Letters Alive in Texas

Herman Lawson Elementary School in McKinney ISD spent the day showing off how kids are learning these days. Many of you may have heard of the term Augmented Reality. Well, that’s exactly what the kids are experiencing. Letters Alive is a letter learning program that uses flashcards with document style camera called a 3cam.  When the flashcards are placed under the camera, they truly come alive. As you can see in the picture below, the letter “g” becomes a giraffe when held under the camera. While this smile act seems really neat and excites the kids to learn, it becomes truly meaningful when the letters go into card sentences. Simple sentences with cards can be created such as The giraffe can swim. If the animal doesn’t agree he will shake his head no. You can also hold a video card over the sentence and a live video of a giraffe in the wild will show up and the students can see the animal in its own environment. This is especially helpful to those children with very little references to build on in their life. Holly Hammonds, the LMS at Lawson shows us how this technology is utilized effectively and how the kids learn with it.

Lawson was the first elementary school in the state of Texas to try out this software and really make it work for her school students. The implementation of this was so exciting for everyone involved, so much so that it sparked the attention of Good Morning Texas, CBS’s Morning show and ABC Dallas news. With so many exciting things in the works, Logical Choice and Letters Alive promise to be a company to watch!

 

 

Reflections of ISTE

What a great time Philadelphia was for all of the ISTE participants this week. As I reflect upon all of the keynotes and lessons and personal experiences I had while I was there, the most important thing I must say first, is what a great city. It was very interesting to experience the weekend first and how the city shifts from weekend tourists, to the daily hustle and bustle come monday morning. I felt like the conference went the same exact way. It was very casual learning and getting-to-know-you on the weekend and then on Monday morning, the true deep-down learning of the conference began.

On Saturday, we spent a fun-filled day of learning with Discovery Education, celebrating 6 years of friendships and fun. The Day of Discovery was held at the Science School in downtown Philadelphia. It’s always fun to visit another city, but even more so when you can get a feel for the real city life, as we did in our day of learning at this local campus. Because my year has been so focused on 1:1 learning with the handheld devices, I found the iPad discussion with Steve Dembo to be an awesome way to kick off the day. He always has a way of taking something fun and making it even more exciting… as do many of the DEN members.

I followed that up with a great talk on assessment with Kyle Schutt and then classroom fun with Glogster and more presented by Tracy Blazowski. Both presentations where enlightening, but I have to point out that Tracy had the whole class excited to jump into Google Earth and some of the projects she has already created. The day had many highlights, but my favorite was the opportunity to celebrate the DEN’s 6th birthday with many of the original members and with cupcakes from DC Cupcakes, which were flown in that morning.

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to celebrate the opening ceremonies with my McKinney ISD counterparts who were awarded with ISTE’s Innovative Classroom Project Award for their Maybelle the Cockroach Project. It was exciting to sit with all of ISTE’s award winners for the ceremony and celebrate what they are doing to improve education all over the world.

The classes on Monday where wonderful. I spent time listening to Will Richardson speak on 8 Shifts for Every Curriculum. I also went to a DELL Panel discussion where a group of middle school and high school students where asked a series of questions on how they felt about connected technology in education. I really enjoyed this session because the kids all spoke from their heart about technology in their daily lives. They expanded on how teachers can impact their student’s lives through meaningful uses of technology in and out of the classroom. I spent quite a bit of time during this day connecting with others and discussing successful projects of the past year and ideas for the future. It’s always fun to reflect and share with people in your district and with others from around the country.

I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight the fun that happened during the day on Monday. With the use of technology, people at the conference where able to find out about, learn and participate in ISTE’s first ever Flash Mob. I must admit, it was very cool. Although I signed up to participate, I decided to get there early and find a good vantage point to document the fun.

Tuesday was a fantastic morning. We had the honor of hearing Franklin Covey speak about 7 Principals of Highly Effective People and his new book A Highly effective Me. He shared his experiences from over the years and then delved into a particularly important experience that led to his new book. The new book focuses on how one school took those seven principals and incorporated them into their school. The school was able to turn what was a failing campus into one of the best schools in the state. The principal of the school then shared her experiences and also shared two of her students with us. The students spoke frankly about how these principals had transformed their school and their lives.

I also spent some time that day learning about different universities around the country with graduate programs that embed technology into their pedagogy. I look forward to one day taking on the challenge of getting my doctorate. It is interesting how much we as educational technology leaders want to keep learning in our field. It is also interesting that web-based Doctorate’s in Instructional Media or are almost non-existent. If you are out there… give me a tweet!

