Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blogging With 2nd Graders

Last month we launched our classroom blog. The students have been so excited! Each day we check our blog to record the temperature and check to see if we have had any more visitors. Through our blog we have been able to discuss geography and read messages from others. The students are eager to log on and start blogging on their own blogs. I have noticed that the students are becoming more comfortable with technology and are teaching each other. I am so proud of them!

In addition to the classroom learning that is going on, the students are taking what they have learned about technology home with them. The students have been encouraging their parents to log on at home!

I would like to invite you to visit our class blog and leave us a comment! You can reach our classroom blog at or by going to and typing in Melissa Garcia under “Read Blogmeisters.”

Friday, October 30, 2009

So I am still delving into all this wonderful technology out there for my students and me. I am, as well as my whole team, actually making a commitment to using the Smart Board -so the ideas and collaboration are wonderful. I am still trying to manage the independent or small group usage of it and am thinking I am being too overprotective. Do any of you use it for centers? What are some strategies for making sure they are appropriate and safe without hovering? Maybe I am just a control freak? Thanks in advance.

Another wonderful math website

Hey all -

Here is another wonderful math website that I use almost daily with my math kids. In fact, they ask all the time if we can play the games on the Smart Board.... very engaging for them!

On another note, my team members and I level our math groups... and I have the highest (which is a blast). Here is the problem I am having: after trying multiple methods I still have a large handful of students that just don't get rounding. Any suggestions on how I can pull these final students to proficiency with this? Thanks for the help!

I'm confused.....

I'm confused. I need your help and suggestions.....

Now that the HS science department is implementing a daily pacing guide correlated to glets, how can I justify time in class having my students collaborate with students in other grade levels?

If my students and I are investigating the structure of DNA, how can I in real-time collaborate with Kristen's or Emily's MS science classes who have their own pacing guide and are on different topics?

You might suggest that we collaborate on general topics such as the scientific method but then we (teachers) will he held accountable for not being in the correct place on the pacing guide\ at the correct time.

I am trained as a global learner but the structuring of the daily lesson plans (6 pages in length) and the daily pacing guide does not appear to allow me to promote 21st C collaboration between classrooms.

For example: .....If it is Tuesday, my students need to be discussing the double helix nature of DNA, not live blogging with Kristen's or Emily's kids about how science has improved the quality of life.....

I'm not complaining (well kind of... ;)

I am all for restructuring and appreciate many of the approaches that ACSD14 has embraced.

But how do I rectify this apparent discrepancy?

Your suggestions are / would be appreciated.


PS I am also an IB MYP / DP teacher and am wondering about how the dailly pacing guide as per the glets will give me flexibility in content delivery to implement the special attributes of IB science and technology?

I suppose that is another conversation for another day.

October blog

I am really enjoying using the Promethean board. We do calendar on the promethean board every day. The calendar for October has math integrated into it. It has the base ten blocks and ones for students to drag how many days we have been in school, weather graphing, a part about "Tell me everything you know about the number 29 for instance, depending on the date.
As children share their thoughts, I type them up on the board for all to see. The children are enjoying dragging the objects.
Tita Martinez
Haskin Elementary
Center, Colorado 81125

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Smart resources and advice

I found a resource website for Smartboard lessons at "Tequipment's Educator Resource Center". A user has to create an account, but it's free and I like what I see so far. Lessons are broken down by subject as well as Elementary, Middle, and High. Not only do I find some great basics to build on for lessons, I'm getting some great ideas when I build my own.

Here's the link:

I still use my Smartboard regularly, but struggle at times maintaining engagement in whole group situations. We often do "talk with your partner/group" about the answer/concept and then I draw stick names to complete it on the smartboard. However, this seems to be where I start to lose some students as some students still struggle at times with writing/drawing on the board - either with pen or finger. Some even still struggle dragging objects with their finger. I feel my lessons begin to drag! I try to help either by laptop or at the Smartboard with them, but am left wondering what else I can do. I would LOVE suggestions!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Smart Board Disaster!?

Love using my Smart Board now for every subject, but I need some help! I used it the other day as a center and much to my dismay it went horribly student's behavior was terrible and I was being observed! Just wondering if any of you elementary school folks could offer some suggestions for center Smart Board usage. I was really trying to implement an interactive technology based center but I guess I'm still such a learner myself that I need some suggestions.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Math Problem Solving Project

My students created glogs with a math problem they created. We embedded them into our blog for people to solve. We'd love for your students to check out our problems and solve them!!! There are 16 problems and most of them are very easy: addition, subtraction, and some money. No regrouping needed!

Check them out here:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Getting Student Teachers Involved with Technology!

