Jumpstart 2012

ActivSoftware Inspire

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.


ISTE 2011 Day 1 Post 1

Dean helps a participant

Dean helps a participant

Ken helps a participant

Ken helps a participant

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.

Sample Animoto for Debbie’s training

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…

Cute Review Project


I just wanted to share a review project the Ms. Broussard did with the Sixth grade students.  She used Mapskip.com 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:  http://www.mapskip.com/stories.php?story=2870

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

Look what we did!!

I’m smiling as I write this at the end of a very long day.  I was just looking a the Habitat Voicethreads that second grade started today. The classes used KidPix to create a picture that was representative of a habitat and then we loaded them into Voicethread so that they could elaborate on what they knew about habitats.

Take a look: Habitat Voicethreads

We’ll probably need to finish them after the break, but I was so proud of them that I wanted to share…

Oh… you know Kindergarten would be mad if I didn’t share their Voicethreads.  Ms. Mapp-Jonathan and Ms. Miller  worked on an alphabet review a couple of weeks ago.   Their kids took most of the pictures using Hamilton classroom cameras.  They plan to take the cameras with them on the upcoming field trip…maybe we’ll do a retelling using Voicethreads.

There are a lot of ways to use Voicethreads in the classroom.  If you are interested in doing a project, or want some ideas, just let me know.

Have you seen World Book Lately?

World Book







I sat in on a World Book demo a few weeks ago (that was an experience I’ll have to comment on at another time).  If you haven’t, you need to take a look.  the new interface is really sweet, colorful and child friendly. There are some new interactive games and activities.  There are drag and drop graphic organizers that allow you to compare continents, animals etc. Pictures have been updated. New interactive maps, atlases, map blackline masters…I’m VERY excited.  Let me know if you would like me to give you at tour…this is a great way for our kids to be safe when they do research…

Journey North


Journey northI was recently reminded about the Journey North website by Annenberg Learner.  You can find the site at: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/  It’s a really great site for K-3 science in the spring.  they have information for teachers and then additional pages that students can use to do research or content area reading.  Check it out I promise it will be worth your time…

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.