Monday, October 10, 2016

First day of school!!

 What a beautiful day to start the 2016-2017 school year!  
 What do you start the school year with in STEM? Digital Citizenship of course!  The way the schedule works out I see K-5 everyday for 35 minutes and every 6 days I will have had the whole school.  VERY different than what I have taught for the past 23 years.  
 After Digital Citizenship what better way to see what they learned than playing one of those Lab Activities from SMART.  The kids loved it!!
 Didn't matter if they were 5th graders or 1st graders they LOVED the desks and yoga ball seats.  Definitely a WIN!!
 The classes loved the touch screen feature of the SMART board.  It was like second nature for the kids.  
 In my introduction to STEM, yes that is a Buncee, I talked about what STEM means after all it is a new special area.  These are kindergarteners and they were amazing! Yes it was the very 1st day of school.  They were soaking it all up. Too amazing and love, love, love this!
I created a Beginning of the Year Buncee to find out a little about my students.
I gave them some information on me and then showed a picture that I left up for a minute and then asked some detail oriented questions to see how observant they were and found myself smiling throughout the days.  
Well the end of the day came and I made it. 6 introductions to STEM class. We talked about what the year would bring science, technology, iPads, robots, building, Legos, math, measuring and do you know what they perked up the most at hearing...robots! Oh the robots and coding I have in store for these otters!  Check out Bryce and that smile.  
By the way they don't even know that I was lucky-blessed:) to get an #edcampimpact grant.  I attended #edcampmagic and #edcampvolusia.  I attended a session on robots where Bryan Miller from Wonder Workshop talked about Dash and Dot.  There is a team robotics competition and I was hooked.  My grant will purchase 2 more Dash & Dot robots with accessories, a Sphero, and an OSMO coding kit.  Robots oh yes we are going to code and learn so many things. I can't wait!
 Here is one of my friends from last year modeling how to hold the iPad the proper way when traveling around the room.  She was an excellent model to help teach the others about proper care and responsibility.  We have 768 students using these iPads and I am so proud of their actions.  I can't wait to share projects throughout the year using various apps and how I am using Seesaw with the whole school.  I am still working through this and how to share with parents.  I know one mountain to climb at a time.
 What is Tanner doing? Holding an egg in a blue cup of course.  Let me explain, Kayla Delzer is a rockstar teacher and this is her post on the Great Egg Test.  Kindergarteners are new to our school since we do not have a Pre-K program and our 1st graders had some experience on the iPads last year but what better way to teach everyone the importance of iPad responsibility.  I talked to each class and sent them on their way with an egg in a cup.  See it represented an iPad in a case and the class was responsible for caring for the egg and we would talk about their progress.  
 I had to include this photo.  Some background: 4th grade, talked about being a digital citizen, and then play the SMART Lab game for review.  Do you see that cutie in the middle?  He was so excited and so competitive AND totally engaged...all of them! I captured this moment and I just know it is only the beginning for what this STEM classroom/lab has in store for our future.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

STEM classroom part 2

Our school was selected to create the classroom of the future and it was granted to our STEM classroom/lab!  We were in talks with the county officials, SMART, and Office Depot to create the future ready classroom.  After hearing our vision and goals for the upcoming school year, Office Depot worked with vendors to select just the right furniture.  
MOVING IN DAY!! Alright so it was furniture moving in day.  The boxes just kept coming in and there were 3 workers so I was getting excited about what it would all look like when it was done.
First they put together the desks. Yes they look like petals right.  Well they have 2 wheels and are easily movable for different table combinations. 
More and more desks...
 So many desks I thought where is everything going to fit?  WAIT let me get them organized...
 Taking shape... kind of...
 A room of flowers... get ready to bloom :)
 Up close you can see 5 fit together and those wheels make it a quick fit.  I know you are thinking where are the chairs?  They came at a later date more to come...
 YES those are yoga ball seats and YES the kids love them! And yes they are surrounding a SMART table. 21st century classroom has to have the latest and greatest right?
 This room is going to create builders, mathematicians, scientists, future leaders, coders, thinkers, makers, and oh so much more...
 Can you feel the excitement?
 The STEM classroom is the place to be.
 Next we need some SMART training right?  Joey from SMART came for training before the 1st day of school to train the 6 of us piloting the SMART technology products of the 21st century classroom.
So did you now they have a lab feature with easy game-like activities for setup in their notebook files.    Of course the kids we are I mean teachers we had to give it a try and we loved it!! Very interactive and the kids will appreciate the game like feel.
We were excited to hear the assessment features we could learn from the students.  Thanks Joey for the training.  We are ready to create some notebook files for the kids!
So Cecilia and Tyson were the first friends to visit and use the yoga ball seats.  Can you see those smiles? I told you they loved them!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

