Thursday, January 31, 2013

Track Wrong Doings....

   Note to self for next year - track ALL wrong doings by students.  I have started now, but SHOULD HAVE started at the beginning of the year.  Things like why their iPads were taken away, why I had to hook it back up to Configurator, etc..  I am also dating these.  This is a SIMPLE record for yourself so you can track how many times and know EXACTLY where students stand regarding how many weeks it should be taken away.  When an iPad IS taken, Mrs. Olson, our librarian, does a FANTASTIC job recording and tracking dates so students know when they can expect it back.  She also makes sure that each iPad is charged and ready for the student each night.

  Some of you might want to know what we do here in Barnesville regarding iPad discipline - here is a summary:

*If a student does not have their picture as their lock screen, they lose it for 2 weeks, but they can use it at school and have to check it in and out of the library each night
*If a student leaves their iPad unattended, and a staff member finds it, they lose it for 2 weeks, but can use it at school and have to check in and out of the library each night
*If a student doesn't lock his/her locker, lose it for 2 weeks but can use in school and have to check in and out of the library each night
*If photos are found that are inappropriate, student loses it for 4 weeks; 2 weeks they don't get it at ALL, and then 2 weeks they can use in school and have to check in and out of the library each night
*If inappropriate sites are found, student loses it for 4 weeks; 2 weeks they don't get it at ALL, and then 2 weeks they can use in school and have to check in and out of the library each night
*If a student repeats an offense, the times listed above double, or in some cases students have lost iPads for an extended period of time determined by the administration.

  These are by no means the PERFECT situations, but the rules have to be strict enough to keep the kids accountable, yet fair so they know and follow expectations set!

Happy Thursday,
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On the Phone Again.....

   I would LOVE it if anyone out there knows a roundabout way to talk with Apple.  I was on the phone again for over an hour today simply trying to redeem codes that were lost in Configurator.  They are SUPER helpful, and SUPER great to work with, but I have to explain the situation to about 4-5 individuals as they keep transferring me from one person to another.  If anyone knows a way around this - I would LOVE to hear about it!
   Today was another eventful day.  I always come to school wondering what I might be doing any particular day, and before I know it, it's time to leave for the day - never enough time - as everyone feels, too:)!!
   I was able to help Mrs. Peterson yesterday with starting the compiling process for her "resource" book that she wants to create in iBook Author.  That was fun to sit and work on that with her.  Today I spent some time in Mrs. Tonsfeldt's classroom showing them how to use the new Photo Collage.  They are researching inventors and finding facts and information about them - SUPER NEAT!!  I will post a few student examples next week when they are finished with them - a great project indeed!
   Another day gone - and anticipation of what tomorrow will bring!

Happy Night,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Additional Apps List.....

   You will notice that I DID finally get to adding the additional apps that were put on student iPads.  I just categorized them by grade level and posted them all together.  I will eventually add them to the "other" list on there to create one, but for now you can see what other apps our district is using!
   I am JUST about done compiling our Special Education list of apps and Title One - so that will be coming up in a few days - for sure by the end of the week. 
   SO hard as there are SO many out there.  I just keep checking other school websites, different sites that review apps and word of mouth by teachers that have used certain apps in their classrooms!

Take care and Happy Apping,
Mrs. I:)

Sling Note App - SO COOL!!

  Alright - here's the new app that I LOVE LOVE LOVE:)!!!  It's called Sling Note and it allows you to have side by side screens - I know - SO GREAT!

   On one side of the screen it gives you either a web browser or a calculator, and the other side of the screen you can have another web browser or a notepad.  I am thinking Math teachers - WATCH OUT - you're going to WANT WANT WANT this one;)!!  The BEST part - is that you can cut out sections of the web browser and just move them into the notebook section.  If students need to go online for information, and they need to copy and paste things from the Internet, or better yet, notes or things from a teacher's blog or website - they can simply click and drag them from one side to the other.
    If a student needs to do math work - they can have a calculator up on one side and then show and do their math work on the other side - AWESOME:)!!  I REALLY think, Mr. Hermes, Ms. Brown, and Mrs. Peterson are going to LOVE it:)!!
   You are also able to upload and share the work that is completed.  It DOES cost money - this one is $2.99 - and I have checked in volume purchasing - and it DOES qualify - so if you buy 20 or more it's only $1.49 - a bargain:)!!

