Monday, January 8, 2018

Laser Cutter Did This;)

Mr. Suter, our vocational/Tech Ed teacher here in Barnesville, has a laser cutter that he teaches the kiddos to use through the CAD class that he offers here.  Basically, the kids come up with a design and then cut it out onto a material - wood, plastic or glass being the most common.  WELL - Mr. Suter one day decided to cut THIS guy out - each individual puzzle piece had to be snapped together - BUT - he simply used CARDBOARD = FREE:)!!!!  We also DO have a 3D printer in there, that the kids learn about and use, but he was trying to come up with a way for the kids to cut stuff 3D but not use all the plastic that is required with our printer.  I think they are SO SO cool;)!  He is going to have the kids make them soon as well - so when they are done, I will snap a few pics and upload here!



Happy Monday all - take care
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Items for Checkout -----

I have been trying to start a collection of things that are Makerspace type items for check out in the library.  We don't have a physical "space" for this, but I am hoping that some of these items can get in the hands of our teachers:)

1.  Sphero - iPad/iPod/iPhone controlled rolling robot.  SO cool - can be used with cones, ramps for physics and coding beats to a song - love this guy:)

2. Google Cardboard/VR Goggles - these are perfect for virtual reality apps - the Google Cardboard ones run like $13 each or even can be found for like $5 if you put together yourself - the SMART VR I just learned about and is early to carry along to places and doesn't bend, break - BUT costs a little more at $24.
3. Osmo - This is just lovely!! You use this in conjunction with an iPad and do can do a variety of things.  Numbers tiles and letter tiles let you do math and work with words, the coding one shows beginning coding to kiddos - pretty neat.  The starter kit runs around $75.


 4. Snap Circuits - I LOVE THESE:)!  Talk about creativity and problem solving.  They each come with some "solve me" type booklets, but in all reality the kiddos could do whatever they wanted creating it however they choose.
 5. Dash and Dot - I have devoted an entire blog post about Dash and Dot.  Little robots that are run via iPad/iPhone - super neat - apps flow with them and you can move, code, run, play the xylophone, etc.. pretty neat:)  A little more expensive at $280 or the entire starter kit, but worth the money!
 6. Thinkfun Games - they have some great "games" out there that are NOT games at all but thought provoking problem solving mazes and towers.  These two are super challenging, but the collaboration that takes place is priceless!  Each game runs around $30ish,  They even have online components for educators and students.

Happy New Year all!  Take care and try to stay warm.  Temperatures have averaged -30 degrees - so we are SO ready for something above zero!!

Happy night -
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

zSpace - THE NEXT BEST VR AVAILABLE!!!

I know that I have blogged before about zSpace.  zSpace is a virtual reality "system" that is Windows based, it is preloaded with curriculum and apps, and you need the "special" glasses to see and view the 3D components of it and I T  I S  A M A Z I N G!  I feel it has been a LONG LONG time since I have been BLOWN AWAY by something technology wise.  Don't get me wrong,  I have seen a TON of really cool and neat things that I LOVE LOVE and that I share and want to learn more about - BUT - zSpace BLEW ME AWAY!!!  AND, the BEST part, EVERYONE that was here to demo the unit yesterday was ALSO BLOWN AWAY:)!!!  There is NO way to describe it, but our Superintendent, Mr. Loeslie said last night when mentioning it to the school board, "It's like trying to describe fireworks on the 4th of July - the WOW factor doesn't hit until you see it in person, have the glasses on, and are interacting with the system."  TRUTH!!!





We would love to get some systems (maybe 10 - fingers for sure crossed here) into our schools and have our teachers start using them!  There is a ton of curriculum, but the most powerful that I saw is the Science and Technical learning areas - again others are there, but these were POWERFUL, and since it's a STEAM based system, that would make sense why!  I can really see these systems working perfectly with a Makerspace if your school has an area for that as it fits perfectly into that "higher order critical thinking" topic.

WOW - If you are AT ALL interested in this - please contact me and I can you get you in touch with the company - or our contact - WOW!!!

Happy Tuesday all,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

PUT IN GOOGLE DRIVE PLEASE!!!!!!

