WEMTA Conference, Day 3 March 24th

Computer Lab: The Time is Now! - this session focused on projects that can be done in the computer lab.  Big Universe is an ebook subscription and is great for RTI.  Use “Memory” type games at the beginning of the year for Kindergarten students to practice mouse skills.  1st grade can make word clouds using Wordle, ABCya and Tagxedo.  2nd grade use Padlet to share information about a topic they research, do green screen projects with ipads Green Screen by Do Ink.  3rd grade uses Type to Learn 4 to practice keyboarding skills and they also have a typing Symballoo of other text276_4keyboarding sites and Reflex Math (paid subscription).  Fourth grade does Prezi, Google Presentations, using the app Chatterpix (like Blabberize) but you only have 30 seconds to record.  Also PicMonkey app can be used to make diagrams.    Also for animal research, use Chatterpix to take a picture of the animal and have the child record facts with mouth moving.  Great ideas!

Session 2 – How to Be a Library God or Goddess – a variety of professional development ideas were shared – she starts the school year with a promotional video shared with her students.  Her videos inspired students to create their own iMovies.  She uses Slideshare to share student work on her webpage.  “If I Had a Fairy Godmother….” writing project using a Paint program with 1st graders and Ocean Animals Research project with Kindergartners, they used World Book Online Kids version (text is read aloud feature) to create an online book with KidPix.  4th graders created biography summaries and record 30 seconds using Chatterpix, exported to their camera roll and then shared it (emailed) to the librarian.  Using Veescope app students can create a book commercial.  Many of these projects were done in a 1 : 1 setting.  They used a “Snowball” microphone to pick up sound better.  The best projects were the My Hero animoto project where students focused on someone in their life and the Internet Safety project using Comic Life of a comparison of a good and bad choice, using a storyboard to plan script.  She also has an iPad Bootcamp for the grades that are new to having their own ipad – stations are set up around the library covering various projects.

Author Luncheon/Presentation – YA author Chris Crutcher – wonderful presentation about turning real life experiences into fiction.  His art as a storyteller was incredible to witness.

Session 3 – Badges?! Yes We Need Some Stinking Badges - creating a culture of individual empowerment where students, parents, staff or adminstrators can earn badges for various technology accomplishments.  Currently badges have been used in video games.  Openbadges.com is a site that has great resources.  Learning Management Systems like Edmodo or Schoology but you can’t export those to something outside of the LMS.  At http://www.classbadges.com you can create a badges program of your own not tied down to a LMS.

Overall this was a fantastic experience and a great conference!

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WEMTA Conference Day 2, Monday March 23

Session 1 – Motivation, Growth Mindset and Digital Writing – presentation link – Growth Mindset is a belief system that suggests that one’s intelligence can be grown or developed with persistence, effort and a focus on learning.  This session discussed how you can use your own personal experiences to motivate your students and connect with them.  What is your growth journey?  Many resources can be found in the presentation, including several picture books that could be used as mentor texts in your classroom.  Mindsets in the Classroom by Mary Cay Ricci is an excellent resource for teachers.Screen shot 2015-03-23 at 8.20.54 AM

Keynote Presentation – Professional Development By Design by Kristen Swanson –  how can professional development reflect what is needed and when it is useful?  She discussed the User Generated Learning model which is made up of curation, reflection and contribution,  Curation – Feedly is an excellent online service that shows you the top blogs in various fields – Twitter is also excellent.

Reflection – what do I do with information I curated?  Blogging is a great option.  Contribution – how do you give back?  Edcamp, TEDx – finding ways to share ideas and successes with your colleagues – “It is about a conversation, not a lecture.”

Session 2 – Makerspace Without a lot of Space – Integrating augmented reality into your school by having a faculty photo wall, school tours, book reviews, a living art gallery, student of the month, etc.  Using Lego WeDo for a “Makerspace Monday”.  Wales Makespace Symbaloos website by Stephanie Wieczorek.  3D Tin is great to use, just log in with your Google account.  Classbadges.com is a great website to create a badge program for a classroom so students have a choice and a voice.

customLogo.gifSession 3 – Reading is Not Enough – NewsELA – Find an article, share it with students, talk about lexile levels and assigning text at a student’s level.  Think Cerca.com – select articles (Grade band), assign to students, vocabulary and auditory supports and monitors performance on quiz.  Rewordify.com – also a great text “leveling” tool.

Session 4 – Get Them to Read with Video! – using book trailers to get kids wanting to read books has been something I have been doing for several years and this session  had great suggestions.  Using Poll Everywhere to get ideas from the audience of how they used book trailers.  Sources for online book trailers – Children’s Book Center, HarperKids, Penguin Teen, Random House Kids, Book Trailers for All, Abrams Books and Melissa P. McAvoy.

Voki Classroom can be used without an age limit – students speak through an avatar.  With Google search, Search Tools, Usage Rights, Noncommercial Reuse with Modification – you can get pictures that do not violate copyright laws.

