Archive for December 21, 2018

Creative Free Christmas/Winter apps for Early Learners!

Over the past few weeks, I have been using some Christmas/Winter apps with PreK and Kindergarten classes. I have discovered some new ones this year, so here are some links along with some pictures of our students using them! (Note: many of these apps contain small ads, locked items, or in-app purchases. This is the time of year when we learn about what these things are and what to do about them! I evaluated all apps and felt that these items do not get in the way of the learning, creativity, and fun, but be aware that what happens in these apps can change at any time!)


We have used the Mandalas Lite app for many years to create “Christmas Ornaments” using the colorful symmetry drawing features. (We’ve also used this app with black drawing on a white background to create snowflakes drawings that could be used for 3D printing!)


The Christmas Tree Fun app offers a set of simple decorations for a Christmas Tree which was perfect for our PreK students. When finished, you can view the tree with lights, fireworks, or snowflakes falling. Sadly, this app is currently unavailable on the US app store but is available in other countries. (Note: links to other apps on the opening page and another app page at the very end.)


The 123 Kids Fun Christmas Tree has 6 tree styles to decorate with ornaments, cookies, snowflakes, lights, and much more. You can even put a photo from the camera roll on an ornament. (Note: locked decorative items with in-app purchase.)


Gingerbread Crazy Chef Cookie Maker is a fun app that takes students through the steps of mixing up cookies, baking them, decorating them, and “eating” them! There is a variety of decorations to use, however some are “locked” and require in-app purchase. (Note: There also are small banner ads at the bottom for other kid-appropriate apps.)

I hope these apps can provide some fun and creative activities for Christmas and the winter season1

Christmas Links with the First Graders


Over the past 2 weeks in technology class, the first graders have been using the Christmas Links on our Learning Link page to create Christmas trees, gingerbread houses, and snowmen. Students have learned to use and navigate back and forth between a list of online links. They also have worked on strengthing their precise mouse skills as they click, select, scroll, drag, and drop.

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Here are a few photos of the students at work! They had a lot of fun working on these activities!

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Students may enjoy continuing to work on these links using your computer at home. (They likely will not work on a tablet.)

Christmas Links

3D Printed Candleholders with TinkerCAD and Dremel 3D Printers

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Our fifth graders have created these beautiful candleholders in technology class. They were designed using the online Tinkercad tools and printed with our Dremel 3D printers.

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For this project, we used a shared account in TinkerCAD and created a project file for each student. During the first week, students had some “playground” time to explore TinkerCAD and learn how to navigate and design with shapes. Then during the following two weeks, students followed teacher-created video tutorials to help them independently design their candle holders. (Here is the link to our TinkerCAD tutorials.)

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The fifth graders started their designs by using precise measurements to create a cylinder and a hole that would fit a dollar store battery operated candle. After designing the candle holder, students imported a shape to use as a decoration on the side or on the base. (I used the FlatIcon website to find .svg files which could be imported into Tinkercad and had these available for students to use for their designs.) Finally, students grouped all the elements together into one shape and saved it in Tinkercad.

Over the past few weeks, our Dremel 3D printers have been busily printing our candle holders.


The students are very excited to see how professional their candleholders look!. This project has been a great way to introduce students to 3D Design. Even though students had some basic guidelines to help them produce a successful first design, they also had many creative options which allowed each product to be unique! They are looking forward to giving them as Christmas gifts to someone to shine the love of Jesus with them.

Disclosure: As a part of the Dremel 3D Idea Builder Ambassadors program, our school has received use of a 3D printer and filament. If you are interested in learning more about the Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 printer, you may contact  I’d appreciate it if you noted Karen Bosch/this blog post as a referral in the comments/questions section at the bottom of the form.  Thanks!

Bethlehem Eyewitness Drawings and Animations 2018


Our second graders recently completed this inspiring Christmas project in technology class. They began by using the Drawing Pad app to draw a portrait of one of the people who were present at Christmas: Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men, or the angels.


Students used the Drawing Pad app to create their portraits. They used our new Apple Pencils to draw! They learned how to pair the Apple Pencil with their iPad and enjoyed being able to draw easily with detail – much better than using a finger or a stylus!


Next, they wrote a short story telling the first-person account of what that person saw and heard on Christmas day. Finally, they used the ChatterPix Kids app to record the story and make their drawing talk!!!

The videos of their talking Christmas characters are uploaded into this gallery in Vimeo linked below. There are 40 videos so you will need to click at the bottom to go through the collection if you are looking for a specific one.

Link to Bethlehem Eyewitness Videos

We hope these videos help remind you of the special message of the Christmas season that Jesus is born.

Teacher note: Drawing Pad is one of the best drawing apps for kids, currently $1.99 on the US iTunes store. ChatterPix Kids is a FREE app that lets your record 30 seconds of audio to animate a picture.

4th Grade Print Shop Christmas Card Tutorials 2018

Fourth graders, please use these tutorials AND the worksheet to guide you through the steps for creating the inside and the outside of your card.

Third Grade Multiplication Array Cities using Keynote


Recently, the third graders have been learning about multiplication arrays.  Mrs. Parris and Mrs. Archer brought their classes into the computer lab to design an “Array City” with “buildings” that represented multiplication problems.

We used Keynote on our Mac Mini computers to make our pictures (although this lesson would also work on iPads). I used April Requard’s iTunes U Course: Array City in Keynote for inspiration. I simplified the lesson by using tables to make our buildings. Students learned how to adjust the sizing of the tables to match the multiplication problem they were representing. They added text boxes to write the problems by each building. Then they used the formatting tools to change the line and the fill colors for each building. Finally, they took advantage of all the new shapes in Keynote to add roofs and decorations to their buildings.

Here is a gallery showing all the Array Cities. Click on the image to see a larger view. (A few pictures might be missing if a student was absent or if it didn’t print – I will make adjustments as soon projects are finished.)