In one of my buildings we are doing a research project about past presidents of the United States of America. The project is being taken on by third through fifth graders. Third graders are sweet and just handle the idea. "We are going to learn about presidents. Ok. Let's go!" In each of the 4th and 5th grade classrooms this project has been presented to so far, we have started off with discussions about respect for the Office of the President of the United States. This discussion has been driven by the fact that they want to argue about whether or not President Trump is a good president. And some of their comments make me hang my head in shame at the thought of what we as adults are modeling for our children.
I am not going to get into a discussion about what I think of our current president. I was told as a child that opinions, like tailbones, are common. Everyone has one and most of the time it should be sat on. I am sitting on my opinion of our current president.
This is, however, what I told my students. Every person who has taken office, I believe (truly), has done so in order to do a good job. Their intent is to make things better and even if you disagree with the manner in which they carry out their job you can learn something from them that will help you make a decision when the next presidential election rolls around. We need to remember that a person is only elected for 4 years, after those four years we have an opportunity to try again to get our preferred person into office. If it doesn't work out, then the person who is re-elected only has four more years and then that person HAS to leave office. We should never give up on a lifelong family member or a friend just because they feel differently about a temporary political policy or a politician.
So where does that leave us as adults when we disagree with our national/state/local leadership? I think it is absolutely appropriate to share who we want as president or senator or delegate (or any other position). In fact, I believe it is important that we do so. I also feel that we base it off of issues that are important to us and leave it at that when we are conversing with our children. It is absolutely appropriate to say that we are voting for John Smith because he is pro-life. We can also say that we are voting for Jo Smith because he is for intelligent gun control laws. What I strongly object to is when we attack the other party, especially in front of our children, by name calling and stereotyping. I also strongly object to lumping all voters who support the other candidate into that same stereotype. Come on now! Not every member of the Democratic party is a baby killer. Not every member of the Republican party is a racist money lover.
We need to do better than this when we are speaking to our children. They pay attention to our actions much more than our words. If I shared even half of the conversations that came out of this research project, we would all hang our heads in shame.
My blog is moving to a new day with a new name. I will still provide just a short list of suggestions but in order to send out one memo all the ITRTs are posting their bog links to the ITRT site and all blogs will be sent to you on Monday. When thinking about a new name for my blog, (I can't be called Five on Friday anymore, now can I?) I thought about a favorite quote of mine from Arthur C. Clark who said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." This appeals to me since I love fairy tales as well as true stories of our past kings, queens, and courts of old. Hence the name of Magical Mondays. LOL!! I know it's corny!
1. This first site was shared with me by a student. Don't you love when you learn from a child!?! He said that his dad pulled this up and showed him this last week when the entire world was talking about Australia being on fire. Did you know that Australia is almost the same size as the United States? Not sure if I am correct? Use this site to check on me. This is a truly fun site to play on and learn some geography at the same time.
2. This next one is a game changer! I have been researching digital notebooks and came across this add-on for slides called Slip and Slide. I love the name! An add-on is something within a Google app (like Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms) that gives you the ability to do something "more". This add-on allows you to slip slides into presentation. So your students have slide decks as their "notebooks" and you want to add a page. Use this amazing add to do so. Please let me know if you need assistance.
3. I hate recommending something that costs money but this site is too good to just let it pass by without sharing with you. It's called Book Widgets and allows you to create activities that can either be embedded on your website or posted in your Google Classroom. The cost is $49 a year but I hate to say; but, I pay that much at Teachers Pay Teachers about every two-three months. You can save your widgets and use them year after year. Take a peek at just fraction of what they allow you to create.
4. Many of you are now working on Google Certification, Level 1, and have asked me about Google Draw. The resource I am sharing today was created by Gail and has been shared before. These are thinking maps that are all done in Google Drawing. To get to this resource, please click here.
5. Monday Movie!
Happy New Year and Welcome back! Is it bad that we have been back for only a week and I am already wishing for snow? In my defense though, I don't care how much or how little we get. I don't care what day of the week it falls on. And I don't care if we get off a day. I just love snow!!! So I am wishing and hoping and praying a lot!
1. The first resource I want to share is an online community called Teachers First. This is a must see and a definite bookmark site! It is an online community that shares lesson ideas and plans as well as online workshops. It is absolutely free! Check it out.
