PWS Tech Tidbits

October 2016

posted Oct 25, 2016, 4:48 PM by Nicole Cassamassino   [ updated Jan 26, 2018, 7:22 AM ]

Students in third and fourth grade had lessons on  digital citizenship, digital etiquette, and rings of responsibility this month. The goal of these lessons was for students to understand who a digital citizen is, expected behavior online, and their responsibilities to themselves, family/friends, and the community when they are online. My discussions were not about social media or cell phone use because most third and fourth graders do not have their own phones or social media accounts. Instead, my focus is on what students at this age are doing online (at home and in school). This includes, research, games and watching videos. If you are interested in more information on these topics to continue discussions at home, I've found Common Sense Media to be a wonderful resource. 

I've also enjoyed spending time in some first grade classrooms with BeeBots. A BeeBot is a robot that students code to take a certain path. It's a great introduction to the important 21st century skill of coding (which is related to computer programming). With these BeeBots students have practiced sight words, worked collaboratively, and have had to use problem solving as well as critical thinking skills. Be sure to ask your first grader all about their time with the BeeBots. If they are interested in doing more with BeeBots at home, you can download the BeeBot app onto an iPad.  

September 2016

posted Sep 27, 2016, 7:46 AM by Nicole Cassamassino   [ updated Sep 27, 2016, 7:46 AM ]

The month of September has flown by! Hopefully everyone is settled into back to school routines and has enjoyed getting to know their teachers and classmates. It's been such fun getting into every classroom at Peter Woodbury this month. 

Before I get to what we've been doing, I'd like to take a moment to briefly explain what my role is at PWS. As the technology integration teacher it is my responsibility to assist teachers in integrating technology into their everyday curriculum in ways that are effective, engaging, and useful. We do not use technology just to use it . . . it always has a purpose and a benefit. In addition, I am also here to help the students learn about various tools that enhance their learning and how to be responsible, positive digital citizens. Sometimes I do this with the whole class, sometimes in a small group and sometimes one on one. 

Back to what our grade levels have been up to with technology this month. (Note: these are things that I have done with classes. Teachers have been doing other things with technology integration throughout the month as well.) 
  • First grade learned about the internet and personal information (ex. phone number, address, name, etc.) through a short video and discussion during a game called Kahoot!.  iPads were introduced at the same time since they were needed to play Kahoot! which allowed us to go over school expectations with these devices. Expectations include holding with 2 hands, walking with the iPad, waiting for teacher directions before going to an app, etc.
  • Second grade watched part of a video called Safety Smart Online. They also played a Kahoot! game after the video to review concepts of being safe when online. Since iPads were needed to participate in the game, students were able to demonstrate the expectations that were set up last year for using iPads at school.
  •   Third and fourth grade students participated in a "Google Bootcamp". Each class had 4 lessons centered around Chromebooks and their Google accounts. All of these lessons were designed to set students up to be successful for the rest of the school year. Being comfortable with the technology will allow students to focus on the curriculum, rather than how the tech works. 
    • 3rd grade lessons included:
      • Introduction to & navigation of the Chromebook
      • Avatar creation
      • Introduction to Google Drive and keeping their Drive organized (we equated it to the folders they have in their desks)
      • Introduction to Google Classroom
    • 4th grade lessons included:
      • Chromebook Mission with a partner (this reviewed Chromebooks and how to use them)
      • Avatar creation
      • Organization of Google Drive, review of Google Docs & sharing
      • Google Classroom practice and introduction to the organization structure in Drive
As a final note, please use this website as a resource for you and for your child. There are many directions and a lot of information under the Parent Resources and Student Resources tabs. If you find something needs clarification or a topic should be added, please let your child's classroom teacher know or email me directly ( 

Ways to Help Prevent the "Summer Slide"

posted May 26, 2015, 5:25 AM by Nicole Cassamassino   [ updated May 26, 2015, 5:25 AM ]

Summer is a time for children to relax and have fun.  But, as we all know, this is also a time when they can "forget" skills from the previous school year.  Read Ten Creative Ways Students Can Have A Better Summer Break on Edudemic to get some ideas for keeping your child's brain active. 

Hour of Code

posted Dec 22, 2014, 10:25 AM by Nicole Cassamassino   [ updated Dec 22, 2014, 10:25 AM ]

The Hour of Code is an international initiative to spark the desire to learn computer science.  It's a one-hour activity that students of all ages can participate in.  Peter Woodbury participated in this initiative last week and have continued into this week.  Mrs. Cassamassino has visited many classes to introduce coding and computer science to students.  

As a result, many students have shown interest in continuing these activities at home. is a great website dedicated to the Hour of Code and contains many activities, as well as app suggestions.  In school, students used Light Bot, Kodable, The Foos, Daisy the Dino, and Hopscotch on the iPads.  

Hour of Code 2014


posted Aug 13, 2014, 8:27 AM by Nicole Cassamassino   [ updated Aug 13, 2014, 8:28 AM ]

In order to be successful in math, all students need to be proficient in their math fact knowledge, whether it be addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.  Some students love flash cards and thrive using them.  Some, need different options.  Listed below are app options for math fact study:
Math Slicer - I have not personally tested this app out, but have read great things about it. Similar to Fruit Ninja, students are shown a math problem that is answered by slicing the correct answer in half. Before each round, students can select the problem type and speed.  This link is to the free version which contains ads, you can get rid of the ads by purchasing the paid version.  

