Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Flip Your Math or Reading Classroom Using LearnZillion

LearnZillion is a website that provides educators free access to a large library of interactive math and English Language Arts resources. LearnZillion offers K-12 math, writing and close reading activities, videos, assessments, student exemplars, and lesson ideas. Teachers are using LearnZillion to flip classroom content or to provide students with an extra learning boost during review or new exploration. Developed by experienced educators, LearnZillion content provides teachers with lessons that are clear, concise, and pedagogically sound. Practice exercises and writing prompts offer teachers the ability to customize assignments, increasing personalized learning opportunities. Teachers begin using LearnZiollion by registering on their website and creating an online account using their Birdville ISD's Google account. LearnZillion content can be imported into a teacher's Google Classroom.

LearnZillion in Action: Jenna Henderson, a Watauga Elementary School 5th grade teacher, is using LearnZillion with her math students. Ms. Henderson utilizes LearnZillion's refine search feature to pull specific video content by grade and TEK to assign to individual students within Google Classroom. Ms. Henderson is able to provide high level, engaging, and brief videos to meet the needs of individual students.

Digital Learning Platform: LearnZillion serves as a best practice resource, providing educators access to quality digital resources, instructional ideas and student exemplars. Content can be leveraged to meet individual learning needs, improving cognitive processing outcomes.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Make a Custom Google Search Engine

When I was in the classroom, turning students loose on the Internet was always a tricky thing. Without good direction, solid searching skills and constant monitoring, it is extremely easy for students to become distracted by the WWW.  I'm not talking about kids getting onto inappropriate websites because, our district has an Internet filter for that. I'm referring to all the media, games, videos, music etc. that manages to quickly and easily draw students off task. You know what I mean, it happens to adults too. Sometimes I get on Pinterest and look up only to find I've just wasted two hours of my life that I can never get back!

What if you could harness the power of the Internet while keeping students focused and visiting quality websites? YOU CAN! It's called a Custom Google Search Engine.  The tool allows teachers to curate a specific list of quality websites. Once created, a custom URL is generated and can be added to a teacher's website or shared with students. Students will still be able to conduct a Google search but instead of searching millions of sites, they search a much smaller pool of sites you have specified. No more mistyped URL addresses, QR codes or documents full of hyperlinks.

The best part? The set-up is quick and easy! Check out this post by Kimberly Kellogg on the Simplek12 website. Included in the blog post is an instructional video that will show you how to create your own Custom Google Search Engine in less than THREE minutes! Then rest easy knowing your student's research comes from well qualified and vetted resources.

Use this tool for a project, research paper or implement it as an on going list of resources that you add to all year. If you decide to implement this tool, consider sharing your story on social media using the hashtag #BirdvilleLearns.

Happy Searching!

Video Tutorial:
Google Custom Search Engine:

Learning & Growing in a 21st Century Classroom

North Richland Middle School's Elizabeth Pauley brings her passion for teaching and devotion to students to Birdville ISD. Elizabeth teaches 8th grade math and algebra I at NRMS, but her teaching goes way beyond her classroom walls. She is a fearless innovator, constantly seeking new ways to lift up students and help them realize their own potential. Ms. Pauley doesn't just teach the curriculum but harnesses 21st century tools so she can provide her students with real world skills. Continuous improvement and goal setting are not just empty words in her classroom they are non-negotiable activities that help her students gain insight into their own stumbling blocks and learning success's. Just as Ms. Pauley pushes her students, so does she encourage her peers to try new processes and technologies. Her teaching and classroom progress is transparent to students, staff and parents.

Recently, Elizabeth shared her student's reflections about math. Her students use Google Classroom and Google Docs to reflect on their own learning process as well as set new goals. She then chronicles what is taking place in her classroom on her Blog (Finding JOY in 8th Grade: Learning & Growing Together in a 21st Century Classroom) and all in an environment with limited technology.

