Cute Review Project


I just wanted to share a review project the Ms. Broussard did with the Sixth grade students.  She used along with DE Streaming images and digital voice recorders.  Each group of students made a summary of each of the six events they had studied.  Here’s a sample:

I can think of a few other ways to use Mapskip.  Let me know if you would like some help doing a similar project.

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…

Builder tools in action

builder tools

I am just so excited!!  For the better part of two years I have been talking to my teachers about using the DE Streaming teacher tools.  I have explained – they are easy to set up, students will really be engaged, I promise you’ll like it – to no avail…until this week!

KUDOS to Mrs. Mitchell, Ms. Hammil, and Dr. Hunter-Lowe who all jumped in the deep end this week.  Mrs. Mitchell and Ms. Hammil have worked with me to create a DE Streaming assignment that requires research, note taking and videos to crete a Wordle on civil war leaders.  Dr. Hunter-Lowe used a DE Streaming writing prompt to help her students prepare for the writing test. 

The kids are all excited.  The teachers are pleased.  The level of technology implementation in  the building continues to rise.

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…

Kidspiration In The Classroom

We’ve got new books in the library.   Kidspiration in the Classroom for Reading, Writing, and Math.  The books have tons of lesson plans on how to use Kidspiration 3 for instruction.  Remember – Kidspiration is one of the most powerful tools we have for non-linguistic representation (you remember Marzano?).  The books come with a CD which has a pdf file of the lessons on it.  I have also placed a copy of the files on the media drive (y: drive).  If you need a refresher on how to use Kidspiration, let me know.  I would be happy to sit down and go over it with you.  If you would like me to co-teach a lesson using Kidspiration, I’m sure I can find or make an appropriate template for your class.  If you question the use of Kisdpiration for instructional or  remdiation activities, tak a look at this case study published by Inspiration.  The case study tells how a teacher at John Tyler Elementary (here in Portsmouth) is successfully using the software application.

Science 1.5 review

Mrs. Taxson asked me to do a review activity with her class, so I decided to try out the VoiceThread application with them.  They had fun, I had fun, we all had fun!!  Wanna see what we did?  Check it out:

Thanks to Chrissy for the tutorial on embedding VoiceThreads. I would never have been able to figure it out on my own.

First grade is wearing me out…

You know how sometimes you’ll try something new and it really works well, so you try it again and then it slowly becomes your new “thing”?  Well, the new “thing” in first grade at Brighton is to use technology in Math.  This is how it works…Mrs. Taxson (my Promethean board power user) will ask for an idea on using KidPix with her class for math the SOL of the week.  After we come up with an idea, she’ll ask for help with getting the task completed.  Her kids use KidPix for creative writing/drawing independantly, so our goal for her class is to get the students to do more structured activities using templates.  We’ll demonstrate to the class on Wednesday using the Promethean board and on Thursday the students will go into the lab and do the activity.  So this week we worked on number sentences.  We used a template from the KidPix Deluxe 4 book.  The kids had fun.  Those who were done first became peer helpers!

Math Kidpix sentances 1     Math KidPix sentances 2   Math kidPix sentances 3

Then there’s Mrs. Smith.  Mrs. Smith’s goal for this year is to have her students use Kidspiration for writing.  We have a long way to go.  The students are just learning Kidspiration and we’ve used it in different ways.  They need more exposure before we get to writing and outlining.  So after Mrs. Taxson hits me up for some time, Mrs. Smith usually asks for some as well.  They do group planning, so it’s the same SOL, but given their goals and technology experience, it looks totally different in each class.  So yesterday in Mrs. Smith’s class we used my wireless keyboard to practice a number sentences exercise in Tammy Worcester’s math book.

Math sentences Wireless keyboard    number sentences wireless keyboard   numbersentences wireless keyboard   Number sentences wireless keyboard 4

 Today we took the kids into the lab and worked on the same activity individually.  Between these two teachers, I teach 4 lessons a week.  Mrs. Gamble likes to join in every so often.  When she does it’s an additional lesson that is completely different, because she like powerpoint!!  I miss Mrs. Perry-Wallace, but I’m glad she’s still out on maternity leave.  I couldn’t handle all four in this grade group.

I’ve got a new convert…I think…

Today was a great day!!  I went to Ms. Brockman’s class to teach reading.  Two weeks ago (maybe three) Ms. Brockman emailed me asking if I would do a reading lesson for her.  She didn’t have the topic yet, but wanted to make sure that she got a spot in my schedule.  (I am only at Victory Elementary once a week, so I get booked real fast.)  We just had the projectors installed and Ms. Brockman wanted to get started using it.  She’s shown some United Streaming, but wanted to take things to another level.   So after my Kidspiration inservie, Ms. Brockman decided that the reading lesson should use Kidspiration.  So at 9:30 this morning, I took my laptop and headed down the hall.  I did my usual introduction – “I’m here to teach your teacher, we may have to stop the lesson to answer her questions, that will not be your signal to talk” – but I knew we wouldn’t have a problem.  Ms. Brockman is one of the good old fashiond teachers who uses classroom management as the cornestone of her class climate. 

