Monthly Archives: June 2014

5 Collaboration


“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

—Ryunosuke Satoro

There is so much power in collaboration.  Collaboration has been made loads easier, thanks to the magic of technology!  As I journeyed through this lesson on collaboration tools, all I could think about was how wonderful these will be for my 3rd grade team PLC.  We are constantly creating and editing documents and assessments for units of instruction.  One person would work on it at home and then print it off for all of us to go over at the next meeting.  SO TIME CONSUMING!  Using Google Drive will save us insane amounts of time, but more importantly I believe with that by using this tool to truly collaborate, we will produce some of our very best work.  I was also thrilled with the idea of using Doodle to help us pin down PLC meeting times that work for everyone.

Choosing a regular PLC meeting time

Choosing a regular PLC meeting time

I really enjoyed playing around with the interactive pinboard, lino.  What a cool way to organize, collaborate and share ideas.  It is even a fabulous personal resource! I couldn’t help but imagine how helpful this would be for wedding planning or for planning remodeling projects in the home.  As far as using it in the classroom, I found it to be an excellent place to post assignments with helpful tips, videos and pictures to guide them through the assignment.  Click here to see the lino I created to help my students with a comparing fractions assignment.

Thinking of my own classroom and students next year, here are some ways I would like my students to use some tools for collaboration:

-I truly believe that I will easily be able to modify my instruction using Google Presentations.  When having my students working on a group presentation, they can each be assigned certain slides and all be working on it at once.  Group work will become way more efficient.

-My writing conferences will be completely changed by the use of Google Drive.  The ability to leave comments on my students’ writing pieces will increase my efficiency in getting feedback to students but I also believe it will make the students more engaged in the editing process.  This could also enhance peer editing.

-I am very intrigued by BoomWriter!  What an authentic way to involve kids in the writing process!  Having their peers evaluate their work and giving them a place to publish with a real audience would be very powerful!

boomwritergoogle drivegoogle pres

This thing is closely linked to CITW best practices.  Clearly, it support Cooperative Learning.  Many of the tools we learned about enable students to work cooperatively through collaboration.  I also feel that this lesson greatly supports Providing Feedback.  As I mentioned above, using Google Drive to give students feedback on their writing pieces will be very powerful.  Students will also be able to use these tools to receive feedback from their peers.

4 Cloud Initiation


Today I ventured into “The Cloud.”  This epic place where all your data can be stored.  I experimented with Diigo and Symbaloo.  I ultimately decided on Symbaloo because I feel like it is very kid friendly.  I wanted to create a page so my students would be able to easily access sites we will use on a regular basis next year when they have their chrome books.  Click here to see my Symbaloo Webmix for my students to use.

Too funny! :)

Too funny! 🙂

I also created a new dropbox account for school.  I already had one for personal use.  Our district is really pushing us to use Google Drive as our “cloud.”  So I am not sure how much I will use dropbox, but I am glad I have it as an option.

Here are links to 3 of my documents I uploaded to dropbox:

Our Promise to Each Other

Estimation Word Problems

Graphic Organizer

This “Thing” has reminded me that “The Cloud” is a great tool for collaboration.  Using dropbox or google drive, I can share endless documents and files with my co-workers.  My team and I spent a lot of time this past year collaborating on the creation of math units.  Going through this module made me realize that we really should have used this technology.  It would have been of great benefit to us and our students.  I believe utilizing “The Cloud” this fall will make collaborating and unit creation much easier.  I am also over the moon excited to use Symbaloo with my students!  Having them type in URLs to locate specific websites can be such a hassle.  I am posting my Webmix on my classroom webpage so my students can easily access all the sites we use on a regular basis.  Using this technology will greatly increase our class’ efficiency when completing tasks online.

Cloud Initiation involves many of the CITW9 strategies.  However, the one that really sticks out to me is cooperative learning.  Using cloud technologies, teachers and students can easily collaborate with one another.  Sharing social bookmarks and files using cloud resources truly supports cooperative learning.  Cloud resources also enable us to store and share documents for homework and practice. Learning about Cloud resources supports ISTE Teacher Standard 3 (Model Digital Age Work and Learning).  I look forward to modeling use of the cloud for my co-workers and my students.

A Wordle all about The Cloud :)

A Wordle all about The Cloud 🙂

3 Visual Learning

3 Visual Learning

Oh man! I had way too much fun with this one! There seems to be endless possibilities with the graphic organizers and word clouds!  I am going to spend some more time googling uses in the elementary classroom to get inspired.  There are so many creative ways to put these into your lessons for those visual learners.  The first Wordle I tried was just copying and pasting a paragraph about Sloths from Nat Geo for Kids.  We do a unit on ecosystems every year and the students spend time researching specific animals that live in their ecosystem.  I thought this would be a cool way to represent main ideas about an animal.

