Wednesday, November 28, 2012

iPads in Action....

These paraprofessionals work with students daily on individualized skills.  Below you can see pictures of students using their iPads for various things:

One student is working on Tappy Tunes to hear and touch with her iPad while another one looks at the weather forecast for the coming week and finds out what kinds of temperatures we will be experiencing.
 Here is another example of how the iPads are used daily.  There are SO many great apps that help provide opportunities and learning that might not have been possible through other means.  The ease of the iPad helps all students!

Just another AMAZING way that the iPads are providing individualized learning opportunities for our students in Barnesville!
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Pic Collage.....

  Here's another SUPER great way for kids to create TRUE meaning of words!  Mrs. Askegaard had students create Pic Collages for their spelling words.
  Students looked up definitions, wrote sentences, and then created these to go along with that.  What a neat idea for students to really "grasp" the words - not only words but a visual - kids WILL remember these:)!!

I will post again later today
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NEW FAVORITE APP!

  So, my NEW favorite app TODAY is Voice Thread!  This app allows you to create, record voice or movie, and explain, demonstrate or create things!  I have made 3 of them already just trying to figure out how to do them and I LOVE IT:)!!!  Some of our students DO have this one already as our English department asked for it and IT IS COOL!!! 

Ways that it could be used include:
     1 - students could write summaries of books and include story elements
     2 - while researching states, students could tell about their state and things found in it
     3 - book reviews - what books they love and why - persuasive writing
     4 - tell about anything - life cycle of a frog, different habitats of animals, why pulleys work
     5 - use it to tell about the different body systems - what they do and what organs are included
     6 - students could draw different musical notes and tell the beats they have and what certain   musical symbols that they represent
  
I could really go on and on - you HAVE to check this one out - and it's FREE:)!!

The other great thing is that is works hand in hand with the Voice Thread website - so you aren't just limited to the app - you can go upload Powerpoint presentations that you may have already created and turn them into something the kids can easily access!  HAVE FUN WITH THIS ONE:)!

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just Keep Swimming...........

   I DIE laughing every time I see this movie or think of this part!!  A 2nd Grade teacher here and I call each other "Dori," because it seems that just when you THINK you have things going and MIGHT be caught up in one area of your life - something else takes your time and energy!  We tell each other "Just Keep Swimming!" 



   That SHOULD be our motto this year as many people, myself included, have SO many things to learn, do and keep up with!!  When you're feeling this way - come back to this post and watch the video again:)!

JUST KEEP SWIMMING,
Mrs. I (aka Dori:)

Educational Sites.....

   Here is a list of Educational Sites that I have found to be useful!  Some are iPad related, and others are not, but all are good ones.  I will continue to add to and update this list sporadically as I find others sites that I feel are worth mentioning.  It is CRAZY how many wonderful sites are out there for SO many content areas - to search the Internet is SO overwhelming at times because of the plethora of information there - scary but exciting all at once!!

Happy Tuesday to Everyone,
Mrs. I:)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Splashtop - Desktop Control......

   Are students paying attention or not?  That's always a good question, but especially in a school with iPads 1:1, how can one be sure?  Students are SO fast to jump between applications, websites, pages, etc with a swipe of a finger.  You want them to be taking notes and paying attention - but the temptation is just too great.  Since we also have Smartboards, many teachers feel a little "stuck" to the board without the ability to walk around.  However - that can change!
   There is an app called SplashTop that works in conjunction with a SplashTop Website that you log into that allows you to walk around your classroom and actually be "behind" the students and watching what they are doing without losing the ability to work on the Smartboard or white board.  


    This app allows the teacher to walk around with his/her iPad and control the computer that is hooked up to the projector or Smartboard.  As the teacher becomes more mobile. the temptation to do what is NOT supposed to be done lessens, and I believe that kids would pay attention more and stay on task.  
     We actually purchased the SplashTop app for each teacher, so the ability to do this is already here!  Again, a username and account has to be created and logged in to, but once that is done, and you log in to the app on your iPad, control of your Desktop computer is just a touch away:)!