Juicy Math - This app is exclusively for addition and subtraction and costs $2.99, but it's an easy to use app which allows students to
practice basic math facts in addition and subtraction. Choose to focus on addition or subtraction individually, or combine the two. During the game, a player can count the fruit pictures provided to solve the problem or just mentally solve it. Parents can receive feedback on their child’s 
progress by visiting the statistics section of the app.

Times Table Lab - Practice multiplication facts using a times table grid.  This app costs $1.99. A numbered ball appears and students have to decided which to factors will produce that fact. 

Of course these are just a few programs available to work on math facts.  As long as your child is practicing, one is not better than the other.  

Free "Camps" through Apple

posted Jun 17, 2014, 5:41 AM by Nicole Cassamassino   [ updated Jun 17, 2014, 5:41 AM ]

Apple offers free & fun workshops for kids 8-12 years old.  Check out this link for more information. 

Seven Media-Savvy Skills All Parents Need in 2014

posted Jan 10, 2014, 5:44 AM by Nicole Cassamassino   [ updated Jan 10, 2014, 5:44 AM ]

Our kids are surrounded by technology, which advances quicker than most of us can keep up.  One item on many children's minds are different social media platforms.  I came across an article, Seven Media-Savvy Skills All Parents Need in 2014, while on the site Common Sense Media.  This is a great article to read and share, providing ideas on how we can keep on top of what our children are doing on their devices.  

Math Practice on the Computer

posted Nov 18, 2013, 7:42 AM by Nicole Cassamassino   [ updated Nov 18, 2013, 7:42 AM ]

Visit this website for a variety of math sites geared towards younger students.  Each site offers students the opportunity to play a math game to reinforce skills such as counting, patterns, addition, subtraction, geometry, etc. 

An Apple ID for your child?

posted Oct 1, 2013, 7:05 PM by Nicole Cassamassino   [ updated Oct 1, 2013, 7:05 PM ]

Many children are asking parents or family members for personal devices (iPods, iPhones, iPads, etc.).  Many children are receiving these items.  When this happens the following questions often arise: Whose Apple account gets connected to this device? Mine or do I create one for my child?

This link brings you to a Parent Guide - Apple ID for Students.  While this guide refers to using an Apple ID for students, this information is more appropriate for parents to have, especially since the Bedford School District does not set up Apple IDs for students. 

Happy Summer!

posted Jun 18, 2013, 8:17 AM by Nicole Cassamassino   [ updated Jun 18, 2013, 8:17 AM ]

I'd like to wish everyone a fun and relaxing summer!  If you are interested in some summer websites for those rainy days you can find a list below.  Thank you to our district Language Arts and Social Studies Coordinator, Ms. Holm, for providing these sites. 

Ms. Holm's Summer Websites for Students

(Originally titled “How to Stimulate Summer Learning”)

            In this Education Update article, Willona Sloan suggests twelve engaging educational websites to keep students learning through the dog days of summer:

            • Art Games: - Students can design their own abstract paintings online, learn about pioneering artists, and explore painting techniques.

            • Great Websites for Kids: - Dozens of recommendations for exemplary websites for students up to age 14, curated by members of the Association of Library Service to Children.

            • NGA Kids: - The National Gallery of Art website features the Photo Op program, which allows kids to use a virtual camera to take pictures and experiment with photo-editing tools; they can also create virtual paintings, assemble collages, and explore art history.

            • National Geographic Kids: and National Geographic Education: - Photographs and videos of animals and natural environments, links to encyclopedia resources, craft ideas, puzzles, and quizzes.

            • Oxford Owl: - More than 250 free e-books, and kids can print, illustrate, and construct their own picture books, play games to test their comprehension, and do math activities.

            • Pass the Plate: - Nutritious recipes from all over the world.

            • PBS Kids: - Videos from Word Girl, Arthur, and The Electric Company, and places to create comic strips, create and mix global beats, test-drive a space flyer, and do an experiment in the Inventor’s Workshop.

            • Science NetLinks: - The American Association for the Advancement of Science has interactive games, podcasts, information on the inner workings of the body, and science news written by young readers.

            • Kids: - The WebRangers game simulates being a national park ranger, and students can practice cryptology and code breaking, explore the 50 states, discover health careers, learn tips for saving money, and listen to stories from Peace Corps volunteers.

            • Wonderopolis: - Each day, this site explains a new “wonder” of daily life, for example, how to create harmony, why zebras have stripes, and where buffalo roam.

            • Word Mover: Available free through iTunes – Kids can create “found poetry” by choosing from word banks and remixing famous works.

            • iWASWondering: - Inspired by the middle-school biography series, Women’s Adventures in Science, this site has brief biographical information and interactive games, including a virtual telescope.


“How to Stimulate Summer Learning” by Willona Sloan in Education UpdateJune 2013 (Vol. 55, 36, p. 1, 6-7),

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