal lately and now that I am on spring break I finally have a moment to catch y'all up to speed! As you may have seen on my Instagram, I recently met up with a whole bunch of fabulous teacher-bloggers-Instagrammers at the Cheesecake Factory. Tami from the blog Blessed In First organized the event and made everyone cute goodie boxes as well as an official brochure of all the teachers in attendance. We had about 20 teachers total! 

 Me, Amelia from Wild Things Learn and Amanda from One Extra Degree. 

Me with Kristi @trendyteacher (IG) and Kathleen from Middle Grades Maven 

We played an ice breaker and I won the shimmering gold bag full of more teacher goodies that I can't wait to use in my classroom. I had to take a picture of everything I received this week, because I never win things or receive fun teacher goodies! I was literally in teacher heaven. Tami even baked us cupcakes!  
The center travel mug is a presenter's gift I received after presenting at my first conference with 3 of my kiddos. I was invited to speak about technology I used for Common Core creativity. 

My main topics were about the apps Evernote and Touchcast.

Everyday my students grab their read to self book and take a picture of a page they're reading. This picture goes directly into a new note inside the Evernote app. The Evernote app also has an in-app microphone which allows you to record. Students record themselves reading a page or two. They playback their recording and re-record as many times as they need to be happy with their pacing and expression. They also record a retell of what they've just read in a new Evernote voice recording. 

For the teacher this is nice because I am able to access each students' Evernote account from anywhere that I have access to the web. That means I can do a running record on every single student every single day if I wanted to. I mainly would listen in quickly listening for students who were not reading a "just right book." I'd add that to my conferring notebook and make sure I met with that student the following day to meet in person and provide more feedback. After 6 weeks of doing this, students listened back at their original recordings to reflect on their progress.

 When I was invited to speak at the conference, I was also asked to bring some of my students if possible. I chose to bring 3 students. In order to determine who to bring, I wanted to bring a student that would feel comfortable talking about how he/she liked using Evernote for fluency. When I asked one of my girls she listed several reasons off the top of her head. I said, "That's good, write that down!" So she did: 
I love when I don't need to prompt students to get quality answers! 

Anywho, if you have iPads in the classroom or any device that will allow you to download the Evernote app, I strongly recommend using it for fluency practice! By doing this everyday my students are building a fluency portfolio that allows them, their parents, and myself to have access to it any time day or night. 

We also use Evernote to organize research and to take pictures of student work so that their Evernote account works as an overall student portfolio and organizational tool.

Touchcast is the other app that I spoke briefly about. Touchcast is an excellent app to use for video recording. We used it to make travel commercials with a "green screen" function that allowed students to make it look as if they were reporting directly from the continent they researched! I plan to blog about Touchcast more in depth soon.

I'd love to know how you use Evernote or Touchcast in your classroom! Please share below!

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