Welcome back! We hope you’ve had a great start to the new school year.
Are you as excited about the solar eclipse as we are?! We’d love to hear what you plan to do, or what you did with your students. Leave a comment or tweet us @svvsditc
Science Coordinator, Mike O’Toole, partnered with Nearpod to create a slidedeck that includes some questions, safety instructions and resources to get us thinking about and prepared for the upcoming solar eclipse. One of my favorite resources is the flying along the path and mapping the path from Esri. Here’s a clip.
Below is the Nearpod that you can use with students. If you want to have a copy that allows you to see your students responses you will need to add the slidedeck to your library. If you have a District Edition license you can find it in the District Library. If you don’t have a license but one one, go here to find out how to get one.
Slides Carnival is a wonderful free template gallery for Google Slides users that scaffolds the process of creating an effective slide show for users. All Slides Carnival templates contain the same slides and options, but different formatting, colors, fonts and layout. They are also all customizable. Unfortunately, Slides Carnival shows advertisements and does not allow downloads when on the iPad.
So, I added all the templates into a Google Folder and am happy to share them with anyone in the district. Please just click “Add to Drive” and once you have selected a Slides template that you like, go to File, Make a Copy.
Nearpod has recently come out with a new feature allowing students to engage in an online conversation within the Nearpod presentation, called Collaborate.
Want to learn more? Check out Nearpod’s blog to find out more.
Collaborate can be used to ask students questions, and see each other’s anonymous responses in real-time. Students can respond to a teacher prompt either in writing and/or with an image.
If you’re a regular Nearpod user this can add another element to allow student voice in the presentation of information, without having to leave the app. This is also a feature that can be used for teachers wanting to engage students in an online discussion, with the safety of a closed community.
We’d love to see a presentation you create using this feature.
This week 5th grade students at Burlington Elementary were busy creating books about the early explorers. They spent time examining who the explorers were their aims, obstacles and accomplishments as well as the impact exploration had on Native Americans. In this learning activity students worked on the skills of paraphrasing and using textual evidence. Students were broken into groups of three to create a section of a book, once each section was complete Ms. Rovnak compiled the work into two class books. Check out their creations below!
The dashing and muscular young man flying in to save a damsel in distress is an image that has woven its way into the fabric of American culture. Karen Ranglos of NHS challenged her students to think about this myth and the significance it has in modern day society. After studying various parts of Marvel comics she challenged her 9th grade students to change this myth by remixing an existing hero and story to better represent a part of American culture that is under-represented. Students both worked on changing the physical stereotypes of their superhero as well as remixing a part of the story. Students then spent time analyzing the complex question of, so what? How did these changes alter the story and why does that matter?
Stay tuned to see examples of the students’ remixed comics.
It has been a pretty remarkable first year for Schoology in St. Vrain. In this post I’ll go over some of the highlights and what to get ready for next year.
End of Year Best Practice (BACKUP YOUR COURSE)
It is time to start thinking about packing up your Schoology course and getting it ready for next fall. Bradley Kemp at Schoology made a very concise video explaining the process and you can use this Google Doc to step you through the process as well.
The gradebook in Schoology got an overhaul this year, and added some nice features. But, the biggest question is ‘will the Schoology gradebook sync with the Infinite Campus gradebook’? Unfortunately, that answer is still no and that isn’t going to change for next year either. While there have been some positive steps in that direction, Schoology doesn’t plan on having a working demo ready before 2017 and even then, there questions about if this could be a nightly sync or just and end of term sync.
Here are some numbers from the last 7 months:
- 743,132 assignments have been turned in via Schoology
- 542,637 file uploads
- 43 Million page views
All Grade Courses
Next year each school will have the option to establish an ‘All Grade’ course. This course would have all the students for a particular grade enrolled in it for that school year. These courses were created to meet the needs expressed by our counseling staff to reach students on time sensitive items and to deliver specific resources. The All Grade courses also address the issue in our Elementary schools of teachers needing to have access to students not assigned to them in their AM Attendance of Infinite Campus. The elementary grade level teachers will be instructors of these courses and the building counselors will be the instructors in the secondary courses.
To establish these courses next Fall the Secondary registrars will need to use the IC ‘Scheduling Wizard’ and Elementary registrars will need to contact Lorraine Baxter or Karen Edwards at the helpdesk.
Before you head off to some grand adventure, we hope you’ll pause and consider how to best care for your MacBook over the summer. Also included in this post are resources to learn more about using your laptop.
Considerations to best care for your MacBook:
- If you’re not going to be using the laptop for awhile we suggest you shut it down with at least 50-90% of battery power.
- Just like our bodies, MacBooks don’t like to be in extreme temperatures. If you need to leave the laptop in your car shut it down first.
- When traveling, ensure that you are keeping the laptop in it’s case.
- If your laptop is lost or stolen over the break you’ll need to contact your administrator, they might need a reminder that they’ll need to submit a ticket for it.
- To best care for the content on your MacBook, back up your data.
Here are some resources for you to learn more about navigating your MacBook:
This summer, we’re excited to host expeditionary learning experiences on June 8th. We’d love for you to join us. You can find out more here.
If you’re interested you might want to hurry, one of the sessions is already full.
So somehow it is May, and there are only 11 days with students left in the year! Here are my favorite links from this week:
1.) Collin Rickman and Mike O’Toole team up to bring low cost microscopes to his science classroom!Using the lens from a laser pointer and some plexiglass, Collin’s students build microscopes with the same magnification of $300 models for a mere $11! Video below!
2.) 5 Ways to Put Students in the Driver’s Seat
This blog post is a great summer read as you think about ways you can structure your class next year to give students more agency!
3.) After hearing that he was going to be replaced on the $20 bill, I did a google search for “Andrew Jackson” and found this gem: Andrew Jackson had a pet parrot that had to be taken out of his funeral for cursing loudly. Great article confirming this story here!
While I really love Twitter when I have time to stay up on it, I often get overwhelmed by all I “missed” when I go a few days without checking it. That is why I’ve been so impressed with a free new service (and iOS App) Nuzzel. Nuzzel was created to “solve the problems of social overload.” It aggregates links shared by your friends and serves as a “finely honed news filter.” Link it to your twitter and give it a shot!
5.) Blue Origin’s landing! This GoPro footage of a spacecraft descending through earth’s atmosphere and landing 300,000 feet below was awesome! Check out this video here to see how fast it was coming in from another point of view.