Is it hard to build?

As I shared Maker Stations with a group of fourth graders last week, one of the stations would involve building a new ski resort in the N.C. mountains using KEVA wood blocks and calculating the cost. I showed the box of KEVA blocks and a girl raised her hand with a question that has continued to replay in my mind. She asked, “Is it hard to build with Keva blocks?” This question gave me a glimpse into her frame of reference. I knew that she had not had a lot of times to build. I knew that I must give students time to use the blocks with open ended opportunities to build a structure of their choice but also to give them STEM Design challenges in earlier grades to promote confidence as builders and creators.

One way to have students build is after reading “After the Fall”, they could build a wall for Humpty Dumpty” to sit on with Keva Wood Planks!

I read aloud the book to my first grade students and they LOVED it, especially the surprise ending where he transforms from an egg to a bird! The book has thoughtful scenes where Humpty Dumpty tries again and develops a growth mindset! Here are pics of my first graders building walls with Keva blocks and an Easter egg with a face drawn on it to represent Humpty Dumpty! After they built, they took pics, recorded their voice describing the wall and wrote a sentence using Book Creator app!

I loved their creativity and collaboration that came about through this project. I noticed girls and boys diving into the challenge because it was fun to design a new wall for Humpty Dumpty plus they communicated so well as they recorded their voices describing the wall!

They need time to design.

No, it’s not too hard.

What’s hard is trying to change the mind of a person who thinks it is too hard because they have had limited opportunities to build. I hope that my 4th graders will love getting to design and build a ski resort. They will become interested in designing, building, redesigning and sharing their ideas because of the time that I will make for them to become builders!

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Maker Stations

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Makerspaces seem to be everywhere these days!  I like to see how different educators design spaces and provide materials for kids to have Maker experiences.  I love the idea of giving kids materials at school which they can use to build and create. I would like to have stations similar to ones I observed in the Media Center at Cornelius Elementary recently.  The librarian, Pam Lilley, calls her stations Maker Stations.

The librarian applied for a massive grant (Belk Bowl and Lowes for a whopping $110,000) to allow her to redesign her Media Space with flexible seating and tables with casters to allow them to be moved for various purposes depending on the activity.  Most of us will not ever be able to have $110,000 to redesign our learning spaces, but it is really not about the money.  Her philosophy is grounded in an understanding of the whole child and how children learn best when they are self directed and have a sense of ownership about the activities that they complete.  The students self check out books by scanning their book with a scanner into the school’s Destiny checkout program. It is an inviting atmosphere where kids interact with each other at a rotation of eight station activities in Grades K-5. The librarian shows video clips to explain how to use certain maker materials in January then for the next eight weeks, kids rotate to each of the eight stations. I got to observe her with a first grade class and will share pictures and a description of each station.  The first picture below gives you a feel for the creative atmosphere with a green screen set up in a pizza box, Lego Wall in background and paper roller coasters!  Tall tables with cool stools scream for children to come and make something!

Keva Contraptions with Keva Planks – She directed the two students whose names were on the list for Keva blocks to go there.  They designed an awesome tower with a place for a small ball to roll as a part of it.  Sometimes she gives them Keva Challenges from the Keva company or other websites.

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Marble Maze group – She gave them a bin with marble maze materials.

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Make a Lego Duplo Architecture creation. Look through a stack of pictures and decide which Lego structure that you want to build.

Chatterpix – She gave a direction. The character will need to have a face then put in Chatterpix app. They are given markers to draw on paper a character.

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Make a book mark out of Art Materials with brown paper.

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Little Bits STEAM circuit building – She told them that needed a few specific parts and showed them in the Manual Book how to build it.

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Osmo Station: She gave one group an iPad to use with the Osmo.

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Dash and Dot Coding Station – A Group uses an iPad to program a Dash robot.

After giving directions for cleaning up, she gives each group a point or not a point in Class Dogo depending on how well they cleaned up.

She lets them check out after looking at their class account on screen.

She said, “If you want a chapter book, raise your hand,” and she gave them a laminated sheet with each genre on it listed on a different colored box. She said, “If you want a pic book, you can get up and get a shelf marker.”

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For kids who were not checking out, she gave them a magazine at the table where they had been sitting. They all came back to their tables after self checking out their books and then begin reading with partners.

She “genrefied” the books this past summer by putting colors of stickers on the binding of each book then when kids get the laminated sheet and they are looking for a fantasy book, they can go to the books with the fantasy colored sticker.

Here are the stations that she described that she has for Grades 3-5 for nine weeks:

Program Spheros with Keva wood blocks

How To Draw – She gives them drawing books and websites to see how to draw.

Snap Circuits (These do not hold up well.)

Green Screen in Pizza Box. Use art materials on green straws as characters.

Makey Makey

Osmo Pizza Kit – Runa a pizza shop and calculate giving change

Stop Motion Animation. A Ready Animator holds the iPad.

Paper Rollercoaster – They make one Marble paper maze per grade level. She builds the cardboard base and lets them use paper to build the track.  Teachers Pay Teachers has a seller who made Paper Rollercoasters which she uses to allow her to make copies of parts of the roller coaster in multiple paper colors.  See http://www.paperrollercoasters.com.

She does 8 week rotations from Jan. – March.  She has 2-4 students in each group for each station which is an ideal amount.  Each child rotates to the eight Maker Stations during the nine weeks.  I noticed children who were totally engrossed in building, making, creating and designing.  They conditions were set up for them to be successful in this beautiful library space!  She has K-2 Stations and Grades 3 – 5 Stations but only runs them for one nine weeks.  If students want to use the maker materials after the nine week Maker Station cycle, they can return to the Media Center to do so!

In the Fall she does Digital Citizenship lessons using a variety of resources and teaches students to self check out books with the scanner in Destiny at laptop computers. They click on their picture in Destiny, scan their book and check out books themselves.  After the Maker Station rotations which I observed which run January – March, she will do research projects with kids.

A reward is given to children when they reach a certain number of points in Class Dojo where they go to the Lego wall and build.  There were NO behavior issues that I observed!  Their class time was over and they had interacted with appropriate voice levels and interpersonal interaction.

