Now that Mother Nature has calmed down, and we are well into the new school year, it’s time to start thinking about Henrico21 lesson submissions for the 2011-2012 school year. There are quite a few changes that have been made to the process for this year including the deadlines. I will highlight the changes below, but always review the Henrico21 web site to make sure you are familiar with all of the rules and regulations for submission.
- The Henrico21 web site has a whole new look having been created using a blog interface. Many, many new lesson plans have been added from last year’s submissions. This change is to the reader’s advantage as you can now search the lessons based on several categories.
- The TIP chart has been revised and simplified.
- This year’s focus will be on quality, daily instruction. Lesson plans should be 150 minutes or less and should emphasize one strand of the TIP Chart. Projects longer than 150 minutes will be evaluated in a separate category and should emphasize all strands of the TIP Chart.
The submission time line for this year is much earlier:
I created a web site containing all you need to know about VoiceThread after giving a presentation about it at EdTech 2011. The site contains: a .pdf download of VoiceThread instructions, a YouTube video tutorial I created about how to set up identities, examples of VoiceThread integration into instruction, and how to acquire VoiceThread educator benefits. Check out the web site, Be Heard with VoiceThread!
With the capability to use Skype this year for educational videoconferencing, many of my teachers are interested in having their students connect with other students in the state, country, or internationally. I have finally acquired a list of teachers who are willing to videoconference and/or communicate via snail mail. This awesome 21st century method of teaching is a great way for students to learn about other regions, countries and cultures. Every teacher in Henrico County can have an unlimited number of blogs, so this would be another great way to communicate and collaborate beyond the classroom. Videoconferencing can be used for book talks, sharing projects, playing games, etc. in real time. The students get so excited when this means of communication is utilized as I have learned that they really enjoy sharing their knowledge in this interactive format via web cam. If you would like to learn more about using Skype for videoconferencing in your classroom, please contact your ITRT. Any elementary school teacher in Henrico County who would like additional blogs for their classroom use, can contact Julie Franklin or Frank Fitzpatrick to create them for you.
Click here to download the list of “Pen Pals Who Write”.
The room was literally shaking as we endured the wrath of a 5.8 earthquake in the middle of Henrico’s New Teacher Academy. Yet, the shaking, rattling, and rolling of the earth beneath us didn’t stop the third grade teachers from gaining the benefits of all that my partner, David Clough, and I had to share that day. Our session’s title, Thewy Third Thaumaturge” is a tongue twister that makes me giggle every time I say it. However, as odd as it sounds, it does have a legitimate meaning. Just consult with Merriam-Webster, put the definitions together, and then it will all make sense.
Thewy Third Thaumaturge lasted for four hours, so David and I decided to rock the day with dance music, glow sticks, a disco ball, door prizes, and LOTS of chocolate! Yes, learning can be fun for adults too! It was interesting how the other sessions thought the earthquake was merely our music vibrating the building at first. I guess that shows just how much fun we had at times. Our ideas shared during the first half of the session can be found on this website. The second half of the day we allowed the teachers to use dotvoting.org to choose their topics so we could tailor our smaller group rotations to meet their needs. Yes, we differentiate for adults too! The topics they chose were: setting up their blogs as web pages, iMovie, Garageband, and Photobooth.
One cool activity we did was in using the photo sharing web site Yogile. It allows the user to upload pictures to one web page. Once the photos are all uploaded, they can be viewed as a slideshow or gallery. Check out ours here! If you would prefer the pictures to be displayed in book form, check out Keepsy. You can see our sample here.
Even with the earthquake, the day was a blast and the new third grade teachers left with lots of ideas for technology integration into their instruction.
This Glog is a continuous work in progress as I come across Web2.0 resources ideal for the elementary classroom
Whoa! Herb Monroe, the principal at Lakeside Elementary School, sent his faculty and staff an exciting and motivational welcome back to school message while riding a rollercoaster! … or is he? Watch his movie below and you decide!
Mr. Monroe’s secret: The movie feature of Photobooth! One of the really cool features of this program is the ability to add a backdrop of your choice. Imagine your students giving oral reports with a correlating background. Can you see Ancient Greece or Rome, Jamestown, patriotic symbols, regions of Virginia or the US in your mind’s eye? The only limits are the imagination. Contact your ITRT to make your ideas a reality!
Considering that one of the CSIPs focuses for all of my schools is to enhance their language arts and reading scores, I created a website that offeres language arts and technology integration ideas for my teachers. After the teachers viewed the movie format of this site, I have received many requests from them to learn more about the ideas presented and for me to help them integrate the various forms of technology into their language arts instruction! The ideas presented include Kidspiration (a graphic organizer that helps the students learn how to create subtopics to support their main ideas visually, and it offers a writing view where the students can add details and public their work to a word processor), Pages (for peer editing), Pixie (for writing, illustrating, and creating their own books as well as for using the multitude of ready made templates), Quia (for language arts SOL reinforcement and literacy promotion through the ready made activites), ReadWriteThink (an excellent online resource for language arts standards-based lesson plans, interactive student materials, and a literacy calendar), and Understand Scoring (a valuable resource that has replaced NCS Mentor where teachers can learn more about the Virginia SOL Direct Writing Assessments, learn the rubrics in scoring student writing, and can develop consistency in scoring actual student work). Please click here to view the website!
Claire Cunningham, a kindergarten teacher at Lakeside Elementary School, and I collaborated to plan a Children’s Engineering activity for her students. Using the blank Pixie template I created and placed in every child’s folder on the server, the students, in groups of two, created pictures using the shapes tool. I taught them how to make shapes and how to change their color in Pixie for this project. It was also a creative way for them to practice their “clicking and dragging” trackpad skill. Check out samples of their work below. Can you tell what pictures they were making? Think creatively!
In addition to all of the “point and click” trackpad activities we have been doing during the first nine weeks at all of my schools, the kindergarten and first grade students have been practicing “clicking and dragging” using the laptop trackpads as well. To reinforce the model activities I have been doing to introduce this technique, I have provided my teachers with lots and lots of trackpad sites the students can learn in centers. Below I have attached links to two folders of trackpad sites that everyone is welcome to download!