Wow! I can’t believe it’s that time of year again! I love the “Tech or Treat” that is put on by Discovery Education every year. This year, I’ve extended invitations to the surrounding schools in the city and rural areas to attend in person at my school. Our staff are really looking forward to the event. We even have our group costume figured out! I can’t wait!!
The Gr. 3-9′s all participated in the Live Interactive Wellness Webinar With New York Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez presented by the GENYOUth Foundation and Discovery Education on Sept. 27th. The students had a great time “warming up” with Mark and then listening to him talk about leading a healthy lifestyle. The class asked some amazing questions and most of them were answered during the presentation. Their favourite part was learning that they can easily start exercising with a friend by going up to them and saying, “Tag! You’re it!” Thanks for a fantastic webinar!
On Friday of last week (the 16th), 4 classes at our school participated in the Sharks: Myth vs. Reality webinar (Gr. 2-9). The students loved learning about sharks, following the live chat, and watching the video clips. Then afterwards, we found a Myth vs. Reality video in Discovery Streaming that we watched.
And now, wowzers!, I am preparing for a busy week! Monday and Tuesday will be spent attending a PD Conference in town. Here is where I’ll be passing out posters to all of the other schools in the city to invite them to my school to attend the Discovery Education Tech or Treat!!
Then on Thurs., I’ll be attending a principal’s meeting to showcase Mathletics at our school. I really hope that our District will embrace this amazing resource into all of our schools!
Fri. morning we will be Skyping with 2 classrooms. One to collaborate on the Global Read Aloud project that starts Monday, and the other is a partner class that we’ve connected with through Skype in the Classroom. In the afternoon is our Terry Fox Run. The kids always have a blast participating in this amazing event!
Ready, steady, go!
Wow! The first 3 days have come and gone. *smile* What a great start to a new year! I’ve set up my students with “Gamification” additions and they are loving it!! My “Flip-a-card” chart has turned into a +10 bonus xp board.
Homework and “I’m done, what’s next?” activities are awarded with xp, they have options to practice the objective learned, and the badges on Edmodo are a lot of fun to award and create. We had an excellent discussion about bullying, shared stories, and then watched some videos on DEd that talk about accepting differences. They really enjoyed watching them and it was a great addition to our discussion.
We’re also set up to join the Global Read Aloud project this term. We have our wiki, Twitter, and Skype set up to share and collaborate with others who are participating.
This term is going to be amazing!
Back to school in 10 days! I’m so excited to get back into the classroom and try out a few great ideas that I’ve learned about over the summer. I wish I could do them all! I’ve signed up for the Global Read Aloud project, which is a first for me and my students. I’m looking forward to collaborating and sharing via Edmodo, Skype, and Twitter. I’ve also connected with numerous teachers through Skype in the Classroom, so that we’ll have many classrooms to collaborate on different projects, or to be pen pals with. I’m also going to attempt some gamification strategies in my classroom. So much to look forward to!!
On Wed., Aug. 3, Cynthia Brown started our DEN Summer School with a look at Digital Storytelling. From her presentation I learned that you can make a story from a song, editable videos from DE, using sound effects, and by pooling images.
Next was Rita Mortensen. I learned from her presentation about all the neat things that Moviemaker, Photopeach, and Photostory3 can do! She also shared her Life Science Documentary project. I hope to be able to use the resources she shared with us in this upcoming year!
Then Mike Bryant did a presentation on Science and DE. He walked us through virtual labs, Science Sleuths, the Interactive Glossary, Science simulations and so much more! I will definitely be able to spruce up my science lessons with all of this!
On Thursday, Matt Monjan showcased a lot of resources that can be used for Digital Storytelling. My favourite to learn about was audiopal.com. Text is read aloud and can be embedded into assignments!
Then, Kathy Schrock did a presentation on Twitter. This for me was an entirely brand new subject. I never really was interested in Twitter until Kathy’s presentation. She explained the vocabulary, the pros to having an account, how one can grow their PLN (personal learning network), and then shared websites with resources about Twitter. After this presentation, I signed up for Twitter!
To end these 4 days of Summer School, Brad Fountain shared with us a presentation on “Effective Evaluation with DE”. It was great! The one thing I took away from his presentation that I hope to do a lot of this year is using exit slips.
It was an amazing, info-packed, collaborative-filled, and so very helpful webinar series! Thanks to the DEN and all of the presenters!
