Sunday, February 28, 2010

Digital "Painting"

My class is currently studying creative expression through time with a focus on painting. They are creating a project that utilizes online art creation tools like artPad,,, and the animal avatar building site, They are also using the Venn diagram tool from ReadWriteThink. We are in the middle of the project now, and the students are loving it! Does anyone know of any other art creation sites that are kid friendly?

Shape Riddles and More

This month I worked on incorporating more opportunities for my students to use technology throughout the day. In math, I used a few Promethean flipcharts on plane (2D) shapes and solid (3D) shapes to introduce these topics. I also used videos, word walls, and quizzes from After the students learned how to identify, describe, and compare plane and solid shapes, I had them write shape riddles and post them on our class blog. The students’ shape riddles are a part of a collaborative math project with Lisa and Michelle’s second grade classes. As a part of this project, their classes (along with any other visitors to our blog) can now visit our blog and leave comments and answers.

Another activity that my students worked on this month was publishing their writing using Microsoft Word. The students wrote about their thoughts on whether or not they like the snow. After revising and editing their work, they each published their own paragraphs. This work can also be found on our class blog.

Overall, using technology in our class is becoming more embedded into our daily routine with each passing day. The students have many opportunities to use the Promethean board, participate in lessons using Activotes, post blogs, and publish their writing. Their enthusiasm pushes me to look for even more ways to incorporate technology into each lesson.


My ELD group worked really hard this past week to create a Voicethread. They read, summarized, and illustrated a story about a girl's adventure in trying to find her lost beagle. Take a few minutes to check out all of their hard work.... :) The link below is my classroom blog... it is the newest post. If you click on the voicethread link it will begin to play for you! Enjoy.

Blog Riddles

To keep things simple and easy for myself, I used our class blog for student products this month. I did a collaborative project with Melissa and Michelle in second grade geometry. Our students wrote shape riddles and we posted them on our class blogs. Now, the other classes will look at those shape riddles and leave comments and answers. If you or your students also want to answer those riddles, we are always happy for more comments.
Kellogg Class Blog
     I used the same format for my English Language Development class. They wrote holiday riddles and drew pictures. Please take a look at those as well because we don't have any comments yet.
     Also, in my classroom we use the SmartBoard all the time. My students are quite comfortable with Notebook software, so I usually have one of them at the board any time we are doing something routine. I have presentation or air mouse, so I can stand in the back of the room and quickly click to correct something if necessary without having to run up to the board. It's quite an excellent set up. I recommend getting a presentation mouse if you don't have one.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I am beginning to feel more comfortable with everything that is out there regarding prometheanplanet. Since the Global Learners in Center meet every other week, I feel that I am getting support from them and they are helping me since I am not very computer literate. We help each other out. The tutorial on Atomic Learning helped and I feel good that I was able to make a Photo Story of my class and putting it to music, with support from one of the Global Learners.

Writing lesson using Atomic Learning

After viewing a tutorial on Atomic Learning, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do as part of the lesson that I needed to turn in. I talked to another Global Learner and the Global Learner suggested that I have my kids take pictures and do a Photo Story with pictures. Since my class is having a hard time with sentences, I found a flipchart on "What is a Sentence?" We viewed the flipchart (took us a couple of days because it was pretty long and I took time with it--had good information). Then I told my class that I wanted to see complete sentences in their writing since they were able to show me that they understood what a complete sentence is. During our writing time, I had several kids take pictures of the class. I then downloaded them on my computer and with help from another Global Learner we put the photos together with music. I was so excited with the finished product. It was time consuming and very stressful, but the end product was successful.
Tita Martinez @ Haskin Elementary in Center, CO.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Math Night Success

Tonight our school had Math Night. Another GL and I ran the technology piece of the night. We had a computer lab full of students and parents interacting with math via websites and Smart Board activities. It was a total success and the kids loved it.

In other news, I am in the middle of making my first voicethread with my ELD group. It is going much better than expected and the students love the voice recording feature. Once we have it complete I will post for you all to view. I also have a couple of girls creating glogster poster for the story Lon Po Po. My only wish is that I had enough computers for all of my students to be able to do this. I love introducing such great technology to my students.

Great Online Activities

I have really been working hard at finding grade level appropriate things for my students to do at my technology literacy centers. My students are really into typing high-frequency words into Microsoft word and then printing it out! Not only does it hold them accountable for their work, but they think they are big shots! I have also found a couple of engaging websites that my kindergarten students love! The first one is Word World on, the next one is, and the third one is: The second one is really great because students can hear the letters, words, and sentences read to them. The last website can be interesting because the pictures aren't always clear!

My kindergartners also are always in engaged in the Smartboard lessons created at the Phenix Public school site ( In order to make them accountable for the Smartboard work, they have to take a picture of it with at least two members of the group in it! They LOVE it!

