Here’s the handout from the Salem City Schools SPED Presentation:
- Hearing Impaired Instructor
- Preschool Students
- Preschool Teacher
- Self Contained Students
- Self Contained Teachers
- Social Worker
- Special Ed Coordinators
Here’s the handout from the Salem City Schools SPED Presentation:
Meg found this website at a conference this weekend. She’s making us laugh with it. I’m teaching a blogging class right now with a bunch of teachers!
What do pirates, 2nd graders, gps units, and math all have in common? Pirate geocaching, of course!
This summer, I had the opportunity to work with a great bunch of 2nd graders during summer school. This group loved technology, and so I decided to organize a Math review using our GPS units. Since it was summer time, and we were reading stories about pirates and the ocean, the theme naturally lent itself to pirates! Plus pirates are really fun!!
So, here’s how it all went down:
1) I organized the caches the students needed to find around the pirate theme. At each cache, students needed to solve a 2nd grade math problem to know what to bring back to the “Captain.” A big thanks to Joani Sotherden, Kathy Smith and Diane Rose for this part of the project! They helped me come up with the problems for each cache.
Download cache questions (Print on Avery size 8164 labels).
Here are pictures of the caches and their contents:
Next, Meg Swecker joined me one afternoon to help find great hiding spots for the six caches around South Salem Elementary. We programed in each location on six gps units.
Judy Fisher (the other second grade teacher) and I rounded up some adults to help lead each group. We also organized our two 2nd grade classes into six different teams of four students each. Then morning before the event, we hid the caches in their spots. A clipboard was made for each team that consisted of:
Right before we went out to do the activity, we gave the students pirate hats (free from Long John Silvers), set up the scenario, gave some basic rules, and assigned teams.
Each team was given their clipboard. The adults quickly showed their group of students how to use the gps units, and they were off!
It was so much fun! Everyone had a blast, and I was amazed to see students who struggled to complete work at their desks take lead rolls as they trekked around the schoolyard solving math problems.
A big thanks to all those people who showed up to learn about geocaching or to lend a hand, including…
Co-Teacher: Judy Fisher (she also supplied the awesome pirate hats)
Group Leaders: Judy’s son–“Mr. Fisher,” Hunter Routt, Sherri Tompkins, Debbie Stanley
Photographer : Diane Rose
Math Problems: Joani Sotherden, Kathy Smith and Diane Rose
Partner-in-Crime: Meg Swecker (who’s always up for an adventure, pirate or otherwise)
Do Pirates Take Baths? by Kathy Tucker
(This book is great for a writing prompt, especially writing asking and telling sentences).
Franklin County is offering summer Technology training again, but a little differently this time. Instead of offering it all during one week of the summer, they’ve spread sessions out across the summer. It’s an excellent way of gaining some new technology skills, and for free. To learn more about these sessions, please visit their site: Franklin County Teacher Training
For Salem Employees, you can earn five re-certification points for any full day workshop and five points for two half-day workshops.
Have you seen the Nicoles’ new Carver library webpage? Or Victoria Salvat’s Kindergarten page? If not, check them out! You will notice they are using a really cool service called Glogster. Glogster allows you to make interactive poster-like creatives that include links, pictures, and videos all with a really slick looking design. You can allow these posters to stand alone as wepbages, or embed them in webpage, wiki, or blog. It works especially well for the homepage of a website. This is what Victoria and Nicole did to add that extra touch to their websites. Pam and I also used this for the Trek2India wiki!
So, want to make interactive posters with your kids? Here’s a tutorial that shows you how!
Always remember to stay on the educational gloster site (http://www.glogster.com/edu) with your students. Otherwise, they may access inappropriate material on the regular Glogster site.
This article is mainly for teachers at East Salem Elementary, and any new teachers at G.W. Carver. It will give you suggested resources for setting up a web presence for your classroom. Once you set-up your site, please let me know the address so I can link it to our schools’ homepage!
