Monday, September 11, 2017

6th Grade Kiddos Code

WELCOME BACK TO A NEW YEAR:)!!  I took Mr. Schindler's 6th grade class last YEAR - yikes, as he is the softball coach and had to leave early for a game, so I had the kiddos code.  They went to Anybody Can Code/Hour of Code website and really had a LOT of fun!

Here's what I LOVE about it:

1.  Kids can work at their own pace
2. They get FRUSTRATED and have to PROBLEM SOLVE and think outside the box
3. Many don't know WHAT to do - but quickly figure it out;)!
4. The ones that maybe aren't the "book smartest" are AMAZING at this and feel success
5. The collaboration that takes place amongst the kiddos is awesome to see
6. They can do it at home - so it DOES NOT end here
7. They WANT to do it and are EXCITED about it;)!!

I could really go on and on with this one - as it's SO great to see them in an environment that they don't get to do often!

I will post about beginning of the year mishaps - and there were a TON TON of them - tomorrow - Happy Monday night all -
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

End of Year Collection

IT HAS STARTED!!!  The madness of the typical end of the year activities in addition to iPad collection again!  Some MAJOR things are different for us this year, so we will see where that takes us.

#1 - We have to redo ALL iPads by hand - UGH!  That's right - manually plugging in 900 iPads!  That DARN RANSOM VIRUS!  When it knocked out the server, it also knocked out me!  When we first enrolled iPads last fall, we enrolled them so they would talk to our server.  WELL, when that server was HIT with the virus, I lost the ability to talk to the server, as we switched everything over to the new server.  However, all of those iPads were enrolled using the OTHER server, so when we connected to the new one - BAM!  No ability to talk anymore!  So the ONLY fix is to completely wipe them all - unscope ALL the apps - and then re enroll them into the NEW server.  However, we will also set up a proxy now so the kids iPads talk to the school's system - meaning we can also block everything when they're at HOME and do ALL updates and installing when they are NOT here!  In the end - it WILL work out better for us - BUT the work up front is a TON!!

#2 - We are NOT collecting chargers for grades 3-11 - only the seniors since they are leaving. THIS IS HUGE PEOPLE!!  That means we don't have to track, redistribute and buy a TON more because kids take the wrong ones at iPad night - I AM SO SO HAPPY!  We are going to try it a year and see how it goes - pending perfection, we will do it every year:)!!

#3 - THIS is my counter after collection last week!  DONE WITH K-6 and 12 YAHOO:)!  Stored and put away in computer lab.  NOW to tackle the 7-11th graders as they are finished with finals.  My counter will fill up FAST - but at least half way there.

When the iPads come in, K-2 WE clean, but 3-12 does their own.  They take iPad apart, wipe case down, iPad down, remove ALL passcodes (iPad ones and Apple IDs), and then they put it ALL back together.  They finally find their identification card (which has their serial number of their iPad and destiny number for check out) and turn it in.  CHECK - pretty easy process for them!

To be continued...........
Happy Tuesday all,
Mrs. I:)

Friday, May 12, 2017

More on Raspberry Pi

I have blogged before about Raspberry Pi - but one of our science teachers, Mr. Goering, is having some of his AP Physics students working on it now.  They have programmed it to take the temperature and record it multiple times throughout the day.  They have also figured out how to get it to print, email and many other commands by scripting it.  Here is what is going on "visually," which might not seem like a lot from the photos but OH THEY ARE LEARNING:)!!

Mr. Goering had to order a little weather pin - so track that - he also ordered the white breadboard as that makes connections SO much easier than trying to use the pins on the actual Raspberry Pi. 
 The simply connected the Raspberry Pi to a monitor, keyboard and mouse and then started scripting and figuring out different "Python" language to run it:)!! 
 Finally, this shows some of the coding they had to do to force and talk to the Raspberry Pi to get it to perform the desired outcomes.  In this case, they scripted it to check the temperature every so often, so when they go to this page and click run - it will push out the data for them - SUPER NEAT:)!!
The next step that he would like to do is use the Thing Speak website to create graphs from the data - that is the next phase for him and his students.  SUCCESS INDEED:)!!

Here are some OTHER ways to use the Raspberry Pi:

It also got us talking about next year and how he would still like to set up a weather station and use a green screen to do weather forecasting - exciting things going on here peeps!

Happy weekend all -
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Conrad Wolfram: Teaching Kids Real Math with Computers

Our math department went to the state math convention this past week, and Mr. Hermes share this TED talk with us.  I watched it and LOVED the concepts here!