She gets feedback by giving them a survey to identify a favorite center and she gets rid of not so popular centers.

I am so inspired by the way that Pam has organized the stations rotations in the library. The kids were extremely engaged in working on their station activity for about 20 minutes then they read/checked out books for 15 minutes.

I have Spheros, Lego Story Maker Kits, iPads, Chromebooks, Bloxels video creation kits, Lego WeDo 2.0 robot kits and Keva Wood Planks which I have bought using Grant Money. I will be able to implement some of the same type of stations using the materials that I have.  I would also include Bloxels building challenges in my Maker Stations and STEAM challenges that relate to picture books!  I am in a Computer Lab, but visiting this library with Maker Space Stations has certainly broadened my perspective on what is possible in how to manage a class of K-5 students with Maker Stations!

For my students in the future, I would like to get Lego Duplo blocks, a Lego Wall, marbles for a Lego Marble making station, pictures on cards for kids to see of locations around the world for them to “create” in the Lego Duplo blocks, Makey Makey kit for kids to make music! Bongos is a simple Makey Makey project that she shows them and the Piano project, but they will find Pac Man and Flappy Bird. She used sponges with the Makey Makey and wet them if needed but not food to conduct electricity. She shows video tutorials at the beginning of the rotation cycle and I would like to curate some tutorials to show to train my students when we do station rotation.

As I have reviewed the N.C. Digital Learning Competencies, I have seen the following standards which the librarian has incorporated and I want to also incorporate in my lessons and with furniture choices in the future:

-Design technology-enriched learning experiences that encourage all students to pursue their individual interests, preferences, and differences.

-Identify, evaluate, and utilize appropriate digital tools and resources to challenge students to create, think critically, solve problems, establish reliability, communicate their ideas, collaborate effectively.

– Evaluate and appropriately modify the form and function of the physical learning environment to create a conducive digital learning environment.

I will continue to remember the excitement that I saw on the faces of children that day! They love to participate in active learning!

Top 10 of NCTIES 2018

I just returned from the NCTIES Conference! I have been going to this conference for five years and find that it always delivers! The Keynote presentations inspired me and the sessions led by teachers from all over my state gave me strategies and technology tips to enhance my teaching. I am going to share some of my favorite Top 10 ideas from the Conference in this blog post!

1. Kristen Ziemke
As the keynote speaker, she shared that 81% of kids ages 6 – 8 use You Tube weekly and love to hear and see stories. We should be explicitly teaching them to tell their stories and how to hear the stories of others. When we present our students with images to view and video to watch, Kristen suggests that we ask them, “What do you see, think and wonder?” The conversation that will occur will be grounded in the “text evidence” within the images allowing students to make inferences, visualize the environment, wonder what is going on and determine important information. Students should be given opportunities to think about how images and videos impact them then do something about it.

2. Microwriting by Kristen Ziemke
Micro writing is the writing of short pieces of text that question, summarize or synthesize and often adopt new literacies to gain feedback form authentic audiences. Kids’ writing could be shared in a Google Classroom, Twitter, a Blog or through the SeeSaw app. When kids are engaged in writing, their effort increases. Today’s tools make it possible to create, publish and share content. Since we all have a story to tell, we must show students how to make their words count so that their voices will be heard. She emphasized that teachers should have students study how Tweets are crafted, what is included in comments to a blog post and write these types of writing often to see if they can get better over time.

3. #Innovate4Littles: Using Tech for Inquiry Based Project

These teachers shared Project Based Learning through the Cycle of Inquiry.
The Cycle of Inquiry can have the following steps:
Wonder (They post what they want to know on Post It notes on a wall or on a Padlet space.)
Question
Research
Exploration
Play
Creation
Share
Feedback
Start Over

I love the idea of classroom teachers having a “Soft Start” to each day to allow kids to go through the inquiry cycle and be able to interact with materials at a Maker Space station in their classes. STREAM Centers during Soft Start include:
PlayDoh
Clay
Legos
K’Nex
Build
Art supplies
Kinetic sand

Allowing kids to regularly play with items as they investigate a topic and create a visual representation can then be extended to digital work. Their pictures of their work or digital projects that they make can be shared in SeeSaw . Students will sometimes record their thinking about their projects using Flipgrid. I was so impressed with the ideas of this session that I shared the presentation with my K-2 mini team leaders at my school which will enable us to further discuss: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1YyYF-igDpH3WsAqWfozheImqxZtckOYX-_X6ph2RO-8/edit#slide=id.g253ceff29c_0_11

4. Technology and Media
A Media Specialist and Technology Teacher collaborate to read various stories then have students create a digital product. Their resources are found here:
bit.ly/ncties18hub

App Smashing with Literature presentation: bit.ly/ElemPeeps

5. Green Screening the School Newscast
The presentation with all the details of how the tech facilitators work with students and classroom teachers to produce a school newscast that is shown on the following week is found here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1LL2fipx_95cr062gxXudxYujLQH5fsTs3BxUk9YA_rY/edit#slide=id.g31ec21f1b3_0_13

6. Jack of All Trades, Master of None presentation
An animated teacher librarian from Chatham County schools developed an amazing website with tremendous resources on Digital Citizenship, coding, Digital Literacy and many other important topics. I will use her resources with my students:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1LL2fipx_95cr062gxXudxYujLQH5fsTs3BxUk9YA_rY/edit#slide=id.g31ec21f1b3_0_13

7. Getting Started with Green Screen
The presentation that was provided allows us to see how these teachers use the DoInk app on iPads to have students create digital stories with Green Screening: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1edcUNLFTwYhpvmILGyY8-qPT9KYFbLOvlGzc825G0zY/edit#slide=id.g35f391192_00

This link provides a Google Sheet with Green Screen lesson ideas tied to Standards: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BZqwlPi2Qf589-HP-pcNFez90wXARpM4omnEibMS_Gw/edit#gid=0

