True Technology Integration

Monday, December 10, 2012 1 comment

Do you ever toy with the idea of what truly is technology integration?

True Technology Integration is not: (its a start, but not what it is truly about)
  • students on a computer playing an educational game
  • students moving stuff on an interactive white board
  • using the web based curriculum
The ideas above are a start, but how is that truly preparing our students for their future? If you look at your state's standards or the national standards, the above ideas do not fulfill what we are supposed to be covering with our students.

Now I truly believe in getting kids using technology. Providing students with fun interactive games is key to motivating them and getting them to be more successful. I just think we need to go beyond that...To Infinite and Beyond!!

Technology can be rigorous if you make it that way. Students need to use creative thinking and develop digital projects, not just playing a a game or moving a pen on an interactive whiteboard.

We need to show our students how to properly research and about internet safety. I know being an educator is a hard job and it seems like there is never enough time, but we have to. It is for the betterment of our students!

Technology Rigorous Activity:
For example: The class finished reading the story Ella Enchanted and then the students were to create web pages that displayed their knowledge of what they read. The students created different pages for the characters, setting, problem, fairy tale elements, key vocabulary, educational games, etc..
The students didn't just take a test and move on..they created and had a blast doing so. Their retention level went way up on this activity! Plus the kids got a little lesson on html coding.

Make sure your students are building, creating, and discovering. There are so many Web 2.0 tools out there for students that are free.
Check this great list out:
  • Word Clouds
  • Web Page building
  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • Skype
  • Blogger
  • Animoto
  • Prezi
  • Comic Strips
  • QR-codes
              ................and the list goes on and on
  1. Have a purpose for what the students are doing.
  2. Let the students plan the activity out.
  3. It's time to let go and let our students take a hold of their own learning.
Each state follows a set of technology standards, it could be standards that the state has in place or the national standards. It is sad, but many educators do not know what they are and even that they exist. It is so important that we are aware and do what we can do to provide our students with a solid foundation.

Here is the purpose for the Texas TATEKS from
The purpose of the state’s Technology Applications curriculum is to ensure that students and educators gain and apply critical 21st Century digital knowledge and skills across the curriculum. Technology Applications provides a vertical look at what is expected for students from prekindergarten through grade twelve. There are benchmarks at Grades 2, 5, and 8 as well as specialized, focused courses building on the K-8 TEKS at the high school level. There are expectations for Technology Applications for beginning teachers as well as current educators.

I love these TATEK segments

Have a great week!
Kristen Hernandez

Math TEKS Technology Integration

Friday, November 23, 2012 No comments

Hi Everyone it is Kristen from Teacher Playground. I hope each of you had a blessed Thanksgiving.
Happy Black Friday!

I hope you enjoy this Math TEKS Technology Integration spreadsheet that I put together for grades K-5. 

Instructional Coaching

Friday, November 2, 2012 No comments
What is an Instructional Coach?
An instructional coach is someone who provides teacher support in the classroom with a helping hand and a loving heart.

They are many things:

  1. Resource Provider
  2. Data Coach
  3. Curriculum Specialist
  4. Instructional Specialist
  5. Mentor
  6. Classroom Supporter
  7. Learning Facilitator
  8. School Leader
  9. Catalyst for Change
  10. Learner

What makes an educator a good instructional coach?

To me a good instructional coach first establishes a relationship with the teacher or teachers they are working with. If you want someone to listen to the ideas and suggestions you have, they have to know that you care and are there for them throughout the entire process. A good instructional coach listens to the teacher's needs and finds the best possible student tested resources that will work. The coach models the lessons and provides support to the teacher even if its just to be there for moral support.

Also a good coach will admit they do not know the answer if they do not know, but will find out the information instead making up false information. There is nothing wrong with not knowing everything...we are all humans. If you get caught making up information, you have lost all respect.

Collaborate together as you will find learn so much from each other. The experience is very rewarding and beneficial to our growth as educators.

Never treat a teacher like you are better than them. We are all in this together. Singleness of Purpose
Patience is key! Put yourself in a situation where you were told you needed to do something right now, but you had no clue how to do it. Would you want someone talking down to you? I bet not. Be there and remember to smile!

