Sunday, March 23, 2014

This One Time...At EdCamp...

This one Edcamp...

     I met the most amazing group of individuals with a passion for education that is nothing like I have experienced before...kind of like "dogs and cats living together in mass hysteria!"  Since it was my first time attending, I felt completely overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge and expertise that was in the room.  I spent the entire time absorbing as much as my mind and iPad would allow me to take in.  I felt like I had the GOLDEN TICKET to a day of inspiration and collaboration with innovative, creative, and passionate people who all meet for the purpose of sharing and learning with one another.  

      As I moved from one session to another I just kept thinking that this kind of professional development needs to be the model that districts should aspire to provide!   The "speed dating" style of sharing was the perfect way to start the day!  I was able to meet so many people with fantastic ideas in a short amount of time, and I loved seeing the faces of those who I had been "tweeting" with or those I have been following in edchats.  It was surprising to see how quickly and easily conversations developed and the laughter and positive vibe that filled the room was energizing!  Each session that I attended was driven by the participants and evolved through great conversations and powerful thought provoking questions.  I even had the opportunity to check out and try on some Google Glassess which were AMAZING!!  Thanks to Stacy Behmer for allowing me to try them out!  
 Now I COMPLETELY understood how and why participants came from all over to take part in such a great experience.  I have decided to make it my goal to road trip to another edcamp, for another fun learning adventure! 

     What happens at Edcamp doesn't stay at Edcamp ...thank goodness!  I can't wait to share what I have learned with my students and colleagues!  Time to follow the yellow brick road of optimism, enthusiasm, and innovation.   It's going to be a fun journey!  Thanks to all the people who made it happen!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

iCan iPad At Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences!

Mirror Mirror On The Wall...
Our Self Reflections Tell It All!!

When parents arrived at conferences students were prepared and ready to share their "Self Reflections About Our Learning."  Of course we couldn't display something that didn't have a technology twist to it, so parents were in for a big surprise when they looked in the mirror of their child's artwork with the iPad!
As you can see, the children drew themselves as if they were looking into the mirror.  Then the best part of course 
was attaching our    
technology piece to the lesson! We used an app called Aurasma!! 

When the parents held the iPad over the child's reflection in the mirror, a video created by the student launched from the  student's mirror picture and appeared on the iPad.  The Arasma app made this possible!! Parents were speechless!! 
There were lots of ooh's and ahh's from parents, siblings, and 
on-lookers.  The kids were so proud to hear such positive responses for their work.  This was such a GREAT way to begin conferences.   
The self reflections about learning couldn't have been portrayed any better!

Under our self reflection pieces we displayed our personal narratives.  During the third quarter our writing curriculum focuses on teaching students to write personal narratives. Throughout the third quarter we had opportunities to practice writing different types of narratives.  As our culminating writing piece we created our "Personal Narrative Stories"  These narratives tied in perfectly with our "Self Reflections Theme" for conferences.  Here are some examples:

Parents enjoyed reading these narratives and were pleased to see that the technology focus that we have in the classroom with the blog writing that we do, the Keynotes we create, and the comic strips that are written, are all adding to our writing capabilities! 
 Our personal narratives are evidence of what is possible when 
technology and pedagogy meet!  

The kids shared our QR code wall where families could use our QR code readers on our iPad or their phones to read their child's blog spot. 
Parent enjoyed reading our newest blog posts about Dr. Seuss Week which we saved as a surprise just for conferences.
This was the perfect way to start our parent teacher conference!  

Mirror Mirror On The Wall
Technology has helped us tell it ALL!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

iAm " APPy " About Classroom Management Opportunities With The iPad!

If you haven't had an opportunity to explore the apps Too Noisy or Group Maker you might might be missing out on some great management tools!
I use both in my classroom and the kids LOVE them!!
They add "hAPPy"  and fun opportunities for classroom management!