Legos and Green Screen presentation: bit.ly/2GYrAHZ

8. STREAM Session
These teachers showed us many books that they read to students and STREAM Design challenges tied to the science standards. I loved everything that they shared and the format of their presentation: Bit.ly/litstem
Google link: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vSXFW2vfdDF8BY1HlywmQSEtmUX7DUzapYBhJc1gz6LAFZliPilTftAa1bOrRDaXPSFGjTKhAl6nYKj/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000&slide=id.g2fc44dfe4d_0_570

9. Making Makerspaces Work
The “Making Makerspaces Work For Elementary” session provided great suggestions on what could be included in an Elementary Maker Space in the Library Media Center and many management tips on how to have students come to the Media Center to use the Maker space:
Bit.ly/Makerspace18
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1XwMpsQydxjK14k1alTh776spDePupmmxehk9wO0KsII/mobilepresent?slide=id.g35f391192_00

10. Closing Keynote by Kevin Carroll
Wow! This man inspired me! My head was spinning with the amazing sessions which I had been a part of then he got me thinking about how to head home to inspire my students to tell their stories. Here are some of his words that will continue to resonate with me:
“Play gives resilience and sustained effort to hang in there.

Play is a catalyst.

Don’t talk about it. Be about it.

How you do the little things is how you do all things.

The opposite of play and fun is depression. Have joy all the time.

Play is something we all have in common.

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato

Inspire others to be a collective community of confidence. Be the storytellers which will inspire.

Our ideas and actions matter.

Set goals.
Believe in yourself

It is possible. Surround yourself with catalysts.

Challenge and lovingly shove them toward the future.

Replenish my energy.
Play.
There are 86,400 seconds in a day to achieve better than I was yesterday.

Be better than I was yesterday.

Build community, make friends.

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.

Be where I am. Show up.

Positivity will be reciprocated.

DREAM stands for:
Dedication
Responsibility
Education
Attitude
Motivation

Doubt is success testing you.
Greatness awaits you.

If your dream doesn’t scare you it is not big enough.

# gsd (get stuff done)”

This Conference had a shared Google Slides presentation which was also crowd sourced for many other incredible resources: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1QVwh0bGpGfMjzldTcg1lDUAta58NsnNVrkZwnnu3t0s/edit#slide=id.p

Flipgrid Zoo

Recently, I consulted with a team of third grade teachers at my school to develop a topic for students to write about once they had researched animals. We decided that students could provide an opinion and supporting reasons as to why the animal that they researched should or should not be kept in a zoo. Students would use the facts that they had gathered to inform their writing. Once they had completed their writing, I visited their classrooms and introduced them to a tech tool known as Flipgrid. I made a free teacher account and set up an assignment where students would record themselves reading aloud their writing on their Chromebooks.

Students enthusiastically participated and self assessed their videos. They enjoyed watching the videos that their peers had created too! I disabled their ability in Flipgrid to type a comment about the videos until a future assignment. We discussed the importance of stating respectful comments to others verbally to practice the skills of a digital citizen. I shared an Emoji Reflection Guide which they used to self assess. In the future, I plan to enable their ability to give Emoji reactions in Flipgrid.

Overall, using Flipgrid engaged my third grade students and gave every student a voice! One student who is rather shy chose to record her video in an area away from others. I told her that shy students can record their video and share it without having to stand and deliver the message in front of others. She seemed relieved to be able to record her words without any pressure.

Many students felt like “You Tubers” and loved this experience. They see videos on social media which provide entertainment and information at home. Using Flipgrid to respond to a topic that they had researched allowed incredible opportunities to communicate, listen and be heard!

I have included images from this lesson below and a link to the actual Flipgrid where over 100 of my third graders shared their opinions and supporting reasons as to why animals should or should not be kept in a zoo.

 

Computer Science Education Week

The past two weeks have allowed my students to explore coding lessons and animation lessons! The pictures and video below show their active engagement while using Bloxels Video Game Builder, coding tutorials at http://www.code.org, Sphero robots to program the Sphero around the shape of a holiday tree and the “Go Animate” program at http://www.abcya.com for animation projects!

Coding and digital storytelling will continue throughout the school year! My Donors Choose project to purchase Lego WeDo Kits was recently funded! I look forward to the collaboration and communication that will happen as students create Lego robots and program them with Lego software.

https://animoto.com/playMDyBT14e9kRJOj7s0EFd9w

Where I Am From

In the next week, I plan to start my 25th year of teaching elementary students.  Teaching is about planning but in life, you can’t always plan how it will go.  I participated in a Paideia Seminar this week with my colleagues based on a poem by George Ella Lyon which inspired my own poem.  I am placing my latest “Where I Am From” poem below and outside of my classroom.  I am who I am because of my life experiences.  This poem looks back through my memories and tries to paint a picture about the moments that have shaped me and stayed with me.  My principal wants each teacher to compose their own “Where I Am From” poem and to post it for students, parents and staff to read as a part of our current school year’s theme of “I Am From Elon Park”.

Where I Am From by Lisa 

I am from Sunday visits to my grandparents’ houses at the end of a dirt road in the country where grandma shared her homemade apple jelly and her patchwork quilts. My favorite quilts were the ones that she made from my grandpa’s old shirts.

I am from piano recitals when Mrs. Matthews, my piano teacher, expected my best! I memorized each piece every Spring and played on the grand piano at the Alumni House at UNC-Greensboro while the azaleas bloomed.

I am from Sunday school, Bible verses, Worship songs and The Golden Rule.  

I am from going to church camp every summer in High Point, NC where I swam, sang, prayed, learned from spiritual giants and made great friends. 

I am from leading my church choir and being church pianist in my late teens and twenties.  

I am from prayer, hope and precious parents who love me because I am their only child.

I am from learning how to be a teacher at UNC-Greensboro and singing in Women’s Choir.

I am from the day I married Gene Maples 20 years ago on the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year because I didn’t want the day to end.

I am from the moments I heard my daughters cry for the first time and held them when they were born.  I am from 10 years where one or both of them came to school with me to Elon Park. 

I am from Family Movie Night every Friday night when we eat pizza together and relax.

I am from beach trips to Wild Dunes at Isle of Palms, SC where the sound of waves, sun and soft sand ripple into my heart, slowing me down, making me see what’s important.

