Sunday, March 9, 2014

February Activities in the CSRN Lab

February was certainly a fun-filled month in the computer lab!  Lots of wonderful things happened in many of the grades.  Can't wait to share!

4th and 8th Grades - Blogs and Commenting

The students began writing their first posts in Kidblog.  After writing a few blog posts, they are learning how to write a quality comment, thanks to Linda Yollis' students:

Pictionary with a Partner
Ms. Hendrick's class was able to collaborate with Mr. McNulty's class in Pennsylvania using a drawing tool to play Pictionary 1:1.  One student would draw a word used from a list we gave them and the student from the other school would try to guess the word.  This simple skill is one they will probably use in the future.

Screenshots of the students playing the game.  Can you guess the word?

Their view of our class using Google Hangout

Our view of our friends in Pennsylvania

5th and 7th Grades - Landmarks Game

Students in 5th and 7th participated in the Global Landmarks Game.  Students choose a landmark from each class that can be anywhere int he world.  Then they research and find nine challenging clues that will be given in sets of three each week for three weeks.  The students as a team email a yes/no question to the other teams who've posted clues for their landmarks.  At the end of the three weeks, all guesses are emailed to the coordinator and they are totaled.  The students will get the results this week!



6th Grade - Describe/Draw Project

The students participated in the Describe/Draw Project where they describe their facial features and a few favorites about themselves and post it to the project site in Kidlink.  They partnered with another school who drew a portrait of their descriptions.  They are allowed to ask more questions if they need clarification and when they are finished, the portraits were matched with the descriptions.

Grade 3 - More Typing Practice

The students continue to work on typing skills using Dance Mat Typing and also playing educational games after a certain period of time.  Next month they will begin the Flat Connections project, A Week in the Life.


Grade 2 - Sumdog

The students practiced math and reading skills using the site, Sumdog.  Similar to the World Maths Day, students play live games against classmates and students around the country.

Grade 1 - Typing and Creating

The students continue to practice their typing skills using Dance Mat Typing and drawing creative pictures using Kerpoof.  The pictures they create will be shared on Primary Collaborations site with other Grade 1 schools around the world.

Kindergarten - Teach Your Monster to Read

The students are continuing to work on reading and phonemic skills using Teach Your Monster To Read.  They have moved into the second phase where they are reading words and putting them into sentences.


Early Childhood - ABCMouse

The students in Early Childhood are continuing to learn math, reading, and fine arts skills using ABCMouse.  There is much to explore and students are enjoying the various ways of using this comprehensive online tool.



Early Childhood Skype!

The students in Mrs. Christiansen's class met with Ms. Hannibal's class in North Carolina.  They shared songs and favorite colors.  They look forward to meeting again in March!



Computer Science Club

Students in grades 4-8 have the opportunity to join the Computer Science Club on Mondays after school.  They are learning computer science, coding, and how to break a large problem into smaller problems.
Monster - Computational Thinking

The Maze

Binary Decoding

ICE Conference

I was fortunate to co-lead a workshop at the ICE Conference on Thursday, Feb. 27th.  We presented about Global Creation - using global connections and projects to connect with Common Core State Standards.  


At the end of the conference, my name was called in a raffle and I won a new set of Student Response Clickers for our school!  After training, the students will be able to use these clickers for formal and informal assessments.

Wonder what great adventures March will hold?







Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January Activities in the CSRN Lab

This is one month I'm happy to see gone!  The cold weather will not be missed.  While it was cold outside, the lab was warm and welcoming, allowing students to enjoy, learn, and create.

8th Grade - Blogs and Venn Diagram

The students began writing their first posts in Kidblog.  They are learning blogging skills in the lab and writing creative blog posts in junior high.  The students will register for the Student Blogging Challenge in March.  One of the classes were able to collaborate with Mr. McNulty's class in Pennsylvania using a Venn Diagram to show their favorite foods.  



7th Grade - Digiteen Action Project

The students have finished their Action Projects for Digiteen.  They can be viewed on the Digiteen website for Class 104 and Class 106.  They will be presenting their projects to 5th and 6th graders in our school as well as classrooms around the world through Google Hangout.  A few groups went through a "trial run" to work out the kinks with the presentation backgrounds, fonts, students' voice projection, and eye contact.  

