Call us toll free: 210-710-2434
Best WP Theme Ever!
Call us toll free: 210-710-2434
22 Apr 2013
Comments: 0

Pinterest in the iClassroom

Recently I happed upon a cleverly created integration of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Pinterest from the folks at Teachbytes. And as if fated, the same week, I had a conversation with a fabulous theater arts and film teacher, Sarah Yurko, who had shared how she is using Pinterest with her secondary students. Fascinated by the boards and ideas she shared, I asked her to detail her thoughts so I could celebrate these app-tastic ideas with the greater global iClassroom.


25 Ways To Use Pinterest With Bloom’s Taxonomy from teachbytes


She mentioned she was fairly new to Pinterest, but she could see “lots of possibilities for art and performance art with it.” Sarah went on to say that she “plan(s) to use Pinterest to gather examples for lessons, collaborate with students, directly teach students, and inspire them!” and has further detailed  these plans below:


“If I’m teaching the kids about publicity and promotional posters for theater I can use my Pinterest board as examples. It is on their iPads so they can go through and pick and choose easily which images are helpful as opposed to wasting everyone’s time with a slideshow that may not help them.”

“I love how easy it is to save YouTube videos on Pinterest. When we talk about trailers, I teach them that film makers typically release three … one for women, one for men, and one for teenagers. With Pinterest I can show all three quickly and easily without having to search for them.”


“I also collaborate as a class using Pinterest. It’s so easy and doesn’t take up any class time.  The kids can send me items or pictures and I can pin to a board. We used Pinterest to help inspire hair and makeup ideas for A Midsummer Nights Dream. This kind of informal information gathering also seems to really engage the kids… I was able to gather more “inspiration ideas” than ever before.”


“There are always a million projects happening at once in Tech design and none of them have the same instruction. So in the past I’ve had to only speak to three or four kids at a time – roughly teaching, at minimum, eight different lessons one at a time, leaving a lot of room for boredom while kids wait their turn. Pinterest has some projects that are literally spelled out step by step so I could direct each group to their “pin” and they could teach each other and only need me for more specific instruction.”


“The whole reason Pinterest began was to inspire people. I love that each of my boards dedicates itself to a certain aspect of theater. If a student is really into costuming they can follow that board and hopefully it inspires them to create, design, and build costumes. The same can be said for props, sets, lights, and publicity.”

Below, I have included a link to Sarah Yurko’s app-tastically divine boards.

Mrs. Yurko's boards for Theater and Design

If you are using Pinterest with your students, I would love to hear all about. Please share your ideas and boards in the comments.


Interactive TechChef4u Thinglink

920+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Summer and Fall PD and Workshops:

iPadpalooza 2013  Sold Out!! – Check out the Last Chance Video Contest (Due May 5th)!

HCMS Site Visit May 8th – Now Available!

“Student-Created Books in the iClassroom” iTunes U course is now available!!!


07 Feb 2013
Comments: 1

Appy Girl

I recently posted a blog showcasing a scrapbook created by sister-in-law and her daughter using the ScrapPad app (which has recently gone FREE). Today, I would like to share another crafty delight from Mel’s Happy Scrappy Place. Enamored with her Frankengirl and Pumpkin Spice Girl, I asked her to create an Appy Girl. While she created the final product using mixed media. Her initial sketch (to the right) was designed using the Sketchbook Pro app.

While I tend to focus on strictly core curriculum designed iLessons, I always a enjoy a crafty diversion – especially when it showcases how individuals in other fields and careers use the iPad to achieve productivity and support creative tasks.

Check out the finished product!

If you are interested in a custom piece for yourself or a loved one, you can contact her at

Tell her the TechChef sent you 😉

Appy Girl


While I am certainly not this artistic (with or without the iPad), I wanted to leave you with a list of apps that can be used to draw on the iPad. Vote for your favorite. This list is crowd ranked.

Interactive TechChef4u Thinglink

725+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring & Summer PD and Workshops:

iPadpalooza 2013  Registration LIVE!!!

HCMS 2013 Site Visits Now Available!
Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!

