Wednesday, February 27, 2013

CK-12 Braingenie

   A few weeks ago when a couple of teachers and I went to a workshop on ebooks, I was "reintroduced" to CK-12 Braingenie - if you haven't seen it GO GO GO:)!!

     Here is a picture of the main screen - and as you can see there are a variety of math and science related topics.  Under each category are specific areas to work on - UNREAL:)!!!!  It shows you how many skills are available for each topic.  Students can go on and practice just about ANY skill imaginable in the areas of science and math.  Over 5,00 skills are available for review - what a great way to review concepts before MCA testing - SUPER SUPER AMAZING!!!  Oh yea - IT'S FREE!!

**Most of the games and practice drills work on the iPads - which is also a HUGE plus:)**

Happy Wednesday,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Steve Jobs TED - OF COURSE:)

  I am not sure if you have heard this TED talk - actually I had to download it through YouTube since is was a flv file and not an mp4, but I originally listened to it in TED - Go figure - my hero - Steve Jobs:)!!!  He is giving the commencement speech at Stanford University - and the points he makes and the way he does it - powerful!!

   Now, the thing that I reminded myself about TED is although it might not teach "concepts" like Khan Academy does, the plethora of things you could do is limitless!!!  Having kids listen to "REAL" speakers about "REAL" issues and writing summaries of them, finding main ideas with supporting details, comparing and contrasting different views of the same topic - the list goes on:)!!  Plus, the fact that it's nonfiction helps with SO many Minnesota Standards - LOVE IT:)!!
    Again - this is a POWERFUL speech!  I hope that you enjoy it - over 16 million already have heard it;)

Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. I:)

Monday, February 25, 2013

iNnigerism today:)

   It just so happens that TODAY'S iNnigerism had to do with a TED Talk:)!!!  Scan this QR Code ( I AM STILL LOVIN THEM:)  and listen to this "Kid President's" pep talk to kids today:)!!
Happy Monday Night,
Mrs. I:)


Look at this picture:
     THIS IS NOT STAGED!  I repeat THIS IS NOT STAGED!  One of our English teachers, Mrs. Gross, came into her dining room to find this;)!!  Her daughter, Kennedy had opened up a TED talk - yes indeed - she was watching "How Movies Teach Manhood." WHAT A HOOT:)!!!!!  Obviously, even this 4-year old gets the importance of a good TED talk:)!!
   I think that TED talks are amazing!  The concept of "Ideas Worth Speading," is so true.  Currently there are over 1,400 talks about a variety of topics from classroom teaching, to sciences, to motivational speakers. 
    Simon Sinek spoke at TIES 2012.  He is the author of "Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action."  He was SO great, but his TED talk about leadership was even greater!!  Over 9 million people have watched it - take a peek:)!!

Happy Monday,
Mrs. I:)

Friday, February 22, 2013

QR Codes Hitting Classrooms:)

   Mrs. Detloff, an English teacher in Barnesville, uses QR Codes to link to her website.  She has it posted both outside her door, and in her classroom on a bulletin board:

   Mrs. Tonsfeldt, a third grade teacher, is going to be using QR codes with a project that her students have to write!  Here are a few of her students "practicing" how to scan them.  She brought in various QR codes for them to try.  Next, she is going to have the kids create their own with a webpage.

      YAHOO FOR YOU TWO!!  I think that as the excitement continues, we might be seeing these more often in our classrooms.  I have also shared the various ones for certain content areas at the high school and am creating some things for the elementary - FREE STUFF I found on Teacher Pay Teachers!  OH - if you have NEVER been here - YOU MUST GO:)!!

Happy Friday,
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, February 21, 2013


   Ok - since playing with these QR codes for the past oh - three weeks or so - I LOVE THEM MORE AND MORE!!!!  I love them SO much that I have started "iNnigerisms."  I am going to put up QR codes around the school every few days for kids to scan as Kindness quotes!  Why not?  Kids nowadays need to hear how great they are more often than they do!!!  Also - positive quotes and reinforcements and praise is good for EVERYONE:!)!

