Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hummingbirds and Photography - A Great Combination

Summer vacation has given me a little more time to be fascinated with the hummingbirds that frequent our backyard feeder. For months I have watched them from my kitchen window, and have stood next to their feeder to take pictures. As I've gotten closer and closer to these little creatures, I have gained their trust and can now feed them by hand. The most fascinating things for me are to feel the breeze on my hand as they drink from the tiny handheld feeder, and to feel their tiny feet as they perch on my hand.

I made a video today that shows the hummingbirds drinking from the handfeeder. I used to find Creative Commons music that I could use as background music for my video. The video was made in Final Cut Pro, then loaded onto You Tube. I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2015 East County TechFest

I am really excited about presenting a session in the East County (San Diego) TechFest. The TechFest will be held at West Hills High School, and I will be presenting a session on Enhancing Student Projects Through Digital Photography. Here is my presentation in PDF form. Just click on the picture to download the file.

During my presentation, I will share a video that my son created. I love this video because he uses so many of the basic skills that I will talk about in my presentation, such as the rule of thirds, getting close to your subject, leading lines, fill the frame, shoot from different angles and levels, and tell a story with your pictures. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did. (Get your Kleenex ready!)

Fritz is born from Tyler Little on Vimeo.

During the presentation, I will share different ways to share your student's images. One thing you can do is have your students create a ThingLink.  After doing on a Photowalk where students looked for examples of texture, we put together a ThingLink with lots of links that take you to images taken by the students.

Another way students can share their projects is to create a collaborative video. Students could gather all of their pictures after a field trip to create a video in iMovie, Animoto, or Flipagram. Flipagram is what I used to created a video highlighting many cloud pictures that I have taken, as well as pictures that elementary students took during a PhotoWalk. I love the Flipagram app! It is so easy to use. Here is my "Cloudy" video.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


ThingLink is a fun way to display web resources all in one location.  You start with an image, and then can add links to videos, pictures, audio files, etc. Basically if you have an internet link for any type of file, then you can add it to your image. When you hover over an icon, your image will be displayed.

Tonight I made a ThinkLink about my father. He passed away on July 31st, 2014. Students could create ThingLinks about their hero, or a family member, or anything that they are studying. All they need is an image to start with, which could even be their own drawing.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Symbaloo Snapguide

If you've heard about Symbaloo, but don't know how to get started, then here is a Snapguide to help you out.  By following these simple steps you will be on your way to organizing your favorite websites, which will be accessible on any device.

Check out How to Organize Your Favorite Websites With Symbaloo by Kay Little on Snapguide.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Do you love Symbaloo as much as I do?  Personally I don't think I could survive without it!  Symbaloo is a great tool for keeping all of your favorite weblinks organized.  By going to you can create a free account.  No matter which computer or device you are on, you can get to all your great websites just by logging in to Symbaloo.

Another great reason to use Symbaloo is that you can find web resources already created by others, such as this one with lots of December ideas to use in your classroom.  This one was made by Team Symbaloo, and I love it!

You can create web mixes that are for you personally, or you can make them Public to share with other Symbaloo users.  For example, here is one on QR Codes that I created and made public.

I also have a public Common Core Webmix. If any of the titles sound interesting to you, just click on them and it will take you right to a new website that will open in a new window.

You can add a Symbaloo Bookmarlet onto your web browser, so that anytime you are on a site that you'd like to add to a Symbaloo web mix, you just click the symbol, then tell which web mix you would like to add it to. Add the Symbaloo Bookmarker.

Hope you enjoy Symbaloo as much as I do!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fall CUE in Napa

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Fall CUE Conference in Napa with my teaching buddy Sandy Patterson.  Another friend and presenter Molly Maloy also joined us for a weekend full of amazing tech ideas and collaboration! 

Fall CUE was held at American Canyon High School, and what an incredible venue it was!  The students who attend there are very fortunate to have such a beautiful campus.

Sandy and I had the opportunity to present two different sessions.  In our session called, Catch the Vision: iPad Projects for the 21st Century Classroom, we began by explaining our Model Digital District Framework, which helps teachers plan lessons using CCSS, ISTE Standards, SAMR, and DOK.  We showcased some projects done in Sandy’s 2nd grade classroom in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These included using QR Codes to learn about weather.  We also shared a lesson extension on student created newscasts using a green screen, plus a Mystery Skype activity. 

If you haven’t tried hosting a Mystery Skype, I would highly recommend it.  The looks on the students’ faces during the Mystery Skype are a reminder that this is a learning experience they won’t quickly forget.

The next classroom example was a Common Core Persuasive Writing Unit entitled, “Which Class Pet Should We Get?”  A description of the project can be found on our Common Core Blog. We also shared a project about magnets where students used Padlet to share their learning. A video showing the project can be seen here

In our next session, “Getting Started with Garage Band” we showed three classroom projects that can be incorporated into any subject area, grade level, or standard.  In the first example, Sandy demonstrated how she used a karaoke version of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and had students write and record their own content area songs in Garage Band.  Students learned all about volcanoes, then wrote their own words to the song by applying what they had learned about volcanoes.  All of the projects can be downloaded by clicking on the picture below.

After the Fall CUE Conference ended, I had the opportunity to visit my son Tyler and his family who recently moved to the Bay Area.  We spent Saturday night and Sunday together and had a great time exploring the area and taking pictures.  Tyler is an amazing photographer, and his 5 year old son loves to take pictures as well.  Here is a picture that my grandson took of me with my iPhone.  I edited it with Distressed FX.

I had the opportunity to enjoy a Trunk or Treat activity with my two grandchildren while in Northern CA.  My grandson was dressed as Willy Wonka, and his sister was an Oompa Looma.  Here are a few of my favorite shots taken by Tyler. 

Fall CUE was an amazing experience.  I loved presenting with Sandy, plus I learned so many great things at the sessions I attended.   Then to top it off with a day with my son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren was frosting on the cake!