Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sight Word video made by kids... for kids

Hello there,

This past week (between CSAP and spring break), my fifth graders have had the opportunity to make a sight word video for younger students to use at home and over the summer! They are already used to using Windows Movie Maker thanks to our wonderful Aimee Stork... so this was not too difficult to plan. We are filming things on the document camera. The kids made all of their props (flashcards and backgrounds) and even wrote sentences with visuals for each list of ten sight words. They are really excited about it and can't wait to have their younger brothers and sisters use it. We only got through 350 sight words and we aren't finished with the final product yet. Maybe sometime soon we will have the opportunity to add to it. This was really a cool opportunity for the kids to show off their creativity and computer skills... and a wonderful break from the ordinary!

Kelly B.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thinkfinity Opportunities

Global Learners:

Here is an opportunity for you to learn more about

eNetColorado and Colorado Thinkfinity continues to offer it's highly successful 3-week Thinkfinity Online course for all Colorado teachers through 2011.

There are slots available in the courses that start April 1. May 1, and June 1.

The 3-week online course provides an overview of and instruction on locating Thinkfinity’s online educational resources and integrating them effectively into instructional activities to support student learning. After completion of this online course, educators will have developed their own original Thinkfinity Integration Plan and be empowered to use Thinkfinity resources in their classroom to enhance student learning.

There is a $50 registration fee and participants will be awarded 30 CDE credits upon successful completion of the course or have the option of registering for 2 graduate credits from Adams State College.

Classes start the first of each month with our next class starting in January and we will offer classes each month in 2011.

Individuals can register for the month they want to take the course at:

Group registrations from districts are also available.

For more information, visit and


Testimonials from past participants:

"Up until now I have never experienced so many resources in one place. The National Content Partners\' sites truly give Thinkfinity the strength to have a content rich library."

"Thinkfinity is a treasure trove of education resources for parents, teachers, and students"

"The reputable Content Partners is the aspect that drew me in and validated the reliability and professionalism of Thinkfinity."

"I see Thinkfinity as an educational travel agency for learning. What a great way to view the journey of learning."

"Bottom line, Thinkfinity is a resource that I can personally use to increase my ability to teach."

Friday, March 18, 2011

We Made a Dialogue Book Using Technology!

This week in writing we have been focusing on dialogue. Students have been identifying dialogue in stories and including it in their writing!

Earlier this week we read the story, Goldilocks and The Three Bears. My kindergartners drew pictures from the story and wrote their favorite dialogue from the story. For example, they drew a picture of Papa Bear and wrote, "Someone has been sitting in my chair."

On Friday we made a class book and brainstormed dialogue for each character! Check it out!

ArtisanCam Picture Book Maker

ArtisanCam Picture Book Maker is a fun and free tool that you can use to create your very own children's book. My children were studying dialogue in writing and we used our prior knowledge of quotation marks, exclamation marks and letter formation to correctly publish our own book. We titled our book, "Vanilla the Gorilla." It's a story about a gorilla who travels to China in search of Ramen Noodles! Click on the following link to read our story and let us know what you think!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Feb. Blog

I found the greatest website that we've been using during ALD. Here it is:
The students were put into partners to research debate topics I assigned them to, they created a rubric to grade each other and themselves on for the debate, then debated while being filmed. They were then able to watch the film in order to grade themselves. They LOVED the project!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Donors Choose

Hey Busy Teachers!

How many of you have posted Donors Choose grants? I've got a couple posted right now and a couple more under review that should be posted soon, and they are SO EASY to do. If you've never heard of it, Donors Choose is a site where you, the teacher, go online shopping for things you need for your class (it can literally be for anything) write a few paragraphs about your class and why they need these things, then submit your proposal. Once it is reveiwed, donors can come in and look at your proposal, then donate money to your cause! Ive done 2 in the past and both were fully funded within a few weeks. The key is to make them public so more people see them. Link them to your Twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, etc and you'll have no problem funding your proposals either. Check out my proposal here for ideas or just to donate to a good cause! Thanks!

