I am very proud to share that my school, Skyview Upper Elementary School in the Methacton School District has been named a National School of Character by Character.org. It was an interesting process and I am so proud of our students for holding up under the pressure of interviews! What a great experience! And just so you know, our school has coined the word Pillariffic to describe those who exhibit the pillars of character. Each Friday when students are being recognized for representing one or more of the six Pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship, I stand at the library door and give a big cheer, "Woo-whooo Pillariffic!" The kids like that they are getting some recognition and are amazed I can cheer that loud! Like I said, I am very proud of our students!
Monday, June 01, 2015
Sunday, May 17, 2015
In the early months of the second semester my students spent a couple of class periods analyzing photos of Newsboys and researching the Newsboys strike of 1899. I admit I stole the idea from Paul Bogush's 1000 Words Photograph Analysis. I wanted a new way of introducing Primary Sources to my students and I had never seen anything like Paul's analysis worksheet. It really made me wonder, could 5th and 6th graders think that like that? But instead of just the analysis I wanted to see if students could make inferences and turn their thoughts into a 140 character twitter post with the hashtag Newsies. Below is one raw video green-screen that showed me my students could think for themselves. This student made a video that shows how Newsies would have used Social Media if it had been available back then! I am amazed by my students every day!
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
The Sunday before last I had the pleasure of attending the first DENapalooza as Discovery Education brought Dr. Lodge McCammon to the pre-conference session of PETE&C. This is a little video Dr. Lodge put together that is a mash up of the day. One of the things I want to bring back to my students over the next few weeks is his "Commonwealth of Old Pennsylvania" song. Since the students are studying the colonies right now I thought it would be a great way to bring music and movement into the classroom because as Dr. Lodge says, "movement is our best app."
Friday, February 06, 2015
Sunday, February 01, 2015
I am so proud of my students. They worked for a couple of weeks writing book reviews and creating story boards before creating a non-fiction book review using the Explain Everyting App on the iPad. Check out this review on Crocodiles. My heart is bursting... such a great job!
Monday, January 26, 2015
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
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
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 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
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.
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Monday, September 29, 2014
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
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!