Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Foster Village Power Point Pros

The 1st grade GATE students at Foster Village are becoming power point pros as they demonstrate their learning during their assessment product creation.

Kahoot-a-Thon at WMS!

How do you engage middle schoolers in reviews for content area tests? Kahoot! WMS teachers across content areas use friendly peer competition to keep students engaged in learning right before the long break. Ms. Boston, Ms. McLaughlin, and Mrs. Cumbie are just a few of the teachers who love this simple quiz game.

Class DOJO: Spicer Elementary

Spicer Elementary implemented Class DOJO as part of our campus improvement plan. All teachers received training before school started in September and the results are Ah-Mazing!

Teachers and Parents alike have welcomed the new communication and behavior monitoring tool and our stats are boasting with DOJO pride! With the introduction of Class Story, teachers can share intimate photos and captions of what’s going on in their child’s classroom and what’s happening at school!

Class DOJO is a great tech-y addition to our teacher tool belts and we’re building stronger relationships with our students’ families by giving them an insta-view of their child’s daily school life.

As Spicer’s Class DOJO mentor, I’d like to share this update on how our school is using Class DOJO.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

From Gaming to Coding & Symbaloos

North Richland Middle School Librarian, Julie Pursley was looking for a more meaningful learning experience for her “before school gamers”. Every morning Julie is greeted with a handful of students waiting to use the library computers to play computer games. After hearing about the game based learning offered by and the success of the national Hour of Code, Julie wondered if this might be a better option for her gamers. Julie reached out to fellow Librarian Beth Muirheid & Digital Learning Specialist Rashel Larson and then created a Symbaloo. A “Symbaloo is a personal start page that allows you to easily navigate the web and compile your favorite sites all into one visual interface.” See the video “This is Symbaloo”.
Today, she sent the following e-mail to share the experience….
Here is the link to the Symbaloo I made using the websites Beth used for her coding day. I have used it this week with all 8th graders during their library time and I had kids fill the computers this morning to play. I will be adding two sites that kids have told me about and I’ll update the Symbaloo. The Symbaloo is super simple and crude right now, but it is giving them a place to find everything.

I was super nervous about having my kids “code” until my DLS worked with Beth and told me I didn’t have to be an expert and just give the kids an intro and let them go. I did J The 8th graders have had fun this week and it has been fun to watch kids who don’t ever do anything for anyone play and I’m hearing all types of conversations. They are working together, laughing and actually thinking about thinking!

“I got the banana! Cool”
“Hey man it actually worked and he walked”
And so on.
Lots and lots of engagement! Thanks Beth and Rashel.
Julie Pursley
#bisddlp @falconslibrary1 @NRichlandMiddle #nrms2015

Ft. Worth Star Telegram visits SMS Makerspace

Smithfield Middle School Librarian, Beth Muirheid has done a fabulous job running and promoting the Makerspace program at her school. So much so, that the Fort Worth Star Telegram took notice. Today a reporter from the paper came out to SMS to see what all of the buzz is about. During the reporter’s visit, Beth explained the Makerspace concept along with her vision of the program’s future growth at Smithfield. The Star Telegram reporter had a chance to visit with students and see what kinds of projects they were building. She had such a great time, she is going to come back to visit with more students and experience Makerspace firsthand.

The success of Smithfield’s Makerspace program is primarily a result of Beth’s tireless commitment to her students. She creates a safe environment where students can create, collaborate, problem solve and have fun learning. It’s not uncommon to see Beth take items home for repair. She spends hours of her personal time fixing sewing machines, 3D pens and other items. Beth received a grant last year to help her purchase the items for the SMS Makerspace but frequently, she purchases tools or supplies with her own money so students will have all the equipment they need.  Smithfield Middle School is lucky to have this wonderful lady serve as their librarian!

Details about the Star Telegram story will be shared soon.

#bisddlp @SMSRaiderNation

Digital Learning in the DAEP Classroom

Secondary students who participate in the Birdville Independent School District Alternative Education Program use the CompassLearning interactive program and Chromebooks to work in rigorous, online learning paths that are aligned to the district scope and sequence for each of their core subjects.   Along with their digital learning lessons, students also practice skills such as listening to others, communicating, emerging as a leader, and having the opportunity to be with people different than themselves.   This blend of online and face to face experience enables the students to continue their learning while they are away from their home campus. 