Wordle: Sloth


So many for the 108 uses for Word Clouds hit home for me.  I could definitely see myself using them for vocabulary, book reviews, parts of speech and for students to check their word usage in a piece of writing. I also think it would be awesome for community building at the beginning of the year.  Each student could create a word cloud about themselves.

I also couldn’t resist playing with Tagxedo.  I thought it was a perfect tool for opening the school year.  It is a great place to put words and character traits that are important for success this school year.  I chose to copy and paste our classroom promise into Tagxedo.  I loved that I could make it in the shape of a star to go with our Superstar classroom theme!

Our Promise to Each Other

Our Promise to Each Other


I decided to try playing with Popplet to experiment with mind mapping.  I imagined that it would be a great tool for students to show the multiple ways to represent and solve a multiplication problem.  Click Here to check out my multiplication Popplet.

QR Code for Waverly Community Schools Website

QR Code for Waverly Community Schools Website


QR Codes are completely new to me.  I am one of those crazy people without a smart phone so have never had the chance to experiment with them.  It was interesting to read about the many uses for them.  I could see using it for scavenger hunts or classroom tours on curriculum night.  I emailed our district tech department to see if there is a QR Code reader available for the Chrome Books our kiddos will be using.  Looking forward to trying this out in the fall!  Today I used QR Stuff to create a QR Code for my school webpage.


The infographic was definitely the most challenging for me.  I struggled to come up with what kind of information to present on it, but also how I would use it in the classroom.  Formatting was also much more challenging with this tool.  I tried modifying one of the available themes on Piktochart to present data about my students’ feelings towards math and reading as well as their success rate.  Check it out below.

Math vs Reading Infographic using Piktochart

Math vs Reading Infographic using Piktochart

All of these tools clearly tie into the CITW9 best practices: nonlinguistic representation and using advanced organizers.  I can really see my students organizing their ideas using popplet.  I can also create QR codes for students in anticipation of a lesson to support cues, questions, and advanced organizers

PHEW, that was a lot of learning!  SO excited to implement these things in the classroom and even more excited to play around with all of these new sites.  So finally, to conclude my never ending post about Visual Learning, go check out my Face of the Classroom page to see how I used to Tagxedo to display our classroom promise!


Face of your Classroom


I created a classroom webpage using weebly last year.  It was a great tool for my students, their parents and I.  My goal for this year is to make it more user friendly and to get parents using it on a more consistent basis.  I have archived parts of my webpage from last year under the “previous classes” tab.  You can see my use of slideshows, posting documents and youtube videos under the tab 2013-2014.  I have some basic things in place so I can start the next school year with a fresh page.  I look forward to using it daily with my students.  They will each have a chrome book and I will be using our webpage as our homepage and jumping off point for assignments and projects.  It is still a work in progress.

Creating a classroom webpage definitely meets ISTE.T Standard 3.C (Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital age media and formats).  It is a wonderful way to communicate with my students and their families.  While a classroom webpage really hits on many (or all) of the 9 Best Practices, I love to use it most for reinforcing effort and providing recognition.  (See Supsterstar Showcase from previous year).

Click here to see what I have so far. Enjoy!

class webpage

Screenshot my classroom webpage



When I took the quiz, I realized I had a lot of basic knowledge but not enough to feel confident in most areas.  I felt comfortable with browser gymnastics and using some simple shortcuts.  I needed to watch tutorials on screenshots and advanced browser gymnastics.  I also spent some time reading up on the standards mentioned: ISTE Standards for Teachers, Best Practice Strategies (based on the Marazano 9), SAMR Model. I took the typing test and was able to type 65 WPM with 91% accuracy, so I felt pretty good about that.  I learned many new things during this lesson but the two that stand out the most are the ability to use the control + and – shortcuts to zoom in and out and also how to save a screenshot has a picture.  I modeled the zooming shortcut for a friend and for a co-worker because I was so excited about it!  It was very simple to demonstrate and they caught on right away.  This process of learning is new to me.  I have never taken an online class before.  I did like having the quiz to help me hone in on what tutorials I really needed to focus on, however I was a little overwhelmed by the many videos.  I think I will need to revisit a few.  I appreciated being able to save the pdfs about shortcuts for future reference.

1 basics

Screenshot and Browser Gymnastics practice