Last night I was browsing through my Facebook feed and every other post seemed to be about Betsy Devos and her refusal to protect children that are being discriminated against. My heart broke as I would first read a post supporting her stance because it is a sin to be gay. The next post would denounce her by stating that Christians should not allow children to be bullied and that her comments excluded any child facing bullying on any issue including special needs.
We have wrongly aligned ourselves with one political party or another until we have forgotten that behind the politics there are hurting people with souls that need help.
Until the Lord returns I would rather be guilty of being taken advantage of rather than be guilty of closing my heart and keeping my resources from those that may need it.
This will be my last Five on Friday for the year. Beginning next week we start SOL testing and I will be babysitting computers. Even though our bandwidth has increased, I will abstain from hunting down and checking out sites.
1. Have you completed your internet safety requirement for the year? If not, it isn't too late yet. Don't forget that the ITRTs have composed a portal that is full of ideas and lesson plans. Feel free to access it here.
2. Are you looking for resources to share with parents to help students maintain their reading over the summer? Check out this game for primary students called Teach Your Monster to Read. In this gameification learning task students create a monster and then teach their monster to read as the two of them travel through a magical world. It fun and totally free!
3. Another idea that would help students over the summer is to make a STEAM box for each one of them. Best of all, it will help you clean up as well. Have your students empty their pencil boxes out. (I remember how those boxes were full of pieces of crayons, small bits of paper, and pencils too tiny to see, let alone use.) Inside each pencil box you can put things in such as left over pipe cleaners, Popsicle sticks, construction paper, paper clips, yarn, etc. Be sure that they have a glue stick! Tell your students to use the materials to make something over the summer. Tuck an note inside promising to reward the students if they bring their creation back to school the next year to show you. make sure you have a sticker or other small treat to give them when they do. Great way to clean up your room while giving your students something to do other than video games. Plus, it may mean that you get a sweet hug at the beginning of the year from your special little grown up people. Actually, this would work for any age student!
4. Sketch toy is a fun website!. On this page you have the students create a drawing but when they press the save button it gives them a link...if it is a Chromebook they can click "go to the link" ....if it is a regular computer they would have to copy/paste the link into the address bar ....but it allows the students to see the creation of their drawing come to life "like a movie" Way cool! Check out my drawing!
5. Friday at the Movies! Usually I share a video that is designed to make you laugh or one that could be used a a hook or part of a lesson. Today, I just stumbled upon a new device that I would love to play with. This is totally cool! I am putting this on my wish list. What would you do with one of these in your classroom?
I hope you all had a wonderful spring break. I know I did! I did lot's of cleaning which makes me feel very accomplished. Took care of some basic car maintenance. And most importantly, spent lots of time with my family, especially my two amazing grandsons. I feel well rested. What I did not do was send out a Five on Friday last week. I figured you all were doing the same types of things as I was and didn't have time to read it anyway. I do have some cool stuff to share this week though.
1. First, how would you like to use your Google apps to create customized sticky notes? I love sticky notes!!! Well, here is a blog I stumbled upon which explains just how to do that and even gives you the template to use. I hope you find this as amazing as I do! After all, we all have tons of those notes stuck inside out desks, right? Why not create personalized exit cards, etc. There were specific folks in each of my buildings that I immediately thought of when I saw this. Have fun!
2. Chrome has a new extension created just for you math teachers! EquatIO takes the pain out of creating equations, formulas, and math quizzes. With EquatIO, you don’t need to know any of that complicated math code. It understands what you’re typing or handwriting, instantly turning your expressions into clear, accurate on-screen formulas. And it works on Windows, Mac and Chromebook. After 30 days you will be asked to upgrade to a premium version. You can decide at that time if you want to pay more or just continue to use the basic features.
3. Create a Google Slides presentation with images with a click of a button. Gather images in a folder in Google Drive. Open that folder in Drive and run the DriveSlides extension. DriveSlides creates a new presentation and drops each image on its own slide. The slide show can then be opened and edited by adding text or a design to the presentation. I love it!
4. Docs will let you type with your voice. In a Google Doc, go to Tools > Voice typing … and click the microphone. It will dictate what you say. (This also works for typing speaker notes in Google Slides.) What a great way to help students who struggle with handwriting yet have great ideas for stories.
