Flip Video Anyone??

flip_videoThe Flip Video camera is an amazing little device.  It puts different types of projects in our reach.  Today while browsing Tech and Learning, I came across an article on using the Flip Video in class.  If you have an interest in using these cameras, you should definately check out the article: http://www.techlearning.com/blogs/32824 You don’t need to own one of these cameras yourself to do any of these projects.  PPS teachers can borrow a set of these cute little cameras from Instructional Technology.  Just ask your TRT to set it up for you.

Library Public Service Announcements

One of the interesting things about working of for the Office of Instructional Technology and Media Services (OITMS) is that TRTs and the Librarians have the same supervisor. Once a year we have a joint meeting. This year we will be having a worksession in which we are supposed to come up with a Public Service Announcement for our libraries. While searching for some ideas, Deloris Eure-Nutt (TRT for Hodges Manor and Lakeview) found this…

21Things Post #14

One of the things on the list is to create a VoiceThread to be used as an educational resource.  I worked with the Spanish teacher, Mrs. LaPiana and a small group of students to create this Vociethread.  She wanted to use the voicethread to introduce the topic “Seasons” to her class.  I think the kids did great considering that they had no idea what they were saying.  She wrote the scripts out for them phonetically…

Orchard in front of the Room


I know many of you think about Orchard for remediation – and it’s a great tool for that.  But Orchard is also a wonderful tool to use for whole group direct instruction.  It talks to the kids and has games as well as “powerpoint” type of presentations to use for both language arts and math.

But this post is not about Orchard really, it’s about Mrs. Rowson and Mrs. Armstrong who have decided that they will make the best use of the technology available to them.  You see, this dynamic duo used to be in a second grade Promethan interactive classroom.  They had activotes and a slate and made me come in to co-teach on a regular basis.  Then they were moved to third grade and a room with only an MCPS setup.  They made a decision early on about how they were going to handle it…they got activotes and a slate and are making me come in to co-teach…

We worked on Author’s purpose yesterday using Orchard for whole group instruction.  Orchard has a reading and writing skill builder which can be cucstomized depending on the SOL you are trying to address.  So we set up the activity so that all the questions could be used a discussion prompt on Author’s purpose and then we used some test taking strategies to answer the question.  We did have a bit of fun.

Let me know if you are interested in doing something similar…

Add “Watch TV” to your homework assignment

 Electric company

The Electric Company is back and it’s better than ever…I just found out that WHRO will be airing the Electric Company at 5:00pm weekdays.  The show is perfect for 2nd grade and struggling third grade readers.  Far from the classic that I watched when I was a kid, the updated show has all the bells and whistles that attract the current generation.  I ran across an interview that the new producer did and she explained some of the changes…http://www.pbs.org/engage/live-chats/01-21-2009/karen-fowler .

In addition, the show has a really cute website that helps students to practice some basic second grade word study skills.  I would add this site to those that students use in the computer center: http://pbskids.org/electriccompany/

We survived week 1

Back to school

My mother sends me cartoons via email from time to time.  I thought this was especially funny when I received it Friday. 

It looked like a good week in both buildings.  At Brighton most folks had their equipment up and running – I only had one SOS call.  The folks at Victory were all using their projectors – even in Kindergarten.  Both principals have scheduled some training – it’s great to be back in the saddle.  I do have some shout outs – a few teachers that  that really surprised me…

  • Dr. Hunter Lowe(Fifth Grade Language Arts – Victory) is making a concerted effort to include technology this year.  She had me in her class introducing Kidspiration for writing on Wednesday – that’s right the second day of school.  I am sure the kids in her classes will be using the COWS for writing before the end of the nine weeks!
  • Mrs. Davis(Third Grade Math – Victory) had the first part of Promethean Jumpstart training on Wednesday afternoon and had the kids writing on the board Thursday morning!  I was especially happy that she wanted to use the place value flipchart I gave her right away.  She was using the place value manipulatives on the board and random number generators (dice) – talkin’ all that math talk at the kids…She really didn’t need me – so I just left.
  • Mrs. Bailey(Second Grade – Brighton)  managed to get her Promethean software upgraded over the summer.  She was using the new ActivInspire straight out of the shoot.  She did not want to wait for me to start “migration training”…When I got to her on Thursday her only question was “How do I calibrate?” Here’s a link to the ActiveInspire Migration Manual for the rest of you Power Users who don’t want to wait for me to get your training scheduled.
  • Mrs Taxson(Kindergarten – Brighton) was not about to let her transition to Kindergarden slow her momentum…that’s right those little tiny tots were already writing on the Promethean board on Thursday.  Why was I surprised – she’s only the regional Technology Educator of the Year. 

I know many of you had things going on that I never saw…I could tell by the conversations that I had with you: Mr. Trewartha was already using Orchard.  Mrs. Trumbauer mentioned a flipchart she used.  Ms. Gibson had a data projector all set up and wanted help with the document camera. Mrs. Petry had already checked out the ActivExpressions…

You all are intrepid and you never cease to amaze me.