Posted in 21st Century Learning, Ideas, Links, PBL, Presentations, Projects, QR Codes, Roanoke County Schools, STEM

Presenting the Oak Grove Digital Archive

The teachers at Oak Grove Elementary decided, during a faculty book study meeting, to create a digital archive on their school website to display all the wonderful projects there students were creating for STEM, PBL, and 21st Century Learning.  They wanted a way for parents and students to have “copies” of the three dimensional group projects the students were creating. Also, they wanted to showcase digital projects that their students were creating with iPads and other devices.  Take a look here:

The Oak Grove Digital Archive

The newest step in this adventure is to also post QR codes around the school.  Parents can scan the QR codes to see the virtual projects or read more about the things their children have been creating in class.  It is a physical way to display work in the hall with a digital link.  Take look at some of the teachers’ displays:

I’m really excited about the ways teachers are taking technology to the next level at Oak Grove.  Stop by their site and see what you think!

Posted in Ideas, iPad, Roanoke County Schools, Spanish

Spanish on iPads

I have had a few requests for good Spanish apps.  I haven’t found any I LOVE, but I did find something in iTunes U.  For those of you who took the last inservice, you know I professed a love for Boyne City Schools.  They have issued iPads to EVERY student, so they have tons of units in iTunes U that students can complete on the iPads.  And lo and behold…they have a 5th grade Spanish unit (but I think it would work for 3-5)!!  It has some great videos, and ideas for activities to do on the iPads. If you want to take a look on your teacher iPad, first download the iTunes U app.  Then search the catalog for Boyne City Schools.  The unit is called 5th Grade SPN Resources. Check out the other units while you’re there!
And, because of that unit, I found a new app that I love! It’s called FaceTalker!  It’s free, and could be used in any subject (or grade level).  I don’t like a couple of the available themes, but they aren’t too too bad, and I won’t download them on student iPads.  The idea is that you take a picture (with the camera or one you already have–think famous American), and then make the picture talk.  (It reminds me of a modern version of Blabberize).
Here the links to all these things (use your iPad to click on them):
I’d love some suggestions for good, kid friendly apps for Spanish that are free.  If you know of any, please let me know!
Posted in Google Earth, Ideas, Instructions, Lessons, Projects, Roanoke County Schools

Mission 005 — Latitude and Longitude

Mission 005

Need a fun, cross curricular way to introduce Latitude and Longitude to your students?  Here’s a Math/Social Studies Lesson using spies, secret codes, and google earth.  What can be better than that?

It addresses Math SOL 4.15, 5.14 and Global Studies SOL GS.1.

First, make sure students understand how to use Google Earth to find specific points on Earth using latitude and longitude.  You will want to make sure that the status bar in google earth is showing (View>Status Bar) so that you can clearly see the latitude and location of your point on the globe. You will also want to cut off all layers except those that show countries.

If you are using the Google Earth App on an iPad (or iPod), make sure to change a few settings.
Check out How to Change Settings in Google Earth by Tina Coffey on Snapguide.

Students also need some background in finding patterns in a series of numbers.  It may also help if they’ve done a bit of code breaking before (although it’s not necessary).  Then, present groups of students with their secret envelope and access to Google Earth, and sit back to see what they can figure out!

Here’s are the documents to create your own Mission packets:
Mission 005 – Latitude and Longitude

I’m working on a follow up STEM activity that has students designing their own codes.  I’ll add it when I’m done.