Happy Monday
Mrs. I:)

Friday, November 16, 2012

JoinMe

Here's another great one;)!!  JoinMe is a website that works hand in hand with the app that allows you to show your computer screen onto the iPad.  Once you have an account created, you log in and then share your screen.  The students open up the JoinMe app on their iPad and put in the code provided to the teacher and your screen will appear on their iPad.  THIS IS AWESOME:)!  Students will no longer complain that they can't see what's going on - and better yet - have them take a screen shot of the particular sites, pages, or presentations that they might need to have for future reference!  Again, here is a JoinMe Cheat Sheet for additional help. 


Keep Being Amazing Everyone!!!
Happy Friday,
Mrs. I:)

Dropbox

  If you haven't used Dropbox yet, you need to take a look at it!  This is a great online storage unit - but combined with the Dropbox App - it becomes a powerful tool to use in your classroom.  Simply go to the Dropbox Link and create a user name and password if you haven't done so yet.  You will be able to then create folders, upload files, upload video and MP3, etc.. which are too large to email.  Share the folders with your students and you have found an instant way to communicate information and assignments to your students without the hassle of email.  I also created a Dropbox Cheat Sheet for you to reference if you aren't sure how to go about this!


GOOD LUCK!

Mrs. I:)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Warhol and a few more with Pic Collage......

A few more GREAT ideas and examples for Pic Collage:

   LOVE ANDY WARHOL - LOVE his works!  Why not use Pic Collage to create Warhol Art?  Find a picture you like, and with the editing and color changing features, make a "replica" of what Warhol himself might have done!  Mrs. Askegaard's 5th Graders created images like this with the Warhol theme:


     One more way that she uses Pic Collage is for student examples for Word a Day.  Each student is assigned a word each week that they have to present and "show" to the class.  Many of her students are choosing to create Pic Collages to use as an example for their word - FUN FUN FUN:)!



Happy Collaging (is that even a word:))
Mrs. I:)

More with Pic Collage.....

   Both our Fifth Grade and our Third Grade have been using Pic Collage for various projects.  In the Fifth Grade, one of the rotations that they have, and that Mrs. Askegaard teaches, is MOVE 21.  She incorporates art with the iPads.  I will continue to post projects that she does, but one thing that she had the kids create was adjective collages.  Students had to take a picture of themselves, turn it black and white, and then come up with adjectives that they would use to describe themselves.  Aren't they just DARLING?!!!!  I LOVE IT:)!!  What a great way to review what adjectives are, along with a project on photography and using the app Pic Collage.


   Third graders also used Pic Collage and made collages titled "Third Grade Is..."  The kids used photos from the Internet, took photos around the room, of people, etc.. and then created collages about what they feel Third Grade means to them - again DARLING:)!!!







SO GREAT AND SO FUN!!  Two more ways to use this fantastic app -
Happy Thursday,
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More about CK-12 Site.......

   Here is a "quick" look of the books that are available for download from the CK-12 Site out of California.  Again, these are still free downloads for these specific content areas.  A LOT of great information here.


   Mrs. I:)

Audioboo.....

  This is a GREAT APP (I say that a lot don't I:)!  I know that it is simply a recording app, but once recorded you can download, email, post, use as an MP3, etc.. LOVE LOVE LOVE it:)!  AND so does SeƱorita Shannon!  She is our Spanish teacher at our high school and has always had her students speak phrases and conversation in Spanish.  In the past, she has had to sit one on one with the students and then listen to them - if they make a mistake, they start over, if it's louder in the classroom, she can't hear them - Audioboo SOLVED THIS:)!!!  The students now can record their lovely Spanish speaking voices at home without all the interruptions and the stress!  If they make a mistake, they simply record another version!  When they are finished they email them to her and she is able to hear them without the chaos of trying to do it during class.  This also has given her more freedom to teach more things as she doesn't have to take class time to do this!