new STEM classroom

So this is the new STEM classroom.  Wait it was an art room last year and now it was given to me to teach STEM as a special area.  Kind of scary but just a bit exciting!  I will get to see every kid in the school.  I will get to see old friend all grown up and finally get to have friends I never had the chance to when they were firsties.  It is a WIN! Yes I will admit that I will miss a class of friends.  23 years is a long time to have a group and watch them grow over the year but a chance to share technology with every kid and teacher in the school. YES!!
The room was originally set up as a science lab but how could I take this turn in my career and create a special area class.  What would I take and what would I need? A LOT I tell you!
So we had the one wall painted with a royal blue, our school color and it turned out lovely.  WOW what a coat of paint to a wall can do to a room.
Tables, yes, I want them to work together, flexible seating, yes, I want that too, and of course inspirational words to have these students DREAM BIG!
I decided I need a few more options to the flexible seating arrangements from last year so I made my first trip to IKEA in Orlando.  All I can say is thank goodness for the arrows on the floor or I might never had made it back out the parking lot.  I think my favorite might be the ipad stands.  I am using the pink one right now while blogging.  It is sturdy and just the right angle and who can beat the price?  I decided I needed to spend a bit in my new room before my next trip to IKEA.  More to come...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Go Noodle is the best...

So one day this happened.  I opened the mail and there was a GoNoodle headband.  Of course Kaile and Carson fought over who was going to wear it.  Kaile won!  My next day was going to be EPIC!!
This face sums up the GoNoodle session.  Victoria has always been expressive but I was so happy to catch this excitement.  I tweeted out the photo and a friend at another school really wanted the headband.  I sent it to him because you should share your GoNoodle swag right?   
Why do I love GoNoodle?  Maximo send positive vibes while we stretch muscles in our body. He adds so humor and those big eyes get many giggles from he friends.  I am amazed at the coordination and balance of children and sometimes the lack of.  I remember as a kid always being outside to play with my brother or neighbor children.  Today kids are on devices and maybe they don't have all the same opportunities outside.  Stretching opens the airways, gets blood flowing, and the brain working.
Come on doesn't this look like fun.  We celebrate special moments, take brain breaks when things get tough and have a way to keep out of the sweltering sun of Florida before the cool weather gets here.
I have to share a few of my favorite pictures...
Make sure to visit GoNoodle especially before Thanksgiving and give a little maraca turkey dance to your friends.
I turned in my GoNoodle Ambassador application a while back and crossed my fingers.  Back in November I was lucky enough to be the hotdog for an evening and it was AMAZING!!  I love the company, the philosophy, and the goal to get every kid up and moving.  I am so excited for this new adventure and make sure to check back for exciting news and maybe even an opportunity for you.

Moving on...

