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Monday
Mar282016

Take Students Where the School Bus Can't! 

Though real-world field trips are invaluable experiences, logistics of time, cost or distance aren't always aligned in our favor. Students can make critical connections between themselves, their learning, and the wide-ranging historical, cultural, and scientific environments through inquiry-based virtual learning experiences. They can explore oceans that cover almost three quarters of the Earth’s surface without getting wet and fly through the night sky to explore the life span of a star or the terrain of Mars. The exploration of Historic MomentsCulture, Science & Technology are just a few in the an array of vast potential possiblities for exploration and discovery!

Discover artworks, collections and stories from around the the world in extraordinary detail before with the Google Cultural Institute. The site is divided into three areas: Art Project, Historic Moments, and World Wonders. Google World Wonders brings modern and ancient world heritage sites online using Street View and other Google technologies.

'From the archaeological areas of Pompeii to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Google’s World Wonders Project aims to bring to life the wonders of the modern and ancient world. By using our Street View technology, Google has a unique opportunity to make world heritage sites available to users across the globe.'

A few hightlights among many to point out--Ford's Theater, the Great Barrier Reef (swim under water in street view), and Wonders of Machu Picchu.

Explore online exhibitions detailing the stories behind significant moments in human history. Explore Historic Moments, Cultural Figures, Science & Technology, and other categories to browse through photos, videos, manuscripts and documents on a wide range of topics. See reflections Inspired by the Gettysburg AddressCivil Rights Photography, and Top Pieces at Naturalis.

Google Map Trek on over to GalapagosVenice, the Grand Canyon. Climb in Nepal or Yosemite. Explore Google Ocean Street View, which now allows us to explore the oceans covering 70 percent of Earth’s surface, all without getting wet. Google's Street View cameras have captured underwater creatures -- view sea turtleshumpback whalesgreat white sharks and the giant sunfish

Google Earth creates the ability to fly to and from anywhere on Earth It is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program! Learn more at Google Earth Learn  and  See 3-D Buildings in Google Earth

With Google Expeditions VR Program: Announcing Expeditions: taking students places a school bus can’t go

Read more (detailed Flyer)...

Sunday
Mar272016

What's New in Think Through Math in 2016?

TEA’s Student Success Initiative was approved mid-year which has secured funding for Think Through Math to Texas schools for students in grades 3-8 (extending until August 2017). TTM provides students with online adaptive instruction that adjusts to students’ unique skill level and delivers rigorous practice, motivational tools, and access to live, state credentialed teachers. 

What’s new in TTM 2016?

[Notes collected from a recent webinar & my updated TTM resource training site]

INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT

  • Both ‘Helps’ must be used before accessing Live teacher

  • New 'Think-It-Through Math' animations

  • Grades 3-4 have incorporated new ‘Introductory Lessons’

  • Overview of Interactive Item Types [drag/drop, fill in blank, sorting]

ADAPTIVE LEARNING

  • STAAR cumulative review every 10 or so lessons to keep skills fresh as year progresses [requested by teachers]

  • Booster Pack Lessons [testing in below 3 grade levels below to address learning gaps to build foundational skills & confidence]

  • Benchmark Tests: This new assessment feature provides a ‘Quantile Measure’ applied to both students and math concepts. This indicates student’s readiness level for instruction.
    [Dates for mid-year implementation March 15-April 30 and May 15-June 18]

  • Benchmark Reports: Data will be updated to include test data in table format, instructional math levels, lessons per week and lesson pass rates in TTM.


STUDENT MOTIVATION

  • Avatars: Newly designed & iPad compatible

  • Contests: STEM Everyday! March Math Madness!

  • Classroom Giving: Monthly focus around specific charities

Sunday
Jan172016

Making the Most of IWB to Inspire Learning

Sometimes the learning potential in Interactive White Boards is unrealized if users don't have some basic entry points to get started with integrating them into day-to day instruction. [This is the 1st edition of a weekly flyer I am sharing to highlight ways to integrate Ed-Tech. tools on my campus]

Interactive White Boards have so many unique capabilites as a teaching tool to magnify, reveal and spotlight learning content. Smart Classroom Training & Tutorials are quick-starters.

When blending Dreambox Learning alongside face-to-face instruction in Math, there are some great Interactive Teaching Tools for small and whole group instruction with lesson outlines that can be incorporated.  

Also worthwhile for making the most of the IWB is to join Smart Exchange community. Smart Notebook software has such depth of capabiliies that it may be overwhelming. The SMART Exchange helps you to quickly dive in with ready-to-use interactive lesson content. It is a huge searchable community with downloadable SMART notebook files. Once you create an account, search by subject area, grade, and by specific TX-TEKS or STAAR Readiness Standards to integrate directly into what you’re teaching. Preview files to see if you like them & download the good ones. You can adapt and tweek them once downloaded.  

Sunday
Jan172016

Augmented Reality-Explore, Collaborate, Play, Learn!

3-D Augmented Reality (AR) apps bring learning to life by allowing students to unlock or create layers of digital information on top of the physical world that can be viewed through a device. This is a digitally enhanced view of the real world using a smartphone or tablet camera, because these added layers of digital information – videos, photos, sounds – connect directly to the world around us we are learning about. Here are a just few Apps students recently explored around science, digital storytelling, art, and gamification.

Monday
Nov232015

Scratch 101: Just 'Scratching' the Surface!

A Scratch 101 workshop I recently experienced 'just scratched the surface' of the myriad of projects that are possible for creative coders. Here is my 1st attempt at coding a little digital story. Looking forward to learning more about the immense potential of Scratch for Computer Science learning with students as we kick off our Hour of Code and K-5 Code.org coursework in the coming weeks!

Resources to Explore:

 * Hide & Seek [Hour of Code Tutorial]