2. You need to checkout Goose Chase! Goose Chase is a service that allows you to work online to build a scavenger hunt or you can download one from their library and tweak it to fit your needs. Once it is built, take your devices , download the app, and start rocking the fun! This would be a great extend activity for your early finishers. Best of all, it free for educators.
3. Here is an amazing Google Sheet document for teaching fractions. I love this! I did not make this; I found it on one of the blogs I follow called Tech You Can Do. I have linked her site here so you can check out other resources she has. (She also has a really nice checkbook register for keeping up with classroom money.) In order to get your own copy of her fraction document, click the image. When it opens, click the blue box in the upper right corner that says, "Use Template."
4. This week I was in a conversation with a teacher who was excited because she discovered that you can color code your folders in Google Drive. Did you know that you can also label them with emojis? Check this site out for directions!
5. Friday at the Movies - Just some Eddie B to make you smile.
This is my final blog of the 2019 year and it's not a Five on Friday blog. This is something that I have been working on for a few days now. This is my gift to you all. I have been working on a school planner. Please change my name to your own and I hope you enjoy it. If you want to change any of the images to pictures of your own and need help, just ask. I would be happy to drop by and show you how to personalize this to make this your own. To get your copy of this digital planner, just click the image below. The document was created in Google Sheets. If you wish to print it out and put it into a physical notebook make sure you print in portrait view and not landscape view. You will need to be signed into your Amherst County G-Suite in order to access this document.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
1. I am so excited!!! Christmas is on the way and of all the holidays, Christmas is my favorite. I am even more excited to be asked for this breakout I created based on the Twelve Days of Christmas. I hope you enjoy doing this with your students.
3. How do you get your students to really think about the answers they are submitting on a quiz? Engage them by combining the quiz with a pixel art task. Check out my quiz and see if you can answer all the questions. If you do, you will see a magic picture show. This is not my original idea and I left the copyright at the bottom. If you would like to create one for your class and need help, please ask!! Click the image to get to the quiz.
4. For younger students, have them decorate a Christmas tree and then they can write about the tree as a writing activity. Again, this is not mine and copyright has been attached. Click the image of the tree for the document.
5. Friday at the Movies - Y'all know how much I love the Floppotron! I couldn't resist.
1. Do you like organization as much as I do? Many of you have received new windows machines. (I am still waiting on mine. ) Here is a website with a link to a slide show that allows you to create a customizable wallpaper for your desktop. Please let me know if you have issues with this and I will be more than happy to come help because I think this is awesome!
2. Have you ever noticed the paint roller in a Google Doc or Google Slide and wondered what it was about? It is a formatting tool.
3. Here are a couple of Google activities for you to try. The first one can be used in a spelling/writing/vocabulary lesson. I did this one Drag the letters to the slide to build a word. The second is one I found online. It's called Under the Cloud. There is a number in the box in the top left corner. Take that number and subtract the items outside of the cloud. Students create an equation in the space on the right. You can move the cloud if you wish and add the answer. Click on the image to get your copies.
4. Can you and your students complete this Breakout? If now, feel free to reach out for the answers. LOL!!
5. Friday at the Movies - A Thank You to Teachers from Power School. This is just a feel good vid.
1. Are you looking for ways to prepare your students for the mid year benchmarks? Check out the game called Fling the Teacher! It is part of a free service created by an educator named Russel Tarr. In Fling the Teacher, you type in 15 multiple choice questions, upload your face and then embed the game on your website or send the link to students in Classroom. They get one chance to "fling you into a hole" for every correct answer they give. The kiddos will love this and this isn't the only game he offers. Check it out!
2. NEWS, NEWS, NEWS!!! One of the complaints I often hear about Google Slides versus PowerPoint is that we can't insert audio into our slide decks. Well, by the end of November, you will be able to! I heard about this a short time back but I didn't want to release any news about it until I knew for sure. Sure enough! I have it in my personal account as a option but not in my school account yet. However, according to this Google is planning to release it to everyone by the end of November so keep a watch on your account!
