Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Great Websites From a Great Tech Teacher

I have been following Jacqui Murray's website, Ask a Tech Teacher, for a long time.  One of the things I really appreciate on this site is the great list of websites by grade level from Kindergarten through 6th grade.  In addition, there are also these additional sites:

I'm always finding wonderful websites to incorporate into my lessons.  
I also subscribe to Jacqui's Tech Tips.  This is located under the tab newsletters.

I highly recommend checking out the Ask a Tech Teacher site and subscribing to the Tech Tips.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Need a Fresh, New Idea for Your Classroom?

My Classroom Ideas is a site I heard about from Richard Byrne's Blog Free Technology for Teachers.

This is a site similar to Pinterest, where teachers can post pictures of their classrooms, bulletin boards, projects, etc.  

There are seven categories to explore which include:

Here are some of the ideas I liked:

I'm planning to submit my own displays and idea.  My Classroom Ideas is a nice way to share your ideas with others.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Some "Not So Nice" Glogsters

Last week my students made Glogsters (online posters).  We were reading about hibernation in our reading series and the students needed to convey what they had learned in their Glogster.  

Here are some nice examples from my students:

And here are some "not so nice" examples:

I am going to take some of the blame for the "not so nice" Glogsters.  Even though I showed students examples before we started, I didn't take enough time to discuss the properties of a well organized and attractive Glogster.  

I made a simple grading sheet to let the students know what I was going to grade the Glogsters on.  Here it is:
I took these descriptors right off of our Standards Based Report Card which focuses on Common Core Standards.  What I missed out on were descriptors for the organization and attractiveness of the poster.  

I am thankful for having these "nice and not so nice" examples to share with students for future projects.  And I will make sure to think beyond our Common Core Standards to the overall big picture of what is needed in a final product.

If you haven't had your students try Glogster yet, I highly recommend giving it a go.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Let Your SMART Board Deliver Your Lesson!

This past week I had the most amazing opportunity to present a SMART Board workshop in the Mauston School District.  Naomi Harm called me and asked if I could fill in for one of her team members who had the flu.  She didn't have to ask twice.  

I felt like the luckiest person spending the day with just under 30 educators showing them what is new in SMART Notebook 11 and showcasing one of my interactive, multimedia elessons that I have created for our health unit.  I also created some flipped videos to teach some of the interactive techniques that I incorporate into my elessons to get the students engaged and interacting with the SMART board.  

Here is a slide show explaining my multimedia, interactive, SMART notebook elesson:

Do you make elessons for your SMART board?  If not, you should give it a try.  I love teaching a lesson on our SMART board because it allows me to be more of a facilitator, and the SMART board delivers the content!  Start small by entering in the content you teach and add a few interactive or multimedia elements.  Then each year, build on to what you have.  The elesson above has been added to and modified many, many times.  I add and improve a little at a time.  I even added to it before including it in this blog post.

If you would like to get a copy of this elesson for your SMART board, you can click here and download the file from my Weebly site.  You can also download my presentation on SMART Notebook 11 as well as the Flipped videos I created to teach interactive techniques, tips and tricks.  

You're welcome and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Trailers

My students made book trailers. 

I think the students did a pretty good job. Click here to take a look.  Please feel free to share this site with your students.

 How did my students and I do it?

1st -We used Google Docs to collaboratively write the text.  This was a challenge for students to get the gist of being able to write text that gives a feel for the book without giving away too much of what happens in the story.

2nd -We used an app called Drawing Pad to create our own pictures to go with the text.  Great for artistic students and allowed us not to worry about copyright.

3rd - We captured a picture of our book cover to include in our trailers.   Dropbox was the easy way for us to access our saved jpegs.

4th - We learned how to use the book trailer section of iMovie on an iPad and found this to be a great app for making a movie.

5th - I uploaded the iMovies to Vimeo (which cost me $60.00 for a yearly account.  The free account did not give me enough storage or upload room).  Vimeo is not blocked to our students, which makes it a great alternative to YouTube.

6th - I created a Google Site to host the Book Trailers.  Kathy Davis, HS Media Specialist, is working on embedding the videos into her site as well.

7th - And to advertise our trailers I created a display.  
Each book cover has a QR code that can be scanned on an iPad and will then load the book trailer video.  