The Too Noisy app is great way for monitoring noise levels in a classroom.  A free and paid version are available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad.  This app can be projected on the iPad 2 and newer iPad models.  Both the free and paid versions of this app have cute backgrounds that work well for elementary age kids.  As the noise level in your classroom increases, the picture on the screen changes from a happy face, to a sad face,  and then to a crying face that is plugging his ears.  In the paid version (Too Noisy Pro) the screen cracks and makes a loud noise to get the attention of the children.  Also in the paid version the teacher can control the level of noise that is permitted for each activity.  Since classroom activities vary (from silent reading, to group work, to whole group and so forth) this paid app version  easily allows the teacher to change the noise level meter to match the acceptable levels of student activity.  The paid version also has a counter where kids can earn stars for working together within acceptable limits.  If they operate out of the limits the alarm will go off.  Having a student teacher this semester, it was a great way of helping her to set classroom working parameters and expectations.  I used my personal iPad to load the paid version of this app which allowed me to use the district iPad for instruction.
If you have some time, give it a look!

Group Maker is another wonderful app that was shared with me that I have embraced using in the classroom as well!  It is the best app for quickly creating diverse groups not to mention that it is also free!  My second graders love it when group maker chooses who gets to answer the question and they all know that anyone can randomly be picked by the app at any time. Sometimes the app will pick the same student twice in a row just to keep them focused and accountable!  I do have a "pass" if a student does not wish to answer.  I do suggest you allow one pass per session.   I have found that the "pass" has not be used at this point yet and all want to be able to share their answers.  The kids really like it when we use this app to pick who is going to reflect their work up onto the "big screen" (with the help of reflector) its a great opportunity to share what they know!  Group Maker is easy to use and takes little time to set up!!  I have chosen to use their photos for the app rather than the icons that the app provides to make it more personal. Give it a look too!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

On the Loose With Dr. Seuss And An iPad

Can you use iPads here or there?....We can use them anywhere! 
We love our iPads so we say and we want to share what we learned each day!  
 Dr. Seuss week was busy and the learning was fun, 
our iPads helped us capture and reflect upon each one! 

On Monday we started with The Cat in the Hat!  
You can imagine what fun we had with that!  
We had so many fun things to do, 
thank goodness we had the help of Thing 1 and Thing 2!!
 Our goal was to learn about narrative elements that day.  
We read a Seuss story to teach us the right way!  
We listened carefully to the story as it was read,
then it was time to show what was up in our head.  
 Here is a picture of a hat that was done,
 learning story elements sure can be fun!
 Here is a close up of what the kids had to do,  
its hard to believe that they were learning something new! 
The narrative elements were written down with great care 
and the pictures that went with it, I just had to share!
The hats turned out great I really must say! 
 But it wasn't the only Seuss activity for the day!  
Check out the estimation activity with the help of some fish 
that we stored and made ready to take home in a dish!
 Once math was over a special treat was prepared
 to help us with states of matter we had plenty to share! 
One fish two fish...we found the red fish in a blue dish! 
The treat was the perfect way... to end a fun and special day!  

Tuesday was just as busy and fun it was true. 
 We had some cooking of Green Eggs and Ham to do!
We wrote a special "Green Eggs and Ham" music rap. 
We used Garage Band to help... it's  a really FUN app!
 Here is our video we made for the day!  
The kids worked so hard to learn just what to say!

We took pictures of our Green Eggs and Ham!  We enjoyed eating them with Mrs. Klamm!
We graphed out predictions before we ate, then after we had cleaned our plate! 

On Wednesday we read Bartholomew and the Oobleck and it is true 
that we learned how to make Oobleck too! 
 Was it a solid?  Was it a liquid?  It was hard to tell, 
but made it ourselves and did very well!
Was Oobleck a solid or liquid it was hard to say,
 But we sure had fun exploring it today!

On Thursday we read Dr. Seuss's Butter Battle Book
Then we made our own butter which we shook and shook!
We started with heavy whipping cream inside of our cup
We shook it back and forth and danced to mix it all up!
We made our own butter it is true 
We learned how easy it was to do!
We made our breakfast snack of homemade butter and bread
It tasted delicious most the kids said! 

On Friday we reflected upon all of our fun!
The kids started blogging there was work to be done!
They each chose their favorite Seuss activity
Then blogged about it for all to see!