What a great turn-out for Promethean Jumpstart training at Victory today! I’m hoping that I have as great a turn out at Brighton’s Jumpstart. Of course we had the folks who were new to the software or needed a refresher. I was surprised that we also had a few other folks wander in. Kudos to Ms. Mitchell for being such a good sport when I made her make all of those shapes. And “yes” Ms. Mapp-Jonathan, we will show primary software at our next session. In fact I’d like to start Promethean Club on the 20th, so mark your calendars – we’ll look at student response devices (Activotes and Expressions) as well.
I know some folks are still having difficulty adjusting to the new gradebook. Keep an eye on our school division help page – I think we’ll be getting some videos up there shortly.
I wanted to share two websites with you today. They are from the Teacher’s First featured site list for this week. First grade teachers who will be teaching Math 1.5 around the 2nd week of November (week 10) could use “Make 5” at their computer center. Third grade math teachers will be teaching multiplication around the same time should also consider using it. The object is to recall math facts until you get 5 in a row. It’s very cute! Second grade teachers will be teaching habitats in March. Write this website on your calendars so that you don’t forget it: Create an animal ocean also, remember that Sheppard software activities work really well with a projector or Interactive Whiteboard, so consider using your projection device and the front of your classroom for a workstation when using the website.
Wow, the first day back…what a day. I know that I’m tired, but that’s got to be nothing compared to those actually in the classroom. Lots of changes this year – staff and administrative. Things are looking quite good at Victory. I’ll be able to see more about Brighton when I get over there next week. Spent a bit of time troubleshooting today – everything from Promethean board settings to the new Gradebook. I actually had the opportunity to do a bit of training. Tthat was surprising, but made me really glad. I did 1 – on – 1 with Ms. Mapp-Jonathan. She’s working hard in that Early up room. Using eBooks on the first day! I did some Wiki training for our Lesson Plan repository wiki. Since the whole administrative team is new, they needed some quick instructions. The Encore team joined us and I think everyone got what they needed.
I wanted to take a moment to share a resource with you that I found while purging my inbox today. Here’s a checklist for teaching with technology. What I like about the checklist is the thought process that it leads you through as you look into trying new technologies. Let’s endeavor to make good choices on use of technology. We should look for authentic ways to use it. Not just creating projects to check the box labeled technology on our professional development requirements. If you have questions about the checklist or want to bounce an idea off me, let me know.
Promethean training will be held in Ms. Hamill’s room on Thursday after school. Feel free to join us if you need a refresher. Good to see you all back and in such great spirits.
I had the feeling that I needed to do something a little different to reach out to teachers, so I thought I would start “Monday Mixup”. I’ve been thinking about it for quite some time, so this morning I figured – no better time than the present!! I’m not quite sure what the “mixup” will be about yet…but I figure that’s ok since the word “mixup” implies variety. So think of it as a virtual variety show. Today we’ll talk about Teacher’s First and their OK2ASK Sessions.
Teacher’s First (www.teachersfirst.com) is a searchable website of lesson resources and websites. Each resource in their database has been reviewed by an educator and has ideas for classroom use. In addition, they have a section on their website that looks at “hot topics” and explains them and their classroom application in very friendly terms. They offer thematic pages where you can find ideas grouped by topics such as holidays, first day of school etc. Also, Teacher’s First offers professional development free webinars for interested folks.
Several people have told me that it is difficult for them to attend the Tech Tuesday sessions that are required. So I’ll share what I’ve told a few folks about the OK2ASK sessions given by Teachers First. They have a session tonite that doesn’t require registration: Great Ideas – this session helps you learn to use their site in order to get ideas for technology integrated lessons. There is also a session on November 16th that requires advance registration. The session: “Hands Off, Vanna” is a great session for anyone using the ActivInspire software with a Promethean Board or a Slate.
The Ok2ASK sessions can be used to fulfill Tech Tuesday requirements. Just make sure you fully participate and get a certificate. There is a full schedule of sessions that they offer every 2-4 weeks during the year at: http://teachersfirst.wikispaces.com/ok2ask These sessions are online, and as long as you have access to a computer on the internet, you will have no problem attending the session.
If you have questions about Teacher’s First or want to get a group together to watch a webinar together, let me know.
It would seem this is the year of the Voicethread. I was pleasantly suprised to receive an email from Ms. Bryant earlier this week. She had taken pictures of her students as they demonstrated and explained positional words and wanted to create a voicethread. She had all the equipment that she needed in the classroom integration kit that she’d checked out. The only thing she didn’t have was a Voicethread account. I was very happy to assist her with the final piece. She had already done all of the hard work – planning the activity, taking the pictures, practicing with the children – all I had to do was upload her pictures and push “record” a few times. I didn’t even have to bring any equipment with me!! What cute little KinderKids…Bravo Ms. Bryant!!
Both of my fourth grade intiative classes have tech enthusiasts for teachers. We introduced sensory words – many of which are adjectives – and asked them to put their knowledge to work. Here is their first attempt:
Not to be outdone…Team leader Stephanie Bass has her students interview each other and then indroduce each other to the class using Voicethread on the first day. This looks like it will be quite a year…
Yesterday was quite something. I had 6 teachers do class introductions using Voicethreads. Here is one for you to see…First year teacher Ms. Roberson joins in enthusiastically with the rest of her team to do this project:
Ok, so I’ve decided that I probably need to post as I go along during ISTE this time. When I don’t, everything just gets jammed up and then I have nothing to go back to and haven’t shared. This morning I went to a pre-conference workshop on creating photos and digital storytelling. The premice was simple: Learn to take good pictures so you don’t have to fix them up too much and then you’ll have great visuals for digital storytelling. After Ken went over some picture taking basics, we took a walk around the neighborhhood and took some pictures. Photography has always been frustrating for me. I never really was able to take very interesting pictures and basically walked around with a camera for no reason. I had always heard that I should always walk with a camera, so I just left it in my purse. Ken helped me to understand a bit of what I’d been missing. I was waiting for things to take pictures of rather than taking pictures of things I saw. So today I took some of the most interesting pictures that I have ever taken. Really. And after talking to Ken a bit, I think I’ve decided to use cameras a little more in the classroom. Typically I’ll do 2-3 camera “things” a year. Ms. Bass and I do simple machines, I’ll do a shape hunt with first grade, and an alphabet book with grade K. I think I’ve decided that digital photos and voicethreads are the combo of the year. Anywhere I see “identify” in the SOL, I can probably throw in a camera project. I’m going to work on it. I would like to do one camera project a year in every content area at each grade level. Yes, I realize that means I’ll need to do around 28 projects. That would be about 1 per teacher. So that’s an idea…we’ll see if it’s still at the top of the list in 4 days.
Everybody seems to have a QR code for their conferences nowadays, so I decided to get one for TEACH Academy. If you’ve not used one before, it’s kind of easy. First you need to downlaod a barcode scanner app for your phone. I use this free one that I found in the Android Market. You just click on the app and then use your phone’s camera to scan the QR code. Then the link or text message that you need will come up. Want to give it a try? Scan the QR code below:
One of my teachers, Debbie Daniels, asked for a one-on-one session to learn about Animoto. So we spent some time this morning (yes, I met with her BEFORE school – so you know she’s special) working on an Animoto. We got the images from DE Streaming. We were suprised at how well it turned out considering we were rushed and had dome no prior preparation…She’s trying to get me to add Animoto to my TEACH Academy session…