Friday, November 25, 2016

The Chairs are Here

The chairs are here! I really like the blue and lime green color.  With teaching STEM special area and seeing the whole school we had to make a decision on chairs.  We decided to go with the medium size chairs.  I have to say it is a bit funny when the 3rd graders come in and say they are little chairs.  I think they are just right.
Check out the new chairs with the desks. I really think the classroom is coming together. 
Of course you need to see the classroom from both views.
But the smile on their faces, I think these kids like the new chairs.  
First thing first is digital citizenship and the best app to showcase work while showing responsibility is Seesaw.  The primary students used Draw & Tell to complete a directed drawing of a school bus.  In Seesaw we recorded their favorite part of the school day.  It was too cute.  I love how directed drawings turn out to be such unique pieces of art!
Big smiles after finishing the project.
Everyone is so engaged and really making the effort to design wonderful pictures.

Intermediate students explored the capabilities of Buncee. Bungee is a more friendly version to showcase presentations with amazing fonts, animated pictures, and a library of visuals that will have you creating for hours!
Alexa wanted an otter since it is our school mascot.  We tweeted out a request and do you know that within 12 hours there were 3 newly added otter pictures/animations for students to use! Seriously Buncee is a company that listens to their users and it taught these children a very powerful lesson on social media.
Bungee fans are seriously engaged in finding just the right element to add to the page.
I have to say seeing the whole school every 6 days is quite a feat and I have really found the students to be so many things whether it is sporty, kind, or funny.  I think each and every one of them is amazing and I am hoping to showcase their talents throughout the year here on this blog and throughout the school year.

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.