Thursday, December 22, 2011

How in the world am I going to grade that?

Have you ever made that statement before?  Maybe you started a sweet new project that had a million videos, tools and apps all in one.  You get to the end of it all and now are a bit lost on how to grade it?

Enter our old friend the rubric.

(click image to visit the site)

Not all the rubrics will fit 100% to what you are doing but does anything really fit 100%  No way.  You always adjust what you are teaching from hour to hour based upon the need of the kids.

Google Lit Trips

Do you ever wish you could take a trip to a particular location mentioned in the book you are reading?

Click on the image above for the ride of your life!

What is a Google Lit Trip?
Example:
  • I clicked 9-12
  • Then found the book The Kite Runner and clicked on the link.
  • In the upper right corner of the page I downloaded the kmz file.

  • Double click on the kmz file you downloaded and it opens Google Earth.



Now the story is mapped out in Google Earth.

On the right side of the Google Earth screen you can go chapter by chapter to follow the story in a way that is unlike anything most of us have ever done.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Modern Day User Manual

Here is the paper user manual that came with a new iPad and the Kindle Fire.  It is a small bit of paper with minimal writing on it.
I find this pretty interesting.  Only a few years ago our devices would come with a small textbook that would describe how to use the new product.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Fun

I don't know about you but I am very excited about the holidays.  If you want some fun activities to use at home with your little ones, here are some great ideas.

The Elf on the Shelf
You can create your own "Elf Scrapbook."
Or share your stories on Facebook to the Elf on the Shelf Page.



Portable North Pole
Personalized E-mail Video from Santa

See Santa's Facebook Wall

Food App for Kids-Just for Fun!

What a fun app for cooking at home!  Has recipes, videos, and tutorials for great kid friendly recipes.  Try it out today.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Over 100 Uses for Twitter in the Classroom

These resources actually provide over 110 ideas for, and examples of, using Twitter in the classroom.  How are you using Twitter?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Can twitter really teach me something new?

Here are a few things that I learned from twitter today.


Facebook Helps the Unemployed Find Work
I have heard a lot about how modern day job seekers are looking for employment using social media.  Here is some proof of that.  From the mashable site.

Blogger Awards
The Edublogger awards are coming up again soon.  I have used the award winners to seek new and interesting people to follow.  What they post usually leads to inspire me to grow in directions I did not know where possible.  This year I decided to step it up when I saw the edublogger nominees list was posted.  Take a look and see what these inspirational teachers have to blog about.   Hint: take a look at the left side of the screen to see the categories. FYI - I know some think that blog is a four letter word.  I promise these blogs can have a serious impact on your classroom. 

Google Docs and Classroom Writing
This post discusses using google docs for the digital writers workshop.  I am positive these ideas can transfer to  any classroom in the district.  Look beyond the fact that the kids have their own accounts.  You can still use google docs without student accounts.

The conference that comes to you.

A word of caution!  When watching these videos step beyond the video and really listen to what the message is.  There is some very deep learning opportunities for all of us in these online conference sessions.

It is very difficult to remove yourself from the curriculum and just listen for the sake of listening.  What do I mean by that odd statement?  Don't judge the session by the title.  All of these sessions have bit of gold and wisdom within them.  It is easy to pass up a session because you do not see the immediate application.  

Trust me and take a leap into a learning adventure unlike something most of us have experienced before.

Who is with me?  Anyone?


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Nooks Are In!

Did you know the Lindbergh libraries have Nooks available for student check out? AND students can check out ebooks from the Lindbergh eLibrary! So awesome...check out the selection!
Click here to visit the eLibrary.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Take a break and play a game!

Got your attention?

Here is an amazing learning opportunities for all your kids. Game play is a great way to explore and discover new learning. These simulations will cover many different subject and they are able to be embedded into websites and moodle courses.

They are broken down by grade level.  



Why not check it out?  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tick...tick...tick...

