Tuesday, January 31, 2017

TumbleBooks is Back!

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Birdville ISD now has a subscription to TumbleBooks! You can access the Birdville Tumblebooks library through the Birdville Technology Resources Page.

There is also a Free iPad App for TumbleBooks! You will need to sign in with our Birdville username and password. Please see your campus Library Media Specialist or Digital Learning Specialist for this information.

New Apps The Birdville 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.

App
Description
TumbleBooks
Access your school or library's TumbleBookLibrary subscription from your iphone, ipad, or ipod touch, with the new TumbleBooksToGo app!

Ask your librarian or DLS for the Birdville username and password.
Randomly
Randomly is an app made specifically for teachers and professors. It allows educators to enter their students into individual classes. They can then use the Random Name Selector feature to randomly call on a student to answer a question by one of two ways: Truly random, where repeated names are allowed, or a one pass – where all students are called once before they are called again.
Trilo Music ABC
An innovative game that introduces children to the wonderful world of letters. There are 3 educational games that help your child quickly learn their ABC's through an interactive alphabet, children's songs and open gameplay. Each game provides a new hands-on experience for children to have endless fun while learning the name of each letter in the alphabet and the sounds they represent.
Knowee: Whales & Dolphins
Dive in the world of whales and dolphins to learn interesting things about them. Swim with them in the ocean, find out what they eat, where do they live and how they communicate. You can listen to their story like an audiobook or read by yourself. Tap on whales or other objects to make sounds or find new info about them.
Knowee: Penguins
Dive in the world of penguins to learn interesting things about them. Swim with them in the ocean, find out what they eat, where do they live and how they communicate. You can listen to their story like an audio book or read by yourself. Tap on penguins or other objects to make sounds or find new info about them.
King of Math Defense
Your once peaceful lands have been over run by ghastly undead, zombies, and evil minions. Answer math questions correctly to summon wizards, recruit archers, and purchase power ups to defend the evil hordes.
Coin Quiz
Watch the coins fly across the screen and then add up the value to choose the correct answer from the four multiple choice options displayed on the bottom of the screen. Feel your virtual pockets get heavier as each correct answer adds money into your total, but watch out, incorrect answers will deduct funds!
Clock Time Quiz
Clock Time Quiz is the perfect app to help your student practice telling time. Practice the all important concepts of time.
Trilo Spelling
Trilo Spelling is an educational and adventurous phonics based spelling game for kids grades K-2. Follow the friendly ghost Spooka, the one-eyed mummy Sling and the funny zombie Frank through multiple spelling levels in the enchanting Trilo World while collecting puzzle pieces for hours of fun and learning.
Creative Writing Companion
The Creative Writing Companion develops, supports and enhances creative writing skills for fiction and non–fiction writing, with an extensive bank of vocabulary.


Discovery Education


If you have not visited the Discovery Education website lately, you may be missing out on some amazing resources that can strengthen your instruction, boost student engagement, and provide a platform for students to show what they know.  Discovery Education (formally known as United Streaming) is an online resource that provides digital video content, images, audio clips, a digital poster creation area, and a ton more.  Teachers who do not have an account yet can contact their Library Media Specialist to retrieve the campus code for Discovery Education and create their account.  Here are just a few highlights of what you will find:
  • Video content - video clips and segments that cover all core content areas and more! Most full videos are also segmented so you can use just a small portion you need for your focused instruction
  • Audio Clips/Digital Images - audio clips and digital images are available for classroom and student project use
  • Student Accounts - teachers can set up their students with accounts to Discovery Education. This allows teachers to assign specific content to their entire class or individual students.
  • Advanced Searches - keyword searches usually lead to the content for which you are looking. But advanced searching allows teachers to search by media type, language, TEK, and sometimes publishing date
  • Board Builder - teachers and students can build digital poster boards over any topic desired. Boards allow for multiple types of digital content to be displayed.
  • My Content - the Content area allows teachers to 'bookmark' their digital content for later use making it unnecessary to search for it again.  Also, there is a Campus Content area that digital content can be placed for everyone at a campus to use.  There is also a District Content area where content can be placed for district wide usage.
As you can see, the Discovery Education site has grown tremendously over the years to match the needs of teachers and students.  If you would like more information or training on this resource, please contact your campus Digital Learning Specialist.  We will be glad to help!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Professional Learning On The Go With Podcasts!


Podcasts are audio files published online.  The topics vary from fashion, to pop-culture, to cooking, and even to education!

Podcasts are great because you can listen to them anywhere, anytime!  Listen in your car during your morning commute.  Listen while working out.  Listen while doing household chores like laundry or dishes.  Listen during your lunch or while grading papers.  All you need is an internet-connected device!
If you have an iPhone or iPad, there is a built-in app called "Podcasts".  If you have an Android phone, you can use the "Stitcher" app.  If you prefer, you can also listen to many podcasts through the web.

The Education Podcast Network is a great starting place for finding a podcast for professional learning.  Their latest addition, The Google Teacher Tribe, is a great podcast about using Google in the classroom by Kasey Bell (ShakeUpLearning.com) and Matt Miller (DitchThatTextbook.com).


