Primary Preoccupation

A grade one teacher inviting the world into her classroom

Primary Preoccupation - A grade one teacher inviting the world into  her classroom
  • Samantha says:

    I was following your blog on Google Reader. Now that you have moved your site, I can’t find an rss feed to use to subscribe through Google Reader. I see that I can have your posts delivered to my email inbox, but that’s not what I’m looking for. Thanks for the wonderful and inspirational posts…I hope I can continue receiving them in my Google Reader.


    April 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm
    • Kathy Cassidy says:

      Hi Samantha,
      I appreciate that you are interested to read what I write! I tried subscribing to myself. I went to my Google Reader, clicked on “subscribe”. I typed into the search term bar and clicked “add”. Voila! I am subscribed to my blog. It should work for you as well.
      I do appreciate that I should add a widget or plugin that allows people to easily subscribe, though. I’ve put it on my list of things to do!

      April 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm
  • Lisa Witsman says:

    Hi! I came across your blog via Facebook / ISTE. I really liked what I saw!. I teach third grade and we also blog using iPads. We use I am not totally happy with their blogging platform. I would love to talk with you. I know that the end if the year is crazy, but would you consider speaking with me about your blog? I am willing to wait until school is out. Maybe I’ll change for next year. I’ll have the summer to familiarize myself looking forward to hearing from you!

    May 16, 2012 at 12:44 am
    • Kathy Cassidy says:

      I’d be more than happy to talk about blogging platforms with you. There are LOTS of things to consider, and what works for one person is not necessarily what works for another. You might want to start by checking here: especially the spreadsheet that compares platforms.

      May 16, 2012 at 2:37 am
  • Jennifer says:

    Hi I found you via Twitter and a lot of clicking. When I read what you wrote, it spoke to me. I was wondering how you became connected. I live in a place where that is hard to do and I am looking to connect on line. Any tips/advice would be great. Thanks,

    August 25, 2012 at 5:19 am
    • Kathy Cassidy says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      If you are on Twitter, you have already taken a BIG step to being connected. You might want to follow a hashtag that reflects a grade or subject that you teach, such as #1stchat or #engchat. Read tweets, ask questions and share your own ideas. It takes time to build a network, but it is so worth the time it takes.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm
  • Brenda Anderson says:

    Hi Kathy,
    Thanks for all your wonderful insight. I was wondering what type of headphones you have found to be successful in your first grade class for the ipads? Does each child have their own?
    I teach Kindergarten in California and we are just entering the ipad world!
    Thanks for your time.

    January 11, 2013 at 11:26 pm
    • Kathy Cassidy says:

      Hi Brenda,
      I ask my students to bring their own earbuds or headphones in their class supplies. I do have a few pair that I have purchased for those who do not bring any, or who have difficulty with theirs for one reason or another, but most parents prefer to send their own and not have their children share.

      January 13, 2013 at 1:10 am
  • Bretta Loeffler says:

    I love all the technology unfounded are using. I am also a first grade teacher with iPads 1:1. I am looking for other teachers to talk to and get ideas from. I love being apart of something new but feel a little out of my comfort zone.
    I would love to talk to you more.
    Bretta Loeffler

    February 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm
    • Kathy Cassidy says:

      Hi Bretta,
      I’d be happy to talk to you about how we use our iPads. It can be a little bit daunting. You can email me or we can arrange a Skype call.

      February 25, 2013 at 2:52 am
  • Elsa says:

    Could I get more information on your storage system? I would like to get my husband to build one for me also. I am bookmarking your site. I am new to the ipad world. My team has ten per class.

    March 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm
    • Kathy Cassidy says:

      Of course, Elsa! I blogged about my iPad storage system here: The plan for this is in my husband’s head, but if your husband is capable of building it, I’m sure he could plan it from the photos in my post. I also know that at least two companies are working on alternative charging systems to the large storage units that are so pricey, although I haven’t seen anything out yet.
      Good luck!

      April 1, 2013 at 3:15 am
  • Asha Bhatia says:

    I am Headmistress in a school mentoring children of age group 5 to 12 and always try to learn and enhance my teaching methods. Interested to know more about students’ portfolio.

    April 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm
  • Melissa says:

    Kathy I am reading your book and LOVING it!! I am beginning Twitter in my class and I am trying to figure out how to embed the Tweets on my class blog like the way your Twitter feed is set up(on your class blog). Any feedback on how doing that would be great! Thanks so much Melissa

    May 7, 2013 at 4:21 am
    • Kathy Cassidy says:

      Hi Melissa,
      Thanks for your kind words about my book!
      Regarding the widget, I just used the widget that Twitter provides. When you are logged into Twitter, click on the gear symbol, then settings and then widget. It allows you to choose colour etc and then provides you with an embed code. Good luck!

      May 8, 2013 at 8:12 pm
  • Sherell Stepp says:

    I recently purchased your book after taking a class with Choice Literacy expert Franki Sibberson. She mentioned your blog and book in her course “Tech Savvy Literacy TEacher”.

    Love love love it!!!! So, I attended the webinar you did about your book. I plan to share the webinar with a kindergarten, first and second grade teacher in my school.

    I am a Lead Interventionist working with struggling readers in grades K-5. I am also a Library Science student. I have found our children are much more engaged when we use technology.