Happy Tuesday
Mrs. I:)




Monday, January 28, 2013

Updates are DONE:)!

   Well, last Friday I officially unhooked Apple Configurator at the elementary school and moved back to the high school - DONE:)!!!  Excited that it's over - but also excited that teachers were able to get a few more things that will help them for the second half of the year!!
    I am now going to jump back and start creating a digital textbook - any takers as to what I should start making??  I am actually thinking that I will start an English one since that is the one area that really seems to be lacking for free information and books already out there to use.
    However - I AM SUPER exited to start working with Mrs. Peterson on a resource type of book that she wants to make with videos from Kahn Academy.  YAHOO:)!
    I will post some GREAT websites that I saw at TIES regarding free resources that are available specifically in the ares of Social Studies and Math!:)

Happy Monday,
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Updating Day - lost track:)

   Today wasn't officially an "update" day for me as I had a workshop for part of the day,  but I did catch a few stragglers when I returned of students that were gone when I did grade levels.  WOW - it's amazing how FAST it goes when I only have 4-5 iPads hooked up to Configurator versus 26.  Zipped right through those buggers:)!! 
   Tomorrow I will finish 2nd grade and if time allows jump into the last two sections of Kindergarten.  I will then finish Kindergarten up on Friday and the elementary school will be done!  YAHOO!!!  Next year we will have to FOR SURE reevaluate whether or not we do this again!
   I will also be posting this weekend the updated lists of apps.  I will finish compiling the grade level and content area apps and then repost them on the blog.
   That's it for today - I DO have a new favorite app - which I will post about tomorrow!!  APP CRAZY I am - I KNOW - but that's the COOL part with the iPad; the plethora of apps for teaching!

Happy Wednesday everyone - stay warm
Mrs. I:)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Updated App Lists for All

  I will also be updating ALL apps lists that I have posted.  Each grade level received anywhere from 2-20 new apps, so once I have them all finished - I will post the new lists!  
  I also asked our Paraprofessionals and Title One teacher which apps they tend to use the most during Title One and RTI time.  Once I have compiled all that information, I will also post a Title One App list of the ones that we use here in Barnesville and what grade level they are used!

Stay Warm,
Mrs. I:)

Elementary Updating - Day 4

   Well, since today the kids aren't here, things seem to be rolling MUCH faster with the downloads - that's great;)!!  I have now completed 5th, 4th, half of 3rd, and 1st.  I will grab the rest of 3rd on Monday and try to get 2nd grade done.  Which means all I'd have left would be Kindergarten!  Some of the younger ones didn't have the updates done, so that took a little time - but moving MUCH faster since I am able to remove a profile BEFORE hooking up and then I don't have to uninstall all and install all again - HUGE TIME SAVER:)!!
   I have also had a tough time tracking app lists - ADVICE - tell your teachers to alphabetize their app lists - everything that comes into configurator is done alphabetically - therefore if the lists are this way already - then you won't have to retype them all yourselves:)!!  Hopefully I haven't missed anything - cross checking a TON:)!!

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Checklist for younger kids......

  I CAN NOT for the life of me remember where I found this - SO SORRY!!  I DID NOT come up with this idea - but I think it's a GREAT idea!  Create a spreadsheet or document with boxes to check, then as kids finish this task on their iPads, they check it off.  Everyone loves to be able to cross things off their lists - why not the kids, too.  OR better yet - I was brainstorming with Mrs. Grabow, a Kindergarten teacher, and what if after each box you list an app that you want students to work on at home.  This sheet can go right with the students each night with their iPads, and then parents know whatever app has a check mark in the box is the one they are supposed to work on for the night. 
   This is a work in process right now - so once we figure it out, I will post what Kindergarten decided on~!

OH the brains are working today:)
Mrs. I:)

Book Review.....

   One idea that our 2nd Grade teachers did was use the camera right on the student iPads.  Students had to write a book review about his/her favorite book.  I am not sure if any of you remember the episodes of "Reading Rainbow," but that is what they kind of take this off of.  Below is an example of one of the student's book review!
video
  
I LOVE it - great idea and the kids did an amazing job with it!!
YEAH:)!!
Mrs. I:)

Day 2 at Elementary -

  Well so far so good - all apps came off and all installing back on!  After this batch I will have fifth grade done and hopefully get fourth done today, too - we will see!  Here is the set up that I have going on in the elementary school:

 We chained some D-Link boxes together so we are able to do 26 (and we can add more) iPads at a time.  This process is already slow - so we stuck with just that amount in case problems arise!
 
