Thursday, February 27, 2014

8th Grade Bullying Unit

Breaking Point
Shadow Club
Over the last couple of weeks I have been working with Angela Larson's 8th grade Communications classes on their Bullying Projects. Between the four classes there are two novels that they are reading, Shadow Club and Breaking Point. Students work on their novel and activities one day then their projects on the opposite days. I took one class period and explained some of the tech tools they could choose to use. I gave them just a couple minute overview and did not go in detail step by step. I believe they just need a little exposure to the tools and then they fly from there. Here is the list that Mrs. Larson and myself compiled. Students were not limited to this list and if they chose to do something different they just needed to get permission.

Classroom Agreement
Inappropriate for Projects
The Goal of the Projects: To allow students the opportunity to apply what they have learned about bullying and inform others in our school, community and the world. With the goal in mind, students are now creating and collaborating with each other while putting together a masterpiece that can be shared with the world. The students are really doing a great job of being creative and collaborating on these projects. Each student took a survey and then the class discussed the results. We want the project tailored to our students and what actually happens at ELC. Here are some pictures of the survey and brainstorming that went on before they were able to actually begin working on their projects: 
Survey Students Took

Survey Results
I am so excited to see the final projects. We will be sharing them with the world from our school's Facebook and Twitter accounts along with me posting to our blog. I think our students can be great advocates to end bullying. Here is our first step to help end the bullying that happens everyday in our society.

 More to follow......

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

App Speed Dating with the Elementary Staff

Wednesday's professional development ROCKED! Let me tell you how this all fell into place.........

A group of nine elementary teachers (including the principal and myself) attended the iPad Summit in Minnesota on February 1. Check out my blog post about it here. We learned so much and came back with some awesome ideas! One of the ideas was having an App Speed Dating Professional Development time where our staff could learn from each other. So we put together 7 stations where we had an expert (one of our very own teachers) teach the staff on how to integrate an app into their classroom. Each station lasted approximately 8 minutes and then teachers rotated to the next station. At the end teachers were able to collaborate with each other on how it would look in their classroom.

Here are some pictures:

Overall I think it went awesome and our teachers were thrilled about what they had learned and they had FUN too! Is it okay to learn and have fun at the same time? I THINK SO!

If you were a part of the App Speed Dating PD on February 19, please leave me your comments about the day! I would love to hear from you!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Apps in Action

After our iPad Summit, I had the opportunity to visit with one of our teachers, Brandi about some of the apps she learned about and is already using with her students.

The apps she is experimenting with include:

FETCH! Lunch Rush!
This app works on basic math skills. Students have to scan a code to see if they answered the math problem correctly. You will need to download the codes in order for this app to work. You can find them here.

This app allows for students to create tutorial videos or explanations of their work. Students then can view other students' videos and collaborate on them.

Awesome to see new learning embedded in the curriculum. iPad Summit MN was well worth our time. Be on the lookout for more apps and ideas we learned while attending the summit!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Reflections from the iPad Summit MN

Saturday was a great day of learning for a team of teachers from ELC! We spent the day at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, MN at the iPad Summit. The summit was put on by Flipped Education. The summit was "gamified". We had the opportunity to earn digital badges and stickers throughout the day. So fun! Something that could definitely be done with our professional learning or with our students. They used a free service called "Credly" to award the badges to attendees. I was able to earn 4 digital badges and 4 stickers.

We started the day off by listening to the inspirational Jennie Magiera. Her focus on was on the outcome of learning and not the device. We need to let students create. This is a great way to empower our students. As teachers we can differentiate so that our students are not embarrassed by being a low learner. What a great way to increase the confidence in our students. She also touched on giving our students a voice. We can give our students a voice through blogging and video creation to name a couple.

After the keynote, Jennie Magiera, we were fortunate enough to have time to attend four breakout sessions. Once again it is always hard to pick from the breakout sessions because there are so many great ones available. My favorite session was titled "Layered Learning". David Freeburg from St. Paul Public Schools talked about using the iPad and layering apps for more complex learning. Our challenge was to pick 3 apps and create a layered learning experience. My idea was for teachers that use PWIM strategy. Students would use the camera on the iPad to take a picture of something around them could be inside the school or outside of the school. The students then take the picture and use Skitch to annotate the picture with the vocabulary words. Then the students use Book Creator or My Story to create a story with their words. You could even add another app Drawing Pad for the students to create their drawings for their story. Think about a way you can layer your students learning by using a variety of apps to create complex learning.

So many things to be excited about and I can not wait to share our learning with the staff at ELC. I was fortunate to be surrounded by 7 other teachers and an administrator that were just as excited as me. If you are interested in any of these ideas, let me know. I would love to work with you!