Sunday, January 31, 2010

Multi-touch SMART table

GASP!!! You can win your very own SMART table! How??? Well, I got this email about a contest. In this contest, you design an application to use with the table. Check it out! (Just because I'm sharing this information, doesn't mean I want to you design something!! I don't want any competition! haha) Good luck!

Promethean Boards ALL Around

This month a Promethean Board was installed in every Kindergarten-5th grade classroom at our school! It is amazing to walk around and see ALL of our students using technology. It is also great to see the teachers working on integrating this new technology into their teaching. Since there are many teachers in our building who have not received training on how to use the Promethean Board, we (the Global Learners) are working on setting up trainings for the teachers to attend. Only a few months ago we were learning how to work our own Promethean Boards; and now, we get to share what we have learned with our colleagues!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January blog

The month of January went by so fast. I was able to use some flipcharts in my classroom this month. I found a flipchart on Martin Luther King, Jr. that was suitable for my first graders.
I also found some flipcharts on fact families and fractions for first graders. I have enjoyed finding flipcharts suitable for my grade level. I also use the calendars every month that has a little of everything.

January blog

Advanced Help

We are on the downhill slope.... I can't believe how fast this year is going. Since winter break I have made a few instructional changes and adjustments in my classroom. One thing that I am focusing on and requesting help with is continuing to challenge my advanced math group. It's not that I don't know how to challenge them, but I am struggling with doing so within the standards and objectives that I need to follow. Any suggestions or comments on how to be more successful at this? I have reached out the the GT coordinator for the district and she gave me some resource books to use, but I am still feeling like I need more.

Other than this, I am feeling hopeful that we will have a good CSAP year and our students are continuing to make great gains!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Flipping Out

I'm getting excited to get to work on the biggest film endeaver I have ever undertaken! Luckily I won't be alone. Laurie and I will be working together on it for our second collaborative project of the year. I am excited to try out new flip cameras with my students that I received from writing a mini-grant. I am hoping that they will be a little more user friendly than the other digital video cameras I have access to.

Ms. Arnold and I are going to have our students make films that are published versions of creative stories they will be writing. Ms. Arnold thinks I'm "brilliant" so it must be true! ; )
Anybody else making films for the film fest?

New Year's Resolutions....

I just met with my brilliant GL mentor (Emily) and we have planned out our collaborative project and brainstormed/developed some great ideas to use to for the second half of the year expectations! We are planning to learn how to use audacity to make podcasts to embed in our blogs/wikis with the help of Atomic learnings tutorials. For our collaborative project, we are going to create films with our students and have a Taylor/Arnold film fest! I have a lot to learn!

Learning Math on the Smart Board

What?! January is almost over? My kindergartners came back from Winter break ready to learn! I am proud to say, that with the help of the Smartboard, I can pull kids to work on individual math skills while the student run the daily math warm-up! We math songs every morning, and I have created interactive posters on the Smartboard for the students to references while they sing! My students know how to click to go to the next poster, along with the next song! They think they are so cool running the board! What is great, is that it frees me up to pull kids who need a little extra "catch-up"!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 style

I cannot believe that January is almost over! This month has been a busy month for training -- literacy training for me and re-training the kids to be calm after 3 days of having a sub. But I've been working hard to include the use of technology in every day lessons despite what the guidelines we've been given to teach our literacy blocks in. :)

The previous week, we started to investigate about animals in frozen environments. So my class began with penguins. This site, Perfectly Penguins provided an amazing pre-made investigative site for kids to be able to navigate. I decided to use this site with my ELD students (I have the mostly English-only speaking kids) to do investigative inquiry-based learning. Whew! Was it hard! I think that reflecting on the previous week, I find that it was hard when it was only the students in my class that knows about navigating on the mini-laptops. They were more familiar with how to open up to my blog and navigate from there and they weren't so excited about using laptops and computers (as were students from the other two classrooms). It was also hard because of time constraints. We ended up doing it all together and my hopes of kindergarteners presenting information to their peers was shelved (for at least another couple of months) until we can have more practice researching using books and the internet.

Now we are looking into adopting and learning about polar bears! There are two websites for this:

National Wildlife Federation
Defenders of Wildlife

They're excited! :) I can't wait to see how much money they'll bring in to donate!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fun with TOK and Chemistry

Got to do a fun collaborative live blogging session with Doug Abshire's IB Chemistry class and my IB Theory of Knowledge class around the question: Why Teach Science?

