Thursday, May 31, 2012

Uplifting Children's Books by Maria Dismondy

Books that Make a Difference

Maria Dismondy is a Michigan author who is making spirits bright, one book at a time.  We at Kleinspiration first met Maria in January, when she was launching her book Pink Tiara Cookies for Three.

Pink Tiara was a big favorite of Kleinspiration readers this past year and teaches a very valuable lesson about how bullying, even in very subtle forms, can still hurt.  Since there was such great feedback on Pink Tiara, we decided to look back at some of Maria's previous works.

Similar to Pink Tiara, Maria's award winning first book also focuses on how people can and often do make a difference upon one another.  In Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, Maria focuses on one student's courage to make the right choices and stand up for what she believes in.

The heroine, Lucy, wonders how bully Ralph can be so mean as Ralph teased her about her eating habits.  Lucy is one of a kind, and Ralph loves to point that out. Lucy’s defining moment comes when Ralph truly needs her help. Because she knows what she stands for, Lucy has the courage to make the right choice. This charming story empowers children to always do the right thing and to be proud of themselves even when they are faced with someone as challenging as Ralph.

Please {click here} to visit Maria's website!

You'll love the fun design of her site and the many great books & resources.

In today's society, it's important to remind children that, although we are different on the outside, we are very much alike on the inside.  Unfortunately, bullying has become a major problem in the United States. It's not only painful for children, but occurring at an increasingly young age. Maria's books are meant to empower children to positively handle tough situations through their timeless messages.

Attention Teachers:  Your class can even Write the Author a Letter!  How fun!!  Click Here!

Disclosure: Maria Dismondy is a sponsor of Kleinspiration

remind101: If only I had this tool in school!

remind101: an effective and efficient way to communicate on the go

So often I wish I had the ability to shoot out a quick reminder to parents...

  • math test tomorrow
  • don't forget your permission slip
  • spelling words for the week... xxx, xxx, xxx
  • thanks for the canned goods you donated
  • I'm staying after school tomorrow if anyone needs help with projects.

Because a lengthy email isn't needed for these examples, remind101 works wonders!

What is remind101?
a free service to register and get a 'number' to give out to people who can subscribe to your class
they will receive updates whenever you post a new message

How do you post?
a.  simply login to your account via the web - click here to sign up (quick, free, easy)
b.  login to your app - click here to get the free NEW app!

Now, when you're running out the door, you can send quick reminders for students and parents!  I love the accountability and communication features remind101 offers users.

How does it work?
You can subscribe to my fake class to test it out...

click the image above to get the free remind101 app

Disclaimer: remind101 is a sponsor of Kleinspiration

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Award Winning Fun from ABCya Games!

ABCyaGames: Award Winning Fun
for your computer and your mobile device

I'm so excited to tell you about one of my favorite games from ABCyaGames: Base Ten Bingo.  If you're like the many teachers out there, you probably have Math Bingo on your mobile device.  My students and my children love Math Bingo.  So, I could not wait to see how they'd like Base Ten Bingo.  Of course, it is a big success with my daughter and my students!  Base Ten Bingo can be played directly on your computer... which means YES, you can play it on your Interactive White Board.  Fun!

I especially like how you can differentiate the activity by level of difficulty.  Watch the brief 90 second video below to see how you can customize the level of play for each learner.  I really enjoy doing posts for games... especially when I get to capture (record) my screen while playing!  Having fun makes it seem less like work... kids feel the same way!

Base Ten Bingo:

Base Ten BINGO is a fun educational learning activity for children to practice counting by one's, ten's, hundred's and thousand's. First children select the desired place value and grid size. Next, add up the blocks on the right and click the corresponding number on the left. Learn place value while playing BINGO!

{click here to play Base Ten Bingo}


{click here to see Math Bingo in iTunes}

Disclaimer: ABCya is a sponsor of Kleinspiration

CommonCore Math App for each grade 1 - 5 via Splash Math

Splash Math Worksheets series
of apps for iPhones/iPods and iPads that cater to Grades 1 to 5

Splash Math apps have been the winner of the Best App Ever Award 2011 in Elementary Student App category; they have been regularly featured by Apple in their hand-picked lists on the iTunes App Store- New and Noteworthy, What's Hot and Staff Favorites. Over 500,000 users use their apps and around 200 schools use it in their iPhone/iPad programs. 

Splash Math apps are:

• Aligned to Common Core Standards
• Adaptive, interactive and fun worksheets with literally infinite math
• Enable controlling the content that kids can practice
• Sends weekly email reports of the child progress, highlighting the
strong and weak areas
• Points based reward system with an exciting game section to keep the
kids hooked

Engage With Your Learning Community: MasteryConnect (a CommonCore Resource)

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.  Their solution was designed with the teacher in mind.  Through MasteryConnect’s MasteryTracker, teachers can effectively assess core standards, monitor student performance, and report student mastery to parents and administrators.

In their most recent blog post MasteryConnect shared some great new product updates that will help teachers engage with each other, which I wanted to pass along to our audience, many of whom are already MasteryConnect users.  
  • By way of practical updates, MasteryConnect has beefed up their export options when exporting to a CSV file or to Excel.  
  • You can now view common assessments on the iPad.  With new HTML 5 compatibility, you can now explore the community of assessments from the iPad or other mobile devices.  This is very exciting for those of us who are addicted to our iPads!  
  • MasteryConnect has created a killer, time-saving Facebook button for getting a profile photo.  When adding a photo to your MasteryConnect profile, you have always had a few options.  You could upload a photo or take a quick picture using your webcam.  But now (drumroll please) you can also choose to pull your profile picture from Facebook!    

As schools & teachers prepare for Common Core implementation, standards aligned resources are needed now more than ever.  Through MasteryConnect, teachers can easily view and reference both state and Common Core standards and aligned resources.  MasteryConnect makes it easy for teachers to communicate and collaborate around standards aligned assessments in order to build more effective measures of student learning.  Best of all, teachers can sign up for their Learning Community and begin accessing these resources IMMEDIATELY for FREE.

Currently, teachers from more than 4,700 school districts and all 50 states are using MasteryConnect to learn and reference the Common Core.  

Free Webinars:

In their upcoming free webinars, you’ll learn more about the MasteryConnect solution and its integrated free resources.  Their webinar will share:

•    How to build out a Personal Learning Network
•    How to collaborate with teachers using MasteryConnect's various communication tools
•    How to discover Common Core standards aligned formative assessments, created and shared by other teachers
•    How to easily reference and interpret Common Core Standards through MasteryConnect's easy to use resource tabs and App widget 
•    How to share your own assessments with the MasteryConnect community

Disclosure: MasteryConnect is a sponsor of Kleinspiration

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Freebies Just for Fun!

I'm so excited to share such great freebies with you. Feel free to link up and share your own, too.

Have a great end of the year!

Click Read More Below to open the Archive of Freebies!

Protect your School's Technology Devices via Worth Ave. Group: Property Insurance

What would you do if this happened?

1 to 1 Program Coverage from Worth Ave. Group

Luckily, Worth Ave. Group has your best interests in mind.  Since 1971, they've offered personal property insurance with super low deductibles.  Worth Ave. has even launched a division of their company to support K-12 Education.  

Please {click here} to view my full post on TBA


Monday, May 28, 2012

MindMaple Contest: Amazon Giftcards

MindMaple: Perfect for Working Professionals, Educators, and Students
who are involved in Project Management, Brainstorming, and Task Scheduling!

At Kleinspiration we attempt to facilitate a place where tradition and technology connect to inspire the seeds we plant today in education.  Our friends at MindMaple share similar values, and have created a platform in which traditional brain-storming and idea sharing comes to life in a very modern, visually appealing way using "Your Tree of Ideas"

This month MindMaple is offering you a chance to use your creativity to earn some prizes.  The contest runs through June 27 and is offering a chance to win a $250 gift card to to the person who shares their most creative mind map.

Please be sure to also visit MindMaple on Facebook, where they recently shared this video from Tony Buzan, the inventor of the mind map, describing how and why mind maps came to exist, and the benefits of using them.

You can learn more about the power of mind mapping and begin to plant your tree of ideas at MindMaple, which has recently launched a free lite version, for those who would like to give it a quick trial.  

Good luck in the contest, and having fun planting those creative idea trees!

Disclosure: MindMaple is a sponsor of Kleinspiration

3 ISTE Points Worth Mentioning...

click the image to view the full flyer

ISTE 2012: San Diego, California 

Point 1: "Collaborative Mentoring for New Teachers"

I'm so excited to attend ISTE this year.  I am even more excited to connect with so many friends that I collaborate with through personal learning networks, like Twitter.  This year, I am fortunate enough to present with an amazing panel of educators: @teachingwthsoul, @web20classroom, @mbteach, @bhsprincipal, @shannonmmiller, and @dmantz7.  We would love for you to mark your ISTE planners and join our discussion on Monday at 12:45: "Collaborative Mentoring for New Teachers."  I'm the lucky new teacher that gets to be a part of such an amazing group!!  I keep pinching myself.

Point 2:  "ISTE Newbie Project"

I was contacted by Jeff, from TeacherCast, to see if I'd be interested in supporting the endorsement of a paticular candidate for the ISTE Newbie Project (you can read Richard's great post about the ISTE Newbie Project here).  When I found out the candidate was Jerry, I was more than willing to offer Jeff my support.  

Please support The ISTE Newbie Project and make a small (even $5 is great!) donation... click here!

It's easy to do - just donate any amount larger than zero dollars through PayPal.  Thank you, in advance, for supporting a great teacher who is always giving to others.  Please spread the word.

Point 3: "Sir Ken Robinson will moderate the opening Keynote Panel"

from the ISTE News site:

"Creativity Expert Sir Ken Robinson to Moderate Opening Keynote Panel at ISTE 2012. TV actress and physics/chemistry teacher Mayim Bialik, PhD, is among the keynote panelists at the world's most comprehensive education technology event."

Perhaps Sir Ken Robinson is best known for one of TED's most influential Talks...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 Keep your Kids Safe Online

Smart Tools.  Safer Kids.

Parenting is Getting Tough Chances are your kids are connected in one way or another to Facebook, or another social networking site. They can use just about anything to access their profiles and friends but so can others. Parents still need to be able to be parents and not be restricted by the barriers of technology While we would love to think that our kids are innocent, that innocence is what can get them in trouble. We have to constantly watch our younger children’s activities online. Not that they are pursuing bad things, it’s that the bad things are pursuing them! As they get older, this whole not knowing what they are doing online business is going to get more intense. If we have a way to teach them how to be responsible, and smart with social networks at a young age, they are less apt to the dangers that exist as they grow and mature. Knowing What Your Kids are Texting and Doing Online So what is the secret to knowing what your kids do online? uKnowKids, is a company that has set out to accomplish just that. uKnowKids is your digital dashboard to what your kids are doing and where they are. This program shows you exactly what your kids are doing both online and on their phones, plus tracks their locations! As the video says, we no longer have a home phone in the kitchen that allows us to know what our kids are up to.

uKnowKids will make it easier for you to educate, engage with and protect your teen or tween when they use social networking or their mobile phone. Check out these great features: • Identification of your child’s social network profiles, even if they are hidden; • Comprehensive social monitoring of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter; • Android and Blackberry call history and text message monitoring • Location monitoring; and • Detailed daily activity reports and much more. Telling Your Kids You Are Watching Them Online Spying on your kids can lead to mistrust. That said it is not spying if you tell your kids upfront that you have access to everything they do. Make them aware that you know all activity that goes online and on their phones. When mistakes are made, have discussions about why choices were chosen and why you can’t do certain things. Kids just don’t get it. What you do online will live with your forever with your digital footprint. It’s the way the world is now.

