Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Yummy Math

Yummy Math is a website designed to share mathematics problems and scenarios based on things happening in the world today. For example, the activity for November was based on Thanksgiving traditions.Yummy Math lists activities chronologically as well as by mathematics subject area. Two mathematics teachers, Brian Marks and Leslie Lewis, developed Yummy Math and welcome suggestions from other mathematics teachers. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

An Hour of Code

Computer Science Education Week is working with numerous partners to create and curate fantastic Hour of Code Activities for all age groups, with or without computers.  The introductory video gives just a snapshot of what students will do as they participate in the Hour of Code activities.  What a wonderful opportunity for our students to be engaged, collaborating, and creating!

Hour of code is an introduction to computer science designed to demystify code and show that anyone can learn the basics. The Hour of Code provides hour-long tutorials featuring Mark Zuckeberg, Bill Gates, Angry Birds, and Plants vs. Zombies -- for your computer, tablet or smartphone.

PD in your Pjs! YES PLEASE!

Safari Montage is hosting a Texas Users Online Training Day on 7 December 2013!  The online conference will run from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  Aside from getting to learn in your PJ's, the next best part of this conference is that the presenters are users just like you!  These are professionals serving children in districts and schools across our great state. Each presenter has wonderful 'just-in-time' information to share with you on topics such as: best practices for searching, moving into the digital world, and connecting your classroom, just to name a few.

As always, there is great information being shared on the Safari Montage HD Network.  If you are not already signed up on this network, why not sign-up today?  (http://www.safarimontagehdnetwork.com)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Keynote/Showbie Classroom Workflow

The Keynote/Showbie Classroom Workflow
(Mike Sammartano)

This is amazing for your student when they are creating and submitting presentations. The teacher creates a template presentation in Keynote and send it to the students using Showbie (free app and account). On the other hand, students will be able to get the file in their own Showbie account, open it in Keynote, edit it save it and send it back using Showbie. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Create & Grade Assignments with Google Forms

I know I post frequently about Google, and perhaps I should apologize for that. However, I'm not really sorry because Google just does some pretty cool things for teachers and students!
This week, I did a Flipped Classroom workshop with some teachers. They ranged from elementary up to high school. Since our our K-12 students all have Google accounts, I decided to focus on creating quizzes and assignments in Google Forms and how you can have them self-grade. The teachers all loved it. So, I thought I'd share it here.
If you have no clue what Google Forms are, check out this quick video summary.

To create a form from your Google Drive account:
  1. Click the red Create button, then Form.
  1. In the form template that opens, you can add any questions you'd like. You can also organize your form by adding headers and dividing your form into several pages.
  1. Should you need more help, check out this Google Support page: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2839737
Once you've shared your Form with students, parents, whomever, you can install a simple script Called Flubaroo in your responses spreadsheet.
  • From your Responses Spreadsheet, click Insert, and then Script.
  • In the window that appears, type Flubaroo in the search field.
  • Click Install. Then, authorize it by clicking Continue and then Accept.
Now that you've installed the Flubaroo Script, watch this brief demo of Flubaroo in action:

If you have any questions, please contact your campus technology integration specialist or facilitator. Don't know who that is? Ask your TIC or PTIC and they will :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Top Internet Safety Tips for Parents

Top Internet Safety Tips for Parents

  1. Talk with your child about Internet safety as soon as he/she begins using the Internet. It is never too early to start discussing the importance of being a good digital citizen.
  2. Use age-appropriate filtering, blocking and monitoring software on all Internet-enabled devices used by your child, including laptops, wireless phones and video games.
  3. Stay involved in your child’s online world by setting limits on his/her “screen time” and monitoring who your child is communicating with online. Get to know the web sites your child is visiting and educate yourself about your child’s online activities.
  4. Review FOSI’s Internet Safety Contract with your family members and consider having all family members sign the agreement.
  5. Explain to your child that he/she should never give out personally identifiable information online. For example, your child should understand that he/she should not post detailed information about his/her whereabouts.
  6. Make sure your child knows never to meet someone they met online face-to-face without first talking with you about the situation.
  7. Tell your child to never share their passwords with anyone, including friends. 
  8. Explain the consequences of posting inappropriate material online. For example, a child’s reputation can be impacted by a status entry or an image that is shared.
  9. Monitor your child’s mobile phone usage and review text messages sent and received, including images downloaded and uploaded.
  10. Educate yourself on the latest threats facing kids online (e.g., cyberbullying, sexting, etc.) and arm yourself with information that will allow you to talk to your child about being a good digital citizen.
Information Taken from: www.fasi.org 
Picture: http://family-home-evenings.com/2013/04/internet-safety-for-children/ 


Do not grade papers anymore, sign up for an acount and let your webcam do the grading.

Training tutorials: http://support.gradecam.com/home

Monday, November 4, 2013

#MysterySkype: Connecting the Classroom Globally!

Most people have used Skype with friends or loved ones. However, have you ever Skyped with a mystery person? How about a Mystery Class?

#MysterySkype is an educational game created by teachers that can teach numerous subject areas from mathematics to history! Challenge your students to work together as detectives, gather clues from another class, and solve a mystery. Can you say real-life problem solving at it's best?!?!?

Check out this adorable video showcasing how a 5th grade class uses Skype with geography. They happen to be #MysterySkype pros, having completed 30 different mysteries in less than six months.

So how do you get started?
STEP 1 - Find a class
STEP 2 - Arrange a Time
STEP 3 - Share Your Story

There are a ton of ways that you can 'play' a mystery skype and it will vary from classroom to classroom based on the needs of your curriculum. Here are a few ideas from the Skype in the Classroom website on what you could try:

  • Twenty Questions: Students in each class prepare a set of 20 questions and 5-10 clues for the other class before their call. The classes try to guess each other’s location by answering the questions and using additional clues for a little extra help. This can work well for your first Mystery Skype lesson and is a good way to improve your students’ knowledge of where they live. 
  • Yes or No Answers: Classes are only allowed to ask each other questions which will get a yes or no answer. The number of questions may be limited to 20 if you want an additional challenge. These lessons can be more spontaneous and require students to think on their feet as the questions aren't prepared in advance.
  • Mystery Skype Jobs: Some teachers have found that when students have specific responsibilities during a Mystery Skype lesson they work better as a team and the whole class becomes more engaged.
    These roles can include greeters, question keepers, Bing mappers, runners, bloggers, photographers, live tweeters, reporters, and anything else that works for your class. If you need some more ideas, teacher Pernille Ripp has put together a fantastic list on her blog of the jobs that her class has developed.