Aug 15

August 15, 2012

Things you don’t think of #1: Cable Management

Things you don’t think of #1: Cable Management

Over the past few years I have been adding handheld devices to my classroom, I like to call the set of technology my “Armada”.  It’s slowly growing toward a class set, a few more years and I’ll have my dream of 1:1 for each student. But one thing you never think about prior to getting all of these wonderful devices is…the management of the headphone cables.  It can easily turn the lovely dream of technology, into a nightmare of tangled…

Posted in Computer Lab, Handheld Technology, iPad, iPod | By

Jul 17

July 17, 2012

Managing Handheld Technology in Class

Managing Handheld Technology in Class

My class has not reached out 1:1 ratio dream of handheld technology for each student, so we have to make the most of our limited devices which is at 13 this coming Fall. At the start of the year, I make sure we review all of the responsible ways we take care of technology.  I employ our school’s PBIS expectations and connect how to be Safe, Responsible and Respectful with the devices. We discuss costs for the technology, and how…

Posted in Grant Writing / Funding, Handheld Technology, iPad | By

Jul 9

July 9, 2012

Using Khan Academy as a Resource for Differentiation

Using Khan Academy as a Resource for Differentiation

Differentiation of instruction is one of the biggest challenges that teachers face every day.  Lessons need to be able to span a wide-range of levels.  If you have to continue to review basic foundational skills for students who don’t quite understand, you risk losing the rest of the class due to boredom and disinterest.  So, lessons need to be multi-faceted so that all learners are feeling challenged. This past year I taught a 4/5 blended class, and this range was…

Posted in App Reviews, Google Docs, Math | By

Jun 30

June 30, 2012

Vocabulary in iPod Touch Photo Gallery

Vocabulary in iPod Touch Photo Gallery

Two years ago our district adopted the Literacy by Design Reading curriculum for all elementary schools.  This is a comprehensive reading program that outlines 16 thematic units focusing on eight comprehension strategies that seem pretty universal. There is a strong focus on vocabulary in each LbD theme.  So I had an idea of how to utilize technology with these vocabulary words.  I created a slideshow for each of the themes, putting the single vocabulary word on one slide, then the…

Posted in Handheld Technology, iPad, Reading | By

Jun 28

June 28, 2012

DonorsChoose.org Makes Dreams a Reality

DonorsChoose.org Makes Dreams a Reality

I have been a registered user of DonorsChoose.org for about a year.  I had taken a look at how the site works, but I never took the time to fill out the project form and use the site for its true, meaningful purpose.  To be honest, whenever I would shop for the products that they have available for newly registered users my internet browser would kick me out or the site would time-out and I would lose the shopping cart…

Posted in App Reviews, Collaboration, Grant Writing / Funding | By

Jun 28

June 28, 2012

PBIS Expectations in the Computer Lab

PBIS Expectations in the Computer Lab

This past year, we had one of the most horrible things happen in our school computer lab.  A few students made the choice to vandalize and dismantle a few of the laptops.  Now, in our district, we’re known for the amount of use we get out of our computer labs.  Within a week there are only about 4 40 minute windows that are not assigned for class usage, and those get snatched up all the time.  So, to have a…

Posted in Computer Lab | By

Jun 26

June 26, 2012

Entry Level Web Page Creation

Entry Level Web Page Creation

So for those of you who want to let students explore and create with online web design, the idea of creating big web sites may seem daunting.  There is a solution for you in the form of…a glog.  Yes, a glog. The team over at Glogster.com has created a really fun and easy way for students to create web pages that can be used as a publishing step for many different projects. A Glog is a single web page that…

Posted in Web 2.0 Sites | By

Jun 24

June 24, 2012

Google Docs as a Hub for Collaboration

Google Docs as a Hub for Collaboration

Collaboration is a meaningful way to connect with your fellow teachers.  Whether you’re working on a new project or theme together, or crunching numbers and outcomes for a PLC goal, teachers need teachers.  Gone are the days of closing the door and teaching on your own.  Good teaching requires connections, and with the advancement in technology, it has become easier to connect with your neighboring teachers, next door to your classroom and across the world. Here are just a couple…

Posted in Collaboration, Google Docs | By

Jun 22

June 22, 2012

External Goal Setting in IXL

External Goal Setting in IXL

Sometimes you just have to set up external rewards for students.  There are many people who don’t believe rewards should be given to students, they feel that a student should be intrinsically rewarded for their learning.  I agree that as students mature the intrinsic rewards of learning need to grow, but there are just times where a good external pizza party reward has a place. That’s what we all agreed on this past year, a party to celebrate our hard…

Posted in IXL Integration | By

Jun 20

June 20, 2012

The Big Switch in IXL for My Class

The Big Switch in IXL for My Class

This year I realized that my students still were not working up to their potential using IXL.  So, I decided to turn the program on it’s head and try something that would push my comfort level to it’s limits.  I turned the learning over to my students.  I made them absolutely responsible for their own outcomes, and acted as a “guide on the side”, rather than the “sage on the stage” (to use Alison King’s wonderful analogy). Using the clear…

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