Tuesday, June 30, 2009

SMART Board Training Day 1

Hey Everyone! :)

Been in training for the SMART Board! :) So much fun! I've attached a link to the notes that I was taking. They'll be updated with each day. It's mostly just the little tricks that I didn't know.. :)


Family Trees

Hi All,

Hope your summers are going well. I have been thinking about doing a family tree project with my students next year to get conversations going about where they come from, how they are related to others, and how interconnected families are. I am looking for a good way to create a family tree that is both free and easy to use. I am sure there are websites I can go to, but is there a program (non-internet based) that anyone has used, like a graphic organizer-type program that might be just as easy? Let me know if you have any thoughts.



Thursday, June 25, 2009


Remember the fridge magnets from a few years back? They had a theme (coffee, love, kids...). Well, there is an electronic version. The below took me all of 2 minutes (most of which was spent using my thesaurus for words I didn't know!) I don't believe you can upload your own photo, but they have a lot to choose from. After you choose your photo, a drag-n-drop word bank shows you many parts of speech. You can also go freestyle. Check it out!

PicLit from PicLits.com
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day from far away!

Living far away from family is never easy, but Skype makes it all too easy!

I just got off a video conference call with my family back in Washington state. For Father's Day we all chipped in and got my dad a new archery bow. My mom called me earlier today and told me that she wanted us all to be on the phone when he opened it. I suggested that we use Skype instead. Luckily my brother (super computer savvy) was able to set it up from home. Without him, I never would have been able to convince my mother. After a 3-way conference call and 2 cell phones, we were all back together again! We had successfully connected my hometown of Granger, WA, Spokane, WA, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Denver!!!! For some reason we couldn't get video with the 3-way phone call, but we took turns watching the baby and the big kid open his present. Skype made it possible for me to spend Father's Day with my daddy. Wow, I'm constantly learning and amazed by technology!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tonia tried her hand at Vlogging (also known as TloGging)

I have been meaning to get back to blogging for the past year....when you stop doing it, you get so much you want to share, you don't know where to start. So, I vloged....although I prefer to call it a tlog. Hopefully, I can onceagain become reflective about my practice....

Friday, June 19, 2009

Great Deal for the Flip Camcorder/Educator Rebate

At the last Global Learners training, we talked about the flip camcorder. Below is a link for a $10.00 rebate for educators. Walmart is clearing out the 30 minute flip for $49.00 and sometimes Amazon has a good price on the flip camcorder. You need to purchase the camera by June 30th.

Discovery Education

Does anyone know anything about student accounts for Discovery Education?
They claim that the are rolling out with a new student access model next month and we will be able to create classrooms and assign access to streaming starting this July.
Will we have access to this feature?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

50 Great Examples of Data Visualization

from webdesignerdepot

"Wrapping your brain around data online can be challenging, especially when dealing with huge volumes of information.

And trying to find related content can also be difficult, depending on what data you’re looking for.

But data visualizations can make all of that much easier, allowing you to see the concepts that you’re learning about in a more interesting, and often more useful manner.

Below are 50 of the best data visualizations and tools for creating your own visualizations out there, covering everything from Digg activity to network connectivity to what’s currently happening on Twitter."

Enjoy your summer.... Doug

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Google Wave

Google later this year will unveil Google Wave, a new species of eMail and instant messaging that lets people communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, and videos--and it could have broad implications for how students use and develop collaborative skills.

The company says the free feature is "a new model for communication and collaboration on the web." Google Wave runs in a web browser and combines elements of eMail, instant messaging, wikis, and photo and video sharing in an attempt to make online communication more dynamic.

Some are touting Google Wave as a breakthrough that will dramatically change education?

Worth your time to view this 1 hour 20 minute video.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Live Binders

At our recent training, I talked to the group about LiveBinders.com. Live Binders is a designed as a binder that you can organize websites (not just links to them), pictures, text, and files. You can share your Live Binder with others through embedding, emailing, and so on. The cool part is that when you add websites to that binder, it will be updated wherever you have shared it as well. There are lots of possibilities with this. One is to put a link to a Live Binder on the desktops of computers your students work on. Then, you can add or change the websites in that binder so your students don't have to type anything and you don't have to run around to all the computers first to add book marks.

