posted by Marita Diffenbaugh on Mar 13

Kim Miller and Marita Diffenbaugh were able to share in a special celebration for the Digital Learning Day awards that they earned with their students, today! Second, third, and fifth graders shared with Carol Scholtz, from the State Dept of Education for Idaho, all about the tools that they find most valuable. One the top five, was Discovery Education! One student said, “Discovery Education is a tool that helps us with all of the areas in school.” The students agreed that all teachers should share this tool with their classes!

posted by Marita Diffenbaugh on Jan 26

Recently my fifth graders used Create a Graph, to make graphs with a set of data. Students did screenshots of their graphs, and then uploaded them to our class Edmodo to share with each other. This was a great way to record and review our learning!

posted by Marita Diffenbaugh on Jan 10

This evening, while cleaning out my inbox, I found a treasure! Take a listen to: Jamaica Commas

One of my fifth grade students send me a short mini-lesson about commas, with his attempt at a Jamaican accent. Our class has been doing some world traveling through Skype, and the students are enjoying listening to the many types of accents. The kids were surprised to hear that other people around the world, think that they have accents too. This particular student worked quietly to edit his paper, during Writer’s Workshop. He must have finished early, grabbed an iPod and made this informative audio clip. Enjoy!

posted by Marita Diffenbaugh on Dec 28


The One and Only Ivan Global Book Reflections

Click the above link to see how fifth grade students in Star, Idaho used green screen, iMovie, and Discovery Education’s editable videos to create reflections from our global book read. We read The One and Only Ivan with many classrooms around the world. We were able to collaborate with students from down the hall, in Canada, and in Indonesia. We also had many discussions about theme, settings, characters, and other narrative elements through our Edmodo group. If you would like to read more about this Global Book Club, check out our webpage

posted by Marita Diffenbaugh on Oct 27

Preposition Pow Wow! Web Version

Kim Miller and I worked together to make a sweet digital story to teach about prepositions! We especially like the music! Our students are going to love to create their own digital stories! Maybe we can have groups of students focus on each part of speech: adjectives, adverbs, nouns, verbs etc.

posted by Marita Diffenbaugh on Oct 27

Some awesome multimedia tools were shared Day of Discovery with Kim Randall, today! – Upload photos and you can have audio recording and comments attached to these – You can also load videos – Let’s you upload an image and then it let’s you animate it and record a voice.  – Make up a blabberize –

Similar app to blabberize is FMM (Funny Movie Maker) – This is a free app for mobile devices – You can create an avatar and record a message.

posted by Marita Diffenbaugh on Oct 20

Educators in Star, Idaho enjoyed an incredible day of learning at the 2012 DEN Virt Con! Thank you to Dennis Grice for reminding us to keep our spark for learning! We were reminded to be aware of fire extinguishers within our practice.


What is a spark? A tool, a website, something that makes you want to spend a lot of time learning about this.


Quotes from Dennis that sparked some truth for us!


“If teaching isn’t fun, you aren’t doing it right.”


“You can tell that a teacher is sparking because they smile a lot.”


Watch out for fire extinguishers!

Fire Extinguishers No. 1 “My textbook is my curriculum.” Good teachers know that it is not about the book it is about the content. The book is just one resource. Find something that makes you spark to use!


Fire Extinguisher Number 2 – You don’t have to know the tool before you use the tool! Set the content requirements, make a rubric based on the content, not the technology and let the kids use the tools that work.


Fire Extinguisher No. 3 – “If at first you don’t proceed, give up.” How can we deal with failure? What if we use the failure as an opportunity to model to your students how this can be turned into a learning experience?



Keep the fire going! It is important to be able to share your success! How might we make time to share what we are doing with other educators?

posted by Marita Diffenbaugh on Oct 20

Porter Palmer shared some awesome tips with us this morning, at the Den Virt Con!

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” Henry Ford  –

Go to Free Teacher/Learner Resources on the home page of

– All are available before you log in! This will be great to share with others that do not have access to Discovery Education, yet.

  • Lesson Plans – You can sort by grade levels, and subject areas
  • Webinars

Next, we toured the many resources to be a “curator” of the resources that we find. will be the “curator” tool that I incorporate more. I plan on using Scoopit, for articles and other documents that I find online. or are bookmark tools that look beneficial for sorting website URLs.

A note-taking tool that will link to a variety of platforms is

Porter challenged us to throw out resources, or “clean out our tackle box” when we are not using them.

posted by Marita Diffenbaugh on Oct 20

Attending the Den Virt Con today with some incredible educators. We are all soaking in some incredible information from our Keynote speaker, Richard Byrne. Some highlights that have inspired me into action: Wall Wisher – This can be used during a whole group discussion. This is an alternative to, however, it allows for movements of the stickies that the comments are posted to.

Start a blog! I am looking at to make this happen for my students. We are going to start by posting, just once a week. We will write a response to our own independent books that we’re reading.

Incredible resources, Richard! Thank you!

posted by Marita Diffenbaugh on Sep 30

Fifth grade students are using the editable videos from Discovery Education as a backdrop for their narrative writing projects. Students are highly motivated to include adjectives, when they see themselves in the movie clip!


Each student wrote about a summer adventure, and then they searched for video clips that would be the best background for their narrative. We had students stand in front of a green screen, while sharing their narratives.  Some students chose to revise and edit, even more after watching their videos. This was a motivating journey through the writing process. We love the many new editable videos on Discovery Education!

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