The great team at uKnow is offering 50 Kleinspiration readers an invitation code.  There is a $4.95 monthly cost for this service.  This code will be valid for the first 50 people to set up their account.  Click here and use the code: A014561

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Foundations of Flipping

Best Practices for Teaching Today

"Kids don't show up to learn new stuff.  They show up to apply the things they've learned at home."

Aaron Sams

As a new teacher, I often seek advice from other mentors.  Because of the strong mentors I've been fortunate to have, I feel like I've grown so much over the past few years.  Both my public and private school experiences have provided me with master teacher mentors within the building, opportunities to learn from district leaders and trainers, chances to travel across the country to attend workshops given by some of the most sought after educational consultants, and they've provided me with tools to enhance my classroom instruction.  Additionally, I've leveraged the power of Twitter to expand my network and connect with innovative educators around the world.  Advice that all of these mentors have in common is the importance of Bloom's Taxonomy.  How do we get students to reach higher levels of learning?

Research indicates that students learn best by doing (the higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy: applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating).  Because projects that incorporate these levels of cognition take time, they're often not included into the curriculum.  The flipped model helps to solve this issue.

Become the Guide on the Side - not the Sage on the Stage

What is The Flipped Classroom?

I've learned from many great teachers before me that the idea of a flipped classroom is nothing new.  While the term 'flipped class' is a trendy new catch phrase, the idea of the flipped classroom model is something teachers have been practicing for years.  

Defined: The flipped classroom is an instructional  method used to engage students at home through the use of video in effort to enhance the classroom experience by a more hands-on approach to learning.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What is Classroom Jeopardy, Alex?

The new version of Classroom Jeopardy recently arrived at my house for review and I couldn't wait to test it out.  As teachers, we are always looking for new and engaging ways to help reinforce curriculum.  I remember back in high school, we had a teacher that would actually section off sections of the white board and create jeopardy questions.  While it took a long time to set up, it was worth the effort in the long run as it really did help students and created a little friendly competition.

We've come a long way since then, as the classic quiz game Jeopardy soon became a hit in the computer and video game markets, and eventually evolved into mobile device and tablet apps as well.  With all of those great advancements, however, there are still some teachers out there that are manually writing quiz questions on a board, creating all of their own questions and categories, and generally spending quite a bit of time thinking of creative ways to make their curriculum fun.

That's why the team at Educational Insights came up with a version of Jeopardy made specifically for your classroom.  Using simple USB connections between a computer and a large monitor (think of a TV or interactive white board for this), you can transform classroom into a game show studio in a matter of minutes.

The game includes everything you'll need for a great classroom game of jeopardy.  Housed in one convenient carrying case are a mastering scoring display, 3 handheld buzzers, a handheld host remote for marking questions correct or incorrect, a handful of cords, 3 mini-white boards for written answers, and a flash drive loaded with Jeopardy questions.  The carrying case makes transportation and cleanup super easy on the teacher, while the scoreboard and handhelds create a very realistic effect for the players.

Teachers can choose from games that are preloaded, download additional teacher created games online, or even write their own answers and questions.  Questions (or I suppose in this case, answers) can range from something simple as 2+2 to more interesting video and audio clues.  The game also features the always dramatic Daily Double and Final Jeopardy rounds, and also allows for students to face off in a head to head game.

As many of those who utilize technology in our classrooms know, there are often critics who fear that the machine will take over the teaching and our students will fall victim to learning only what the publishers want to teach and individualism will be lost.  No such worry should occur when considering Classroom Jeopardy, as the teacher can create all of their own questions should they choose to do so.