Next, I plan to teach my co-teacher's group of students how to make book trailers.  I'm hoping it will help them to have some examples to look at and improve on what they see.  So, look for more trailers to come soon.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ways to Get a Screen Capture

Have you ever sent a document to someone and they weren't able to open the document?  Yesterday, I sent out my son, Ryan's basketball schedule to all of our family and was notified by everyone that the document wouldn't open.  So I went to my alternate plan, take a screen capture!  Taking a picture of the schedule made it easy to send and everyone could view the picture.  Here it is!

I don't know about you, but I am constantly taking screen captures for this blog, my websites, social networks and my flipped lessons. And now I also use them for emails too.

Here are some of the sites/tools that I use to take screen captures:

#1 - Snipping tool on my PC.  This is the easiest way to capture a part of my screen.  In Windows, just click on the start button and search for snipping tool.  There is not an option for annotation.

#2 - On my Mac I hit -Shift/Command/4- and then choose the area that I wish to capture.  This is very quick and easy. I can do minimal annotating with this procedure.

#3 Jing - This download works on a Mac or PC and is from Tech Smith.  Jing allows for many annotation options.

#4 Snagit - Also from TechSmith.  This one costs money.  You can try it for free.  This has many options.

#5 Snag.gy - This is quickly becoming my new favorite.  I like that I can edit and annotate the image.  There is no download or account required and it works easily!

I hope that the next time you are in need of taking a screen capture, one of the above methods works for you.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Become a Movie Producer!

For the past week, my students have begun to make book trailers using iMovie.  This is really an amazing app and I am so impressed with how the book trailers are developing.  I will be sharing more about the book trailers in a future blog post.

My son Robert was watching me learn how to use iMovie and he also got very interested and decided to make his own movies.  Take a look at how the movies he made turned out.

This movie is dedicated to our puppy, Wrigley:

Puppy Party from Deb Norton on Vimeo.

And this movie is dedicated to Robert's brother, Ryan, who played in a basketball tournament this past weekend in Fond du Lac:-

Have you ever tried iMovie?  It can be a little tricky, so my method of learning how everything worked was to watch You Tube videos.  Here was one video that was particularly helpful:

Here is another video that gave me even more indepth information.

In iMovie, you have a choice of making a regular project, which is what the video above is showing, or you can choose to make a book trailer.  

What I love most about iMovie is that the app makes it possible for anyone to create a movie that looks professional.  When the movie is finished, it looks like a lot of time and effort went into the production.  I can't wait to share our book trailers and I am already thinking about the next project that my students can do using iMovie.

I highly recommend giving iMovie a try!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year = Get Organized!

Happy New Year!

I thrive on organization.  Would you like to be more productive and organized in 2013?  Here are some ideas to get you started in your classroom:

#1 - Pencil, Pen or Crayon Organization.  How many times do our students need a certain color and they end up looking through a bucket for several minutes?  Check out this idea!
I'm going to get our colored pencils sorted by color using this great idea!

#2 - Class list at your fingertips.  When we have a drill I always have to remember to grab our class list.  This tip will allow me to have my list with me at all times!

#3 - Classroom Library Check Out.  Until now I haven't really had a great way to check books out to our students from our classroom.  Well, there is an app for that!  Classroom Organizer is a free web-based check out system for your classroom library.  The app works in conjunction with the website.

#4 - Plastic Bag Storage.  We currently use empty Kleenex boxes to store our plastic bags in.  This really is a great tip!

#5 - Paper Roll Holder.  This is a great tip for not just wrapping paper, but also the rolls of paper or posters in your classroom.

#6 - Kleenex and Waste Basket for a Cold.  When a student has a runny nose, put this on the student's desk to prevent them from having to get out of their desk for a kleenex or the waste basket.

#7 - Label those shelves.  This is a great tip for labeling shelves without having to put sticky labels right on the shelf.  The best part is that you can move the clips around easily!  Click here for more binder clip ideas.

#8 - A Neat Way to Call on Students.  This is a great idea on how to call on students so that you don't miss anyone.

#9 - New Desk Arrangement.  How about starting out the new year with a new desk arrangement.  Check out the web site Classroom Desk Arrangement for many great ideas!
#10 - Desk organizer.  One of my favorite purchases that helps keep me organized is my circular, rotating desk organizer.  It holds the papers and items I need each and every day without looking cluttered and messy.  Mine looks something like this:

Have fun getting organized and let me know if you have a great organizational tip.