5. Friday at the Movies - We have worked a 4 day week and you know that always feels like an 8 day week so here is something that is non-educational just to make you smile. And if Madea doesn't make you smile, just remember . . .we only have 5 more weeks!
1. Last week I shared a blog from an educator that showed how to put a digital sticker on a Google Doc. This week I would like to share a site that Gail Moore sent me on Monday. This site allows you to create badges that could be used as stickers for those Google Docs. Way cool! Check out Makebadges.es
2. I have some primary folks asking for an idea to do with students as we are ending our year. I have created this template from a poem that I found in an old Mailbox Magazine. The poem is called Happy To Be Me. Primary students in grades K & 1 do not have access to Google Apps but you can still put them on the apps. How? First, make a copy of this slideshow. Secondly, in your copy, duplicate the slide so that you have one slide per student. Next, on your student computers you will need to log in as yourself and pull up the slideshow. During reading you can open the computer as a center and have the students complete the task. Remember to log out of your account at the end of reading time. I would also take a picture of each student if I were doing this and insert it on to their slide. If you could find a color printer, this would make a cute Mother's Day gift! Here is the link to the slideshow template. Remember, you will need to go to File->Make a Copy.
3. SmartBoarding School is a site with TONS of interactives that were designed to be used on an interactive white board. If I have shared this previously, pls forgive me but it is one of my favorite sites. Please note, it does have a section called Christianity but that does not mean that the rest of the site can't be used.
4. Are your looking for computer based anchor activities? A gentleman on a blog I follow shared his site. It's called Mr. Anker's Tests. It is NOT all tests but rather a collection of flash based games he created for grades K-7. Check it out!
5. Friday at the Movies - this tongue in cheek video is meant to make you smile.
1. PBS has organized all their games on a site they call Interactive Whiteboard Games. These are all the wonderful games that correlate to their kids programming and they do make great whiteboard games!
2. Wish you could put a sticker on a student assignment done through Google Apps instead of a grade sometime? Now you can!!! I almost considered going back to Edmodo as an online Classroom because I missed the student badges. I am glad I didn't! This blog not only shows you how to insert a badge or docsticker onto a student assignment but gives you a link to add a folder of stickers to your drive so you have some to give! Let me know if you need help with this. I can't wait to use these!!!!!
3. Some of you have asked for activities that you could do once the SOL testing is over. I just stumbled upon a site called Toonator which could be done in one setting. Students use this site to animate stick figures or if they want they can get more artistic. I can't wait to try this myself.
4. A great activity for older students would be Gamestar Mechanic. This is an awesome site that provides the basics on video game construction. You know, with a little thought either Toonator or Gamestar Mechanic could be integrated into any content area.
5. This isn't really an integration idea. I just wanted to share my sweet foot that the MHES Special Needs PK Class did as part of their Dr. Seuss door contest! Thanks, PK! Look it has my name in Binary! You know, the end of the year would be a great time to introduce binary. Let me know if you would like integration ideas!
1. Create digital mad libs with your students! When I was a kid I use to love going to this one restaurant. I don't remember the name of it; but, on a paper place-mat they had a mad lib story. I use to love trying to come up with the funniest story. Here is a site called Wacky Web Tales where your students can create their own mad libs. The page says it is for grades 3 and up but I don't see why younger kids wouldn't enjoy it as well.
2. Want your older kids to create their own digital mad libs? Flippity can take care of that! I have shared Flippity before but it is always growing so it is worth taking another look. Flippity is a set of templates that you use with Google Sheets to create a plethora of various tools such as flashcards, games, etc. One of their templates allows the user to create a digital mad lib. If I taught an English class or grammar I may start off having the students explore the Wacky Web Tales site and then move on to Flippity to create their own. Great way to review those parts of speech!
3. Math by Design is an AMAZING site for older students! Student can choose to create a park or a Wind Jammer Environmental Center. Either option allows the students to use mathematical skills in a real world situation. LOVE this site!
4. Up To Ten is a free suite of about 1000 Montessori-styled online learning games for students up to the age of 10. Most of these however are for younger learners.
