All posts by lisamaples

About lisamaples

I am a wife, mother, daughter and friend who loves God. I am an Elementary School teacher in North Carolina.

Canvas to Masterpiece

Seeing the paint in blobs on my art palette, as mounds of potential, inspired me. My family participated in a relaxing evening of painting at our church. The leader, a graphic designer and artist, showed us the type of painting that we would emulate: a close up of a bike with a basket of flowers on it.

The canvases were placed on each white table after we picked up our styrofoam palates. Step by step, the art teacher gave clear directions on how to paint the background with white and blue to appear as sky. Next, she had us sketch with chalk an outline of a bicycle but just the handle bars and front wheel with a basket on the handlebars. After our initial preparations, she directed us to use a large brush to paint a color of our choice on top of our chalk outline. I selected bold red but almost chose dark pink. Once the brush touched the canvas, there was no turning back. I loved the contrast of the blue background and robust red then we continued to sketch a basket on the handlebars. I painted a light brown basket then added white and dark brown lines to give it a woven basket look.

As the next hour unfolded, we added black and white outlines to the bike wheel, painted multi colored flowers in the basket and began to see our masterpieces come together. Each person worked at their own pace as the teacher facilitated by modeling each step. She praised our effort and complimented each painter with specific comments like “What a great blue flower!” Or “I love your basket!”. We knew that our paintings needed our signature so each artist signed their pieces and pictures were made of our masterpieces.

As the school year comes to a close, I am struck by the similarities of painting a personal masterpiece and my creating and facilitating lessons to help my students develop into better digital storytellers as well as confident communicators, collaborators, critical thinkers and creators.

When the year begins, each teacher sees their units of study but by the end of each day and each unit, they have added more to each masterpiece, their students. By year’s end, they have offered the tools and encouragement for each child to develop into a learner with more strategies and fluency than they had before the year started. It truly is an amazing journey to use the teaching tools that I know to promote deeper understanding and application of concepts. I am not an art teacher, but as a Technology Teacher, I guide students to become better at using digital tools to enhance proper communication and digital citizenship. It is quite amazing to see children progress and continue to develop as learners and to see their mind masterpieces!

It has been an amazing 25 years for me as a public school teacher in North Carolina. I know that I have not reached the end of my teaching career. In fact, I feel as if I am just getting started with promoting STREAM projects. I know though, that it is time to clean out and set Goals for the future. It is fitting to look at this school year as another masterpiece. I have included a picture of my finished painting masterpiece and a video with highlights from this school year!

 

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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!

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: