Sunday, January 10, 2016

Where I'm From

I learned about Kentucky's Poet Laureate, George Ella Lyon during a Genealogy Gems podcast a few months ago. When I heard her discuss her "Where I'm From" poem, I knew it was something I had to try writing. Not only was it something I wanted to do personally, it was something I wanted to share with 4th and 5th grade students as a Digital Learning Coach for the Lakeside Union School District.

People all over the world have been inspired by George Ella's poem and have written about their own life experiences. She suggests starting with a list about things you have seen, heard, smelled, tasted, felt, and experienced. That is what I had the students do. I told the students how amazing it is to know that there on no two people on this earth alike. We each have different experiences and see life a little differently. We have different ancestors, and different life experiences. That 's why it is such a great project. Even though we may live in the same city and go to the same school, our lives are all very different. Here is the template I had the students make their lists on. The teachers I worked with sent out an email blast to their student's parents to tell them about the project, plus students took their lists home to get family members to help jog their memories.

After the students created their lists, I gave them a template to start writing their free verse poem.  Students looked on their planning sheets for their most powerful words, and the memories that they felt were most important. Next the students used their iPads to create a presentation either in Book Creator or iMovie. I was amazed how great the students did with their poems.

Here is my "Where I'm From" poem. Thanks to my father who always had a camera close by, I had amazing pictures to add to my project. It was created in Final Cut Pro.

2015 - One Second a Day

For years I kept a journal about the happenings of my life, but lately my journal seems to be collecting dust as I have gone more digital. So during 2015, I decided to follow my son Tyler's example, and shoot video every day of the year. From my footage I would select one second from each day to put into a video showcasing the entire year. This was a huge task, mostly because I had my video clips organized on multiple external hard drives. But luckily I was able to complete my project, and am happy with the results. Next year will be much easier since I know what I'm doing now. Here is my 2015, one second a day!

Below is Tyler's video. He is an amazing videographer and my inspiration! I love his creativity in filming at different angles and levels. And besides, those are my adorable grandchildren, son and daughter-in-law!

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!