5. I usually share a video as my 5th thing but I want to forgo that to share one more site this week. Kiddle is powered by Google safe search but not owned by them. It looks an awful lot like the Google's search interface we’re all familiar with, but includes some cute child-like tweaks. Instead of the plain white background there’s a fun outer space theme with a robot alien near the search bar. The site clears itself every 24 hours and does not require any personal information from your students to operate. I like the fact that it has it's own built in filters!
1. Here is a lesson Gail found about thinking before you post. Great lesson and perfect for older students. Pause Before You Post!
2. Another site shared by Gail this week was Technology Rocks. This site has some cute posters that can be used in the classroom.
3. Ed Puzzle was a site that was gleaned from the Google Summit that the ITRTs and Teresa Howell attended over the weekend. I wish I could say that I found it but unfortunately, I got sick with the flu and couldn't stay. In fact, much of what I did attend is sort of a blur. This site though was one that Mike Cargill was impressed with. I haven't had a chance to play with it but I understand that some of you are already familiar with this site. I plan to get better acquainted with this soon! EdPuzzle will allow you to upload a video and insert questions into the video. The video will not progress until the student answers the question.
4. This is not a site but it is a wonderful idea that I just stumbled upon while I was trying to up on my blog reading. The idea is a gallon sized zip bag. This would be a great task for Primary kids.
5. Friday at the Movies - Although the dancers in this movie are not on skates, this song reminded me of the kids songs that use to be played at Skateland. Can you imagine trying to do this on skates?
1. Teaching students about "Fake News" could be worked into a lesson on Source Evaluation which has been an internet safety topic for years now. Here is an interesting blog which gives ideas for how to approach this in your classroom.
2. Are you looking for an opened activity for older students? Let them create their own games! This site allows students to problem solve by creating one of four different games.
3. And yet another creation tool! You may need to get our Tech Dept to download and install this free software but you will be glad you did. Pivot Stick Figure Animator 3.0 allows students to practice with animation basics.
4. I had a blast playing with Fidgets to the Rescue. This game from PBS helps teach those natural disaster related SOLs like earthquakes or hurricanes.
5. Friday at the Movies - With all the spring cleaning we are doing these days, I just want to say that although I find this fascinating, I am thankful I don't have to clean it up!
One of the technology groups to which I belonged asked that we share pictures of our STEAM/computer lab environments. This is my STEAM lab at AES. This is the first year of the STEAM pilot.
At the end of the year (April 2016) I asked my Instructional Director about the possibility of doing a STEAM lab instead of a computer lab in all of my buildings. She scaled it down and asked that I choose one building - one that already had an extra room - and pilot it there. She shared that there was no money to help with the start up of the lab so I would have to track down a grant.
Donor's Choose helped me find a matching grant and the PTO at AES gave me $2500 which allowed me a total of $5000 for start up funds. Our chromebooks were $3000 themselves.
I put together this room with all the love I have for my profession. I have been told by several persons in the school that my room is the most fun one in the building!
Ladies and Gentlemen, my STEAM lab!
Below are pictures of the dioramas we built using the Sit-Upons.
1. I love the Photographic Dictionary! This would be an amazing site to booster that vocabulary.
2. This is a great way to structure a student's day if you are trying to go paperless. This is not mine. It was sent to me by a Twitter-Friend. If you go to file and then make a copy you can alter it to suit your classroom.
3. This teacher's blog is filled with lots of free modeled Google lessons. I absolutely adore the Emoji lessons where the students use Emojis to create rebus stories. She has several of these lessons. I would give my right arm to come in and help you if you wanted to plan something like this! With a bit of tweaking, this could be done as young as kindergarten but could extend all the way up to high school. Plus, we could incorporate internet safety into the lesson as well.
4. Check out A Google A Day. I would use this as an opening the day exercise for students if I were still in the classroom. A Google A Day provides a new puzzle each day. There is only one right answer but there could be several ways to work the problem.
5. Friday at the Movies - I saw this on Facebook last weekend and sent it to a friend of mine. I thought that the rest of you may enjoy it too!
_Hi, my name is Melanie Lewis. I am an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Amherst County Public Schools,
located in the beautiful state of Virginia. I LOVE my job! I get to
work on my hobby, anything that has to do with computers. I get to work
with teachers and students, and I am definitely a people person. Plus,
I DO NOT have to give grades. Wonderful, huh? Let me know how I can help you better integrate technology into your classroom.
ACPS' 1st computers