Creating a Mock Election using Google Forms

Thursday, October 25, 2012 1 comment
I wanted to post about using Google Forms to create a Mock Election for the upcoming election. This is a great way to get your students involved since they are not able to vote yet. I worked with one of my librarians to get the form created and the webpage set up. This has been such an awesome experience!

To learn how to set up a Google Form, check out this article:

Embed a form in a website or blog

If you'd like to embed your form in a website or blog after you create and save your form, click the More actions drop-down menu at the top of the form, select the Embed option, and paste the URL into your site or blog.


Using Google Forms to Create an Online Quiz

If you are interested in creating an online quiz, Google Drive can help you with that. One of the tools in Google Drive is Forms; you can create an assortment of questions, including short answer, long answer, multiple choice, and check boxes for multiple responses. I am a huge fan of the Forms and I don't know what I would do without them. I even love the fact that you can add a cool background for your form. When the quiz is ready you can email it to your students or even better, you can embed it in your web page. If it is embedded, then your students can go to your webpage, take the quiz, and submit. You will find the results posted in your Google Drive account and listed in a spreadsheet. On the downside, it does not grade the quiz for you, but you can set it up with some extra steps to grade it for you. Check out this awesome article that walks you through the process...

For detailed info about creating a quiz with Google Forms, read the following article and/or watch the video tutorial:

Making Online Quizzes with Google Docs

Congratualtions to our Winners!

Monday, October 15, 2012 1 comment
Congratulations to All of our Winners! I appreciate everyone's support in celebrating the mark of 100 Likes on Facebook.This has been such an amazing experience and I never imagined all the love I would get from this. I am just so happy! I am now looking forward to 100 Followers on my blog next.

Sid the Science Kid

Thursday, October 11, 2012 1 comment
Gerald, May, Sid, and Gabriela. Wecome!

As a technology specialist I am always looking for great technology tools that will increase student motivation and academic success. I want students to have fun as they learn and develop into lifelong learners.

I wanted to spotlight Sid the Science Kid as I really love all the information and materials that are free to students, teachers, and parents.

What is Sid the Science Kid you ask?
The Sid the Science Kid website is designed to develop a students' natural wonder and build a solid foundation for key science concepts.

This site provides free online and offline activities that will surely motivate children to practice and truly discover science concepts as they dig deeper into their own learning.

Free Activities with Videos:

Blog for Curious Teachers:

I hope this website sparks a little curiosity in you and your students. Enjoy and I would love to know how your kiddos like the resources from Sid the Science Kid.

Kristen Hernandez = )
Teacher Playground

100 Likes Giveaways

Friday, October 5, 2012 6 comments
I am so excited to say that I have hit 100 Likes on my Facebook page
This is a huge milestone for me and I wanted to do something really great. I have paired up with fellow bloggers and they have graciously donated their items.

We will have lots of winners! Good Luck!!

Science Giveaway!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 1 comment

Scary TpT Gift Card Giveaway Fairy-- You can win!

This is Halloween; this is Halloween!  I love Halloween and want to celebrate with a $25 TpT Gift Card Giveaway!  Take a look at the Rafflecopter below to find out how to enter!  The Giveaway begins October 1 and ends October 8 at 12:01 AM (EST).

Teacher Guides for Technology

Are you ever looking for a little assistance to help you integrate technology into the classroom?
Maybe a guide that will lead you down the right track?

Here is a great site that has tons of great resources that I think you will really like. The best part is that it is all FREE! Wonderful Teacher Guides for Technology.


From their wesbite:
Over the last couple of months, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has been working diligently on a variety of educational technology guides for teachers and educators. The majority of them have been posted here and, thankfully, have received a huge and unprecedented interaction from their readers.
These guides come in very handy for every teacher looking to better integrate technology into his/her teaching. They are very simple,developed in a step-by-step process,  illustrated by pictures, diagrams, video tutorials, and examples, and concluded with a webliography containing links to a variety of other websites relevant to the topic under discussion. Pedagogical implications are included in the review of the web tools featured in the guides.

These guides are completely free for you to use and all that is asked by Educational Technology and Mobile Learning is that you pay credit to Educational Technology and Mobile Learning if you want to reuse them somewhere else.