Here's what Ms. Pauley had to say about the impact of taking goal setting digital.
So the 11 o'clock hour is approaching and kids are submitting their reflections through Google Classroom!  I can't begin to tell you the joy I have gotten from reading their reflections on Google docs.   
Here are the links to the what we've done this past month:
Excerpts from 2 students' reflections:                                                                         *We started off with entering our data into the ChromeBooks from our 7th grade S.T.A.A.R. score, to our last unit test score, and our recent B.O.Y. Math screener. After we all entered our data and Ms. Pauley explained to us our data, we started right off into our group discussion. I personally liked how we discussed our goals and plans as a small little group because it gave us an opportunity to hear other people’s ideas and thoughts. 
 *Talking and writing about this helped me uncover what I'm really good at and what I needed to work on. We also talked about how I'm really good at finishing my assignments and being very responsible for my actions. This also helped me because i can really use those strengths to my advantage.Not only did this conference help me with noticing my strengths and weaknesses but it also helped me establish my goals inside and outside of school......We also got to share my goals with two other students and I got to hear their goals too and it made me think of everything I want to accomplish one day that maybe I wouldn't of thought of without this project! 
I also shared a Google Form ( with parents to gather their input on the experience.  
Feedback from 2 parents: 
*I think this was a really good idea to get these teens to think critically about where they are and where they want to be.
*I think it is good for him to start thinking about his future but what I have found out is that at 8th grade there is still a lot of growing up to do. And that boys tend to have less goals for the future at this age verse girls. Also found out that being on top of this require a kid to have a smart phone. It makes life easier even for an 8th grader to be able to just do things from their fingertips. Thanks again for this project, I have learn how much he loves science and thinks he might want to be a science teacher. I encourage him to think of other jobs that science could also be involved in and how he could use his creative side to mix with his love for science.  
I must say the conversations and stories have been incredible. I'm in the midst of putting together my own reflection for the kids, so they can see all that I've learned about my students.  Stay tuned for more of our learning journey!  ~ Ms. Pauley

Monday, January 9, 2017

New Apps to the BISD App Catalog

The following apps have been added to the BISD App Catalog.  
These apps are available FREE on BISD devices with access to the BISD App Catalog.

Starfall I’m Reading
The stories in this app contain a controlled vocabulary set, using the words most frequently encountered in print. The stories and activities reinforce high-frequency words, also called “sight words,” in sentences rather than in isolation. The stories can be read aloud to model the qualities of fluent reading: intonation, expression, inflection and rate.
Math Games by TeachMe
This app includes question sets for math skills from PreK to 8th Grade.
Math Buzz
Use your math skills to protect the queen and collect pollen throughout 5 unique worlds. Rescue trapped bees to help you on your journey.
Math Leaper
Climb as high as you can in the candy tower! Leap and jump into power ups and candies to unlock new heights and achievements by answering math questions correctly. Test your math skills while avoiding nasty slime that will ruin your high flying adventure.
Math Missile
Your planetary base is under attack! Rockets, Alien Ships, and War Birds all want to take over your planet. Answer math questions correctly to blast invaders out of the sky and keep your plant safe.
Math Muncher
Use your math skills to eat your way up the ocean food chain. Become the biggest fish in the sea by answering questions correctly, and unlock new playable characters as you progress.
Math Smash Animal Rescue
Use your math skills to smash blocks and rescue critters trapped in 5 unique worlds. You'll get coins for answering math questions correctly, and you can use these coins to buy special power-ups to smash your way through levels even faster.
Number Shapes Whiteboard
A whiteboard app with many built in digital math manipulatives (fractions, number lines, arrays,). Use with Reflector software to display on your projector for interactive lessons.
Subtract and Add
Up to 10
Practice with addition and subtraction up to 10.
Electricity and Magnetism HD
The Electricity Magnetism HD app covers the topics of electricity and magnetism in a multimodal learning environment. The content of the app spans several grade levels and the various learning modes are designed to facilitate easier learning and to improve attention.
Study Package Chemistry
The topics covered in this Chemistry Study Package are:
Properties of Matter
Solutions and Mixtures
Atoms and Molecules
Particle Theory
Periodic Table
Smart Fish States Run
Help lost travelers find their way in this geography learning game. Fly the kids to their destination based on state names and abbreviations, capital cities, major cities, flags, nicknames, and attractions.
Learning objectives:
- 50 US states and capitals
- State abbreviations
- Major cities
- Famous national parks and attractions
- State flags
- State nicknames
Virtual Heart
Virtual Heart lets you explore multiple real-time views of the human heart.
Workout Trainer
Expert coaches will guide you through every exercise with timed, step-by-step audio, photo and video instruction.
Slow Pro
Shoot, edit, and share videos in beautifully smooth slow motion.
A great app for recording, storing, and sharing video.  Use it in conjunction with the Swivl cloud website for hosting, producing, sharing and engaging with others about your learning video content. The best part? Storage is free and unlimited to all Swivl users.