  Other ways it can be used:

  1. Response to Intervention (RTI) groups - students can read a book to themselves for fluency and then follow along listening to themselves and mistakes they may make

2. Students can use this app to read prompts again and again timing themselves to hear and see improvements

3. Students can record speeches that they may have to give - timing themselves and listening for expression

4. Teachers can record directions for students so when they go home they will have the directions again on how to do something

5. This could be a communication device between parent and teacher for certain students

The list really could go on and on......these are just some ways that I have used it! The best part - it's FREE!  You gotta love that!

Have an AWESOME day and keep doing AWESOME things,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rewind to September 2012.......

    I HAD to post this!  When we first started the year off - our Wi-Fi was NOT up to par!  Partially because of the network - well NO IT WAS THE NETWORK!!  However - we had SO many teachers jump on board right away - YEAH TEACHERS - that our network was getting bogged down!  We weren't getting the speed we should have, blah, blah, blah!  The picture below is a reenactment of what we saw DAILY - WHY DIDN"T I TAKE PICTURES????  The students would go around the school and find an access point - then they would hold their iPad up to it HOPING it would connect or speed up - NO LIE!!  It was hilarious - well, now it's hilarious - at the time frustrating and maddening!  So needless to say - after some good humor - and three weeks later - all is well!  We are still not where we should be - but students are now IN their classrooms and not sprawled out all over the hallways hogging access points:)!!



Happy Tuesday Everyone
Mrs. I:)

Monday, November 12, 2012

App Store.....

   I don't know about you, but I always find it hard "finding" new apps for my iPad.  I can go to websites, blogs, the app store, but really it's all TOO OVERWHELMING for me!  So, after doing the iOS 6.1 update, a new button appeared in the "FEATURED" section tab at the bottom in the App Store (Thank you Mr. Hermes for showing me that you have to do the update as it's a feature of the update).  If you scroll to the bottom on the right side there is a button that says Education Connections.  Once you click on it you can choose your content area and then it breaks the content down into strands; apps are listed under each specific strand.  It has made my searching easier in the sense of I know for sure what that specific app is going to offer me!
   Of COURSE I created a "cheat" sheet with visuals in case you can't follow my babbling above:)!  Good luck and please let me know if you can't find it


Happy Monday Evening
Mrs. I:)

Content Area App Lists.....

I just finished up compiling the app lists for specific content areas at the High School.  You will notice them under the App List section on the right hand side.  I also have the others listed there for viewing.  If you have any questions about any of them, please feel free to drop me a note and I will do my best to answer them!
    I brought my boys to the musical, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" this weekend - AMAZING!!!  Once again, the kids at BHS have stepped up with a phenomenal performance!  Way to go kiddos - and way to go Mrs. Scherbenske and Mrs. Nibbe on a job well done!

Happy Monday Everyone
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

App Lists.....

  Today I simple compiled and posted some lists of apps that we have here in Barnesville.  I have three so far - one is a list of our district apps that we put on all the students in our district, one shows the apps that are in our elementary school which is grades K-6, and the other one is our app list for students in grades 7-12.  I will also compile and post what was ordered per content area at the high school.  Check back next week for those as I will complete them over the weekend and have them done by Monday!

Happy weekend to everyone - keep up the amazing work in your transformation-
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mac and Pages Help....

   As I have mentioned before, every teacher in our school was handed a Macbook Pro and an iPad 2 last spring.  Now we have been a PC school since I began teaching here 12 years ago, so this was a TOTALLY new thing for most everyone.  Those users, like me, that came to Barnesville as a Mac user had to make the transition from a Mac (well I NEVER really made the transition as I STILL use Mac at home:):).  I had a hard time at first.  Although the platforms were similar, things were NOT the same!  The idea of learning a "new" platform was hard to swallow.  Now the tables were turned and I was the one that was like, "YAHOO!"  Others, however, well everyone except one other teacher, really, had never used a Mac or hadn't used one in years!  Some decided to not even use it.  Others chose to jump on board and put their PC away!  Some are in between - which is where I would have been when I first came to Barnesville.  Over time the adjustment has been fine, and I know that in another year, the teachers here will feel the same way about the Macbook.  I have even TOTALLY converted one teacher here who would have NEVER thought of buying a Mac.  Not only does he have a Mac, he has an iPad, Apple TV, and JUST bought the iPhone 5 - wow:)!!  Who would have thought!!!
   Again, although they are "similar" they are different, too.  Shortcuts are different, icons are different, and the keyboard alone is different.  A few teachers asked me to create a "cheat" sheet to help remember these shortcuts, or even to be AWARE of what they are! So here you go - here is a "helpers" guide for people that haven't been using the Macbook for very long. 