I have played this game both at school using my PC and interactive white board as a monitor and at home using my laptop PC and found the setup and interface to be extremely user friendly and easy to navigate.  The simple USB connections make plug and play almost instantaneous, and allows for less setup time and a smooth transition within the classroom.  In a nutshell, this is what Jeopardy should be for students.  It is fun, engaging, interactive, and allows for customization, all features that make this and enjoyable experience for students and a great tool for teachers to review and reinforce learning. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Giveaway: A Hardcover Picturebook - Blend in Like a Chameleon: Howard B Wigglebottom

a beautifully illustrated and heartwarming story about fitting in

With a seven year old girl and a four year old boy, we are always looking for good new character books, especially one that they can enjoy together.  One of our favorites that we've found is the Howard B. Wigglebottom series, which my daughter and son truly enjoy reading together.

Howard, a young rabbit, is the hero, and he's always finding himself in some tricky situations.  In the end, Howard always manages to do the right thing and readers (typically 4-8 year olds) benefit from his character building escapades.  At the end of each book, there are 2 pages devoted to reflections and lessons, which allow for easy adaptation of this book to the classroom.

In Howard B. Wigglebotton Blends in Like Chameleons:, Howard finds himself in the middle of a wild game of hide and seek, as new student Joey loses the chameleons he brought to school in order to help win over his new classmates.  Howard learns a lot about chameleons, but he learns even more about himself and his new pal Joey.  Joey was having a hard time adjusting to a new school and wasn't blending in - instead he was sticking out.  By the end of their adventure they both learned a lot about how to make friends, treat others with respect,

My daughter Riley, 7, thought this book was great and loved all the pictures of the chameleons playing hide and seek.  She and Jacob (4) had a bit of a race to find the chameleons on each page.  Riley also liked how the book depicted a student going to a new school, and the difficulties that may exist while trying to fit in, as she switched schools this past year.  Jacob is switching in the upcoming year, so she took the opportunity to tell him how to make friends easily.

The We Do Listen Foundation has generously offered to giveaway one copy of this wonderful book (or another Wigglebottom selection) to a lucky Kleinspiration reader.  The We Do Listen Foundation is a non-profit organization geared towards making kids feel better about themselves.  Their website includes other books in the Howard B Wigglebottom series, as well as some online activities.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Help your Kids Soar this Summer with ETA's Home Team Advantage

ETA introduces Home Team Advantage
to Keep Students Learning & Having Fun all Summer!

Call it what you will—the Summer Slump, the Summer Slide or, even, Summer Learning Loss—but there are numerous studies and ample research to prove that children lose academic skills during the summer months. Students can lose a staggering 30 percent of the knowledge they gained the previous school year through atrophy and lack of practice.

"After receiving this product to review for my second grade daughter, I ended up purchasing another pack for my four year old son.  We can't wait to work on these this summer!"

Erin Klein
personal testimony

A Helpful Guide to Avoiding "The Summer Slump" for Pre-K - 8th grade

ETA/Cuisenaire, the Illinois-based company that is the nation’s leading provider of hands-on supplemental products for math, science and literacy education, has a genuine summer slump-busting solution.

 materials for: writing, reading/phonics, math, and science

What is The Home Team Advantage? 

First of all, as you can see above, the items come shipped to your home or classroom in a nice blue bag to carry the materials.  Inside the bag, you'll find materials to support a child in each of the following areas: writing, phonics/reading, math, and science.  

Targeting the "summer slump" that leaves students playing catch-up every fall, these take-home packs are filled with six-weeks of cross-curricular, academically-based activities to keep children sharp over the summer and ready for the fall! An easy-to-use calendar maps out daily hands-on reading, writing, math, and science activities that are fun and meaningful. 

kids love to build, create, and learn
I couldn't help but immediately start playing around with some of the items.  I couldn't believe how much was included.  Before I knew it, Jacob and Riley were both at my side exploring all of the materials.  

