#Triptico: A Great Resource in Kindergarten!

How to use the web-based program, Triptico to foster student engagement in a kindergarten classroom.

This amazing tool offers four different categories of programs: tools, timers, selectors, and quizzes. Each has interactive apps that you can use and adapt to your class. The different interactive modes allowed me to bring creativity and uniqueness into the classroom, diversifying the ways in which my students learn, review, and practice various skills. By utilizing the tools, word magnets and text spinner included in Triptico, my students had the opportunity to visualize concepts, manipulate images/texts  and most importantly improve their interactivity throughout the learning process.

Triptico! The Smoothest Classroom Tool Ever Used…

As every teacher knows, there is an overloading number of websites and tools available to educators.  However, the trick is to find the ones that suit your needs, skills, and even your personality in the classroom. TRIPTICO offers a wide variety of creative, interactive, and visually engaging apps. It allows you to create and use various types of activities, tools, and quiz makers to help improve the classroom and engage students.

At the beginning of the school year, I used craft sticks or board magnets for my students in kindergarten to take attendance, vote for our weekly taste tests, or change the helpers on ours Helper’s Chart.  I noticed the students getting distracted and restless during certain lessons or transition activities. Ever since I started utilizing Triptico in the classroom, it made my life so much easier! It helped me create challenging, fun, and interactive activities that help students to learn and develop a more intrinsic sense of the material.

Word Magnets: I added the names of my students as magnets and took attendance by asking each student to move their name from ‘absent’ to ‘present’ as they enter the room. Using the name magnets, the students would vote for the weekly taste tests by dragging their name to a particular point on the board.  

Text Spinner: I would spin the names wheel to select students to come up and share their letter items during letter study.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this program for teachers that want to improve interactivity, foster competition, and engage students in the learning process. It’s an effective resource for promoting learning, and, for this alone, it has earned a place in my classroom. I encourage you to give it a try in yours as well!

For more information contact: Maha El Faissal

#SimplenotSimple: Try using MySimpleShow

Students used My Simple Show to create explainer videos on their Novel Engineering project where they engaged in the design engineering process after reading Maniac Magee.


Students used My Simple Show (MSS)  to reflect and share about their Novel Engineering Project where they constructed a solution to a problem one or more of the character in Maniac Magee faced. Some of the problems students came up with were homelessness, poor living conditions, and drunk driving. Students worked in groups to write a script where they reflected on how they came up with their solution and what the most challenging and rewarding part of the project was. After creating their MSS, students shared their videos with one another. This was the final reflection piece in the Novel Engineering Unit for all of fifth grade so most of the fifth grade students were able to create a MSS video.

Video Example 1

Video Example 2

Video Example 3

For more information contact: Jessica Pak

#Namaste: Yoga with Padlet

Looking for a new way to present your syllabus to your Students?


I printed out QR codes and placed them around the room. When students arrived I asked them to scan the code, type in the password to join, and answer “reflection question 1” on the Padlet.

Reflection question 1: What do you already know about yoga?


We then reviewed class expectations and moved on to the next question.

Reflection question 2: What made you choose this course?


Students then watched two YouTube videos showing two variations of advanced yoga flow.

I then asked them questions about what they saw: What makes for a good yoga practice? What is necessary to perform at this level? How is the practitioner breathing? Why is the breath important? What poses do you recognize?

We then looked at a snapshot of the poses for the month of September.

Lastly, I asked students to think about what they wanted to get out of the class and what they looked forward to most. Reflection question 4.

Overall they enjoyed the use of QR codes (some of them were new to it) and answering live questions on Padlet. They also were more open and honest about answering since the responses were anonymous.

Use Case:

(1) To provide an interactive syllabus using Padlet where students can explore, reflect, watch, and learn. (2) To build excitement and curiosity of what’s to come.

For more information contact: Manisha Doran

#Transform: Let’s Read Together!

This lesson was created to have an interactive way for first grade students to practice cvc words (and more!) in Fundations.


This series of activities uses SMART notebook and Fundations resources.  

  1. I used the sound cards from Fundations in a SMART notebook file so the students would be using familiar materials.
  2. Based on the vowel sounds we are covering, I recorded my voice asking the students to spell specific words.  They drag the cards (which duplicate) to the answer section and check their answer.
  3. This can be used to cover all topics in fundations as cards will just need to be added with new topics.  

Students are able to manipulate sound cards and work together to practice their phonics skills in each unit.

For more information contact: Stacey Cummings

#CanYouDigIt: Using VR to transform your classroom

Identify the effects of erosion in different environments and prototype solutions that address erosion problems on our campus

The third grade study of erosion introduced the students to the main culprits of erosion; wind, water, and weather and then presented them with an opportunity to explore examples of erosion across the United States.  With the use of the VR goggles and the Discovery VR app the students travel to Muir Woods, Half Moon Bay, and the Mendenhall Glacier. The students then turned their attention to identifying and prototyping solutions to erosion problems on the Lower School campus.  

For more information contact: Patrick Murray

#Pear (Deck) It Up with Google Slides

Wishing you could make your lesson more interactive? Here’s the perfect pear.

