Dr. Seuss Day Goes Digital- Truffula Tuesday


“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Lesson Objective: Students will generate ideas about how to protect the Earth and share their ideas by creating a comic strip.

California Common Core Standards: 

Reading Standards for Literature:

  • Key Ideas and Details- Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas- Use information gained from the illustrations and text in print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of characters, setting, and plot.

Writing Standards:

  • Production and Distribution of Writing- Use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing.

Supplies: Class set of iPods, iPads, laptops, or other hand-held devices. Ability to email you. Lorax mustache and straws.









Voice Memos (built in)

iPod/iPad Camera (built in)


Links to AppStore:

Dr. Seuss App: The Lorax


Comic Touch Lite (free) or Strip Designer ($2.99)

Digital Read Aloud and Discussion

Today our digital read aloud on the iPad will be The Lorax. After the read aloud our discussion will be:

What do you think Dr. Seuss meant when he wrote, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not?” Students will do a Think-Pair-Share with a partner. They will record their conversation using Voice Memos on their iPods. Having them voice record their conversation allows them to be held accountable for their partner sharing. I do this regularly as a routine and every now and then ask them to email their recording to me (so they know that I am checking in on their work).

I will then ask the class, what are the lessons Dr. Seuss wants to teach with this book? I want to guide the discussion to the following ideas:

    • Protect the environment
    • Save the trees
    • Protect animal habitats
    • Don’t be greedy
    • Reduce, reuse, recycle
    • Buy things you need (don’t be wasteful)

Edmodo Posts

After our discussion, each child will login to Edmodo and write a post about how they can help protect the environment. I want them to post their idea to Edmodo to be certain that they don’t all write the same idea. They will need to review other posts and make comments on others’ ideas. Their post is to prepare them for creating a simple class movie.

Lorax Mustache Craft

Students will create a Lorax mustache on a straw (to be used in the comic strip).


Create a Comic Strip: Using Comic Touch Lite or Strip Designer

Once we have reviewed everyone’s posts students will partner up to take each other’s pictures using the built in camera on their iPod. They will use their Lorax mustache in the picture.

Next, they will open up one of the comic strip apps (either Comic Touch Lite or Strip Designer). In both of these apps, students are able to access images in their camera roll. They will select their Lorax picture and add a speech bubble. Their speech bubble will say the sentence they posted on Edmodo.

Here is a Strip Designer sample:

Here is a sample using Comic Touch Lite:

Students can email you their pictures and you can put the pictures together in Power Point or Keynote to create a class book that you can upload to iBooks. See a previous post of mine called Best Uses for iBooks: Turn Your Keynote or Power Point Presentation into an iBook for step by step directions about how to create an iBook.

Happy Truffula Tuesday everyone!



Dr. Seuss Day Goes Digital- Mulberry Street Monday


Objective: Students will be able to identify key facts and present information learned from a Google search about Dr. Seuss in the form of a mind map.

California Common Core Standard: 

Reading Standards for Informational Text:

  • Key Ideas and Details- Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

Writing Standards:

  • Production and Distribution of Writing- Use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing.
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge- Participate in share research and writing project. Gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Speaking and Listening Standards:

  • Presentation and Knowledge of Idea- Create audio recordings of stories or poems.

Supplies: Class set of iPods, iPads, laptops, or other hand-held devices. Internet access and ability to email to you.







AppStore Links:

Dr. Seuss App: Mulberry St.

SimpleMind+ (free) or SimpleMind



Today we are focusing on fact finding about the author who literally changed the way children’s books were written forever. The talented author, Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel or Theo LeSeig), published his first children’s book in 1937, called To Think I That Saw It on Mulberry Street. His book idea was rejected by 43 publishing companies before being published by Vanguard Press. Many of the details in this book were from his childhood home in Springfield, Massachusetts. Mulberry Street is an actual road that is located less than a mile from his childhood home in Springfield.