 The Mac mini that we use to store EVERYTHING on!  We have backed up everything to Time Capsule so if we would lose anything we have it all there:)!!  A MUST!!!

I would really recommend the use of a Mac mini, too!  WAY PORTABLE!! WAY COMPACT - all you have to do is connect a keyboard and video monitor and you're ready to go:)!!

Happy Thursday,
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stressful day again......

   So today we brought Apple Configurator over to the elementary to start with the updating of apps over there.  I thought it's going to go smoothly - boy was I WRONG:(!!!  I started around 10am and by 7:45pm I had finished with 26 iPads!!:(:(:(  Once I hooked up the iPads I had to remove all apps - which is fine - and then reinstall them!  However - one of the apps was bad, so I thought I will just cross check with the list and see what are fifth grade specific apps and then narrow it down - WRONG AGAIN:(!!!  So after adding apps back 5 at a time, and then narrowing it down - I found the app - of course in the Ts!!  A tangram app that hasn't been working great anyway, but I was able to download it over at the high school just a day ago - STRANGE!!
   Oh well, figured out - so maybe I will be able to get done with fifth grade AND fourth grade tomorrow now - a girl can wish, right???

Happy Wednesday Night,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Small Steps.....

   Well, I have officially finished with all the kids at the high school grades 6-12 - YAHOO:)!!!  I know this seems like a SMALL thing - but WOW that update was BIG!!!  Tomorrow I am going to grab the few stragglers (ok I lied, I don't have ALL done) that were absent or didn't do the update and will be able to start with elementary school on Thursday!
   Hopefully by the middle of next week I will have all the elementary school kids done as well:) and then I can get into some classrooms/meet with teachers/etc... and get off of Apple Configurator!!

Happy Tuesday night -
Mrs. I:)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Organization....

   I thought I might post how I organize all the index cards that we put with the iPads.  I bought these cute little boxes at Target last year thinking that I would use them in my classroom.  Since I'm obviously not in there right now, I thought we could use them to store each grade level's index cards. 
   I then bought a drying rack for dishes to simple put them in there - with easy assess as this sits under the counter in the library.  Whenever I need to pull a card - I find the grade level box, find the card - which have all been alphabetized, and there it is!  No filing system, and this has ALL of them included - works pretty slick!
   Each card contains the serial number of the iPad, the Desiny Number for checking it in and out of our library, and we wrote the student's name on the back of each card. 
    That way at the end of the year - we can simply transfer the cards to the next year's box and have all things ready to go right away! 
     This really is a SUPER easy way to track all the iPads, have immediate access to student serial numbers and find any information that we might need.
Happy Monday,
Mrs. I;)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weather Delay - NO!!!

   Well - with the coming skating rink roads and snow maybe - today's iPads didn't go as planned so I'm backed up a little bit again:(!!!  I will finish up with the freshman class on Monday and then start with 6th grade - hopefully I will get that ALL done on Monday - we will see;)!!
   It has been a smooth sail ride today - time consuming - but has gone well.  I appreciate Mrs. Olson SO MUCH!!  She has really done a great job while allowing me to jump into her library and space - THANK YOU:)!!!  She is also a GREAT resource for people as things come up - I show her - so she is able to help kids just the same - LOVE IT:)!!
  I also want to THANK YOU staff for all your patience and understanding through all this madness!  It's hard to teach without the iPads when you have relied on them since September - YES YES YES:)!!  I am glad that SO many of you use them daily and often!

I APPRECIATE YOU ALL AND THE TIME, WORK AND COMMITMENT YOU HAVE SHOWN ALWAYS - the BEST STAFF EVER!!!!:):):)

Happy Weekend and early out today
Mrs. I:)

Updates Continue.......

