Wednesday, February 7, 2018

PD While You... February 2018

Post also appears on FTEdtech 
In our most recent edition of "PD While You..." you can learn plenty of new ways to engage your students.  From math to choice boards.  Find the links you need below.




TED Talk: The Puzzle of Motivation by Dan Pink
As our 5th graders head into a season of Genius Hour with FTGenius, find out the "Why" behind that, and think about maybe using the resources available for your own class.  We have versions of Genius Hour available for 2nd-5th grades.  Look for FTGenius Interactive Notebooks in the FTIS Elementary EdTech Group under the Interactive Notebook file.

Classroom Screen: A Quick Alternative to Smart Notebook
Check out Classroom Screen, a tool I saw both Allyson Jones and Maria Schuman at WES using.  In about 30 seconds they can post an agenda, add a timer to keep the class moving and create a QR code on the fly.

Getting Appy With It: FlipGrid
FlipGrid is a video discussion tool that students can use through an app on the iPad. With FlipGrid, teachers create an account, start a topic, and invite students to share video responses by entering a grid code. The free version is enough to get started.  If you don't see FlipGrid in the student app portal, and would like access, please let me know.

Want more details on how to use it?  Check out this tutorial by Richard Byrne.


Getting Appy With It: CoSpaces EDU
Your students can create their own virtual reality using CoSpaces Edu.  With the free version you can set up a class environment for your students to create through an app.  If the app is not available to your students, please let me know and I will correct that. 

This app would be best suited for older students.  When the are asked to set up their account, they should choose the Google or Office 365 option and enter their school email address and password.

Two Ways to Gamify Math: Prodigy and FogStone Isle
In Prodigy Math, teachers create a free account and then can create path ways for students within the game that are Common Core Aligned.  The game levels from 1-8.  The app for students is in the app portal.



FogStone Isle is another game type math app, best suited for 3-5th grades.  This app earned an award as one of the best from Common Sense Media.  Set up your free account and set up your class.  The app is available for students in the app portal

JES Feature Link
As you're planning for PBL, consider posting a timeline and milestones in your classrooms to keep kids on track.  You also might consider taking it digital by asking students to record things in their iPad calendar or by posting it for the in Schoology calendars.  

MES Feature

Making Choice Boards for your class is not easy work.  As you plan choice boards for language arts, consider taking a look at the Workstation cards for the week in Wonders, find your favorite advanced organizer for skill practice or check out the ideas on the Padlet below.  To get the advanced organizer interactive notebook go to Schoology>>FTIS Edtech Elementary Group>> Interactive Notebooks >> Advanced Organizers.


Made with Padlet

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Coding in a Winter Wonderland

This post first appeared on FTISEdtech

I was thrilled to get the chance to work on some coding centers with a second grade class, and so impressed with their persistence and hard work.

The kids got a lot of practice with addition, measurement, algorithmic thinking and even a little storytelling.  

These would be great centers to try out any time this winter.

Materials

For the centers, you'll need: 
  • At least 6 sets of Dash and Dot Robots
    • Launcher accessories
    • Plow accessories
    • Ping Pong Balls
    • Bunny ears accessories (for Dot)
  • 4-5 Ozobots
  • Large sheets of paper
  • Black, Red, Green and Blue markers
  • Cotton balls
  • Painter's or Masking Tape

The Centers

Center 1: Winter Activities with Scratch JR

In this center students create a winter scene in Scratch JR and then write about their favorite activity using the speech bubble or audio record feature in the program.

I like this basic tutorial from Paul Hamilton about how to use Scratch JR:


Here's an example of a program a student wrote about being in school:


Center 2: Santa's Village

For this simple center, students explore many of the different coding activities on Google's Santa Tracker site.  Here they can check into art, games, and basic block coding activities.


Center 3: Snowball Throw

For this challenge, students code Dash to launch "snowballs" (ping pong balls) through Dot's bunny ears.  They should work in partners with one partner acting as a timer and score keeper while the other partner gets 1 minute to try to get as many points as possible.  Each time a ball goes through or over Dot's ears, they earn 2 points.  Once they get the hang out of how the launcher works, encourage students to try to use the automatic reload feature and to program Dash to "sneak" up on Dot by moving in from different directions and turning. 


Center 4: Winter Scene

With this center you will need Ozobots, markers and paper. Students should draw a simple winter scene for the Ozobot to "explore" and use the different colors to achieve different effects like speeding up and slowing down.


Center 5: Snow Plow

For this center it's nice to have at least two simple mazes made up of straightaways and right angles.  If you have groups of four, it's also nice for each student to have their own Dash to test their program ideas. Explain to students that Dash is automatically set to go 50 cm for each move forward block.  Then show them how they can change that variable. Encourage students to measure the straights so they know how far they should program Dash to go for each distance. 