Tech Matrix

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 1 comment
TechMatrix Logo

I wanted to blog today about a great site for assistive technology. This site provides tools and resources for students with disabilities and their classmates. Sometimes it can be hard to find good free resources for students with disabilities so this is why I really like this site. This year I have a special needs campus that I know will love and utilize this great site. I have already found some great tools and resources I can use when I go into the classrooms to integrate technology in the best way possible for their needs.

PowerUp What Works


  • Strategic integration of technology and curriculum for Grades 4-6.
  • Improved alignment of technology with initiatives such as:
    • Standards-based instruction
    • Response to Intervention (RTI)
    • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
    • Teacher assessment
    • 21st century schools

Technology Tailgate Giveaways

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 No comments
Hi Everyone! I wanted to let you know that there is a great giveaway going on over at the Technology Tailgate site.

Here is what you can win!

Our Grand Prize Pack includes... 
$25 Starbucks Giftcard
12+ Prizes!!!!

Science Bob..Rocks!

Monday, September 10, 2012 No comments

I would love to tell you about a wonderful Science site that I think ROCKS!

It is Science Bob!

Science Bob is a fun, interactive site that has several different areas for kids to choose from. There are videos, experiments, science fair ideas, and a research help link with a plethora of fantastic links to other sites.

I know as a Science teacher and now Educational Technology Specialist, I am always looking for resources that will really excite kids about learning and discovering Science. I believe a huge part of understanding Science is about exploring and digging deeper into each concept. I love this site because it is eye catching and will really get students pumped up about what they are learning. This site can be used for a lesson launcher, media inserts in your lessons, the lesson itself, and just about anywhere you want to add it.

If I were you, I would surely make Science Bob a part of my Science Technology Toolbox.


LearnBoost: Lesson Plan Maker

Saturday, September 8, 2012 No comments
I had the chance to get to learn a lot about LearnBoost and I am very impressed with what I see.

This great free tool for Lesson Plan building is awesome and did I mention it was FREE = )

LearnBoost has a lesson plan component that helps you connect planning and instruction to grading and assessment in an instant.There is so much more to LearnBoost, but I just love the ease of use for lesson planning.

To me one of the best parts of this lesson planner is that allows you to include images, videos, charts, maps, and text clippings in your lesson plans. You can even share your lesson plans with your fellow teachers and all media included will be available to them as well.

The lesson planner has a section for Reflection after the lesson in order to tweak for the next time you teach it. I believe in reflecting after a lesson so I love this part.

Give it a try!

Kristen = )

Magic Tree House Books Interactive Website for Kids

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 No comments

Magic Tree House Books Interactive Website for Kids
My Magic Tree House saves that day...well not really, but I couldn't pass up its awesomeness = )

This website is interactive and really appeals to students.  There are “adventures” the kids can go on, answering questions about the books and solving word puzzles. The students also get a passport that they can fill in by answering 3 to 4 questions about each of the books. Its like flying around the world very quickly = )

Students can sign up for free and save their passport stamps, or they can print out each passport stamp and put them in their own notebook. Students love this as they feel like they have been on a really cool trip.

It is such a great way to get your reluctant readers to love the power of a great book.

One of the best parts of this website is that there are teaching resources to go with each book! I also love that they have  a program that donates free Magic Tree House books to low income schools in the United States. I taught at a low income school and I know the power and excitement of donations. 

I know you will love what you see there and all the great fun your students will have using this in the classroom and at home.

Slide Speech

Monday, August 27, 2012 No comments

Free Resources from Creative Teaching Press

I have a love for all things Creative Teaching Press as I think they make some wonderful resources that teachers can use. They are also so gracious to provide a freebie page for Educators. Try some of these freebies out and let me know what you think.


Sunday, August 26, 2012 No comments
Check out this wonderful blog and Giveaway. When she hits 500 followers, she will be doing a really cool giveaway.


Thursday, August 23, 2012 No comments
This is what I want next. I am just dying to try it out!! I am going to try to work my magic and let you know if I get the chance to play with one.

Everyone check this out as it is really inexpensive and super cool!

If you have one of these, I would love you tell me what you think about it.

Kelly Bell Designs Giveaway Winner!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 No comments

Congratulations on winning the Kelly Belle Design Giveaway!