Yes you read that correctly.  I will be the STEM Special Area teacher.  I am very excited to get to see every child in the whole school from K-5.  I am reading blogs and watching videos of how to set it all up.  Looking forward to sharing our journey.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My newest favorite~ Buncee

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Superior Tech 4 Teachers in Clearwater and it was fabulous! First there was an opening keynote with Bryan L. Miller and Katrina Keene and the top tech toys.  There was an entire table full of tech toys/tools to use in the classroom. Really there were 2 tables and I had to control myself from creating my Christmas Wish List.
 I was so lucky to win a @Tiggly Words software for 1st grade and when school starts back I will be sure to get a kid's point of view of the fun!
I spent the rest of the day in the Robotics and Coding Workshop where we learned more in depth about all signed up for my class so more to come about that too.  We were exposed and got our hands on just about everything to do with Coding and Robotics and it was amazing as much as it was overwhelming.  No worries the wheels are turning and plans are being put into motion...
     The next day started off with an Opening Key Note from Brad Waid.  He was amazing and so insightful.  He really made me think about the generational gap in particular technology and the internet.  Technology has really changed over the past years but what about classrooms? Does the classroom really look very different over the past 50 years? rows, teacher up front...
He showed some pretty inspirational videos and had the crowd in tears as well as laughing out loud.  
How lucky was I to get a photo with Brad Waid and Kevin Honeycutt? Seriously #edheros here!
 Sessions were tough to choose because there were so many good ones and I jus wished I had some more teachers from our school so we could split and conquer.  Do you know Kayla Delzer, also known as Top Dog Teaching.  She is amazing!  So very personable, down to Earth, cute as can be and just plain lovable!  My favorite quote from her was that most days we are a hot mess riding the struggle bus! Seriously how accurate is she?
Of course one of my most favorite people in the world, Stacey Simpson @simpsonsuperstars knows her and we had to take a selfie.  Check that off my Bucket List-meeting another #edhero
 Explain Everything is one of my favorite apps and I do believe it would get 5 out of 5 stars from most of my firsties too.  Jennifer Baselice gave an excellent session on the benefits and ease of using the app in the classroom for flipped learning as well as interactively in the classroom with math students.  Lucky me I won a 3 month license for the new Collaborative Explain Everything.  I can not wait to try it out and taking bits and pieces from those around.  I guess I will have to blog about that too, I will be BUSY...
Book Creator is another favorite app not only for me but my firsties.  Anissa Labrador shared some examples of first graders and high school students collaborating on a shared book that even made it to iTunes.  My Pet Monster started with the younger students drawing monsters and writing stories about them.  The high school students then digitized the monsters and they were too cute, pretty true to the original.  The cutest part-the younger students read their stories.  Seriously a collaborative effort that made serious memories for all involved.  
Remember those tech toys from earlier well there was a Tope Tech Tools session.  This Padcaster in the photo is the #1 on my wish list-seriously it is the same quality as those roving news vans.  I even have the portable green screen ready for some excited adventures this upcoming year.
You might have noticed the title of the blog post is my new favorite-Buncee.  What is Buncee? Only the most amazing presentation tool to hit teachers. Did you see the slide way at the top right under the title?  The is a Buncee I created to give highlights from ST4T and there are links?!? Did you see the dancing taco?  I can't wait to learn more and share this resource this upcoming year.  The fabulous Amber, @Edtechamber presented a session on getting on the #Buncee Bus.  Here I got a special one on one mini session of all the features Buncee has to offer.  There were 20 people sitting on the floor to hear the session-the most packed one of the sessions I attended.
This is Claire and I think we are going to be good Buncee friends.  She is in the area and has tons of ideas of how to use Buncee to integrate technology into lessons and daily routines. Loved hearing her  sorties about her own kids and Buncee and she shared examples.
 This is Buncee's CEO , Marie Arturi, telling how Buncee came to be.  Amazing and I know with the crew I met she has all the right people in place to make Buncee your favorite too.
ST4T was such an amazing experience.  There were so many sessions to choose from and my wheels are turning about presenting next year.  I need to start collecting samples and stories now to prepare and hope to share the same stage as some of my #edheros.