Conrad Wolfram is the director of Wolfram Research, which is a company that is trying to understand and find new uses for Mathematics technology!  He believes that we are too focused on "hand calculating" and we need to start teaching MATH!  He says there are three reasons to teach math:

1. Technical Jobs
2. Everyday Living
3. Logical Thinking

Wolfram further questions, "What is Math?"  He again, comes up with four steps -

1. Pose the right question - what are we trying to figure out?
2. Real world - math formulas
3. Computation - answers
4. Math formulation - real world and then verification

He explained that why are we teaching and doing 80% of computation by HAND - Step 3 - when we have computers and technologies that can do it for us?!  Students should be focusing on Steps 1, 2 and 4 and let what we HAVE do step 3 for us!  It's not like it used to be - we used to NOT have devices and the technologies for this so we HAD to do it by hand - but now we don't.  We are teaching kids to do concepts and "step by step" work that when they are out working in the real world - a computer or calculator will do FOR them!!  He feels computers don't dumb down math - the problems we use are dumbed down problems.  Wolfram believes that we need more practical and more conceptual work with math - we need critical reform in the way we teach math - because exams are NOT the way to get kids to understand math - "there needs to be critical reform - that is computer based math."

He also has an amazing website to check out and APPS to consider also -

It's pretty amazing to think about.  In a world where MCA testing, Common Core and other state exams and tests are mandated - it makes one wonder why we DO NOT teach more "real world" skills to our kids - not just in math - but ALL areas!  There's definitely a TON of reform that needs to take place in Minnesota and the United States as a whole - we have SO many things wrong with the education system.

One more link to MAYBE check out that Mr. Hermes mentioned is Computer Based Math - it too talks about the benefits of  having kids do REAL WORLD, computer based mathematics.  Look into it - 

Some amazing think abouts - and his TED Talk is WORTH LISTENING TO:)!
Happy Wednesday all,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Windows New Surface Laptop

Windows recently came out with a NEW Surface Laptop that they are aiming for college kiddos.  At only 2.5 pounds and 14 hours of battery life - it's definitely something to look at!  This laptop runs Window 10 with good performance and security.  Here are a few things that I learned today on CNBC:

1. The Surface Laptop costs $999 and runs Windows 10S
2. Windows 10S is targeted at education and will be on a variety of laptops
3. The Surface Laptop can be upgraded to a full version of Windows 10 Pro
4. It's going to be appealing to everyone, not just students

 SO -  maybe something to check out for those jumping to college.  You still get all the benefits of Office 365 if you area  district that is using this - AND some of the "new" laptops come with Minecraft and coding programs on there - THAT is something ALL schools need to keep pursuing!!

Happy Tuesday all,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

FUN Websites Worth Looking At:)!

The past week, I have been web searching, and attended a workshop that was beneficial as well.  The following websites were ones either shared with me, or ones that I came across that would be worth investigating further:)!!!

1. Dotstorming - This website is VERY similar to Padlet, BUT the kids can take a poll on which choice that they like the best.  It becomes a voting opportunity with all the great things about Padlet:)!!

2. Pear Deck - This website allows your kids to connect to a presentation online and ALL be on the same page together:) 

3. Ricoh 360 Degree Camera - CHECK THIS OUT:)!!  WOW!  I was SO SO impressed with this guy.  If you have ever used or played with Google Street View, then you are in for a treat!  This camera takes a 360 picture and threads it together QUICKLY and ACCURATELY!  No longer do you have to piece together 45 pictures frame by frame - LOVE IT:)!!!

4. Hip Hughes History - WOW!  Keith Hughes has put together a PLETHORA of videos in any area of history you can imagine.  If you are in the field of flipping your social studies classroom - CHECK HERE before you spend hours and hours podcasting:)!!

5. #BookSnaps - A cute way to use the "Snapchat" idea and turn them into Book Snaps - NEAT:)

6. Adobe Spark - This is a great way to create quick and fast visual and digital web stories in minutes - another great new option for kids to create with:)!!

7. NearPod - I know that I have mentioned this before but this is a great site to collaborate with:)!!  Kids can all see what you see and learn together and collaboratively seeing the same things on their devices:)

That's what I have for today - HAVE A GREAT TUESDAY:)!
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SMART Amp - something new learned again:)!!!

I know there are MANY ways to project and use a white board - we have SMART Boards here in Barnesville, and have for the past 12 years or so if I had to guess! We LOVE them - and have created a TON of material to go with them.  The day that SMART Boards were removed from our teachers is the day I RETIRE - seriously - they are used THAT much and so much have been created over the years which is great!  A few things have changed, and many things are better - and that is SMART Amp!!!  If you have SMART Boards - CHECK IT OUT!!!  It's free if you have Notebook (I believe), and it allows you to share with the kids so they can either follow along with you, or interact with you:)!!!  YUP THAT IS CORRECT - FINALLY!!  There are a variety of ways that you can share things, and you can share many things.  You basically create a class, add the kids either via email, or give them a code, and then you can create "workspaces" for kids to follow along with or interact with - it's THAT simple!  The BEST PART - you can see what students add to the workspace as it's instant and live.  SO COOL!!!  You can use SMART Exchange to download already created Workspaces - if you look on the left hand side and filter them. 

Here are a few basic screen shots to get an idea of how it works

Here is the screen that a kiddo has on his/her iPad.  They simply go to the SMART Amp website and join class with the code - it will automatically share screen as teacher assigned.
Now this is ALL NEW to me - I have  been playing with it for about an hour is all - but I have learned a TON in that time - so it's quite easy and user friendly - GOOD LUCK!!

Have a great day all,
Mrs. I:)