Sunday, May 17, 2015

#Newsies

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

Non-Fiction Book Reviews

My students have created some wonderful non-fiction book reviews! I am so proud of all of them!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Movement is our Best App

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

PETE&C in 2 Days!

I am very excited to be a presenter at this year's technology conference in my state and when I took a look at who is attending on this Padlet I got even more excited... take a look and see everyone on Sunday!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

NonFiction Book Reviews

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

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!