Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Quick Response

 Watch my latest video and send me a response! Happy Spring everyone!

Friday, March 9, 2018

March Tech Tip

Video tutorials & instructions:

This month I wanted to share an idea about how you could use videos in the classroom. Many of us have used videos created by other to teach or share content with our students.  We have also had students use video to create projects and presentations.

Another way to use video in the classroom is to create your own videos for tutorials and instructions.  I have used this a few times recently in my own classroom, and it has helped me because I don’t have to explain something multiple times to students, especially those who are absent.

Example #1:
Students were working on formatting a Works Cited page, including a hanging indent. Usually this is something I have to show them and explain several times.  This year I created a short video using Screencastify that walked the students through the formatting process so they could watch it whenever they got to the point of formatting.  

Example #2:
Students in Mrs. Cooper’s social studies class were creating quizzes on Google Forms. Several of them were unsure how to turn the form into a quiz. I created this short video to walk them through the process. Mrs. Cooper was able to put the video on Google Classroom so the students interested could watch it and learn how to create the quiz.

Example #3:
Ms. Sealock has her students create videos over Greek gods and goddesses.  This year she is going to record a video that walks students through the assignment expectations and rubric.  This will allows students to watch the video if they can’t remember something about the specific expectations.  It will also be helpful for any students who are absent.

These are just a few examples of videos you could create for your students. If you have any questions or would like help making a video, please let me know!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

February Tech Tip - Unsplash Photos

Unsplash Photos Add-on

Unsplash Photos is a website that has “creative commons” images, which means they are free for anyone to use - no copyright issues.  I know that many of our students are used to just using Google Images when they need an image for an assignment, however, when they do this they are most often taking copyright laws into consideration.  Unsplash (along with other sites) offers image that are free for anyone to use.

Unsplash Photos are not the standard clipart style photos or stock google images we are used to seeing. These are much more creative images from photographers around the world.  

This is an example of an image from Unsplash. 
Easily Accessible:

The Unsplash Add-On is a great tool that allows students (and teachers) to add images quickly and easily into their powerpoint presentation as well as ensure that they are no copyright violations.  

This video will how you how to get the add-on within your Google Drive and what it looks like once you have added the add-on.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Learning to Code in the Elementary!

Coding is a fun and interactive way to teach kids the basic concepts behind computer programming. There are numerous apps, websites and types of software that students can engage in to learn some of these early and simple skills behind programming. In the month of January, all Kindergarten through 6th grade classes began their first coding lessons using a website called Code.org. This website exposes students to problem solving and computational-thinking throughout each scaffolding lesson. The students greatly enjoyed these first coding lessons and are looking forward to incorporating more coding into their future instruction.

A couple of other great coding resources are included below.


Monday, January 8, 2018

Breakout EDU

Breakout EDU

A Breakout EDU is similar an escape room.  Participants use clues to solve puzzles and “breakout” of the situation they have been given.  The goal of a Breakout EDU is to have student gain content knowledge through student-led exploration, problem-solving and teamwork.

Through the past two years, I have been hearing a lot about Breakout EDU. However, I didn’t really understand what it was until I was able to participate in an actual Breakout EDU.

Due to this experience, Shelley (our instructional coach) and I developed a Christmas themed digital Breakout to introduce Breakout EDUs to our staff. This Christmas Breakout didn’t focus on the teachers learning new content, but instead exploring how a Breakout is set up. Feel free to click on the link and explore this breakout.

A screenshot of our Christmas Breakout EDU
Since this experience with a digital Breakout EDU, several teachers have begun to explore them even more.  If you are interested in using a Breakout EDU in your classroom, there are several different options for both the physical Breakout as well as the digital ones. You can build your own activity or you can use/modify one that has already been created.

Here are a few resources:

Pinterest - This is where I have found the majority of the Breakouts I have explored.  Some of them are on teachers pay teachers and there is a cost, but there are also free ones available as well.

Breakout EDU - This link will show you how to sign up for free access to several Breakout EDUs (physical ones, which require a kit)

TEMPLATE - This site provide a template if you are interested in creating your own digital Breakout EDU.

Teachers - There are several teachers at the Jr./Sr. High Staff who have either created, played or used Breakouts in their classrooms this school year (or they are about to).  Please feel free to contact myself, Mrs. Mitzelfelt or Mrs. Cooper if you have any questions about Breakout EDU.

Breakout EDU at SEW:

Mrs. Cooper's Jr. High TAG students recently completed a Minecraft themed breakout called "Back to Reality." It was great to watch them work together as a team to problem-solve and figure out the clues to breakout!

This group was able to break out the fastest!

Working hard to figure out the clues.
I recently had my English 9 students complete a digital breakout entitled "Escape from Plot Mountain," and they really enjoyed it.  

This group was the first to Breakout.  Their excellent communication and teamwork definitely helped them to succeed in this challenge.

This is a screenshot of a poll I gave to my students after they completed the Breakout.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

MakerSpace Demo Day in the Primary Building

In December, Jeff Glade (Technology Integrationist from Heartland AEA) came to demonstrate different MakerSpace and STEM resources that can be used and incorporated into Science, Technology and Math instruction.  The students and teachers had the opportunity to learn about and try out Ozobots, Osmos, Spheros, SnapCircuits and more! It was so much fun finding out more about these resources, and we are looking forward to having more MakerSpace items available to our classrooms in the future!