Friday, May 29, 2009

Collaborative Plant Project II

Hi everyone! We have finished our Plant Experiment VoiceThreads! Our class completed six separate VoiceThreads and you can view them on our class blog or click on a link below. Enjoy!

We watched Jon's Plant VoiceThread today. My students found similarities and differences between the experiments in both classes. We left a few comments for Jon and his students, but we hope to leave more and further our discussion about the plant VT's next week!

What if we remove the stem?
Will our plant grow without soil?
Will our plant grow bigger more quickly in a bigger container?
What will happen if we give our plant fruit punch?
Will our plant grow bigger and stronger if we exercise it?
Will our plant grow without light?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Transitioning to Middle School

Hi All,

Today we had the 5th and 6th grade discussion via CoverItLive with many 5th and 6th grade classrooms thoughout the district, and even some students from the high school. Our discussion topic was transitioning to middle school and what next year's 6th graders can expect. We certainly had our share of technical glitches, but overall, I think it was a success! If you want to read any of the blog, you can find it on starnet and also here. Our kids had a lot of fun and I want to personally thank all who participated. A special thanks must also go to Dave and Joe for all their help on the technical side of things, as well as their part in keeping the conversation headed in the right direction. Check it out if you have some time!

Classroom Website

So it took me all year... But I'm finally ready to share my classroom website. Haha :)

It is mainly a home for my Children's Global Peace Project Blog. The only project I seem to have been consistent with this year. Anyway check it out, let me know what you think.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Collaborating with Ms. Hughes

Working with Kathy Hughes has been an honor this year! Although I am her "mentor" I have learned so much from working with her. Thank you Kathy! I am impressed with Kathy's positive attitude, sense of adventure and willingness to try new things and stick with it until she fulfills the goals she sets for herself. Her students are lucky to have her.

Our final collaboration project went well for my class. I had my students work with a partner to publish two poems that they wrote. They chose one to type on their glogster and another to record and put their audio file on the glogster. We used ipods and italks to create digital voice memos. It was easy to download them to Glogster for the students to use. They also included the avitar images they created on We saved those as pictures and downloaded them to glogster.

Check out our poetry glogs on our classroom blog.

Lesson Plan

Cross posted at:


I had my class create a Glogster. The requirements were that each had to write a short summary of their favorite book in Storytown and decorate it accordingly. Students loved this and were very creative! They enjoyed it so much, they asked for their passwords so they could create a Glogster at home.

Student Created "Green" Community

Our last IB unit is entitled Give and Take and addresses the limited resources in our world. Students were challenged to build a section of a community on the edge of a river as their culminating project. This is loosely based on our own community, so they were also challenged to add a community center, an amusement park, a college, a football stadium, a wildlife preserve and a power plant. Their communities should reflect their knowledge of renewable and nonrenewable resources and how a community reduces pollution and waste. In addition to this project, students also completed an expository writing about ways that they think we could help our environment. Those writings are also posted on our class blog here. We also experimented with a "Wall Wisher" which is posted here. Double click to add a comment of your own. I like Wall Wisher because it is so simple to add ideas (no account needed) although it is easily cluttered. You can also add links and pictures very easily. I see this as a good virtual space for students to post questions at the end of a unit.

We collaborated on this project with Mrs. Heaton's fourth graders from Mossy Oaks Elementary in Beaufort, South Carolina. They mirrored this process in their class and posted on their class blog. We are going to spend some time looking at the issues that they feel are important in developing their community, and how those issues are the same and different from ours. Thanks to Mrs. Heaton's class! (take some time to explore Mrs. Heaton's blog if you want some great ideas. Hers is a great example of how to effectively use a blog to add to the learning in your classroom...)

Students did a great job, if some of their ideas are a little simplistic. If there were more than a handful of days left we would continue to discuss in class for months. This is certainly a discussion they will need to have throughout your lives, and that was a big part of the message I was trying to convey to them through this unit. Students would love to hear your comments.

Give and Take IB planner here.

Where the Wild Things Are!!!

Dorothy and I have successfully completed a reader's theater movie of the story Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Attached we have included our lesson plan with the script. Enjoy the video by Rose Hill Kindergartner's and Alsup First Grader's.