I attended several other talks during the week that included information on infographics, web 2.0 and more. I also had the opportunity to get locked out of several sessions due to popularity, but still followed along right outside the door thanks to the amazing people inside willing to stream the class through ustream.

The best parts of the week where those unexpected things that were slightly outside the box. I loved Polyvisions Cool Zone outside where they kindly served free snow cones to all who dared the great outdoors. The students digital light show on the side of the building during the evening was definitely amazing for all who happened by it. Happening upon glio, who was secretely painting their logo in chalk all the way around the city on Tuesday night was pretty cool too. My favorite part though was the last morning which celebrated our districts personal success.

Its an awesome experience when you can share a passion with so many people that are right there in your own district. On Wednesday morning, me and my counterparts, with Mary Carole Strother at the helm, led a sell-out crowd into the world of Maybelle the Cockroach and web 2.0. It was a fantastic opportunity to share the things that our district has done with others who might find it a great future project for themselves. Although, the model classroom can get very noisy and is in constant motion, I can assure you it was a great learning experience for almost everyone that attended. Some even got their own little cockroach to take home.

As I sit on the plane now and reflect upon what I learned this week, I’d have to say I am walking away with one slogan. “Either move over or buckle up because educational change is coming and it’s coming at light speed.” Education is starting to receive its first make-over since the industrial age. The Flat Classroom is taking over and I think this is going to be good.

Education Twevolution

Yesterday, Region 10 had their 2011 Technology Conference. At the beginning of the conference, it was announced that the twitter #hashtag for the conference would be #r10tech. As I typed in my first twitter post with the hashtag, I heard those around me asking what a hashtag was and I even heard one person say, “Twitter?” I stopped writing for a moment and pondered the thought and then finished my post. After writing it, I started to think about the sharing of information and how I read my “feeds” quite regularly. I learn from my PLN (personal learning network) and from users of hashtags every day. I’m not sure I would know half as much if it weren’t for the millions of twitter and facebook junkies around the world sharing information as I do on a daily basis. So, why isn’t everyone doing it? As I learned from Alan November last week, “You don’t know what you don’t know until someone that knows shares it with you.” Today I am going to share what I know with you.

I have been on Twitter for 3 years and I have learned a lot since then. First, I have learned that twitter is a fantastic place to share stuff you’ve learned, to learn stuff you don’t know, and to share timely information that may be of utmost importance to many people. I’m sure we could make a list of a million reasons why using twitter is great, but these are my top three. Last week, one of the administrators in my school district sent out an e-mail asking all of the administrators in the district to get twitter accounts if they didn’t have one already, and to follow him. I was thrilled that we were moving in this direction. I am thrilled that many have taken his advice and gotten themselves an account. What I’d like to do now is actually give a little bit of information to help my co-workers accept twitter as a destination they should frequent regularly and to guide them through best practices.

If you haven’t ever seen Kathy Schrock’s Guide on twitter, you ought to take a moment to look at it and all of the many links that she shares on there related to education. She has a comprehensive slideshow that delves into every part of twitter and all of the specifics on what you need to know. The most important thing she covers though to me is the associated software that I use frequently called tweetdeck. If you are getting started with twitter and really want to get the most understanding of why people use it, get tweetdeck. You will understand the amazing amount of knowledge being shared within minutes and you will be hooked!

When you download tweedeck, it will provide you with several preset twitter feeds including the feeds of those you are following. What it also does is it allows you to use searchable terms to find other people talking about things you may want to know about. An example would be the hashtag used at region 10′s tech conference. You can add columns to your tweetdeck by pressing the plus sign at the top left and then in the search box of the new column, type in a search tag. To read the conference attendees posts, you would type in r10tech. Your new column would be a scrolling look at all of the posts being typed in during the conference that included that hashtag.  You can add and delete columns as you want. You will quickly see how incredibly helpful this is as you grow into your twitter account. At Alan November’s Conference on Friday, he told us that if we used tweetdeck to type in the word Egypt and watch what happens. I was amazed. That hashtag produces tweets every second. It moves so fast at times that it is hard to read.

The other cool thing about tweetdeck is that you can make groups out of those you are following to make people easier to follow. This is the part that I think will be most helpful to all of the new users in my district. If district individuals create groups, they can follow their own personal friends in one group and their district friends in another group. This feature helps me to process things easier. By doing this, I can also change my settings so that I get an alert on my desktop when a co-worker tweets and I can get very timely information in a very timely manner. I don’t always have time to go read tweets, but I do have time to read alerts when they are specific to a small group. If you have some time, go out and search for tweetdeck tutorials on youtube. There are plenty to get you well on your way. Make sure and check the dates of the videos, some of them may provide great information but may also be slightly outdated as far as the software goes.