This semester I have a Teacher Candidate (student teacher) who has embraced the technology I use in my classroom. She uses the laptop and Smart Board, not only to deliver instruction, but create lessons as well. She effectively uses the document camera, microphone system, and iPod, we have in our classroom like a pro! I had to chuckle, because when we had her Rubric Conference with her site professor, she was reminded that she may not be hired in a district that has the kind of technology Adams 14 does AND she should practice teaching without the use of such 21st Century Technology! I think it is great that she will joining the profession of teaching with the ability to run a 21st Century Classroom. What a thing to put on your resume huh?

Experiment Using Vernier

Hi all,

This month, my students did an experiment using Vernier digital data collecting equipment. They recorded the temperature of their palm. Then, they ran in place for two minutes. Then, they recorded the temperature of their palm again. Here is the web address of their blog about the experiment:


If you have time, please leave them a comment! Thanks!

This was their first time using a blog and my first time having students use a blog. What a blast!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Google Wave -Interest for Educators?

This upcoming application seems really cool. It has so many features for collaboration that I find lacking in Skype. It looks promising for the ability to have a virtually synchronous conversation as well as asynchronous. The ability to add users seems easy. I like the ability to drop in graphics and other documents and to simultaneously edit items. I could see this as a useful collaborative tool. I'm not sure my second graders would benefit from it as much as I would with my colleagues. What do you all think? Check out the video.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Project Fall

I thought I'd give an update on Global Learner stuff so far. It has been a busy semester. I'm finding it hard to fit in all that I want to do with my students.
We are currently working on a Fall Project with Tita Martinez' class in Center, CO. The idea behind the project is to compare some pictures and share some fall writing with another classroom. We set up a wiki to show our work. So far the students have taken a lot of pictures, charted some weather, done some leaf rubbings, and shared a book, The Leaf Man, with Mrs. Martinez' first grade classroom. We are working on some poems to include too. We look forward to finishing up the project when Center comes back from Fall break.
The project can be found here:
More updates will be forthcoming as we add to the wiki.

Crossposted on

Saturday, October 17, 2009

CAEA Presentation

My art teacher colleague and I just presented a clinic on stop-motion movie making to the state art teacher's conference. They have already asked us back to do two more next year. Movie making is a great way to collaborate with other teachers and really release the kids' creative juices.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How's the Weather?

Hello everyone! My first grade students are looking for assistance. They have begun an inquiry unit on How the World Works with a focus on Weather. Please view our VoiceThread and if you have any answers or ideas for how they can get their answers, THEY would greatly appreciate your comments! Take a look and let us know what you think!

Hey Global Learners! Any ideas?

Hello Global Learners!
I'm not participating in GL this year because I'm working on my administrative license, but I love checking the blog and seeing all the fantastic happenings going on. I do have a project in mind for my school, and I was wondering if your collected brilliance had any ideas on how to implement it. I would like use a website to upload and share ready-to-go templates and lessons among staff at my school- particularly GLET and theme-test oriented lessons. While I know there's lots of places where you can download Smartboard templates and whatnot (Thanks Dave!) I want something that can be localized a little for our district. I took a look at Atomic Learning, and it is more of a training site, and not so much a lesson sharing site. I could use our school's website, but, ah, that might take more work than I envision. What do you think? Is there a user-friendly (I could train my staff) website where you can upload and share lessons? Thanks! Y'all rock! Go Broncos!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Monaco Teacher Wins Award

Monaco Teacher Wins Award

Monaco Elementary Kindergarten Teacher is “A Day Made Better” Winner

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (October 8, 2009) – Andrew Giles typically spends his classroom budget before the school year even begins. His story is similar to that of thousands of teachers across the country who often rely on personal funds to create high-quality learning experiences for their students throughout the school year.

Giles, a kindergarten teacher at Monaco Elementary School in Adams 14, is the recipient of an “A Day Made Better” award, an annual award program sponsored by OfficeMax and Adopt-A-Classroom that recognizes not only outstanding instructors but also provides them with educational resources to assist in students’ learning experiences.

Each year, more than 1,100 teachers receive $1,000 in school supplies. The project mission, according to, is “Working to Erase Teacher Funded Classrooms”.

Monaco Teacher Drew Giles Wins AwardOn the morning of Tuesday, October 6, several OfficeMax employees visited Giles and his students in his kindergarten classroom with Monaco Principal Jennifer Ikenouye, and presented him with a box of classroom supplies including a digital camera, a printer and other learning resources. As students flocked around the unopened box and unexpected newcomers, OfficeMax District Sales Manager Herb Brown presented Giles with an award certificate to recognize his contributions to elementary education.

