Sunday, July 16, 2017

HyperDocs Collaboration

I had another post created to share, but I came across something I am so excited to be a part of! I joined the HyperDocs Facebook page a while ago to gather more resources. A member asked if anyone would be interested in collaborating on a back-to-school HyperDoc for PD regarding edtech. Of course I jumped onboard, along with 92 other people. That's right... we have 94 educators from across the WORLD collaborating on an edtech HyperDoc that we will then share with our faculties!


Amazing!!! The doc is only 1/3 of the way complete, but I've already gathered so many ideas from colleagues I've never even met. How exciting!

I'll share more as we complete it, and maybe even the link to make your own copy :) I created the Adobe Spark Video square and I'll hopefully find time to add some more this week. We hope to be finished by Friday.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Runion's Group (Part II of the Best of 2016-2017 series)

A second grade teacher asked me to help her set up coding with her enrichment group early in the year. I ended up spending several days a week with this group all year long! The kids blew through, so we tried Storybird. Some kids went home and signed into Storybird to write at home!!! Without prompting! I came to see this group as some guinea pigs, and they were the first to try out my Ozobots, my first digital breakout, and my May the Fourth activities for first graders.

Having taught second grade for 6 years (in that exact room, as a matter of fact!) I felt very comfortable challenging them to try new things. The first digital breakout we did was tough. The kids wanted assistance. As a way to ease them into it, I allowed the groups who solved a lock to share with other groups. Collaboration, right? The second time we did it went much smoother. A level 2 breakout took them two 30 minute class periods.

With Ozo, the kids drew codes, measured lines to centimenters, and raced around a track. They absolutely loved learning with Ozobot and I hope to be able to get some more funded. The only two I have are personal purchases... and one walked off this year :(

We started the Wonder Workshop Wonder League but while the challenges were great and interesting, the coding app left a lot to be desired. It was difficult for the students to learn how to connect the commands and Blockly would have been a much better fit, since that is the coding format they are familiar with.

I find that I really click with a few classes and groups throughout the year and with 54 K-5 classrooms, working so indepth with a few teachers means others do not have opportunities to work with me. With Ms. Runion, I scheduled our lessons but if someone else needed me, she was comfortable enough with and Storybird to let me cancel freely. I find it to be a catch-22 in this Tech Coach position, that those who want me, want me frequently, and those who NEED me, don't ask and don't want any advice or suggestions on implementing technology. Next year, I want to work on a way to help those more reluctant... but also continue to provide for those ready to learn more.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tinkercad Lessons (Part I of the Best of 2016-2017 series)

Since it's now summer, and educators everywhere are reflecting on the past year, I thought I'd start a series on what went well this school year, as well as how I can expand this coming year.

WWR was lucky to be able to get a Makerbot Replicator 2 as part of a buy 2-get 1 free incentive from Makerbot with our CTE coordinator. Some teachers immediately asked how to start incorporating it and others still aren't quite sure what it can do.

Title I Teachers and their 5th grade students read an article about how technology is helping animals who have lost limbs or beaks by 3d printing prosthetics. They came in and were able to use Tinkercad to design anything they wanted (they only had 30 minutes or so). These students created nameplates, fidget spinners, a McDonalds, and more. Many of these students had no idea such technology existed and this may be a light bulb moment for potential future careers.

`5th grade Math Teachers needed a volume review before state testing, so we created a challenge for them to design a building using 3 cubes (stretched to any rectangular prism shape they wanted), with a minimum volume of 20in cubed and a max of 60in cubed. VERY easy to create a building and calculate the volume, once we learned the menu that pops up on the left hand side in Tinkercad is helpful, but VERY difficult to try to keep it in that range. Next year, we should sketch it with dimensions FIRST so then we can use Tinkercad to see it in 3d.

1st grade students on May the Fourth created a droid in honor of Star Wars Day. I was so thrilled with their work. I warned them in advance that it would be frustrating, and it was, but they stuck with it and designed a droid of their own choosing. I learned after the first group to have them draw the droid like it was laying on its back to make sure it was more feasible to print. Students voted on another class's set of droids for the best, and the winner for each class was printed in the color of the student's choice.

3rd Graders got to explore and design anything in Tinkercad. Next year, I'd like this to be more focused, but end of year, after testing, what can you do.

Finally, the last group of the year was very special.

The students in our PBL pilot classrooms designed a monument to a famous American. The top design from each class again got to design and print it in 3d. This was the last few days of school, so for the sake of time, only the winning group designed. I pulled the 9 kids with Chromebooks and they got to work. Students pictured hold their monument to Maggie Lena Walker.

