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:
How do I use this iPad? That is the question today as all kindergarten and first grade teachers where handed their four iPads for their classrooms. Some are veteran iPad users, some are merely experienced with iPhones, some had never set their eyes on a tablet, but one thing is certain: No matter their level of experience, they were all excited about the new technology entering their classroom. Two ITRTs on my team created a video tutorial about basic iPad usage. The video can be viewed here.
Additional iPad and iPod app reviews can be found on our county’s blog locate here. Many ideas for instructional integration are also located on the blog. Have you found an app that you would like to have included on the iPads? You can click the “Submit an app for review” link on the blog and fill in the needed information. Henrico County’s iPad and iPod App Review blog is one stop shopping for all your iPad needs!
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.
Following the trend of social networking sites, Tech4Learning which is the company that created the awesome program called Pixie, now has its own social networking venue, called “Connect”, for Pixie users! On their site, you can post Pixie activities that you create and browse ideas created by others. It even has a chat feature that you can use to collaborate with other Pixie users in real time!
To take advantage of this cool and valuable social networking feature, go to the Tech4Learning website and register with your email address and password of your choice. Click on the “Connect” tab at the top of their website and you are there! After you upload your photo and set up your profile, don’t forget to add your ITRT as your friend!
Mr. Cantone, the principal at Colonial Trail Elementary School, has embraced the emerging technology of Twittering as one method of keeping his faculty and staff in the “know”!
To “follow” Mr. Cantone’s informative tweets, just go to http://www.twitter.com and register for a free account or to log in if you already have an account on Twitter. (You will need to enter your email username and password to access the site through the county filter if you subscribe from work.) Then subscribe to Mr. Cantone’s tweets as “pcantone”.
Below are some examples of Mr. Cantone’s inspirational “tweets”:
Henrico County is also Twittering! Just subscribe to them using “HenricoSchools”!
Karen Rawlyk, the principal at Crestview Elementary School, had the wonderful idea of doing something meaningful and different than the past at the fifth grade end of the year ceremony. I imported all of the pictures taken of the 5th grade students into iMovie. After adding a cool title, music, transitions, and editing the photos, I created an iMovie to be shown at the 5th grade graduation ceremony. This is just an idea that other schools may consider using for various events throughout the year. Mrs. Rawlyk watched to learn iMovie! The ITRTs are always willing to help their principals too!
If you are a first grade teacher with access to a Promethean Board, I have a gift for you! Below you can download an Activboard flip chart on telling time to the nearest hour and half hour that you can use with your Promethean Board. The flip chart includes a link to a site where the teacher can guide instruction by explaining the hands on a clock. It also includes 24 slides where the students can draw the hands on the clock for the given time. I included so many slides of this nature in case the teacher would like every student to have the opportunity to draw the hands. If not, the teacher can simply bypass the unneeded slides. The flip chart also provides the link to a site that can be used as a review. Finally, the flip chart includes a quiz that the students can complete using a classroom set of responders. The actual chart is too large to post in this blog even when compressed, so ask your ITRT for a copy. See the screenshots below: