Friday, March 16, 2018

Links and Loves

This week has been INCREDIBLE!  We are so blessed!

On my commute to work, I listened to this and this and this.  (Better PD, Modern Family and Flipping Science) #TryPod

To celebrate #InternationalWomen’sDay, I viewed this slideshow of girls from around the world going to school.

This site intrigues me.   Move over escape rooms or BreakoutEDU, check out Room Escape Maker!

I’m among some incredible educators for this Saturday’s, free SimpleK12, Google Training Webinars.   

Happy Friday and consider this inspiring message that I created with this Chrome extension.


Curricular Connection

I have heard this tool referred to as the Swiss army knife of the GSuite!  
I recently showed a colleague how to add a Google Drawing to a Google Document by clicking on Insert and then Drawing. Google Drawing provides a blank canvas on which to add images, text. shapes, lines, etc. And the best part is, you can rearrange every object easily. Also, the Google Drawing can be resized in your Google Doc.  See some examples, by clicking here.

Enjoy your Friday and best wishes to the Oshkosh North Spartan's basketball team as they compete at state this weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I Have Some Big News -- Actually HUGE News to Share!

We've Been Awarded a Technology Grant for Our High School!
Let's Celebrate!

In January, our principal, Ms. Jackie Schleicher, came to me with a challenge.  There was a local grant opportunity called the Rudoy Technology Grant. We decided to take on the challenge of writing a proposal that showed innovation, career connections, the 4 Cs (soft skills)  and incorporated current and advanced technologies.

We have been notified that our proposal was accepted and we have won the Rudoy Technology Grant through the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation!

Rudoy Technology Grant Proposal- Oshkosh North High School
Advanced Printing, Coding, Robotics and Hi-Tech Production OH MY!

Click here to take a look our grant proposal. 

I am beyond ecstatic and excited for the amazing opportunities this grant will bring to our staff, students and parents. Here is a list of the items we submitted in our grant proposal:

Advanced Printing
Dremel 3D Printer
Filament for 3D Printing 5 colors
Cricut Vinyl Cutter
Paper, vinyl and mats for the Cricut Vinyl Cutter
Variquest Poster Maker -- Perfecta 2400 Plus
Ink and paper for the Poster Maker
DJI Spark Portable Mini Drone Quadcopter
Robotic Programmable Arm
Arduino Circuit
Raspberry Pi Coding and circuit kit
Oculus Rift VR headset and hand controllers
Swivl C series robot

Ricoh Theta V 360 Spherical Camera

(2) iPads
Yeti Microphone with pop filter and headphones
Microphone Shield
Green Screen Kit
(4) Hovercam Solo 8 Document Camera
VR Ready laptop with graphics card

This grant is funded through the Rudoy Family Foundation and was started by Edward and Bell Rudoy. You can read more about the legacy of the Rudoy Family Foundation Grants by clicking here

We are truly blessed by this generous grant from the Rudoy Family. Our grant totals over $13,000.  I can't wait to share the experiences and opportunities this technology grant with bring to our school.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Links and Loves

Happy Friday Everyone!
This has been quite a week.  Snow, shovel the snow, more snow, more shoveling, repeat. I’m so ready for spring break!  Are you going anywhere?

Poster My Wall is a site I looked into for a colleague who was searching for a site similar to Glogster. Unfortunately, Glogster costs money. Luckily, Poster My Wall does not.

If you are looking for inspiration for your classroom, check out Shake Up Learning by Kasey Bell. I used her template, Teach Like the Tonight Show, Internet Pop Quiz,  in a classroom this week.  I think it went over well!

I also used this, this and this in classrooms this week. Instructional technology is the best!

After watching the Oscars last Sunday, I’m considering which of these I might want to watch this weekend.
Curricular Connection

Sketchboard lets you collaboratively sketch and diagram on an endless online whiteboard. Learn all about Sketchboard by clicking here.

Consider putting this on your weekend to do list:

Friday, March 2, 2018

Links and Loves

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
Sometimes we don’t have a choice over who we spend time with, but lately, I’ve been careful to choose people who are positive, kind and a joy to be around.
Here are my top 5 influencers in my educational profession:

I'm thankful for these amazing individuals who influence me in positive and inspirational ways!

My friend and colleague, Val, gave me a Merge Cube this week. I have been lost in a world of augmented reality ever since.  This is such a great way for students to learn and explore various content areas. Scan the cube with your smart phone or iPad and objects show up through augmented reality. There is also a cool app for digging similar to Minecraft.

Curricular Connection

This is a visual design tool that is meant to make digital designing easy and enjoyable. Crello reminds me of Canva. There are free and paid items to choose from. One thing that Crello offers is a variety of ways to download your design. Click here to read more about Crello.

Have a wonderful weekend and think Spring!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Mistakes I Made Teaching a Lesson This Week

This week I was fortunate enough to be asked to teach in a classroom that I had not had the chance to be in yet this year. 

The lesson I taught was using Quizlet (a digital flashcard generation site).  The students were shown how to start a stack of flashcards and then invite their classmates at their table to join in their stack and work as a group to create a complete set of flashcards with 20 words.  Students could then use the stack to learn, study, quiz and play games with the vocabulary words that were in the stack.  The last part of the lesson involved showing the students and teacher how to play Quizlet Live, a classroom game using a flashcard stack. 

This lesson ended up having some challenges. Some students were hesitant to participate and were unengaged. One student didn't even have a device, so he didn't participate at all.  Some students found the activities too challenging.  And some students were anxious and one student even walked out of the room saying, "I'm out of here!" because she was so upset. 

Reflecting on this lesson, I believe I could have done a much better job if I had prepared differently and considered things more carefully.

Here is what I would change:

#1 - Know the students I am teaching.
I should have asked the classroom teacher about challenges or behaviors that the students in her class might exhibit.  I could have started with a quick activity to build a relationship with the students before diving into the first activity. And I should have considered the academic level of the students in the class.

#2 - Give students clear expectations
Whenever students have anxiety or behavior challenges, I know that letting students know exactly what we will be doing during class helps to put their minds at ease. I should have let students know at the beginning of class that they would be working in assigned groups to create digital flashcards, that they would be moving to a different table from where they typically sit and that they would be participating in a live classroom game. Knowing what I know about the students in this class now, I probably would not have attempted the Quizlet Live game during this first lesson.

#3 - Keep the work doable and add challenges at a later time
Had I better prepared myself for the academic challenges that these students exhibited, I would have made the topic and words that I chose for the Quizlet Live much simpler and easier for the students to be successful at.


Although the lesson had some downfalls, there are some things that I feel went well.  

Here is what I would keep the same:

#1 - Remain professional and an authority

I know that students need to respect and feel safe with the teacher in the room.  Even when students were verbally and physically showing that they were upset or frustrated, I never lost my composure. I remained the person in charge. At no time did I call a student out or reprimand them in front of their peers. At no time did I get into an argument with a student in front of the class.  

#2 - Focus on the goal and review the lesson
When I started the lesson, I explained the goal for the lesson and let students know what materials they would need in order to meet the goal. As the lesson progressed, I continued to remind students of the goal. I explained that today was about learning something new to be used again at a later time. At the end of the lesson, I brought closure by talking to the class about what they did well and what they could improve on.

#3 - Be organized and prepared
One of my strengths has always been making sure I am ready to teach a lesson. Prior to this lesson, I made sure I knew Quizlet and Quizlet Live well and had practiced using it ahead of time to be sure everything would work.  As I taught the lesson, I knew the progression of the lesson and kept referring back to it in my mind. 

Not every lesson I teach is going to be a complete success. It is important for me to reflect and appreciate the things I am doing well, but also take ownership of the things I can improve on. After all, that I how I will grow and continue to improve as an educator. In the end, the mistakes I made in this lesson will make me stronger and more successful the next time I am fortunate enough to teach  in this classroom.