I hope this small bit of information will entice you to go out and learn more about twitter, tweetdeck and creating your own Personal Learning Network. It’s a great thing and will definitely enhance your daily learning experience. In fact, so many people are taking on this learning experience in education that I am afraid it may cause an education twevolution!

What’s all the excitement @ McKinney ISD?

Like many typical medium size communities, McKinney ISD holds a good school district rating in the state of Texas with a Recognized status. The town of McKinney was named by Money Magazine this year as one of the top 5 places to live in America, and it really does have a wonderful small town atmosphere. The school district, like many others across Texas, is downsizing to meet budget demands, but doing so in a very thoughtful way so that the effects in the classroom are minimal. The one thing that is not downsizing though is McKinney’s push to improve education for every unique individual that comes through the school house doors.

With several technology pilot programs going on in the district this year, MISD isn’t known for waiting around to see what works for other people. MISD is known as an innovator. Because of the success of the technology pilot programs this year and because of the confidence our administrators have with the leadership throughout the educational community, MISD felt it a great time to move forward with an elementary Title 1 one-to-one (1:1) program. Eight of the 21 Elementary schools in McKinney ISD are Title 1 schools and will be participating in this 1:1 initiative called simply the Apple Initiative or A.I. The term 1:1 refers to the concept that each child will have a device at their disposal. In this case, the devices will either be ipod touches, ipads or Macbooks.

When venturing into such a huge program in unchartered territory, it is customary to do months, if not years, of planning. This however came on quickly. With Title 1 funds available at the right time and with the overwhelming need to update computer infrastructure on so many campuses, the timing couldn’t be better. MISD is ready. Knowing that this program is about to set sail, the Instructional Technology Team and the Curriculum and Instruction Team have started to prepare together.

The question is, what is there to prepare for in getting started with a large scale 1:1? To be honest, the leadership group, deemed the iTeam, is learning as we go. There  isn’t really any data for elementary ipad programs and limited examples for 1:1 ipod touch programs in elementary. Not only do we lack examples to follow, but those seven campuses will be transitioning from HP teacher desktops to teacher Macbooks and will also be introduced to 1:1 learning almost simultaneously. At this point, no one in the district even uses Macs, except for niche classes. This is going to be a fun challenge! Amazingly there isn’t a soul on the iTeam that is not up for the challenge and we certainly aren’t backing down because of our lack of knowledge. So off we go.

A lot of things happened this week and I hope to get to them in the third blog, but for now I want to cover where we have been in the last two months in blog number 2. I am sharing this information in hopes that others will find it useful in preparing for similar projects. From my research, there is limited blogging about getting started from inside district walls. I have been given the green light to share away and so I plan to do just that. I plan to walk you through, week by week, all of the ins and outs of rolling out the AI project. Of course, please don’t think this is limited to just Apples. That is the platform we are using, but I can guess that many other platforms will be used in very similar ways. Join me for this incredible journey as we push to improve student engagement and learning. It should be a fun one!

TCEA’s Google Academy

Opening Session:
The morning of the TCEA Google Academy, the presenters opened with a short presentation about how it all came about. This type of academy had apparently never been done before at TCEA and when they listed it, the class sold out within a very short amount of time. With some work, they expanded the original numbers by fifty and again it was sold out immediately. So, much to their chagrin, they expanded the size several more times and maxed out their capacity. What a great feeling! Not only did this make them feel special, but those of us who registered and were able to attend also felt very lucky. I, personally was pumped up to learn everything the presenters had prepared. As a gmail user and a google doc user, I knew that they had many more items to share with me and I couldn’t wait. Google certainly didn’t let me down. The day was anything but dull. I learned as much that day as I do during a normal TCEA convention and I look forward to sharing it with everyone back at my district. The following are some of the presentations I went to and a link to their presentation or the main highlights of what they shared with the room:

Google Apps In The Classroom: 50 ways in 50 minutes
Presentation: https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AamxQwonmemnZGZzOTM4dzZfMzJndmhkZzU3Yg&hl=en
Presenters Blog: http://friedtechnology.blogspot.com/
cool site of her presentation: http://www.aviary.com