   I am in the process of also creating one for Keynote, so when that is complete, I will upload it as well!

Happy Wednesday
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Change My Thinking.......

    In reading and talking with educators and other integrationist at workshops and through email - there seems to be a common thing - teaching is changing and teachers need to change.  Although I sit and think about all the changes I made the last 14 years in education, change is inevitable and we can either "embrace" it, or "ignore" it.  I choose to embrace it!!  My two sons are TOO important for me to not know what their world is like - so I am choosing to join them on this journey so to say!  Students today are the same as students yesterday - it's their world that is different!
    That doesn't mean I would change EVERYTHING at one time - how could you?  But if we could pick one thing this week or month and go with that until we are comfortable - but never TOO comfortable to stay with what we have always been doing - THAT"S TOO EASY!!!  Then choose something different, and keep adding things and doing things a "little" different than normal - before we know it - our teaching HAS changed!  This happens every year and it SHOULD!!  I am never satisfied with what I am doing - I can ALWAYS improve and ALWAYS do more!!  That's the problem with education - there is SO much out there and SO much to do - when is it done?  Between Pinterest, Facebook, blogspots, etc.. the feeling of inadequacy is overwhelming!  TAKE A BREATH!!  Pick ONE thing and do it GREAT!  Once that becomes easier - choose another - this will make life in your classroom and life outside of the classroom ever changing - and ever enjoyable!!
  Here is an article about a teacher who changed some things in education - well she was forced to because she got iPads in her classroom - sound familiar:)!!!???  She, too, felt how many of us are - slowly OVER TIME she was able to transform her thinking and the way she did things.  The same is true here - SLOWLY over time things will continue to get easier and continue to evolve - will you JOIN the evolution or IGNORE it - the choice is yours!!


You are all AMAZING and you are all doing GREAT things!  KEEP IT UP!!
Mrs. I:)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Digital Textbooks

  Well, digital textbooks are on my mind today.  I am downloading eBooks from the site CK-12!  This site is based in California and has MANY digital textbooks for FREE to download.  Our thought last spring when buying Macbook Pros for every teacher in our district, was that over the course of three years (roughly), teachers would be using them with iBooks Author to make their own digital textbooks.  These could then be shared with students, and textbooks, as we know them, would become obsolete!  The digital books would be based on the Minnesota standards and match perfectly!  As things change within our state, we could then easily adapt to that change by making adjustments with the digital textbooks that we created!  My job this year - well, my goal this year, is to create a few digital textbooks!:)
   We currently have a 6th Grade teacher, Mr. Cox, who wrote his own math book.  He started chapter for chapter and to my understanding has most of, if not all of it, completed!  He puts the book into Dropbox and the students download it from there.  He is doing a few chapters at a time so it isn't so overwhelming to have the ENTIRE textbook on the iPads - plus the download is SIGNIFICANTLY faster!  Included in his digital book are sites, podcasts, videos, pictures, quizzes, etc.. he has REALLY done a great job with this!!!  He will definitely be our "expert" when we start doing these!  If anyone is interested in checking his out - I KNOW he would be willing to show you how to get started:)!!
   Our Physical Education/Health teacher, Mr. Meyer, has used the eBooks on CK-12!  He finds chapters that pertain to the content that he is teaching and then also throws them in Dropbox for the kids to access.  The information is up to date, and at any time, Mr. Meyer would also be able to use these in iBooks Author to create his "own" book.  For now, he has been able to find the materials he has needed through the CK-12 site.
   If you have NOT been to this site - here is what it will look like.  Simply choose the content area that you are looking for and you're ready to go!

