Sunday, November 15, 2009
So, perhaps a few of you can benefit from the files I am creating for my teachers? This first file is a collection of resources I gathered in a notebook file for teaching verbs. (You will need to have the notebook software from SMART downloaded and installed on your computer in order to view this file. )
I hope you find something useful. Let me know if you have anything helpful to add to the file!
Monday, September 7, 2009
I like using Tuxpaint to allow students to draw on the computer because it is free. Use whatever is available to your students. Or, have them color on a piece of paper. Then, you can use a scanner to bring the paper can crayon image into a picture format the computer can recognize.
Log into voicethread.com and upload your students creations. Record students and share your final product with parents. If you have never been to voicethread you will need to sign up. I would suggest using the pro educator account for $10.00.
Below is an example...
I would love to hear how you are integrating technology to teach phonemic awareness in your classroom.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Have your students write "Goodbye Summer" poems. Once the poetry is complete, students can illustrate the program using an program like TuxPaint. Then, you can combine all the poems in a class VoiceThread, Photostory, Smilebox, Mixbook, or PowerPoint and share with parents at the back to school night.
Monday, August 10, 2009
To help classmates learn a little about each other, try this quick and easy technology lesson plan. Place students together in groups of two and have them record similarities and differences about themselves. Give the students a few questions to ask each other to get the conversions going. You can even try turning this activity into a contest to see which group can list the most similarities and differences on their diagram.
Creating the Venn Diagram can be done with a variety of software such as Inspiration, Powerpoint, and Microsoft Word. If using PowerPoint or Microsoft Word have your students use the draw tool to create the first circle. Then simply copy and paste to create an equal sized circle. Have the students click and drag to overlap the circles. Each student can fill their circle in with their favorite color. Then they should set the transparency to more than 50%, so the middle of the circles will be visible. (Right click and select "format the autoshape". Under "fill color" is the transpancy option.) Students can draw a text box or use Wordart to type on their Venn Diagram. Groups that finish before others can insert clipart that goes along with what has been shared on the diagram.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I hope this post finds you ready for another engaging year in your classroom after a relaxing summer break.
My summer was adventurous. My husband and I moved our family to Missouri at the end of June. I now live in a city of 110,000 + and work for a district serving 14,000 students. Quite a change from my 1A small school of 280 students which included preschool through 12th grade!
I debated most of the summer about what to do with my blog. I thought of just giving it up, but a few of your stories have reached me. I know that there are some of you that do use my blog as a resource for your classrooms. Stories such as those give me inspiration to find time to create and post lessons. Thank you for that inspiration.
It is time to start thinking about back to school lesson plans. Let's start the year off with the classic "All About Me Poster". Although this lesson has been around for awhile, it is one that as teachers it can help us gain some insight into the lives of our students. In the past, I have had students use Inspiration software, Publisher or PowerPoint. I think it would be fun to see what your students can create using web2.0 apps such as Glogster, Animoto or Mixbook.
I have written about Glogster in the past. If you are unfamiliar with this web2.0 application. Glogster can be used to create online interactive posters. To begin this lesson, I would suggest to your class a few categories that you would like to see included on the poster (ie: family, hobbies, music, books etc..) Then, share an example just so students learn little about you. By doing this your students are given some insight on what can be done with Glogster. If you have time, record a welcome video and attach it to your glog. I do suggest that you spend a few minutes having students sketch out with paper and pencil what will be included on their poster and where it will be located at within their glogster. Be sure to include time for your students to share their completed posters with their classmates.
I would love to hear your favorite back to school lesson plans.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
The Honeybees and our third graders were able to partner with schools this year to participate in the travel buddy program.
Our primary students exchanged travel buddies with children in the United Kingdom. Burrton Honeybees (aka First Graders) received Billy the bear from
Our students kept a journal to document Billy's time here in the United States. We put our journal together using Mixbook.
We shared our Mixbook with Pontnewydd Primary School. Then, Pontnewydd displayed two Photo Stories, a map of where the school is located and a powerpoint. Students were able to ask each other questions. My students were amazed to find out that we had to end the session so the Pontnewydd students could go home for the day. (It was only 9:00 a.m. here in Kansas but it was 3:00 p.m. in South Wales.)
Travel Buddy projects can reinforce writing skills, geography and history, math skills and reading. Using telaconferncing tools like Skype or our Polycom is a great way to take a cheap field trip! I hope that is not the last time we have the opportunity to visit with the students at Pontnewydd Elementary.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Other water cycle resources
NASA Water Cycle
Droplet and the water cycle
Water cycle EPA
Region of Waterloo hydrologic cycle
BBC Water Cycle
Water science for schools:Water Cycle
Brainpop jr. water cycle
Brainpop water cycle
I am always looking to add to my resources. Please let me know what great sites you are using in your classrooms.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
3R's Most Extreme Challenge
Stop Disasters Game
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Students took Dino, their travel buddy, home each evening along with a school camera. Students were asked to take pictures and journal about their evening with Dino. We shared our Dino adventures on our blog, "Dino Visits Burrton".
