Creating on the iPad: Type Drawing App

Featured App

I love the possibilities that exist when combining words and photos. Let me share with you one of my favorite apps for working with words and pictures: Type Drawing! I downloaded Type Drawing when it was free this past summer. It is normally $1.99. I didn’t realize the possibilities for integrating this application into so many content areas until I began exploring it with my students. I used this app with second and third graders this week and we talked about how to utilize the app and then I let them explore. There are some really cool features within the app. You can import a picture from your camera roll and adjust the opacity as you trace over it with words that coincide with the picture. After your drawing is complete, you can press “play” in the gallery and watch your drawing in an animated form–the kids think that feature is pretty cool. You can save your finished project to the camera roll. This app would be great to use in areas of vocabulary development, demonstrate knowledge in a particular unit of study, make a self portrait with descriptive words, or create a picture with spelling words. The possibilities are endless when you think about students using this app to creatively demonstrate their learning.

Here’s a little video of the work my students did this morning.

Learning with the Type Drawing App for iPad from April Requard on Vimeo.




Explaining Explain Everything

April Requard

Earlier this year, I gave four different presentations on how Explain Everything is a powerful tool in the classroom. Whether you are a kindergarten teacher or a high school math teacher, you can benefit from using Explain Everything with your students. Explain Everything is an app designed for the iPad where students can really show what they know, show that their thinking matters, and share it with others. As a teacher, it is a powerful tool to “get inside your student’s heads” and really understand their thought processes. It is a powerful tool to use during parent teacher conferences, as a student’s parents can really grasp how their child is working through a math problem, or how well they can retell a story. I have a few examples, but they are all in various grades K-5. I also explain how each tool within the app is used. My favorite part of using Explain Everything is having students record their voices and share their work as a video without having to create a login. Students can save their video directly to the camera roll and their work can easily be transferred to a computer or another device using Airdrop or another image/video transfer app. This is extremely powerful work that truly allows students to have a “voice” in sharing their learning.

This interactive image below has examples of student work using Explain Everything as well as a brief explanation of how each tool works within the app:

April Requard

Image by April Requard

I’m Lucky Because…

Here’s a fun project you can do on St. Patrick’s Day! I had my students finish this sentence, “I am lucky because…” and they drew a picture to go along with it. This would be a great project for any grade level, and the complexity could vary based on the grade level with whom you were working. For example, I did this project with second graders. We used a program for the Mac called KidPix, but this project could easily be completed on an iPad using a program such as Draw and Tell, Drawing Pad, Explain Everything, Draw Free, Doodle Buddy, etc. Once students have completed their work, you need one device to collect all of their work to create one video to share. I have students use Airdrop to transfer their work, which they save to their camera roll (iPad) or from their desktop (Mac). From there, I create a video in iMovie because it makes sharing a class project very easy. Just post the finished video to YouTube or Vimeo and email the link out to your audience. I think a nice feature would have been to add a voiceover to each child’s piece. Hope you enjoy!

An Oldie, but Awesome Math Goodie!

Math 3 Under the Sea

Math 3 Under the Sea

I’ve been using Math 3 Under the Sea, a web-based math program for many years with my students. It allows students in grades 2-4 (even 5th grade for extra practice) a wide variety of practice in many different areas in math. Students love that it is fun, interactive, and engaging. This site is created in Canada, so I always tell my students to NOT click on the “Counting Money” topic because in Canada they use a different currency. Other than that, some of the topics include number forms, place value, comparing and ordering numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication & division, patterns, perimeter, time, shapes, and data analysis. This program is great for use in computer labs, extra math practice at home, or for whole group instruction on the Smart Board or Promethean Board. Another great feature of this site is that once you are in a lesson, you can view the teacher guide as well as a glossary of terms for each topic. Students have to master each topic to advance to another topic as they aim for the goal of unlocking a treasure. Super fun way to practice math skills.

Updating Mac to Mavericks and Apple Remote Desktop


I finally had the time to update my main teaching machine to Mavericks OSX yesterday. Everything went smoothly until I went to go and push out a Keynote document to my students using Apple Remote Desktop (ARD). As the school technology teacher and technology coordinator, I use ARD to manage all of the machines on our campus. It makes it very easy to fix something remotely, install software, update machines, etc. I have nearly 400 machines listed on my ARD account. So, you can imagine my panic when I went to open ARD for the first time since updating and it gave me an error message that said my version of ARD was not compatible with this version of OSX. Ok, so I went to update software and it was not listed as an available update. Now, I was really starting to panic…but have no fear! It is a super easy fix and I created this PDF so that if this happens to you, it will save you some time and energy. Upgrading to Mavericks and Apple Remote Desktop PDF




Writing with Technology


Writing Prompt with Common Core Writing Anchor Standard

Writing Prompt with Common Core Writing Anchor Standard

I love the Write About This app and the students really enjoy using the iPads in writing. Here’s what I really like about using this app:

1. You can customize the levels (Levels 1-3) for the writing prompt (great for differentiation among students).

2. You can add a custom writing prompt (only one per device for the free version).

3. Students can directly email their finished writing prompt to their teacher.

4. Students can practice their oral reading fluency by recording their voice as they read the story and can make changes as needed.

5. Students can save their writing with audio to the iPad camera roll and export that video to YouTube, website, student blog, etc.

What I LOVE to do is to have my students use this amazing website, which has a TON of awesome writing prompts. Students may choose their own writing prompt that interests them, or I can provide them with the prompt for them to use. Another feature I love about these writing prompts is they have the CCSS listed on most of the writing prompts. These prompts are geared for older elementary students (4th & 5th) and up. Click here to see these amazing writing prompts. Here is a list of 28 tried and true writing prompts from this site.

Below are some other fabulous sites that either has video writing prompts, picture writing prompts, or written writing prompts that you can use in conjunction with the Write About This app, for student typing practice with laptops or in computer lab, or journal writing. You could easily just project one of these prompts onto your Promethean Board and have students write from there. My favorite is using the Write About This app because it is real data with their recorded voice and it would be a great artifact to have when speaking to parents at conferences as well as a wonderful component to digital portfolios.

 Nice Collection of Video Writing Prompts

Pinterest Page on Writing Prompts

Pinterest Page on Picture Writing Prompts

Pictures for Writing Prompts

Here’s a few samples that two of my students created using the writing prompts that they selected.