Time is running out! Have you signed up for the most amazing learning opportunity? It is FREE!!! I have read about a number of these events and every post was out of this world. Click on this link and sign up! edcampstl

Youtube - The Gift the Keeps Giving

I learned something pretty amazing today from twitter. There is a area on youtube that has curated videos for teachers based upon a title or subject.

Take a look at the site. Youtube Teachers What can you find on this site?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Reader's Workshop-Taking Anecdotal Notes

Check out how Megan Vallis and Desiree Bagot are using Google Forms to keep anecdotal notes during reader's workshop. As the teacher, you create a form like this one. Here is how it looks as you are filling it out on your laptop.


Then you will be able to see the data in a form similar to Excel.  It looks something like this.


Here are the directions on how you can create and share a form in addition to using a form someone else has already created to make it your own.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I know... paper is dead but...

Do you recall those trapper keepers from long ago? There is a site that called LiveBinders that is very similar to that binder from long ago.

This LiveBinders site is full of some really good resources to print out and use in the classroom.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day!

XtraMath

Check it out!   XtraMath is a Seattle-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to math achievement for all. Our goal is to develop effective, efficient, adaptive and intrinsically rewarding supplemental math activities and make them available for free. XtraMath Overview from XtraMath on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Using Epson Tools

Check out blogger Jessica Dimitro using her Epson toolbar for a brainstorming lesson.  She shared this on her blog and students commented on how they show good citizenship at home and at school.

Blog/QR tip

Great way to remind students to visit your blog. Make a QR code to put in their assignment book.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cell Phones in the Classroom?

Take a look at this presentation about how to use phones in the classroom.  There are over 30 different ideas shown here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Using Facebook?

Check out this Prezi on a 1st grade teacher's use of Facebook in the classroom.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Live, Free Webcasts-Polar bears, Scientists, and the Artic

 

Adding Facebook to Your SchoolCenter Account

Here is a post on how to add Facebook to your SchoolCenter Account.

1:  Teacher must have Facebook Classroom page set up first.

2:  Get FB class page URL by logging into Facebook.  In left sidebar, you should see a section called PAGES, which lists your classroom page.  Right-click on the title of your page and select COPY SHORTCUT (Internet Exploder) or COPY LINK LOCATION (Firefox)

3:  Go to your START Button, select PROGRAMS, then ACCESSORIES and click on NOTEPAD to open a new blank text document.

4:  Paste the address of your classroom page here for safe keeping. FILE, SAVE this to your desktop or H:/ drive.

5:  Go to http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like-box/

6:  In the field marked Facebook Page URL, paste the address of your classroom page.  If you

7:  Leave the WIDTH and Color Scheme settings alone. (292 and light)

8:  Uncheck SHOW FACES and SHOW HEADER

9:  Click the GET CODE button.  A pop up should appear. 

10:  Next to IMPLEMENTATION, select iframe from the drop down menu.  The code should change to something similar to this:


11:  Click once on the code. This will highlight all the code.

12:  Now RIGHT-CLICK on the code and select COPY from the pop-up menu, then click OKAY, dismissing the pop-up code window.

13:  Go back to the Notepad document you created with your classroom page URL.  Hit enter a few times to create some blank lines, then PASTE the code you just copied.  FILE, SAVE for safekeeping.

14:  Go back to your Internet browser and login to SCHOOLCENTER.

15:  In SCHOOLCENTER, you must create a new home page.

16:  In EDIT mode, create a new page.  Choose Scrapbook.  When the New Page details pop-up opens, name the page NEW HOME in the GENERAL tab.  In the DETAILS tab, make sure HIDE LINK IN NAVIGATION is checked, and in the LAYOUTS tab, select NEWSLETTER.
You will get a pop-up saying: Altering Page Style will not transfer the contents of this page. Are you sure you want to change this setting?

Click OK to close that pop-up, then DONE.  This new page will become your new home page, but we have to customize it first.

17:  In the EDIT bar, click NEW NEWSLETTER BOX.  In the pop-up, click ADD PICTURES AND TEXT.