I did try to use a variety of slide show applications to share the photographs that students took of Dino to expose myself to some apps and to give teachers an idea of what each had to offer. Animoto is still one of my favorites. Magtoo has many options to choose from when creating a slideshop. It unfortunately may have content on the website that is not child friendly. Voicethread would be a terrific option for a project like this. Easy to use and highly recommend. I struggle using VT in my district. There is something with our firewall that is not allowing my mic to connect to VT.
If you are unfamilar with Travel Buddies. Make sure and check out this informative post on travel buddies by Dyane Smokorowski (Smoke). Mrs. Smoke even included websites to look for travel buddy partners.
Places to find partner schools...
Global School Net
CAPSpace (for those with Polycoms)
Skype in Schools
Distance Collaboration on Classroom 2.0
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Dean recently wrote a blog post about people that inspire us. Dean was kind enough to mention my name along side some women that I respect and consider to be my mentors. Dean, Kevin Honeycutt, Glenn Wiebe, Bentley Richert, and Adrian Howie are just a few male tech integrationists that inspire me. Ginger Lewman, Tammy Worcester, Tuanua Swartz, Dyane Smokorowski, and Mary Fraizer are some of women that I highly respect.
I wanted to pose the question to you. Who inspires you?
Looking for a way to integration this post into your classroom?
Use the above question in your classroom as a digital storytelling project to find out who inspires your students. Re-read this past post for ideas.
Friday, April 3, 2009
I downloaded and printed BeeBot cards from Sparklebox. We have copies of shapes, colors and the alphabet. We have used the BeeBots before, so students were asked to group the 6in cards together. Then the programmers told their partners where the Beebot would stop. If the programmer was correct, they earned a point. We designated one person in each group to keep a score. The kindergarten/turtles did not keep scores, they just took turns being the programmer.
Students were also asked to lay the alphabet cards down in one line. Then practice their spelling words by using the pause button on the BeeBot to signify a letter selection before moving on to the next selection.
With number cards, student can practice solving math facts. I would suggest using flash cards and asking the programmer to send the Bee-Bot to the correct answer.
Our third grade teacher, Emily Schmidt, uses the Beebots quite a bit in her classroom across the curriculum. She has several resources and video clips of using the beebots on her Weebly page.
SparkleBox 1000's of Free printables
Emily Schmidt's BeeBot resources
Monday, March 30, 2009
Wondering where I have been? Sorry, I head up scheduling for our state assessments. And, we are in the middle of giving state assessments. It has been a busy two weeks. This week will hopefully wrap up our reading and math assessments. Yeah!
Today, I wanted to share a fun, simple vocabulary lesson. Open your web browser and head to savethewords.org I read about this site a few weeks ago on freetech4teachers. Save the Words is a collection of words that have been removed from the Oxford Dictionary due to a lack of use. The website lets you adopt one of these forgotten words and bring it back to life.
The site is actually very interesting. So, I made sure to allow time for my fifth graders to look through the site. Then, I asked my students to select a word to adopt. We did not go through the online process of adoption and entering email addresses. Instead, I had my students email their word selection to their classmates using ePals. Each student had to persuade their classmates to help them save their selected word. Basic requirements included having to list the chosen word, give the definition and use it in a sentence. A quick and simple assignment that can turn into something complex if you so chose. Step it up a notch by having students create videos or podcasts persuading the audience to save the word. Even having a debate and letting the audience pick the winner could be another fun option.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Calameo was very easy to use and it had several privacy options. I did become frustrated with the site. The students stories and pictures are suppose to be on one page. I have fiddled with the document, put in page breaks but I am still having problems. It might work better to convert your document to pdf format first. I usually use pdfonline, but for some reason I am having problems with receiving my completed document. So, I used Zamzar to convert our word document to a pdf. Once I uploaded the pdf to Calameo then the pictures stayed with the text on our animal stories. Click here to view the publication from the Calameo website.
Last year we did something similar only I borrowed an idea from Tammy Worcester and had the students create a zoo exhibit for their animal.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I came away with several new contacts and some new resources. I also left knowing that there are still many elementary educators wanting ideas for integrating technology into their classrooms and that I need to do a better job of sharing resources on a regular basis. Thank you to the few of you that stopped to tell me you are using my blog as a resource!