    I have visited with Kristi Meeuwse, an Apple Distinguished TEacher, in Charleston, SC who teachers 5K. She has a 1-1 program as well and has seen wonderful results of progress in literacy because of this. She recently published on her blog some data to back up her claims. I was wondering if you have any data of increased progress due to your work with blogging and digital portfolios? We are trying to get our district to let us pilot a 1-1 program in one of our kindergarten classes and could use all the data we can get. Can you let me know if you have any?

    I look forward to following your class and professional blog and continuing to learn! Thanks so much! I hope you do some more webinars!

    May 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm
    • Kathy Cassidy says:

      Hmm. I hope I sent you an email about this, but I’ll reply here now just in case.
      Thanks for your kind comment.
      I don’t have any data that would prove that my students are better readers than any other year. My students did very well in reading this year, but I don’t know how I would prove that they wouldn’t have done as well if they had not had iPads. For me, it is not about the data, but about the ability to create, to learn and to share the learning with others. It’s also about giving the students choice in how they learn and in how they demonstrate that learning.
      I do understand that many people need data for reasons that you have mentioned. I hope you are able to find what you need!

      July 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm
  • Connie Allison says:

    Hi Kathy,

    I teach 2nd grade at Prospect Park School in Prospect Park, PA. Dan Myers (my colleague) told me that you were interested in using reader’s theatre and skype. I would love it. Not sure how it would work. I picked a play 0 A Bad Case of the Stripes. Would we perform for your class?? An open date I have is on Monday, June 3rd from 10:15-11:15. Let me know if that works for you and how this would work.

    May 28, 2013 at 7:48 pm
    • Kathy Cassidy says:

      Yes, we’d like to! I sent you an email about this, Connie.

      May 28, 2013 at 8:51 pm
  • Sarah L says:

    Hi Kathy, I have just started up a small business creating apps for the classroom teacher. I dont want to fill your inbox up as you may not be interested, however, this could be something you would like! Look&Say is my first app- created to collect data on student sight word knowledge. All students word knowledge is recorded at the tap of a button, reports all generated onto pdf files to be emailed, challenge lists that are individualized (for students that have not read the word 3 times correctly) printed out to be cut out and handed to each child to take home and practice…. many other features which you can discover if you please!
    I have just followed you on twitter to keep tabs on your learning!
    Kind Regards
    Sarah Lawrence

    October 3, 2014 at 6:06 am
  • Arlene Low says:

    Good Morning Kathy!

    Thank you for presenting to Sun West teachers this fall! You have inspired so many of our teachers to start blogging with their students! It is all so very exciting and a great learning experience for us all. Needless to say, we spend a lot of time looking at your sites to gain some understandings and ideas from you. I do have a question for you. When you are starting out with your students/parents. What tips, guidelines, online safety advice do you have for your students when they are using their ipads to search online? The guidelines that I have been using are:
    1. Always ask a parent / teacher first before you search online
    2. Only talk to people you know online ( Skyping grandma for example)
    3. Stick to online places/websites that are just for you

    Any advice and tips that you also have would be greatly appreciated.

    Arlene Low
    Learning Coach
    Sun West S.D.

    October 16, 2014 at 10:41 am
    • Kathy Cassidy says:

      Hi Arlene,
      I think the guidelines for searching online should change depending on the age/experience online of the students. Because my students are young, I actually don’t have them freely search online. We usually use sites such as PebbleGo or Discovery Education. For slightly older students, these seem like good rules. I think the important thing is that it be an ongoing conversation.

      October 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm
  • Michelle Whitworth says:

    My school has many technology tools available to us. What is the most effective and least costly way to help the teachers learn to use technology with there students? I like your informative website. Sincerely, Michelle

    January 4, 2015 at 11:23 am
    • Kathy Cassidy says:

      Thanks for your kind comment, Michelle. I don’t think there is one answer to your question. I think allowing teachers access to the technology for their own use is a big help in making them more comfortable. Also, showing them examples of how the technology can be used and giving them time to explore the tools are important. I’m beginning to wonder if in some cases there needs to be some form of enticement for the teachers, such as a reward to get them to use technology. I’m sorry that I don’t have any great insight. I have often wondered about this myself.

      January 10, 2015 at 11:41 am
  • Denise Saunderson says:

    I met you at the Palliser convention in February and stayed for both of your presentations. I have been using a blog in my classroom for a few years but we are quite restricted in division policy. We are working hard at changing to a format that is more appealing and engaging for readers. Progress – we now have comments opened up and an RSS feed! We are going to work on it over the summer and, hopefully, change the format to Blogger.

    Anyhow, I am wondering where you are presenting next year AND what conferences you recommend for a grade 1 teacher? I am moving towards that connected piece, using an iPad to assess student learning, students using iPads to become assessment capable learners. I want more direction and/or advice but when I google tech for teachers it is overwhelming. Where would you suggest?

    Happy summer, Kathy! I love reading your teacher blog and your class blog! Thanks for being a great teacher.

    June 20, 2015 at 7:55 am
    • Kathy Cassidy says:

      Thank YOU, Denise.
      The only conference I currently have confirmed for next year is this one: in Prince Albert, but I suspect I’ll be at one closer to you if all goes well. There is no one conference that has it all. Instead of just relying on conferences, perhaps you could do more to develop an online PLN? For me, the main source of this is Twitter. It takes time to develop this, but is very worthwhile. I hope that helps.

      July 4, 2015 at 9:51 am

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