Birdville Digital Learning has a podcast too! Click the Listen & Learn button on our blog to explore our latest episodes.

What podcasts do you listen to for Professional or Personal Learning? Share with us in the comments!

Friday, January 27, 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.

App
Description
Weather Channel
KNOW THE WEATHER ANYWHERE, RIGHT NOW
• Forecasts: Hourly, daily, weekly, weekend and 15-day forecasts.
• Dynamic Home Screen: Changes based on your current location, weather, and time of day, so you get your current conditions plus the weather info you need most.
• Detailed Current Conditions: Get “feels like” temperature, humidity, wind speed, and more.
• Weather Maps: Fast-loading radar maps show past and future doppler radar.
• Severe Weather Alerts: Stay safe with real-time National Weather Service notifications of severe weather including severe weather warnings about lightning, hail, flooding and severe storms.
Nancy Drew: Codes & Clues
Kids will learn basic coding, reading and critical thinking skills as they find clues and code their robot puppy in this fun story-based hidden object mystery game!
Story Wheels
Story Wheels is an app by the Cleveland Play House that is a tool for inspiring stories. To start you decide how many wheels in your story and then choose 3 to 8 wheels. The wheels are created from over 1,100 different images of people, places, and things. The wheels spin and you get a few re-spins to perfect your story wheels. Then you get to write your story and save your story wheels.
Infinite Painter
Paint and draw with different brushes, colors, and paint types.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

#BirdvilleLearns Monthly Social Media Chat

#BirdvilleLearns TUESDAY NIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA CHAT RETURNS
JANUARY 31st AT 8:00 PM!

This semester we are trying something new with our Twitter Chats. Instead of every Tuesday evening we will host one chat on the LAST TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH. And now you can participate on FACEBOOK or TWITTER!  

#BirdvilleLearns Chat: January 31, 2017
Topic: The MOST EFFECTIVE Uses of Technology to Advance Student Learning


The technology for the BISD Bond will be completed in Fall 2017.

Here are some questions we need to consider:
  1. What are the most powerful and effective uses of technology for student learning?
  2. What knowledge and skills would a teacher need to be able to design these learning opportunities for their students?
  3. How can we best support teachers with personalized professional learning that empowers them to design these types of instructional opportunities for their students?

Let's talk about these and more on our first chat of the new year, Tuesday January 31st, 8:00 - 8:30 pm.

Questions will be posted on Twitter and Facebook.  

Twitter Bird, Twitter Button, ...
On Twitter
Deutsch: Facebook ist ein ...
On Facebook
  • Search for #BirdvilleLearns
  • Watch for questions to be Tweeted from @Birdville_DL (Questions will be posted with Q1, Q2, etc)
  • To respond, Tweet your answer (A1, A2, etc) with the #BirdvilleLearns hashtag.



You choose how to participate! Please encourage everyone to join in!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Get Educational Sites Unblocked

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My blog is suddenly being blocked by the BISD internet content filter! What's going on?!!?

Yes, unfortunately as of Monday of this week we were notified that our Lightspeed filter must begin categorizing all blogs on blogspot.com as "ADULT" due to new widespread publication of pornography on Google Blogger sites. This change implements the highest level of filtering in order to protect all students.

Get your blog back! You can quickly and easily submit your blogspot URL address to request it be re-categorized as EDUCATION instead of ADULT.

Once you submit, your blog should be unblocked within 5 minutes

HERE'S HOW:
1. Go to this web address: https://archive.lightspeedsystems.com/
2. Type in your blogspot.com URL address
3. Type in your email address
4. Request your blog be re-categorized as "EDUCATION"

This works for other blocked educational sites as well including weebly, wix, and wordpress.  If you need access to a site at school that has been incorrectly categorized as "ADULT" please take a moment to submit it using the process above.

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.

App
Description
Toontastic 3d.JPG
Toontastic 3D
3… 2… 1… ACTION! With Toontastic 3D you can draw, animate, and narrate your own cartoons. It’s as easy as play. Just move your characters around onscreen, tell your story, and Toontastic records your voice and animations and stores it on your device as a 3D video. Toontastic is a powerful and playful way to create interstellar adventures, breaking news reports, video game designs, family photo albums, and anything else you might imagine!
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Kido Phonics
This app helps children improve their phonological awareness.

Digital Storytelling with Toontastic 3D

Toontastic 3D

Google has taken a great app and made it even better.  With Toontastic 3D, kids can draw, animate and narrate their own adventures, news stories, school reports, and anything else they might dream up.


Students can choose backgrounds and characters or create their own.  Not only can it be used to tell a story, students can use it to create reports about what they have learned.  Stories are saved within the app but can also be exported to the iPad's Camera Roll.

For more information about this app, check out these resources.




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: http://linkis.com/www.simplek12.com/go/jzvM9
Google Custom Search Engine: https://www.google.com/cse/

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:  
http://findingjoyinmath.blogspot.com/2016/11/continuous-improvement-in-algebra.html
http://findingjoyinmath.blogspot.com/2016/11/taking-goal-setting-digital.html
 
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 (https://goo.gl/ORzEEa) 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.


App
Description
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.
Swivl
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.