“Student-Created Books in the iClassroom” iTunes U course is now available!!!


30 Jan 2013
Comments: 1

For the Crafty at Heart

Yesterday, I posted a scrapbook of the pics from the “Life of an Eanes Pioneer Child” iBook release party created using the free ScrapPad Movie Night app. Today, I wanted to showcase my very crafty and talented sister-in-law’s creations using the ScrapPad app (which just so happens to be FREE for a limited time… normally $4.99). She used the app with her 4 year old daughter to showcase their trip to the pumpkin patch.

Pumpkin Patch scrapbook created by Melissa Johnson using the ScrapPad app

Here is what she had to say about the experience: “This app was really fun and easy to use. I am typically a paper scrapper, but the user friendly design of this app could just turn me into a digi scrapper! My four year old daughter helped me create this book. She enjoyed browsing through all of the different elements and helping me choose and place them on the page.”

Pumpkin Patch scrapbook created by Melissa Johnson using the ScrapPad app

While the album was in progress, she showed it to her 13 year old daughter. Melissa went on to tell me that her teenage daughter “now has plans to stealthe iPad and create one for herself!” Honestly, what a great way to make memories and share stories digitally.

Pumpkin Patch scrapbook created by Melissa Johnson using the ScrapPad app

Though these photos are scrapped based on a family experience, this app-tivity could easily be translated to classroom activities (e.g. “Life of an Eanes Pioneer Child” iBook release party created using the free ScrapPad Movie Night app). If students are part of a 1:1, what a cool family activity that would be to integrate the iPad to create a show and tell for an event or tell a story.

Pumpkin Patch scrapbook created by Melissa Johnson using the ScrapPad app

If you app-reciate Melissa’s style, check out her art journaling and scrapbooking blog. I can’t take credit for her craftiness nor creativity, but I did play a part in introducing her to Snapguide to create tutorials for people who would like to be artisitc and crafty (check out her Snapguides here).


725+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring & Summer PD and Workshops:

iPadpalooza 2013  Registration LIVE!!!

HCMS 2013 Site Visits Now Available!

Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!


If you would like an app-ortunity to meet the teacher behind the “Life of an Eanes Pioneer Child” iBook, she will be co-presenting two poster sessions with me (and @iPadSammy) at FETC. Feel free to drop by 😉

Stay tuned for the release of my first iTunes U professional development course “Student-Created Books in the iClassroom”. In the meantime, visit my Listly list entitled Student-Created iBooks & eBooks.

Check out the Interactive TechChef4u Thinglink.

25 Sep 2012
Comments: 0

iMovie or uMovie?: iMovie Student Biographies

I am constantly amazed with the level of instruction and innovation in the classroom at HCMS. Mrs. Musci, the speech teacher, invited me to observe her students presenting their iMovie Biographies. The first day of the project involved students brainstorming questions to use which eventually were sorted into three categories: background, favorites, goals and future plans. Mrs. Musci had mentioned that while she had done this project in the past, it was much more fluid with iMovie and a 1:1 iPad initiative for her 8th grade students.

Over the next three days, students interviewed their partner, located supporting images from their phones and the internet, and even took video footage and photos to include in their iMovie project. They also utilized other apps to achieve a custom look and feel to their projects:

  1. Collage apps like PicStitch and InstaCollage to include multiple photos in a shot.
  2. Hokusai to edit music from their iTunes library to remove inappropriate content or irrelevant lyrics

On the day of the presentation, students presented their iMovie projects behind a podium and introduced their partner to the class. Another group of students filmed each presentation and burned it to a CD for each student to review for personal critiquing purposes. When asked if they would change anything about the project, one student said he would spend a little more time on the timing and slides. This project was well planned and exceptionally executed! Mrs. Musci had a very thorough road map for students and the projects clearly reflected her expectations and detailed guidelines:

Project Guidelines:

  1. Create an iMovie video with at least 15 pictures including the photo of your partner and his/her name.
  2. Include a Title and Concluding Slide.
  3. Add transitions and appropriate music.
  4. Organize your interview into an outline
  5. Write a brief introduction and conclusion
  6. Include at least one story about your partner (funny or serious)
  7. Add a video of your partner and a voice over.