18:  In the GENERAL tab, give this box a title like Facebook Feed, then paste the Like Box code into the DESCRIPTION field.

19:  In the OPTIONS tab, check the "Hide Title Box For This Item", then click DONE.

20:  Go to your old home page and begin copying the content from there and pasting it into newsletter boxes on the new home page. DEMO EXAMPLE.

21:  Sort newsletter boxes

22:  In EDIT bar, select PAGE SETTINGS.  In the pop-up, click on the DETAILS tab and check the "This page is the homepage" box.  Make sure that "hide link in navigation" is not checked.  Click DONE.

23:  Go to your old home page.  You can now either delete it using the link in the EDIT bar, or change the PAGE SETTINGS so that "hide link in navigation" IS checked.  If you hide the page, be sure to rename it In the GENERAL tab to something like OLD HOME.

24:  In the EDIT bar, choose EDIT NAVIGATION to move the NEW HOME to the top of the sidebar.

25:  Got a link to your school homepage?

26:  District homepage?

27:  Rename NEW HOME to HOME in PAGE SETTINGS.

Communication in the 21st Century

ELITE training...great discussions about Facebook and blogging.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

National Geographic Explorer Interactive Activities

Click on the picture above for some really awesome interactive activities using your Activinspire software.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Did you enjoy our conference?


Take a look at this free conference coming up in a few months.
http://edcampstl.wikispaces.com/edcampstl
It takes place just down the road from us.  It will be similar to what you experienced here but with 100+ educators from the area.  These type of conferences are very unique and powerful.

Will you join me?
Colin will be there.  This has the making for being one of the best conferences you will ever have the opportunity to attend.  That is my challenge to you.  Come and see.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spelling City-Importing Lists

From Spelling City's Website:

Did you know that you can import lists onto your VocabularySpellingCity homepage? Our list importing feature is one of the biggest time-savers that the site has to offer! You can import lists from teachers, parents, or from our Teacher Resources section. Imported lists are copied onto your homepage for your students to access. Once imported, lists can be customized. You can add or remove words, choose alternative definitions and sentences or write new ones. Customizing the content will not affect the original list, but customized content will appear on any games and activities your students play. Prior customizations are imported along with lists, so if a teacher in your school has already selected the appropriate definition of scale and key for your Geography list, these selections will be imported with the list. To import lists:
Log in to your account.
Find a List you want to import.
Click the Import link next to the list(s) or group(s) of lists that you want.
Once lists have been imported into your account, you can edit the lists through List Management.Our List Sharing Forum is another place to find (and share) popular word lists. John, Mayor of VocabularySpellingCity
info@spellingcity.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Becky Joy on Promethean Planet

Non Fiction Text Features : Promethean Planet
Congratulations to Becky Joy, Concord Elementary 3rd Grade Teacher, on submitting her 1st flipchart to Promethean Planet. As of now, it has been downloaded 1,234 times!!!!! How amazing-talk about collaboration!

Krissy Evans on Promethean Planet

Short u CVC Sorting : Promethean Planet
Congratulations to Krissy Evans, 1st grade teacher at Concord, for submitting her 1st flipchart to Promethean Planet!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Free Professional Development

Click the icon to register for this awesome event!

MO DEN ~ Fall VirtCon 2011: St Louis, MO


Fall Virtual Conference: St. Louis, MO
Join us for a free day of professional development and networking as we "Tech or Treat" with the Discovery Educator Network. This event will feature live as well as virtual sessions provided by the DEN Leaders across the country and locally.

Participants will choose between large group virtual professional development & discussions or small group hands-on breakout sessions offered throughout the day.

Audience: PreK-12 Classroom Teachers, Curriculum Specialists, Instructional Coaches, and Library Media Specialists

Participants Will Leave With:
-Deep exploration of the variety of digital content available within Discovery Education.
-Integration strategies to bring digital content alive in your classroom and engage students.
-Exposure to a wealth of professional development through the Discovery Educator Network.
-Experience with integrating DE resources with Tech4Learning, IWB's, mobile devices and more
-Knowledge of opportunities offered by the CSD's Virtual Learning Center

Light breakfast & lunch will be provided.