Live Binders is still in the development stage. Presently, only one user account can edit a Live Binder. (We can't share editing rights.) Hopefully, this will be an added feature down the road. To work around this, I have created a GL account on Live Binders so we can all add to the GL binders. The username is global. If you don't remember the password, email myself or Dave.
I have started Live Binders for our Global Learner links. It is on the side bar of this blog, below the archive. If posters add the websites they post about, we will have a permanent place to look for those addresses and we won't have go back and look for that post in the archives.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Idea for Families

As we met this week at ACMS, not only was I thinking of how what I learned I could use in the classroom, but also how could families use technology to help their child learn more and more creatively. In addition, families often want to help a child who is struggling or even who is so smart that his or her learning could grow even more with technology.
So, here is my idea...What if the Global Learners offered a a monthly workshop for families on how they could use technology to help their child learn? Many families now have the internet at home or can find a way to access it. Kids want to be producers and we can show so many more options than myspace.
What if families learned how to help their child create better ways to learn difficult vocabulary by using VUE?
What do you think?

How to Embed a YouTube Video in PowerPoint 2007

I learned a great deal at the June 2009 Global Learner trainings. I'm excited about Atomic Learning and some of the new tools we tried out. Atomic Learning will be extremely useful in helping to master the ins and outs of Micrsoft 2007 applications. One thing I didn't find a training module for was embedding a YouTube video in PowerPoint 2007 so I made my own little screen cast to show you how.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Todd showed me twitter4teachers today at training and I have been nerding out all night :)

However, he also showed me an even COOLER feature to use Twitter, TweetDeck. I signed up for Twitter 2 months ago and haven't used it. It seemed pointless and annoying, to be frank. Todd encouraged me to try it again using both twitter4teachers and TweetDeck and I have spent all evening on Twitter! (I guess it can be addicting).

TweetDeck allows you to organize the people or organizations you follow into groups. This makes everything more visually pleasing to me, and far easier to use. You can post your tweets and reply to direct messages through TweetDeck, as well as search for topics that you are interested in following.

Check it out, its pretty rad!


Hushpuppies and Global Learners

A quick read on the reference Joe gave us this morning on "tipping point". I truly believe we (acutally you guys) are on the verge of creating this tipping point in Adams 14. Check it out at here.

Clickers in the Classroom

Here is a link to a presentation that I had put together for a PD session on Clickers (CPS). Clickers in the Classroom Google Presentation.
This presentation describes how to navigate through the CPS program as well as showing how a power point presentation can serve as a learning tool and assessment all in one.
The CPS program can be downloaded from eInstructions' website.
I have found this technology is useful for engaging more passive students and helping pace lessons to keep motivation high throughout the class period.

Comprehensive List of Web 2.0 Apps

You may start your own blog using one of these:







Sample blogs with materials and suggestions for teachers:


http://teach-with-internet.blogspot.com (Teacher Training)

You may start your own blog using one of these






Sample wikis with materials and suggestions for teachers:



Index of Wikis:







http://librivox.org/ (Audio Books in public domain)

http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=781704&pageno=6 (Online reading and downloads)

http://www.storybee.org/4through9/4through9.html (Downloadable stories and songs)

http://www.songsforteaching.com/ (Educational songs at low price and free Newsletter with downloads)


Voice Recorder Programs




Free Downloads:



Upload – download videos







Other videos

http://www.teachers.tv/ (Online programmes and vodeos – some exclusive for UK)

http://en.yappr.com (Video, scripts, slow repetition)

http://www.eslvideo.com/ (Videos with Quizzes, make your own quiz)


http://www.glogster.com/ (Message boards with images, embedded sound and video files)

http://goanimate.com/ (Build your own comic)

http://voicethread.com (Upload photos and narrate a story)

http://www.voki.com/ (Create your own character, choose hair, eyes, clothes, etc. and make it speak)

http://sketchcast.com/ (Draw a sketch and record a story while you do it)

http://www.smilebox.com/ecards/ (Make an online mini book with images and messages you choose)

http://www.gizmoz.com (Use given videos and characters, change faces or add voice to them)

http://www.mixbook.com/ (Build a photo album and add text)

http://animoto.com/ (Use pictures to create a video and post it to You Tube or download, free samples)

http://www.slide.com/ (Create your own slide show with music, especial effects and remix)

http://www.screentoaster.com/ (Broadcast video of what you see in your pc screen)

http://earth.google.com/ (Travel virtually around the World. Record your trip)





Sample Social Networks for Teachers

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2420726129# (English Teachers Network)




http://www.buddyschool.com/ (Contact with chat or skype, good Schedule control and MSN when a lesson is requested)

http://www.wiziq.com/ (Good Whiteboard screen, you can upload files and videos right there, offer public lessons)

http://www.moodle.com/ (Especially for institutions – Online support at http://www.moodle.org )

Twitter for Teachers

Found this and wanted to pass it on; it's a GREAT resource for finding other teachers on Twitter: Twitter for Teachers.