I am from love, the kind that shows it cares. The kind of love that doesn’t laugh at me, but supports me. The kind of love that builds up. The kind of love that is patient and kind.  

I am from being a 3rd Grade teacher for 13 years in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte.

I am from being a 4th Grade teacher during the first six years when Elon Park was opened.

I am from being a Technology Teacher for the past four years at Elon Park, my home away from home. I am from caring so much that students create digital projects to make learning fun!

If you’d like to read another “Where I Am From” poem, I wrote one on my personal blog in December of 2015 at http://www.intendtospend.wordpress.com.  I would encourage you to ponder your life experiences and compile them in your own “Where I Am From” poem.

ISTE17

I recently returned from the ISTE 2017 Conference in San Antonio, Texas.  This conference which is sponsored by the International Society for Technology in Education was my first!  I love attending one of their affiliate state conferences which is in my state of North Carolina which is called NCTIES and takes place in Raleigh, NC during the first week of March.  After taking a lot of pictures, I compiled them in a highlights Animoto video and hope to share a lot of the resources and ideas that I learned in this post.

Since I had never been to a national conference with 21,000 people, I knew that I should prepare.  I studied the session descriptions in the ISTE17 app and created my schedule in a Google Calendar which I later placed into the ISTE Conference app.  There are sessions to attend, keynote speeches to hear, playgrounds to try out the latest digital devices, a classroom of the future to tour from PowerSchool, lines to wait in for Apple and Google Sessions and sore feet due to all of the walking.  I stayed two blocks from the Convention Center and took the ISTE Shuttle a couple of times, but mostly, I walked to and from the Convention Center with my heavy bookbag with iPad and Chromebook along with lots of teacher swag given to me by Exhibitors!  In the evening, I liked getting to walk along the Riverwalk which is a beautifully designed area in downtown near the Convention Center where there are restaurants and stores galore!

I enjoyed participating in The Joy of Professional Learning activities from Apple Distinguished Educators.    They want to transform professional development into “PL or professional learning”.  In my school district, “PL” is associated with “Personalized Learning”, but in the case of this session, a book series has been created by Apple Distinguished Educators which you can access for free on the iTunes store called “The Joy of Professional Learning”.  I would highly recommend checking out their amazing lessons and activities to promote professional learning with educators.

I also recommend another iBook download from another Apple Distinguished Educator,Jenny Grabiec, called “iCan with iOS”(Apps, Tools & Strategies for Students with Learning and Attention Issues) which is a great way to learn about various Apple accessibility features on iPads.

I heard a few of the presenters mention the Reggio Emilia teaching approach based in Italy.  It is not a new approach to teaching and learning, but a new interest in it is rising as it relates to developing innovation in schools.  The idea is that opportunities should be given to students by teachers to help kids construct their own understanding of the world through their environment and through communicating with others.  I really like the idea in this approach of documenting children’s ideas throughout the process of learning something.  Playing and learning are inseparable in the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching.  The ISTE17 presenters and Exhibitors delivered in sharing many different ways to learn by playing and to design lessons based on the new ISTE Student Standards.  Flocabulary has partnered with ISTE and developed this music video to illustrate the ISTE Student Standards!

The idea of having students express their thoughts and creativity in a variety of ways was alive and well in many of the sessions that I attended!  Having students research a global location then build a three dimensional model of it with 3Doodler cool glue pen was an amazing idea!  Making students’ thoughts and voices visible in various ways such as in Flipgrid by having children record their responses to a question which others in the class will watch and also respond to, is an example of this approach.  Using technology to show progressions of thinking using Bloxels video game builder is another way to provide children with iterations or multiple attempts at designing a video game using hands on blocks.  Displaying a child’s thought process in programming a Blue Bot, a cousin of the Bee Bot, can be done in Blue Bot TacTile Reader or with Blue Tooth connection from the Blue Bot to a digital device which supports their app.    Building and programming with Scratch the Itty Bitty City using a MicroDuino is another way to allow children to play and test out their coding sequences.  Another favorite of mine is the Cubetto wooden box by Primo toys which can be programmed using a series of colored blocks which is a great way to play and design a course like a computational thinker while collaborating with others.

Adam Bellow and Steve Dembo, in their joint session, referenced “The Space” by Rebecca Louise Hare and Dr. Robert Dillon, however, they discussed that you can have an innovative maker space without a space dedicated to it.  In this case, educators would have a mind shift toward making and playing in order to allow opportunities for students to discover and construct new understandings of how the world works.  They believe teachers should start the class with this question:  What do you want to learn?  When students can investigate a topic of study in an inviting space with various tools to show their thinking, then they will be excited.

My favorite keynote was Jennie Magiera on Tuesday morning.  I included a lot of her slides in my Animoto video because she inspired me so much to tell my story.  We all have stories that we want others to think about us and then, there are the real stories.  In my case, I have made ISTE sound amazing and for the most part, it was.  I posted pics on Facebook and Twitter (@edu_maples) from the conference and from our trip to see the Alamo, a special part of our American history.  Now, there were other stories that developed for me.   For one, I did not particularly like the food.  I got a migraine headache on Tuesday afternoon.  I couldn’t breathe and needed my inhaler due to smoke that poured out of a restaurant in the mall which was very close to the Convention Center.  I happened to be leaving the Convention Center for lunch right when the fire began so the streets filled with smoke.  The images in my video should help you see the scary story that unfolded.  Thankfully, although the Marriott across from the Convention Center was evacuated, the Convention Center was fine.  I had a heavy bag which made my back sore.  The good news in all of this was that my husband went with me so he began to carry my bag as he dropped me off and picked me up each day from the conference!  Our three and a half hour direct flights were a bit bumpy due to storms, but we made it.  Truly, the good far outweighed any of the bad stories.