Saturday, Oct 22, 2011
7:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Monday, September 26, 2011

Check Out this AWESOME Project

In our ELITE courses, we have been talking a great deal about BYOD-bring your own device. Mrs. Strebler decided to try out a new project. Click the link below to see the pictures her class took. She was inspired by this lesson on the Scholastic website. Here is the text she sent to her parents:

PEGS Parents,

Mrs. Brooks and I were out yesterday at a Technology training. Part of what I did was create a Flickr account. Here is the link to it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/concordpegs/

In science, all of the classes are learning about plant and animal cells along with the 6 Kingdoms. As an extra credit assignment this weekend, if you have access to a cell phone that can take pictures you can email to my flickr account, please let your learner take some pictures of living things and send them to me. On Monday, we will use them to classify them into Kingdoms and Phyla (many tend to get this part confused). It could even be in the fungi, bacteria or protist kingdoms. My email address to the account is:

XXXXXXXXXX

You could even take them with a digital camera and send them via email on a computer. This is just for extra credit. Please do not let them panic if they do not get a chance to try this. We will see how successful we are and hopefully this will be a useful tool in the future.


Thanks so much for your help.


What are you trying in your classrooms?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Creating a QR code Treasure Hunt

Check out this awesome site to create a QR code Treasure hunt.  In four easy steps, you can have an easy activity to get students moving and learning with their mobile devices.
http://www.classtools.net/QR/

Powerful Tweet

Good point about 3:1. Ties back to my cooking/shop analogy. You don't have a stove for every kid, but they work in groups. #edchat from @geraldaungst

I really like to follow that hash tag #edchat

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Is handwriting a thing of the past?

I was watching the CBS Sunday Morning show and this came on.  This topic is something that many of us have been talking about.  Is handwriting really dead or just changing?  Will there always be a need for pen and paper?  What are your thoughts?

What the clip and read about it here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Science = fun? I thought it was boring...




This is a pretty moving video.  Some of the comments from the youtube page are pretty moving.  What if he was your high school science teacher?  Could he have altered your path?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

ka-BOOM! This is an amazing blog post. Maybe the most moving in a year.

Stone Soup: A Classroom Parable



from The Blue Skunk Blog


MultiMedia Schools, Nov/Dec 1996
When Ms. Eastman returned to school one fall she found a large boulder had appeared in the middle of her classroom. It was about the size of washing machine, gray with silver glints, and could neither be ignored nor moved.
“I think you’ll just have to make the best of it,” the principal advised, unable to explain how or why it came to be there. “I think the Board may have wanted it, and the budget just won’t support hiring a professional rock mover,” he said in a single breath, and resumed his telephone conversation with the parent of child who had just eaten a wall-mounted pencil sharpener.

***
When Ms. Eastman’s students returned, they immediately pounced on the rock.
     “Hey, it’s like the one in my backyard.”
    “Check it out. It’s a throne.”
    “Nah, a bomber.”
    “It’s perfect for my desk!”
    “Where did it come from, why is it here, who gets to sit at it, why can’t we all have one?”
Ms. Eastman asked the class to get to work, and as they opened their textbooks and began to quietly read, she distributed worksheets.

***
The rock proved to be an annoyance. It was right in the middle of the room. It made creating a seating chart difficult. It was too far from the front of the room to be used as a stand for the overhead projector, and the irregularity of its surface made it a poor desk or surface on which to affix papers. On occasion, when a student had done exceptionally well, Ms. Eastman allowed that person to “Read on the Rock.” But for the first quarter, the entire class just worked around the boulder.
Late one November afternoon, Ms. Eastman overheard two students engaged in a heated argument over the composition of the stone. “Settle this intelligently,” she admonished. “Both of you, go to the library, do your research, and come back and report to the class.” In less than half an hour, two excited children returned.  “It’s definitely basalt with quartz flecks. Hey, do know where this came from? A volcano…” The class listened intently as the pair shared their findings about the rock.