6th Grade - Diamonte Poem and Describe/Draw Projects

The students finished writing Diamonte Poems and illustrating them for students from Russia, Spain, and Italy. 
Their next global project is Describe/Draw where they describe their facial features and a few favorites about themselves and post it to the project site in Kidlink.  They are partnered with another school who will draw a portrait of their descriptions.  They are allowed to ask more questions if they need clarification and when they are finished, the portraits will be matched with the descriptions.  

5th Grade - Olympic Hero Voicethread Project




In this project, the students find an Olympic athlete who possesses or had possessed heroic qualities.  They will research and write two paragraphs to share with other participants around the world.


4th Grade - Mystery Location!

The 4th graders are having a great time honing their geography skills when they skype with schools and teachers around the world.  So far, the students worked with classrooms from Colorado and Canada and teachers from Germany and South Africa.  They have jobs including mappers, runners, photographers, question askers and notetakers.  They are using Titan Pad, Edmodo, and moderated GroupTweet to share their findings.



Grade 3 - Proper Commenting and Typing Practice

The students read amazing winter stories from Mr. K's 5th grade in Glenview, IL and commented using a Google Doc to share with the class.  They also have been working on typing skills using Dance Mat Typing.

Grade 2 - Jack Frost Poem

The students used a Google doc to type a poem about Jack Frost.  They were able to finish in their classrooms and have them ready for Open House.



Grade 1 - Typing and Creating

The students are practicing their typing skills using Dance Mat Typing and drawing creative pictures using Kerpoof.


Kindergarten - Teach Your Monster to Read

The students are working on reading and phonemic skills using Teach Your Monster To Read.  They learned to us a username and password so that their progress is recorded and they can move at their own pace.



Early Childhood - ABCMouse

The students in Early Childhood are learning math, reading, and fine arts skills using ABCMouse.  There is much to explore and students are enjoying the various ways of using this comprehensive online tool.  They can also play at home using the codes given to them before Christmas break.


Looking forward February Fun!






Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! Getting to Know You Meme #2 - Thanks @toniobarton!

Thanks for the challenge, Toni!  Since I was tagged in another post, I will be answering Toni's questions from her post and "leave the floor open" for others to participate if they would like.

11 Professional Facts About Me

1.  I student taught and then actually taught first grade for 7 years in the same school.
http://www.swsd.k12.wi.us/

2.  I received the Technology Teacher of the Year from the Diocese of Joliet in 2011. 

3.  I received the Great Teacher Award from Joliet, IL  in 2013.
Principal Jennifer Groves, Myself, and Assistant Principal Nikki Kanzia
4.  I helped Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay along with Frank Guttler at the Flat Classroom Live Conference in Hawaii this past summer. 
Vicki, Myself, Frank, and Julie at FC Live Event in Hawaii
 5.  I was quoted in Vicki's and Julie's amazing book, Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds

6.  I have been the Digiteen Project manager since 2011.


7.  I am one of many Global Classroom Project's lead and mentor teachers.

8.  I started the Educator Virtual PD series in 2012 with many colleagues from HLWSkypers group.

http://educatorvirtualpd.wikispaces.com
9.  I am a board member for Kidlink, a wonderful global project site for students and teachers.
10.  I am one of the first Flat Classroom Certified Teacher Program graduates.

11.  I've participated in many global, collaborative projects with my students.  Read more from Vicki Davis' post:  http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2013/05/transformational-it-integrator-theresa.html.

11 Questions to Answer:

  1. What is the first website you go to?  I usually go to my Tweetdeck site to see what's new.
  2. Is there an app/website you can’t live without?  GAFE 
  3. What is the best book you ever read?  The Outsiders - most influential in my teens
  4. Who is your favorite teacher?  Mr. G from 5th grade - taught us how to write checks!
  5. What kind of student were you?  Asked too many questions and a little rambunctious 
  6. If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Pasta with sugu
  7. Which superpower: super strength, flying, invisibility?  Flying!
  8. Do you use your public library?  I use it to rent audio books through Overdrive
  9. If you could be a professional athlete, what would it be?  A speedskater! 
  10. Do you have any pets? What kind?  We have a boxer named Hobbs.  
    Hobbs
  11. When was the last time you laughed so hard your stomach hurt?  Last night listening to my parents send me several voxer messages at once.  It was hilarious!

Feel free to join the Meme!  I would love to learn more about you.  Happy New Year!



Saturday, December 28, 2013

Getting to Know You Meme - I'm Up for the Challenge!