It was an honor to attend this conference and learn from the best thought leaders!  I hope that my story will continue to develop as I implement the strategies and tools that I learned about at this conference and have a positive impact on my students.  I do not have Jennie Magiera’s title as Chief Innovation Officer in the Chicago Public Schools, but she has helped me to frame my thinking and my journey as a teacher and as an Innovator.  I was named a PBS Learning Media Digital Innovator a couple of years ago, but it is a continual journey of designing a path of experiences for my students that amplify their voice and document their thinking as they construct knowledge.  I am looking forward to processing more of the information that I have shared in this post.  I hope you enjoy it too!  Jennie shared that technology should connect us to each other in a positive way.  I really want to connect with those of you who are reading my blog by sharing what I learned!

My excitement soared as I gathered the following resources in the many sessions that I attended.  I have decided to provide links to the resources with a short description of the resource to share the love with you!

I loved Tim Fey’s Poster Session on “From Library to Learning Commons”!  Here are the resources that he shared:   https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1F01mN1B2x8bPVZXyQBy_Mjo6Y4tRvicnPFcGTdDcfcQ/mobilepresent?slide=id.g1d298f2d8c_0_0

Bloxels Video Game Design:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1vuULCF-PvYKf0qannkFhpcfWC9IIWqFDowXUc7T9yKI/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000&slide=id.p

Kickin It with Kinder-STEAM – http://goo.gl/MCLxN0

Mari Venturino’s blog:  http://blog.mariventurino.com/

Dr. Wes and Shelly Fryer’s STEAM Poster session:  http://seeingnewshapes.casady.org/steam

Google Drawings – https://goo.gl/hLfbJj

Digital Consumption and Creation in a Changing Literacy Landscape by Steven Anderson and Shaelynn Farnsworth’s presentation on how literacy is changing – https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1rF-lzkoc1u9EcK_1eO-yAKp0TgjUzAmjPRIjvPUuG_U/mobilepresent?slide=id.g239a0cce2d_0_30

Movie Making with students – https://sites.google.com/site/moviemakingwithstudents/

Teach, Jane, Teach blog – http://janedunn25.wixsite.com/teachjaneteach/stream

Adobe Spark video/digital storytelling:  http://ipadography.weebly.com/storytelling.html

Technology Centers and many other engaging tech integration ideas! http://www.engagingeducation.net/wordpress/resources/iste-2017-resources/

Touchcast:  http://playlearnteach.blogspot.com/

Digital Storytelling Network resources:  https://docs.google.com/a/cms.k12.nc.us/document/d/1biCdyKHdSyMjE-SWj749ChC3IfLAS5KtFfDQx1FXFOw/mobilebasic

Sphero robots – https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1MRTXTKb-tA4hSTjFRgiKw_YerQJGe1LI7hR0x-PYmsM/mobilepresent?slide=id.g1f7b4a1075_1_0

Universal Design for Learning Google Drive file by Gerstein and Bray – https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1o1jhf91rrcyTFYgIiWUn0sZWxxBst2tSJUxoZRV5f9g/mobilepresent?slide=id.p4

Breakout EDU and Digital Breakouts –

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/17le4YG0bL32X2MupCjXR9U9I0hwwvjBsb-GYG8WonYo/mobilepresent?slide=id.p

Making Thinking Visible – https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1AGLPejpuTwTVTeLsYCtRmP6K2e-5qFVobaTXE4hQpbM/mobilepresent?slide=id.g239675a555_0_0

Seedling Scavenger Bingo – a great app to use to have students work together to look for pictures of categories where they have to fill in each box on the Bingo digital board!

Great resources on Personalized learning –http://www.dsdprofessionaldevelopment.com/personalized-learning.html

Personalized Learning – https://conference.iste.org/uploads/ISTE2017/HANDOUTS/KEY_108242452/Resources.pdf

Making with Circuits:  https://sites.google.com/site/makerartstech/led-project

Be Internet Awesome!  Digital Citizenship Curriculum from Google:  https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/

Google for Littles:  http://christinepinto.com/gafe-4-littles-pln/

Google Tools:  http://www.chrislatkinson.com/

Google Add Ons:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1FoOYRcTD2i6KDYGXi9wdxX4wAjeZRPRRUHssb4GK33M/edit#slide=id.gfb2e63231_4_89

G Suite and the Writing Process:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1A1uNwrAkl7hFwho0HVx_SPTf13ijHjtcTRHbQV43ORQ/edit#slide=id.g35f391192_00

Googleopoly:  https://www.smore.com/na8sk

Digital Literacy with Google Tools:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1E4S4F8S3F0FGptCuGXiAYO9snAYkRrTDzqaGAV4fakA/edit#slide=id.g1ca4a9e9b9_1_13

iPads for Elementary:  http://www.kristenbrooks.net/

iPad as Creation Device:  https://conference.iste.org/uploads/ISTE2017/HANDOUTS/KEY_108268409/StationsDirectionsCards.pdf

Spark Creativity and Innovation:  https://sites.google.com/a/k12.somerville.ma.us/kennedy-makerspace/

Sphero robot projects and Literature:  https://padlet.com/willcottjulie/ISTE2017

Close Reading with Thinglink:  http://citizensowls.weebly.com/close-reading-using-thinglink-presentation.html

Augmented Reality in Education:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1zBXjw8JSK3LbEahpb7fWdrFbSan-U7eN2MHhbiww6xE/edit#slide=id.g173e7c2a73_0_0

Learning Spaces Images:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1pRCusVN8MXK4jieZJrNMOLgtkaV-ix6Vjo7Czx1FyBg/edit#slide=id.g35f391192_00

Stop Motion Animation:  http://www.ipadartroom.com/how-to-load-up-the-learning-in-animation/

Get Ed Funding website:  https://www.getedfunding.com/c/index.web?s@iCmSuIj2E1lbc

Digital Storytelling:  http://gmmpresentations.wikispaces.com/ISTE

Design Thinking in a Makerspace:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1vkFZk3qVFvEjqlax2LraNKTkb1UM2K_K52_6d_XQS98/edit#slide=id.g1ed03c4cd7_0_30

Do’s and Don’ts of a Maker Fair:  https://sites.google.com/richland2.org/makerfairedosanddonts/how-to-guide

Girls Building STEAM:  http://girlsbuildingsteam.weebly.com/

Makerspace in Library Programming:  https://sites.google.com/student.liberty.k12.mo.us/library