Read Aloud

Today I am going to do a digital read aloud And To Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street using my iPad. You can do this two ways. You can have the students gather in your carpet area and read the book from the iPad much like you would a traditional book. Or you can use your projector to project it onto the screen. When you do a digital read aloud with your iPad, the Dr. Seuss books give you three options:

Read to Me, Read it Myself, and Auto Play

Doing a read aloud with my students is by far my favorite time of the day and I believe it is critical to model how fluent readers make books come alive with their voice. So I always select “Read it Myself.” I happen to think my students are more engaged this way. The “Read it Myself” option still has audio sounds that play throughout and it also allows you to tap on the pictures to highlight vocabulary words from the text.

Research: Fact Finding Mission

After the read aloud, my students will be given a fact finding mission. The mission is to use their iPods to collect information about Dr. Seuss by doing a Google search. They will each do a Google search using the key word “Dr. Seuss.” The first four links on the search are:

Seussville– (you can’t access this site on your iPad or iPods because it uses flash but this is a great resource for your computer lab time)

Wikipedia- There is a lot of information about Dr. Seuss here. We will look at this page together as the reading level of the content is higher than most of my second graders. We will focus on finding important facts about Dr. Seuss. We will record the facts on note paper.

ThinkExist.com– This site has a list of Dr. Seuss quotes. My students will work in pairs to select their favorite Dr. Seuss quote. They will post their favorite quote on Edmodo. Then they will need to comment on their own quote explaining what they think the quote means to them. They will also be required to comment on someone else’s quote and also explain what they think the quote means.

CatInTheHat.org– This page has a lot of facts about Dr. Seuss. Students will write down facts they learn on a piece of note paper.

Share Facts using SimpleMind

Once the information is gathered, we will share the data with the class by creating a SimpleMind+ mind map. Please follow this link to read my blog about how this app is used in the classroom.

Please share with me other ways I can enhance my Mulberry St. Monday! I believe the more the minds planning, the merrier!


Dr. Seuss Day Goes Digital!


Making Dr. Seuss day a 21st Century celebration is what your classroom needs to grow and change with technology times. I have created Dr. Seuss Day Goes Digital lesson ideas for you to use all week long to upgrade your old school lessons. Each day this week I will highlight a digital lesson idea for you and your class to enjoy. While I teach second grade, these lessons can be used with just about any grade level.

Here is the layout for the week:



Mulberry St. Monday





Truffula Tuesday





Wacky Wednesday





Thinking Thinks Thursday





Freaky Friday



Please come back to AppEducation every day this week to learn what my class and I are doing with iPads and iPods in my classroom to honor one of the most talented authors of children’s books, Dr. Seuss. Happy Dr. Seuss Week!

Go check out Oceanhouse Media in the AppStore to get some excellent Dr. Suess books for your iPad or iPods. Here is a picture of all the Dr. Seuss apps I have purchased so far. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will go on sale on Dr. Seuss Day (like they did last year).


Here is a list of  the Dr. Seuss books I will be reading to my class this week:

And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

The Lorax

Wacky Wednesday

Fox in Socks

The Cat in the Hat

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut

The Thinks You Can Think

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Green Eggs and Ham

Bartholomew and the Oobleck

I hope to see you back to learn more about Dr. Seuss Day Goes Digital!

Jo-Ann Fox


Dr. Seuss Camera- Make Dr. Seuss Day Memorable


Okay, so I admit. There isn’t anything directly educational about this app. But I feel compelled to share this with all of you because when I used it last year on Dr. Seuss Day it was such a hit! Every year on March 2, my class and I participate in the annual National Educators Association’s Read Across America Day (also know as Dr. Seuss Day). This day was created to promote an excitement for reading and to honor Dr. Seuss on his birthday.

Last year on Dr. Seuss Day all of the Dr. Seuss apps went on sale. I took advantage and purchased a bunch of his interactive books (created by Oceanhouse Media and which I highly recommend). I also purchased the Dr. Seuss Camera (also known as the Cat Cam). This app allows you take pictures of your students and add their image in the face of several of the Dr. Seuss characters. You can have your students look like the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1, and 14 other adorable frames that are all Dr. Seuss themed. You can save the images to your camera roll. Last year, I printed the pictures out for my students to keep in their student portfolios. I was also certain to add these images to our class movie that we make as a digital memory book. This is a fantastic way to capture the great memories you made with your class on Dr. Seuss Day.

