Monday, November 20, 2017
Funding through donors has been secured and OSMO has been ordered for Armstrong, Shute and Wilson schools! Each building will receive 2 OSMO bases as well as manipulatives/apps for Numbers, Words, Tangram, Coding, Pizza Company (money & fractions), Newton (basic physics puzzles) and Masterpiece (creativity & art). As soon as the order arrives, I'll schedule training and get those into the buildings for staff to check out for use with their iPads.
Monday, October 30, 2017
We have some new additions in our libraries, labs and classrooms! The district received two Cubetto sets (top image) that are traveling between our three K-2 buildings. During weekly computer lab time, students are introduced to Cubetto and basic computer programming skills, then students get hands-on time with that equipment. Cubetto, besides being fun, teaches grid maps, basic computer coding, logic and problem solving. So far, Cubetto is a big hit! Our 3-5 buildings similarly received four Sphero SPRK+ robots (bottom image) that travel. Students are coding in the computer lab using the Sphero Edu app, then running their programs (coding) using Sphero SPRK+ and Chromebooks. Again, students are learning (more advanced) computer coding as well as using their math and logic skills. CJHS has a variety of new options, coming soon to Mrs. George's and Mr. Ame's labs as well as the STEAM maker spaces in the school library. Ask your students about these!
Monday, June 5, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
The ISA (Illinois Science Assessment) is complete, PARCC testing is winding down and we're preparing for our final round of MAP testing. We began right before Spring Break and should finish this season of testing mid-May with then less than two weeks of the school year left.
Our students in the computer labs are thoroughly enjoying Write Comics (http://www.writecomics.com) and Tux Paint while finding Storyboard That a bit of a challenge (though also fun). The library time drama unit was a favorite as well! The next step our Library Media Specialist and I take is to review the year's activities and make plans for tweaks and changes next school year.
In my role as tech trainer for staff, I've had the opportunity to borrow an Osmo Starter Kit from the Peoria Regional Office of Education to explore what it has to offer. I'll be introducing it to some teachers for their review, but I predict it will be very well received. I love the fact that it combines hands-on with an interactive iPad app. Their site can be found at: https://www.playosmo.com/en/
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Even though it's snowing outside this 13th of March, we are all still looking forward to Spring Break coming up soon!
Our K-2 buildings are headed into some technology lessons soon. Kindergartners will look at what plants and animals need to survive and create some Tux Paint (a free download at http://www.tuxpaint.org/) and Storyboard That (free online at http://www.storyboardthat.com/) projects around the concepts. First grade will be using Write Comics (http://www.writecomics.com/) as a fun way to type dialogue while second grade will be learning to use Google Slides as they research an animal as a class and learn some basic research skills.
Third and fourth graders are finishing up units on teeth and volcanoes (respectively), including a variety of research and information technology skills (and a touch of spreadsheets). Fifth graders are concluding units of poetry and drama as well as a web site evaluation skills lesson. We're finishing up March before Spring Break with some PARCC testing tech skills to assure students can easily navigate the online test.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
It's January, 2017 and the school year is continuing in full swing. Tech use continues and it's time to begin planning for end of the year testing. There are some changes from ISBE and Pearson to our PARCC online testing format for grades 3rd through 8th, so we'll spend some time with students before Spring Break to get them familiar with those. After Spring Break, our PARCC testing window opens, then our final round of MAP testing as well as the ISA (Illinois Science Assessment) for 5th and 8th graders. Now is the time we're looking at our tech integration so far this school year and making any tweaks/adjustments or adding training that might be beneficial. In particular, we're beginning a close look at our 8th grade 1:1 Chromebook initiative so far. It may be cold outside, but we're just warming up in here!
Image from: http://wendycbaker.com/
November brings thoughts of thankfulness and our nation's selfless veterans!
It's officially fall and the school year is now well under way. Our building labs, sets of iPads and Chromebook carts are booked for use by classes and our staff have been pretty thoroughly "Googled" in terms of training. Just take a look at the "For Staff" tab above to peruse our professional development. This year, for instance, all of our staff were trained on Google Sites as we dropped our use of TeacherWeb and began supporting the use of Google Sites for classroom websites. If you visit our building websites (linked to on the footer of this page), you'll see that most of the URL web addresses to teachers' sites begin with "sites.google.com"... Our teachers deserve kudos for all their great work on those sites. Our 8th grade staff get a shout out as well, for their move to integration of 1:1 Chromebooks during the school day. While a few "bugs" can always be expected, we've been working through them and there is integration excitement on the third floor of CJHS!