Learn, Practice, Prepare: the future of Global Learners: Live blog event

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ignite is AMAZING for student presentations; looking ahead.

(This is a partial cross post from my teacher blog.)
This time of year is typically my time to look back on the school year and reflect on things I thought went well as well as identify areas of growth for me. I incorporated a great deal of technology in my classes this year, which was falls into both categories. I still have some growing to do and kinks to iron out, but I definitely did a lot more experimentation in my classes than I have in the past. In addition to the technology piece, I did a great deal more group work than I ever have. Typically, I've found group work to be a bit of a management nightmare, especially when working with freshmen, but this year I bit the bullet and pushed myself to let go a little bit and let my students take the lead. I'm glad I did. The live blog collaborative sessions revealed a great deal about my students and their capabilities, and their presentations went quite well.

Which brings me to my next point. Ignite is an amazing format for student presentations, especially for students who aren't used to doing presentations. The 15 second time frame for each slide really discourages the reading of slides, and sticking to the 20 slide/five minute format definitely ensures that students will reach the time allotted. Sticking to the 15 second per slide format also means that those students who would normally rely on videos to fill time aren't able to, and it keeps the more... verbose... students to a reasonable time frame as well. I will definitely continue to use it, especially for underclassmen. We even got an invitation to join IgniteDenver, which is pretty cool. I plan to check out a few presentations on my own first, then open the door to my students to attend and present at an event. Here's a great blog entry that I'm going to share with my students on how to put together an Ignite presentation.

Other things I will continue to use next year: Google Docs, TurnItIn.com, blogs, podcasting, Google Sites, Ning, Edmodo, CoverItLive, TextTheMob. I want to add: OpenZine, PhotoStory, MovieMaker. I'm sure there's more I'll end up using, especially with the trainings coming up this week and in August. Should be fun!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Renzulli, Discovery Ed, Context Clues, and Collaboration

- SmartBoard Context Clues (Used for both of my observations)...
Students are required to go up to the SB and physically decipher an unfamiliar word through the context of the sentence or paragraph it is in. Students circle or highlight the word, and then talk/circle/underline their way through figuring out the meaning. Simple and highly effective.

- Discovery Education (AKA, United Streaming) has been a fantastic resource. Certainly the video segmentation is great, but there are loads of other features and tools that could easily fit into a collective or differentiated framework. You may create video writing prompts, in which students watch segments and then write to a specific question created by you. There are also online activities that could easily translate to your classroom.

- Renzulli - This was an iniative at Hanson and served as a backdrop of several of my lesson plans; the idea is to streamline a bunch of online resources specific for student abilities and learning styles onto one website. Teachers could assign "virtual field trips," online scavenger hunts, and other activities based on student need, interest, and progress. The site helps track student completion and scoring, and provides each student with their own learning profile, which teachers could readily access. While we got a grant at Hanson, the program costs money to run. I thought several of the features were useful (learning profile/Meyers Briggs, accessible email, user friendly), but most are accessible (for free) through other programs and a little time to find the resources.

Still, Renzulli can be fun to explore, and makes finding interesting learning websites a snap.

Collaboration - During the UNITE! PD, there were a lot of wonderful collaboration ideas thrown around regarding Glogster and Voicethread. While I have shared classroom podcasts and the like, the birth of my son in the last few weeks of school managed to wipe any real collaboration efforts with fellow global learners (as well as any consistent sleep patterns!) out the window; I am excited to get back on track in the upcoming pd.

I'm also getting used to the three-hour baby wake-up rule!!!!!!! =)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Reflections on the Collaborative Plant Project with

I had a really fun time with the Plant Experiment project we did with Kelly's class. My students learned a lot about plants from each other but also from Kelly's class. Her students commented on our VoiceThread and our Students commented on theirs. Kelly's students reflected very nicely and made some comparisons between our projects and theirs. This turned out to be several lessons which extended the learning opportunities from the anticipation phase through the reflection phase.
One thing I liked about VoiceThread was the ease of recording comments and deleting comments if they made a mistake. This lesson would have been better if we had done it a little earlier because it would have given more time to reflect more deeply and to do some experiments from the seed stage rather than starting with potted plants.
Kelly set up her VoiceThread in a more student and inquiry-friendly format with each student group posting on a separate VT. What made it fun was pausing the VT after her students explain their experiment and having my students record predictions about what would happen then resuming the video to check the results.
Overall a great lesson for Science Standard 1 (process of scientific inquiry) and appropriate for this age of student.