This year I plan on taking these images a bit further by having each student write a story about their image. Here are some writing ideas:

  • What do you like to do on a rainy day?
  • What kinds of games would you play if the Cat in the Hat came to play at your house?
  • How would you trap Thing 1 and Thing 2?
  • What kinds of mischief would you get into with Thing 1 and Thing 2?
  • Write a letter to the Cat in the Hat. Thank him for coming to play.
  • Write a letter to Dr. Seuss and tell him about your favorite Dr. Seuss book.
  • Pretend you are the fish. Write a letter to the children telling them what he thought about the Cat in the Hat.

AppStore Link: Dr. Seuss Camera

Check out a few of the adorable frames:

Ever year on Dr. Seuss Day my second graders and I learn facts about the author who creatively changed the way children’s books are written. We all bring our personal collection of Dr. Seuss books to school to share and I have been known to sport a Cat in the Hat costume once or twice. After filling our tummies with a delicious breakfast of Green Eggs and Ham we spread out all over the carpet area and READ! READ! READ! The kids love exploring their “old favorites” and looking for all the different pen names Dr. Seuss used. This year on Dr. Seuss Day, as a special treat, the movie The Lorax will be released in theaters. I hope this movie turns out to be as great as the Horton Hears a Who movie.

Happy Dr. Seuss Day and happy reading!

Jo-Ann Fox


Use Google Forms and Go Paperless!


If you are looking to spend less time waiting in the copy machine line and more time planning engaging and innovative lessons, keep reading! You won’t have to visit the Apple Store in order to use one of the best strategies with your classroom set of iPods and iPads. All you need is a Google account and your teacher creativity. So have I kept you in suspense long enough? No? Well, perhaps I should mention that you will also be helping the environment by going paperless.

One of my very talented and tech savvy colleagues, Chia Grossmann, has become an expert with using Google forms in her classroom.  I have utilized her idea of creating a simple Google “Response Form” that can be used over and over in all curricular areas. Chia’s “Response Form” is a simple form to create, since it only has a place for the student number, name, and a written response area.

Here is what the “Response Form” looks like:

Keep reading if you would like step-by-step directions to create this form:

If you have never created a Google form, the process is rather simple. First and foremost, you must have a Google account. If you don’t have one already… get one. You won’t be sorry.

Then once you have logged into your Google account, click on “Documents” at the top of the page. Then click “Create.”


Once you click on Create you will see a pull down menu. Select “Forms.” An untitled form will pop up, along with the first question ready for you to edit.

Title your form “Response Form.” You can add directions about the form below the title if you like. I typed, “Please remember to write complete sentences.” My advice is leave the directions very vague because you will want to use this form for many different activities.

Now we will begin to edit question 1. This will be for student numbers (if you use nick-numbers). Title it “Student Number.” I am not including any “Help Text.” We are going to change the question type to “Choose from a list.” Now begin typing. Chia recommends typing the first name on the list as Anonymous. Then add student numbers. When you have finished, click the box next to “Make this a required question.” Last, click “done.”


 Now we will make question 2. Select “Add item” at the top of the screen (it is next to the green plus sign). You will get another pull down menu. This time select “text.” Title it “Name.” Click the box next to “Make this a required question” and click on “done.”

Now for the last step for question 3. Select “Add item” again and this time on the pull down menu, select “Paragraph text.” Title it “Response.” Click the box next to “Make this a required question.” Last, click “done.”

Now you have a completed form! If you like to make things fancy then select a new theme at the top of the window. I selected the “blue bird” theme and this is what my live form will look like. When you select apply, it will take you back to your “edit form” page. You won’t see the your cutesy theme, but don’t worry it is still there.

Now that your form is compete you have several options. You can email this form to yourself so you have a link to it. But this is what I do… I copy the link at the very bottom of the page. Then I visit a QR code maker website and create a QR code for my students to get to the form quickly. I have also put a link to the form on my school webpage. Either way, you need some way for your students to link to this form on their iPods.

Once your students have accessed the “live form” on their iPods, have them make a web clip of this link (hold home key and sleep button at the same time). This way you can have your students access this same form over and over for a variety of different activities. I bet your next questions is how do you use this form with students?