Friday, March 11, 2011

According to the website:

" myebook aims to revolutionise the way we create, publish and share ebook content online. Built on a feature-rich social platform, complete with powerful, browser-based, builder software, and a slick reader environment, there's never been an easier way for anyone and everyone to 'get it out there'.
With, we've made it possible for anyone to upload, or create from scratch, beautifully simple or adventurously complex page designs and covers online, in no time. What's more, you can publish your book with a single button and release it to the world before the (virtual) ink's dry! You can create as many publications as you want. And it's all free.
myebook, currently available as full-featured beta release, is a culmination of over 2 years research and development. The result is a slick, polished product that harnesses key internet technologies in a way never seen before.
Add to this myebook's powerful yet simple user interface and you have the ultimate ebook platform for any personal or corporate publication, whether it's for novels, childrens books, magazines, comics, photo albums, leaflets, brochures, instruction manuals. You can even embed or link to videos, audio, documents, images and flash files to make your books fully interactive. And what's more, since the whole myebook system is community-based, getting your word out to your audience is easy.
The team behind the project are all seasoned developers, designers, writers, marketeers and are continuously adding features and enhancing the myebook experience as they approach their next milestone release."


I think that this looks good and I would like to hear from you if you use this.

I am going to try to incorporate it into HS science. We shall see ...


Tsunami Resources

With the tsunami today/last night in Japan, I thought I would share a couple of resources for you folks.

The first is a downloadable interactive from edumedia sciences:  It is a free simulation that you can download.  You can also drag it into a notebook file (it is a flash object).  They make you install a program called ebox to download it, but you can also just run it from the website.  It is a pretty good little interactive to describe how and earthquake leads to a tsunami

The other resource is a free brainpop (my all-time favorite educational website) video on tsunamis found here.  They usually make current event videos free so this will be  a good way to help students understand how the earthquake in Japan caused so much damage.

Here is the brainpop:

Hopefully these will help you if you have the chance to teach about this event.

Jim Haynes

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Here's a couple examples of the comic strips my students created about the beginning, middle and end of "How the Elephant Came to Be."

Pretty cute :)

Feb Posting (and by Feb I mean March .....oops!)

So February flew by and I apologize for the late posting!

I spent February brainstorming ideas for the Film Fest! While I am completely terrified of the process, I am very excited to incorporate all I have learned into a fun project that can be shared with my students, their families, and the entire district. We are going to do a Public Service Announcement for Earth Day. I will be teaching my students to do research online using united streaming videos and websites. We will organize our research on Storyboards to write a script. The filming should be hysterical as I am having the kids dress up like the Earth, air, water and land! I will be sharing all parts of this process and project for my contribution to Global Learners. A BIG thank you to Kelly already for her amazing ideas and support!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Writing PD Follow Up

At our writing PD on Monday, March 7, many lucky teachers received a copy of Nancy Fetzer's Writing Connections, which is a fantastic resource for any K-5 writing teacher. I just wanted to send out a reminder that much of her book can be found online at her website, Here you can access training videos, PDFs, and other freebies that can help you with your writing instruction.


Canada 2.0

(photo courtesy of Garcia, Rosamar,

I am excited to tell you about a recent project I'm undertaking through ePals. My second grade class is corresponding with a class of first and second graders in Ontario, Canada. We began the lesson while we were still studying money so it was great to learn about their different money.

It was also a good opportunity to use Google Earth.

Once we finished our initial email and our second one to learn how to attach a file I pretty much let the students correspond on their own. I didn't correct for spelling or punctuation but encouraged them to communicate independently. Some of them managed to log on from home and showed their families. Some surprises were the trouble with capital letters and all caps, misspelling of target email addresses, and hitting send multiple times. Overall it was a blast! I wasn't sure the students could log on and send emails by themselves but they did remarkably well!

The lesson is posted here.

Hooray for Handwashing

We have the Integrated Nutrition Education Program at Kemp which consists of weekly nutrition lessons with a science focus. I'm going to start posting these lessons and I'm curious which other schools are participating in this program? Has anyone else been making some SmartBoard lessons for this? Maybe we could collaborate.

The first lesson for 2nd grade was called Hooray for Handwashing. See the file I have attached for the smartboard lesson.