Sheri has a great way of waking us up from our vacation slumber and getting us back into the groove!  Thank you, Sheri Edwards, for this challenge and I hope many of my PLN friends will follow if they are tagged!  Click to read Sheri's post if you need more info.


Here's How It Works:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. Technology:  I love it!  Although I've been a tech teacher for an elementary school for 15 years, I don't have my masters in IT...yet!  I also love chatting w/ my worldwide colleagues in skype chat groups.  :)
  2. Masters Program:  I'm FINALLY getting my Masters in IT!  I'm excited and nervous.
  3. Immediate Family:  My husband and I have 3 children and we are so blessed!  Maggie is 19, Meghan is 16 and Danny is 13.  This will be the only time they are all teens...time flies.
  4. Extended Family:  My sister and brother live in Rockford, IL, where we grew up, with their families.  My parents are there, too.  I'm the only one who left - and I get reminded often!
  5. Dog:  Our dog, Hobbs, is a boxer who thinks he's a lap dog.  He likes to snuggle and cuddle and loves to play.
  6. Phone:  I can't have it out of my sight...I know, that's not good.
  7. Cars:  I love cars!  My grandfather owned a body shop and I used to walk around the shop all of the time and talk to my cousins and other people who worked there.  I learned little things about cars and my fondness for them grew.
  8. Places: Our family has moved to 5 different houses and 3 states in the past 20 years.  We've lived in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois.  The house we're living in now is the longest we've resided - 11 years!
  9. Vacations:  We've travelled to many places in the US, but haven't gone west - until my daughters and I went to Hawaii last summer.  I went with Flat Classroom Project co-founders Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis and brought my daughters with me.  That was an amazing experience! 
  10. Books - I don't read them anymore...I listen to them!  I can get through a book much faster if it's read to me.  The last book I listened to was "One Amazing Thing" by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.  It was a book my oldest had to read for her Freshman year in college.  Good one!
  11.  Food:  I love it, but can't cook it very well - or so my children tell me.  So, I have 3 meals sent to us each week through Blue Apron, and I follow their recipes with the ingredients given.  It gives us a variety of different healthy foods and they seem satisfied.


Questions for Me:



  • When did you know what you wanted to do for a career? How did you discover that?
    • I wanted to be a teacher the Spring of my senior year.  I was going to be a pharmacist (because my dad wanted me to be one) and I just couldn't see myself in that career.  I felt a calling to be a teacher.
  • What are your top three favorite books of all time?
  • If you could only read one blogger next year, who would it be?
  • What advice do you have for educators today?
    • Open yourself up to new ideas daily.
  • What is on your bucket list?
    • I would love to travel around the world.
  • If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
    • Italy - preferably Sicily where both sides of my family are from.
  • What is your favorite quote?
    • “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” ― Helen Keller
  • What song lyrics move you?
    • Lately, the Song, "Say Something" by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera
  • If you could sit with any 5 people dead or alive around your dinner table who would you choose and why?
    • Matt Dillon (childhood crush), and my grandparents (miss their stories of the past)
  • What are your five favorite verbs?
    • go, give, find, feel, do
  • What six words sum up your philosophy [of life or of education]?
    • Always do your best in everything.


Now It's Your Turn! 



Questions from me:

  1. If you could choose just one thing to change about the world, what would it be?
  2. Should people care more about doing the right thing, or doing things right? Why?
  3. What things hold you back from doing the things that you really want to?
  4. What makes you, you?
  5. What makes a good friend?
  6. What was/is your favorite class in college/university?  Why?
  7. What is an important thing people should know about educators?
  8. What is your favorite grade to teach?  Why?
  9. Who/what inspired you to be who you want to be or are today?
  10. What is the best age to be?  Why?
  11. Where do you want to travel?


Remember - Here's How It Works:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.
Reply to this post with a link when you have finished your post.  Do as much as you can or want - thank you for considering this challenge!





Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Hour of Code #hourofcode

The students enjoyed learning to code the week of Dec. 9-13.   Grades 1-6 and 8th graders built many lines of code during their time during class and even at home!

The sites we used were:

Angry Birds - all grades
Scratch - junior high
Tynker - grades 1-3 (puppy game), 4-6 (lost in space)
Light Bot - all grades
Khan Academy - junior high
Learn Street - junior high
Botlogic - Kindergarten-3
Blockly - grade 4









I plan to do an after school club to learn to code in January - looking forward to it!