I think last year I wrote about the Ransom Virus that hit us last February - OH it was SO SO BAD!  MANY teachers lost things that they hasn't backed up, and some even lost things that they HAD backed up as they had their jump drive still plugged into the computer that was infected - UGH!  SO, this - two week ago actually - we showed ALL of teachers how to put EVERYTHING into Google Drive and then gave them an hour and a half to DO IT!!!!  Now - I KNOW that maybe this isn't the answer to it as I still back my stuff up on an external hard drive - BUT - at least it's ONE MORE PLACE to have your things safe!  I created a "cheat sheet" that basically shows them step by step what to do -

FEEL FREE to use this yourself or with fellow teachers as I WANT STUFF SAFE:)!!!

Take care - and PLEASE be diligent about this and keep your items safe -
Happy Tuesday
Mrs. I:)

Monday, November 27, 2017

I Am Malala in the Classroom.....

Mrs. Gross, an English teacher here, is going to teach the novel I am Malala: Young Readers Edition with her 9th graders in a few weeks.  I have been trying to find some materials to go with this as far as technology goes and I came across the following videos that not only show the community of Swat Valley, where she grew up, but the heart, passion and empathy that this young woman has!!

This TED talk is just precious!!  Malala's father tells the story through his eyes, and explains the life that Malala grew up with and why is wasn't enough for his daughter! "Why is my daughter so strong?" Yousafzai asks. "Because I don't clip her wings."


She is amazing - she says this during the interview with Jon, "If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib.  You must not treat others with cruelty.  You must fight others, but through peace, dialogue and education!  WOW - simply WOW!!


I was also able to find some really great resources on Teachers Pay Teacehrs that were WORTH THE MONEY!  If someone else HAS created amazing things, I have NO TROUBLES paying them for their time and effort!

You MIGHT want to think about this one!  Even if you don't teach the book, it's definitely one that is worth reading aloud to your class and kiddos for discussion and journal entries.  SUPER AMAZING SHE IT):!!

Happy Monday all,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Digital Citizenship - Can we REALLY ever have enough of this?

Tomorrow I head into the 4th grade classrooms to talk about digital citizenship with ten year olds.  I am a bit nervous as I know that this is a tough topic to discuss BUT these discussions HAVE to take place in schools!  I know that we can't teach everything, it's no possible, but this day and age kiddos are online ALL the time, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or simply messaging.  Kids have devices in their hands DAILY, both at school and at home.  I KNOW that teachers are doing this every chance they get, BUT one more time is NOT going to hurt them.  Tomorrow when I talk to them, I am going to use the Think U Know website that has CyberCafe.   It's REALLY great and I am using it ALL!!  It has little examples of emailing and when it's appropriate and not appropriate to respond and what you should do, it talks about messaging and photos, and also about sharing personal information online and being safe - it's ALL here.  I am simply running through and discussing this with kiddos.  I am anticipating that it will be around 25 minutes - which is what I am planning and we MIGHT also have time for passwords and searching online - we will see.  I can't wait.

A few weeks ago I spent a week in fifth grade also teaching digital citizenship.  Each day was a different topic.  I talked about digital citizenship and what it means, staying safe online, searching, photos and editing that is done, and creating a good digital footprint.  EVERYTHING I used was from Common Sense Media - AWESOME:)!!

I also came across THIS today on Teach Hub.com - another great resource for what to teach at each grade level; a starting point none the less:)!

GOOD LUCK!  This is a TOUGH and OH SO IMPORTANT topic - KEEP COMING BACK TO IT!  I don't think it's EVER done as we are constantly reminding kiddos of appropriate use and being safe online - it's our job!!!

Happy Night all,
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Check out Trello........

If you have ever wanted to have kids collaborate in an easy and seamless way - check out Trello!  This website/app combination allows you to create a board and then share it with the kiddos, using it as a collaborating platform!  It's really neat!  One of our social studies teachers, Mrs. Teeples, showed me it today.  Look what she did with her kiddos in class:



This is a free website where students create an account, and similar to Padlet, you can create a board and then have kids interact and add to it.  Once done, the kids have ALL the information in ONE PLACE!  That's the BEST part - everyone contributes to it, but they don't have to do EVERY piece in order to gain the most information possible!!

Give it a shot - Mrs. Teeples really enjoys it, and I am sure you will, too!
Take care all -
Mrs. I:)