This is the part where teacher creativity and innovation takes over. Here are some quick ideas for you to mull over:

  • Have students respond to a question about a book you are reading.
  • Have students write an opinion about a topic or story you are reading.
  • Have students share facts they learned from their social studies or science lesson.
  • Have students share with you their topic sentence for their new piece of writing.
  • Have students write a “7 up” sentence.
  • Have students explain how they solved a problem in math.
  • Use this as your way for students to “TATTLE.”
  • Use this form as an exit ticket.

After your students have completed their “Response Form” from an assignment you have given them, their responses will appear in the form of a spreadsheet. To access this spreadsheet, go back to your original “edit form.” Up at the top right hand corner is a tab that says “See responses.” Select “spreadsheet.” You will then see the responses from your students. In the following picture you can see the answers that I filled in on the form.

When my students are completing a “response form” assignment, I will quite often display the spreadsheet on the docucam so everyone can review others’ responses. However, I do slide the form over so the names and numbers cannot be seen so that the responses are still private. If you do this, keep hitting the refresh button to update the form as students submit their work.

If you want to save this work on the spreadsheet, select “file” from the menu bar and download it to your desktop or make a copy. When the assignment is completed and you have saved your spreadsheet, then delete the information on the spreadsheet so you can reuse this same form for another assignment.

I bet you can think of at least a thousand ways to use this simple Google form in your classroom. Not only will you be able to receive valuable written responses from your students, you will be helping to save thousands of trees by  going paperless! I would love if you would share your ideas with everyone. Don’t be shy to reply!

Jo-Ann Fox

Thank you for inspiring me, Chia Grossmann!


Scribble Press: The Best Drawing App!


App Type: Creative App

Grade Level: all

Skill Level: Easy/Beginners level

Common Core Standards: Can be used with all Common Core standards.

App Store: Scribble Press is free. (iPad only)

When I downloaded this app my first thought was, “This is just another drawing app.” I mean really, how many drawing apps can one have on their iPad? I know from my own experience that I have at least 5 different drawing apps. But go ahead and delete the other ones and download this app NOW! I say NOW because there is no way this app is going to be free for much longer. This is one of the best drawing apps I have seen in a long time. Here is why…

This drawing app allows you to do two different things: draw (My Drawings) or create a book (My Books)!

I love the layout of the drawing application of this app. Select “New Drawing” and let your creativity flow. Scribble Press allows you to open up a “marker wall” full of pens of varying colors, widths, and styles.

This is an artist’s dream! A huge selection of pens and stamps awaits your creativity. Simply open up the wall, tap on the color of your choice, and finally select your pen. The pen is then added to your pen collection at the bottom of your drawing.

You can also add stickers, text, photos, and even change the background color. You can save your drawings within the app, take a screen shot to save it, or you can order your picture through Scribble Press (I have not ordered one so I cannot comment on this process but I guess this is how they make their money).

You can can also author and illustrate your very own book! Simply select “New Book” and follow their simple steps. First, you select which kind of book you would like to create.

Scribble Press has a blank book for you to create on your own,but it also has many different pre-made books that helps you to create a book.  Then, select the theme of the book. This app allows you to choose several different stories within each theme. I chose Fantasy. Then I selected “Good Luck Mermaid.”  Each book begins with a cloze type of paragraph (a cloze is a story with missing words that you can fill in). Fill in the missing words and touch “Create My Book.”

It will then create the book with the text at the bottom. Now you are able to go and illustrate each page. When you have finished illustrating touch “I’m Finished.” Of course, you can purchase your book from Scribble Press, but it also saves the story within the app so you can reread it over and over. You also have the option to share but you need to set up an account with Scribble Press. One of the options when you “share” is to open it in iBooks. This saves the book to your iBooks library so your students can go back and reread their own stories.

This app can be used in your classroom is so many different ways! The book creating option is a great writing tool for reluctant writers and especially for students with Autism who quite often have a difficult time during the writing block. You can use the “Blank Book” to support writing story summaries, sharing facts gathered from social studies or science, or to create books for vocabulary practice. This creative app is an excellent addition to your library of apps for the classroom.

Get innovative with this app and share your ideas!

Jo-Ann Fox