First Graders and iPads, I think so!

Mrs. Herring's class researched their wonderings using the Pebble Go database on the iPad.

Blake's 6th Grade Teachers get a FaceLift!

While they piloted the Nexus 10 Tablet this past year, there was much excitement about switching to the iPad for 2014-15 school year!

8th Grade Teachers stop for a Group Selfie

The 8th Grade team has led the way with the successful implementation of 1:1 iPads at Blake MS. Next year, look out! We will be full scale 1:1 with the 6th and 7th grade too! We have to mention Beth Holland (in the photo)from EdTechTeacher who was a big help in providing valuable professional development.

8th Grade iBook Math Authors

Blake was fortunate to be the recipient of some wonderful Coalition grants. With the funding for Mac Minis, students were able to take their creations off their iPad and create an interactive Math book using iBook Authors.

3rd Graders Bring Life to Horrible Harry Characters

In preparation for author Suzy Kline's visit, Mr. Kuehl's class create an Augmented Reality project by drawing each character and using the Aurasma iPad app to trigger the image to a video of themselves describing their favorite character.

8.14.2014

Get Ready. Get Setup .....


The 2014-15 School Year is right around the corner!  There is mucho excitement about Blake MS going 1:1 iPads for the entire school! That's right.. 6th.. 7th... and 8th graders will all have iPads in hand. Prior to school starting, there are a few things students should do to help setup their iPads for the first day.

Mr. Vaughn has email detailed information about the following:

1. Creating your own school non-credit card Apple ID 
   with special instructions for those who are under the age of 13.

2. Google Account login information  and a link to Google Apps for Ed Overview. 

3. The iPad Initiative Student User Agreement

4. Starter List of Apps to download prior to the first day of school.

 Note: the apps on this list are all free. Some apps will require students to create an account. Please wait until the first day of school when teachers will provide instructions on how to create or sign into those accounts. We want to make sure their is consistency in how it is done so we're able to help support students when they encounter login problems.



5. Other apps:  If you happen to have a newer iPad, iMovie and other Apple-based apps (Garageband, Pages, etc.) are free for you to download.  Please go ahead and do that!
However, if you have an iPad 2, you would have to pay for those apps. The district will be purchasing extra iMovie redeemable codes for those students. Inform your advisory teacher of that on the first day.

Another paid app that is not on the above list is called Explain Everything. Students will be using this app probably the most! The district has purchased a redeemable code which will be given to students during the first two days to download then.

6. One last thing to think about as a family with a student who has their own mobile device...
a FAMILY CONTRACT! One of the homework assignments during the first week of school is complete the Common Sense Media Family Table Contract. Start giving it some thought, discussion and feel free to contact Mr. Vaughn or myself with any questions.

* Wait ... remember your iPad should be kept in a sturdy case. If it is a Leased iPad, then it must stay in the Survivor case that was provided. In the last two years, probably all but one cracked screen or damaged iPad occurred because it was not kept in a good case.

Ok, now go enjoy the last days of summer...exhale!

7.29.2014

Memorial School is Representing at the Better Together Conference!

This Fall, the MA School Librarian Association (MSLA) and MASSCUE are sponsoring a professional development event with projects that emphasis deeper learning and the collaboration between librarians, technology integration specialists and classroom teachers while tackling the Common Core.

Well,  Randie Groden, Memorial's Librarian, Julie Colantoni, First Grade Teacher and myself- Diane Horvath, TIS will be presenting a transformation of the Big 6 project into the student-centered Wonder Inquiry Project with the integration the new digital database, Pebble Go in combination of creativity apps on the iPAD.  We're excited about sharing our experience so  think about attending! We'd love your support!

Better Together Conference
Date:  September 20, 2014Place: Newton North, Newton, MA
Click Here for detailed information and registration!

4.21.2014

What Do You Wonder About?

