As we entered the Thanksgiving week, work had slowed down enough to start thinking about another blog entry. After Discovery VirtCon ideas were floating around in my mind for different activities in the classroom. I was especially thinking about how to use the new Board Builder in Discovery.
What I came up with is a project we had completed last year but now I added the Board Builder to the requirements. I’ve already discussed the project “Alternative Energies” in prior entries. Using the same basic outline I had students researching different sources of energy. In some classes I had students also introducing efficiency, conservation and climate change. I included these topics because I wanted students to get the “Whole” story on alternative energy. The project outline included: questions about their energy, advantages and disadvantages, and the energy’s connection to North Carolina. I wanted students to become informed citizens of NC, know what was happening in their state. (NC State Standards)
Students were required to do all their work in a Google Presentation. This could easily be shared with their partners and me. I’m definitely becoming a fan of Google. One of my goals for this project was to create a paperless project. Using the Board Builder and Google were the two tools I picked for this project.
Board Builder is a tool Discovery Education recently added to the builder tools section.
Similar to Glogster the Board Builder can be used instead of posters. I’ve been waiting for an alternative to Glogster. I did enjoy it when I used it, but to pay for the service was not worth it for my situation, since I really didn’t use it on a regular basis. The Board Builder is a free tool to Teachers who sign up for Discovery. Perfect!
The tool offers Templates students can start with and then change to suit their topics.
After the project I’m hoping to be able to share some of the best boards my students created. What I like about the Boards is you can add attachments, this is great for Bibliographies and Resources. A great Teaching Tool and I can’t wait to use this in other projects and assignments. For ideas about how to use the Boards take a look at Chad Lehman’s 50 Ways to Use Board Builder.
Modelling for excellence | Class Teaching. Great article about developing a skill in class using modelling. Giving examples the author(Shaun Allison) explains the common theme used by teachers to best teach students how to master a particular skill. I really like the connectives sheet, it looks like a good resource for teaching lab write ups. Good question posted at the end…
SOS: Connect The Dots – DEN Blog Network. Two posts in one day.. What is the world coming to. Great idea from Ginny Washburne on DEN. I think this would be a great warm-up to a topic. Could be used to find out what the students know?
I know it’s been a while since my last post. It’s coming I promise. Meanwhile I think this would be an interesting addition to my flipped videos. I’ve been fretting recently on how to make my videos more interesting and have planned on redoing them this summer. Hopefully! Enjoy this small blog entry on these tools to help your videos out. Entry is by Jon Bergmann
The morning is over with and now we are taking a break from all the information we are absorbing. It has been a great morning here at Cardinal Gibbons High School. Teachers from different Diocesan Schools are attending our F2F event. Collaboration is the word of the day.
Two rooms are going, so everyone can enjoy presentations. Steve Dembo prepared us for the day with some trivia and prizes. Great start.
The 9 am presentation was given by Troy Hicks a English professor from Michigan University. He teaches classes to help students integrate technology and writing in their education. He used his book Crafting Digital Writing as a resource for his talk. His wiki website is a companion website to his book. It contains different resources and links for chapters in his book. He discusses the five types of digital writing; Web-based texts, Presentations, Audio texts, Video texts and Social media. During his talk he presents different components of craft, discussing each one and giving examples of each. Very informative and helpful to implementing Common Core. I would recommend people watch his talk if they are interested in getting ideas for using technology for writing.
At 10 am we split into two groups, one group watched the session on “One Session, Four Lessons: Meeting Individual Needs in a Science Classroom”. Michael Bryant did an awesome job explaining different components of the Science Techbook for all grade levels. The other group watched the “Back-to-School with Discovery and some new Techniques and Tools” with Rita Morenson. Definitely a hit among our elementary and middle school teachers. I had the opportunity to see Ms. Morenson on a Google Hangout about the uses of Google Hangout. She posted her presentation on a google drive to share with everyone. I will tell you this presentation had tons of tools for technology. Our teachers were especially loving the QR codes section. Also the coLar App became the hit of the day. We printed out different pictures and tested our phones. Amazing what technology can do.
11 am brought another session of techbook and “Free & Easy Ways to Wow Your Students and Parents” . I hate to admit this but some of us continued to work with the tools Rita Morenson shared. Others tried to concentrate on the next sessions. Heidi Morgan did an awesome job introducing Blogger and The App Builder. And again QR Codes were a big hit. Ms. Morgan posted her presentation on a google document.