   The last few days have been PRETTY seamless regarding the updating of iPads.  I DO feel bad - as for SOME reason - when I hook the iPads up - they lose EVERYTHING in the app Type on PDF.  I am unsure why - but I think has something to do with the updating that I did while talking with Apple - they are SO smart, but SO not knowing sometimes - frustrating part indeed.  The students have been for the most part, doing an amazing job throwing all their files into Dropbox or emailing them to themselves, but I have had a few that didn't do this.  They come into the library with that lost puppy look as to why they don't have their PDF files.  I reminded them of the emails that I sent out, and the reminder that Mrs. Olson sent out regarding backing up.  They then walk out with their tail between their legs - I feel bad - but these students didn't do what they were supposed to do.  I try to help them the best I can - but if they don't actually DO what is asked, there's nothing I can do as Type on PDF wipes ALL!:( 
   Today I will take the 9th graders, which means 7-12 will then be done.  Monday I will start fresh with the 6th graders and continue to work my way down through the week.  Hopefully today goes great and next week smooth as well!

Happy Friday -
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Check it out.....

   Here are a few new apps that I have been looking at  - some I have found via other websites, some I have found through dumb luck.  I haven't looked through and through them or even played with them a TON - but they get great reviews and seem to look REALLY great:)!!

    The first one is Ask3: This app is a collaborative Educreations.  You can send stuff to your students - they can collaborate and you can share things as a class together.  I have done VERY little with this one - but it looks SUPER cool:)!!! FREE - check it out:)!!
    The second one is Letter Press: this is a word building app that gives you a block of letters that you have to create words with.  You play against a competitor at random and then you try to use letters they have used and you start to block out letters that they can no longer use.  A fun one also!
     The third one I found is GeoMaster Lite:  This FREE version lets you recognize and identify the states. There is also a paid version that allows practice with countries.  It's another one that is great practice for states.
Again - I have NOT done a TON with either of these three - but they look great and MacWorld and other sites gave them "Gem" app awards:)!

Apple Configurator is working great today:-) - WHAT WAS I THINKING in doing the updates of the apps in iTunes????  THAT is the time factor - of well - live and learn:)!

Happy Wednesday
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Updates - Day 2...

   Well, today seems to be running a little bit smoother than yesterday as more kids were responsible and did the update like they were asked - YAHOO:)!  Still taking a while as there were more than 245 apps to update - and only doing 20 or so at a time to accommodate this.  Next year, we might need to rethink the whole updating and adding apps during the year.  Discussion to be had for the future indeed.....:)  It's now 12:24 and only done with about half the sophomores - that means that will start with 9th grade tomorrow and maybe get through 8th grade - will see I guess - it DOES get easier with the younger grades as they don't have elective classes to mess with!  Hopefully by the beginning of next week will be at the elementary school doing the same thing to update those!
 
Happy day everyone,
Mrs. I:-)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Updating iPads - Day 1

  Well, Casey and I started with the seniors today in hooking up iPads, doing updates, and adding the ones that teachers requested - WHAT A NIGHTMARE:(!!!  We started at 9am and we were done with 12th grade at 1:07 - YIKES!  At this rate - we will be doing this until March:)!! Seriously - we had 243 updates of apps, so that alone took a TON of time to configure on the iPads.  Apple Configurator worked FLAWLESS - really - YAHOO:)!  So this was indeed a PLUS as this has been the death of me the last month or so - realistically if we can make it through this year - do ALL updates on EVERYTHING this summer - SMOOTH sailing next fall -
   Tomorrow we will start with the rest of the juniors and hopefully get done with the sophomores and the freshmen classes - FINGERS CROSSED:)! 
    TIME TIME TIME - where did it go today?  Super fast and seemed to accomplish almost nothing - days like this drive me CRAZY!!!!  I am hoping for a better and faster paced work day tomorrow with this process and accomplishing MUCH MUCH MORE!:-)

Happy Night,
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Updating.....

   Well, after talking with Apple for a whopping 1 1/2 hours today - I still know NOTHING:(!!!!  I DID have the gentleman watch me via screen share and I was doing everything right - UGH!  Good for me, bad for me - as I STILL don't have answers to Apple Configurator -and Apple isn't willing to admit that it has something to do with the update - I'm NOT convinced!!  The only thing I can figure out now is that those iPads that do NOT have the update on them seem to be the issue - so I am going to have all students update their iPads to the iOS 6.0.1 otherwise I think we are going to have MAJOR issues when trying to fix this.......
   So nothing resolved really - but MAYBE something resolved - time will tell;)

Happy Wednesday that feels like a Monday,
Mrs. I:)