Audacity - Life as a Historical Disc Jockey Lesson Plan

As several of you may know, I spent twelve years as a radio personality (starting when I was fifteen at a local radio station in a small Pennsylvania Town). We were using reel-to-reel production in a studio which came equipped with turntables and "cart" machines.

We've come a long way since then. Now, with the extremely user-friendly prgram audacity, you and your students can do commerical-quality productions with a laptop, a microphone, and an hour or so of creative play.

For a social studies example lesson, the seventh graders are expected at some point to know the thirteen colonies. For student-based technological product, the class would be broken into thirteen groups, and would spend time writing a 60-second "vacationing spot" about an assigned colony. The spot would have to include the year of settlement, import-export info, and why their colony would be a great place to visit or even settle. Of course, the teacher would have to model production, including using Audacity features and effects. If this is done at the beginning of next year, their knowledge of audacity could filter into several other projects...

- :30 second spots on each of the eight parts of speech - Again, break students into eight groups - have each group examine the functions of each part of speech (noun, pronoun, etc.). Give students a timeframe when the commerical should be completed.

- :60 second presentation of an autobiography or a biography on a historical/cultural figure. Have eighth graders look up key figures significant to the American Revolution. Create an online library of :60 second historical "commercials" highlighting key contributions and significant achievements.

For collaboration purposes, simply create a central, accessible resource to post these "commercials" online and share with other schools and classrooms. You could even create a "producer/talent" relationship between students in different schools! One group of students would create a commercial; another group in another classroom could offer suggestions for editing.

The possibilites are endless!!!!

2009-2010 Forward Thinking

Believe it or not, I am excited about the next school year. With the last vestiges of my slim classroom budget and a little begging, I was able to get a Flip (c) video camera AND a desktop classroom computer devoted to the creation of next year's student-run Hanson newspaper, as well as the "student" control center" for Davis' online classroom (gaggle and glogster, here we come!)

It's been challenging without consistent access to extra computers. I feel we have a stronger foundation for student-led technological products in the coming year.

I will be revamping my classroom page to reflect "Tech Wars-A New Hope" and will keep each of you updated.

End of Year Reflection

When I told my students yesterday that we would be reflecting on our experiences from the past year they collectively groaned. A few whined, "I don't want to reflect." Perhaps we "reflected" too much over the school year! But once we got into it, they couldn't stop thinking about our year together and all of the things they had experienced together. One thought led to another and to another and to another.

The last thing we did before they left for summer break was share one thing that they would never forget about third grade, something they will take with them. The two things that came up consistently for my students was going on field trips and using technology. Those experiences will stay with them and held the most meaning for them. I'm reflecting on that!

cross posted at: http://mstaylorsthirdgradeclass.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 4, 2009

First Grade Animals Internet Inquiry Lesson

Here is an Internet Inquiry lesson on animals. An internet inquiry lesson is a student-directed research activity in which the students choose what they want to study and research it on the internet. An important element of this type of lesson is the student reflection on the learning process. For first grade I have narrowed the topic of study for them and given them a single resource (kids.nationalgeographic.com) to go to using a bookmarked internet site to scaffold the learning process.
This is an interesting look at what can go wrong in a technology lesson. We had several interruptions, a camera problem, and a computer missing the bookmarked site. I left these parts in the video because it’s a realistic part of teaching. We were filming using the Small Wonder video camera but the batteries died. We improvised by taping the webcam to the tripod and filmed for a while using that until we could get some more batteries. As a result the video quality and sound quality is very poor at about minute five.
The lesson plans for this lesson are at https://sites.google.com/a/adams14schools.org/mrfisher/lessons (Animals Internet Inquiry.doc). The student artifacts are posted on my blog at http://mrfishergloballearner.blogspot.com/2009/06/animals-internet-inquiry-student.html


Classroom Expectations

The end of year project I gave to my kiddos was to choose a classroom expectation/rule/IB attitude or IB profile that they could teach to next years first graders. We were able to publish six videos within a couple of days. The kids loved being the experts and writing the whole movie. If you want to check them out visit our website!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kidspiration Needs vs. Wants, First Grade Lesson

I have finally posted my first filmed lesson on Needs vs. Wants. The students created a multimedia file using Kidspirationto show the difference between needs and wants. This lesson is posted on my blog here.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Computer vs Paper Assessments

Here is a very interesting study I found on assessments. I have included a very brief synopsis of the article, which is quite lengthly but a fascinating examination of how student respond to testing modalities. It is featured in, The Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment Vol. 6, Num. 3 Nov. 2007, titled, Examining Differences in Examinee Performance in Paper and Pencil and Computerized Testing.