Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Liberty's Kids' music videos using Video Star

The two days before Thanksgiving Break can be frustrating to teachers.  We had school Monday and Tuesday, but sometimes these days are glorified babysitting.   This year we incorporated the students' crazy love of

 Liberty's Kids

and made an original music video using the

 VideoStar App.

We had a contest between classes and the winner is.....3rd PERIOD!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Listly of Educational Games

Book mark this page to get regular updates on my students' favorite educational games.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My new profile picture

Several years ago I read a book called, Managing the Madness: A Practical guide to Middle Grades Classrooms, by Jack C. Berkemeyer.  In it he promotes letting students decorate their classrooms and be part of the construction of their learning space.   I started letting students submit designs for murals on my walls.   Now my classroom is filed with historical paintings all completed by students.

One from a few years ago accidentally turned into a semi-biographical portrait of me.   It started with this ad and a SUPER bright young woman named Kayla.   

She proposed turning this add into a mural about history and how the bubbles can be a metaphor for the passing of time and events in human existence.

Here is her version with the first 7 presidents (which is one of our standards) in the bubbles.

 It is right beside my computer in my classroom and it makes me happy to see her name and work.  She had never painted with acrylics before.   Some of my current students want to "spice it up" some this year, so it might go through a transition as my room continues to reflect the personalities of my students.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tech Forum Austin

Last Thursday I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Tech&Learn's Tech Forum as the guest of Techchef4u.   It was an incredible learning experience.

The keynote speaker, Diana Laufenberg, was so inspirational to me.   She is a history teacher from the Science Leadership Academy and is using many interactive history activities.

 Her TEDtalk is shown here.

One of the ideas she shared was to have students take pictures of history around them and then write a six word story about the picture.

  I found a twitter page dedicated to this practice here: @sixwordstories.

In addition, Techchef4u, Yolanda Baker and iPadSammy led a session called Apptivities which you can view below:

Watch live streaming video from techlearning at livestream.com

You will see them mention some things from my classroom.    I love the way they present ideas in such a visual way.

This experience was truly enlightening and I am so inspired to try new things in my classroom!!