MakerSpace ideas (Great videos!):  http://www.hhh.k12.ny.us/page.cfm?p=975877

MakerSpace Playbook:  http://www.hhh.k12.ny.us/page.cfm?p=975877

Using Snapchat in the Clasroom:  http://ditchthattextbook.com/2016/04/11/15-ways-to-use-snapchat-in-classes-and-schools/

Badging Padlet:  https://padlet.com/PDLN/ISTE2017

Badging TED Talk video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxtgxXwW060

Lego Love

My third graders walked in my class last week and squealed with excitement!  Why?  They saw our Lego Storymaker Kits out around the class.  In groups of two to four students, they built a Story with settings such as a pet store, a restaurant, a park, an air port to name a few.  They decided on a goal for their character or characters then devoted their time to creating three scenes.  They managed to build a beginning, middle and end scene.  I provided a graphic organizer for them to communicate their ideas for their collaborative stories on paper.  Due to having 45 minutes maximum class time, they took apart their scenes but then rebuilt them during our second class time.  In between our first and second classes, students worked on their graphic organizers in their home rooms.  When they arrived for their second class, they logged into their Google Drive accounts on iPads and took individual pictures which will live in their Google Accounts until our third class when they will build a Google Slide presentation and type their story ideas.

I blogged about this last year, but found such passion with my students again as they worked together this year!  The Lego Storymaker Kits inspired them to create interesting stories and promoted a way to write with a visible kind of prewriting. It felt more like we were playing in the Lab which sparked an amazing time of communication, collaboration and creativity!  I decided to share pictures of where we are at this juncture.  It is definitely a process!

What Pet Should I Get?

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, my first graders created mini books in The Book Creator app on iPads.  I read aloud a Dr. Seuss book published in 2015 called “What Pet Should I Get?”  In this book a brother and sister consider many different pets at a pet store such as a dog, cat, rabbit, bird and fish along with some fictional pets including a Yent.  The brother makes a point in the story as more and more choices present themselves concerning what pet they should get:  “Oh, boy! It is something to make a mind up!” We considered the process that people go through when selecting a pet such as determining if they have space, have time to care for it, have money to buy food and pay the vet who will care for it and have affection to love on it.

I asked my students to celebrate Dr. Seuss by creating a book to describe which pet that they would choose, reasons why they would choose it, a picture of the pet and if possible, a voice recording of them as they gave their opinion on their pet wish.  I only see them for 45 minutes every eight school days in the Technology Lab.  In the past they had created books on Outer Space in Book Creator and were familiar with how to do it.  I like how Book Creator app gives kids multiple ways to represent ideas with text, various fonts, sizes and colors of text, colors to draw and voice recording ability.  You can also add photos and videos but time didn’t allow for that today!

As kids create their individual books, you can hear them as they give each other tips on how to make the letters capital on the iPad or how to adjust the color.  I noticed one student who went above and beyond to help a friend discover how to spell the words for his title by bringing the friend to my book to show him and pointed to each word.  These two writers stuck together like peanut butter and jelly for the rest of the class as they consulted each other on what would be typed and drawn next.  Even though the books were not created with multiple authors on one book, I love how the children sit close and lean into each other to see mentors all around them as they work.  The final step was to share their books with a friend so that the digital book authors could be celebrated!

Here are some of the moments that I captured as they enthusiastically created:


NCTIES 2017

Images of my awesome NCTIES experiences!breakoutedukristin-ziemkencties17lisabeckancties17

At the beginning of March each year, I prepare to travel to Raleigh, NC for the North Carolina Technology in Education Society’s Conference known as NCTIES.  This year, like two out of the last three years, I had been preparing to present a session with an amazing colleague of mine, Rebecca Thompson. When you pour your time and effort into preparing the right sequence of information to share with the people who will choose your session, you feel that your words must stand out and be ones that they can carry with them.  We had planned and revised our presentation.  I arrived Tuesday night feeling excited.

On Wednesday morning, I attended the Pre Conference which has always been a way for me to dive deep into a topic.  I get to spend three hours with a morning presenter in a room that will hold 30 people or so then spend the afternoon with another presenter.  This year, I got to spend my morning with Kristin Ziemke.  I have read her “Amplify” book which gave me a variety of ways to have my students use technology to amplify their learning.  I really liked that she encouraged me to promote writing about visual images.

First of all, Kristin introduced me to a website which has people draw various shapes for 20 seconds then places the drawings in a database so that a computer can recognize drawings from many different people.  This site is called Doodle drawing and can be reached here:  Goo.gl/2wiPgN

Kristen told us that research reveals that the first 17 minutes of a class is prime time for students to learn.  She called on teachers to do high yield activities at the start of a lesson to reach more modalities.  Research is also revealing that doodling helps learners retain their new content.  When we doodle as we are thinking, we retain the new information better.  As a result, a new definition of note taking is taking shape through the use of Sketch Noting.

In our world, kids know how to use Smart Phones and technology, but this awareness of technology does not necessarily equal understanding of how to create with the digital devices.  They know how to be entertained but not as a tool for learning.  She shared an infographic from Common Sense Media which shows that 81% of 6-8 year olds watch You Tube regularly and 76 % of 9-12 year olds access content on You Tube.  This means that kids are interested in viewing many types of videos to understand the world but may not be able to read the information yet depending on their age.  I love that she said to “put kids in a place of possible and have them publish”.  In order to hook students and engage them from the beginning of a lesson, she suggested starting lessons with video or images and have kids ask questions about them such as:

What do I see?

Why is that in the picture?

I wonder why…

How does this photo or video communicate a message?

Why did the photographer take it?  

She shared images with us from the NY Times Learning Network.  Every Monday, this site places a picture on it in a series called,  “What’s going on in this picture?”  The site has suggestions on how to guide students to closely read the picture.  Teachers and students are invited to leave a comment and read other comments.  The site previews comments to be sure they are appropriate before the comments are posted.  On Thursdays, the site posts an update and tells you what is going on.  The picture comes from some place around the world so that students are given a global perspective and gain empathy as they view others in situations that are not like their own.