Our overall thoughts on our project:

Pros -
*students were extremely engaged
*reading expression improved
*students learned/understood story elements and sequence
*web cam worked well
*family involvement to help students remember lines
*student collaboration before, during and after filming (rehearsing, rehearsing,
*Teacher collaboration (within schools and across district)
*Movie Maker transitions were more smooth than anticipated

Con's -
*Teacher's need to more thoroughly adapt the script (some of the lines were cut
off into two clips).
*Wish we had time to make more reader's theater videos!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kemp / Alsup First Grade Collaborative Plant Project

Here is the Voicethread for the Kemp / Alsup collaborative plant experiment. We look forward to sharing comments with Kelly's class. Each group created a question they wanted to pursue as well as a hypothesis. Then they designed their experiment and logged the results.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Here it is! Our poetry Glog. It has been a huge, but mostly exciting, undertaking. The students loved Glogster and were very motivated to use it. At times I thought that the time we put into it wasn't worth the learning outcomes, but once sat down and reflected I realized just how many standards, both technology and literacy, we hit. Next time around I will be able to save a lot of learning and personal time because I know what to expect. Here are my SIOP Lesson Plans:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

VUE Visual Understanding Environment

CONTENT MAPPING with presentation capabilities!

VUE is another "free" but sophisticated tool at our disposal!

"The Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is an Open Source project based at Tufts University. The VUE project is focused on creating flexible tools for managing and integrating digital resources in support of teaching, learning and research. VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information."

I look forward to sharing this exciting tool with you, fellow global learners, during our June 8-10 workshop. The schedule is being finalized with emphasis on old and new tech tools, student presentations / applications and atomic learning!

An email noting details will be send out next week.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Set your presentations on fire

My students are preparing to give their presentations on renewable energy and what they have learned from reading Plan B 3.0 and related readings. I've decided that this time around, I'm going to have them use the Ignite format for their presentations. Basically what that means is that they will be given five minutes and 20 slides (that automatically rotate every 15 seconds) to present their ideas. The students are in various stages of pseudo-panic about this: some think five minutes is so long, others say that there is no way they can present in that short a time. I think this format will work really well. I like the structure this promises, and I also think that teaching them to be concise in their delivery will prove invaluable. I have become pretty hooked on Edmodo. I've started using feeds for some of the groups I've used and I've discovered that when you put in a link to a video, it actually embeds it in the message... very nice! The next piece of tech I want to master is OpenZine. OpenZine is basically a way to design and publish online magazines. OpenZine definitely represents some cool possibilities for my classes next year; I'm already thinking about the possibilities for class and IB Academy magazines. (Cross posted to my teacher blog.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Abshire and Will's Super Collaboration

Uncle Abshire and Uncle Will have joined collective forces by inciting classes to engage an a number of joint exercises, including a Video presentation and peer review which will eventually branch off to independent student research, and a class COVERITLIVE session regarding the inevitable transition to the new Adams City High School. Here is a link to the transcript. The students acted as monitors and participants and had some very provocative opinions and thoughts.
Stay tuned for more information later!

new signups for webspiration being accepted

Hi all. New accounts are being accepted again. They have been closed for a few months.

Click here for more information.

"Whether working individually or collaboratively, Webspiration is the new online visual thinking tool. With integrated diagram and outline views you can think visually, structure your work effectively and express your ideas in the ways that communicate best." (from the website)


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ISTE NETS standards -Broken down by grades

Today a few of the Global Learners got together to talk about training for the new Global Learners. We talked a little bit about what some of the goals of using technology to create 21st century learning opportunities. We talked about purposeful integration of technology in Standards-based lessons. Something that I have found helpful and promised to share are the National Technology Standards Profiles for technology literate students. This is a breakdown of the various standards and skill sets for different grade levels. It gives you some examples of learning activities that students should be engaging in to meet these standards at different grade levels.

Welcome 2009 - 2010 Global Learners

We are pleased to announce the newest Global Learner Project members from Adams 14. These 15 teachers will begin their initial Global Learner training August 5, 2009. We will shortly be announcing an additional 5 new Global Learners from our partner district, Center Consolidated 26JT. School year 2009 - 2010 will prove to be exciting and challenging as the Global Learner Project moves into its 3rd year, Inspiring, Educating, and Empowering 21st Century teaching and learning. Please make the new GL'ers feel welcomed.

Here they are!

Laurie Arnold: Alsup Elementary, Third Grade
Jenny Bloom: Rose Hill Elementary, Kindergarten
Tom Ciolek: Kearney MS, Math
Mary Davenport: Adams City HS, AVID\English
Kristin Edwards: Adams City MS, AVID\Science
Sara Feaster: Central Elementary, Third Grade
Lisa Garcia: Adams City HS, AVID\English
Andrew Giles: Monaco Elementary, Pre-Kindergarten
James Howat: Adams City HS, Science
Emily Klein: Kearney MS, Science
Jennifer Lindberg: Rose Hill Elementary, Third Grade
Brianna Sealy: Alsup Elementary, Third Grade
Aimee Stork: Rose Hill Elementary, Music Education
Esmunda Talamantes: Hanson PK-8, Second Grade
Michelle Waheed: Central Elementary, Second Grade

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

First Attempt at Voice Thread

Our first grade class is working on a collaborative project with Mr. Fisher's first graders. I thought it would be advantageous to complete a group VT prior to letting small groups share their information.