Educating in the Cloud with Google Apps:
This session was all about creating a Google Doc Cloud for your district. If you don’t know what that means, it is basically making google your e-mail provider and document creator etc for your district in a private setting that protects the employees and students from outsiders.
https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AamxQwonmemnZGZzOTM4dzZfMzFkd2N3dmNkYw&hl=en

The Ins and Outs: Preparing for the Google Certification Test
This is the one that I was most interested in and got a lot of information out of to take home with me. Google Certification is a simple way for you to make yourself an expert on Google. By studdying their premade study guides and taking the exams and then submitting some additional infromation, Google will stamp you as certified. This is by no means an easy certification. Many in the presentation and even outside of the presentation said that it took them a lot of study time and several testing opportunities to actually pass the test. I am personally already studying and can’t wait to finish the process successfully. The following is a link to the blog containing all of the information and certification:
http://ht.ly/3RURI

Going Google:
Although I didn’t attend this session, I did get several great tips through the twitter feed and I wanted to share them. 
http://ht.ly/3RBsR
http://www.buzztouch.com/pages/

Mastering the Information Age with Google:
This session was very cool to me because it was all about the neat features of google that can go unnoticed outside of Google Docs and Gmail.
-Google Squared – A very cool tool that provides automatic comparisons of subjects within a chart. Go see one of the examples and be amazed. Make sure to add some categories and see the true magic of the product. This is a great tool to teach source reliability. You can even builds your own tables.
-Advanced Search You can search by types of documents, reading level, language and so  much more. Just click on Advanced Search under the google search box.
-Wonderwheel  - helping process a huge topic into a bubble map
-Image Swirl – like wonderwheel but a bubble map of pictures. Just type in your subject and see what appears.
-m.google.com – talk into it to do a vocal search
-googlesms – can search message query to 466453
-soople.com – easy expert search through google. its a shortcut search
igoogle – customize your own google page
google reader - googles own book storage system similar to kindle or nook

Closing Session:
The closing session was done by Jaime Casap, Google Education Evangelist (Twitter: @jcasap). I found a great recap of his session on SandyK’s blog, so I am going to share the link with you. I do want to add that he certainly inspired the room. He truly did leave us with a great feeling and if he and his kids are the face for google, I can’t wait to jump in and become a google expert.

In all, the day was awesome. I learned so much and just knowing that they had to expand and add speakers at the last minute to pull it all off made it that much better. I can totally see creating a google academy for my district and sharing the knowledge I learned on this day. Thank you Google for a great learning experience.

Fractions for Fun? Check out this App

If you have ever struggled with learning or teaching fractions, or tried to think of the many multitude of ways to look at fractions, have I got the game for you. Motion Math is a fun interactive game that allows students to learn fractions in a engaging and interactive way.

As an adult playing a student’s game, Motion Math made me think. It truly tested my understanding of how fractions, decimals, pictorial representations of fractions and how number lines actually work. The way it works is simple. A ball, looking like the sun, falls from the sky and you as the player have to lean your device to one side or the other to have that ball, with it’s fraction, fall on the correct location on the number line.

A student will have to have a basic understanding of fractions and decimals in order to play this game. Although I think early learners of fractions could get a lot out of this App, I personally think this is an App that would help solidify understanding. I can see teachers doing a high score challenge and or having students try to to beat their own high scores for class cash.

I look forward to any updates that allow students to start from where they left off. I played several times and had to start from the beginning each time. The game went on for quite sometime and I never got to an ending point. I really liked that it was tiered in difficulty. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any harder they changed the number line so that zero was not the beginning, it was actually a negative number. It made you think even more because then the fractions where coming across as negative and positive fractions, so as to confuse your mind a little more.

Overall, I love this app. I actually think it is one of the better math Apps I have played with over the past few years. I do think it has some room to improve, but as a teacher and a parent, 99 cents for this App is definitely worth the money. My 4th grader thought it was really cool and it definitely challenged him to clear the cobwebs and put all of his learning into motion in a fun way. If you are a teacher or parent in the need for a good fractions app, this would be a great edition to your math tools.

Glogster’s in Discovery Builder Tools

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending and presenting  at Discovery’s Tech or Treat Virtual Conference. Sixty two people from McKinney and the surrounding areas got together to watch the virtual conference and learn from some of the best around the country. In addition to the great virtual sessions, several of us did in person sessions to meet the needs of our teachers. It was a fantastic day filled with Discovery, Glogsters, Wikis, VoiceThread and more.

