Posted in 3D Printer, English, Reading, Roanoke County Schools, STEM


I’ve been playing around with the app, Tinkerplay.  I started with my MakerMonday group of students and successfully printed one to the delight of the child who made it!

Then students in our FACES Special Education class designed characters during their Makerspace time.

Finally, I brought in a class of 22 third graders who are reading The Indian and Cupboard.  They designed action figures to place in the cupboard.


From those three trials, here’s what I’ve learned.

  • The smaller the scale, the easier it is for the action figures to break.  I found 75% was perfect.
  • Students can easily be given parameters to keep their figures from getting out of hand.  In the beginning, I had one action figure with 75 pieces!  I limited students on the amount of filament (grams) and the estimated print time.  They had no problem with this.
  • Saving is a bit complicated.  I attached Tinkerplay to our school dropbox account and saved to there.  I found that it automatically named the file with a number based on the time of day it was saved.  That meant, theoretically, if I didn’t clear out the folder before a group began saving the next day, things could get messy.  I also found that it was important to stagger saving so that people didn’t save on top of each other.  One save per minute.  I showed the students how to find the file name after it had saved so they could write it down.  It made it much easier to know whose was whose later.
  • Taking a picture of the finished creation helped students put them together when printing was finished.


Posted in English, QR Codes

High Tech Snowmen at night

Students in Mrs. Osburn’s writing classes introduced their new class blogs with high tech snowmen! They created snowmen based on the book, Snowmen At Night, and wrote short blog posts about them. Then, they created QR Codes to attach to their snowmen. When parents came for the 5th Grade Music program, they were able to scan the QR codes, read the corresponding blog posts, and leave comments for the students.


Check out their blogs here:

Rotation 1

Rotation 2

Rotation 3

Would you please leave a few comments for these new bloggers?


Posted in Salem City Schools

How Have You Been Teaching with Technology This Year?

I’ve been amazed at all the creative projects I’ve seen this year! Occasionally, I pick out one or two technology projects to write about here…but I’ve seen so many more great activities that I haven’t had time describe! So, here’s your chance. Is there a fun project you did this year with the computers? The Smartboard? The Elmo or digital camera? Did you find a great website to use with a particular unit? Is there something you saw someone else do that looked neat? If so, please leave a comment. I’ll start with a few that come to mind (that I haven’t had a chance to write about yet):

  • Mrs. Overstreet has started a classroom blog that includes awesome slideshows and updates for parents.
  • Mrs. Salvat had her kindergarteners practice typing words they could read and inserting pictures to go with them.
  • Mrs. Pinello, Mrs. Stanely, and Mrs. Kier have been using the Elmo all year to help with Interactive Notetaking.
  • Mrs. Carpenter had her students create a book about George Washington Carver using Max Write to illustrate sentences about him.
  • Mrs. Laprad had groups of students use Storybook Weaver to write and illustrate stories.
  • Mrs. William’s students will be tracking Flat Stanley’s Adventures in Google Earth.
  • Mrs. Hughes used Kidspiration to make concepts webs about Greece and Rome and Mrs. Heltzel had some very detailed Kidspiration maps hanging outside her classroom a few months ago.
  • Mrs. Dick had her students create an “I Have a Dream Podcast” in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Miss Hall had students create a podcast about Black History Month.
  • Mrs. Valentine, Mrs. Hartberger, and Mrs. Pitts are working on a collaborative Monster story project (using Kidpix) with classes across the U.S. (more on that later).
  • Miss Erickson’s class used the digital camera and PowerPoint to practice possessives.
  • Mrs. Chittum is having students create slide shows (not sure on what yet, but the kids keep talking about it!)
  • Mrs. Barnett’s class has a class webkinz. I believe there might be some other classes doing this too! What a great “spin” on a classroom “pet!”
  • Mrs. Wright at GWC has been using the Smartboard (especially the pen tools) with websites to practice comprehension strategies with her students. Mrs. Wright at East used the Smartboard to have students sort topics according to the Dewey decimal system.

Even as I get ready to submit this article, I can think of more. So, don’t be shy! Hit the green comment button right below this post, and tell me something you’ve done (or something someone you know has done). Not only does everyone deserve a pat on the back for their hard work with technology, these ideas can also help others think of things to do with technology next year (including me)!