1. I would like to remind you of the email addresses of our school board members. The are available off of our ACPS website. if you remember back to the beginning of the school year, there was a memo that explained the amount needed to give the 2% raise to all ACPS employees was $378,106. $199,619 provided to the county by the state of VA and $178,487 of LOCAL Amherst county tax payers dollars. The $178,487 is already in the budget and allocated for employee salaries. That local money is already there! It already exists!
Please, please, please email ALL the school board members BEFORE Wednesday!! (Wednesday is the all-day retreat where this matter will be discussed and the superintendent will propose how he plans to spend those funds) Ask them to please ensure that the $178,487 of local money is used for employee compensation ONLY!!!!! Maybe that means a .75 raise or a one-time bonus but something is better than nothing!
That $178,487 will be used on something. We need to be sure it is used for employee compensation.
2. SciShow Kids is a YouTube channel produced by the same folks behind the massively popular SciShow. SciShow Kids offers short video lessons on a variety of topics from animals, to space, to fun science experiments that could be done with a parent or teacher.
Recently, SciShow Kids organized a playlist of videos covering topics that are frequently connected to symbols of Halloween. Those topics are bats, spiders, skeletons, and the changing colors of leaves.
3. TinyTap is an excellent tool for creating your own educational games that your students can play on their iPads, Android tablets, or in the web browser on their laptops. I have been demonstrating the platform in workshops for elementary schools for a few years. It has been a hit every time I show it off.
This week TinyTap introduced a new feature called TinyTap Courses. TinyTap Courses lets you organize your games into thematically-aligned units. You can also include games made by other TinyTap users who have publicly shared their games.
You can create TinyTap games by importing or taking pictures then highlighting parts of the images to serve as answer choices. Another way to create games is to include text that students have to correct or complete in a fill-in-the-blank and or multiple choice fashion.
4. CS First is an initiative from Google to promote computer science classes and clubs in schools. CS First features computer science lesson plans based on nine themes. Within each theme you will find up to ten hours of activities to conduct with your students. The themes in CS First are storytelling, friends, fashion & design, art, social media, sports, game design, music, and animation,
The activities in CS First are based on the Scratch programming interface. The lesson plans are intended for use with elementary school and middle school students.
The lesson plans on CS First are quite detailed. In fact, they might be too detailed at times as they even include instructions like telling students to sit down. Beyond the lesson plans CS First offers a thorough set of training materials for teachers who have not previously taught computer science and or previously used Scratch.
Browse through these lessons. They may make great enrichment activities or anchor activities. You may even want to have your own kids play on it at home. I plan to browse them myself more as I get time.
5. Friday at the Movies - No matter who you are voting for, please be nice to those who will be voting opposite. After all, this is the basis for democracy.
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
I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it. ~Jason Ohler