Pictured working with students are teachers Susan Bloom and Stacey Edwards.  The dedicated DAEP team of teachers also includes Kerri Horsley, Sherry Kinnaird, Rome Milan, John Payne, and Rahim Quazi.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Coding: Student Voice and Choice in Action

One North Ridge Middle School student took a less traditional route when it came to mastering his Spanish vocabulary. Ben, from Mrs. Massey-Davis's Spanish I class was given a voice and a choice on how he would show mastery of the content. He decided to put his strong coding skills to work and created an interactive video game where the user can defeat the computer, if they know their Spanish I vocabulary. "Rather than showing mastery of the content with a traditional book, paper, and pencil the students created something.  They chose a tool to create with, and decided the amount of time necessary to complete the project. Students were given a voice about how we should grade their final products and they helped design the rubric.  They are showing competency and mastering the required elements of basic Spanish." ~Robin Massey-Davis. When asked what he thought about Mrs. Davis' approach to learning, Ben said, "I liked how she let us go out of the box and allowed us to choose what we wanted to do." #middleschool #spanishI #coding #videogame #northridgemiddleschool #theridge #bisddlp #voiceandchoice # studentcentered

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Create a "Read"box with QR Codes from Student Video Book Trailers

In this project I was helping Mrs. Griffis, our ELAR 5th grade teacher, teach the students how to get a QR code for their Animoto they created. The Animoto is a book trailer on a book they’ve read (new way to do a book report). Once they generated the QR code and got a book cover of the book. I created cards and put them on the wall as a “Readbox” BTW Mrs. Griffis created a video of how to use animoto and shared it with her class in google classroom. That saved us lots of time and BREATH! J It was a fun project!

Weather Predictions using Vidra App

West Birdville Elementary: Mark Ivie’s 5th graders have been working hard to collect and analyze data about the weather and then make predictions. Today they used the screen recording app called Vidra to create a video that shows weather maps over the last few days as well as a prediction of what they feel the weather might be the next couple of days. Awesome work 5th graders!

Hour of Code via Tinkercad & Tinkerplay

Tinkercad is a free web application, easy to learn app in which students can create 3D models to share within a community, print 3D printed (STL) files, or export to minecraft. In honor of the Hour of Code week, Tinkercad is offering their iOS application Tinkerplay, priced normally at $5.99, for free! Students have access to short tutorials, projects, and coding workshops and can save projects to the cloud.

Tinkercad or Tinkerplay in Action: Students create animal habitats using Tinkercad to export to their minecraft game or to print to a 3D printer by exporting as an STL file.

Digital Learning Platform: Tinkercad is an interactive application in which students create and share authentic products with others within a learning community.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

2nd Grade GATE Students Utilize Padlet

Stephanie Woodard’s 2nd grade GATE students learned the wonderfulness of Padlet today to reflect on their learning and respond to an Essential Question. Says Woodard, “My scholars are at the end of their Unit 1 of study. I asked them to reflect on this unit’s learning and answer the Unit’s Essential Question of ‘How do systems impact our life?’ I taught them about Padlet and how to respond to questions there. They then did their thinking and responding in Padlet. We would have usually written this down in our interactive notebooks or a separate sheet of paper, however this time we used Padlet instead. It was a great introduction for them to begin to transfer their synthesis of learning into a digital format.”

GV TV Weather Report

Students at Green Valley Elementary Used iMovie to Create weather reports showing what they have learned about weather.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hour of Code at RHS!

RHS librarian Angi Magana organized a week of Hour of Code opportunities for all students. Students choose among different coding activities on-line and discuss the future of coding as a career skill.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Digital Learning Homebound Students

Dedicated teacher Joni Lawrence works with students who are currently in the BISD Homebound program.  Pictured with Ms. Lawrence are two of her students, Taz and Nicola.   Taz, a sophomore at Birdville High School, is shown using the CompassLearning Program.  He enjoys the ability to rewatch his videos and work at a pace that allows him to meet his clinic appointments. 

Also pictured with Ms. Lawrence is Nicola, an ACESS student at Richland Middle school with Vicki Gales.  Nicola enjoys the Ipad Mini, as her limited hand manipulation allows her to 'touch and go' with the device.  Nicola loves music videos and reading. 

A note from Ms. Lawrence --
I want to express my gratitude and excitement for the Digital Learning program as it has changed the availability of online instruction through the CompassLearning program, alleviating the necessity to run  back and forth to teachers for assignments. It allows the student to work at their own pace around their schedule of health issues.  It provides the whole realm of internet and information available for the student at any age or academic level. To have access to apps and videos for the elementary and special needs group is so helpful and educational.   I am grateful for Kelli Montgomery and the Digital Learning Department, as they do everything possible to provide appropriate digital  equipment and programs for the Homebound community. 

I personally appreciate Karen Teeters for her expertise in digital equipment and programs.  I can bring a problem to Karen and she is always right there to help find a solution.  And we always find one.  Her humor and compassion for the Homebound program is evident and appreciated.  I also use Google drive to organize all students schedules, reports, and information.  As I am 'on the road' from house to house I am able to access all necessary information from anywhere and any device.  It works as a mobile office!!!