***
Over her second margarita that evening, Ms. Eastman reflected on that afternoon’s class, and decided it had gone particularly well. The kids were enthusiastic and attentive. One of the two children who did the research on the rock performed at higher level and showed more interest in school than Ms. Eastman thought possible. She began to see the rock’s glitter in a new light.
The next Monday morning, Ms. Eastman read the class the myth of Sisyphus, and asked the students to use questions raised during the discussion as the basis of their journal writing. Over the next week or so, articles related to rocks keep popping up in magazines and newspapers. Ms. Eastman used these as springboards for lessons in math and science and history. Soon students were finding and sharing information they themselves had found about rocks in their reading and viewing.
Just before turning off the classroom lights one evening, Ms. Eastman caught a glimpse of white near the base of the stone. It was a note left in a crevice of the rock. When asked, the class sheepishly admitted the rock was serving as a classroom post office. “Are these the same kids I can’t get to put two cogent words together in their journals?” wondered Ms. Eastman. She struck a deal with the class: they could continue to write their letters as long as they revised one letter each week.  That letter would be read for grammar and spelling, and could be shared with the rest of the class.

***
As the year progressed, many activities began to center around the rock. Parts of the rock easily broke away into pebble size pieces and the class began a business selling “Stone Soup Starters.” In the processes, students applied math, designed advertisements, and worried about ethics. At various times the rock was the setting for plays about the Pilgrims and pioneers on the Oregon trail. Science class divided into small groups which used the rock to demonstrate principles of acids and bases, friction, gravity, and sundials.  One morning a small wooden door appeared firmly attached to the base the rock, which one student adamantly declared was a passage to Van Allsburg Land. Van Allsburg Land soon had a language with its own syntax, a codified set of laws, and even its own culture - all which in some strange way reflected the world the class lived in and was trying hard to understand.

***
One day in early May the principal called Ms Eastman to his office. “Do you have the correct code to the photocopier?” he asked.  Ms. Eastman looked puzzled. “You have made almost no photocopies since October. We need these numbers to satisfy the central office, you realize.” He was right, Ms. Eastman mused. She hadn’t used many worksheets, she’d used only pieces of her text book, and had not shown a videotape from beginning to end since November. Her grade book had only a few entries, but each of her students had a pizza box crammed with exemplary reports, graphs, drawings, and models she had asked them to collect since the last parent teacher conference.
She reflected her class this year must have just been made up of exceptional children, just the right chemistry. They cooperated, they were genuinely interested in school, they held good discussions, and they were conscientious about the quality of their work. They seemed to be reading more newspapers and magazines, came back from the library with more materials and fewer complaints from the librarian, and could apply math principles more quickly and accurately to every day problems than previous years’ classes. Ms. Eastman was still in happy amazement as her graduate classes started in June.

***
When Ms. Eastman returned to her classroom the following fall she found a computer had appeared in the middle of her classroom…

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I welcome our robot overlords.

Are we going to be replaced with robots someday?  I think there is a possibility.  Check this out.  What do you get when you cross 7-eleven and Amazon?

Click for the amazing answer.

Blurb Your Blog

www.blurb.com
Check out this amazing website that allows you to turn (slurp) your blog into a book!  This site allows you to import your blog into easy to use software and turn your work into a beautiful coffee table piece of art.  Kelly P. at Long shares this with her parents at the end of the year as a class "yearbook" that they can order.  It is an awesome record of her year and a great reference to review the projects she did with her class.  Check it out today!  I plan on making one for my own personal blog.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Awesome Review....Epson Projector/Tools Tutorials

This is a collection of videos created in order to help you successfully use the Epson projector.
How to Calibrate Your Epson Projector


How to Find and Launch Your Epson Easy Interactive Tools


White Board Mode-Easy Interactive Tools


Importing a Picture with the Easy Interactive Tools


Using the Easy Interactive Tools-Pen


Additional Tools in Mouse Mode

Installing the Diigo toolbar.