With much success, students reflected on their field trip to Anderson Farm in Erie. They were all engaged and collaborated on their reflections. The typed comments are tidbits I heard from their conversations with one another. I definitely anticipate using VT more in the future!

Monday, May 18, 2009

First and Second Grade Voicethread

Earlier, Jon posted about his students asking questions about second grade. He put them into a Voicethread. My second graders have now answered the questions and I inserted them into the Voicethread.

I have also posted it on our classroom blog.

One thing I learned from this project is that titles on a picture in Movie Maker sometimes don't let you type all you want to type. So, I opened the picture into Power Point and added text on top of it. I was able to group the text and picture together and then "Save as picture." Then I had a jpg file I could do whatever I wanted. Doing text overlay in Power Point gave me a lot of flexibility. I'm learning so many things with each new project.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sharing Discovery Streaming Videos

Recently, a colleague of mine and myself were given the job of beginning to consolidate Discovery Streaming videos that teachers were using in their grade levels to support their IB units. There are a couple of tools in Discovery Streaming that make it very easy to keep track of your videos. (Here's their help page on this subject.)

First, once you find a video you should save it in a "My Content" folder. I have different folders within "My Content" for each of our six IB units of inquiry. This has made it very easy to find the videos that I used last year.

After the videos are in your own folder, it is very easy to then share them with others in your building or in the district. Click on the drop down menu on the right and select "share".

If you are sharing with others in your school, select which folder you would like to put it in, or select "share to new school folder". I am sharing all of my videos that I use with our unit on renewable and nonrenewable resources with my colleagues who are teaching the same unit. The next time they sign in to their account, they will see the video in the school content folder.

Want to share the video with a Global Learner in another school? Click on "Share to District" in a folder of your choosing or create a new one. There is already a video there from Idledale Mayoral Candidate, Dave "Mountain Lion" Tarwater.

This has been a great discovery (no pun intended) for us so that we can do a better job of keeping track of resources that we use to support our IB units at Alsup. There are a couple of things that are a little glitchy. For example, I will give a crisp $1 bill to anyone who can tell me how to delete a school content folder. I'm stumped...

I used two videos from Discovery Streaming recently to have students compare life of people in India living in cities to those living in the country. Cultural Comparisons planner is here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Glogster Craze Hits Third Grade

My class has also started to use glogster! Thanks Liz for showing it to us at the Global Learners UNITE session. Today we used the Smart Board and Glogster to create a classroom glogster about our responsibility to share the world with other animals. Each student got to put an idea onto the glog. It was a fun and engaging way for students to collaborate on a project together and to incorporate ideas from a poster they created and a writing assignment they did independently for previous assignments. We kept it simple and just have photos and words on it.

crossposted at:

lesson plan:


I have had some of my students use Glogster. I plan to have the rest of the class use it once MAPS testing has been completed and the computers are free. The students were required to create a Glogster about their favorite story they read this year. The students wrote a short summary about it and then decorate it. The kids loved it!

Problem-Solving Collaboration through VoiceThread

To enrich our student's understanding of the problem-solving process, Mr. Brown's 6th grade class and my 6th grade class have been sharing problems, solutions, and justifications of work through VoiceThread. It has taken time to get the students comfortable with the format, process, and recording in front of a class. However, we have found that not only do the classes' answers and explanations progress through the sharing process, but the participating student's gain a deeper understanding of the content through the recording process.
(one of our first threads is posted below)

Problem-Solving Collaboration through VoiceThread

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To get my students ready for second grade I asked them to develop some questions that they are curious about. Each table group developed a question, edited it for errors, and filmed it on their own. I helped them add their questions in MovieMaker. Now the movie/questions are assembled in VoiceThread ready for Mrs. Kellogg's class. The VT can be found here: and I will post again after we have finished.