Thank You,
Kristen Hernandez

Flash Browsers for iPad, iPhone, and iTouch

From Shana Ellason at Enchanted Technology!

Shana here from Enchanted with Technology!
Enchanted with Technology
There are some really great interactive websites out there that would be great for students to use on the iPad. However, it’s disappointing when they are flash-based sites and they are not compatible with the iOS platform. Rover is the perfect solution. It can be downloaded free from the app store and supports flash websites. So now you can use all your favorite sites right on your iPad!

There are a lot of other flash browser apps that can be downloaded from the app store for a relatively low price. Rover is currently only for the iPad, so it is worth checking out some of the other apps.

Splashtop remote browser is one of my favorites. It allows you to control your computer directly from your device; you are actually using your own computer's browser. This gives you the freedom to access all of your files and software programs directly from your computer. One reason why I love it is because it works awesome with the interactive whiteboard. Instead of having a slate to control the board, students can launch the Splashtop app and interact from anywhere in the room! If you get a chance, definitely check it out. Just click on the icons to find out more.

Current Giveaways

Friday, August 17, 2012 No comments

Check out these great GIVEAWAYS!!

AMAZING giveaway! Lots of prizes - Creative Teaching Press, Starbucks, TPT gift card, CAFE stuff - go!

There are so many to mention! Awesome stuff!

Great giveaway full of stuff @ Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

Laminator & paper cutter giveaway @ Crayons & Curls - perfect for us teachers! :)

300 Follower Giveaway for $25.00 TPT gift certificate @ Ms. Alley's 2nd Grade Class!

100 Follower Giveaway @ Cindy's blog, All Things Teachery! Super great giveaway!

Shanna is throwing a giveaway for the facelift of her blog! This blog isn't teaching related, but there are some fantastic prizes being given AND there are 6 different winners!

Two AMAZING giveaways by Dani @ Patterson's Porch - you HAVE to enter!

Kristen @ Teacher Playground is holding a giveaway for a Digital Scrapbook kit! You get to choose ANY one, too!

Triptico...Awesome Technology Resource

Thursday, August 16, 2012 No comments

Have you heard of Triptico? I love using this program with students and teachers. It has been very successful and to mention it is FREE, yes I said FREE!! You do have to download it, but it is well worth it.

Here is description of Triptico:
Triptico's desktop app contains over twenty interactive, fully-customisable resources for you to use in your classroom... and it's completely free!

I  would say it is one of the Best Web 2.0 resources out there. It has a sleak and sophisticated look. When you see it, you won't even believe that this is FREE. I had spent so much time looking for free interactive activities to use to meet the needs of my students and teachers, with little luck. When I found Triptico, I was so excited and I had to show the class I was teaching at the time and they were so pumped. I had some teachers yelling out with excitement!!

I hope you enjoy it!

Enter to Win!

Hi everyone! I am doing a GIVEAWAY! I am very excited about this.

Sign up to win a Digital Scrapbook Kit of your choice from Kelly Belle Designs at A value of $5.50! 

Digital Scrapbook kits are great for flipcharts, printables, and just about anything you want.  Good Luck!

To Sign up click here-->
You have until Sunday (8/19/12) at noon to sign up!

I am always doing giveaways on my Facebook page, so make sure to Like the Teacher Playground page.

All Star Resorts

Blog Award

This morning I found out that I have been given the "One Lovely Blog" Award. I am so excited about this!
I was nominated by iintegratetechnology for this wonderful award. Thank you so much!
I see you are a tech lover too! Stop by my blog- I nominated you for some awards!

For this award, here are the rules:  
1. Become a "Follower" to the person who gave you the award. 

2. Link back to the person that gave you the award.

3. Pass to 15 new bloggers and then let them know they have received the award. 

Here are some of the the awesome blogs I'm passing this award on to. I will keep updating until I get to 15:


Apps for the One-iPad Classroom

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 2 comments

from Tech Notes (TCEA)

If you only have one iPad, what are the best apps to put on it for student use? The apps below come highly recommended from TCEA, and they're all FREE!

BrainPOP Featured MovieBrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week, or BrainPOP: Pelicula del Dia are great for centers. Develop a set of standard questions for students to answer about the movie each day. The questions can focus on whatever comprehension or writing skill you are practicing at the time, such as main idea or vocabulary.