What Are Your Wonderings? The first graders at Memorial School have a lot of them! They're wondering about stars, hurricanes, spring, caves. You name it. They're wondering about it. I bet you are wondering why we're doing some much wondering?! Well Memorial's Teacher-Librarian Randie Groden (@randiegroden) is revamping the Big 6 research project to the Stripling Model of Inquiry- with the focus on learning how to ask good questions ..... or wonders.
It works like this. Students are introduced to making an inquiry and researching their inquiry using the new Emergent Reader Research (Science) Database called Pebble GoNext they brainstormed a list of their wondering topics based on the Science categories and began their research documenting the facts and information they learned from the videos, images and text onto a (paper) graphic organizer.

Click on image to enlarge.

We posted our wonderings both on the LMC's bulletin board with 
sticky notes and our virtual bulletin board (padlet.com) too!

Click on image to enlarge.

After their research was completed, students drew a picture and
 wrote several sentences about their wonder.

Of course, we couldn't keep this all to ourselves!
It was important for us to create something 
to post on the blog and share our new learning.

Good thing we have iPads & the Chatterkids app to 
take a snapshot of our drawings and audio record
the facts we learned. That's what we did!

This is when students were teamed up with a partner to create 'talking' pictures!
Since it was this classroom's first time experiencing using the iPads,
working in partners helped students remember and/or
 figure out the directions together and sometimes 
you just need an extra pair of hands for picture-taking
and recording!



And now what you all have been wondering about... 
what does this Inquiry process really look like?


Now that this process has been modeled, teachers
can incorporate it into their classroom on a more consistent 
basis. Otherwise, in the past years with the Big 6th project, we found
that it was a once a year "big showcase" project that seemed
to be more teacher-centered than student. Hoping to see 
a transformation with the new Stripling Inquiry based approach and
the integration of technology to becoming more student-driven, collaborative, 
and connect students to a variety of resources.
This is just the beginning!

Besides.. wondering is neverending...

What's your next wonder?


FYI: Check out Wonderopolis.org as another place to Wonder

4.11.2014

4.06.2014

Look Who's Talking?!

What's all the talk about creativity on the iPad?

Well one of the simplest ways to add creativity to any lesson or activity is by making an image talk in two quick steps. That's right, first you'll choose an image -anything in your camera roll or draw your own (like Sketchbook express or Drawing Carl). Second, use an app like  Chatterpix or Yakit to add a mouth or face and record your voice! Voila, C'est a piece de resistance!

Another popular app, Telligami is very similar although it offers a little bit more. With Telligami you actually create an avatar and add your own background image. there's a choice to record your voice or type the text.

By giving students and teachers this type of capability, there are many possibilities for how to apply it to the class:
  • Oral practice of reading fluency or other languages
  • Oral directions
  • Explaining or introducing a concept
  • Become a character or historical figure!
  • Teach Perspective 
  • etc.
An example from SCS Elementary School. Students created Talking Snowmen
to "talk" about the recent snow storm and the weather.  

Talking Snowman by Laniah from Southfield Christian School on Vimeo.


Our own 8th Graders in Jason Heim's Advisory reflected on their report cards 
with a Telligami to share with their parents.



During a workshop, our French Teacher Cindy Dalpe gave us a snippet of
her lovely singing voice w/ a drawing app and Chatterpix!



Here's an self-created example of Yakit- just to give you a quick demo.
(for fun, of course)




These tools do not have to stand alone either, when combined with other apps (called app smashing) you can have endless options:

                     AppSmashing with Telligami
                     Yakit Tutorial
                     Chatterpix Book Talks with 2nd Graders
                     Aurasma and Chatterpix: A fun way to bring Photos to Life


Feel free to leave comments below of any ideas you have for using these 'talking' apps!

*Note: This post was inspired by Dan Callahan's Tweet about Pine Glen Elementary students using Yakit! I've love Chatterpix, but move over! Yakit may have knocked you out of your fav spot!