More to come later. The Smartboard file can be found HERE.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Voki for Education

Voki is now easier for educational use. Check out their Voki in Education Blog. Maybe you are looking for new ideas, or just want to see how teachers worldwide are using Voki. You will find a teacher community and lesson plan database.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

February Blog-Ways to use Wordle

My fifth grade students have started their new IB unit entitled"I am a Poet, and I Didn't Even Know it!" I was trying to think how I could integrate poetry and technology in a fun way, and then I remembered Wordle! Kelly Berry had introduced this to us in our staff development,but I didn't know exactly how to integrate it successfully so that it would be meaningful and rigorous. In this IB unit, the children are required to create a poem or song. This can be written by the students and then they can create their wordle using their ideas,print and share with the class. It can be used with any poem or song, but I think having a concept, and then brainstorming words on that topic would be the best, as the words as scattered in a wordle.
I am thinking about using wordle in other ways. For example, the children can use their weekly robust vocabulary and brainstorm synonyms and antonyms and create a wordle for each word. These can then be passed to other students and they can pick out,point to, or circle the synonyms of that word.
I also thought this would be a great tool for our NEP students to practice sight words, or vocabulary. It can also be used at the end of a core story, where the children can come up with themes, important key words, or concepts learned from the story.
I believe I will use it first for my Poetry unit. I am pretty sure the children are going to enjoy this activity as it requires some thought and creativity! Plus, they're just cool!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Start spreading the news...

Start spreading the news, there will be multiple PAID technology training opportunities for teachers, administrators and employees of Adams 14 School District. The trainings will occur during the summer and include SMART Notebook, SMART Response, Google, Web 2.0, Discovery Education and much more. This is a new and very exciting opportunity for our district. Please watch for the announcements and share with your colleagues!

Go to the Adams 14 Instructional Technology Site for more information. Registration will open during the week of March 28, 2011. If you have questions or would like to know more about presenting any of the workshops/trainings, please contact me! Your ideas and expertise are wanted and welcomed!

Theme 6 Storytown grade 5

Attention 5th grade teachers!
Colleen Urlik and I have been collaborating on a Storytown project that promises to be very useful, dynamic and interactive... and best of all, it fits with our 90 minute literacy block quite nicely! We're putting together a Smartboard Notebook doc that we can all use in conjunction with teaching storytown every day. It's kind of like the PPTs that some of us use, but it's much more engaging and interactive. It's in its draft stages now, but it will be finished by the time we unroll Theme 6 in April. We'll make sure to post it so everyone has access to it. If you have suggestions or general feedback, please let one of us know :)

Happy CSAPing!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Well, it seems that I can't say enough about the clickers. I have been embedding questions throughout my reading block after the "I Do/We Do" section of my teaching to inform my instruction and it has been so helpful! I know when and who to reteach. Plus, it helps with engagement because we switch back and forth between clickers and note taking. It keeps them from losing interest with one strategy. And I love to see the data improve throughout the week! My mentor and I keep giving each other ideas to make our lessons better. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ooo right... February only has 28 days!

I was not ready for March 1.... I'm still not quite sure where February went. I haven't tried much new technology in my classroom in the past month, but it's coming! In April, I am planning to have my fifth graders make a sight words video for my younger kids. I can't take credit for this idea, I heard another special ed teacher talking about her idea and asked if I could jump in too. I think it's a great idea for my fifth graders to practice sight words (yes, they still need it), and complete something that I've been wanting to make for my first graders for a long time now!

On another note, I found the "whack a mole" game for the SMARTboard online and it is a great engagement activity for my younger kids when it comes to sight words and such! What is more fun than throwing a koosh ball at moles on the SMARTboard?? Apparently, not much!

Where did February go?

Wow, I got to school this morning and realized February was over! Besides enjoying all the snow days, I have really enjoyed the Smart Response clickers in my class. I have been incorporating what I call "quick quizzes" into everyday lessons. Although one student said they really aren't always quick, they quickly provide me with data!The students have really been engaged and excited. They love to see their immediate results. They have really gotten the hang of them, so there is no longer management issues. I have been able to collaborate with my mentee, so we have double the quizzes-which is awesome. I have been able to truly make intentional small groups with the data. I can also see the student growth each day--again awesome! For all these reasons and more the Smart Response clickers are amazing!