Here is my first one:
   I am excited to see what the kids and staff think about this and how they might respond.  My hope is that they will go searching each day for these little words of encouragement and praise!  I'll keep you posted!

Happy Thursday,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

QR Code Ideas - FABULOUS:)!!!

   Alright - here they are - I LOVE THESE IDEAS!!!  I have started to compile a list of ideas that can be used IMMEDIATELY into ANY classroom:)!! I will post that in my next blog post.   However - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of using QR codes for POSTERS!!!  Any poster that you could or would hang in your classroom - tack a QR code to it for more information, a video, a podcast, ANYTHING!!!  Take a peek at these AMAZING ones first that I found on the website QR Codes for Education
   How cool is this cell one?  Not only will you learn about the parts of the cell with the diagram and labels, but each part of the cell has a QR code attached to it to learn more about each part and the function of it!!

      Really?  I WISH I MADE THIS ONE!!!  Each QR code is a video link to a YouTube video about the elements listed on the periodic table - LOVE IT:)!!

      While learning about the states, what better way to learn state capitals, state flags, birds, and other much needed information then to attach a QR code on a map of the United States.

    Why not incorporate QR codes into a novel unit that you are studying like they did with this one?  Link to book reviews, video trailers, assignments, about the author pages and SO many others great things on the web.

     Timelines are always a great way to learn information about people or events in history - why not spice them up a little bit with QR codes and make students research and find the main events and information that is most important?
    I KNOW that your minds are just spinning like mine is now!  SO GREAT and SO INNOVATIVE and SO COOL!!!  If you have some great ones - let me know and I will add them here!

Happy rest of your Snow Day-
Mrs. I:)

Snow Day #2 - QR Codes here I come:)

   Well, we don't have school today, so I think that I will spend some time working on QR codes, how to implement them, and find a VARIETY of ways to use them!!!  If you didn't read my other post about these, a good starting point is QR Code Generator.  Not only will you find a variety of ways to link these QR codes, if you EVER want to buy anything you will find it here:)!!
    I will FOR SURE be posting more throughout the day as I create some things - I will try to come up with a general information sheet with websites to uses, ways to use QR codes, etc...

Happy Snow Day All,
Mrs. I:)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Garrison Again........

        I was once again snooping on Garrisons Sites and came across a website called QR Voice.  It allows you to type what you want to say, create a QR code for it, and then scan it and it will read it to you (in a robot voice I know).  Now, you are limited to the number of characters - only 100 - but you can use this for a variety of things.  I saw that one teacher was going to use it for clues around her room to solve something.  Another teacher said they would use it to put the QR code next to art work with a short explanation.  Although you are limited as far as the length - the idea is AMAZING and SO great!  Check this one out:)
Happy Long Weekend
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Evaluating Apps..........

   This is a topic that is under great discussion ALWAYS!!  Which apps are the BEST to use in each content area?  Which apps track data for students and teachers?  Which apps can you use across multiple disciplines?  Which apps do kids keep going back to?  These questions and MORE are ones that we are asking ourselves as we begin MOVE 21 - Year 2!!  I always find myself going back to Kathy Schrock!  Not only her "everything" website, but her blog as well (look for it on my sidebar:)!  She developed a really good iPad App Evaluation Form.  She really does a great job looking at the overall components of the app that many people neglect to check out!  I think that many teachers, myself included here, tend to find an app, download it, play a little and then say it's great!  However, do we REALLY take a peek at what we are getting?  Therefore, I took her evaluation and tailored it a little bit to meet the needs in Barnesville.  Here is what I came up with for our iPad Evaluation Form; similar components, but also wanted to include things like is it volume purchasing?  what do the reviews say about it?  how many stars does it receive?
   I know it seems like a LOT more work for the teachers, but we needed something a little more DETAILED in place to make sure everyone is aware what the app has to offer and how the use of it will benefit the students!

PS - if you haven't gotten Mr. Spouse or Mrs. Spouse something special for today check out ABC News for some last minute apps for help:)!!

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone,
Mrs. I

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Just for fun....