I hope to do more of this next year, and will be training teachers on how to use Tinkercad with their classes, to give them some of the control over the lessons and the ability to help answer questions as they arise.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Blogging Buddies


I crave it! Browsing the VSTE Facebook page last evening, I found a post for a nationwide Ed Tech Coaches Blogging Buddies PLN sponsored by ISTE. I immediately knew that this would force me to start blogging again. I have some great ideas and, more importantly, work with fantastic teachers who encourage these ideas... but I lack the time to sit down and write posts about them. I started this blog when I became a full-time Instructional Technology Resource Coach at W. W. Robinson Elementary, and my goal was to highlight lessons that I can assist teachers with so that I'm not just a tech support person.

The goal is to post at least once a month and comment on our buddies blog. There are currently about 100 educators signed up... if you're interested, sign up here!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Back to the grind!

I've been back at W. W. Robinson for about 6 weeks now and I'm just now getting to update this blog! I swear I'll try to do more this year than last year ;) but I think I say that every year.

Since I've been back, the Hour of Code initiative began, and I was able to get into ALMOST every single room to do an hour with your students. THANK YOU for letting me into your classrooms! I know how valuable each moment is with them!

New at W. W. Robinson are 5 Bee Bots and 5 Pro Bots. These are programmable robots that do not require other devices. The students program them directly on the back of the robot. I used these many times last year in Mrs. Anderson's kindergarten room and the kids quickly figured out how to run Bee Bot.

Pro Bot is slightly different in that he has extra commands and can hold a pen or pencil. Ms. Throneburg's class tested him out for me and figured out ways to draw geometric shapes.

Please don't hesitate to bounce lesson ideas off of me, I love to come into classrooms! On previous posts, you can view other lessons I've done with classes and get some ideas on how I can be used.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New iPad Apps

This week there were several apps I took advantage of downloading while free for a limited time! (I use the app appsgonefree and Smart Apps for Kids newsletters).

Mr. Nussbaum- A virtual playground for students featuring Science games (periodic table and sea horses unlocked for now) Sports (bowling and boxing unlocked), Shop & Dine (Math games with percentages and counting coins). It seems from the opening that this would be for younger students, but is really for upper elementary.

2 new early elementary math apps:
Inference Ace- purple and blue app icon- Check out the screenshots on the iTunes store!
 Inference Ace 1 and 2 are targeted to children in Grades 2-5 who can read the words, but don't understand what they read. In Inference Ace 2, kids identify the clue words that lead to an inference. The two apps use different data sets but target different skills.
Also by this developer- Main Idea 1

My story- Book Maker for students. Teachers can create a BrightBot Classroom Sync to begin, or let students create stories without sending them to you.

Classify It! - Sorting and grouping organisms

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blogging in 5th Grade

Ms. Throneburg's class is reading No Talking by Andrew Clements, and she asked if her 5th graders could still access their Kidblogs I used last year. This year's 4th and 5th graders currently have Kidblog accounts through me, but I can easily set it up to include the new teacher/class. Kids as young as first grade could use Kidblog as a response or free write activity.

Students first had to explain to me, someone who has never read No Talking, the plot, characters, and problems so far. The premise is that a group of boys challenge the girls to see who can go without talking the longest. They are only allowed to respond to adults in 3 word sentences or less. I asked Ms. T's students to choose a side- would you like to try this challenge or not?

I gave students pictures of Gandhi to match with a partner (since the challenge was based on Gandhi's idea of a silent day in order to refresh oneself). Students talked and brainstormed for at least 3 reasons why they should persuade Ms. T to let them do the challenge, or convince her NOT let them do it. After brainstorming, students signed into Kidblog. This was the most tedious part, simply because they had never had more than one class to sign in to (They were still enrolled in their 4th grade group from last year). I also forgot to make a link for Ms. T's class on my Kidblog page. The kids were familiar with signing in that way, but without their new classroom teacher, it took a few moments. I also accidentally forgot to add one of her students to the class list, but fortunately, he was patient with me!

Once they were, students began their new posts. After writing, they were allowed to format their text and respond to classmates' blogs. Ms. T. had also created a post with some questions that students chose to respond to.

Here are some highlights of the students' posts:
People are going to focus on the contest and not learn,and what the teachers are saying. (Brooke)
It wont help you learn because you need to answer the questions to understand them. (Branden)
I think we should do the no talking contest so we can build up teamwork some more and because it is a great challenge to go with the book we are reading (Travis)
I THINK WE SHOULD DO THE CONTEST BECAUSE it will help us stop talking so much (Bailee)
Thanks, Ms. Throneburg for having me! 4th and 5th grade teachers, this will be easy to implement as your students already have Kidblog accounts. Other teachers, just let me know and I'll help you get started if you're interested!