Tuesday, July 22, 2014

6 Words and App Smashing

It's time for a bit of app smashing and a linky with iTeach 1:1!
In app smashing, the key is to make sure to use apps that allow you to save to the camera roll. Saving to the camera roll allows you to post it, send it or share it!

A 6 Word Memoir is one of my favorite writing activities to do at the beginning of the school year. It's a great way to get to know your students.  
I love using task card. They allow students to be more independent when creating their product. 

This task card is for younger students. 
Click on the task cards above to download a copy.

Let's start smashing!
Dragon Dictation is great for your hesitant writers or students that have a hard time typing. Using Dragon allows thoughts to flow without getting bogged down in the typing and spelling.

There are several paint types of apps, but my new favorite is Zoodle Pad!
Use it to paint, draw, or just doodle crazy designs! The very cool part is that you can play it back as a movie.

Some features  . . .

ChatterPix Kids time!
Take the saved graphic and open it into ChatterPix so you can add voice!

Happy app smashing!
Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

ABCya - Create!

There are so many facets to this site. For summer school, I was interested in the portions that were part of the creating and printing! I love that you can take these in any direction. The best for a literature connection and a writing prompt!

There are many Paint programs available, but this one has many features! Stickers, stamps, paint brush, pencil, spray can, lines of symmetry . . . I let the kids explore this site. The dinosaur stickers seemed to be a big hit, but it was the picture below that caught my attention. One of the 2nd graders drew the picture. I think she has a career in graphic design!
One of my favorite books is Hooway for Wodney Wat. I was super excited to find Wodney Wats Wobot! It was perfect to use with the Make a Robot site. If you are familiar with Wodney Wat, you know he can't pronounce his R's and gets teased mercilessly. When Wodney must go up against Camilla Capybara again, a talking robot becomes his secret weapon.
Students created their own personal robot and wrote about how their personal robot would help them in their ever day life. (Most had their robot do their homework!)
Skills learned: Manipulate graphics . . . rotate, scale, send to back, and bring to front.
Make a Pizza is a great site for the younger kiddos. It really helped them learn to use the mouse. These kiddos are what I call my swippers! They have learned to swipe iPads and iPhones . . . they have a hard time using a mouse, which they need to be able to use for some of our district assessments.
The Little Red Hen, was the perfect book to go with this site!
Click, hold, drag and drop the sauce and toppings onto the crust . . . put it in the oven and watch it bake! Print and write about your pizza!
Last, but not least . . . Create a Car! I read Ride, Fly Guy, Ride! Fly Guy decides to go on a car ride with his friend Buzz, but ends up on a wild adventure! Students designed a crazy car to take them on their own adventure. Students were then able to print the car and write about the adventure. Bonus:  Start the engine and drive the car!

ABCya Animate is on my list to investigate. Animate and create a .gif!

So . . . in 30 minutes (cuz that's what I had with each class) a literature connection, 
a creation and a story!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday

A Friday during the summer just doesn't have the same feel as a Friday during the school year. I just looked at my calendar . . . why did I look?!!! I officially head back on August 13th, but have several meetings the week before. How did that happen?!!!

1) My friend Roxanna and I met up at Tuk Tuk Tap Room . . . Asian Street Fare to celebrate! We were celebrating the fact that she finished her graduate program in Leadership and me . . .  surviving my first semester in the same program. 
9 grad hours in 5 weeks! Whew! 

2) School supply shopping! Last year, I waited too late for school supplies. My poor daughter got the dregs of the dregs! Not this year! Now, the cute little buckets and bins were not on her school supply list! Just couldn't pass them up! You never know how they can be used . . . QR code task cards maybe?

3) After all the grad school projects . . . it's finally time to get that boat out! Our first trip out . . . my daughter invited 3 friends and fun was had by all! 

4) Fun new coffee cup! We have a yummy juice bar close to my house . . . Revolucion - Coffee & Juice! Next on my list to try - honey lavender latte and coconut blossom sugar latte!

5) Three out of the four books my daughter needs for 6th grade!  We started reading Flipped. I love the fact that she didn't want to stop reading, but she had to head off to a slumber party. (The book hidden in the back is my treat to self!)

Tomorrow, I celebrate 17 years of marriage with my husband!
Have a fabulous Friday and head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to see other 5 for Friday posts!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Your Story is Unwritten

I had an opportunity to teach summer school in June and part of July. My position wasn't the "academic" kind . . . I was a technology rotation - students also attended art and movement.  These allowed teachers a 30 minute conference time. Now, let me tell ya! 30 minutes goes by quickly!
I loved the challenge of finding fun things for kinder through ninth graders to do.

Our theme for summer school was . . .
My main goal was to have students tell their story through sites that allowed them to create, not just consume!

Here are some of the sites/apps we used . . . some new . . . some not so new, but definitely fun!

I love this site!  Most were familiar with Wordle, not many students had used Tagxedo for creating word clouds!

After reading, The Crayon Box that Talked, we talked about what made us each unique, things we love and things we like to do. (This is my all time favorite book for the beginning of the school year! See this post for first week of school books.)
I took the opportunity to teach students the shortcuts . . .  Command C and Command V.
I created a step-by-step guide for using Tagxedo. With the final product, some teachers made copies and posted the word clouds outside their classroom while others made a class book. The class book was adorable!

Another book was The Dot! (Great for International Dot Day - Sept. 15, 2014!)  
Augmented Reality!
You need the ColAR Mix app for this activity. Using the ColAR mix coloring pages, students colored their dot with things they like to do and for my kinders . . . their favorite colors! It was so fun to watch the little people look under the iPad for the actual floating spheres! Even better was the confused look when the spheres weren't there!

