Technology STAR Teachers
In education, STAR teachers are little guiding lights that inspire students to reach beyond the required classroom expectations and truly take ownership of their learning. The Vernon Public Schools are filled with these guiding lights. Come back often as we highlight classrooms where these STARS are shedding a guiding light with the use of technology tools. Click Here to visit the Archive and read the previously published stories.
Mrs. Warner’s 3rd grade students, from Northeast Elementary, shared their Puppet Pals Fractured Fairy Tales at the CECA Technology Expo at the Legislative Office Building at the capitol.
They created their own fractured fairy tales using an iPad app called Puppet Pals. The app allows students to manipulate characters, scenes, take pictures and record audio to create their own, one of a kind fractured fairy tale play. Prior to recording, students collaborated in groups to research traditional fairy tales, brainstorm their own plot and character changes and connect their ideas to a moral. After that, the students created their own fractured fairy tale scripts. They created these scripts based on elements they learned during our fairy tale reading unit. Finally, they recorded their final products using Puppet Pales and were able to digitally share their creations with their parents.
At the Technology Expo, the students shared their knowledge with visitors who included: Mrs. Bajorek, (Vernon School Board Member), Mr. Champagne (Mayor of Vernon) and Mrs. Janowski (State Representative for Vernon). Mrs. Warner’s group, located between a technical high school and a CREC aerospace and engineering academy, did an outstanding job explaining their project to visitors! Their teacher and parents were proudly standing near and supporting their efforts. Mr. Ramsdell, father of one of the students, commented, “I am proud to see my son demonstrating the use of technology vs. simply playing a game with technology.” Cortney, a student in Mrs. Warner’s class, shared, “It was fun to tell other people how to use the app!” Nathanial, another student, thought it was interesting to see what other schools were sharing.
Using Adobe Voice as an Option for Sharing Research Reports
Miss Lagun and Miss Perna's 2nd graders at Maple Street researched animals and created PowerPoint projects to share their new learning. These beautiful projects were
shared in class and are displayed in the hallway.
A few of the students who finished early, explored another option on the iPad. They used Adobe Voice to show and tell about their research. We gathered images from royalty free sites and created a "story". The students enjoyed adding their pictures and voices to create a little movie to share their research. The movie files are easy to create and share with others!
Click below to watch a movie!
|Gouldian Finch||Koala Bear|
Using Voki for Student Response
Nick Willette's students at Center Road School have another option when it comes to writing their journal responses. For some assignments, he offers them the option of using Voki avatars to speak their responses! By doing this, the students are able to be creative in choosing the avatar to speak their response. Now, instead of a student's work "dead-ending" in their journal, their responses can be emailed to parents and/or viewed in the classroom.
Click Here to view a voki for the assignment: Please create a box and bullet (main idea & detail) explanation of one section in your non fiction text. Remember to make sure that the details you choose support the main idea you stated.
Click Here to view a voki for the assignment: Please write a summary of the "Animals In Crisis" article that we used today in class. Be sure to include at least THREE bolded words in your writing. You must use them in a way that shows that you understand their meaning!
Hour of Code 2015
Students from Vernon Schools are taking part in this week's world-wide Hour of Code! Diane Smith, Math Interventionist at Maple Street School, has inspired an entire school of students from K-5 to take part. After her class of 3rd graders finished their hour, Mrs. Flaherty said, "I absolutely loved it! The students were engaged and problem solving the entire time!" Mr. McNamar, Lead Teacher at Maple, was so impressed with the 3rd graders' engagement, that he even tweeted about.
Excitement around last year's Hour of Code led Lake Street's 5th grade to incorporate regular lessons into their schedule. Ms. Bortolan, 5th grade teacher at Lake Street, attended a Saturday class last spring to learn more about how to teach the free 20 hour courses that are available on the code.org website. They've been doing Course 2 and there are one or two students in the grade who have finished it and are working on Course 3 currently.
Ms. Bortolan explains, "I think the most message to get out to teachers is that Code.org is a fantastic way to weave 21st century skills/STEM into our curriculum in a way that is highly engaging and motivating to students. They have so much fun with Code.org and BEG to do it. Many of them are designing their own Flappy Bird levels right now and they think it's the coolest thing ever. They also enjoy the unplugged lessons because they're engaging and many of them get the kids up and moving. Code.org is a great way to promote problem solving skills in our students. They think they're playing games, but they're learning valuable skills that may lead to a future hobby or career and they're challenging themselves to think outside of the box as well."
"Seasoned" coders like Mr. Willette and Mrs. Bambara at Center Road, Mrs. Warner at Northeast and Mrs. Schmitt at VCMS continue to have their classes participate in the Hour of Code. Mrs. Schmitt notes, "the kids love it and we are looking for other ways to fit it in!" New coders like Mrs. Everett and Mrs. Spencer at Skinner Road were very impressed with the work their students accomplished in the hour!
Activities like this build interest for the students as they move up to the high school's Technology Education program. Mr. Frost explains, "our machines use something called G code to communicate with the computer. The students use a four step process. They design, program, set up the machine and run the program. In this case, they use Mastercam to design a part then they program using Mastercam's verification software. This is the part where they tell what machine to use, along with what tool, the speed of the spindle and the speed of the tool itself on the table. The software converts that into a code that the machine can understand so it can perform the work. The student then has to select appropriate material and tooling and hold down fixtures to perform the task. this is the setup part. After the machine and material are ready to go and the code is loaded, they run the program to cut out the part." Students who follow the Business Track also have options for coding classes!
"I got to build a house and plant using MineCraft code!", Amir
"I would like to code everyday!", Madison
Student Portfolios in Google Drive
Kate Turnbull, kindergarten teacher at Lake Street School, is sharing student work with parents through her Google Drive! In her Google Drive, she created a folder for each student. She copied the shared link for each folder into a QR code generator and made a unique code for each student in her class.
In the folders, she puts pictures of the student in class, of their work, and video clips of presentations. To view the student's work, the parents scan the QR code for their child. To see an example, scan the QR code below to see a student on his first day of kindergarten or busy at work!
For directions on creating QR codes, visit the Technology Ideas and Integration page and look for QR Code Resources.
Halvorsen Leslie Lewchik
Teachers in our district are setting up PBWorks wiki sites to use with their students. These private websites allow the students to type (or speak into the iPad using the dictation option) their work into a webpage. The student work can be viewed and edited on any device that can access the internet by those who have a login for the private site. This has made it very easy for teachers to review, share and even print student writing samples. Parents are provided with their child's login information and others can simply go to the site and request access.
Currently, third graders at Maple Street and Northeast Elementary schools are using the site to type their narratives. The teachers are encouraging the students to login from home to share their work with parents. Mrs. Roos even allowed students the option of using the wiki for their homework assignments. She noted the next day that the option to type their homework in the wiki was an motivator for students!
Mrs. Flaherty suggests also sharing the Phineas and Ferb Internet Safety video to help remind students to think about what they are sharing on-line.
Mr. Lewchik's students shared the following thoughts:
"I loved typing on the Chrome Books because you can make different fonts and sizes" Grace
"I think it was cool because I never typed on a Chrome Book." John
"Awesome because I never got to type on the computer. It's easier to write on them" Gabby
Click Here for directions to get started using PBWorks today!
Vernon Public Schools Mission Statement
The Vernon Public Schools, in partnership with family and community, is committed to provide a quality education, with
high expectations, in a safe environment where all students become independent learners and productive contributors to society.