I found an APP for making postcards a few months ago and wanted to share it with you. This is a simple, fun APP that allows you to create a postcard using a template. Users can add a “stamp” for location, add a picture, and add text all very simply. That is one of the reasons I love and recommend this APP is the simple intuitive-ness of it!

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Displaying image.jpegThey also have a website with directions and information.

Here is their video:

Here are the directions (and if you want a hard copy to share with kids click here):

  1. Open the APP
  2. Select the postcard you want to usesnapnwrite3snapnwrite 2
  3. Touch the + in the upper right corner
    1. Get Automatically
  4. Touch the + in the left middle
    1. Touch the camera
    2. Take a picture of the book
    3. Use photo or retake
    4. Done
  5. Touch the + on the right side
    1. Type your message
    2. Touch Done
    3. You can adjust font, size beside the text area
      1. + larger
      2. – smaller
      3. Font to change the look
      4. Col to change the color
  6. Scribble allows you to write with finger.
  7. Share – Save Image saves it to the iPad

So how could you use this in the classroom?

One of my third grade classes just used it to create postcards about their book Charlotte’s Web. They wrote to a character and made a self to text comparison. Beautiful work!

Other uses could be postcards from historical time periods, letters to parents, field trip reports, pen pal letters, and oh so much more.

Have other ideas of how you could use Snap n Write? Leave them in the comment section!

Research Unit

I am currently building a research unit for grades 3-5 and wanted to share and get some feedback on the unit so far. It is planned as a 5 week unit. I will be teaching the basics of researching, while the grade level teachers cover content and notetaking skills.

Objective: TSWBAT research a topic of choice or assigned by teacher and find reliable sources, use smart search techniques, take notes, cite sources, and keep information organized.

Main ISTE Standard addressed: Research and Information Fluency

Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Plan strategies to guide inquiry
Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
Process data and report results

Also touched upon:
Digital Citizenship
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

Dates: March  14-April 15 Activities
Week one- reliable sources*digital safety reminders

  • review domain names
  • clues to reliability: domain, dates, contact information
  • wikipedia is not a reliable source- but can lead to reliable sources

Nearpod lesson

Week two- Citations,Creative Commons and Image searching

  • Last, first (date). name of article, source.  
  • if url- (stop at .com, etc)
  • how to search for images with free use, how to cite images
Week three- Book research
  • Using the online card catalog to locate books
  • Nonfiction room set up
  • Index
  • Table of Contents
  • Copyright page
  • Locating information, writing specific page numbers
Week four- Smart searching
  • use – to eliminate
  • use “  ” for exact
  • site:edu will look just for edu sites
  • tool- advanced search – can set up last updated, more restrictions
Week four, five- Research and notetaking

Safe search engines: Kiddle, kidrex,, has multiple kid search engines

In order to teach the unit and have students walk away with a reference guide, I created a research workbook. Normally, I am not a paper pencil kinda person, but for this unit and the fact students need to research without me being present to remind them of what we discussed, I felt this was the best way to go. Below is the link. After looking it over, please leave a comment on the blog here about changes, additions, deletions you feel are needed.

Research Workbook

Another vehicle I am using to teach the information is Nearpod. I really like this product because as a teacher I am controlling what students are seeing/doing and I can make interactive lessons that are kinda cool! Again, please review the lessons and give feedback! It is kinda hard to get the full gist of the presentation, since I am not with you to talk through the info…but you can get the idea. I have it set up as homework, so I don’t control the content and progression. Go to at the top where it says JOIN SESSION type in the codes below.

Research week 1 Nearpod code TIZDA

Research week 2 Nearpod code AVPCD

Research week 3 Nearpod code LSIGK

I haven’t completed the Nearpod for weeks 4, 5-6. I will post them here when I get them finished.

So what do you think? Please let me know your thoughts on what has been created and what you think needs to be added. Feel free to use the materials I have created for yourself! Do you have a research unit and want to share? Please do! You can post links here or email it to me and I will add the resources!


Happy teaching and learning!


FETC reflections

Ya know Jetlag? Well I had FETClag. After 3 amazing days and 30,000+ steps I was overwhelmed with amazing-ness! And then Universal for 2 days and 40,000+ steps and then some kinda virus and now finally I am awake and aware and ready to reflect!

Tech Share Live is one of my favorite parts of FETC as it gives you a chance to see the amazing things you couldn’t even imagine (and afford). I also enjoy seeing Adam Bellow sing!

I am not a fan of keynotes…just putting it out there I don’t like crowds and often the keynote speaker at a big conference has nothing to do with education and it confuses me. (Ashley Judd ISTE2013ish) But at FETC the speakers are usually education-based and completely inspiring. And this year was no different! Man I was inspired and excited to listen to Reshma Saujani. The Verizon commercial she played was y inspiration to begin Girls Building STEAM. Reading the #fetc tweets I can see I wasn’t the only one who was excited to hear her story and inspired to go further to get girls into STEAM fields.

I attended several sessions on Digital Safety, as it is a concern for me and one of my topics we cover in-depth throughout the school year. It was great to see Common Sense Media, Digital Passport, and NetSmartz highlighted as well as a few other resources that were new to me for the higher level students.  High School teachers should definately check out It teaches the importance of paying attention while driving. Carnegie Cadets is an elementary resource shared created by Carnegie Melon students. Another one for kids is is a great resource for parents and teachers.

I happen to be a big fan of Diana Rendina and her makerspace. I have begun to dabble in the idea and we are doing a maker unit starting today. She had some amazing ideas in her MakerSpace201 class for organization and thinking about the whole idea. Her resources can be found at and her blog is

Augmented Reality was a big push at FETC. I completely adore my Google Cardboard and other tools. I am still working through how I can used them in the classroom effectively. I went to a great Aurasma session and have great ideas on how to incorporate Aurasma into the 4th grade Social Studies trip to St Augustine!

Can I  just tell you poster sessions are my favorite!!! I presented 2 posters and one concurrent session. i feel posters give you the best networking and also provide great content. If I see a poster session on a topic of interest I get to get more in-depth info on the topic than in a regular session. I can “pick the brain” of a poster presenter much easier than in a big group setting. As a presenter it allows me to hone my message to each person who stops by, giving them what they need and helping me to broaden my thinking as well!

My absolute favorite vendors this year were Imagine Easy, Science4Us, and Nearpod. ImagineEasy has a great bibliography program, among other things, that makes like so much easier! They published my blog post about blogging at conferences, too! This company is a fun group and has great customer interaction! Science4Us is a part of the SpellingCity family. They were kind enough to supply me with giveaways for my STEAM session! Their science lessons are amazing, interactive, and according to some teachers who are using them- addictive to students and teachers! Their team is super responsive and eager to help teachers! Nearpod also gave me some loot to share in my session and gave them MOST COMFORTABLE t-shirt ever! Nearpod is an amazing tool that allows you to share your lessons with students and control the pace of what students see and do! very cool stuff and another amazing customer experience! Notice a connection? All companies with great customer service who are truly interested in what teachers have to say!

I can not wait to use some of the tools and information gained at FETC this year! What were your take-aways? What was a great idea or inspiration you grabbed at the conference? If you were not able to attend FETC, you should check out Twitter and #fetc. Tons of twitter users shared their thoughts and learning during the conference!


I am so excited for this summer and my conferences! I will be learning and sharing at ST4T, ISTE, and ILA. More info to come!