Research Writing with Podcasts

At the end of the year my students have been growing a little too comfortable with each other, me, and everything we do regularly in the classroom. The best thing to do seems to spice things up and add a little more variety to our learning! That's why I decided to have my students publish their expository paragraphs in a new way. They wrote about a topic they researched on the internet and with books. They created podcasts to publish their work. This motivated them to complete their paragraphs in a timely fashion and to do a good job with them. They loved recording their voices, even if most of them were a bit nervous at first. We used iPods with iTalks to create some voice memos. I then posted them on my website. Next we are going to listen to each podcast and the students are going to help assess each others' work using a rubric from Write Source for expository writing. I found this was an easy and fun way for students to publish their writing. Check them out on our classroom website. Does anyone have any other ideas on fun ways for students to publish writing?
lesson plan


Hi all. Just found this site. Looks interesting and appears to be k-12 friendly and free. Any comments? I want to try it out in the next couple of weeks... However, I need to look into the district's student privacy issues etc. Any info would be appreciated...


from the website


What is is LIVE INTERACTIVE VIDEO FOR EVERYONE. quickly and easily allows anyone with a camera to broadcast to the world. Our users consist of bloggers, podcasters, radio stations, DJ's, citizen journalist, talk show hosts, celebrities, rock bands, entertainers, comedians, churches, political candidates, government officials, conferences, event sponsors, record labels, television networks, colleges, university organizations, fraternities, sororities, charities, community groups, websites, civic groups, priests, monks, bird lovers, ghost hunters, dog watchers, weddings, lifecasters, professionals and amateurs.

How do I Create a Show? What do I Need?

All you need to stream is a computer, internet connection, a microphone and a webcam or video camera. Our system will auto detect your camera type.

To start a new show, click "My Shows". Type the name of your show into the "Create New Show" box and click "Create". Once the information is entered, click "Broadcast Now" to start broadcasting. A broadcast window will appear and request permission to detect your webcam or camera. Select ALLOW. Now click "Start Broadcasting" and you're LIVE!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Student work on our blog

Hello. Some of you may remember that I was working on a "pigeon letter" project at our last training. I ultimately put the still picture into Movie Maker and put the audio recording in and saved it as a movie that Blogger lets me upload. I got permission from most parents to publish work and sent the website address home to families on Monday. The students are very excited, though we have no comments yet.

Also on the blog, is the beginning of the collaborative project Sara and I are working on. We decided short video questions and answers would be an easier way to get them interacting.

Lastly, I want repeat how great United Streaming can be. Our story this week is about rock formation. I downloaded a few United Streaming videos on rocks and rock formation into Movie Maker. I picked out only the pieces that directly refer to concepts in our story. All three of our second grade teachers showed the video and gave our second graders a quick dose of background knowledge and raised their interest (with video of lava and volcanoes, you can't go wrong). It meant they had already heard "igneous rock" several times and had a visual in their head before they had to read the word.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Just found out about Edmodo via Twitter. Basically, it's Twitter for schools. I just signed for my own account and plan on getting my students on it when we are in the media center on Thursday. It has some interesting possibilities, particularly since through it, I can send links, files, assignments, and so on to my students as well as an RSS feed. Last week I spent some time talking with my students about both Twitter and various RSS readers, and I'm encouraging them to use both of those for research as they begin to start their end of term projects. I'll play around with this and report on it more, most likely at the June training, but figured I'd give people a heads up on it now.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mr. Palmer's 5th Grade Class TechEd Update

Thought I'd post a few updates on what has been working in my class and what we've struggled with a bit lately. We've done a few projects with online research and publishing our results online. I especially thought the state research project went well. We also have been communicating via email and IM with a class in Georgia (my wife's uncle's 5th grade class) and we're planning on collaborating with them on a project soon.

I've experimented with different technology lessons during small group centers. The last few weeks, we've done some interactive math websites (Math Brain, United Streaming, BrainPOP), watched and reflected on some reading websites (United Streaming, Storyline Online), and published a lot of our writing (the last few weeks to be posted soon on our website).

We use the clickers to show what we've learned each week in a quick postassessment on Friday. We've even developed some of our own questions to be used in CPS for the rest of the class to answer. Just a few of the things we've been trying here in fifth grade. It would be nice to hear some other classroom's ideas and projects.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Poetry and

As we were finishing out CSAP in the fourth grade, I was looking for an engaging project for writing time. So, we wrote poetry. We were reading poetry in every Storytown theme and learning about figurative language. Students were challenged to create a free verse poem about where they are from and also a diamante poem about a subject of their choosing. Students were given specific planners for both poems (there's a great interactive website about diamante poems here). They wrote from the planners and wrote a final draft which was glued to construction paper and displayed in the hall. Then they published their poetry on our class blog.

Once they were finished with their poetry, students created a self portrait using This website is great for so many levels of students and is very interactive. Students build the features of their wild selves, but as they progress they get to pick, not only human features, but also animal features. Students created some pretty interesting pictures! They emailed their creations to me, I cropped them using Jing, and put them with their poetry on the blog.

They did a pretty good job with this. Their free verse poems don't really read as poetry as much as a short autobiography. One student experimented with rhyming. They were challenged with adding figurative language to their peotry which they really struggled with. Buildyourwildself was a hit of course.

SIOP lesson plan