Horace Mann Quote

~Horace Mann Quote
A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Learning to Use Hue Animation Studio

Our Technology Enrichment Class is designed to introduce advanced students to various types of technology to assist them as they become more forward thinkers preparing to compete in a global society. These students are full of passion and creativity. They are always willing to explore and inquire. They like to know, "Now what? What's the next big idea?" These students are pursuers of all things innovative. They are not afraid to dive deep and reach high. Here you will find the link to two of our newest projects (actually, our very first projects) using the Hue Animation Studio given to us by HueHd. This was a learning experience for the educator as well as the students, so it took us a little while, and they are in no wise perfect. However, I think the students showed great potential in what they have created. The groups rotate every three weeks, so I still have Lego buildings, backdrops, and themes perched on my shelves awaiting a time when the original creators, who have rotated on to another group, can find the time to get back in my room to complete their animations. This is our first year having an enrichment class of this magnitude, so it has truly been a learning experience. I found that students sometimes spend far too much time gathering their thoughts and ideas, not realizing that it would be disastrous for every group within the rotation to wait until the last minute to use the Animation Studio (I will work on convincing my school to purchase another device in the near future). This gave me the idea of introducing project management if allowed to do this again next year. This gives students an opportunity to learn to create a timeline and set deadlines. This makes learning authentic, and it prepares young scholars for the "real world."




Saturday, February 13, 2016

I am so behind on posting to my blog, Google+, LinkedIn, etc., or participating in Twitter Chats. Trying to juggle classes for my Ed.S, teach 4th grade ela, teach Technology Enrichment, exercise for my health, spend time with family and friends, teach Sunday School, prepare for an upcoming speaking engagement, and prepare to lead an upcoming Vision Party...well, fitting it all in can be very challenging. However, I do want to share just how fulfilling the Technology Enrichment Class has been for me. They're learning; I'm learning; we're all learning, sharing, and growing! It's a win-win situation. Tennessee may not have been completely ready for TNReady, but I must say that my students are ready to conquer anything. They will not hesitate to dive in, ask questions, explore new realms, etc. I am so proud of each of them. I feel that I'm really accomplishing something worthwhile during the few short minutes we spend together each morning. We started near the beginning of the school year with a different group when it was trial and error. We have worked out a lot of kinks, and things are running pretty smoothly. Of course I look forward to that day when I can have my own computer lab with plenty of room for students to store their Lego/Playdough creations or whatever else they may be designing. If someone our there is cyberspace can share with me how we can get in on Genius Hour between 8:10 and 8:40 on any weekday, please share. I'm also looking for more information on Arasma and Green Screening (best app?).

So far we've explored Tagxedos(Wordle is blocked due to a Java issue), Storybird, PBS LearningMedia Storyboards, HUE Animations, Edmodo, Google Cardboards, and Chatterpix. We're also looking to do an exciting virtual fieldtrip. (Any ideas/suggestions on that is welcome as well).

Happy Valentines to each of you, and have a great long weekend (President's Day on Monday)!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My enrichment students (technology) were introduced to Tagxedo, a word cloud program. They were instructed to use at least 15 words to describe themselves. Here are the results of their creative minds at work.

Friday, January 15, 2016

My Enrichment students are learning to use Storybird. Today they will be asked to each create a poem in Storybird, which gives a list of pre-generated words and beautiful art created by other artists. Students must take what they are given and make something rich with it. This was my first attempt at doing that. I think I did okay!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Recap of 1st Nine Weeks

My, my, my! We've arrived at the end of our first nine weeks together as a team, and we've landed in the middle of a fall break. Where did the time go? I wanted to take this time to recap some of the activities and successes we experienced as 4th graders thus far.
Our most exciting venture was the arrival of our very much coveted Google Cardboards! We posted our first project on the DonorsChoose website at a time when DonorsChoose was matching donations dollar for dollar using the special code: Spark! Our project was posted on September 24, and in exactly one week, our project was fully funded!! We are very grateful to all of our donors.
Google Cardboard allows us to have virtual experiences that are fun and exciting. One of our vocabulary words the week prior was "virtual." How authentic is that?
We've practiced our writing skills by sharing what we've experienced using the Google Cardboards. It works well because it's a topic ALL of us are interested in, and each time we interact with the Google Cardboard, we have a different adventure.
Another highlight of our first nine weeks is that one of our team member's name was chosen to win a brand new shiny bicycle!!! Every nine weeks each teacher chooses a student from their class to receive the "Citizenship Award." Those names are then placed in a drawing and one lucky person wins a bike, compliments of our local police department and our rotary club. We are very proud of and happy for our winner!!
On another note, our class was chosen as the "Spotlight Class" during the first nine weeks; therefore, we celebrated by having lunch in the room while enjoying a movie. We also had A LATTE party on the last day of school just before our awards ceremony started. The purpose of this party was to give students a deeper understanding of a goal that has been set for them and to place partial ownership of that goal in their care as part of their responsibility. A LATTE stands for A Lap Around The Track Everytime, which means that wherever they are academically upon entering a grade, they must show at least a year's worth of growth everytime. There are no exceptions and no fails.
We made mini hot chai tea lattes, complete with whipped cream on top, and we indulged in mini cupcakes. We regret that we did not capture that activity on camera. :(
Moving along, we had a couple of visitors to our classroom who interviewed and photographed us, and wrote and published articles about us. Those articles may be viewed following these links: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/a-teacher-like-you/sharon-clark-a-different-_b_8150178.html http://tn.chalkbeat.org/2015/09/09/qa-tennessee-teacher-and-digital-innovator-on-ed-tech-and-why-schools-might-not-be-ready-for-online-tests/#.VimyOsvlsic
We would also like to give a huge shout-out to HueHD for their generous donation of a Hue HD Pro document camera. The document camera has afforded us richer, more engaging and fulfilling whole group experiences. The Hue Document Camera is great in that it is easy to use, has a lot of flexibility and functionality. We highly recommend this company (www.huehd.com) for your technology needs. Their only request was that we share how we use their product in our class. The small snippet we shared with Hue can be viewed here as well.