Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Smithfield Middle School Grant

Smithfield Middle School principal Kyle Pekurney and Academic Coach Mary Hadley show off their grant check of $1000.00 for the weInnovate Zone (WIZ). The renovated space will be student-centered designed to inspire and motivate our students to collaborate with others. Technology will be highly integrated into all areas of the learning space including charging stations, Wi-Fi, shared monitors (either projection or LCD), and the availability of printing. Students can rearrange furniture to accommodate the needs of whatever assignment they might be working on. The WIZ will be an inviting place where students can meet, talk, study, and create using their own devices or borrowed devices from our library. If a quiet place to work alone or with a partner is what a student needs, there will be areas to accommodate as well. The plan is to have at least one area where glass “walls” can be pulled out to produce a quite zone. This fishbowl effect is expected to be enticing to students due to the modern look and feel of the space as well as its functionality. We believe that the flexibility and limitless possibilities of this initiative will encourage self-directed learning for our students.

This award will impact, encourage, and promote future community involvement through our mentor program. We anticipate that the WIZ initiative will increase the number of students who become self-directed learners. Instead of sitting passively listening to a lecture to get information, we envision our students collaborating and co-learning with an emphasis on co-construction of knowledge.

This initiative would improve and modify the physical environment in our 8th grade hallway. Locker Bank D would be completely removed by the district. The award would allow for a remodel of the area to create a learning lab. Please refer to attached pictures to see the existing condition of the area. With the advances in furniture design, technology and what we now know about how today’s students learn, we are not going back to teacher-directed, one-size-fits-all classrooms. Flexible learning spaces are much more exciting and fun places to be. Learning is much quicker and effective here. Knowing that this type of learning environment is inevitable and that our current spaces create many barriers, we want to jump aboard and allow our digital natives to spread their wings!

This week they met with key administrative, technology, personnel to discuss their plans for a flexible learning space. The grant is one small part in what it will take to make this project a success but the hope is to raise enough funds and gather enough materials to bring this project to fruition by school year 2016.

Posted by Rashel Larson, Digital Learning Specialist

WMS History Teacher Integrates Technology Everywhere!

Watauga Middle Texas History teacher Tom Lane has a class Instagram account with QR code flyers, and he has Plickers cards to use for fast formative assessment in his room. Mr. Lane prefers using Kahoot for quizzes and Plickers for quick formative things. A regular at Digital Learning sessions, Mr. Lane loves learning of new ways to engage his students.

WMS ELA teacher uses iPads for vocabulary

Watauga Middle's Karla Pogue uses classroom iPads for vocabulary reinforcement in class. Students access vocabulary on Quizlet to practice the words and roots.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

RHS CTE teacher embraces technology!

Tana Taylor at Richland HS uses Google Classroom, Smore, and Signup Genius to organize and present content to her students. Her students access digital resources via her Google Classroom and create digital products, as well. With her variety of CTE classes, Taylor provides opportunities to do relevant digital work as well as collaborative and hands-on experiences.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Porter Padlet Pride

W.A. Porter Elementary:  Our third graders at Porter were SO excited to try Padlet and a QR reader app during our science class. Now that we have learned how to use these two programs, students can use it in our others subjects as well! It's a fun way to share ideas and get every student engaged in learning.

Ms. Lori Scott
Love, laugh, learn...
3rd Grade Teacher
W. A. Porter Elementary
Conference time: 8:20-9:00
(817) 547-2900

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Using our new technology in elementary music classroom

We are using laptops and iPads to access online song material to learn new songs. We don’t have all our devices yet, so the groups are quite a bit larger than I would like them to be, but we are trying our best to learn procedures and how to use this material with the devices. I am also taking a stab at doing flipped lessons – our first one was during “Celebrate Freedom” week, about the story of the Star Spangled Banner. The SSB lesson can be accessed at - students received the information this week and hopefully we can have a discussion the next time they come to my class!

Elizabeth Shier, M. Ed.
Music Teacher...Girls On the Run Coach

WMS librarian uses technology tools to spread her message

Fabulous WMS librarian Stephanie Roe uses a Prezi and a Powtoon in her library orientations. She introduces library events and checkout procedures in digital ways to engage students in the information. Students enjoy the relaxed soft-seating available in the space as they listen.

RHS Spanish Teacher Models Google Drive Features

SeƱor Denson shares Google Slides presentation with students who save a copy then answer the questions on the slides in Spanish. Denson teaches how to share the presentation as part of the lesson. Students are encouraged to be creative with their presentation backgrounds and images. As a beginning of year assignment, students are able to respond to simple questions in Spanish about themselves.