If you were unable to attend MACE, presentation handouts can be found here. Make sure you make arrangements to attend summer MACE in Wichita, Kansas. On a side note, if you are wanting to build up your podcasting resources make sure to check out the first annual podstock which will be hosted in Wichita on May 1st and 2nd. Discover more by joining this Ning community.
Tuanua and I shared information at MACE '09 on building public learning networks and global collaboration. We used prezi and glogster as our main presentation applications. I plan on doing posts in the future on both applications. In fact, I have my third graders working on building recycling glogs.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Stephanie created game pieces for our students using school mascots and the student's first names. She also created a ball diamond and used velco strips to hold the game pieces on each base. Students were shown a multiplication flash card and were asked to say the correct answer. If they answered correctly, dice were rolled. If the product of the dice was 0-5, the play was considered an out. 6-10 on the dice was single. 11-20 a double. 21-30 was a triple and 31-36 a home run. (That was actually just an example as I really do not remember how scoring went.) Three outs and it was the other school's turn.
As soon as school was out today our third grade teacher, Emily Schmidt, came down to talk to me about this lesson. She loved it and was already making plans to use the lesson in her classroom. Emily and I talked about how this could be done with Smartboard software. In a matter of minutes, Emily had created a game board to use on her Smartboard, so she could also use the basic format of this game across her curriuclum.
Let me know you have used a game such as multiplication baseball in your classroom. I would love to hear your stories and share ideas for implementation with teachers in Burrton.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
There are many comic creators available online. My favorite is Pixton. A general account with Pixton is free. Pixton does offer an education version (Pixton for Schools) starting at $1.00 per machine.
Elementary teachers might want to use an application that is not tied to a social network and that does not require students to sign into a website. Therefore, you might take a look at ReadWriteThink's Comic Creator or Make Beliefs Comixs. Both Makebeliefcomixs and ReadWriteThink offer the option to print a completed comic, however a save feature is not present.
To see a list of other online comic creators and ideas for integration take a look at resources that Tuanua Swartz and I have put together on wikispaces or blogger.
Let me know if you have a comic lesson plan or an application that works well for your classroom, I would be happy to have you share.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Coming up with a pun was hard for some of my primary students, so we also recorded a Valentine greeting using Audacity. Students that had trouble creating a punny Valentine were just asked to create a Valentine card. I put the cards and the greeting together using Photostory.
5th graders used Comic Life to have a little fun creating Valentine comic strips.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Online Digestive System Resources:
Human Anatomy Online: The Digestive System
The Virtual Body: The Digestive System
BBC GGCSE Bitesize- What's for lunch?
Kid's Health: Your Stomach & Digestive System
Kid's Health: Digestive System
Digestive System: An Interactive Activity
If you subscribe to BrainPop here are two movies you might be interested in.
1. Digestive System
2. Human Body: All Systems Go
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Online nursery rhyme resources
students can listen to celebrities read animated fables, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, folktales and lullabies.
Northumberland NGfL: Read Along Nursery Rhymes A collection of activities to use with the Smartboard.
Teletubbies: Nursery Rhymes Sing along with the Teletubbies.
Mojo's Song Lyrics Find the lyrics and listen to your favorite children's songs. There are nursery rhymes listed under the traditional music heading located on the left side of the page.
What other online sites are you using with your students?
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
This lesson plan originated from Michelle Brown of Jefferson Elementary in New York. I made contact with Michelle after Lisa Harris, Micro-Computer Specialist and AV Coordinator at Jefferson Elementary, posted a project request on CAPSpace.
After reading "The Mitten" by Jan Brett, primary students at Burrton Elementary drew pictures in TuxPaint. (I allowed the Turtles, our kindergarten, to use the stamps on TuxPaint. The first and second graders had to draw a picture of what animal was hiding in their mitten.) Using Microsoft Word, we imported the completed picture into a mitten template. Then the students typed three clues about what was hiding in their mitten. We printed the mittens, cut them apart and glued one end together.
The Turtles (aka kindergarters) printed their animal, cut out the animal, and took turns putting their animal between two large gloves that I brought from home. I filmed each student sharing what was hiding in the gloves.
On Friday, January 30th, we used our Polycom system to talk with the first graders at Jefferson Elementary in New York. The first graders from both schools took turns reading their clues and guessing what was hiding in the mittens. Afterwards, we spent about 15 minutes allowing the students to ask each other questions. Visiting with students in another region of the United States was great learning opportunity and a lot of fun.
View Larger Map
During our Polycom session, I filmed and took pictures. However, I later discovered that the way I had my camera hooked up, it caused a lot of static. I had the Honeybees (grade 1) and Buffaloes (grade 2) read their clues to me during computers on Monday while I filmed once again. Windows Movie Maker was used to edit our movie. The mitten movie was then published on TeacherTube. (I put all the primary students into one movie.)
