Saturday, September 27, 2014

Patriot Day Time Lapse

On September 11, 2014, I had the opportunity to go up on the roof at Tierra Del Sol Middle School to take pictures of the entire school as they came together to remember the victims and family members of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  It was an inspiring sight to see middle school students with hands across their hearts as they said the Pledge of Allegiance, and then observed a moment of silence.

I also did a time lapse with my GoPro Hero 3 camera, then put it to music using music I found in the Creative Commons Music Communities.

This past summer I had the opportunity to visit the 9-11Memorial Museum in New York City.  There was a very reverent, serene feeling there.  Here are a few pictures that I took while there:

These are the Survivor Stairs.  "Go down this set of stairs and then just run, run as fast as you can." That is what David Brink, Lieutenant of the NYC Police Dept. said to evacuees who were trying to escape from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

 This is the last standing column from the World Trade Center.

This tree is called the Survivor Tree.  It is the only tree on the whole complex that survived the destruction on 9-11.  It was nursed back to health, and now stands a symbol of the resiliency of the American people. 

I love this artwork of children that is displayed in the 9-11 Memorial Museum.  There are so many American symbols found in this one painting.  

The Freedom Tower stands 1,776 feet tall on the site of the former World Trade Center.  It serves as a beacon of freedom, and demonstrates the resolve of the United States, and the people of NYC.

My husband and I stand in front of the reflecting pool that covers the exact footprints of the Twin Towers, and is surrounded by the names of all the victims of the 2001 and 1993 attacks.

A Model Common Core Digital Framework

As a TOSA in the Lakeside Union School District, I had the opportunity to work together with the SDCOE Ed Tech Productions team and district leaders to create a video which highlights the tech integration throughout our K-8 district.  The Lakeside District developed The Model Common Core Digital District Framework, which seamlessly blends together the Common Core State Standards with ISTE Standards, the SAMR Model, and Blooms's Taxonomy.  Check it out!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Presenting at CUE 2014

I always love going to the CUE Conference in Palm Springs, but this one stood out from all the rest because I had the opportunity to co-present a workshop with my friend, Sandy Patterson.  In our "iPad Projects for the 21st Century" we highlighted some amazing lessons that Sandy had taught to her 2nd grade students.  We were able to share video clips, apps, and creative ideas to implement technology into the curriculum using Common Core and ISTE Standards.  

If you would like to see the resources from our presentation, you can see them here: irockcommoncore blog.

LUSD teachers and admin attend the CUE Conference 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - Information Text at its Best

Have you seen (pronounced "news - ell'- uh") It is a great online resource that can be utilized in classrooms to give students exposure to information text in the form of current events. Teachers can set up a free class account, with each student getting their own user name and password. The Lexile levels of each article can be easily changed, plus there are Common Core type quizzes for some of the articles.  Here is an introduction to Newsela by one of its CEO's.

On a recent visit to Robert C. Fisler School in Fullerton, CA, I saw a teacher using Newsela in a very innovative way.  She got her idea from a blog by Ron Peck where students used Wordle and Animoto to share what is happening in the world in 30 seconds.  I adapted what I saw there to create my own lesson to teach students about Newsela.  Here is what I did in my lesson on a news article called,  "Arctic heat release may be altering paths of hurricanes, other storms."

Here are the steps I used in my lesson:

1. Each student got registered for NewsELA.  (The teacher had already registered the class and got a group code for students to input.)
2. We read a news article about the Arctic heat release and how it affects weather patterns.
3. They copied the text and pasted it into the Tag Cloud app.
4. They created a Word Cloud, and learned that the largest words in their Word Cloud are the ones that show up the most often in the news article, and contain the main ideas.
5.  We read closely, and found the large words from their word cloud in the news article.
6. They filled out a graphic organizer where they added the main words from the article.
7. They summarized the main ideas into short phrases, and wrote them on their graphic organizer.
8.  They used the "Drawing Pad" app to write their title of their movie, and saved to their camera roll. (Some just used the title feature in iMovie, or Animoto.)
9. They used the Drawing Pad app to create the phrases that tell the main ideas of the article.  (The ones we wrote on the graphic organizer.)  Only one idea went on each page.  (Some learned that the hard way).  Some classes I taught this in used Big Words rather than Drawing Pad.)
10. They searched Pics4learning and for weather pictures that would go along with the news article that we read, then saved them to the camera roll.  We needed at least 4 or 5 pictures.  

The next day they took all their media and made a short 30 second (or so) movie using iMovie (or Animoto).  This is what I told them should be in their movie and in this order:

1.  Title (could be over an image, or just a title made in Drawing Pad).  Most liked putting it over an image which looked GREAT!  

2. Their Word Cloud picture 

3.  A weather picture

4.  Powerful words phrase

5.  Picture

6.  Powerful words phrase

7.  Picture

8.  Powerful words phrase

9.  Picture

10. The Word Cloud (same as before)

They learned how to add music from the theme music found in iMovie, and made sure the music matched the type of news article that they reported on.

Here is a student sample from the very first time trying out this process.

Next Steps:
Create a rubric for future Newsela movies.  

Decide how you want to assign the different types of news articles for the next one they do.  Will they choose, or will you assign?  It would be great if they all did different ones (or partner up) so they could become the expert, then share their knowledge with the rest of the class.

I think a poster would help so the class can remember the steps to take when they do this again.

Have you used Newsela?  What other sources do you use to give students access to information text? 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Making Blog Comments - A Haiku Deck for Students

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad Here is a little Haiku Deck I used to help teach students about making blog comments.  I love Haiku Deck!

I love how you can create presentations on your iPad or your computer.  Plus they have copyright friendly images that you can use to enhance your presentations.  Check it out!  Have you used Haiku Deck?

If you would like some more info on creating great blog comments, then check out Mrs. Yollis' 3rd grade website.  She has a couple videos her class created.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Newspaper Generator

Have you tried out the Newspaper Generator from  I recently discovered it, and think it could certainly find a place in the classroom.  You just go to their website, click on newspaper generator, and start typing.  When you are finished you just click on download, then decide where you want to save it.  It will be saved as a JPG image similar to the one you see above.

The newspaper generator could be used to introduce a new topic to students.  Everything just looks so official when it is in print!  I am going to use my example above in a training I am doing for teachers on iMovie.  I just thought it would be a fun way to introduce the topic.  Can you think of other ways you could use the newspaper generator? 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Instagram for the School District

I am a believer in Instagram!  Not only is it a fun way to document your life with pictures, or to share what is happening in your classroom, but it is also a great way to highlight all of the great things that happen throughout your school district.  Now that I am a Technology Teacher on Special Assignment, I have taken on the responsibility (or should I say fun?) of uploading pictures to our district Instagram page.  You can check out the Lakeside Union School District at "lakesideunion"  on Instagram.

I added a widget to our district website that shows the latest three pictures that were uploaded to our Instagram site.  If you are interested in doing the same, check out "Snap Widget."  If you add the free  widget to your website or blog, there will be adds on your page.  I decided the ads had to go, so I emailed the company and was pleasantly surprised when they offered me a nice discount.  You can even try it out for no cost at all to see if you like it. 

Are you using Instagram in an educational setting?  If so, please share, and don't forget to follow us at "LakesideUnion."