 So we used the Kidspiration template that I brought to sort words with the “oo” sound (too, juice, blue, group etc.).  It was great.  My focus was on demonstrating how to introduce the technology: Kidspiration and the wireless keyboard throught the lesson.  She jumped right in teaching the lesson, “How do you spell ‘oo’ in that word?” “Let’s give him a firecracker cheer…” by the end, both Ms. Brockman and the majority of her students knew how to use the wireless keyboard. Then we sorted facts and opinions as a review again using a Kidspiration template.  We talked about grading the sorting activity and allowing the students to complete it on their own during center time at the computers in the back of the room.

Of course there were problems with my templates – the print was too small, the colors were plain etc.  Ms. Brockman wanted to make beter templates for next week.  So during her planning time I came back and Ms. Brockman and I worked together to create templates for the next story making the changes that she had in mind.  It was a great learning experience for both of us.  She learned about Kidspiration, and I learned about the second grade reading curriculum.  The repettitive nature makes it a great place to try out different types of technology.    We’ve made some preliminary plans to create graphic organizers for use in a retelling activity for additional reading comprehension and writing practice.  I look forward to working with Ms Brockman and her class again.

A Day in the Life of a TRT

Well…it’s 9:00pm  and I just walked in.  If I don’t stop to reflect now, it won’t happen.   So much has happened today.  Let’ s see.  I started the day at Victory Elementary giving the teachers some quick tips on technology integration.  I introduced them to Trackstar  and reveiwed Portaportal (Victory has it’s own portaportal.)  I reminded the teachers that I would add anything to the portaportal based on their requests.

March 5 a  March 5 b  March 5 c

 Then I went to Brighton Elementary.  I had quite a day ahead of me.  The first grade is studying shapes in Math.  The teachers are all at different comfort levels with technology, so I had three totally different lessons planned…

I used powerpoint in Mrs. Gamble’s class. She helped to prepare the lesson by taking photos in her room with her students and gving them to me on CD.  I used the photos to create an interactive powerpoint.  Mrs. Gamble uses powerpoint with her class regularly, but had never used an interactive text-box or a wireless keyboard.  Her kids were a little intimidated at first.  The first few who offered to try backed out in that cute way little ones do when they are totally overwhelmed by a new experience.  Mrs. Gamble and I are already planning to co-teach again.  Maybe next time her kids will be more comfortable.

March 5 d  March 5 e  March 5 f

Mrs. Taxson wanted to do a project on shapes this week.  She remembered the shape hunt that Mrs. Mojica’s students went on last year and decide to embellish on that activity.  Mrs. Taxson’s students use KidPix regularly – almost daily.  They are used to a routine where they write independantly and then use KidPix on a rotational basis to type their sentences and then illustrate them.  So Mrs. Taxson and I decide to add on to her students’ repertoire of skills with the program.  They will be creating shape stories importing digital photos.  We will use the slideshow feature to publish the student stories.  Today we used the hamilton cameras to take photos of shapes to use in our stories.  After our shap hunt I put the photos on the media drive in preparation for tomorrow.  Tomorrow we will go into the computer lab and create the stories.

March 5 g  March 5 h   March 5 I  March 5 j   March 5 k

I took Kidspiration templates into Mrs. Smith’s class.  Mrs. Smith wanted to start using Kidspiration with her class.  She is interested in using it for writing, but her students had never used it before.  So we used the shape templates and the wireless keyboard to introduce the program to her class.  The idea of using one hand to move the pointer and the other to hold the left click button, was a little difficult for her kids.  But they were very motivated…so we worked on clicking and dragging to sort shapes…

March 5 L  March 5 m   March 5 m

Let’s see what else did  I do today…

  • I met with the AP at Victory over some questions on equipment
  • I met with the principal at Brighton  to confirm training dates for next week
  • I found a Kindergarten worksheet on recycling made in Word.  I’ll need to recreate it in KidPix to accomodate a request from Mrs. Brazier.
  • I did some troubleshooting on a document camera for one of our ActivBoard users
  • I fielded several help requests and put helpdesk tickets in to get some additional assitance to the teachers
  • I completed follow up correspondance and additioanl paperwork to reserve rooms for some upcoming division wide training that I am coordinating
  • I compileded registration information and created rosters for division-wide Promethean training
  • I met briefly with three teachers (individually) to help them fush out ideas they have for technology integration

What a day…I’m exhausted and I’ve given 110%.  For whatever reason, that 110% s apparently not enough…that’s the message I get when  hear that the Superintendent intends to decrease the number of people we have providing my service toe teachers nex year.  If I am one of the TRTs who survive the cut, I will have more work to do as a result of the cut.  Next year is not looking promising…