Camera Tool + Air Server = Improved Projects!

Posted by childrenfirst in Assessment, Common core, Elementary, iPads, Presentation Tool, Technology | Leave a comment

I saw the BEST lesson in Michelle Doyle’s K5 class last week that I have to share. She used Number Pieces Basics on her iPad, plastic base 10 blocks, the Promethean Board, and Air Server to model counting and place value with her students.

First, she wrote a 2 digit number on her iPad in Number Pieces Basics. Then a student pulled the digital representation using the blocks from Number Pieces onto the iPad. This was projected on the Promethean Board via Air Server.

Next, she asked the student to use the manipulatives from the plastic tub to represent the number she wrote on her iPad.

Then, she turned her camera tool on and used it as a document camera and held it over the manipulatives as the student counted.  All students were able to see what was happening on the Promethean Board as the student counted out loud. The teachers were able to see if he was using one-to-one correspondence and if he could identify 10s and 1s place value. #formativeassessment

The use of the iPad as a portable document camera to display students’ work and projects for all to see is phenomenal!

Thank you Michelle for being so innovative and creative!

Students Love Discovery Education Science Techbook

Posted by childrenfirst in iPads, Professional Development, Science, Technology | 1 Comment

Quotes from students this year about the Discovery Education Science Techbook:

” Mr. Rowland, can I get Science Techbook at home?”

“Would it be OK if I took my username card home so I can work on this at home?”

“Science Techbook actually makes science fun!”

“We learned about Earthquakes on Friday and we had an earthquake on Saturday!”

“I think Science Techbook is the best because I love the videos, we all do!”

I have the distinct privilege of training teachers and students how to use technology in Greenville County Title I schools.  After attending a workshop with  Discovery Techbook in October, I decided to train teachers and students how to use Techbook and set that as my professional goal for the 2013-2014 school year.

Welcome Elementary School and Monaview Elementary School piloted DE Techbook this year.  I decided to spend time working with teachers during planning and after school to help them plan lessons and navigate the app.  The best part was modeling ways to integrate the amazing resources that are available to students using this app in their classrooms.

Welcome Elementary is a 1:1 iPad school and Monaview Elementary has a variety of devices such as laptops, iPads, mini iPads, Dell tablets, and 2 computer labs.

Both schools have a Virtual Science Lab and are able to partner with each other during Science experiments.

Here is the padlet wall that I built to help teachers with the Techbook Implementation. I took off the school specific information that I originally included on the padlet wall.

Here is a video as I introduce Techbook to students in 3rd grade.

Welcome iPad Learning Walk

Posted by childrenfirst in Common core, Elementary, iPads, QR Codes, Related Arts, Screen Recordings | Leave a comment

On March 12, several teachers and Administrators from Anderson 1, Greenwood County and Greenville Schools came to observe the Welcome Elementary students and teachers in their 1:1 iPad environment.  We called it an iPad Learning Walk. The visitors were excited and extremely complimentary of the lessons they observed in the classrooms.

We created a survey to gather feedback and here are the results about a few things they learned on the walk:

  • how independent the students were
  • how well Related Arts were using the iPads
  • how well K5 and 1st grade use the iPad
  • how each class differentiated instruction
  • how knowledgeable the student leaders were
  • how useful the iPads were in every subject
  • how effective the use of Air Server was
  • how crucial it is to have an expert on site
  • how well the students behaved and were engage
  • how the classroom flowed and was differentiated
  • how much the students love the iPads
  • how feedback is generated for each student
  • how important it is to have a strong foundation and implementation BEFORE putting iPads in teachers/students’ hands
  • how an iPad classroom operates
  • how a number of apps worked across the various grade levels
  • how important teacher training and follow up is
  • how to limit apps

The apps they were most interested in were: Explain EverythingBook Creator, EdmodoDiscovery Education Science TechbookRaz Kids A-Z, HMH App for leveled readers, the ability to mirror using  Air Server, the usefulness of QR Codes, and the features of Padlet website.

For a list of apps and activities that students were using click here. Welcome iPad Learning Walk Activities (Responses)

Tagxedo as a Presentation Tool

Posted by childrenfirst in Presentation Tool, Technology | Leave a comment

Are your students tired of using PowerPoint as a presentation tool? Are you frustrated because your students don’t have enough time to prepare a Prezi presentation? Here is another way students can share their knowledge.  Students can take any report, book, project, letter, or story, that is in digital form, and copy and paste it into Tagxedo. For example, if they type a research paper about Earthquakes that they learned about from Discovery Education Science Techbook, they can copy it and paste it into a Word Cloud using Tagxedo. All you have to do is click Create, Install Silverlight, and you are ready to Load your text.  After the text is loaded, you can submit it.  You have the option to choose the shape you would like your words to fill.  This is perfect for Poetry writing. If students write a poem about a flower, they could upload a picture of a flower or choose the flower template that is available.  They can then choose the font layout, theme and colors.  When it is time to present their project, you can copy the embed code and post it on your blog or they can upload it to Edmodo. When they mouse over the words, the words will “jump out” and spin and grow larger.  I teach the students the term “function of frequency” which means that the more often a word is typed, the larger it will appear. It is a great way to determine the main idea of the presentation. It would be a great way to study for a test. Students could copy and paste their notes into Tagxedo and review the key points by mousing over the words with a partner.