Build Your Wild Self
The kids had a great time with this site. This is perfect for when you get to animal adaptations and habitats or for creating a character for a story!

After I would read a book, I'd do quick share of the site for the day . . . then say . . . 
"Now tell me your story!"

Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Data Gathering, Sharing & Comparing

Wow. . . May was the last time I posted! Life got a bit crazy . . . we were winding up the end of the school year, I started grad school (2nd Master's - what was I thinking?) and summer school started. Summer school was a ton of fun. I was part of a technology rotation for Kinder through ninth graders. Every 30 minutes I got a new group. We had fun, but that's another post!

Soooo . . . my first post for the summer is Tune into Technology Linky with iTeach 1:1 & Teaching to the Core!

I am a huge fan of Google docs, spreadsheets, presentations and drawing!!!
All our teachers and students have Google accounts. As the Instructional Tech Specialist, I try to promote the these applications. Such a cool collaboration tool!

Sooo, The Lucky Charm Challenge was created. The weekend before Spring Break ended I sent an email to the faculty stating that the first 6 teachers to respond to the email would get a box of Lucky Charms delivered to their classroom on Monday morning. The stipulation was they had to sort, share and compare the data. I set up the Google spreadsheet for each teacher. They just had to input the data and create the graphs. The great thing about Google docs is the ability to share the data with everyone! 

Once each teacher input the data for their class, I shared all the graphs and spreadsheets with the entire campus. I also sent the Data Analysis Sheet out to everyone so any class could go in and compare the data. (Love the "oddly mutant" category)

Data Analysis Part II (A few months later)
Again, promoting Google Spreadsheets, I posted an email asking for teachers willing to participate in the Animal Cracker challenge. This time the major focus was with out kinder campus! Great participation!
 Data recognition sheet!

I always try to find a literature connection . . . this book was perfect!

Love the huge sorting mats the kinder teachers used!

The best part of all of this, are the discussion comparing the data from class to class.
The next step, sharing the data beyond the 4 walls of our school!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Currently

Today, I was talking with one of my favorite teachers that I work with about organizing a Genius Hour. That conversation led to a discussion about our teacher portfolio evaluation that was due today which then led to the fact that I had not blogged in a long time. Basically, she called me out! Called out in a good way. I love blogging, but have gotten bogged down by other things! There have been some amazing things that have happened recently, so I will come back and blog about them.

For now, I just can't miss a Currently!

Listening - My daughter just finished up her book project. A bit of glitter . . . a few sequins . . . and sparkly markers make for a glitzy project!

My daughter loves the Whatever After series of books!

Loving: Since, I was a winner last year, I got to judge the HEB Excellence in Education finalists for the Leadership category.  The awards ceremony is this weekend! I can't wait!!!! What makes this even more special, is the fact that, a teacher from our district is up for the Rising Star category, another is up for the Leadership category and our district is up for Large District category! This is super exciting!!!  And . . . the keynote is Tom Brokaw! 

Thinking: I just realized that the EdCamp Region4TX is just down the street from where I'm staying this weekend! Yes, I could shop at the Houston Galleria, but no . . . I am soooo going to EdCamp! If you have never attended an EdCamp, look for one near you! They are unbelievable!

Wanting: I just got a FitBit Flex . . . I'm obsessed with it! What I'm more obsessed about, is the fact that, I can't figure out how to beat my friend and the number of steps she does in a week. I soooo want to beat her!

Needing: I need to just write it up!!! 

Surprise: Terri has some amazing ideas for taking your class to that next level in 21st century learning. Terri and I have been Twitter friends and then I had the unique (small world) opportunity to meet her at an awards ceremony. She inspires me to look for new and innovative things that take students and teachers to that next level of learning! You can also follow her on Twitter . . . @terrieichholz

Happy May!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Protect a Peep - STEM Challenge

Peeps!  It's that time of year!
Sparkly-colored pure sugar, yumminess!
They are everywhere! What better item to use in our second to last GEMS (Girls Excelling in Mathematics and Science) after school club meeting?!!!

Smart Chicks has Peeps STEM activities!  Her "Got Peeps" packet was perfect for our  STEM challenge. 

I didn't get any strange looks at the check out !

After looking through the 5 different types of Peeps challenges, I selected  . . .

It's interesting when you are seen hauling in tons of Peeps, the stories you hear. Either people love them or . . . dislike them . . . immensely!

What's really interesting is how Peeps lovers have a story to tell about how they eat their Peeps!
For me, it's half a Peep and I'm good until next year.

Others . . .
~Eat half the box while shopping, pay for them and then ask the cashier to throw the rest away.
~ Stale!
~ Frozen!
~ Nuked in the microwave!

But, I digress! Back to the challenge . . .
The girls were super excited to take on the challenge of protecting their Peep!
What I love about our GEMS club is that every design is different, we celebrate failure, we redesign, and we laugh!
These girls know they can take a risk and there is no judgement. They get that science is fun.
They understand that if they ask a question, a question will be directed back to push them to problem solve. 

There are those moments when you know all is right in the universe! When, from a distance, you listen to the conversation in the room . . . 
"I'm soooo doing GEMS next year!"
"I don't want GEMS to end!"
"I love GEMS!"
"I've been doing GEMS since I was in first grade (2nd grader) and I'm doing it until I leave Woodridge!"
It's at that moment that you know that the work you've put into it, has made a difference.

I have to be honest, I was going to take a break from GEMS. It's challenging to come up with different activities twice a month, for 2 years, but after hearing this . . . GEMS must continue. How can it not?
It's all about the girls!

To all my little Peeps, GEMS will continue!