Posted in Weekly

Week of February 18 – 22, 2019

Whew!  For a short week, it sure feels like the teachers at Lynn Lucas packed in learning and technology this last week.  I felt like I needed to be in multiple places at once and I just couldn’t keep up.  I was in desperate need of a time turner (think Hermione Granger from Harry Potter fame).

Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Gutierrez rocked the sixth graders’ world with the use of Merge Cubes and the app Galactic Explorer.  The students were able to hold the Solar System in their hands as the completed a scavenger hunt of the material.  The two ladies did a phenomenal job planning and preparing for the activity by sending home an information sheet to parents about the activity and the app download, making a Google Slides presentation with clear guidelines and directions, and having extra paper Merge Cubes for large classes.  Get this, some students asked to take one home to show their parents what they learned.  This is not something that happens every day.  My favorite part of the experience was watching the excitement on the teacher and students’ faces as the explored the Solar System in a new and exciting way.

If you would like a copy of the Google Slides presentation or parent handout, there are copies in the LLMS Technology Google Classroom.

To see Merge Cubes in action in the classroom, click here.  For an interview with students and their thoughts, click here.

On Wednesday, my boss, Courtney Brown, got to spend half the day with me.  Not only did she get to see the Merge Cubes in sixth grade, we also got to see a few of the video game creations taking place in Ms.  Burge’s Career

Student created Unicorn for their Bloxels game

Pathways classes.  Students are working on creating dynamic main characters that match their game theme.  Some groups have already moved onto building backgrounds and secondary characters to interact with the main character during the game.  Going into the coming week, students will continue to work on building their backgrounds and start constructing their games.  Each game is required to have 26 levels.  If you have time, swing by her 1st and 2nd periods to check out the students’ awesome game creations.

In sixth grade math, Ms. Robinson’s students reviewed their understanding of plotting points on a coordinate plane and locating points within the four quadrants using a Goosechase.  To get the students out of the classroom and working collaboratively, Ms. Robinson overlaid a coordinate plane on top of a map of Lynn Lucas.  Students then completed missions taking pictures of the classroom that matched the given coordinates or video evidence explaining the quadrant a room was within.  Before beginning the activity, Ms. Robinson spent a few minutes helping the students acclimate to the coordinate graph.

Be on the lookout for Mrs.  Harrell,  Mrs. Hersey, and Mrs. Todd’s class to be participating in the Goosechase soon.

Posted in Weekly

Week of February 11 – 15

This was a busy week for technology at Lynn Lucas.  On Monday, I met with Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Gutierrez about Augmented Reality, or AR. 

We looked at the Galaxy Explorer and HoloGLOBE apps.  The Galaxy Explorer app focuses on the parts of the Solar System.  The HoloGLOBE app shows real time data using NASA satellites of wind patterns, temperatures, and precipitation on the Earth.
  • HoloGlobe - Hold NASA and NOAA visualizations of the Earth in the palm of your hand! HoloGLOBE brings NOAA's Science on the Sphere (SOS) programs to MERGE Cube, using satellite imagery and data simulations for stunning views of Earth and its many systems.
These two ladies starting running with the information and created a whole lesson plan for the Merge Cubes.

Merge Cubes and Galaxy Explorer App

Check out their plans in the LLMS Technology Google Classroom.

On Tuesday, Ms. Burge’s Career Pathways classes began a unit on Bloxels.  Bloxels is a user-friendly way for students to learn to build their own video games.  Students had to work in groups to choose a theme for their game, such as adaptations to the environment due to pollution.  Students then used the Bloxels app and the game boards to build characters.  Each character had to have idle, walking, and jumping actions.  The students got to choose the type of character, the costume, and the actions.  Next week, the students will begin creating the game and the background for their characters.  Be on the look at for student-produced games soon.

The T3 on Tuesday was a discussion on VR and AR (Virtual and Augmented Reality).  There were seven teachers in attendance.  It was a great afternoon learning about Google Expeditions VR and AR activities, as well as learning about the Merge Cubes.  For more on Merge Cubes, visit the Miniverse.

Sixth-grade math is gearing up for another round of Goosechase.  This time, these ladies plan on having the students use a coordinate grid overlayed on a map of Lynn Lucas to practice plotting ordered pairs.  Students will have to identify classrooms in all four quadrants and give ordered pairs for a specific location.  During the activity, students will be working together to plot the points and then go and take a picture of the teacher’s room that corresponds.

 

Posted in Conferences, Weekly

Week of February 4 -10

It was a great week at TCEA in San Antonio,  Texas.  I enjoyed getting to catch up with my other iCoach friends, meet new people, and learn some exciting new ideas to increase student engagement and learning using technology.  Keep reading to learn about a few of the exciting things I learned this week.

Tuesday was a great first day beginning with our own iCoach Shawn Lane presenting ideas to engage secondary students.  Some of our fabulous students and teachers using Goosechase even made the presentation.  The day continued with ideas on Bell to Bell  Instruction and lesson planning with technology.  Ms. Benno presented a fabulous session called Fixer Upper: Digital Edition, which focused on transforming paper and pencil projects into higher level technology greatness.  My favorite session of the day was about Merge Cubes.  Check them out in an upcoming T3 training and watch the Solar System come to life in the short video clip below.

After such an amazing Tuesday, I was not sure how Wednesday could get any better.  I started my morning bright and early learning from Leslie Fisher on Tools You Can Use Tomorrow.  Her hour and a half session was full of tips and tricks.  My favorite was a free program called Immersive Reader from Microsoft.   

I went on to learn about digital stations for secondary students and resources to bring experts into our classrooms using Skype and Google Hangouts.   I am excited to dig into this resource to get outside experts to speak to our students.

The final day I got up early because, well I had to have a Starbucks.  It was rough not having my coffee each morning.  However, my early morning paid off because the line for my first session was already forming.  It seems everyone present wanted to see Gerry Brooks (check him out on Facebook).  His presentation on Personal Climate and Culture:The Key to Professional Success was uplifting, funny, and a great reminder of why each of us do what we do every day.  My final session of TCEA 2019 was on Hyperdocs for math teachers.  While it was content specific, I cannot wait to share with all content areas to drive instruction and create relevant and meaningful lessons for our students.

To keep things interesting this week, Courtney Brown had us compete in a Goosechase.  Her missions included reflecting on what we had learned, sharing our favorite quotes, and taking pictures/videos of things we wanted others to see.  For those of us that choose to be overachievers, she included a few bonus missions.  Check them out below.

  • Meeting Matt Miller from Ditch That Textbook