Collage Created with PhotoGridPro

Some suggestions:

  1. Use Videolicious (especially with its new update) as a free option for iMovie and use another app to add captions to the photos like Skitch or Doodle Buddy.
  2. Create an iMovie trailer for a book or to introduce a character to the class or even as a commercial to showcase an invented product.
  3. Use Google Advanced Search on the iPad (step-by-step directions here) to locate Copyright free images.
  4. Use Popplet Lite as a way to storyboard a project.

Check out some other student products created with iMovie:

  1. iMovie Book Trailer
  2. iMovie Lazy Quotient Calculus
  3. iMovie Stop-Motion Art
  4. iMovie Poetry


300+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?


28 Jun 2012
Comments: 4

The Dot Project – ISTE 2012

30 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

There's a Podcast for that…

When planning an upcoming 6th grade ACL unit which focused on creative writing, I was asked if there were any apps for horror or spooky themed stories to tie in with October’s festivities. Not finding anything free or age-appropriate in the app store, my next course of action was to pay a visit to iTunes. If you can’t find an app for a topic, odds are you will always discover a podcast for it…

Sure enough, I found Vintage Horror Radio. The podcast show highlights “radio adaptations of classic stories from horror authors, as well as the performances of horror icons like Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and others”. Some of the shows were even originally aired on CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

Vintage Horror Radio Podcasts

The apptivity could be set up like this:

  1. Place students in different listening stations. Each station would have a different episode (teachers are advised to preview and preselect episodes that are age and content appropriate).
  2. Students could complete a graphic organizer on the episode (see “Getting iN Touch with Vocabulary“, “HOT Apps 4 Brainstorming“, and “Quadfecta of Integration” for examples and tools)
  3. Students could discuss elements of radio theater (e.g. use of sound effects, narration, music & soundtrack, and tone and intonation) – check out “sound effects: the art of noise” and “radio sound effects in audio theater“)
  4. Students would then cast, script, and perform a radio show of their own (on a given topic or story) and record it (this can be achieved with the voice memo app on the iPod, iTalk Recorder on the iPad, Caster Free and Voice Changer Plus on any iDevice, or a tool like Audacity on the web).


Here are some resources to get you started:
  1. Putting on an Old Time Radio Show (PBS lesson plan for teachers)
  2. War of the Worlds: a Broadcast Recreation (a lesson for re-creating reader’s theater radio broadcasts)
  3. Audio Broadcasts & Podcasts (Read Write Think lesson on oral storytelling and dramatization)
  4. A Radio Drama Project
  5. Using Audacity for pupil radio dramas with sound effects


23 May 2011
Comments: 0

Podcasts 4 Fine Arts

Our Web 2.0 Part 2 Moodle course provided some wonderful discussion on useful Math podcasts. Why reinvent the wheel? Here are some of the resources (with descriptions) that were provided from teachers enrolled in the course. Use these as mini lessons, reviews, independent study pieces, or to clear up common misconceptions.

  • The Orff Site Show: This website will be useful to me in helping me find new lessons to incorporate Orff (a method of teaching music) into my classroom.  I am Orff level I certified and this will help me reinforce my skills before moving on to the next level of cedrtification.  The students will benefit from this site through the lessons I teach in the classroom using group work & individual work based on the lessons I learn from this site.
  • From the Top at Carnegie Hall: this program interviews and plays performances from young, talented musicians.  I will use this in assignments for my older children so that they can see the opportunities that exist for those who choose a career in music.  It will make music and musicians more relevant in their lives.
  • NPR Live Concerts & Radio Disney will both give me new listening examples, music for compare and contrast activities and for listening journals for grades 3-5. (also check out Disney on Broadway).

Some of these podcasts can be subscribed to which will feed into iTunes, others can be saved as an audio or movie file and imported into iTunes, and some are even bundled as an app. Please post others you find in the comments section along with a description and/or how they can be used.