Does anyone else have ideas for accountability and technology?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Teacher's Hub

My new favorite resource is the blog, This blog is dedicated to helping teachers integrate web 2.0 in the classroom. Thank you Todd for helping me find it!Todd suggested I become a fan on Facebook so I did. As I explored the blog for a few minutes I found out about really neat and useful resources! Two sites I found out about on the blog and have started using regularly in my classroom are:
1. It is a one word writing prompt that you write about for just one minute. So far we have been doing them as a writing warm-up. The students have been enjoying it and writing some creative beginnings.
2. This site is designed for K-6 educators and has a wealth of educational games categorized and described with links. I used to search through many websites looking for fun learning games to engage students with what I was currently teaching them or for review. Not anymore! Now I go there first and find many awesome activities!
Has anyone else been using The Teacher's Hub or any other neat sites?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Atomic Learning Lesson

Last Friday I tried an Atomic Learning lesson and it did NOT go well.
I did a lesson called How Big is a Foot? I thought this would be a great introduction to measurement. It was about a king that wants a bed built for his queen and gives his apprentice measurements using his own feet. The apprentice ends up using his own feet to measure and the bed is too small. The project was: the students were supposed to use their feet to measure the length and width of a "bed" and I was to put their measurements in an excel spreadsheet and it was supposed to calculate and show a graph. First of all, I spent almost an hour and a half setting everything up. I am sure if you are used to excel it would not take as long. I had everything set to go the day of in the spreadsheet. I did everything the tutorial said to do, but it would not work. I am positive that it was not something I was doing wrong. I even went back during the lesson and listened to the tutorial again. It is hard to explain what went wrong unless you saw what I was talking about, but basically the tutorial directed me to use different pull down menus and what they said would be there wasn't. I don't know if it was atomic learning that was wrong or if it is because my computer is really slow. Either way, it was a huge disappointment and a lot of time wasted.
Has anyone else had better luck with these lessons?

Comic Life

Recently as I was viewing the Atomic learning lessons I found an application called Comic Life. I am having fun trying it out and even used it tonight with a tutoring group. A question though that I am asking any and all of you is about the picture gallery. It seems now that you have to find all your images and save them in a file there aren't any provided. Does anyone know an easy way to gather a huge collection of pictures? Or am I just missing something? Also, if any of you have used this and have great ideas for lessons or projects I would love to borrow them! Thanks.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Seems like everyone has such great ideas for using technology! My second grade class is about to begin researching their favorite insect to write an informational paragraph that includes a main idea and supporting details. I want to publish their writing in an engaging way using technology and just wondered if anyone had any suggestions for publishing! Thanks!

Staff and Technology

 I thought I would take a moment to share a couple ways our staff has been experiencing and embracing technology new to them.

In January, Jon and I did a wiki training for our staff. The week before, our staff meeting was dedicated to differentiation in our instruction. We discussed collaboration and sharing our materials and differentiation tools. Jon and I suggested that the Kemp Shares Wiki would be a great place for that. So we were given a staff meeting to train the staff on how to use the Kemp Shares Wiki, specifically how to upload and download files.

Also in January, the latest batch of SmartBoards arrived and now all classrooms K-5 have SmartBoards. Our principal had Dave in to do a SmartBoard training for our staff meeting and then hands on trainings at each grade level team meeting the rest of the days. All the teachers I talked to were excited to have Dave come in and even more excited get their fingers and hands on their new boards. I've been having a lot of fun sharing some of my enthusiasm and favorite parts of the Notebook software.

As Global Learners we share 21st century learning with our students as well as other teachers. I applaud the willingness of my colleagues to jump right into using new technology and new methods.

Math Presentations

As the year has progressed my students have turned into wonderful readers and writers. Of course with their knew knowledge and skills comes the ability to have more responsibility. Last week we had a place value math assessment. Place value can be one of the most challenging unit for students, yet the most eye-opening for me as a teacher.

Once children successfully completed their assessment, they had the opportunity to complete a "Ways to Show Numbers" PowerPoint presentation. I created a template for the first five slides and they were responsible for slide six. We're still working to complete the presentations, but I have learned a lot. One thing is now students want to count tally marks by tens! Small review will get us back on track. Another WOW was how quickly they became self-sufficient at using PowerPoint. One day I showed them copy and paste (all watched me make a presentation), the next day I saved their file and let them roll without many questions. This certainly inspires me to become more of a risk-taker with new technology projects.

On another note, my next goal is to integrate nursery rhymes into my ALD lessons. I have the most advanced readers and writers during this time. Last week we read Humpty Dumpty and out of my 30 students, two had ever heard the rhyme and no one knew it by heart. If anyone has any suggestions for a nursery rhyme and/or folk tale unit I'd love to hear it!

Sunday, February 21, 2010 (brainwave entrainment equipment)

NeuroSky MindSet - Brainwave Sensing

from the website


Interpreting your mind

Your brain speaks a "language" of electrical impulses. The MindSet plays the part of the translator, communicating your emotional states.

Smart chips

The MindSet contains advanced components to sense and interpret your brainwaves, and is able to determine your level of attention and meditation.


Is this the future? Using brain wave and brain wave entrainment to control computer actions with our mental activity? How cool is this? What possible applications might there be in the classroom? New student engagement strategies? Used for accomodations for spec ed students? .... 21st C technology!....