Resources from all of the sessions at the conference can be found at : https://sites.google.com/a/wemta.org/wemta15resources/


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WEMTA Conference Day 1 Sunday, March 22

Screen shot 2015-03-22 at 11.46.01 AMMini-Makerspaces: Using Library Centers to get Kids Creating – full presentation can be found at: https://sites.google.com/a/gbaps.org/wemta15/home

Lego center – don’t have Lego people but everything else.  Up to 10 people but there are specific “rules” listed at the station – When they leave, everything is taken apart and put back in the bucket.  Rotated every three weeks.

Other ideas: Cardboard creations, K-Cup Creations – making towers, Rainbow Looms – making bracelets (perhaps a fundraising idea), Marble Runs, and Math Manipulative Towers.  Excellent ideas were presented here!

Session 2Mobile Literacy Centers for K-3 – How do you use digital creation to inspire mobile learning?  Creating digital books with Book Creator – The Walk Our World project – http://walkourworld2015.weebly.com/ – Each day, week, or bi-weekly. we ask that teachers use the form to post their classroom “STEPS” taken during that time.   We will post results weekly.  Our goal is to walk at least 87,653,456 steps together — which equals one time around the earth, but we hope to do even more!”

Session 3 - Moonshot Thinking: Student Driven Research Projectshttps://todaysmeet.com/MoonShot – a great resource is the book Moonshots in Education.  Genius Hour Support information is here.  An excellent presentation by Naomi Harm.

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Teach Your Monster to Read and more…

tymtr-smiley-monster-4During our last rotation Kindergarten and 1st grade students were introduced to a new phonics and reading program called Teach Your Monster to Read.  Students had logins created by Mrs. D and when they first logged in they were instructed to create their “monster” avatar.  Once the avatar was created students moved through various levels teaching their monster how to read.  During that “teaching process” students were practicing reading themselves while earning prizes for their avatar.  This program also saves their work so the next time they log in (either at school or home) they can continue where they left off.

Mrs. D and Mrs. Reinardy have been working together the last two rotations with the 5th graders on their career research (using CareerLocker) and creating a Google presentation called All About Me, which students will be sharing with their parents in April.  It was great to see how creative students were with their presentations!

Friday March 13th was the official national Digital Learning Day.  Mrs. D created a short animoto depicting how Riverside students have been creating digitally in our library/computer classes this year.  Please click here to see it!


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Read Across America

On Wednesday, March 4th we celebrated Read Across America day where students and staff dressed up as their favorite Dr. Seuss character or in red and white to show their love of reading.DSCN1302

Our library was busy again this week with students preparing for our upcoming Riverside Science Fair.  A great website Mrs. D came across this week for science fair project ideas is the Science Bob site at http://www.sciencebob.com/index.php

Throughout the week Mrs. D worked with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders on practice tests for Math and ELA for the Badger 3-8 state exam.

2nd graders are using Google Draw to create a poster called My Favorites – lots of practice with keyboarding, writing and inserting pictures.  Once they are done they get to print a copy to take home.

Don’t forget to check out our Question of the Week on our Riverside homepage – Using Padlet students have an opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts on this “online bulletin board”.  Past questions included “How can you show kindness to others” and “What is your favorite book and why?”

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Battle Ends

This past week our final Battle of the Books final team was determined.  Congratulations to Aliya, Kennedy, Anika, Satori and Nina!  On Thursday, Feb. 26th during lunch recess they took the state online test.  We should know the results in a few weeks.  Thank you to Mr. Podeweltz and Mrs. Goertz for helping Mrs. D with this year’s BOB!

In the library this past rotation Kindergarten and 1st graders practiced spelling their first and last names and making equations that add up to their age and used refrigerator magnets online to make their own unique creation.  They also practiced matching the most commonly used keys on a computer keyboard in a separate Drag and Drop activity.  Way to go!

2nd graders practiced their math skills with specific money counting websites and also practicing telling time.  Many voted the stop watch website their favorite.

3rd and 4th graders went over the online tools used in the upcoming state assessment called Badger 3-8.  We also took the math practice test so students would become more familiar with it.

5th graders worked with Mrs. D and Mrs. Reinardy to look up three careers they would be interested in trying when they grow up using the website CareerLocker.  Once they had their career information, they started working on their Google Presentations entitled All About Me, which they will share with Mrs. Reinardy and their parents in April.battle15

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Kindness Boomerang

Recently  we have been working in our K – 5th grade library/computer classes on what I call a “kindness boomerang” project for Valentine’s Day.actsofkindness2

Kindergarten and 1st grade students created online Valentine cards, which we printed and decorated for a teacher or support staff member of our school. 2nd through 5th graders used their Google accounts to write special notes using Google Docs as their word processing tool. Notes were printed and placed in envelopes that students decorated for our 55 staff members. Students were also encouraged to write notes to family members, friends and classmates.

The response of our students to this assignment was heart-warming and I was inspired by the kindnesses that I witnessed.

If you are interested in a website that has a great list of ideas for activities that your family could do to promote kindness try the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas and look up the Kindness Boomerang video on YouTube.

Opportunities surround us every day to inspire others with random acts of kindness. I hope you will be inspired to share acts of kindness throughout this month and beyond.

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