Memes in Education

The sight of students on their phones can sometimes be a sign that students are off task. That is not the case in Joshua Reed's Haltom High School English I class. Here students are using mobile devices, meme generator apps and Padlet to collaborate, create and post authentic products to a global audience. When asked about the activity, Mr. Reed said "My favorite thing about this lesson, is that it's not just students writing definitions or recalling facts. Instead, they are actually showing us that they can process and apply newly learned information."

NOMS Students Interact With Kagan Structures!

NOMS ELAR teacher Pam Starnes uses Kagan Structures via her SMART board to facilitate her students' interactions and discussions of word roots. The Match Mine activity structured how the students played with the word roots and all students engaged in the discussions. They found that they had to get better at being specific in their verbal directions to each other.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Shannon Students Lead In Makerspace Activities

SHS students engage in on-line as well as peer learning when they "make" different objects in the Access Point Makerspace with librarian Mary Huston. Talented student leaders learn how to create by watching videos and then they model for their peers. As they are "making," the students talk and reflect about different aspects of the process and they relate to their personal background knowledge. This week the students created Paracord key chains and bracelets. History teacher Mr. Pollock described ways that Paracord can be used in survival situations! Relevant learning.

Best Practices Blog

Ever wished you could watch your favorite teacher conduct class? Maybe you want to know, “What, exactly, does that best practice look like in action?” Academic Coach, Mary Terry at North Richland MS has found a way to let you see these things. By the end of the year Mary will have culminated a library of best practices, in action, that NRMS teachers can access. Great idea Mary! #bisddlp #nrms2015
**note** The blog link is not being shared because at this time, Mary’s blog is for internal use only

SIOP and Flipping with Screencastify

North Richland Middle School Science Teacher, Lindsay Cato has started flipping her classroom by recording previews of her daily lessons. Each 3-7 minute video includes the daily warm-up, a brief explanation of concepts and activities for the day, and key academic vocabulary. Students will have access to the videos via YouTube, and are also encouraged to come in before or after school. The target audience are her LEP students; however, it will benefit all of her kids!

Recorded with ScreenCastify (...
©2015 YouTube, LLC 901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066
#bisddlp #nrms2015

Tier 1 Priority Reflection with Padlet

North Richland Middle School’s faculty uses Padlet as a means to reflect on the Tier 1 priorities and instructional practices.
#bisddlp #nrms2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mrs. Gaston uses Video-in-Video app to sign words for a Padlet Word Wall

Mrs. Gaston's students use the American Sign Language videos to review vocabulary for Wonderstruck via Padlet.

Mary Hadley
Academic Coach
Smithfield Middle

North Ridge Students Analyze Data Using Plickers

North Ridge Fourth Grade Students in Mrs. Conley’s classroom use Plickers to review for a test.  After answering each question using the technology tool, Plickers, students receive immediate feedback whether their answer was correct or not.  Mrs. Conley shows a bar graph of student responses for each question on the Smart Board in which students anaylze together. 

Mrs. Jackson's Fourth Graders Mastering Google Classroom

North Ridge Elementary students in Mrs. Jackson’s fourth grade classroom are excited about implementing Google Classroom. Student, Hadlie Parker, said, “It’s fun because I’m using technology to add my own comments.” She adds, “I am learning to use technology in a fun way!” Mrs. Jackson assigned tasks in Google Classroom. Each student completed activities such as summarizing events using a plot arc and using Padlet to illustrate multiple meaning words.

Using Cube Creator to Display Research

Second graders in Mrs. Ortiz’s class at West Birdville are practicing their informational text skills this week. During WIN time, students are researching an animal of their choice and really digging into the informational text to find important details to share. Once students have completed their research, they move to the laptop workstations to utilize the online digital resource called Cube Creator. Cube Creator allows students to create a printable cube of information that shows their research. Students then print off their cube and pair it with the illustration they have made of their animal. Nice work 2nd graders!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

WMS 6th graders Use Fakebook in ELA for Research Product

WMS 6th grade teachers, Mrs. Zitzman and Mrs. Cox, had students research historical figures from the 1960's on Chromebooks. The students searched for background information as well as three interesting quotes by their person. They then used Fakebook to create a fake Facebook page for their research and their analysis of the quotes was put in as comments.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

5th grade music using our bond technology #thanksBISD

I have digitized some of the music that my fifth graders are reading so they are using our bond and grant iPads and laptops (TEKS 5.2A and 5.2B – reading rhythms and reading standard staff notation). Eventually I hope to use an app called SmartMusic with my students which gives instant feedback on their reading/playing. We have also used Kahoot for a quick review of the notes and fingerings on the recorder. I have been so grateful to use our technology with my students, and I love learning new ways to use this great tool! Thanks, BISD!
Elizabeth Shier, M. Ed.
Music Teacher...Girls On the Run Coach