Monday, January 26, 2015

Finger Knitting

What else is there to do on a snow day? Someone posted this video on twitter about finger knitting. I am not good at knitting, I can crochet but knitting with 2 needles has always alluded me. But this video shows a kind of knitting I may be able to do and incorporate into a maker space in the library. It looks easy but I have not tried it yet. I do have some yarn I can bring to the library if I can do it and show students how to do it.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Quality Blog Comments

The general music teacher in my building and I are collaborating on a 21st Century project as part of our teacher evaluation this year. Our strand is Peer Collaboration and since music and library are not normal collaboration partners we decided to see if we could make it happen. The first part of the project involved students composing music for their recorders. This happened in December and the students uploaded their handwritten compositions to a music composition program and printed out the compositions. I scanned each one and put them into a blog. In January the students will listen to at least 4 different composers and comment on the recorder compositions. The comments will be posted under the composition being evaluated. That's my job. The compositions in the form of a PDF are already on the blog waiting for student responses but we will not be making comments until we learn how to write quality blog comments. The music teacher and I've brainstormed vocabulary words we'd like to see included and what a good comment should contain and now it's my job to teach my young charges just what makes a quality comment. One of the best resources I found is Mrs. Yollis' Class blog and video on quality blog comments. Quality blog commenting is just good digital citizenship! After the project is completed it is my hope to continue blogging and commenting with the chosen group of students. Out of our 34 classes we chose 3 fifth grade classes to start with, if it goes well I will be asking for your help to comment on my student's own blog posts. If there is one thing I learned via my Keystone Technology Innovator's training this summer is it's time to be brave and make things happen for my students. Blogging quality comments is the first step!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Student Quick-Sheet Guide for Google Classroom

If you and your students are as new to Google Classroom as we are, here is a wonderful Quick-Sheet Guide that was created by Alice Keeler. I am going to put it on my Google Drive and share it with students via a classroom announcement. Hope it will be useful for my students.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dash and Dot- We're getting Robots for Christmas... Mommy and Daddy Don't Know!

Dash and Dot showed up on my doorstep yesterday. I was so excited after school when I saw the box was from Wonder Workshop. I had almost forgot about these robots, I ordered them about a year ago when I fist saw them on Kickstarter just after the campaign was over. I could not help it and am I glad I ordered it after seeing this video!  I already downloaded the apps on my iPad and I think I may have to open the package and play a little before I wrap it up for Christmas! BTW- my daughter and Son-in-Law don't know about these robots. If they did they would say no, so Santa is bringing them to Mema and the grandkids for Christmas and we'll do great things together!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Christmas in Germany

At this time of year I especially miss living in Germany. Sometime I wonder if living there was just a dream but the German traditions made me love Christmas even more. Take a look at this, "Herstellung eines Spanbaumes in der Seiffener Volkskunst eG - traditionelles Kunsthandwerk in Seiffen - www.schauwerkstatt.de." I miss the Christmas markets, the smell of the straw and wood decorations, and of the gluh wine. I could watch the craftsmen for hours. Holzkunst Gahlenz auf dem Chemnitzer Weihnachtsmarkt 2010- Hope you have some warm Christmas memories this holiday season.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Creating a Green Screen on a Budget

I have been trying different ways to create green screens on a limited budget. I found some pretty inexpensive shower curtains that I put over my classroom and library white boards but these leave gaps at the bottom and I can't have people's feet in the videos. I found this video on YouTube and am heading to Wal-Mart this afternoon! I am also going to check and see if the art teacher in my building has any plain green paper which might work just as well and the video below.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

KTIChat September

The second edition of the Keystone Technology Innovator's Chat (KTIChat) took place on September 3rd and it was AWSOME! I think we have a great group of educators who really care about their students and the future. Here is how the chat went. Thanks Brad Steigerwalt for putting the chat together for us!


Thursday, September 04, 2014

First of Octember

I have been toying with the idea of having students read picture books on camera for use at the lower elementary levels, sort-of virtual book buddies. We can't do real book buddies because that would involve busses and aome buildings on letter day schedules while others are on week-day schedules. It does not have to be fancy but it may help my students with fluency while helping a struggling reader at the lower level. My issue is copyright. Is something like this a violation? I see them all the time on YouTube and they are not getting pulled down. So what is the copyright friendly thing to do?

Monday, September 01, 2014

Free Technology for Teachers: 12 Good Tools for Gathering Real-time Feedback from Students

I am very excited about this Post from Richard Byrne called Free Technology for Teachers: 12 Good Tools for Gathering Real-time Feedback from Students. I have heard of many of the resources in this article but I like how Richard breaks them down and explains how they work. For example I had some reservations about the app Plickers until I read Richard's review and checked it out for myself.  Now I have another tool in my bag of formative assessments. Thanks Richard Byrne!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Copyright

I just got a post about a Dr. Seuss Read-Thon and was led to this YouTube Video. I am wondering about copyright. Is it a copright violation to post such videos? I am wondering because I am thinking of having my 5th and 6th grade students record themselves read some popular picture books for our ESL/ELL population and for younger struggling readers. Is this a violation? What do you think? Please comment below.

Friday, August 22, 2014

#KTI Chat

The new Keystone Technology Innovators (2014 edition) held our first online Twitter Chat in August. We have decided we are going to hold these chats once a month so we can maintain our KTI connection that were forged at the KTI Summit in July. I attended the chat from my public library where my grandsons and I were enjoying The Wizard of Oz. I love that the first KTIChat heading picture on storify is of the performers in that play! How fun is that! Of couse you can't see the picture in this post but you can if you go to: https://storify.com/MrSteigerwalt/ktichat-8-6-14.

Moving iPhoto Library

I have an old MacBook Pro that I am trying to clense before I take it to school for my students to use to edit movies and create videos. In the old days I used to be able to right click on photos and see the actual file of the photo so I could just copy the .jpg images to a hard drive or burn them on a disk or upload them to Flikr or even my Dropbox. With the new OS not so much. Can I mention that this is frustrating me to no end and now I don't erase my SD cards with old pictures after I upload them to iPhoto. Apple, please make this easier for those of us that do not want to copy and re-name our iPhoto libraries. Here is a video I found on YouTube, not my ideal solution! If you would rather have a southern accent watch here: I have successfully put my old pictures on an external hard drive now I can free up space on my old MacBook Pro so we can create some videos at school! Wishing you all a great school year!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Snapshot on Edmodo

Edmodo has a new feature called Snapshot. It allows teachers to create common core formative assessments. These assessments should then drive teacher instruction so that when the assessments are given again their students will have mastered the tested skills. I am excited about this new feature and I plan to show it to teachers in my district in early September so they can start creating their own formative assessments. Fellow Snapshot trailblazer, Mrs. Elyse Mattiaccio created this video to make us smile and share some tips with our Snapshot group. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One of the technology integrators in our district put together this video on PowToons about our district's acceptable use policy. I am wondering if my 5th and 6th graders may need to see this the first week of school during library orientation! I just signed up for a free education PowToons account. I wonder if I can make some videos and have my students create some on library usage and where to find things in our library. I think they will like this new to me tool!