The DEN has done it again! I’m 3 weeks away from school starting, and I’m already thinking about all the new and wonderful tools that I have learned about and can use in school this year during the past 2 days attending the Summer School webinars…and there are still 2 more days!!!
On Monday, Lindsay Hopkins started things off with a presentation about Digital Storytelling. We learned about the amazing tools that are at a teacher’s disposal: MovieMaker, PhotoStory 3, LittleBirdTales, Storybird, Stykz, Voicethread, and so many more! I also learned from a teacher in the chat window that, “kids like to use the free program Pivot to create animations”. I’ll definitely be checking that out!
Our second presenter was Dean Mantz on LiveBinders. I’d heard about LiveBinders in other webinars, but never have I been given such an amazing walkthrough of the program! As Dean was talking I signed up for an account, created a binder, and was fooling around with adding pictures, websites, videos, and more. I LOVE it! I’m looking forward to creating and learning more about this tool.
Our last presenter on Monday was Patti Duncan and she talked about Science! What a plethora of resources she had! Scribd, LabOutLoud, Pete’s PowerPoint Station, BrainPOP, PhET, the list went on and on and on! I think that Yippy will have to be the one tool that I learned from Patti and will be using and teaching my students to use the most this year. What a great search engine!
The first presenter today was Porter Palmer. She too talked about Digital Storytelling, but again, there were additional resources that I’ve never heard of and weren’t touched upon yesterday! 50+ ways to tell a story, Voki, Posterous, StoryJumper, and then additional sites added by the teachers in chat: Professor Garfield (my addition), StoryRobe, and Tripline (to name a few).
Kyle Schutt presented second about Assessment tools – “Checking for Understanding in a Virtual World”. A lot of us in chat shared that we weren’t too keen on assessment, but Kyle provided us with many amazing tools that would assist us. Quizlet, Google Docs and Form creations, Widgit embedding into DE’s assignment builder, Wall Wisher, Edmodo, and more were discussed as to how they can be used to help teachers specifically with Formative assessments.
He shared a quote with us that gives a great analogy:
“Formative assessments are to summative assessments as physical exams are to autopsies.” – Doug Reeves
Our third presenter was Lance Rougeux – “Science, Literacy, and the Kitchen Sink”. I think the tool that I will have the most fun using this year is going to be Crappy Graphs. I have so many great ideas that I’d like to try and use this for. We also took a look at the new Student Center, Stem Connect, and all of the amazing resources available to teachers on DE without even logging in!
I’m really looking forward to the next 2 days to see what else I can learn from all of the amazing presenters!
As a member of the DEN, teachers in SK have been invited to meet with the Discovery Education Canada team who will be in Saskatoon for the IT Summit May 9-10th. Tom Metuzals (Regional Director), along with Hall Davidson, the Director of Professional Development and one of the foremost speakers on innovation in the classroom will be there!
I met Hall at DENSI in Boston, so I talked it up with the other DEN members from my school. 6 of us will be going to dinner!
I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone. I’ll update after Monday night!
Monday night was so much fun! Myself and 3 other teachers from my school were able to make it to the dinner with DEN Canada team, Hall Davidson, and teachers from other parts of Saskatchewan who were attending the IT Summit. The food was great, the conversation even better, and we were all able to walk away with something valuable. After speaking with one of the teachers, I was able to snag up a few URL’s to programs that she uses in her classroom, and examples of finished projects. I can’t wait to check them out and use them myself. Thanks Tom for such a great evening! We definitely need to have more of these get-togethers!
This is awesome! A new website that I learned how to use and I am now Symbaloo Certified!
I LOVE this site! I’ve only just started to use it, so my created webmixes aren’t all that and a bag of chips.
But, the students love being able to go to ONE site to get all of the URL’s that they need to complete their computer
assignments instead of having to bring a notebook with them to class.
2 thumbs up!!
Wowzers! Thanks to the DEN, teachers felt especially appreciated this week.
Monday, DEN STARS were gifted with a prize package from Avery.
Tuesday, we were given the opportunity to check out the DE Science Techbook.
Wednesday, PhotoPeach Premium for 12 months!
Thursday, access to Scoop.It’s beta site, and a draw for 3 prizes from: Label Daddy, Animation-ish, and Splashtop Remote.
To finish off the week on Friday, DEN Mystery Packs for prize winners!
An absolutely amazing week! I look forward to next year!