Thursday, March 12, 2009

Teaching Long Division with Snapz Pro X

Visual Literacy

My students have always done a report on where their heritage comes from. It has always been exciting for students to interview their parents and share their family history with the class, but this year I gave it a technical twist. Students interviewed their parents and grandparents, wrote the report about their heritage, and then turned the report into a voice thread. Listen to some of the following students' heritage.

In this project several of Marzono's strategies were used: note taking, nonlinguistic representation (finding the correct pictures), cues and advanced organizers... just to name a few. I highly reccommend using Voice Thread to liven up a traditional report.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I've been tagged by Tammy Gilley

Here are the meme rules for my fellow bloggers:

  • Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

I really try to avoid these forwarding games, but for my mentor and friend Tammy, I'll list seven things I don't think my Kansas friends know about me.

1) I was on a two-time state champion team for the Colorado 3A Dance Competition. The third year I was one of the "Heads" and we were disqualified for a fancy move we had developed. MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT!

2) I took care of my Grandmother the final months of her life at the age of 17. She became really sick right before summer and as a summer job my grandpa asked me if I would watch her, care for her, and be her companion. I agreed, but little did we all know those two months would be the last months of her life. Talk about a growing point in life.

3) I used to play midnight hide -n- seek on the lawn of the Colorado Capital Building. We actually played with the guards.

4) I student taught in a feeder school of Columbine just after the attack. During the attack I was working in the same district and my college was just five miles from the site. The kicker about the whole ordeal was the compassion I witnessed from the inner-city kids I worked with. One little girl heard gun shots every night outside of her apartment building and had members of her family killed in gang violence. She came to me the day of the attack and asked for prayer for the families of those students. I quote, "Did you hear about those kids who were killed today at school? How awful to be afraid to do go school?" Wow! What a world we live in.

5) I married the school maintenance man.

6) I wasn't going to marry a younger man. I was never going to live in Kansas. I definitely wasn't going to be a poor farmers wife.... My husband is 11 months younger than me and we enjoy our home in Yoder, Kansas where he farms for a living.

7) We live in an Amish community where the pace of life is so peaceful and slow. I love it here and never want to leave.

I tag my students: Jackson, Breanna, Austin, Abbie, Heather, Daniel, Gabe, Nicole, Allie, and Tyler.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Twitter, I am addicted. It was bad for me to have two weeks at home and do nothing but follow Twitter. All of the adventures it takes you, all of the conversation you can have, all of the people you can meet. I moved a step farther this break, I downloaded Twitterlex on my dashboard so I can constantly be updated. Now, I think Twitter has me convinced to join Facebook... that is a bold move for me. We'll see what other adventures twitter leads me into.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Marzono's 9 Best Practices - Cooperative Groups

A bit of pedagogy please. A renown educational guru, Robert Marzano came up with 9 instructional strategies to help students learn. (Since it is mostly teachers who read this blog, I'm sure this is not news to you). One of my assignments in my Digital Classroom Study is to take a strategy and go techno on it. Well, I found a web site: But I didn't think that would get me the grade I wanted, since the assignment was to use it in my class... problem, this assignment is due in two days, and I am now just looking at it. But the angels are looking down upon me, becasue as I scroll down the web page of Marzano's practices I come across this Cooperative Groups. For the past month my students have broken up into different reading groups, going through level animal novels and doing all of thier assignments on the wiki. Here are just a few of the assignments:
  • On Kidspriation students created a setting plot for the story Poppy and uploaded the image as a jpg on our Wiki.
  • Students took different characters from the novel and found different pictures that represent that person's character traits.
  • Students wrote summaries together about the chapters they read.
  • Students started discussions on some of the issues brought up by the novels. Other students commented.
My first Wiki adventure is not as polished I would have liked it, but it was fun, and I am very glad my class entered into this adventure with me.

Go check it out!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Great Sites for Kids and Parents

I spent the weekend in the south (south of OKC that is) and I was talking to my aunt whose son is in the third grade. I introduced her to some great computer programs, and it made me think, maybe others would benefit from these sites as well.

Spelling City (

Okay, this might be a program that has been talked about some, but its still worth mentioning. This site has a option for students, parents or teachers. I use it some as a teacher for the practice aspect, but I think students could use this site to just practice spelling in general. It includes games, practice tests, different lists and more. Go check it out.

Big Branz Time Attack (

This is a game you download onto your computer. It is a real video game designed by the same people who create some of the high end play station games. A little troll goes through this castle and he has to "conquer" all of the multiplication facts to move on. It is a game that lends to conceptual understanding as well as reviewing the "facts". My third grade cousin really got into it. After playing it for a while, you can save the game and go back to it. Try with student struggling with multiplication and see if it helps.

Until next time, this is your Tech Rich Classroom Teacher going on to find ways to make teaching easier.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Classroom Wiki

Okay, this one I need lots of help with: My Classroom Wiki. I have started with reading; all of our reading groups and their assignments are on the wiki. It's actually really cool. They are embedding photos, starting discussions, and creating their own pages. It is just beginning, but I want to do more. Help me gang. Please comment and tell we what you are doing to your wikis and tell me how you are doing it. I just want to get better and better.