The Benefits:

With ETA’s Home Team Advantage (HTA), parents, family members and caregivers alike learn how to effectively become a partner in their children’s preK-8th grade education by reading, writing, and reinforcing math and science content with them throughout the summer. HTA provides:
  • Access to quality fiction and nonfiction reading materials
  • Standards-aligned, hands-on activities to promote skill mastery
  • Practical information and easy-to-follow strategies written for parents to support and develop skills in reading, writing, math, or science
  • Configurations and pacing to accommodate busy school and work schedules, as well as the long summer break
  • Parent/family guides and calendars in both English and Spanish

The parent calendar keeps you on track and organized - easy to follow!

How to receive your own packs?

The packs are designed for students in Pre-K - 8th grade.  ETA offers achievement packs to practice and reinforce skills throughout the school year, and they also offer summer goal achievement packs.  I received the summer goal achievement packs to review.  Honestly, our school year is so busy, I'm not sure I'd have time for the achievement packs throughout the year.  However, we certainly have time (and would create time if we didn't have it already) to work on the summer achievement packs.  I've seen how quickly my own children can fall behind when we don't continue working throughout the summer.  I don't want my kids to struggle when they return to school in the fall.  I'm excited to see how well the summer achievement packs work out.  Already, I like how the packs are organized and well-planned out.  Plus, they include everything we need... even the reading books.

includes 5 colorful books to read and respond to

Even though the packs include these five books, I intend for my children to read a substantial amount more this summer.  With that stated, these books are developmentally appropriate and include activities to go with each story.  All of the comprehension activities and literature responses are included in the pack and neatly organized into the calendar, too.

{click here to see all of ETA's Home Team Advantage items}

{click here to see ETA's Summer Goal Achievement packs}

The summer achievement packs are priced at $64.95.  You do receive the carrying bag, planning calendar, all hands-on materials, activity pages and books, writing journal, reading books, and more.  I do believe it is a fantastic deal.  That is why I've ordered another set for my son, too.

You can enter to win a free summer achievement pack!

When the winner is announced, I'll contact you to see what grade level you'd like and where you'd like your pack mailed to.

Giveaway: Barron's Educational Books

Summer is rapidly approaching, and soon we will begin restocking and rebuilding our classroom libraries for the upcoming school year.  As some of us change room assignments, grade levels, or subject matter, it will be very important to maintain a well stocked selection of age and grade appropriate books for our new students.

The folks at Barron's Educational Books have always been a great resource for us at Kleinspiration, previously donating books for giveaway last fall and earlier this winter.  Barron's always offers a wide variety of affordable and effective educational books, for all subject matters.

And just in time for the summer restocking projects, Barron's is again offering some great selections for you.  With a presidential election on the horizon and much of the nation's focus on who will become our next leader, there will certainly be a lot of questions from our young students.  The following books, written by Syl Sobel, will help them learn how it all works.  A few lucky Kleinspiration readers will also be able to take home a set of 3 by entering our giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mind Maple Launches Lite Version and Contest

Only a few days remain in MindMaple's Mind Mapping Contest, which awards winners with the most creative mind maps Amazon gift cards.  MindMaple is a tool which was created for anybody that works creatively, and it helps to clarify thoughts, manage their plans, and organize their ideas.  MindMaple is marketed as "your tree of ideas" and it really is like an idea tree.  The software provides a great way to get all of your ideas into one common place, while still being able to manipulate the ideas by creating sub ideas, adding pictures and websites, or shifting ideas around.  The flexibility of the tool ensures that your ideas have room to grow or spawn other ideas. 

I've used this product myself to help manage my todo list around the house, create outlines for written work and presentations, and also to help manage and keep track of ideas for my blog.  It truly is a an easy to use product which can make life a bit more convenient and easy to manage.  The video below a shows how it all works. 