See me for software and initial setup. Most of our staff in Salem is using this type of web presence. It’s really not hard, and it looks very professional!
example: Miss Erickson’s Kennel Club
This is a web-based solution…you don’t need special software. Not sure how long Weebly will remain free, but it’s great right now, and extremely easy!
example: Mrs. Dick’s Class
Create a class blog that includes homework. Let me know if you decide on this option…I can help you turn off ads.
example: The Busy Bees
Create a class blog with separate blogs for your students too. This is my favorite way to do student blogging. Let me know if you decide on this option–I’ll send you our school set-up code.
example: The Coffey Crew
These options have not yet been used by teacher at East or GWC, but I think they have potential.
example: Mrs. Richau’s Class
Update by sending an email and it appears on your web page like a blog
Sending the Big Lick Geobug on its way…. on PhotoPeach (Pictures by Meg Swecker)
Basically, the idea is that our Big Lick Geobug will travel from cache to cache with geocachers…all the way to Canada. It will be a slow process, possibly, since some caches aren’t found for weeks at a time….but hopefully some geocachers can take it long distances. Meanwhile, classes in Salem and Roanoke County (with Meg Swecker) will track it’s movements!
Ms. Deyenberg is doing the same thing too. Her 5th Grade class is sending Flop the Other Dorothy Dalgliesh Dolphin to us! You can read about the geobugs below (and follow them too)!
It’s a long way to Alberta, Canada, so they might not make it, but we are keeping our fingers crossed!! Following the geobugs as they travel will help our students practice map skills….and Math (as they calculate how far each bug has traveled). Here’s a map with their starting and ending points:
View Geobugs! Map in a larger map
These bugs have the summer to travel, and hopefully will have moved some by the time we come back in the Fall. If you would like to follow along next year, let me know. I can come show your class how to geocache (even tie it with a topic you are teaching), and make sure you receive updates anytime one of the geobugs moves! I think we have some 2nd grade teachers already who will be following along!
Want to connect for free (or cheaply) with people all over the world? Want to make video phone calls? Skpye is a free way to do that! All you need is your computer, a web cam (and East and GWC each have one you can borrow), and a free download!
Here are the steps:
2. Follow directions to create a Skype account!
3. Start calling.
For a step-by-step how-to guide, click here.
How do you use this in the classroom, you ask? Lots of ways!
Can you think of other ways?
A few of our classes have been using Skype to connect with classrooms in different areas. Mrs. Barnett’s Fourth Grade at East talked with students in Virginia Beach to learn more about the Tidewater Region of VA.
Mrs. Hall’s Fourth graders at GWC answered the questions of a couple of students in Wisconsin who were doing state reports.
I found a new hobby! It combines two of my favorite things: nature and technology!! It’s basically high-tech treasure hunting. Who can’t get excited about THAT?!
Here’s how it works.
If you find a cache, there are a few rules.
So, what does this have to do with the TEACHING with Technology blog? Well, kids love treasure hunts!! And what better way to get them outside and moving than a treasure hunt! So here’s how you’d do it in the classroom.
I had the opportunity to observe a group of third grades geocaching last Friday. The teacher, Meggen Devlin, developed a Science Lesson that incorporated the gps systems. She had students find hidden caches full of pictures different types of “trash.” Students retrieved the pictures, and then based on what they had learned from a previous part of the lesson, used the pictures to make predictions about the rate in which the different items they found (all types of materials) decompose. The gps section of the lesson was just a part of a bigger lesson, but it sure got the kids excited and active, and make them think!
I’ve also had the opportunity to talk with fellow ITRT, and expert geocacher, Debbie Newman. Debbie has created geocaching units to help students review for SOL tests. You can view some of her resources here.
Finally, our very own Victoria Salvat tried geocaching with Kindergartners! She had parents help with the activity. She hid Easter eggs full of sight words, and had students use the gps units to find them, and then read the words to the parent. Here’s a video from her blog!
So what are some other ideas for using geocaching in the classroom? Here are some ideas adapted from From: Jen Deyenberg on Twitter (@jdeyenberg):
Some other ideas:
If you get fancy, you may want to place a travel coin or a geobug in a cache, and track it with your students! Or create your own cache, and track who visits, and where they are from!
We have a classroom set of GPS units that you can use in the classroom! Just let your librarian or I know, and well be glad to make sure the set is delivered to you. I would love to help you set up and run the activity as well.
Does anyone have anymore great ideas? If so, please post below!
Image: ‘Slightly north of here‘
Following the our iGoogle Workshop, I’ve had a few requests for blogs to add to your iGoogle page. Here are a few I like to follow:
Technology in Elementary Classrooms:
I have many more of these if you want…
(Amanda Gibson) The Gifted Corner
If you need help remembering how to add an RSS feed to your iGoogle Page, don’t forget to take a look at your iGoogle Handout.
If you find that you have a lot of blogs that you want to follow, it might be good to start using Google Reader. Will visit that topic soon! ;)
Feel free to comment and add some of your favorites!