Tuesday, September 6, 2016
This made preparing a portfolio at the end of the year a bit time consuming as I had to go through each scrap of paper/letter/or note and put it in an Excel spreadsheet or a Google Sheet. Today I finally decided to change it up and create a Google Form that would allow me to easily input my parent contacts as well as analyze trends within those contacts.
You can find a direct link to the form template here.
Because of the nature of Google Forms you cannot easily share them without giving edit access. If you are interested comment or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make you a copy and send it to you.
Sunday, July 31, 2016
I had hoped to have all of this posted right after the conference but that didn't work out so I am just now getting to it. The conference was great! One of the best things was getting to see Dave Burgess (Teach Like a Pirate) and M.K. Asante (BUCK).
Have you heard about Genius Hour? It is when students develop their own inquiry question about whatever it is they want to explore. It is passion- and inquiry-based learning all rolled up into one! Come learn how to introduce Genius Hour to your students.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
This school year has just flown by! I wanted to blog so much more this year and I still have some things that I want to share from my classroom that I'll work on in the coming weeks. All of my state tests are done with the exception of some make ups and tomorrow is our first field trip.
We had a friend/local company print up shirts for all our fourth graders and the end of the year activities. They turned out AMAZING! I have done shirts for my students in the past and I love being able to find my students wherever they are in our activities. It is also a great memento for the students as they head into summer.
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Next quarter we will begin a STEM unit that incorporates two different LEGO robotics sets: WeDos and NXT/EV3s. I'm really excited to see what the students come up with during these lessons. For many of them it will be their first exposure to LEGO Robotics and hopefully not their last!
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Student Voice & Student Choice
In the past, I was able to be a part of the Idaho Leads Project (#expectsuccess) and through that, I was able to learn a lot from Dr. Russ Quaglia and his people at the Quaglia institute. In one of the sessions today we watched the video Ned's Gr8 8. There were two big things that struck me about this video: Students cannot be successful if they are not okay and we need to get back to a focus on mastery based learning. You can check out the video below or here.
It's Microsoft Office... and it's FREE for educators and students! This is awesome! In the past I've purchased educator licences of Microsoft Office and installed it at home, but with Office 365 you can get it for free if you're an educator or a student. You'll just need to use your school email to get to it. Office 365 has a TON of features so I'm just going to highlight my favorites from the session today.
- Groups - allows shared calendar and documents through One Note. It also puts all your emails from that group in one place.
- Yammer - like Facebook for business but safe and secured within the organization. Turned on by default. All stored in case it is needed for tracking issues with students, teachers, or parents
- Word has an Add in called Office Planner. It pulls in standards and brings up a template and incorporates those in the document. It even includes activity ideas!
- Within One Note - working with Canvas and Blackboard to add the assignments directly. Grading done in One Note will go directly to these LMS
- Sharing! Check out docs.com! It's a place where you can share any kind of Office document with the world.
This was just one tidbit found in Kim Miller's presentation about STEM and inquiry in the elementary classroom but it seems like something that I can easily implement within my classroom. The premise is that students create Stop Motion videos using an app that allows them to share their process and understanding of a math concept.
I stumbled across Answer Garden on Twitter. It was featured at another session but I just thought that it was so awesome and something that I could easily implement in my classroom. You post a question and people answer it. Then the site produces a word cloud (like Wordle or Tagxedo) of the responses. This is great for a quick check of understanding or an alternative to polling the class with fixed answers.
For years I have done screen captures. My software of choice is the SMART capture that comes with the SMART Notebook suite. Until today! Today I learned about Snagit which is an extension for the Chrome browser that does EVERYTHING that SMART capture and other screen capture software does. You can pick a window, an area on your screen, or a tab. This is simple enough that I think that I will even use it with my students. I think it's pretty powerful when students are able to share and explain their thinking/reasoning and this extension will help get my class there.
The best part is this is free and it works with Chromebooks!
Monday, February 8, 2016
It's the night before IETA and I am here in Boise. This conference is the one that I look forward to all year. This year's keynote is Darren Hudgins who is the Director of Instructional Technology for the OETC. I am really looking forward to tomorrows chance to hear his keynote: "The Merchant of Someday." I'm also looking forward to the chance to meet up with folks from the #IDEdChat weekly twitter. Look out for some great new information from the sessions this week!
Friday, July 31, 2015
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Going from a 1:1 environment to a room with 3 computers, access to a laptop cart weekly and an interactive board ( I had one of those too the last 6 years), I feel like I get to take all the good things that I know work for a lot of kids and really hone in on my center skills. I hope to be able to write a grant or two this year to get some more tech in the classroom but it's not a bad start.
The end of this month is busy too. I'll be speaking at a local Tech Expo about robotics both in the classroom (grades 4-8) and as an after school program. Luckily the new school that I am at also has a robotics team so hopefully I will still be able to help out with that. At the very least I hope to be able to help my new teammates (and anyone else who needs it) with their technology.
Over the next few weeks I'll be posting some pictures, ideas, and progress of my new classroom and technologies that I plan to incorporate. One of the first things that I made were brag tags, or physical badges. In the past I used an online medium (3D Game Lab) to facilitate the gamification of my classroom. Because I do not have enough computers to do this right now, I was so excited when I found a teacher on atozteacherstuff (I feel so bad that I cannot find the exact link to her post because hers were adorable!) that uses them also. She used dog tags, but I opted for book rings. This year I am doing a whole Mario theme and so here are my Mario inspired badges for this year.
Here they are ready to be cut. I should have about 28 students so I printed out 20 copies of each page on cardstock.