Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays & a Look Back on the Best of 2012 from @KleinErin at Kleinspiration

Thank you all for helping to make 2012 very merry!

This year was filled with so many wonderful ideas shared among colleagues (virtual and face to face), connections made at conferences, and friendships formed through collaboration.  Blogging has opened so many doors socially and professionally.  Most of all, I am thankful for the support we all offer to each other.  

Two years ago, I never would have imagined that blogging would have influenced my profession the way it has today.  When I have a question, YOU have the answer!  I'm blown away by the friends I've made through this experience.  I get so excited connecting with you all though comments, contests, give-aways, conferences, workshops, webinars, Twitter chats, Linky parties, Facebook groups, Pinterest boards, emails, and more.  The coolest part is having Skype dates and even planning meet-ups to have coffee and collaborate on projects together.  

A Few Highlights from 2012

Though there were so many terrific items and ideas shared, below are a few of my personal favorites.  These made my favorite list most likely because they were either free or really incredible.  Also, they probably worked 'just-right' for my second grade class this year.  So, though there may be other more amazing items and ideas that aren't on my 'personal favorites' list, they probably are more suited for a different grade level.  It's that simple.  No hard feelings... or perhaps I just didn't have a chance to run across the great idea or item yet - in which case... please do share some of your favorites in the comments section of this post!  Thanks!!

Fantastic Ways to Integrate Technology

iPads in the classroom: Nearpod

 click here to view

5 Amazing Web Tools for Classroom Collaboration 

  click here to view and listen

New iPad App site by Richard Byrne

click here to view the site and here for the Pinterest board

Organize Your Facts: Citelighter

Store, organize, and share your education and research for free.

click here to view

A few of my favorite sources for having students collaborate and publish work:

 Turn your photos & videos into pure amazing.
Animoto automatically produces beautifully orchestrated, completely unique video pieces from your photos, video clips and music. Fast, free and shockingly easy.

Capzles: Time Captured. All of your media, your life, your stories. Together like never before. Create rich, multimedia experiences with videos, photos, music, blogs, documents and more.

Sonic Pics for itouch devices. Narrate your photos like never before, flipping to each image as you are ready to talk. You choose the timing. SonicPics makes it easy to make slideshow movies on your iPod touch or iPhone.
View Mrs. Klein's seventh grade class projects using itouch technology and Sonic Pics.

Prezi offers a unique format to the traditional slideshow presentation. Prezi is 'the zooming presentation editor.' Start creating astonishing presentations live and on the web. You can directly add video and multimedia into your work while adding flare to your presentation through the incredible design you develop.

Xtranormal turns type (or text) into speech. Students create a monologue or incorporate a dialogue between characters to explain various concepts. Students can retell main parts of a book, report on a historical event, or explain steps in a math problem.
View a language arts example used for our reading intervention class or a seventh grade student's digital writing project example. Also, teachers can use these as engaging anticipatory sets to start a new lesson.

Glogster provides a digital platform for students to create a multimedia poster. Import video (from a file or YouTube) or images. Glogsters are great for book reviews, describing important events in history, showing a detailed description of a novel's setting, displaying images and video from an engaging science experiment... Easy to create - Students love making them!

Storybird has become one of my new personal favorites. This free site allows teachers to create an account and invite students so that projects can be monitored. If you simply decide to allow students to create their own accounts, which is what I did, they can send you the link to their project. Students take ownership in selecting their illustrator's artwork and developing their written work as an author. These beautiful books can also be printed to share.

Fantastic Products

Summary Poster by Megan from I Teach.

click here to download

Genre Posters by Beth Newingham

click here to download

*Another favorite from Beth: Word Study in Action*
click here to view

Character Profiles by Sarah at Permanently Primary

click here to download

click here to download

Fantastic Teaching Ideas

Organize your Anchor Charts for Years to Come by Teaching My Friends!

click here to see the full post

Dry Erase Flash Card Albums

DIY Dry Erase Pom Markers by Amanda at The Teaching Thief

click here to see the full post

Fantastic Bloggers

My Pinterest Board: "Blogs I Love"
- click here


My Google Reader
- click here -


My Twitter PLN
- click here -
- click here

Fantastic Kleinspiration Posts
- My Top 5 of 2012 - 

K-6 Reading Lessons: Common Core Aligned 

click here to view

Breaking News: Remind101 Launches the App!

click here to view

ABCya Games: The Leader in Free Kids Computer Games & Apps for your iPod/iPad!!

click here to view

Beautiful Classroom Design Themes from Schoolgirl Style & a super give-away!

click here to view

Guest Post: Top SMART Board Resources + Free Downloads! by Gena Mathes

click here to view

See More Great Blog Highlights from 2012

Thanks to Christina for hosting this fun Linky to sum up 2012!

Thank you from Erin Klein at Kleinspiration.com!

Follow Me on Pinterest

A Special Thanks to my Readers and my Sponsors!

Please take a moment and visit the sponsor of this site:

- Mastery Connect: (click here)
MasteryConnect makes it simple to share and discover common formative assessments and track mastery of state and Common Core standards. Built-in grading tools save teachers time.

ABCya.com: (click here)
ABCya.com is the leader in free educational kids computer games and activities for elementary students to learn on the web. All children's educational computer activities were created or approved by certified school teachers. All educational games are free and are modeled from primary grade lessons and enhanced to provide an interactive way for children to learn.

Ten Marks: (click here)
At TenMarks, we believe that students learn best when they're engaged, nurtured, and motivated, and that teachers are key to improving math achievement. To help maximize teacher effectiveness in the classroom and to make their lives easier, we've created a web-based learning environment that simplifies assignments, automates grading, and drives student learning through engaging videos and interactive lessons.

- Mind Maple: (click here)
MindMaple® will increase your productivity and creativity by visually organizing your ideas and thoughts onto a mind map. MindMaple® is perfect for working professionals and educators involved in project managing, brain storming, and task scheduling. Experience the difference with MindMaple®.

- Web 2.0 OER (click here)
Open Educational Resources on Web 2.0 Tools in Education 
Curated by Mohamed Amin Embi 

- Remind 101 (click here)
A safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents. Free.

- Class Dojo (click here)
ClassDojo is a classroom tool that helps teachers improve behavior in their classrooms quickly and easily. It also captures and generates data on behavior that teachers can share with parents and administrators.  Better learning behaviors, smoother lessons and hassle-free data - and its free!


  1. Thanks for linking up, Erin! It was so great meeting you this year... hoping we can do another meet-up soon!!!

    *Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge*

  2. You are fabulous at what you do and thanks so very much for sharing so generously with all you blogging friends...like me!

  3. Thanks Christina for offering this linky! Hope to hang out again, soon.

    Debbi - you rock! Thanks!

    Kathy, I'm so happy to connect with you! Thanks for your comment.

    Happy Holidays,


  4. YOU have the answer! I'm blown away by the friends I've made through this experience. how to promote my instagram I get so excited connecting with you all though comments, contests, give-aways,