This might be the most important step for using Diigo in the classroom. The tool bar will allow you quick access to many of the one-click powerful tools this site offers.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Teaching with Evernote

Check out this awesome link to see how this 6th and 8th grade teacher uses Evernote to share information with students, for research and labs, and for extending the classroom beyond school walls.  AWESOME!  How are you using Evernote in your classroom?

How to bookmark a site using the Diigo toolbar. (as easy as pie)

Check this out! Here is the simple process of saving a great site to your Diigo account. Stay tuned. The next exciting edition will show you how to find the sites you have saved to your account.

How to sign up for a Diigo account.

Watch this video for a quick explanation on the sign up process for Diigo. Don't forget the final step is clicking a link in your email.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Diigo - like sliced bread for your bookmarks

Have you ever had some great bookmarks but you loose them all when your computer crashes?  Do you have so many bookmarks that it is getting difficult to figure out where you saved that great resource you need for class that starts in five minutes?

We are starting a short series of posts to help you maintain and organize your bookmarks.

Take a look at this video to start to along the path to learning how Diigo is better than sliced bread.

Diigo V5: Collect and Highlight, Then Remember! from diigobuzz on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Get ready for your mind to be blown in 3,2,1....

No joke.  I watched this video that describes 10 ways to use the ActivExpressions in the classroom and I was speechless.  I never thought on leveraging these devices in ways these teachers do.

The video is linked to the Promethean facebook page.
You can also view it here.



Trust me.  Take 8 minutes and 18 seconds to watch this.

Tip #2 - This was the most impressive.  What a great way to help run a classroom at about any grade level.  ( Now you have to watch the video to figure out what tip #2 is.)

Tip #4 - Not sure if this will work if the kids are not in range of the hub.  I can see many ways to use this idea in the classroom.  It really got me thinking about how I can take a simple clicker and notch up the engagement.

Tip #5 - I could see this with reading anything in a textbook or a group project.

Tip #6 - High school math!



Something that 90% of web users are unaware of...

I was listening to a TWiT podcast today and heard a stat that 90% of people were unaware of how to find something quickly on a webpage.  This post aims to reduce that percentage.

Have you ever searched for something and when you pull up the webpage it is about a mile long?  To read the whole page to find one nugget of information takes too long.  Solution?


1. search for something

2. open a webpage

3. hit Ctrl+F and that will open a small search bar

The search will be limited to what is on the page and NOT the whole internet.

FYI - A TWiT (This Week in Technology) podcast is my secret weapon on keeping up to date on all things technology.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Checking your email!

We sent an email this week with a number of links in it.  Each link directed you to our youtube channel where you would find short videos that detailed how to reconnect your LiNC equipment.

Here is an example of connecting your Windows XP machine to your ELMO.




Thursday, July 14, 2011

Help! I need some help!

Where do you go for help?

The one site I keep returning to is youtube.  Is there anything that youtube can't teach me?

The LINC team has created a youtube channel to help you understand some of the wonderful tools we have to work with.   We are up to almost 100 videos for your enjoyment.



Don't see something you need?  Let us know what you would like to learn.

Google+

What is google+?  I really don't know or totally understand it yet.  It feels a lot like facebook or twitter.  I didn't really understand but I know it was something big and powerful.
Here is the official blog post about it: Google+
What are your thoughts?

Update:  Here are some cheat sheets from The Daring Librarian blog.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Updated Facebook Logos

As you are creating your Facebook pages, feel free to utilize these logos for your "image."  You can right click on the the logo and choose "Save Picture As" for a copy of the image.


Update:  I have fixed the issue. 















Sometimes I just don't want to read books.

There are times when I just can't read another book, audio or physical old school paper. There are times when I read online and that ...