Free App ChatterPix by Duck Duck Moose You Can Make Anything Talk!

Chatter Pix Can Make Anything Talk

Chatter Pix Can Make Anything Talk

Chatterpix can make anything talk — your pets, your friends, your doodles, and more! Take your own picture or use one you have already taken.
You can draw a line to make a mouth, and record your voice. Then share your Pix with friends and family as silly greetings, playful messages, or creative cards.   You can share by email, facebook or YouTube.  ChatterPix would work with children who are developing language and those who need to practice saying phrases. You could also use it for children to create characters.   You are given 30 seconds to record something for your character to say.  This is plenty of time for a nursery rhyme, a song or a couple of sentences!

Chatter 1Chatter 2

Chatter 3

Free App Chatter Pix by Duck Duck MooseFree App Chatter Pix by Duck Duck MooseI did some Chatter Pix with my family.  We had a blast with it. You do need to practice a couple of times when you are drawing the mouth.  We had fun putting all sorts of fun hats and mustaches on my husband’s pictures and making him say funny stuff!!  Even he was entertained!!  Poor fellow…….This is a very entertaining app and loads of fun!  It’s free so give it a try and let me know how you like it.  There is also a Chatter Pix Kids that you can check out here. The only difference is that is doesn’t offer sharing on social networks.

Join the Blog Hop for The 12 Days of a Teacher’s Christmas if you haven’t yet.  We have some great prizes and lots of free teaching materials from

some awesome bloggers.

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All the best,


2 Great Free Apps for Teaching Reading

I hope you will enjoy learning about these apps and using them in your classroom! I love, love Endless Reader by Orginator. This app is free but you can purchase more word packs if you want to extend it. I purchased the Reader Pack 1 because I wanted more words. There are six words in the free version but this app explores each word through spelling, word meaning and sentences. The words are animated after the letters are dragged into place. The app also reads the sentences. Words can be dragged into the sentences. The little characters are irresistible.

These are screen shots I took using my iphone. The app works on iphones and ipads.

You can get Endless Reader here.

Another app I really like is Little Speller by Grasshopper Apps. This app is very versatile and allows you a lot of control of the words that the children can work with. This app is also available for the iphone and ipad.

As you can see from the screen shots I’m sharing with you there are a lot of variations to choose from. You can really concentrate on the sounds you think the children need.

This app features great images for words. The letters are out of order but the correct spelling is under the images so even your most hesitant spellers and readers can feel confident with this app. The app says the letters and then reads the word after the letters are in place.
You can get Little Speller here.I hope you can use one of these apps or both in your classroom. I always teach the apps before letting the kids do them without supervision. Sometimes I teach them as part of my guided reading lesson and other times I work with a group during a Daily Five Rotation. I am teaching both Kinders and First Graders this year and my smart Firsties are great teachers so they often get the first lesson on a new app!
All the best,
Grab this winter freebie this if you like! Penguin Fun Dice Roll and Cover Game.

Pigeon Presents Mo… on the Go! Mo Willems and the iPad

Who doesn’t love Mo Willems books? The only folks who would not love them are folks who haven’t read them yet.  You can visit Mo Willems page here. These books are written in the style of the early readers series. There are not many words on a page and the words are often repeated. Using this app you can let Pigeon Drive the Bus, you can turn a scribble into a drawing and much more. A favorite is Elephant and Piggies Dance-O-Rama.  I know my kids are going to love this app. I can’t wait to use Dance-O-Rama in my class. Children love to engage with the characters in the stories they read. But be forewarned…whatever you do stay away from the Mad Cow!

The app is Pigeon Presents Mo…On the Go!

5 Ways to Create a Better Reader

Children want to be readers! Even today with so many diversions children love the comfort and security of a good book. The reading strategies I am focusing on in this series develop reading confidence and a sense of pride both are important characteristics of confident readers. I hope you will enjoy reading these teaching strategies. Check out the video to see a reader in action!