I made a Tagxedo about last year’s Technology Showcase at Monaview by using the notes about the projects students were doing that day.

Here are some Public Speaking Tips from Prezi.

Horizon Report 2013 Summary

Smore Website: Awesome Newsletter Creator!

Posted by childrenfirst in Newsletter | Leave a comment

I just created a newsletter in less than 10 minutes using this awesome website:  Smore

It is one of those websites I heard about at a conference and thought it was a fantastic tool, but I never actually used it.  I forgot about it until I ran across it on Twitter today as one of the Best Websites for Teachers. I believe my former first grade student, Tamara Cox, media specialist extraordinaire in Anderson 1 taught me about this at SCEdtech last year.

These are fabulous resources that you should know about and I’m excited to share these websites with you.

Padlet for Presentations, Menus, Differentiation, Pacing

Posted by childrenfirst in Professional Development, Technology | 6 Comments

I have enjoyed using this year for presentations with teachers, ICs, Principals, and in classrooms with students.  It is a versatile, interactive bulletin board which will allow you to upload links to websites, upload files, and add labels or sticky notes to the board.

When using this for professional development, I add the basic information that I need to present first.  Then, I add documents, videos, websites that will enhance the learning process. Some teachers/students work at a faster pace or may have knowledge about a certain subject, so I include activities for them to do while I work with teachers who need help with the more basic concepts.

It is also helpful because teachers can add a sticky note while I’m teaching and I can stop and answer the question that they posted on the Padlet board.  Also, they may have resources that they’d like to share with others and they can add their resources to the board, too.

I believe that teachers learn best when they have choice. This is the purpose of using Padlet with teachers. They can choose their pathway to learning.

Formative Assessment and ActivExpressions Padlet

Welcome Menu

Here are the last 2 Padlets that I have used for Professional Development.

My co-worker and friend, Dr. Stephanie Williams, also is using Padlet for her presentations.  See her presentation on Doceri. 

Here are some resources about Padlet for you to explore:



Discovery Education Science Techbook: AMAZING!

Posted by childrenfirst in Science, STEM, Technology | 3 Comments

My goal this year is to show teachers at Monaview and Welcome how to utilize Discovery Ed Techbook and create assignments for students.  Here is a flyer about the iPad and Techbook.

Discovery Education is a fabulous resource for students and teachers.

1. You need to know your students log-in information before they can access the resources.

2. Log-in to your Discovery Education account.

3. Click on Classroom Manager.discovery ed classroom roster 1

4. Go to My Students and click Print Roster.

5. You will see your students’ log-in information.

6. Cut the roster into individual strips so the students can have their log-in information. Keep it in a secure place.

7. Now your students can access the wonderful features of Discovery Education.

Here is a short video showing students using Science Techbook in 3rd grade.

Strategies to Engage Students

Posted by childrenfirst in Common core, Professional Development | 4 Comments

Have you tried the Fishbowl Strategy?

Instructional Strategies for every teaching situation you face. Teaching Strategies Website

Inside Outside Circles


Numbered Heads Together


Biography in a Bag

RAFT  (My favorite strategy)

Title I Regional Training SchoolTube and Screen Recordings

Posted by childrenfirst in Screen Recordings | 1 Comment

title I regional training

Teachers and students are doing such a great job recording lessons using the iPad and Promethean Board that I wanted to share ways that you can do this, too.

At our workshop, you will learn how to use the Promethean Board to make screen recordings and how to use your iPad to make screen casting videos.

If you are using the Promethean Board, you will need to add the video screen recorder to your tool bar by going into File: Settings: Commands: Screen Recorder and add. You will simply click the screen recording icon, save your file and begin teaching using your Promethean Board as usual.  Then upload your video to School Tube and share your link on your website or blog.

Here is Stephanie Williams’ Flipchart she created to show you how to create your own (minus the videos):

Screencasting with ActivInspire

Have you ever thought of simply using the Video Recorder of your iPad or Flip Camera to show students and you teaching a lesson?  You can upload the video to School Tube and publish it on your website or blog.

Here is a link to show you how to create videos using your phone or iPad or video camera:

Common Craft Tutorial

Finally, we will show you how to use apps such as Explain Everything and Screen Chomp and Educreations to make teaching videos.

Here are the tutorials for these programs:

Explain Everything

Now, how do I get these great lessons on my blog or website?  You will upload all y our videos them to School Tube

Uploading Video to SchoolTube Tutorial

SchoolTube to Teacher Website tutorial

The goal is to have students create their own “tutorials” using the Promethean Board or iPad. They love to be the teacher!