Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lego Story Kits + My Storybook App = Watauga 1st Grade Published Writing!

Students in Laura Bean's 1st grade class at Watauga Elementary have been learning a lot about the writing process.  Using the "Treasure In My Hand" graphic organizer and Lego Storykits, students worked in pairs to write a story.  You could tell students have been learning about transition words, as they were using them in their writing.  Students took photos of each part of the story using their classroom iPads.  Then, they were able to use the My Storybook App (available FREE in the BISD App Catalog) to publish their stories!

Using Lego Storykits & Treasure in My Hand Writing Organizer

Treasure in My Hand

Lego Storykit

Taking Photos of Each Part of the Story with the iPad Camera

Storykits Inspire Writing

Publishing with My Storybook App

Publishing with My Storybook App

Publishing with My Storybook App

Students Watching the Published Stories

Check out these published stories!

Google Forms Quiz Feature in Action - Watauga Elementary 5th Grade

Google Forms has revolutionized daily assessments in my classroom. Simply by providing students with a QR code, they take an assessment via an iPad. They scan the code, fill in a form that has the same questions as their go math assessment page, and submit their answers. They get automatic feedback on which problems were incorrect. They circle those problems in their book, exit the page, and now the iPad is available for the next person at their table as they finish. Students get to correct mistakes or can move on to their menu item. 

Students are especially motivated and accountability has greatly improved. Thanks to Google Forms, I am able to monitor, assess, grade, and give immediate feedback seamlessly. I don't usually incorporate technology unless it is a good use of time for me and the kids. The students LOVE it, and so do I!

Jenna Henderson
5th Grade, Math & Science
Watauga Elementary

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Graphic Design via Canva

Canva is a versatile site that allows teachers and students to create visually stunning graphics quickly and easily using a variety of templates and images. Presentations, infographics, social media posts, menus, cards, magazine covers, posters, and more are available in Canva. Templates make design easy for novice graphic designers to create professional products. Login using your BISD's G Suite account. 

Canva In Action: Career and technology students attending North Oaks Middle school used Canvas to create business cards in their Marketing course and shared designs in their Canvas online course. 

Digital Learning Platform: Canva is a best structure in which teachers and students can create authentic tasks and products.

Take Formative Assessment Online via Canvas

Learn how to leverage digital formative assessment resources anytime, anywhere. Enroll in our Canvas Formative Assessment online course. 

How Do I Enroll? To enroll visit,
https://birdvilleschools.instructure.com/enroll/WEBYKW. Login using your BISD's network login.

Learn Google via Canvas's Online Google Course

New to Google? Learn more about BISD’s G Suite online, anytime, and anywhere by enrolling in BISD's Canvas Google Basics Course.

How Do I Enroll? To enroll visit, https://birdvilleschools.instructure.com/enroll/EGKFHM. Login using your BISD's network login.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

3D Printing at RHS Engages Students

Using a balance to weigh the finished product, an RHS student figures out the pricing for his print. Students have access to the Makerspace Polyprinter to design and create projects to 3D print. To help with the cost of filament, students pay a nominal fee based on final weight of projects. Librarian Angi Magana is always available to assist with the projects.

Shannon Students Use Adaptive Vocab System

Shannon High School students ,with the help of librarian Mary Huston and ELA teacher Marsha Brewster, signed into the Membean adaptive vocabulary program to calibrate and start studying words based on their personal vocabulary levels. Having the ability to study words with visuals and audio in a research-based system engages students in ways that paper word study does not. After one week, the SHS class had already logged over 230 minutes in Membean and had studied around 140 words!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Smithfield 4th Graders Answer Higher Order Questions with Padlet

Robbin McKinney, 4th grade teacher at Smithfield Elementary, has asking more higher order questions as a TTESS goal.  To achieve this, she is creating a padlet with a question each week.  The questions will focus on real life examples of the math they are learning about.  The Padlets will be posted on her website and the students will respond throughout the week during stations.  At the end of the year, she will have all the documentation she needs for TTESS in one place! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Plickers for Formative Assessment at Green Valley

Ms. Rhodes’s second grade students attending Green Valley Elementary used the app Plickers to review scientific vocabulary related to Procedural Text, Force & Motion, and Magnetism at the beginning of a lesson and at the conclusion of a lesson following the 5E instructional model.

Engage: Student took a quick quiz using Plickers to identify prior academic vocabulary knowledge at the beginning of the lesson. Ms. Rhodes guided a discussion on interpretation visual data representations with students.

Explore: Students explored concepts related to magnets, force and motion, and procedural text.

Explain and Elaborate: Students created a board game in a group that incorporated force and motion and magnetism. Students wrote procedural text as part of this exercise. Students played games and provided peer review.

Evaluate: Students as a whole group interpreted visual data representation in the form of a bar chart in Plickers to measure their progress as a class.


Student Run Plickers Assessment - Watauga 5th Grade

We use plickers to assess current lesson objectives.  As we formatively assess if we have mastered the day's focus, we use plickers to determine if further instruction and practice is necessary.  Each time we assess with plickers, a student enters the questions from motivation math or HOT problems for Go Math.  This is entirely student ran, and they LOVE IT.  The instant feedback as I scan is very beneficial to me and my students!

Jenna Henderson
Watauga Elementary
5th Grade

Monday, November 7, 2016

Data Visualization via Google Sheets

Google Sheets is Google's web-based application that allows users to create, update, and modify spreadsheets, collaborate, and share data live online from any device. BISD users can create a Google Sheet using their BID's GAFE (Google Apps for Education) login. Teachers and students can utilize Google Sheets to organize resources, collect data, explore and share graphs.

