Monday, December 15, 2014

How to Blog More Often

So the two people who still read this blog asked why I don't blog more often anymore? That's a good question so I thought I would at least make something up. Here goes....

In order to blog more often my girls will have to rely on a diet of cereal, frozen waffles, and/or ramen noodles. My daughters are now 9 and 6 years old. I think back to my glory days of blogging and they were still drinking from a bottle. Or they were toddlers. You can put anything in front of a toddler. Whatever foods they don't throw on the floor become their meal for at least the next month. Nowadays I do try to prepare a decent meal at least 3 times a week (for a good week).
I also think I could blog more often if the laundry did itself. This pile of laundry just gets moved from the bed, to the foot of the bed on floor, back to on the bed in the morning! 
I actually think there is more laundry on the couch in the other room when I took this picture. 

I LOVE blogging! I have tons of ideas. Sharig helps everyone. I love reading blogs. I wish more principals/teachers blogged. I even have planner specifically devoted to blog planning! 
But its empty.
For now I will do the best I can. I share a lot of my ideas on Instagram now because so quick and easy. Maybe you can follow me there until the next phase of life that gets easier? But I've heard  the "easy" part is over:) 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Displaying Students' Digital Work

Oh what fun we have had with the new display TVs in the hallways!

So I didn't really have a workflow plan and list of things to display so this has been total trial and error. What I found is that once I displayed a couple student presentations more and more students have asked to have their worked "streamed" in the big screens. 

*Stream from Apple TV. (Our internet/filter/etc. does not play nice with Apple TV.)
*Stream from Chromecast. (Streams a little better on our platform but you need computer specifically for mirroring and a trained person to monitor it all day. Loses connection? Who troubleshoots?)
*Image slide show on USB! Ba-Bam! This has worked so far.
*If just displaying pictures, I put on USB and plug into TV, DONE.
*Teachers share their own Google presentations or share student Google presentations. 
*I download as PPT, save as pictures, put pics on USB, DONE. I don't have to worry about connection issues all day. 

Student presentations are the best! Tomorrow I am combining 4 student presentations as a slideshow to stream next week! 

What's your TV display workflow? 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tech Cafe Part 2 - Redesigning Learning Spaces

 If you build it, they will come! So it took a while for the teachers to get comfortable allowing the students to work in this space "unsupervised." I totally get that. Some of us educators are very controlling, Type A personalities:) But it only took a couple of times to send the kids out to work independently that we "got it." They love it! They know it's a privilege and none of them want to jeopardize that!

Some days it looks like this:
And some days it looks like this:
Whether it's one, two or 20 kids it's a valuable space that the teachers and students really enjoy using.
The day the custom chair arrived.

Mrs. Grant using Smart TV/Chromecast.
"So how much did that cost?" you might ask. I do not know the exact cost but somewhere around $12,000 is my estimate. You see the furniture is custom ordered with custom fabrics and colors. Of course you wouldn't have to do that. This is our district's first attempt at redesigning a current space. you see, we don't all get to build a new school or have classrooms/spaces built on to our buildings. We wanted to see if we could use the space we already have in a creative way.
Yep! I'm sitting on the floor in awe of their work.

Interesting uses of furniture:)

Yes, this many 3rd and 4th graders were really working in this space quietly and on task. The teachers are in the classrooms right next to this and frequently check on their progress and work in the "Tech Cafe." I was as amazed as anyone with how quiet they were all working, writing, reading, listening, etc. You have to see it to believe it!

So come visit us! See it for yourself.
(Click here for Part 1)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What I'm Reading

This is an interesting list for fall reading. Looking for ideas to work with challenging students it appears. And Beyond the Bake Sale is a reference for the whole year.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Connected Educator Teacher Challenge #CE14

*This challenge is cross posted on my staff blog as a challenge for them this month. It was created in collaboration with @8Amber8.

In your mailbox you will find a Tic Tac Toe grid for Connected Educator Month. Last year you could fill out the Bingo card in the spring semester. Tic Tac Toe should be a little easier to complete for more people:) Once you complete your game board turn it in the to the office you can choose your FREE doodie! If you "black out" the whole card you can cash in for a FREE doodie AND 1 hour lunch coupon. Your class will be covered a 1/2 hour before or after lunch!

Please don't over think it. The goal is to explore connected education.
Activity explanation
Game board