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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Two Great Tech Projects, Three Great EMS/EHS Teachers

Yay for Science , Math & Technology!

I received this email from Miss Mrs. Brittany Hamilton Warmoth.  

"We usually do a newton's laws lab activity with making a "Newton's Cradle" out of golf balls, fishing wire, etc. ...the kids really like it but its a pain because it takes a long time and often our results are skewed because the cradles are not made exactly to scale. ;-)
Found a newton's cradle app created by "geekyouup" that was awesome! There are actually quite a few, but I thought this one was great! It was extremely realistic and the kids even ask to use it/play now that we are finished with the unit! (if they complete other assignments.)"  

Congratulations Brittany!  
We wish you love and happiness as you begin this exciting journey.  

Mrs. Tara Gullett and Mrs. Beth Hensley have been experimenting with Blendspace, a FREE place on the web for students and teachers to organize and share information on the web, measure student understanding and track student progress in real time.  Tara and Beth started flirting with Blendspace, with a few small lessons, and then BAM! They hit their students with this! 

Click here to see the lesson

The Blendspace they designed was about  Equations and Functions. There are fifty-one slides to this activity and is designed for students to work on independently. The students were led to online lessons (Learn Zillion), games, quizzes, videos, and other online learning activities.  They were able to have their students in a lab for an entire week. 

Here are some benefits that I saw as I observed.
Students knew exactly what website to go to.  There was no wasted time repeating the URL and helping students log in. 
Students were all working at their own speed. 
Students who understood the concept were able to work on their own which freed the teacher(s) to work with the students who needed help. 
I observed 100% of the students participating in the lesson. 
I observed zero discipline problems. 
I am not going to sugar coat this; it took several hours to prepare this lesson. However, look at the benefits.  I am going to be interested in how these students test on Equations and Functions.

Congratulations Tara and Beth!  A beautiful lesson. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Chris Andrews, Effie Jata, Chris Stratton

Chris Andrews, Effie Jata, Chris Stratton

You’re kind of a big deal. Don’t believe me? 

Ask the students and teachers of Edgewood City Schools who would like to thank you for all of the work you did to prepare us for the PARCC online testing and the ODE online testing! 

Last month select students of EHS participate in the PARCC on-line field assessment. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers. These high quality, computer-based K–12 assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy give teachers, schools, students, and parents better information whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school, and tools to help teachers customize learning to meet student needs.

The Edgewood students and teachers did a great job!  They were all patient and persistent.
Thank you to the following teachers for "volunteering" to proctor the field test. 
Rachael Anderson
Tracy Umbstead
Lindsay Horan
Linda Porter
Betty Gambrell
Virginia Mangino
Kevin McDonell
Shelly Steele
Jamie Harrison
Steven Ford

Ohio students are scheduled to begin taking the PARCC test in the 2014-2015 school year.  PARCC has recently published the the 2013/14 practice tests.  You will need to click on the fifth tab to view the assessments. 

Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, the state assessments in Ohio will transition to an online testing system for Science and Social Studies. This week select students of EMS participated in the ODE Science and Social Studies online field test.  

You can take a practice test here. (Sign in as "guest" "guest".)

The Edgewood Field tests were successful due to the behind-the-scene preparation of Chris, Effie, and Chris.  If you see them in the hall you may want to give them a great big Cougar smile! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Checking In.....

Look at the project that Linda Porter designed.  It's simply beautiful. Linda's students read the book 1984. Her assignment was inspired by the website “” where people send in postcards upon which they have written their deepest secrets.  Using this format as a guide, she created a similar backdrop for students to have their own “secrets” posted.  She assigned her students to create two secrets of a character in the novel 1984 for each of the three chapters, a total of 6.  In order to do this, students had to analyze character motivation, actions, and in some cases, anticipate and extrapolate reasonable expectations about the character.  They were given permission to submit one explicit secret, for example “I am afraid of my own children” but they also had to submit a more intuitive secret as well. Students were encouraged to create postcards in which the pictorial content contributed to the meaning of the secret.  This assignment allowed students to mix contemporary web experiences with classroom assignments. I think know you will be impressed with what they came up with.

Please click here to view Linda's 1984 Post Secret Blog.

Congratulations to Cari Vangen, Beth Hensley, Tara Gullett, Angela Murphy, Rachael Fryman and Richard Grow. You are the first MS/HS math teachers to take advantage of the FREE online tutor program TenMarks. If you have not seen TenMarks, you need to take a minute to check it out. TenMarks provides you with an online forum in which you can assign mathematics practice problems to students and track their progress. If a student gets stuck on a problem he or she can open a tutorial to help him or her through the problem. TenMarks provides teachers with the option to CC parents on the assignments sent to students. The online curriculum provided by TenMarks can be aligned to the state standards a teacher chooses.Signing up your classes is a one time simple process.  If you need help, I am sure the people who have jumped in wouldn't mind pointing you in the right direction. 

Mrs. Susie Hoffman's class just completed a trendy little project.  Susie was covering comparing informational texts. We found two articles on the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 in Boston. (Seriously, 21 people were killed and 150 injured by a flood of Molasses.)  After transferring them in to a Google Doc, Susie had her students use the annotation features to complete a close read.  She then took it just a little further and had their discussion questions ready for them on a Google doc.  BAM!  Google Magic! 

Have you heard of the website Blendspace? As our district starts to explorer the concept of blended learning, we came across this nifty little site. In a tiny little nutshell, Blendspace is a FREE place on the web for students and teachers to organize and share information, measure student understanding and track student progress in real time. (What an awesome nutshell) 
Take a look at some of the very first Edgewood Blendspace lessons. When you open them, look for the "play" button at the top left. 

