ITRT Newsletter

April 2014 - Jennifer Hicks

Blooming Questions

As seasons change and blossoms bloom, so do the curious minds of our students. Embrace the change! This month's newsletter features great online resources that answer student’s questions about the world around them. In addition, keep reading to learn about the latest updates made to Tech Ponds for Teachers and upcoming Professional Development opportunities in April. Happy Spring!

High Interest, Non-Fiction Resources


Wonderopolis includes a wonder-of-the-day that provides a fresh new way to learn in the classroom. Ignite your day by exploring various topics on this site while promoting critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. In addition, students can practice good digital citizenship as they post comments and questions to the "wonders." Available in the App Store or as a web-based site. The web-based version provides a read-aloud option.

Dogo News

Dogo News is a great site for high-interest, current events. Students can read and respond to their favorite articles and post book reviews. Teachers can set up classrooms on the site and assign lessons using the articles available. Dogo News allows you to follow your students' activity on the site to monitor their comments and reviews. Give your students an opportunity to voice their opinions and connect to people outside of your classroom walls with this engaging site.

Time for Kids

You might already have a paper subscription to Time for Kids. Why not let your students explore this site online?

Nat Geo for Kids

If you are looking for a place to learn and have fun, then National Geographic for Kids is the one! Nat Geo for Kids. Find videos, news articles, and other fun interactives. Work with primary grades? Visit Nat Geo Young Explorer. This site provides a read-aloud option of articles found within each issue.

Other Resources

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media is a great site to find reviews, top picks, best apps & games, videos, and blogs. There are reviews and top picks for movies, music, games, tv, books, apps, and websites. Best Apps & Games listed by Math, Reading, Creativity, preschool, puzzles, and special needs. Videos for movie reviews and videos to help advise families on a variety of topics. There is even a parent blog that focuses on parenting, media, and more! If you look under the Educators tab, then you’ll find some great resources on Digital Citizenship. Visit to explore for yourself!

April is National Poetry Month!

Scholastic has a great section called Writing with Writers which focuses on poetry. Featured are three different authors that provide tips and techniques for writing poetry. There is also an interactive - Poetry Idea Engine, which allows you to create haikus, free verse, limericks, and more!
  • Language Arts Grade 1 - Book Summaries: iPAD ACTIVITY using PicCollage - Although posted in Grade 1, this activity is appropriate for other levels as well. In this activity, First grade students used Pic Collage and a book they have recently read to create a visual book summary. Students included pictures and text that told about the characters, setting, problem, details, and solution of their story.

  • Language Arts Grade 2 – Mixed Review: SMART NOTEBOOK Lesson - Includes pages for contractions, plural nouns and singular possessives – in isolation and as mixed review, modeled after TestNav TEI items. All pages include answer pages.

  • Language Arts Grade 3 - Inferencing Skills: SMART NOTEBOOK Lesson - Includes an introduction review of Inferences (What I Read + What I Know = What I Infer) followed by six activity slides for practice. The first 3 slides are short, written paragraphs that include multiple answers and circle the picture. The last 3 slides have students viewing technology items (i.e. iPod video playlist) and making inferences based on what they see. All activities include answer slides.
  • Language Arts Grade 5 – Dictionary Skills: SMART NOTEBOOK Lesson - Includes pages for guide words, definitions, and synonyms/antonyms, modeled after TestNav TEI items from Gr. 4 and Gr. 5. All pages include answer pages.

  • Level 3: "Appy Hour": iPads for K-12 Teachers - April 8; 4-5 PM OKMS
  • Level 3: SMART Board - April 8; 4-5 PM CMS

Register for classes here!

Jennifer's April ITRT schedule

Jennifer Hicks - ITRT

Hanover County Public Schools

  • Kersey Creek Elementary
  • Pole Green Elementary
  • Rural Point Elementary