“Welcome back to school everyone. We’re going to start of the school year by reading off some classroom expectations. After that, we’ll learn about the parts of the cello and how we should take care of the instrument.”

Not the most exciting lesson, eh? Enter Google Slides and PearDeck. I was looking for a way to make the beginning of the year content a bit more engaging and interactive for my students, and this combination seemed like a great way to do so. Although the original reason for trying out PearDeck was for the beginning of the year, I think that many teachers would find this program extremely useful at any point throughout the school year, not only to keep their students involved in the learning process, but also to assess what they have retained.

Here are some examples of some Pear Deck templates that I have used so far this year:

There’s many more templates for interactive slides that are already made. All you need to do is customize it to your needs.

Here’s a video to demonstrate what the Pear Deck Add-On has to offer:

For more information about how to start using Pear Deck go here!

For more information contact: Jenna Girone Virgilio

#ClickHere: Thinglink for International Book Selection

Looking to add more Interactivity in your Classroom? UsE Thinglink TO maKe a regular lesson into an interactive one.


Every month at Riverdale we celebrate a different countries represented within our community.  I wanted to find a way to represent the spotlight books of the month using my interactive whiteboard while making it interesting for the children.  I used Thinglink, a web based program to create this interactive map. The map spotlighted, Haiti, London, Russia, Dominican Republic, Israel, China, Nigeria and Ghana.  Each button pressed revealed a book from that country. Then the book when pressed revealed a summary. The children loved pressing the map and loved the books that were spotlighted.

For more information contact: Cydney Johnson

#ISPY: Library Scavenger Hunt

Looking for a way to Introduce new students, faculty and staff to An important space and its available resources? You might want to try a Scavenger Hunt.
               Evolution of the Scavenger Hunt Map

Library Map process

Canva was initially used to create map, but proved to be time consuming due to learning curve.  Hence, a hand drawn map was created – process attached. Team names were added to the maps to prevent overcrowding at the respective locations

Other elements of the scavenger hunt

QR CodesQR Codes A-F” were added so that students could follow a “route” which prevented them all starting at the same spot. Each QR Code also had QR Code Blurbs, descriptions of the library locations teams visited. Tokens, photo representations of the Team names were placed at each location.  Teams had to collect the token to “prove” they had visited the location.


  • The map was detailed and easy to follow.
  • The kids understood the symbolism of the Team names (Falcon, falcon, quill, and owl)  


  • I should have been more explicit about the activity NOT being a race.
  • I should have allowed students to keep maps for future use.  However, I think I probably would have seen the maps scattered all over campus.
  • The map was too detailed for the scope of the project.

Project Notes:

I am happy things went smoothly and students genuinely had a great time.  The, “This was SO much fun!” statement made my day.

However, in the course of having a great time I know that not all the groups actually READ the information contained in the QR Codes. To avoid this in the future I will:

  • Make it abundantly clear that the activity is NOT a race, and  
  • Create/include a knowledge check to ensure that students walk away meeting all the “Desired Results” for what they will “know” and “be able to do.”

Additionally, I am happy that students felt comfortable expressing themselves during the question and answer period.  Afterwards, one student asked if she could make a suggestion. The student thought the activity would have been more meaningful if the QR codes were on the books and part of the hunt was to locate the books.  I agree!!! This idea had been considered, but was not implemented given time constraints. However, some classes (that did not participate during orientation) may do the hunt during Home Base. That is an opportunity to implement that idea along with the inclusion of a knowledge check, or at the very least a more robust question and answer period.

Overall, this was a fun project and I liked using the tech (QR Monkey) I learned in camp.  I am currently contemplating a phase two.

Phase 2 could look something like:

  1. Have teachers actually do the scavenger hunt.
    1. NOTE: One new teacher actually DID the hunt. Feedback was that the hunt was helpful as a new teacher and knowing where he could find things.
  2. Frame the QR Codes around the library and present the information is a more user/reader friendly format, eg. infographic format OR have a tablet that has the library catalog AND the QR Codes on it.
  3. Make sure to include having participant FIND an item in the respective sections.
  4. Advertise the QR Codes on the NEW Library website – maybe. 
For more information contact: Tracy Smith

#ScanHere: Deeper learning through the use of QR codes


Looking for a way to have purposeful use of your school’s 1 to 1 environment? Do you think your classroom tech is limiting your opportunity for kinesthetic learning?

I think QR codes might be the piece you’ve been missing. Most classrooms and school buildings are inundated with posters of historical figures or inspirational quotes, the QR code allows for deeper learning to commence beyond a mere glance at a poster. A QR code is simply a code that a phone or tablet can scan using the camera that leads to something else whether that be a video, document, website, or picture. Think of it as the hipster of hyperlinks. Use this site to make your next qr code.

See some examples below for inspiration.

#I Can(va) Do That: Graphic design with no InDesign



Are you tired of scrolling through Google images looking for the perfect infographic for tomorrow’s lesson?

Are your event flyers sad Microsoft Word templates? No time to master the Adobe Creative Suite? Well it’s time to turn those I can’t dos into. I Can(va) dos. Jokes aside Canva is an awesome FREE graphic design tool that uses user friendly drag and drop actions to create graphic design masterpieces. Check out this short video tutorial to learn more…

Made with Canva:

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