Here is a video from the company .

Having used hemi-sync for many years as well as holo-sync and DAVID, I realize the power of binaural beat / brainwave entrainment.

What a future for those with the imagination and the skills to make it happen! What do you think!

Enjoy, Doug

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Science, Technology, and Engineering - STEM Academy

Inspire your students! Share best practices, access free resources and collaborate with educators.

The Siemens Foundation, in partnership with Discovery Education, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the College Board, is thrilled to announce a new nationwide initiative, The Siemens STEM Academy.

The Academy offers free hands-on and multi-media professional development resources and opportunities that boost science, technology, engineering and math learning in the classroom.

Check out the STEM Academy Portal.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What is art? Fun with Wordle.

(Image from Wordle.) This past week in my Theory of Knowledge class, we attempted to define art. Several examples were given until I re-directed the students and told them what we really needed was a definition of art, not examples of it. We sent out an email, Tweeted it, sent it out on Facebook, text messages, and any other way we could think to get our question out there. I told my students in my freshman and sophomore classes that they could get in on it if they could. Once we got our responses, I created word cloud to add to the blog as a means to help us see what the "big words" (literally) were when it came to the definition of art. It was quite an experiment, and as I've never used word clouds before, it was a good exercise for me as well. Our results are here... check it out if you get a chance, and feel free to add your definition via our comments!

Saturday, February 6, 2010 and My Classroom Experience..Thank you Jusitn

Hi Everyone,
Last summer, Justin showed us the website Recently, I used it to help my students understand elements of fiction such as character, setting, plot and it also helped with dialogue and develop an understanding of character traits. It was incredibly fast and easy to use and had students collaborating beautifully!
Students LOVED it and it worked, but one word of caution; some of the images are kind of PG 13 and students did get a little racy. You might want to set some limits with them, but the rewards were worth it. They took more pride in their work knowing others would look at it and it also alerted me to some issues such as not understanding apostrophe use and where quotation marks are used with end punctuation.
Next week I am going to challenge them to create more mini movies that are appropriate to post here and show everyone.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

January Reflection

As I look back at the month of January I am left with that familiar feeling wondering where it went. It seems like yesterday we were celebrating the holidays and new years and now we are on the final stretch to CSAP. Although this month flew by, I feel like I am continually making strides and improving in my ability to provide a variety of methods to teach different concepts. I just had my students complete another glogster project where they had to represent the different transformations that we had learned about. I really enjoyed having them complete this project because it allowed me to see who understood what as well as what I needed to review further.

Also, as we progress through the year I have seen the students become more comfortable using the technology. I remember the first glogster project we did and it felt like I was being pulled in every direction trying to provide assistance to everyone; however, during the last glogster activity very few students required my help and in fact any problems that we did encounter we worked through them together. I feel like as adults we are scared to try new things sometimes, but it seems like kids are always willing to try something new and many of them do not have any fear about failing. It is this attitude that makes students good problem solvers which in turn benefits everyone as we all learn of new ways to do things.

Lastly, during the month of January we had our parent teacher conferences which gave me an opportunity to reintroduce my classroom website to my students parents. In the beginning of the year I went through my website with my students and I sent home information for the parents; however, from many of the parents reactions it seemed like many of them didn't know about it. Therefore, I took advantage of our conferences to remind parents about it as well as to show them how they can use it to monitor their kids progress. Needless to say, this made the parents happy while many of the students were not!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Technology in our schools

As a global learner sometimes we forget how ingrained technology can be in ourselves and not in others. I just gave a technology presentation at my school about all the different technologies we have at our school and how folks can take advantage of them. I was surprised at how many people were thankful as they did not even know what was available. The next step is leading some techy classes at our school now. Our most exciting addition is the document cameras!! Why doesn't every class come already equipped with these???? I'm in love! We'd like to have a small ceremony no presents please. =)

January Post

This year is flying it February already??? I was still trying to get back into the groove of things after winter break. I have been using my Promeathean Board daily, I am creating and downloading flipcharts like crazy. My students like using the board and would like to be on it all day long!
I am a little nervous about all the new assignments coming up for this second half of the year.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Celebrating the Little Things

Time has gone by so fast, especially as a new Global Learner. I have been using all of the wonderful resources and interactive lessons past on by my mentor Lisa Kellogg, but tonight for the first time I created my own math geometry lesson to use on my SMARTBoard. So I am just celebrating making small steps and branching out to different subjects and appreciating all that I have learned so far. I'm looking forward to learning more the last half of the year and creating new ways to engage my students!

January Blog

As each classroom has a Promethean Board now, you can sense excitement in the air; not just from the students, but from the teachers as well. We are very fortunate to have access to this technology. The teachers that had their boards installed during Winter Break are extrememly excited about using them and are ready to take on the challenge.
I am most fortunate because my teammate attended the training with us here at our school and has already been utilizing the flipcharts using his projector and computer. He is now able to take that one step further and uses his Promethean on a daily basis also. We plan our lessons together and choose flipcharts that help us instruct our students. We are beginning to create our own flipcharts to better support our learners.