Google Sheets in Action: Students collect data manually in Google Sheets and create pie and line graphs using Google Sheets. Students share visualizations in a Google Presentation and explain data results to peers.

Digital Learning Platform: Google Sheets is a best practice and structure in which teachers and students can create and share authentic tasks and products. 

Improving Organization via Evernote

Evernote is a free online resource that allows users to capture, create, and share a "note" from any device and store digital files in an online digital notebook. Users can add text, images, audio, scanned documents, files, and synchronize everything across all devices. Notes can be tagged with a specific keyword. Students can use Evernote to organize class notes, scan and search handwritten notes, record lectures and talks, draw and annotate over PDFs, and manage assignments.  BISD users can login to Evernote using their BISD GAFE (Google Apps for Education) account.

Evernote in Action: Students utilize Evernote to scan paper notes and make notes searchable using an iPad. After placing notes in Evernote, students access Evernote content and study from anywhere and on any device.

Digital Learning Platform:  Evernote serves as a best structure for providing students with the ability to organize classroom content, making classroom content accessible and searchable from any device.

Improving Student Writing via Blogger

Blogger is a blog-publishing service available to all secondary students and BISD teachers using our BISD GAFE (Google Apps for Education) account. Blogger provides users with advantages over other blogging platforms to include easy access to images, YouTube videos, and enhanced privacy settings. To learn more on how to access Blogger and utilize Blogger with your students, check out the Blogger S'more.

Blogger in Action: Students utilize Blogger to reflect on classroom content, share goals or resources, collaborate, peer review writing, provide feedback, author and publish ideas.

Digital Learning Platform: Blogger is a best blogging structure in which secondary students share authentic tasks and products using advanced publishing features.

5th Graders at Smithfield Use MySimpleShow

5th Graders in Mrs. Perkins' class at Smithfield Elementary used http://mysimpleshow.com to create explainer videos about electrical energy.

Students followed a template chosen by the teacher to explain a vocabulary term related to electrical energy.  They wrote a script, chose animations, and published their videos.

Check out these awesome videos:

Sunday, November 6, 2016

WMS Librarian Promotes Events on Twitter!

Watauga MS librarian Stephanie Roe promotes library events using social media tools like Twitter and Instagram. Teachers and students alike follow the accounts and stay up to date on the latest happenings in the busy library.

Station Rotations in RHS Eng1

Richland HS teacher Scott Evans uses station rotations in his Pre-AP English 1 class three days a week. He organizes the stations into teacher station, application station and technology station. The technology station has flipped work in Canvas, Membean vocabulary, and No Red Ink grammar activities.

In-class Flipped Learning at RHS

English 1 teacher Kate Chambers links instructional and background videos for her class using Canvas. Students work in class or outside class on the flipped assignments each week. Chambers also embeds supports for students in her Canvas modules so they have access to more instructions and resources if they need it.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

21st Century Teacher Challenge

Thirty three teachers from BCTAL, SMS and NRMS are participating in Secondary Digital Learning Specialist, Rashel Larson's, 21st Century Teacher Challenge. The challenge is based on Carl Hooker’s 36 weeks of innovation in the classroom. Each month participants are presented 3 or 4 challenges. These challenges are things teachers can do within a classroom setting to further their digital learning skills. When they complete a challenge, they earn a badge that is correlated with the task and T-Tess domains.

How it works:

·       There are 30 challenges spread out over the 2016-2017 school year.

·       Participation is voluntary.

·       On the first of the month new challenges are shared with participants.

·       Teachers have to figure out how to complete each challenge on their own. If a participant is stumped they are encouraged to search the Web, YouTube, or partner with a student.

·       The challenges get progressively harder as teachers move from month to month.

·       Participants grow their digital skills through this process and in the end teachers will have a full toolbox of technology integration skills.

Last month five teachers successfully completed all 3 October challenges. From North Richland Middle School: Sherry Grossenbach, Gina Bergman and Tiffany Meinke and from Smithfield Middle School: Sara Harris and Kerri Rowe. Today teachers were presented with their October badges which they plan to post outside their classrooms. Participants are excited to show students their commitment to learning 21st century skills.

Come and join the fun! It's not too late to participate. If you signed up and didn’t get a chance to complete the October challenges, you can start participating in November. If this seems like something you would like to do, register here. There are three new challenges for November.  Come learn with us and explore new ways to engage your students.


Elizabeth Pauley implements digital data folders

North Richland Middle School math teacher, Elizabeth Pauley implements digital data folders. Mrs. Pauley is committed to helping learn students to take ownership of their learning. In order to do so she created several documents to help students track their grades, monitor class progress & set goals.


Through Google Classroom she shared digital documents that students will complete each time they have an assessment. Based on a student’s assessment score, they will then be able to evaluate where they are in the learning cycle and conference with the teacher about a learning path to address any gaps in their learning. Student’s will then reflect on their progress in math and be able to share work that they feel demonstrates mastery of a concept.


Student reflections and samples of work are placed in a shared folder between the student and teacher. Mrs. Pauley had students create a digital data folder in their Google Drives and share it with her. This way teacher and student can always communicate. Mrs. Pauley also encouraged her students to share their digital data folders with parents so they may look to see how their child is progressing.


Mrs. Pauley’s students seemed excited to know they had a place to share their best work and be able to obtain teacher feedback in a confidential environment.