Several of the students were new to live blogging and caught on fast; in fact, some of them not only kept up with the conversation, but researched and posted links that followed the class discussions once they saw it could be done (I posted some YouTube videos to demonstrate the point). It was great to see the kids catching on to and experimenting with the features of the live blog, and their answers took them from the realm of educational theory to the philosophical consideration of whether or not science was itself a form of religion (or indeed the new, modern religion).

Go here and check it out if you get a chance; and comments, questions, feedback and the like are always welcome!

Always great to collaborate with a fellow Global Learner! Thanks!

Todd M. and Doug A.

Room 21's "Good Things"

Our class read the story Mr. Putter and Tabby Write the Book. In the story, Mr. Putter decides to write about all the good things in his life. Our class decided to make a list of all the good things in our lives, too. Here is our list!

1. homemade pizza
2. give my cats a bath
3. cleaning my room
4. puppys kissis
5. ice cream
6. play with my dog
7. play with brother
8. restrunts
9. cats
10. video games
11. good dog
12. at school
13. eat nachos
14. no school
15. buttercream frosting

New StoryTown SmartNotebook Activities posted on Atomic Learning

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Classroom 2.0 Live Webinars

I'd like to point out some really cool webinars that I sometimes attend over at Classroom 2.0. It's very educational but it is also a lot of fun and a good way to get to know other educators around the globe. They have a show just about every Saturday (not sure about this next week because of the EduCon).
What's more, they archive all their webinars. There are some great courses in the Beginner Series such as "Connecting via Blogging", "RSS tagging, and feedreaders", and "Go Wild with Wikis". I encourage grisled veterans and newbies alike to check it out.

CSAP prep as collaborative project

Jeri (from Center) and I are thinking about doing a math/science collaborative project between our two classes as a way to prepare our kids for CSAP. Any suggestions or ideas about how to effectively go about this? We're really just exploring the ideas now, but we'd really like this to be a meaningful review for both of our classes (and any other fifth grades that want to participate). Let us know what you think, especially if you've done some kind of collaborative review with other classes!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


So my resolution for the new year is to work more with the CPS clickers. It is such a fun way to get the students excited about working. After creating a few quizzes I have some issues/concerns. My first issue is what to do for students who are waiting around for others to answer. Also, I can't however figure out how to import pictures and/or graphics, so that I can do more with them in math. Does anyone have any helpful advice or websites that could help me.

Friday, January 8, 2010


As we begin the new year, students at ACHS, KMS and ACMS have reflected on what is important to them and what they want to achieve this year. I am impressed with the caliber of many of their "resolutions" which can be seen here . Please join us!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

StoryTown Activities posted to Atomic Learning

Below are links to StoryTown classroom lessons/activities created by Global Learner, Kelly Berry that have been posted on Atomic Learning.  Note, you must be logged in to your Atomic Learning account to access the lessons/activities.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I am super excited to begin our film projects with 5th grade. There are many things we learned NOT to do last year that we can now apply this year. It's always entertaining to see the ideas that are floating around in our students' heads!

We are doing an ear training game on the smart board and the kids really love it. It's a great way to assess. They are having fun and trying their best and I get to see where they are in their musical progression.

New Year, Updated Goal - A Time To Reflectt

On Monday I had a class meeting to jump start our year. We went around and everyone shared their favorite part of their holiday break and then also shared what they were most excited about now that they were back in school. I told my students I'm most excited to be back with them because this is the time of year where their learning and knowledge greatly increases (I showed them the DIBELS chart). I love this time of year in our profession.

Now, I would not have the progress with my students if it was not for the technology I have in my classroom and school. In the fall I let my class blog "go". It's there, but we haven't accessed as frequently as I have in the past. I'm not sure where the second half of the year will take me with the blog. Hmmmm. Last school year I was successful with my SmartBoard math lessons, but this fall I chose to focus on reading.

My goals for the second half of the year are:
  1. Increase the interactivity and engagement for my math lessons by revisiting and revamping my previous SmartBoard lessons.
  2. Create/modify previous research lessons (student launching site is here)
  3. Just keep doing what I'm doing, but always asking myself if there is something I can do better.
So, what are your thoughts on your year?
What is something you feel you have done well?
What is your goal for the second half of the year?