Cari Vangen: Rocket ModelingRachael Fryman: Scientific Notation, Exponent RulesKatie Conley : Pythagorean Theorem

Look for more on Blended Learning soon! 

Like always, if you are interested in any of these projects, or have an idea you would like to try please contact me. 

P.S.  Close your eyes, where will you be this time next week? 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Your Room Can be as Exciting as an 

Apple Store

Have you ever been in am Apple Store?  You are immediately caught up in the energy and excitement. You pause and try to get your bearings and eventually pick up a device and start playing. You may note that there are small group lessons going on at tables, people providing individual assistance all around, and at the back of the store is a genius bar where you can find answers to your specific questions.  As an educator, I'm sure you realize that there is real learning going on all around you.

This is what I call Blended Learning.  I was introduced to this concept during the Blended Learning PD on February 28.  Our guest, Marcia Kish, met with 15 secondary teachers in the morning and 15 elementary teachers in the afternoon. We are all excited to share with you what we have learned as Edgewood begins their journey towards Blended Learning. We just barely scratched the surface of using the Blended Learning model. Click here to learn more. If you are interested in getting in on the ground floor of this fascinating adventure, please contact me. I don't want to leave anyone out who is interested.

Let's take a quick look at whats going on around EMS and EHS this week.

Mr. Ahler's Pre-Algebra Student impresses
his class with his mad math skills. 

Mrs. Gambrell's students work on Google Maps

Students in Mrs. Oswalt and Mrs. Salyer's room collaborate. 
The Next Great American Novelist? 

Mrs. Hensley's and Mrs. Gullett's students work
on nearpod.

Chromebooks in the HS classroom! 
I can't wait to see what next week brings!  I know that Jacob White, Alex Ahlers and the EMS Art Department each have a little project up their sleeve.  Stay Tuned! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Attention All Math Teachers! TenMarks

Wait until you see what we have found for our math students!  This is a math teacher's dream come true!  Take a look at Tenmarks. We fell in love with their site because it met two critical requirements: free and functional.  Simply put, it doesn't cost a penny, and it is easy to use. 

TenMarks is a service that offers an online mathematics program designed to supplement your in-classroom mathematics instruction. 

Within TenMarks teachers create class rosters and accounts for their students.  After creating rosters teachers can assign practice problems to students. Teachers can assign problems based on the Common Core Standards that their students are trying to reach.  Teachers with Chrome carts, this could become your bell work! Middle School teachers, book your students into a lab and let them work on TenMarks once a week. 

TenMarks provides an efficient way to provide practice problems and track students' progress. The information gathered about students' progress can be used to influence the creation of lesson plans tailored to students' specific needs.

When students work on TenMarks, they have access to hints and video lessons on EVERY problem, so if they can't recall something, or didn't quite get the topic when it was covered in class, they can quickly review the content, and move forward. Immediate support improves motivation and builds confidence, and our data shows that it does wonders for student outcomes.

Once your students are enrolled, TenMarks provides you with a letter to send home that has the students log-in information.  Students and parents can log-in any time to work on their math or review their progress. 

Are you sold yet?  No? When a student completes an assignment, TenMark instantly grades their work and encourages them to review incorrect answers.   Think of the hours a week you will save with AUTOMATIC GRADING!

BONUS: Math Madness is coming!
Starting March 3rd, you can enter your class in this year's Math Madness contest. Students show off their math-tastic skills and class entries compete for weekly and overall prizes. Jam Session is a NEW innovative way to ensure students master core math skills. No purchase necessary. Contest entry period ends 4/13/14. See Official Rules. Learn More 

Friday, February 14, 2014

EMS is on FIRE!

It's been a great week to be a Middle School Cougar!  I have three projects to tell you about.

Seventh Grade Social Studies teacher Rebecca Wiggins' students have just completed a project on Africa.  Each group summarized their research and designed a clay model to represent their subject.  Rebecca wanted to find a way where we could showcase all of their work and easily share it with parents.  We decided that voice thread was a perfect fit!  When you click on the students photo, you will hear their voice.  Don't forget to click the arrow on the bottom right to go through each slide.

Would you agree they did a great job? If you click comment, you can leave them an audio message.

           CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.2d Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about              or explain the topic.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

Eighth grade ELA teachers Stephanie Johnson and Katie Wilson attended training this week to begin using Mimio Mobile in their classroom.  The very next day they were up and going with a highly interactive, collaborative lesson.  The students were divided into seven groups and each group issued a tablet. Students benefited from collaborative group instruction, which encourages student participation and idea sharing and supports the requirement of the Common Core State Standards for more student centered learning environments. 
Stephanie had designed a lesson on inference using an article about the winter olympics.  She found a way to capture her students attention and sneak a bit of learning in without them even noticing.  
If this was their first lesson using Mimio Mobile, I can't wait to see what is next. A special thank you to Kathy Korty and Debbie Burnett (and her students) for sharing this technology with us and always motivating us to raise the rigor of our classes. 

Sixth grade math teachers Beth Hensley and Tara Gullett have rocked the world of their students with the use of Nearpod!  Using Nearpod, Beth and Tara were able to design an interactive presentation on Fractions.  They were then able to "push" the presentation out to individual computers in the lab.  Each student was then able to participate in each activity.  Their activities included teaching slides, "draw-it" slides where students were able to work out math problems while they watched on their screen, multimedia web sites, quizzes and open ended questions. You really had to see it to believe it.  I saw 100% student participation.  Cross my heart!  Here is a great video about Nearpod. The only difference is that they have released a web version so we can use it without a mobile device.

Here are some samples:
Draw It 

Draw It

Quiz Summary

Would you like to try Nearpod or Voice Thread in your room?  I'm just a click away! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014