Reflecting on Your Teaching Craft via the Swivl Robot

The Swivl is a robotic platform that educators utilize with a mobile device to record classroom instruction or presentations. The Swivl app works with any smartphone, tablet, or DSLR camera and provides an easy way to jumpstart flipped instruction. Teachers are also using the Swivl during observations and self reflection. To use the Swivl, educators will need to access to the Swivl Capture app, the Swivl Cloud, and the Swivl robot. The Swivl Capture app is free and available on both iOS and android devices. When the Swivl app is first launched, users sign in to the Swivl Cloud and can use their Birdville Google login or email to access the Swivl Cloud. Videos can be automatically stored in the Swivl Cloud, saving space to a mobile device. Swivl Cloud is free, secure, and allows for unlimited storage and sharing of video and is accessible from any internet device. Videos can be uploaded that were created in other platforms and educator can populate a library of video content to share with others using a link. Videos may also be embedded or shared with a group. To learn more about using the Swivl app or Swivl Cloud, watch the following video below.

The Swivl in Action: April May, English I teacher at Richland High School, is using the Swivl to improve her instruction and provide students with blended learning opportunities.

Digital Learning Platform: The Swivl serves as a best practice and structure toward facilitating a blended learning enviornment.

PreK at Cheney Enjoy Workstations with New Supplies

Birdville PreK classes recently recieved new supplies for classroom workstations.  PreK Students at Major Cheney Elementary are enjoying the new supplies.

They even used the Chatterpix kids app to tell about some of the new things!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

WMS 8th graders Research On and Off line

Watauga Middle School 8th graders worked in different topic groups to research background on the Holocaust using reference books and internet resources. Mrs. Seale and librarian Mrs. Roe worked with students on citing sources as they took notes from different text and online sources.

RHS Freshmen Use Canvas

Richland HS 9th graders take pre-assessment quizzes in Canvas that show them what objectives they need to work on. They use the information from the quick digital assessment taken on personal phones or classroom Chromebooks to choose their station work for the lesson cycle. Modules created in Canvas are a tool used by the ELAR teachers implementing Birdville Blended.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 is here! Connect with Birdville Digital Learning!

Happy New Year, 2017, New Year ...
Happy New Year!

2017 is here and the Digital Learning Team wants you to connect with us! It is our goal to support you and share the awesome ways you are using technology.  With that in mind, we invite you to connect with us so you can see all the wonderful digital learning happening here in Birdville!

3 Ways to Connect with Birdville Digital Learning
  1. Read, like, share, and comment on our posts!
  1. Search #BirdvilleLearns to see all the great learning happening in our district.
  2. Read, like, and retweet our posts!
  3. Share your own ideas, learning, and resources using the hashtag #BirdvilleLearns.
Our Blog
  1. Click here to subscribe to the blog by email.  You will get a weekly email with all of the latest blog posts delivered right to your inbox!
  2. Read, share, and comment on our posts!

What are your digital learning resolutions for 2017?  How can Birdville Digital Learning support you? Leave us a comment, Tweet, or reply!

Recap - Post Video Questions, Get Video Responses

Recap is a free student video response and reflection app that lets teachers and parents see how students learn.

Teachers can post video questions that students respond to with a short video answer.  Teachers use their dashboard on the recap app website to create classes, post assignments, view video responses, and more.