Monday, January 26, 2009
We have been working at learning Microsoft Word basics in my primary classroom over the last two weeks. Students as young as kindergartners are learning many skills including demonstrating how to center, underline and bold the text. When you have a room with 26 students, this does take patience and it is nice to have help. I am thankful for my very patient aid, Dylan. I borrowed an idea from Lisa Harris and Michelle Brown on CAPspace to put some of our skills to use.
I read the book, Snowmen at Night, by Caralyn Buehner to my primary students. Then, students used TuxPaint to illustrate what they would do at night if they were a snowperson. The Turtles (aka kindergarten) did their typing within TuxPaint. The Honeybees and Buffaloes (aka grade 1 and grade 2) imported their picture into Microsoft Word where they were asked to type and center the title of their paper, right align the body of their text, print and save their document. This turned out to be such a cute project that I uploaded the student TuxPaint drawings into MixBook and copied in the text into the book in order to spread a smile or two. This Mixbook project could be a great collaborative project to share and work on with other schools around the world.
I do have some great news that I want to share about Mixbook. After I first discovered Mixbook, I sent an email off letting Mixbook know that I thought they had a terrific product and with a few tweaks could be a wonderful educational tool. You have to know in the back of my mind, I was not really expecting any response. So you can imagine my surprise last year when I received an email from Andrew Lafoon, co-creator and founder of Mixbook. We ended up Skyping and discussing Mixbook. Through our conversion, I discovered that Mixbook had been talking with a few other teachers and was working to develop an educational version.
Over Christmas break, Marcel Sanchez, head of the educational division, contacted me to ask me a few more questions about Mixbook and to give me an update. Last week, I received another Mixbook update via email. Mixbook is just about ready to release their educational version.
Here is a quick overview. Mixbook is looking at charging educators a 1 time fee of $10.00. Mixbook is also looking at giving educators a 20% discount when we publish a hard copy of our books. In fact, the discount for teachers is already in effect. There will also be a wide array tools and features that will help teachers persuade their districts to unblock Mixbook and let the learning begin. When Mixbook comes out with the new educational version, make sure to sign up again if you already have an existing account with them, so you do not miss out. Mixbook is a wonderful tool to aid in digital storytelling and I am impressed that the team at Mixbook took time to speak with this small town tech!
I also read Snowmen at Night to my preschool classes. Then we used Audacity to create a podcast of what they would do if they were snowmen at night. I used podOmatic to host our podcast. I will link the show to this blog, but note that I had problems with the podOmatic player last week when I gave this a try on my Martin Luther King, jr post. The podcasts seem to download okay but I cannot play them from the web. So I hope you are able to view the preschool episode as preschoolers are always so cute to listen to.
Snowmen at Night
by the Preschoolers
Monday, January 19, 2009
I Have a Dream
by the Burrton Primary Students
My upper elementary classes were challenged to spend some time becoming experts about Martin Luther King, jr. The third graders started listing major events in King's life taking turns discussing and verifying information the students were discovering on the web. I wanted to use Timetoast to create a time line. Class ended before we had enough time to complete our time line. So Mrs. Schmidt returned to her classroom and later finished up the TimeToast time line in her classroom with her third graders using laptop computers.
Earlier in the day, I used our Polycom system to talk with teachers at Wheatland. I tried to review material and answer questions that anyone might have had from a previous technology in-service that I gave back in October.
In October, we covered various topics like blogging, Google docs and Google Forms.
I also covered public learning networks (Twitter, Plurk, Ning, Delicious, etc..) and a few web2.0 applications (Animoto, Voicethread, Mixbook etc..).
One of the teachers was looking for a free quiz application that he could embed in his blog. I usually use Google Forms to create quizzes and embed into my blog, so I decided to do some research and see what else was available as I know there are several quiz creators out there. I decided to give ProProfs a try. It looked interesting and after I explored the site a little, I think it has potential. I like that you can embed video pictures and external links into your quiz. I wish the site was a less cluttered with ads, as it seems to take away from the sites good qualities. I found ProProf easy to use. I ended up creating a three question quiz to go along with Martin Luther King, jr's famed, "I Have a Dream" speech. I embedded the sample quiz into my blog.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Third grade students were asked to summarize their year in one sentence. To begin the project, the third graders used Microsoft Word to type and edit their sentences. Then, they used TuxPaint to illustrate an image for their stories.
I created an account on Gabcast and used my cellphone to dial into my account and create a podcast recording. Students took turns recording their sentence.
Gabcast! Burrton Third Graders #1 - My Year in One Sentence
Third graders describe their year in 2008 in one sentence.