After lunch we came back and joined the next 1 pm session. Again our one room hosted the sessions on techbooks, with Brad Fountain. The other session was Full S.T.E.A.M. ahead with David Fisher. Simple tools were introduced such as Smart Recorder and Quick Voice, both apps you can use on your smartphone to record various content. Today’s Meet is another tool you can use in class for class conversation and discussion on topics. Tons of other tools were introduced during this session. If you missed any of the archived presentations you can access them at virtconlive.com.
I think I’ll end here and watch the next few sessions with everyone. The day is almost at an end and so far we have excited and thankful teachers for all the information shared today.
Had the opportunity to attend a two day workshop at The Friday Institute at NC State University for Technology. Since our school is working on an 1:1 initiative, we are trying to educate ourselves on different technological tools that can be used in the classroom. The workshop is part of the Institutes Digital Learning Collaborative. By the time the first day ended, I had a better feel for the Google world and its uses.
Before our breakout sessions we had the opportunity to listen to Lucas Gillispie, a local NC teacher and technology coordinator. His talk centered on the topic “Imagine What’s Right Around the Corner”, what future technology was being developed. He is an advocate of gaming and education, his website Edurealms hosts a ton of information about different games that relate to education. His talk was very informative, the future is moving towards technology such as “Goolge” Glass. His talk gave me a few ideas about how to use games in the classroom. For the science festival I had already planned on using the xbox 360 to play the Mars Curiosity game that was developed by NASA. Well maybe this would be a good thing to use in class. Idea? Yep. I’m also talking to our gaming teacher about creating a Forensic game. Thanks to Mr. Gillispie the ideas are popping up, its just implementing them that will be the challenge.
After our keynote speaker we broke into sessions, or as they called them table talks. My first session was about QR codes…
The session was awesome and collaboration was the word of the session. Coming together we came up with a ton of ideas and projects. Very exciting! Kudos to Lisa Hervey for a great presentation and resources she introduced. I found that the QR reader she introduced was much more powerful then the QR Droid code I had on my phone. After downloading i-nigma, we created our own QR codes. For this we used Unitag. I came to find these tools very useful. The main point behind the presentation was how teachers can use this tool to help students reflect on their work. When I thought about it I could have QR codes posted for different parts of a lab. My colleague (English Teacher Tracy) came up with a great idea, she created an google document on her google drive and used the QR code to direct her to students to the document to add their answers to reflection questions. Great idea!!
Second session was a very informative session about google ,
During this session we were introduced to google plus and other features of google. One of the features I was introduced to was the data that google collects and keeps an eye when you use google on your phone. Curious? Check it out you account dashboard. Good thing to know and find out about. The other functions we were introduced to were the Data functions of google. A useful tool for teachers when comparing different sets of data., the public data search could be very useful. Again a good session.
The last session of the day that I attended discussed different uses of google
Totally awesome sites to use for students to investigate different world moments, art projects and world wonders. Great use of google maps and earth. I thought of my history and art teacher colleagues.
Google seemed to be the word of the day. It was a good connecting and collaborating day.
Day two wasn’t as interesting so I’ll leave off here. We will be back at the NC State Friday Institute for our professional development.
DEN Fall VirtCon. Another VirtCon is upon us and yes Cardinal Gibbons High School is hosting a F2F (Face to Face) event.
Looks to be like an awesome day again, collaborating and getting new ideas for the classroom. If you are in the Raleigh area, feel free to
register for the event at Cardinal Gibbons. We will have breakfast, Lunch and prizes. Remember this is not only for Science, this crosses the curriculum.
Awesome resource for Elementary and Middle School. High School teachers can also benefit, I change the lessons to suit my grade level. But one of my favorites about this day is the new technology tools I learn about.
I finally completed the Literacy project and found it worked out well. I’m thinking of using a principle every day to warm the class up. It could come from any one of the Literacy’s we used in the project. Idea forming, year long project? Maybe? If you have any ideas feel free to post them.
To understand what this blog is about you need to read the Literacy project I posted in one of my other blog entries. No problem just go here.