   Some students have been getting creative about their lock screen picture they put on their iPads.  I have mentioned this before I think, but students have to have THEIR PICTURE as their lock screen so we are able to quickly identify whose iPad is whose.
    Many have been using Collage to create a fun collage and then import themselves in there with their name - here is my son's:
   I know, probably not the best one (and I am SURE his momma will make him change it:))  but you GOTTA love the creativity of these young minds:)!! And really - who DOESN'T break out in dance when they hear the song!!!

Happy Day
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

iPad Collection - 68 & Counting!

  Well, last week was an interesting week to say the least - long story short - students found out the Staff network password and were connecting to it in order to use other sites that were blocked on the Student network.  The password was changed so students couldn't do this.  I sent out an email reminding students that are to use their iPads and emails for "school" use and that anything else, if caught, would result in the loss of their iPads.  However, some found out the new password, and before we knew it MANY students had jumped on the Staff network once again so they were able to do things like Craig's List, Pinterest, Pandora, etc... THEREFORE - Casey printed out a sheet that listed EVERY student iPad that had been on the network.  All I had to do was go into configurator and find out the serial number of the iPad.  Mrs. Olson and myself looked through grade level cards that have each student name and serial number of his/her iPad on it and came up with 68 students that lost their iPads.  Oh yes - here are the piles:

    Students have two options - they can either lose their iPads for two weeks, or serve two hours of detention.  Once the time is up, they will once again get their iPads back.  Therefore, the password has been changed ONE More time, and may have to go to a daily password - I hope not - but nonetheless, students know we can actually TRACK who has been on what network when.
    I think this has been one of the toughest things - not knowing what kids will do - and how to set consequences accordingly.  Next year will be much easier in this category - heck in ALL categories - since we have lived through it once:)!
    It was pretty funny this morning - two students came in and gave me their iPads.  I asked why - and they said that before you call me down - I was on the Staff network - so you can just take it:):) - LOVE THE HONESTY OF MOST KIDS:)!!!

Happy Tuesday - and Happy SNOW,
Mrs. I:)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Starting Points for Digital Textbooks -

   I have compiled a list of all the resources that I have so far regarding Digital Textbooks, free and open sources, and other ares to use as starting points.  Here are the tough questions to ask yourself and your school district:

1.  Does your current curriculum have online resources or CDs AVAILABLE to you without additional costs - PDF files that may be able to be imported into a text or downloaded in Dropbox for kids to use - or other sources? 
2. Is there a book already created for you on CK-12 or another one of the sites listed in this document below that you can use or edit for your district's needs
3. Is your district willing to pay teacher well to create these - each of the three districts mentioned that 150-175 hours were clocked (some more) and that was only for about a semester's worth of a text?
4. What staff members are WILLING and WANTING to be a part of this?
5. Are there area schools that can work together to get this done - split up curriculum, ect?
6. What about years to follow - editing purposes, but also adding on to what's created?

   These are just some things that have flowed in my mind these last few weeks - a LOT to think about - and I truly believe that finding the right people to start this of is KEY!!  However - there are also curriculum cycles that have to be looked at - so hopefully the areas up for review have people that are willing to be a part, too:)!!

Here is the link to use as a starting point to gathering information and resources - I will add more to as I find and hear about other ones:

Happy Friday,
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Digital Textbooks.....The Way to GO:)!

   After attending a workshop yesterday at Lakes Country Service Coop in Fergus Falls, I am TRULY convinced that teachers should be creating their own digital textbooks.  We listened to speakers from Fergus Falls, Anoka-Hennepin and Moorhead and LOVED what Fergus Falls did!  All three districts have done great things writing their own textbooks to fit the needs of the teachers and students, and ALL are STANDARDS BASED - but Fergus Falls, I believe, is the one we need to copy!  Two social studies teachers, I don't have their names, sorry, got together and created a digital textbooks in iBooks Author - LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!  The way that it is SO interactive, content and standards based, and truly what they teacher teaches, SO COOL!  They were able to embed not only great text from sources they found, but also video, interactive photo galleries, quizzes, and Podcasts.  The best thing - WE HAVE iBOOKS AUTHOR!!!  Every one of our teachers has a MacBook Pro with  iBooks Author on it- we have the TOOLS needed to start these babies:)!!! 
    However, TIME TIME TIME was the thing all three schools mentioned was a HUGE factor.  These teachers spent on average 150-175 hours each in the summer creating these.  That's A LOT of time!!  Time well spent, though, as they now have a tool they can use yearly - change as changes come up - and continue to edit and progress as needed!  Oh yea, did I mention that each district saved over $100,000 by paying teachers to do this instead of buying curriculum???:-)
    We will see where this goes from here in Barnesville - but curriculum alignment, to me is the most immediate need in order to accomplish this - all of them started with making sure ALL standards were in place where, and then were able to move forward - time will tell:)!