Kristen referred to the fact that visuals are processed 65,000 times faster than text through our eyes.  Text plus visuals stimulate both sides of the brain requiring more synthesis, retention increased comprehension.  She encouraged teachers to use the interests of students to show images and graphics which they can compare.  One of the people who have had an impact on her understanding of how reading develops is Smokey Daniels who says we should ask kids as they view images this question:

“What do you see, think and wonder?”

Not only should we ask kids to ponder, but teachers should model how to do this type of thinking out loud.

In the afternoon, I was able to use the steps of Design Thinking which is what engineers use as I developed a video game.  We went through the following steps:

Empathize

Define

Ideate

Prototype

Test

Darren Hudgins, the presenter, told us that Design Thinking is ugly at first filled with uncertainty, patterns, insights and research.  When engineers come up with a concept, they develop a prototype then test, gain feedback and keep designing.

In order for us to go through the Design Thinking steps, each participant had to plan out their game on a grid sheet then develop their fame by building it with colored cubes in a black grid.  Next, we scanned the cubes and the cubes became the setting of our video game.  I knew about Bloxels Builder but had never gone through the design process to create a game.  It was a valuable and difficult process to go through, but I can see the value to allow kids to go through this same design process to build a game.  Partners tested out each others’ games and provided feedback.  The games were not perfect, but they allowed us to see where we needed to make changes.  My favorite part was when we were told that each of us would get to take our Bloxels Builder Set home as our gift.  I have requested a set of 15 Bloxels Builder Kits as a part of a recent grant and hope that I will get them.  They will motivate students to build games based on book settings, characters, science or social studies topics.  Here is the link to the Bloxels website:  Play.bloxelsbuilder.com

On Thursday, Rebecca and I shared our presentation.  Since we had worked tirelessly on this project for the past few months, it was so good to finally share our ideas.  We had researched HyperDocs and begun to use them this year in our teaching.  I also had brought my eight Lego Storymaker Kits to provide participants with the chance to create Lego scenes and create a digital story using Pic Collage or Google Slides.  I am sharing the link to our presentation here:  goo.gl/uXRbhT

Breakout EDU was another interesting experience.  I worked with a group of teachers as we solved clues to open locks on a box.  Each clue was fairly difficult but we brainstormed together on how to break out or open the box.  Here is the link to the presentation: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1IYL347lGD-amuhW1Yi-ZPvo5JRtP3FAtGGA7cVoWOlI/edit?usp=sharing

I always enjoy hearing Richard Byrne give the “Best of the Web” for each year.  Here are some tools that he mentioned.  Some of them I already knew about but there are several others that I plan to check out:

A beta version of a Creative Commons search engine

Inklewriter.com – It allows kids to write “Choose your own adventure” story and think about logic then publish on web.

Thehistoryproject.com – This is a timeline tool that has built in recording piece.  Example Project:  Record interview with grandma and save as podcast.

Edublogs.org – Almost all premium features are not completely free on Edublogs as of last month.

Splashapp.co – Like Snapchat but with virtual reality.  Android with ios coming soon.

bit.ly/divvr – Create your own DIY Virtual Reality Headset

CoSpaces.io lets you design a VR experience and publish.

NathanHall.com – Has Webtools that don’t require registration so kids can go and make things.

Sworkitkids.com – 30 sec. Exercises for a brain break for kids

CheckItOut is a google form and great to keep track of who borrowed stuff and get them to bring it back.

Flippity.net – add on that makes Google Sheets templates in one click.  Quiz Shows, flashcard with voices and pics,

OpeneBooks.com or app has a ton of e-books

TeachYourMonsterToRead.com  – has letter matching games

Quill Connect – a new quill.org feature.  Helps students learn to see fragments that they must arrange into complete sentences.

Choosito! – a search engine that ranks websites to their readability levels 

CamFind app – take a pic of anything and it will tell you stuff about it.

Littlebridge.com – website of how to interact responsibly online and teach through games how to be responsibile citizens

Classtools.net (developed by guy from France)

Wiser.me – blending worksheets together. Interactive quizzes and share through Google Classroom

Formative.com – new features in next month that will give you more data and give them more option on how for students to give feedback.

JoeZoo – Grade and edit students writing.  Create comments to enter into Google Docs to use when grading writing

Quizalize.com – Quizzes which can be done anytime.  Teachers could have families take a quiz night and do a link that starts between certain times.  They play game and see score of others but less of a race.

Triventy – lets kids contribute to a quiz, students can collaborate on what they think should be in quiz and teacher approves them

Nudgemath.com and it is an app – Interactive math lessons

On Friday, I was blown away by two colleagues of mine in my school district, Suzanne Blaszak and Chris Grabon.  They presented “Content Creation with Chromebooks”.  I am sharing their Google Slide presentation so that the world can also take their teaching with the Google Suite of tools up a notch!  They love Google Drawings and now, I do too!  There are so many templates that they gave which we can modify and push out to our students by having them make a copy of the Google Drawing or Google Slides.  Check it out:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/12YrB5KPv-S53Orc3RnUtpJOToR5nFfcMLn2L0c31w5Y/edit#slide=id.p

Chris shared how to make stories or interactive timelines using www.sutori.com from the History Channel.  Wow!  It has an interactive timeline which the kids could bring in more multimedia that they create!  Adobe Spark poster, You Tube clips, iPad Green Screen creations that are uploaded to You Tube and Audio Files can be placed on the timeline.  I can’t wait to try this with my kiddos! Kids will join my class which I create and in the free version you get 200 free views.  The students can create and share stories on a Google Sites website, collaborate with others, upload media directly and create up to 3 groups with 50 students in a group.  For example, Chris created an Explorer Group for his class to join.  You can put questions in a quiz format in Sutori for audience participation.  They also have a “Did you know?” feature to add cool facts to their story or timeline.

He encouraged us to have students add the Awesome Screenshot Google Extension on their Chromebooks.  He has his fifth graders take a screenshot then with the Awesome Screenshot extension, capture a certain area of the picture then annotate on top of the image.  When students locate an image, they can make it their own and add to it.  You can also blur faces on an image with this extension.