 At the start of the day, we had teachers learning about Glogster for the first time and some taking a more advanced lesson approach. The teachers had hands on time to play and develop their own page for display. The second live session was filled with Newbies to Wikis. The teachers were able to create their first Wiki and by the end of class most were already posting their glogster right in the page.

The rest of the day concentrated on Discovery’s Builder Tools. Discovery’s virtual classroom has come a long way over the years and every time they update it, it feels like it can’t get any better. As we played and learned about building a class and assignments, the teachers were enlightened on the possibilities of what could be a great tool for individualized learning in their classroom.

As the day came to a close, we could hear the loud hum of all of our brains on overload…oh wait, it was the area tornado sirens going off. So we ended the day on an exciting note, jammed in a closet watching on a tiny laptop as the rest of the world carried on the conference oblivious to our reality. We certainly wouldn’t have had it any other way.

It was a great day for everyone who attended in McKinney and around the world. Discovery does it right again and again and the teachers who volunteer their time to go to these events know exactly what I mean, whether it was your first event or you 51st event. Thank you to all of the speakers for a great day in McKinney and across the country.

Additional Notes:
Visit our Wiki and enjoy the resources we were able to compile for this great day!

There’s an App for that… Discovery Style

As a Discovery user for years, I would have never guessed that I could be any more excited about where Discovery is headed. I am a fan of all things discovery and believe that they do many things right! And guess what? They have stepped up and knocked it out of the park again! Discovery’s new Mobile website has suddenly stopped me in my tracks and made me rethink the way Discovery is being used in the classroom.

If I took a snapshot in time of most people using Discovery today, I would guess the a large majority of them would be showing a video. A very small portion, unfortunately, would be utilizing the additional tools from Discovery to engage those students further on the video’s content. I see this changing with the new Mobile App from Discovery.

Imagine if you will, a classroom where students are given an ipad and told to write an essay on Christopher Columbus. If you are like most, you see an ipad for reading and searching, playing games and chatting with friends… not researching, writing and taking a test. Discovery is changing the game. Your students can be assigned a project. Within that project, they will have the assigned video to watch, the assignment they need to complete with links etc., the writing prompt they are to use to create their essay and the test they are to take upon completion of all of their research. With a little bit of time on the back end, a teacher can create and establish a virtual classroom where the class becomes student led and teacher facilitated. Although Discovery has not released the full version of this application, it will be out before Thanksgiving and will give teachers a lot to look at during their break.

So now I know your wondering what is available. Well, its pretty amazing to look at when you first sign in to the site. It is a totally different look than the main website and with good reason. Discovery created this Mobile App to be geared toward the students. So upon login, the user sees simplified links to subject matter relevant to the classroom, like Language Arts, Mathematics and more. If the user clicks on one of those subject matters, a window flips open to break down that subject into smaller more specific topics and in parenthesis tells how many videos are related. If you click on one of the links in that window it brings you to a somewhat recognizable search page where you can drill down to the best match, most popular or recently added materials. You can also do a search specific to your needs on this page or use the left hand navigation to drill down even more as well.

When you decide on the appropriate video, you can click and watch immediately with no lag time. You will notice that just under the video you can view the video info, the segments, related materials, citations and where applicable, what series its in. The best part is once you start the video you can use your first two fingers to spread the video and fill the whole screen. The video can be watched any way you turn the ipad. It also can be paused, or you can fast forward and rewind it to fit your needs. It’s Discovery at its best.

My favorite part of this application is the part that is soon to come. Discovery’s version 2 will include the teacher center where students can retrieve and complete their assignments right there on their device. Discovery is even working to bring this to Android devices as well as ipod touches, iphones and more. If you don’t have an ipad or similar device yet, you can take a moment to view what is available on your regular computer by visiting the mobile site in your browser.

For those of you who love the Discovery Science product, your time will come. Discovery is working with Apple and others to come up with a solution to work around the flash issue on the iPad. Currently all of Discovery’s interactive labs are created in Flash and will not show on an Apple device, but there is hope that the future will bring good things here as well. Keep your chin up and look to the future.

Things just got a lot brighter with Discovery Mobile, just look and see!

DEN Summer Institute

There is so much to say about our amazing Summer Institute in Boston this year. If you didn’t get to go, I strongly recommend you submit an application to attend next year. There were many things to talk about outside of the conference topics, the most popular discussions were related to the unending stairs at Bentley University and the shared meals with our fellow DEN mates in the Bentley dining hall. Those topics both made us laugh and cry throughout the week and they will forever leave a happy, laughable memory for all of us. But even better, were the friendships we made in the dining hall and while scaling the great stairwells of our home for 6 days and 5 nights.