3. I have recently stumbled across a really cool book entitled Balloons Over Broadway which gives the history of the Macy 's Thanksgiving Day Parade and then I found this cool hyperdoc. This would be the perfect STEAM integration for your reading classroom! It even has a suggested STEAM task in the hyperdoc. If you don't like that idea, please reach out to your ITRT and we will bring in the robots and your students can design a float for the parade. How much fund would this be for the holidays? To get your copy of the hyperdoc, please click the image.
4. Do you need a STEAM idea for math, science, reading or social studies, or whatever subject you teacher? Brittany Washburn is a tech integrating educator with a blog post on robots in the classroom. Don't have any robots? Your ITRT does! Call one of us and we can schedule a time to meet with you to plan a really cool lesson tailored to meet the needs of your students!
5. Friday at the Movies - I'm dreaming of a a white snowday. . . .
1. You have to check out Kiddle! Kiddle is a visual search engine for children. All content from Kiddle encyclopedia articles (including the article images and facts) can be freely used under Attribution-ShareAlike license, unless stated. Kid friendly, teacher approved! One way to use Kiddle is to post your word of the week next to the computer with the search engine pulled up and let the students look up the word on Kiddle!.
2. Ever wish you knew where to go on Chrome to ask a quick Googley question? Type and hold ctrl + alt + ? at the same time to open Google support.
3. Here is a word sort I did a couple of years ago. It was a remake from an old Inspiration document. You can use either Google Slides or Google Drawing to create fabulous word sorts. Click on the image to get your own cope of this document and feel free to tweak it to fit your classroom needs!
4. Here is a Crack the Code Breakout I created last year. Can your students (or you) use the binary alphabet to solve the Thanksgiving riddles? Perfect for grades 3-5!..
5. Friday at the Movies - With winter right around the corner (bringing with it tons of snow - I hope), you may want to get together with some of your colleagues virtually. Check out this video for how to do so.
1. Here’s a cool way to check whether your students may have plagiarized part of their essays and writings: the Chrome extension Draftback, which plays back the revision history of any Google doc you can edit—down to the keystroke.
2. In light of October being Special Needs Awareness Month, I would like to share this cool app For students with dyslexia, the OpenDyslexic extension converts web page text into a special font designed to make reading easier. Combine this with Read Aloud , an extension for listening to websites or text selections in spoken form. Read Aloud also works with G-Suite.
3. This week's Halloween breakout is for the older students. It's called Haunted House Goes Dark On Halloween. I would not recommend this one for younger students. The locks are too difficult but this would be perfect for grades 3-5
4. This week's STEAM suggestion is to allow students to create tessellations. Tessellations are easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to make! And tons of fun! Perfect center for those rainy days or days when mowing is happening and the students can't go outside. Check out the directions here.
5. Friday at the Movies -- I thought you may want some help with report cards. Check out his app. LOL!!
1. I am working toward my recertification of being a Google Educator. In my studying and review for the test, I was introduced to a new tool from Google called the Science Journal. Check out the website! This turns a student's mobile device into a data collection tool. Since Google started allowing some apps designed for android phones to run on a Chromebook we are currently exploring to see if this is an app we can put on the laptops students use. In the meantime, check it out to brainstorm how you could use this really cool tool from Google. Below is some data I collected. I was measuring the sound intensity of the school. The readings under 30 were taken in the hall. The 33 reading is a normal kindergarten classroom while the 44 was a preschool class. The 52 reading was taken in the gym.
2. Have you ever closed a tab out while browsing that you did not mean to close? It can get really frustrating! Well, Chrome can save the day for you. If you are using Chrome push the following keys at the same time: Ctrl+Shift+T. And once the tab is opened, Chrome even saves your browsing history so that you can go backwards from the reopened tab to the site you were on previously.
3. I have had several people tell me that they like the STEAM ideas. Some of you are doing these with your own children. I think that is amazing! Here is one that you may like, let the students build with the candy corn that looks like pumpkins. I am going to do this with my own grandsons! Have fun!
4. As promised, here is another Halloween digital breakout! It’s Halloween in Spookyville and the mayor has decided that Halloween will be canceled this year. He has locked away all of the candy in town so no one can trick or treat! You must solve clues to open the box of candy before time runs out! Do you have what it takes to save Halloween?
Remember, your ITRT can bring in a physical breakout to your classroom as well. We are currently scheduling Jamestown!
5. Friday at the Movies--The Evolution of Search
How did Google evolve?
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