Friday, August 15, 2014

First Day and We Are Playing Candy-land...

Just kidding... but prepping for today I couldn't help but feel like I was getting ready to play candy land.

I decided to try something new for our first seating chart.  If your kids are like mine the first quarter is always a bit of a honeymoon.  They are so happy to be in your room and hang on your every word.  They follow directions and do EVERYTHING you ask.  
okay more like first day, maybe week, but you know what I mean...

Anyway... my seating chart planning started at the paint store.  I picked up three matching samples for each of the primary and secondary colors plus a neutral as I have 7 tables.  One paint sample was taped to the middle of the taped to identify it as that color of table. The other two were cut into color squares.  Once set of the color squares were taped to the corner of tables.
I taped the second set to white paper and laminated it.  As the students walked into the room they were given a colored card.  On the board was the directions to match their colored card to the table and have a seat.  When I entered the room we started into the "Rules and Regulations."  About 1/2 way through the class they get to work on their information card and I walked around the room writing down names and putting together the seating chart.  

A few things I realized:
  • in 6 classes I ended up with only 1 table of all boys/girls
  • students told me their names vs. me guessing pronunciations or abbreviations
  • students were active and engaged from the start of class, no more listening to me read names for 5 minutes
  • students started collaborating already, working together to get everyone to the right spot
  • it was easy to accommodate for class size.  My neutral table is my "extra" table and I would just add/remove the neutral paint samples as needed. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Lovin...

I have been blissfully absent from blogging for most of the summer as I decided to unplug and recharge myself.  We moved into a new house last September and I have been itching to attack some projects.  Here is photographic proof of what I was doing (since we know I wasn't blogging)
The Original Landscaping (rocks and dead grass)

New Landscaping (flowers, mulch and lighting)
The girls' room when we bought the house
And the girls room today (remember the chandelier from last summer)
Our room when we bought the house (yeah there was wall paper in weird places)

Our room today
Then entry way when we bought the house (yes those are real rocks glued to the wall)
the entryway today (still have to finish the floor but it might be an improvement)
the downstairs "office" when we bought the house
my "office" today
Those are the house projects.  Of course we still have more to do but I think we are off to a pretty good start.  I also enjoyed watching baseball games, gymnastics practice, dance camp and swimming pool tricks.  We didn't take any big vacations (no money or time) but made a few day trips to friends in Iowa and my grandparents farms.  We enjoyed some camping close to home and spent a lot of time laughing and hanging out with friends.  
And now I am ready for a nap... 
but wait, school just started!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I am a "Nighthawk"

So I said earlier in the week that I was taking an iPad art class.  Well I have learned A LOT!

  1. Someday I would Love, Love, Love to meet Tricia Fuglestad!
  2. The iPads have unlimited things they can do.
  3. EVERYTHING awesome on the iPad takes mutliple steps, apps, actions.
Well I have managed to create a new "Wednesday curriculum*" that focuses on using the iPads.  I have to share with you what will be the students final project.  It is called Stepping into Art History and is totally inspired/stolen from Tricia's website

Here are the steps to what they will have to do:
  1. Find and save(to the camera roll) a famous art image they like. 
  2. Take a photo of themselves on the green screen doing something that would "fit" with the picture.  
  3. Open the Superimpose App (watch this vimeo by Tricia) and save the finished image to the camera roll.
  4. Scan a QR code to upload this image to Artsonia and write an "8th grade writing assessment inspired" artist statement. 
  5. Open the DoInk Green Screen App.  (Check out this video or this one) Use the modified famous image as the background image.  Record the student (or they can record themselves) doing a small artist summary. 
  6. Save video to camera roll.
  7. Using a QR code students will open my YouTube account and upload to a specific playlist. 
Here is my finished image:
see me hanging out on my iPad...
and here is my finished video:
ignore the goofy lady in purple...

Now to enjoy my last two weeks of "summer" before it is really back to school!
oh wait... I have one more class to finish!

Monday, July 14, 2014

iPad Class and my request

image credit
I am taking a super exciting class this week can "Advanced iPad in the Classroom."  I am super excited but like this picture above my iPad is pretty blank.  If you have a favorite iPad app, please share with me. Please leave a comment here so everyone else can learn from you also.
Thanks - Jen

Friday, June 13, 2014

Super Excited...

I am excited to announce that my backyard is so bad and nasty that I am a finalist in a backyard contest.  If you have a minute, please vote for us.  (Carlisle)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Class #1

This summer I am taking 3 classes.  This will help put me all the way across the pay scale and take some pressure off of myself to get there...

My first class has been Google Apps in the Classroom taught through Doane College by the one and only Lisa Pospishil (check her out on twitter, youtube and a "few" other places).  It has been great. The crazy thing is that EVERYTHING has been online.  Not one piece of paper has been used.  If that isn't the way of learning in the future...

Some of the super fun things I have been learning about are
This site is awesome.  It allows you to upload/enter your vocabulary and it will create flashcards, games and tests for your students to study from.  In 20 minutes I created a set of flashcards for every vocabulary section my PLC made this year.  It is so awesome!  

This website allows you to build your own customized "canvas." It has different size, styles and is so simple to use.  Here is the one I created for my Google Site.  It honestly took less than 15 minutes and went right into the site.

We have been also learning about being more effective in using YouTube and all things Google.  
We have also been working on creating a Google Site.  
It isn't going to take over my blog but where my blog is for me, this site is more for my students. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Super Me...

As a part of my class this week I am creating a list of awesome computer games/free time activities that I will share it later.  Here is this fun picture I created on The Hero Factory
It was fun and I can see my kiddo's loving this!