Monthly Archives: November 2012

GCSD Student Teacher Workshop

Student Teacher MI and Technology Projects

My advice to student teachers as you begin your teaching career is to provide opportunities for students to use technology and design projects that relate to the real world and their interests. Immerse your students in a 21st Century Classroom where they will create, think critically, collaborate, and communicate through student projects that are real-world relevant based on Common Core standards-driven curriculum.

Establish procedures and routines immediately. Reinforce and practice them every day for 6-10 weeks or more. Begin talking about Multiple Intelligences on Day 1 of school and explain how each of us is gifted with special talents and “smarts”. Interview and get to know your students and learn their strengths. Build relationships with students that are positive and caring. Social Emotional learning is crucial to a successful classroom. “Emotion drives attention which drives learning, memory, problem solving, and just about everything else.” –Robert Sylwester

Use the laptops, computer labs, media center, iPads as much as possible. Check out equipment, sign up for the laptop cart or lab every day, don’t let the technology at your school be under utilized. .

Plan well and work with other teachers as much as possible. It is crucial that you share ideas and resources. This will make life as a teacher much richer and more enjoyable. Good luck with your career!

Early Childhood iTeach Cafe

iTeach Cafe Agenda and Workshop

Part 1: Camera Tool,  Photos, and Videos
Detailed instructions are found in the iPad manual above in Chapters 9 and 10.
Video instructions are found in Chapter 12.

Part 2: Uploading Photos and Videos to Computer
Use the USB Power Cord to transfer photos from iPad to computer.

Part 3: Syncing with iTunes
Install iTunes on your computer first. itunes Download instructions are found here.  Go to Page16, Chapter 2 for more information.

Part 4: DropBox
Video Tour of DropBox

Part 5: Guided Access Video

Guided Access step-by-step with pictures guide

GCSD iPad Blog: Early Childhood Apps

15 Basic Tips:

Quality of Teaching Improves with Testing Feedback

Professor Dylan William has found that in the classrooms of the best teachers, students learn at twice the rate they do in the classrooms of average teachers- they learn in six months what students taught by the average teachers take a year to learn. And in the classrooms of the least effective teachers, the same learning will take two years. He also found that students who were from disadvantaged backgrounds learned just as much as those from advantaged backgrounds if they were in the most effective teachers’ classrooms. Also, the students who suffered from behavioral problems all learned as much as those without.

I have found by using Edmodo quizzes and activexpressions or activotes for formative assessment that I really can see who “gets it” and who doesn’t. It is the perfect opportunity for me to analyze the test results with the students. It gives us the chance to talk about the answers they missed and why they thought that. It allows students to discuss and present their point of view. Every time I retest after one of these discussions, the students always do better. They remember the answers they missed the first time and do much better. I tell them that we all learn from our mistakes in all areas of our life, not just on tests and assessments.

Research from Promethean compared 3 types of assessments:

20 questions on paper, 20 questions on Activexpressions 1 and 20 questions on Activexpressions 2:

1. Paper test took 20 minutes to complete and peer mark, teacher didn’t have time  to complete the analysis before class was over.

2. Self-paced AE 1 took 10 minutes to complete while some only took 5 minutes. The results were analyzed and feedback was immediate because it was electronically graded.

3. Self-paced AE 2 took 5 minutes to complete, some in 3. Analysis and feedback was immediate.

My advice is to use your Activexpressions, activotes, laptops with Edmodo, iPads with Edmodo or activengage to assess your students, provide instant feedback, and analyze results. Teach your students to explain their thinking, argue their case and discuss their ideas.  You will improve learning in your classroom: Guaranteed!


Today I am showing some iPad Apps to the Greenville County Science Teachers Association at Roper Mountain Science Center.  The links for wonderful websites, livebinders, and apps will be posted on this blog site.

GCSTA Fall Newsletter 2012 (2)

STEM Livebinder Apps and Websites

November Calendar 2012  Websites and Apps for STEAM

My favorite apps for STEAM:

Science 360
Curiosity School

Paid Apps:
Comic Life
National Geographic
Frog Dissection


Students Creating: Common Core is Coming

Five Things Every Teacher Should Do

  • lead high-level, text-based discussions
  • focus on process, not just content
  • create assignments for real audience with real purposes
  • teach argument, not persuasion  ( we need to do more of this)
  • increase text complexity and focus on academic vocabulary

I see teachers and students at Welcome Elementary implementing these Common Core Components as their students create using their iPads. They are also learning keyboarding skills and how to collaborate using Edmodo in the computer lab. It is amazing what these students can do because of the high expectations of their teachers and administration!

iPads, Edmodo, and Students Creating at Welcome on PhotoPeach

Westcliffe Elementary students in Ms. Black’s class were learning a poem about soup, so we integrated math by adding soup ingredients using the iPad.

Click here to see our lesson adding vegetable soup. Show Me Lesson

If you have laptops or a computer lab, start using that technology to motivate your students to research and create. 2 great resources to use with your students are SCDiscus and Instagrok. I would link these sites to my web page or blog and let students explore topics they are interested in, visit the websites, games, etc…. that correlate to the standards they are researching. Give students choices about how they will present their knowledge:  Using the iPad, creating a digital story with voicethread, creating a voki, making a tagxedo, designing a flipchart, upload to Edmodo, are great ways to display and publish student work for a real audience.

Click here to see our adding using a few of my favorite things.