1. Give a Purpose for Reading

Everyone likes having a purpose for what they do. It makes sense to children and adults.  I do a variety of things to show children a purpose for reading. I love word play and riddles are a favorite of mine. I teach the children how to tell share a riddle with a listener. I teach them to pause for the listener to think about their answer,  the wait for it moment…then they give the answer! Bada Bing!! Bada Bing!!  I have created riddles for different times of the year, themes and just everyday riddles. If you search for child friendly riddles you can find a lot of suggestions.  I created a set of Thanksgiving Riddles this year for the children They cut out the riddles, placed them in a baggie and practiced reading the riddles to each other. They coached each other on how to tell riddles.  I also used the ipad to video each child telling a riddle. They had a variety of audiences. This is a video clip of one of my children that I am sharing with his parent’s permission.

You can hear me in the background. I’m the hmmm.hmmm wait for it timer.  The children really enjoy being video taped and it gives them an instant audience. If you would like to see an example of the riddles. You can download it for free at Teachers Pay Teachers. If you download it I would appreciate it if you could leave feedback. We had so much fun entertaining each other. They took their riddles home to continue their comedy act. This is a great activity to address the Common Core Standard for Speaking and Listening.

2. Rereading

This is an underutilized strategy for developing reading skills. Rereading is simply having a reader read a portion of text or a book again. A reader may reread the same piece many times. Rereading helps to build reading confidence and familiarizes  the reader with the text. Many parents do not understand the importance of this strategy and feel that the child may be memorizing the text. That is true but a good analogy for many parents is to remind them that they practiced driving in the same areas many, many times when they were learning. When you ask them way they did that? They will often say I got better at it, I was more comfortable and I felt more confident as a driver. No one questions why a basketball team practices the same plays again and again we all know it is to make the team better. It is the same with reading for a child. Familiarity creates confidence and confidence allows the reader to stretch a little further next time. You can visit this link from Scholastic for a Strategy in Action for rereading.  Rereading works especially well with poetry. This is a book from Sternhouse that I use for poetry
 Poetry Mentor Texts.  I was lucky enough to be sent the book by Sternhouse. Way cool!

These are two strategies from 5 Ways to Create a Better Reader. I will share three other strategies over the next two days. Please come back to relax and read the rest of the list.  Starting on August 1 I will have a Welcome to Teaching Resources for the Classroom contest with some great prizes. Don’t miss it. I’m pretty sure the gift card fairy slipped a Target Card under my pillow to give to a lucky winner!

Join the discussion and share your thoughts.

Have you used either of these strategies to help a child with reading? How do you think the children in your setting would react to being videotaped?

All the best,

Sarah beealinkybutton-1

What is Pinterest Good for Anyway?

Some folks are crazy pinners. Living a life through Pinterest! I think Pinterest is perfectly good for what it is sold as. There is no snake oil here. It is good for organizing. It is good for people like me who can cover three desks given the opportunity. I can organize my interests. I can clean up some clutter literally and figuratively.

I have created a board as a resource for managing ideas for educational technology. It has ideas for educators from kindergarten to advanced high school placement. It has some Teacher Time Savers. The cover page of the board opens this post. It is from

The board is Technology in the Classroom and I have structured the board to so it is easy to use. Might I go as far as organized. There are four categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 and TTS~ Teacher Time Savers. I have recruited some fellow pinners to help me with the board. My goal is to provide a variety of resources from mp3 songs, power points, white board activities while highlighting the purposeful and authentic integration of technology in the classroom. Visit the board and see if there are any resources you can use. Let me know what you found that is helpful or some content ideas you would like to share.

We need to form a relationship with technology that makes it ordinary but the learning and thinking is extraordinary. In my classroom I truly want the children to view technology as a facilitator something that helps them along the way but they are the thinker,the learner and the doer!

Do you have any technology tools that have worked great? What do you think about the integration of technology in the classroom? How are the best ways to use technology in the classroom?

Sarah Tharpe Winchell