Happy Wednesday
Mrs. I:)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Common Sense Media

   One site that I learned about at TIES, once again, is a site called Common Sense Media!  If you have not yet laid out a plan as to where things should be taught relating to technology, then this, along with the Iste Standards, would be a great starting point.  I know that years ago, we had met as a technology committee and set grade level standards that followed a continuum through 6th grade.  However, with the ever changing world of technology, and now our implementation of MOVE 21, this is definitely something that has to be revisited!
   When you come to the Common Sense Media, you will see this screen -

from which, there will be a variety of things to choose from and options to go to.  You can look at the scope and sequence per grade level, you can see what is taught where regarding cyberbullying, internet safety, etc.. it's really great!  It's also an AMAZING starting point to start organizing and remapping what your district is doing. 

The areas that are included are shown below:

   I know that this, along with the iste standards are the two resources that I am going to use as we venture this process of remapping technology and the common core standards that should be taught!

Good Luck! Happy Monday
Mrs. I:)

Friday, February 1, 2013

iPads in Art.....

   Mrs. Albright, our art teacher at the high school, teaches a photography class.  She submitted this to me so I thought I would share:

"One of the benchmarks of the Artistic Process: Perform or Present art standard is to “present, exhibit, publish or demonstrate collections of artworks for different audiences  and occasions."  Photography and Design students complete the “Photojournalist Assessment” on a weekly basis to meet that benchmark.  They assume the role of a photojournalist and shoot photos in the school and community that might be of interest to the newspaper, Record Review, audience.  They also write a caption for the photo, then I submit it to the Record Review.  The editor makes the choice of whether or not to publish the photos.  The resolution of iPad photos is not very high, but it is sufficient for newspaper publication."

   Many of these that Mrs. Albright's students have submitted have indeed been published in our local newspaper.  It has been fun to read them and know that they did their work on the iPads.  Here are a few sample of photos that were taken by students in her class:

   Here is an example of what it looks like when published in our Record Review.  What a great school/community connection for Mrs. Albright's class! 
     LOVE the snow picture above - this was actually taken right outside Mrs. Albright's door - she has the BEST view in our building and the most BEAUTIFUL lighting:)!  Wish that it was THAT nice outside today, too:)!

Happy Weekend,
Mrs. I:0)

More Great Things From TIES 2012....

   I have mentioned before how FABULOUS TIES always is!!  If you have NEVER been there - YOU NEED TO!  The plethora of topics covered from iPads, to BYOD, to Websites, to Managements, to Internet...I could go on and on - there really IS something for everyone all the days the conference is going on! 
   I have also mentioned how much I enjoy Ryan Cox.  He is the new tech coordinator in Becker, and he is AMAZING! Not only does he have the background and brains, but he is SO passionate about what he does and how he does it.  I was able to attend a session of his on digital textbooks, and the site that I LOVE is called dot ePub!  This site lets you turn ANY website into an ebook that you can open in iBooks - LOVE IT:)!!!  ANY ANY ANY website that you find that you want to keep or highlight information for - you can go to Dot ePub and get the downloader and it will convert any website into a book in iBooks - SO COOL:)!!!
    Check it out - I have played with it and see such ENDLESS possibilities - one being that students that DO NOT have WiFi at home can now download the website as an iBook and still be able to read it without the Internet.  (WE also have a great app called Readability that does this, too)!

Happy Friday - YIKES my car registered at -21 this morning - STAY WARM ALL,
Mrs. I:)