When he wants students to record their voice, he likes Recordmp3online to record audio.  He likes Vocaroo to record audio too.  In Vocaroo, kids would convert the recording to mp3 then save link and place on your website.

Suzanne shared Adobe Spark which allows us to create pictures and videos or posts.  She likes students to use Adobe Spark Page where you can add text, images, add video, add a glideshow option to layer text on pictures in background and link to an example on a web page.  Here is an example of a student ‘s presentation.  Students usually post their Adobe Spark link to a Padlet for their classmates to see and provide feedback as they look through each one in Padlet.  In Adobe Spark Video, Suzanne’s student included season images created in Google Drawings.  They brought the images into Spark Video and recorded their voices to narrate reasons for the seasons.  Here is the video example!

Adobe Spark states that kids have to be supervised by the teacher.  Some teachers create a class account.  You can have students to login to their Google accounts and then give them the teacher’s birthday to prove that the teacher is supervising them.  Adobe Spark is also an app for iOS users.

I have dear friends, Jennifer Moore and Melissa Toner, who used to be at my school but have moved to other schools this year.  They presented on Friday on “Connecting with 1:1 Technology in the Special Area Class”.  Jennifer is a former Music teacher and know is a Technology Facilitator at a K-8 Oaklawn Language Immersion Magnet School in Charlotte.  Melissa is a Media Specialist at Park Road Montessori school, a  K-6 school in Charlotte. I miss them dearly at my school but they mentored me so much and I will always adore them! Their amazing presentation can be found here:  goo.gl/vP46wn

I was able to catch another session from Kristin Ziemke on Friday.

Kristin emphasized that teachers put power in the hands of kids when we invite them to track their thinking, fluency, and opinions of books. She likes for young learners to do Visual Book Reviews.  She will have first graders rank a book with stars that kids draw on top of their picture while they are holding their favorite book.  Teachers can set up kids to guide others in book selection.   Communities of readers talk about their books so when teachers print the Book Reviews and place on class walls to let kids see book recommendations from other kids, it empowers kids.  It is important for teachers to model for kids how to upload a picture of themselves with a book to a Padlet space.  Kids can scan a QR code to get to the Padlet quickly.  Then they learn how to leave a comment in Padlet about their picture too.

In addition, Kristin spoke about the fact that we put power in hands of kids when we invite them to track their thinking, fluency, and opinions of books.  Kids listen to audio snapshots that they took of themselves reading a book and chart what they need to work on as a next step.   She talked about helping kids craft a vision for how to record themselves and talk about their thinking.  For example, on Chromebooks, use Movenote to have kids talk about their thinking.  Ex.  What did you learn in science?

She also encouraged us to have a space online to capture, narrate and illustrate ideas using a limited amount of tools.  She differentiated between Practices vs. projects.  The nature of a project signals the end of unit every couple of weeks.  If it is a practice, then it happens consistently across subjects different times a week.  They go deeper with thinking if they know the tool already.

She has templates at her website to place directions at a center to remind them how to record to capture, record and share.

She teaches kids to represent in a drawing tool to capture, narrate and illustrate their thinking.  Less is more because they know these tools very well.

Here are some of her favorite tools for students to capture, narrate and illustrate their thinking:

Book Creator

Padlet

Kidblog

Explain Everything

iMovie

Camera on iPad

Google Drive

 

She has her students write and blog for real audiences and have blogging partners.  Wonder Wednesday is when kids blog what they wonder about.  Then blogging partner can respond back.

I also was able to learn more about the Dash and Dot Robots.  There is a ton of information at bit.ly/dashdotcurriculum about how to use them.  They won’t work with iPads 1 or 2, but will work with iPad 3, 4 and iPad Air or Kindles.  I am hoping to get some Dash Robots in a Charlotte Hornets Innovation Grant.  There are so many ways to build in coding experiences in Blockly or in the Wonder app with Dash.   We can tell kids that we can program Dash to do word problems to test dimensions that they would generate for area and perimeter review.  For example, If a rectangle has a Perimeter of 200 cm., what could the dimensions be for the rectangle that Dash will create?  One teacher, drew the perimeter on pieces of chart paper to allow students to self check so that if their Dash robot stayed on the rectangle, then they would know that they had programmed Dash correctly.

Here are some incredible ideas that the teachers from Forestville Road Elemenary School shared in their session:

In Literacy, kids can retell a story, make costume for Dash to retell the story, explore the setting of story and create a map for Dash to go through based on the story.  In science, have students travel at different speeds to knock down a tower to focus on force and motion.  Students can build a “body part” for Dash that will give him new abilities. There are ways to build with Legos on top of Spheros.  Ex.  Create a butler Dash to bring snacks and drinks to others.  The kids can program Dash to go to points on a paper timeline and have it stop to tell important information at each point.  Dash can be programmed to line dance.  Pick a song from GoNoodle.com and create a line dance for Dash (more forward, left,right, lights to represent claps) then they have to line up and dance with Dash!  The xylophone attachment is awesome to have kids program a song.

Here is a great idea called “Trick or Treating with Dash” – The teacher made a 15 foot Wonder Way and placed 8 houses on it along the path which has signs that has the type of candy that will be given out.  Each child had a job:

Recorder

Materials

Time Keeper

Speaker

Each child had chance to program Dash to get to the house that they wanted to go to.  They kept commands on a chart at first.  They had to program the Dash robot to roll to their chosen house, program a doorbell sound, record their voice saying “Trick or Treat?” and program Dash to get back to start.  They would look at what they wrote and troubleshoot to see what worked and what didn’t to get Dash to his destination.  Those who did all the steps, got to design a costume for Dash.

The Wonder League is a competition that students can do that has challenges.  You can use mats such as a Twister Board, vinyl tablecloth, tape on the floor (use tiles as a guide) or print banners.

She also charges multiple Dash robots with a USB charger that has 12 USB ports and stores them in mini boxes.  The Dash robots do spin sometimes as they are charging.

NCTIES is a place to wrap my head around innovative lessons and always supports me in developing ideas for the future in my classroom.