   The BAD thing about this site is the lack of content area covered!  It's GREAT for the Math and Sciences, but LACKING in the areas of English and electives - so some teachers will have NO luck with this at all - BUMMER!  I wish that they would find some individuals to add the arts, home economics and middle school.  There are a FEW things there, but definitely not a TON!!
   Here is the link if you are interested in checking it out and downloading some PDF eBooks to get you started.  The best thing is it's FREE and you can use this for creating your own books - GOOD LUCK!!!


Happy eBooking and Textbook Creating
Mrs. I:)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ways to Use Technology.....

   Below are some links that show and list different ways that you can use iPads and other technologies in your classrooms and some additional tips and tricks with the iPad 2 in case you still need some refreshers.  Take a peek - you might find a great, fun new way to do something or learn something new.





GOOD LUCK TROJANS!!! Football tonight and Volleyball tomorrow night - not only do we have great things happening with iPads, we have just GREAT things happening in Barnesville!!!

Have a great one and cheer LOUD
Mrs. I:)

SO RIGHT!!!

   Yesterday I went to a workshop at Lakes Country on eBooks and Digital Learning - WE ARE RIGHT ON here in Barnesville!  Not only am I totally convinced that the iPad was the way to go for Barnesville Public Schools, but I am TOTALLY convinced that EVERYONE here is 100% AMAZING!!  We are SO ahead of the game compared to SO many districts - and all the teachers have done a great job just embracing the fact we have the iPads and using them.  The presenter spent time showing various apps that she really likes - and WE HAVE MANY OF THEM - YAHOO!!  She also really focused on the idea of getting "cross content" area apps, as once you teach a certain topic or unit and the kids master that app skill, they are obsolete!  I totally agree!  Keep finding ways to use the many apps that we have!  I also get the idea of wanting more - I AM QUEEN OF THIS!!  I want more of EVERYTHING especially Apple and techy related items - why I can't ever be CONTENT??  That doesn't mean it's always better - and I need to be reminded of that DAILY!!  So try something  that you have ALREADY used, but maybe in another way - or try something new that you haven't done yet!  There is NO comparing and NO right and wrong - SO many of you have been stepping outside your comfort zone and giving things a shot - and I am SO proud of you!  Keep being amazing and keep plugging away staff - YOU"RE THE BEST!!!
   Check out this video created by students in California for the "Insomnia Film Festival."  They do this every year and kids are given 24 hours to create a video - this was the winner!  They did this JUST FOR FUN!!  And I think that's it!  Kids are going to start doing things like this because it's FUN and because they can SHARE with others their love!  This really is a hoot:)
Have a great weekend!
Mrs. I

Thursday, November 1, 2012

ThatQuiz

   Many teachers in our school have been using the site That Quiz to create quizzes or use the already created quizzes on the site! (Mr. Amundson actually introduced me to this site a few years back:)) It's a VERY powerful tool and many of the school districts that I have talked to about other things always bring up this site - check it out!  The starting page looks like this:



     From here you login and can create your own quiz, or use ones already in the system; you can create any type of quiz from multiple choice, true false, short answer or essay.  Students are then emailed the link and they then take the quiz.  Once completed, the quiz is scored and the teacher can see how they did - the system saves it so you can go back and check things and use the scores to enter into our JMC grading system.
    Mr. Schmitt taught a CPT day for our staff on this and he created a "cheat" sheet to get started.  I have it posted below!  He truly uses this quite a bit - so if our staff here has questions I would talk with him (or Mr. Amundson) - the getting started cheat sheet he created is VERY helpful!


HAPPY QUIZZING - Hope your stomachs don't hurt after Halloween:)!
Mrs. I:)