SpellingCity is a tremendous way for students to practice spelling words, and it works for grades K-12. Students can access lists created by others to study through one of the seven included games. Vocabulary practice, including for the SAT, is also included. 

Have students in grades 2 through 12 create a fast puppet show about something they are currently studying using the appPuppet Pals HD. One free theme set is included; others may be purchased. If you want more sets, look at buying the Director's Pass, which includes all current and future content for $2.99.

Students can access Flash-based web games and practice many different skills by using Rover - The Browser for Educationinstead of Safari. From Discovery Education, Rover streams filtered educational Flash content to the iPad. 

Create a fast book with more than 50 story starters usingScribble Press. Scribble Press for iPad is a book creation platform that allows kids to imagine, create, and share their own stories with great drawing and writing tools. Students can use their own photos, the included sticker album, or the 500 drawing tools in the app to illustrate their stories.

Students of any age can practice their vocabulary words or math facts together using the app StoryLines for Schools. One student selects a vocabulary word from several included lists or types in a word and definition of his own. The next student must illustrate the word The final student gives the drawing a title. The storyline then is played back for all to see.

Have a "Scribe of the Day" whose responsibility it is to take notes of what the class does that particular day using QuickVoice Recorder. This one-touch app is simple enough for even a first grade student to use. When the recording is done, it can be emailed to the teacher to post on a class website or blog.

Practice knowledge of important dates in U. S. history by playing others on the History Line app. A series of historical events are presented on the screen; students place the events onto a timeline at the bottom of the screen in the correct sequence. When the event placed on the line is correct, the date appears.

Free Apps Today

The following educational iOS apps are free. Download the apps as soon as possible as they can go to paid status at any time.

These apps are really good and you know as teachers it seems like nothing is free and everything teacher wise is expensive. When I saw this list, I jumped on the chance. I hope you do too! 
ABC Champ (spelling game; normally $1.99)
ACT (math lessons; normally $9.99)
Algebra Card Clutter (fast math game)
Ben & Bob Chipmunks (interactive book)
Bodie, California (Museum Planet presents a narrated, digital photo tour of the historic ghost mining town Bodie, California; normally $2.99)
Buzzle (normally $1.99)
Cars in Sandbox: Space Rover (normally $8.99; introduce young children to the Mars Rover and the Moon Rover)
Cyberchase: Ruckus Reader (interactive book; one free story included free; others available for in-app purchase)
Different Book (opposites)
Hide Run Growl (interactive book; normally $1.99)
Hookitty-Tookitty-Tah (interactive book; normally $2.99)
Hurricane by American Red Cross (great for tracking hurricanes, emergency preparedness, and more)
IBM Think (a wonderful app about how progress is made)
iReading HD - Sleeping Beauty (interactive book)
iStory Bally, the Balloon Dog (interactive book; normally $2.99)
iStory to the Rescue (interactive book; normally $2.99)
Jeff the Mis-Fish (interactive book)
JM Abel with No Navel (interactive book)
JM The Naughty Eagle Chicks (interactive book)
JM Untying the Knot (interactive book)
Kids iHelp - Analogy 1.0 (free set with more available through in-app purchase; excellent for practicing logical thinking skills)
Kids iHelp - Analogy 2.0 (free set with more available through in-app purchase; excellent for practicing logical thinking skills)
Luna Red (very cute interactive book about Red Riding Hood; normally $2.99)
Magic Clothes RD (interactive book)
Meet Heckerty (interactive book)
Mink (interactive phonics book)
MuseumApp (create your own museum exhibits; free registration required; normally $5.99)
North Wind (interactive book)
Open Wide Snap (interactive book; normally $1.99)
PeterPan(Unabridged) (audio book; normally $16.99)
Princesses Learn German (interactive book)
Puss in Boots (interactive book; free the whole month of August)
The Race by Lily (interactive book by a little girl)
Slice Wood (puzzle game)
The Tale of Tortoise Buffett and Trader Hare (interactive book about finance for children; normally $1.99)
Tickle Stomp! An Educational Story (interactive book for preschoolers)
Vermeer (art works; normally $1.99)
World Explorer (normally $2.99)