MindMaple has also recently released a free lite version of their software, which will allow users to take many of the features for a test drive before making a commitment.  This is a great way to find out if the product is right for you and also to take a shot at winning the most creative map contest and the Amazon gift cards.  Good luck!

Disclosure: MindMaple is a sponsor of Kleinspiration

Monday, May 7, 2012

Breaking News: Remind101 Launches the App!

Ever wish you could send out a mass text to a group?

I started using remind101 when it first launched 7 months ago. I enjoy how simple and effective the site is to use.  A friend of mine also uses remind101 and states, "The impact it's had on my students turning in assignments and the amount of time it has saved me is incredible."

My friend, a middle school teacher, has a great story about remind101 that I would like to share.  When I told her about the new app being launched, she couldn't wait to explore the features.  I asked her if she would do a brief write-up for my blog.  I knew her story would connect with many of my readers.

A middle school teacher's story...

I started using it [remind101] because there was a gap in the lack of communication between myself as a busy teacher, my student and their parents. Sure, I saw students everyday in class but after the bell rang at 4:00 or moreso on the weekends, there was no way to communicate! 

Assignment changes, quiz questions, permission slips...all the small todos added up, and it was taking a lot of my time. Being that I'm a teacher and a busy mom, time is limited. I'm sure other teachers can resonate.

That's why I enjoy using remind101. It's dead simple, literally took me 2 minutes to set up. Also, the part I love the most is how easy it is for my students and parents to signup. All have to do is opt in via text message. No smartphone, no Internet connection, not computer.  On top of that, no phone numbers are shared and they track all the message history.

I set an automatic schedule every other day at 3:30 so when the kids get home, they remember to study for the weekly quizzes.

I'm a big fan of remind101-it saves me time, is safe and students love their own words "we get to communicate how we want, that's awesome!"

Oh yea, it's 100% free!
Now Introducing.... Drum Roll Please...

remind101 App now available in iTunes
free. fast. safe. effective
I'm so excited to introduce this app to Kleinspiration friends because Brett, a personal friend, and his brother have been working hard to get this little project ready for teachers.  I've been working alongside Brett for the past several months to test the features while the product was in beta.  He even let me check out the sleek design of the app prior to launching - how fun!  I'm honored to have such innovative buddies in the Valley.  

On a side note... I have a few friends getting married this summer.  remind101 could also be a great app to quickly send out group texts to the bridal party!  -- of course, they're teachers... so this is totally related, right?  :-)

remind101 Description: (per iTunes)

Remind101 provides a safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents. It is 100% free and is used by over 200,000 teachers, students and parents to send millions of messages every month.

*Message your entire class of students or parents in seconds.
*Teachers never see students' phone numbers. Students never see theirs.
*Students and parents join by sending a text message. No computer needed.

*Revolutionized my approach to parent communication -Jessica D.
*Love it! Easy. Quick. Unique way of communicating with parents/students -Michael B.
*Communicating with a click from a mobile device is instant & saves me important teaching time! -Erin K.
*It has made a HUGE difference for many students in getting homework in on time -Craig N.
*Improved my students' morale, behavior, AND grades! -Catherine F.

*Unlimited students or parents
*Unlimited text messages
*100% free
*No ads, ever.
*NBC. NPR. Huffington Post. Edutopia. Edweek.
*K-12, higher ed, coaches, principals...
You can click here to see how other teachers are using remind101!

Sign up for Kleinspiration updates by following the steps below:

You can set up as many groups as you'd like.  This way, it makes sending group texts so simple!  Hmmmm.... perhaps I could set up a Kleinspiration group?  As I'm thinking out loud and writing at the same time, I think this might be a fun idea.  How cool would it be to get automatic updates as soon as I launch a give-away, freebie, or hear about a workshop that has limited seats?  

Yes, I can't wait to set this up for my class! 

First: sign up for a Free remind101 account: click here

Next: After you've signed up for an account, get the app! 

click play to view my short screencast on setting up an account
listen for bonus features in the video about freebies