One great feature is the program will build a summary video for you for each assignment, which can be shared with parents and administrators.

For more information or to get started contact you digital learning specialist or use the resources below!


Click here to visit and create your teacher account.

Click here to download the Recap app.

Click here to learn more about Recap.

Check out this quick start video:

Stowe 2nd Grade Create My Simpleshow Videos

2nd Grade Students at Stowe Elementary have been creating My Simpleshow Videos to share what they have learned about Haltom City government!

Check out a couple of examples below:

Friday, December 16, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

3 Ways to Increase Student Collaboration via Google Docs

Google Docs is a free, online document creation tool that allows users to contribute, edit, and interact together from any device. BISD employees and students in grades 3-12th grade can access Google Docs using their BISD Google login. Users can share documents with other people and choose a permission level in which other users can view, edit, or comment on a Google Doc from any device. Teachers and students utilize Google Docs to brainstorm, improve collaborative workflow, peer review, research, and publish content.  How does Google Docs improve student collaboration?

Digital Brainstorming Using Google Docs

Collaborative brainstorming sessions provide all students with an opportunity to contribute at their own pace using any device. Brainstorming activities in a virtual format can encourage students to engage in deep thinking, unlike traditional brainstorming sessions that often encourages quick responses in the classroom. Google Docs serves as a best platform to foster opportunities in which students can work together to develop big ideas and concepts. Students can easily import pictures, utilize shapes, or draw arrows and build a visual map for any task.

Collaborative Writing Using Google Docs

The feature that sets Google Docs apart from other word processing programs is the ability to share, collaborate, and publish. Sharing and commenting features available in Google Docs provide students with the ability to receive immediate feedback from not only teachers but also peers. Users can select sharing settings in the platform and specify right of contributors to view only, comment, or edit. Users can keep a track of changes made using revision history. Collaborative writing offers students the ability to exchange ideas in real time. Collaborative tasks encourage higher order thinking and provide students with the opportunity to serve as a drafter, reviewer, and editor. Shifting task rolls can foster strong cognitive processing opportunities through increased feedback and engagement. Google Docs additional Add-Ons lend strong research and reference support tools within the platform. Users can narrow a search to locate scholarly information, quotations, insert maps, and citations within the document.

Publishing Using Google Docs

Students can publish final products to the web by selecting file, “publish to the web. Publishing provides students with the opportunity to share their authentic tasks and products with the outside world, increase collaboration opportunities. Students can embed documents in a digital portfolio or blog. 

Podcast: Tips and Tricks Toward Improving Internet Research

Learn best strategies, tips, and applications toward improving internet research.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Podcast: Integrating 3D Printing via 123D Design and 123D Catch

Learn how to leverage Bring Your Own Device to provide students the opportunity to create 3D objects to send to a 3D Printer.

Haltom MS Teachers and Intervention Data

Haltom MS Math and Reading teachers are continuing to learn new strategies for working with student data.  This week, HMS Academic Coach Tracy Cox, Literacy Coach Brian Allen and their teams worked with Ashley Odom from Compass Learning to target information that will best help their students who need intervention.   The day was filled with productive discussions and PLC collaboration.



Teacher Support for Birdville ISD Online Students

Many students at Birdville HS, Haltom HS, Richland HS, and Shannon HS are currently taking an online course for high school credit.   Birdville ISD students across the district are benefitting from regular communication and support from their campus teachers.   As our students work hard to stay on track for graduation, it is evident that the teacher plays a key role in successful completion of online courses.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Learning in the Zone!

Smithfield Middle School was just awarded a $2000.00 grant to expand the campus, 8th grade flexible learning space.  Academic Coach, Mary Hadley collaborated with Mrs. Patterson's students to create a video where students explained how much they LOVE learning in THE ZONE. With this money they will make improvements to the existing ZONE as well as create a whole new flexible learning space where the 7th grade locker bank is currently located. Next year's 7th graders can look forward to their own flexible learning space as work begins in June 2017.

It's people like Mary Hadley and Mrs. Patterson that make our schools great by looking for ways to overcome obstacles to meet student needs! Congratulations SMS!