Check out the Symposium Video made before the Summer Institute. It got us all pumped up!

Bentley was an amazingly beautiful backdrop (similar to Mt. Everest for many of us), to the best teacher conference I have attended this year. When we arrived, we were given the opportunity to break into smaller groups and get to know people we may not have spent time with otherwise. The dynamics in my group were amazing. We really had a lot of fun together helping one another with our projects and encouraging each other in the day-to-day activities.

The first day, we spent time listening to the activities set before us for the week. Afterwards, we enjoyed a grilled feast at the top of Mt. Bentley. The best part of the dinner was the gift exchange where we each brought a gift from our home state to share with another random person in the room. What a great opportunity to connect with others. The coolest gift I saw was a children’s book written by the exchangee: Mary Carol Strothers from McKinney, TX. She even signed the book for the person who received it. Now, how fun is that!

On Monday, we had a meeting in the morning and got to see the roll out of Discovery’s updated tools. We had a very exciting look at Discovery’s My Builder Tools. If you have never looked at these, the tools are pretty amazing. The best part now is the ability to quickly and easily add Discovery products to your assignments. Whereas before they were a little difficult and confusing to navigate for some The changes have made it almost intuitive. Take a few minutes to look it through, I think you will be amazed at what you can create for your students in any subject! After this amazing presentation, we scaled down Mt. Bentley and headed off to Boston.

Boston is such an amazing city. I came with several DEN Stars a few days early to see things outside of the city and was so impressed. I would go back there again if given the opportunity. There is just so much to see! Discovery took us to Fenway Park to see it close and personal. It was very Green. Second, we visited Cheers. It was a really neat location just across from the Swan Boats. The coolest part of this stop… everyone knew my name. Third, we got to go to Quincy Market and shop around for an hour. This is the location of the second Cheer’s, an outdoor shopping market and many fantastic food shops. This is a very cool place to visit at meal-time. Our final stop was the most amazing. It was Fablevision. Fablevision is the brainchild of Peter and Paul Reynolds. Peter is known for his artistic abilities found in Judy Moody, Stink, Ish, which he wrote, and many other cool things. We had dinner at their offices and then spent some time with him and his brother and several staff members. I would recommend looking into their products, they are great for all ages.

On day 3, we spent the morning with Lodge McCammon. Oh wow! I was introduced at breakfast to Lodge and was mesmerized the rest of the day. He is the nutty professor mixed with Weird Al. He has an amazing way to look at things simply and make them funny and memorable. Lodge’s music is now featured on Discovery Education and is sure to inspire your kids to learn. Oh, and the lesson on paper airplanes was icing on the cake.

The night was rounded off with AmeriDEN Idol. AmeriDEN Idol is a time to share cool tips and tricks with your fellow DEN mates and is made entertaining by the amazing panel of judges.

On day 4 and 5, we started the learning sessions called Deep Dive. During this workshop we had many opportunities to learn including Glogster-mania, Edmodo, Google Extras, Prezi , 25 free things on Discovery Education and Ipad in the classroom. All were fabulous according to attendees and each provided some unique learning opportunities. We spent the evening of Day 4 with the amazing leaders at Glogster who threw us a fun pink and green ice cream party. The evening of Day 5 was unbelievable! We had a karaoke party at camp base alpha (the dining hall) with the theme “Movie Stars”. We were serenaded by Burt Reynolds, Lady Gaga, Lucille Ball and many more. I was very impressed by the outfits!

On the last day we spent the morning sharing the projects each of us developed throughout the week. While most of them were simply amazing, there were several that deserved Emmy nominations. Check this one out! I hope that our experiences at Mt. Bentley University not only start a new chapter in Discovery’s teacher content section, but inspire others to not only become DEN Stars, but become active educators in their own school district.

Fun with Math

So yesterday, I started to research new and exciting sites that include math activities for students to practice their skills at home. What I found is that in just two years, the games and websites have multiplied ten-fold. I was very impressed with the games and ended up challenging myself to a few. What I found was with a little practice, and a few games I was able to brush up on my math skills. It’s just like riding a bike…

http://www.fun4thebrain.com/

http://www.abcya.com/

http://www.gamequarium.com/

http://www.multiplication.com

 I know therer are a ton of good sites and I welcome you to share them with me in the comments. These are just a couple of the best ones I found in an afternoon search. I hope your kids enjoy them!