Check out the directions here:


Monday, November 27, 2017

Design Thinking and 3D Printing

Post used for 3D Printing PD as a resource page.

Have you heard the story about the middle school teacher in Wisconsin who helped to save the life of a duck by making it prosthetic feet or maybe you've heard about the 6th grade students making prosthetic hand a classmate.  

While printing prosthetics may seem unusual, there is no doubt that 3D printing technology can revolutionize problem solving for teachers and students of any age. For example, consider how this Assistive Technology Specialist in Sonoma used 3D printing to design solution specifics to the needs of a student he was helping:
 
By using Design Thinking strategies and guiding students to empathize with end users and define problems, teachers can turn things over to students to problem solve.  With a simple design process like ICE (Imagine, Create, Evaluate), even elementary aged students can successfully imagine and design solutions.




How can you organize student work?

Consider guiding students through an exercise in 3D printing using tools like Digital Interactive Notebooks built using tools like PowerPoint or Google Slides.  Interactive notebooks, depending on the age of the students, allow you to structure learning so that students can develop a sense of empathy as they work towards defining the problem or need and the constraints that go along with that need. It also provides time for checkpoints and evaluation.  

Check out the examples below:

Design Thinking/3D printing Workshop Notebook

 

4th Grade Design Wars Project Template


Need more?

Hover over the Thinglink below to see resources.
 

Friday, November 10, 2017

PBL: Planning for Success ECET2CNKY 2017

What do you think when you hear the word project?  



Top Google search results for "School Projects" returns Pinterest pages of 25 best projects and plenty of science fair projects. Image searches are full of planet models, tri-fold boards, and dioramas. In contrast, ask someone in the business world what they think of when they think of the word project, and you might get a much different answer.




With the rise of Project Based Learning (PBL), we often see much confusion about what it is, and what it isn't.  PBL, Genius Hour, Projects, Service Learning - these are all terms that might be discussed during PLCs, conferences, on Twitter chats, and explored through countless professional readings in the form of books, research papers and blogs.


Designing PBL? Check out some of the Basics:

From format, to planning, to collaboration, to integrating technology in a mindful way, there's a lot to consider before the project begins. 



When designing a PBL experience for your students, it is important to plan ahead, develop your assessments, project calendar and expectations ahead of the project.  BIE has a number of incredible planning tools to help you do that, and you can find excellent ideas at Teach Thought and Edutopia.


A simple planner I have had success with can be found as a Google Slides file.  Choose to copy the document to your Google Drive, and you will be able to add text boxes and information where appropriate. 





Managing the Project in Progress

When it comes to extended inquiry, having a plan for how students will conduct the research, and how they will synthesize it into a project can be aided by formats such as the: Super 3 (appropriate for grades K-2), Big 6 Research (appropriate for grades 3-6), and Guided Inquiry Design (grades 6 and up).  You can encourage students to design their projects using design thinking.  Check out resources from Stanford's d.School or I have developed a model that can be used with elementary students called ICE  -Imagine, Create, Evaluate.

You might consider setting up a self serve area in your classroom that has research sheets, graphic organizers and project materials available.

I have found that using these models is often best supported by putting together a project website, or providing steps and resources on an LMS or using a Digital Interactive Notebook. You can check out this "generic" project notebook by clicking [here] and saving a copy to your Google Drive.

What technology tools or tips and tricks do you have for keeping a project organized and moving forward?


Need Ideas?

There are some great resource out there if you need ideas for projects.  Be sure to see BIE's searchable database or Teach Thought's "A Better List of Ideas for Project Based Learning".

For elementary teachers, you can find ideas that I've tested by searching PBL on this blog or the PBL posts on FTISEdTEch Blog

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pd While You.... October




Second in my "PD While You..." series.  The image is hung in "strategic" places around schools:)  Originally shared here.

Links to Get You Right Where You Need to Go


 
  • Make Learning POP! Check out the resources for My BrainPOP.  You will need the code from the print flyer to set up your account.  But you can have your kids making movies just like the real deal BrainPOP videos in no time! Check out this playlist to get you started:
 


  • Learn how to make a BrainPOP movie here - perfect for letter writing!


  • Gettin Appy With It - Solve Me Mobiles get your students thinking in algebraic terms with fun puzzles
  • Do This Tomorrow! Toontastic 3D is an amazing storytelling tool for kids to use - check out this example my 3 year old made:)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Focused on the Future with Future Ready Libraries #KLAConf17


Presentation

These materials were for a collaborative presentation built by librarians in Fort Thomas Schools to show the progress we are beginning to make towards supporting students in a future ready way.

Check out our slide deck for Future Ready Libraries to see images of how we are working towards supporting a focused on the future vision.



Share

What ideas do you have or are you doing that fit in each of the areas of a Future Ready Library?  Insert your thoughts on the padlet
Made with Padlet

Resources

Hover over the ThingLink below to see links to tools and web pages you might find useful