I did do the Literacy project and I would say it was a success in some ways. While in others it needs to be improved. First the success , students became more informed about the issues facing climate, ocean and the Earth in general. The literacy formats are really easy to use and can be used to cut across topic lines. Pretty much each of the principles the projects use can be linked (correlated, trying to find the proper word here) to Next Gen Standards. Check out the example below of the Ocean Literacy with the National Science Standards.
Each of the literacy has a movie on youtube. The Earth Science Literacy from AGI has a DVD with all the principles on it, but you can get these videos on youtube. Check them out they are pretty good and my students doing the Earth Science Literacy used them as a resource. After students gathered their information they then could use any format to present. This is where I think I will make changes. Their choice of presentation format was PowerPoint. Don’t get me wrong I think PowerPoint is great for presentations, but I wanted a bit more variety or rather creativity. Some did do Prezi presentations and they were very good. I think next year we we will do video presentations and Padlet for whiteboards (thanks for the idea Angie). I also think students don’t need a lot of time for this , actually when given class time I found most student groups had finished their presentations early. On another note I also had them set up Google accounts so they could share information. I’m loving the Google documents and other Google resources. Good resource on Google apps is Richard Bryne and his blog. Once students completed their projects they began their presentations. I do use a rubric to grade students, its very basic, but I think its appropriate for this project in my case. I use points on the project.
Bottom line is the project was a good idea, but needs some tweaking. I will definitely use it next year but with those minor changes in place. Since Earth Science Week is celebrated every year this might be a good idea for an activity during that week. I’m also going to do a survey or formative assessment at the end to find out how much students are learning from the project. Feel free to post any questions you might have about the project.
Title says it all, we finally finished two full weeks. And wow, it has been flying by. Every time I look up at the clock at school, the day is almost over and I can never cover everything I want to cover. Oh well!
Let’s see where should I start first…Oh well we had our dedication and my creative video crew did an awesome job covering the Mass. They also did a great job interviewing the Bishop, you can see the interview on Youtube. After dedication we then had parent/teacher night. The next day we were at the Friday Institute on NC State Campus doing a professional development. Yep I think it was a busy end of the August.
September came like a flash, I’m still trying to figure out where it all went. A couple of things that have happened, number one on the list is we received a mini grant from NES (NASA explorers school). Totally unexpected didn’t think it would happen. We applied knowing that eventually the cuts were coming and there would be no money left. (Which might still happen with gov’t shut down). Hopefully, I say this because of the gov’t situation right now, we will be able to get our EV3’s and other Lego equipment. This year we have a room dedicated to Robotics and Science Olympiad. Its pretty awesome and at some point I will post pictures. In the room I’m hoping to have the Lego’s set up so they can be used during lunch periods etc.. With the purchase we are hoping to build an outreach with middle school children. We are incorporating the Green City sets into our Earth Day/Sustainability Day celebration and our Science Festival in January ( more on that in a later blog entry). Can’t wait to start getting this going and begin our little outreach endeavor.
I have pretty much decided to flip all of my Forensic class. It allows me to cover more material in class by doing different activities. The students are loving it. They said they like that class is made up of doing various activities and less lecture. They did however ask me to to make sure that there were worksheets to go along with the vodcasts. And students haven’t been doing to bad on their assessments. Cool internet tool to use in Forensics is the CSI Web Adventure, it shows a variety of instruments used in the lab to analyze evidence. I gave students a work sheet that I created for the website and they dived into investigating the website.
I’ve been doing a good deal of whiteboarding in class and it has been successful. I still have to get it to a point that students are participating and getting something out of it. I started using an exit tool, like a parking garage. Students posted their questions on post its and then posted them on poster paper. I had students do this just before the test, and went over all their questions at the beginning of class. Scores were pretty good, some did really well while others need improvement. I’m going to do this again but try a different format, maybe Padlet.
Another idea for class, is doing the Earth Science Week Photograph contest. Still working on how I’m going to implement this. Meanwhile, this week is spirit week so we decided to do a scavenger hunt at school on Friday. We hope to have Physics and Earth Science students working together to find solutions to questions using GPS. Should be fun!
Hopefully, I have caught up on some of the happenings around my class. I haven’t done a parent newsletter in a while but hopefully that will come. Look for futures blogs on the Literacy Project, Science Festival and other happenings.