“The students kept asking if it was my birthday,” laughs Giles. “I told them it was a gift reflecting the great job the students and teachers do at Monaco Elementary. I used the box as the basis for a vocabulary lesson and asked the children to make predictions about what was inside. This is an amazing school. If you look around Monaco, it’s evident that the leadership, students, parents and volunteers have made this a positive and engaging place to learn.”

Photo caption: Monaco Elementary School teacher Andrew Giles (second from left) and school principal, Jennifer Ikenouye (right), with OfficeMax team members during “A Day Made Better” award presentation.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Elementary Odd and Even Lesson

This is a lesson I did to help students get a better grasp on odd and even numbers. The students really enjoyed it and learned a lot. I think it could be used for Kinder or First grade too.
Odd and Even Lesson Second Grade
Adapted from a Lesson by Alta Allen
Objectives. Students will learn the concept of odd and even numbers by counting and sharing candies. Students will demonstrate the ability to identify odd and even numbers by selecting and categorizing odd and even numbers on a Smartboard, showing odd and even numbers of cubes, writing odd and even numbers, and filming or photographing odd and even things around the school.
We begin by telling about things that come in pairs, like shoes, feet, paws etc. We will tell that an even number is one that can be shared equally between two people. We will model handing out odd versus even numbers of Smarties candy to pairs of students to try to see if they can be shared equally. Show odd and even movie from DiscoveryEducation: The Living Numbers: Odd and Even up to Twenty (segment of The Number Crew: Drinks for All). Then students act out forming even number by lining up with matching lines and adding one or taking one away to change it to and odd number. Practice identifying odds and even numbers to 20 with cubes. Then show students how to identify larger odd and even number by looking at the last digit. Students drag objects from Smartboard images that are odd and even to their respective sides. Practice the odd and even chants. Then students form groups. Two groups will go around the school with video camera to get students to act out odd or even numbers. Two groups will go with digital camera to photograph evidence of various odd and even objects. One group work with teacher to search Creative Commons photos from
Following day. Students work in center rotation to record audio descriptions of the odd and even photos. One group works to add titles and practice Windows Movie Maker.

Crossposted on

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Webspiration is an online version of Inspiration. If you are a visual thinker, this application may be for you! Webspiration allows you to visually map out ideas, collaborate, and plan units. You can get your left brain and right brain working together! I'm curious if anyone has used Inspiration and might be interested in using Webspiration. I really hope they come out with an online version of Kidspiration (the new version looks awesome!).

Does the district still have access to our Kidspiration license?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Couldn't Do it Without Technology

So it's offical! I don't think I could function in my classroom without my Smart Board, Document Camera, iPod, and micro-phone system! I'm using my Smart Board daily for literacy. My students are so engaged in my literacy lessons, that I have to extend my whole group lesson so that everyone gets a turn...because they are all engaged, learning and listening! I use the iPod, connected to my overhead system, so teach children how to counting by singing. We have also started using the the iPod to work on fluency with my literacy class...yes kindergartners working on fluency! They love to hear themselves read over the mic system! To tell you the truth, I don't even know where my paper StoryTown manual is...everything I do is on the computer! I LOVE IT!!!!

Jenny :)

3 FOR FREE Online MultiMedia Meeting Room

Check out this great FREE offer from Elluminate. I created my FREE account and it has worked well both in the District and from home. A great way to collaborate live with audio, video, whiteboard, chatting and more. Very friendly user interface, you and your students will be up and running in no time. Here is the link to sign up.
With Elluminate vRoom™ you can meet online FREE with up to two others! That's right. No cost. No time limit. No kidding!

What You Get...
Two-way VoIP
Interactive whiteboard
Application Sharing
File Transfer
Synchronized web tour
Multipoint video
What You Can Do...
Meet online with up to three people (that could be 1 mentor and 2 mentees)
Collaborate on a global level (that could mean Center classrooms and Adams 14 classrooms)
Take students on virtual field trip
If you want help getting started please contact me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

September Blog

The old adage "A day late and a dollar short" would be the way to describe my school year thus far. Utilizing new technologies with technological difficulties is a challenge. I think that we have finally taken care of minute problems that have been occuring and am looking forward to a new month of learning.
My class utilizes the Promethean board on a daily basis and the students love it. We have been all over the world in geography and have seen how real scientists conduct experiments. We have more access to current events and my students are realizing that there is an entire world just waiting for them to explore.
We are beginning to try to put together a class photo story and am looking forward to the opportunity to share it with all of you once it is complete.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hi from Colderful Southern Colorado!

We have been working extremely hard here.  Since our class at the first of August, I have been swamped with way to many irons in the canoe.  I have enjoyed skype conversations with other Global Learners.  I am slowly getting my students up to speed with using the new technology.  Hope everyone is having a great year so far!  If we can keep the Internet up and running here things will continue to iron themselves out.