“There can be infinite uses of the computer and of new age technology, but if teachers themselves are not able to bring it into the classroom and make it work, then it fails.” - Nancy Kassebaum

Monday, September 1, 2014

A GREAT Beginning of the Year!

The students of EHS are feeling something different when they walk in to school this year.  Yes, practically every classroom has a chrome cart; however, the excitement they are feeling is from their teachers!  More and more teachers are diving into the "Google Classroom" pool.

Classroom is a new tool that has been designed to go hand-in-hand with Google Apps for Education Teachers can save time, keep classes organized, and improve communication with students.

Sixteen Edgewood High School Teachers* have quickly discovered that Google Classroom enables them to create a "class" at the touch of a button. They can upload syllabus materials, whether text, audio or video, and send out assignments on the class news feed.

Teachers see instantly who has turned in their homework. They can start a class discussion and provide feedback and grades; students can see what's due and what's late. The whole package integrates with the rest of Google's apps, like Google Docs.

That is not the only exciting news coming from the High School.  We have several other teachers who are using other Learning Management Systems.  Kris Korty, Casey Wells, and Eric Pletz are using Course Sites; Zach Ewen is using Haiku, and Chris Holland has designed a Google Site that includes several new generation tools.

There is excitement at the Middle School.....the TABLETS ARE COMING!  I spent two exciting days with EMS math and language arts teachers in preparation. It was so exciting to see and hear the teachers as they plan all of the activities they will be able to accomplish.  The most impressive part about our teachers is that they were all very aware of the online safety of our students.

What's next?  ALEKS and STARS

Cari Vangen
Stephanie Johnson
Katie Vogel
Sarah Dreger
Rachel Anderson
Sabrina Gowswell
James Coniff
April Craft
Greg Brown
Katie Schmit
Eli Johnson
Rose Harvey
Brittany Warmoth
Jill Domaschko
Kari Sams
Linda Porter
Jason Pierce 


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sometimes You Have to Unplug

Edgewood City Schools have a few key people who are hiding their time and talents under a bushel as Young Life Leaders. Young Life leaders volunteer many hours with kids — where they are, as they are. They listen to their stories and learn what's important to them because they genuinely care about their joys, triumphs, heartaches and setbacks.

Currently, the teachers who are volunteering their time is Stephanie and Eli Johnson. The highlight of their year is "Young Life Camp"  This year Edgewood had 22 High School students participating in camp.  

Isn't it great to see our kids having fun?  

So, what does this have to do with Technology? 

 "Sometime the best way to recharge our batteries, is to unplug them" 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Best Kept Secret of Edgewood City Schools

Shh!  It's a secret! 

 We have an unbelievable faculty!

High School ELA teacher, Brooke Aufranc Gabbard was thrilled when she saw a blogger post her graduation speech. Edgewood City Schools is so, incredibly proud of Brooke.

If you were not able to attend the 2014 graduation, please take a moment to read her speech.

Nearly every one of you has asked me this question: “Why do we have to read this book?” I’m going to take the next few minutes to remind you, why, for 18 years, you’ve read the books you did.
You started your life reading about colors, numbers, shapes, and animals. That knowledge was the basic foundation for Mrs. Domashko’s biology class, Mr. Pletz’s digital art class, and Mrs. Vangen’s Honors Pre-Calc class.
You moved on to Dr. Seuss, who taught you that “The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Your next series as a child was the Berenstein Bears, where that tightly knit family who lived in a tree taught you good table manners, why it’s important to tell the truth, and how to cope with a difficult sibling.
In middle school, you had your heart broken when Billy’s dogs died in Where the Red Fern Grows. You learned about love and the redemptive qualities of nature when the red ferns grow on the graves of the dogs.
You entered high school and read Romeo and Juliet, which exposed you to the power of love, but also implored you to carefully read any letters you receive before making rash decisions. Remember, Romeo was warned that Juliet would only appear to be dead, but she really wasn’t. However, he refused to heed that warning. That lesson was echoed in Julius Caesar, when Caesar’s friends turned on him. He was warned not to go to the Senate that day, but he refused to listen to anyone.
So—listen to others’ advice. You don’t have to follow through on anyone’s thoughts but your own, but most people do have your best interests at heart. On the other hand, The Crucible taught you the dangers that can occur when you blindly follow the crowd and refuse to think for yourself.
Somewhere along the line you may have read the Harry Potter series where you learned all the different ways courage can define you. Dumbledore also taught us not to waste time fearing what comes next, and that’s advice we all should follow. But really, Harry Potter mostly taught just how cool it would be to go to Hogwarts.
You walked the streets of Maycomb, Alabama with Jem, Scout, Dill, and Boo, and in those streets, Atticus taught you one of the most important lessons—don’t judge a person until you’ve walked around in their shoes.
Many of you ended the year with Hamlet, who showed you what it was to be or to not to be. But the most important advice comes from Polonius as he speaks to his son Laertes. Polonius says, “This above all: To thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou cans’t not then be false to anyone.”
It’s been an honor to be one of those teachers who made you read books. I can’t wait to see all the incredible things you do with your lives. As you go, remember all the lessons you’ve learned—from books!—and remember, if you stay true to yourself, you’ll never be disappointed. 

If you would like to leave a message for Brooke, use the comment section below.  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Class DoJo with a Secondary Twist

Have you seen Class DoJo? It is a free web, iOS, and android app that is designed to help with classroom management and student engagement. It's an excellent tool to keep track of student behavior, attendance, and to connect with parents. Elementary teachers are wild over it and using it daily! 

However, it is a bit too rudimentary for secondary students and teachers, or is it?  Would your toes start to tingle just a little bit if I told you we could tweak it and you could track student standards? (Pow! Bam! Wham!Take that Admin Evaluator!) 

Let me show you how. When you first login to Class DoJo you are presented with two options; Demo Class or Add a New Class.  Go ahead and click Demo Class and play around with it to get comfortable before we go on.  

Now, let's create your class.  After clicking on "Add a New Class" add the details of your class. 

Click "Copy/paste list" to enter your students

After typing in your students, click save.

You will be presented with your class list, click next. 
Now you are presented with the behavior screen. HOVER YOUR CURSOR OVER THE BEHAVIOR TO CHANGE IT. 

Are you getting the idea?  If this hasn't knocked your socks off, you need to take your pulse. 

If you have just a little more time you can easily set this up for your students to receive a weekly report on their "behaviors"  ACCOMPLISHMENTS!  We don't celebrate our student success enough! 

My suggestion? From the dashboard click on the "invite parents and students" link found at the bottom of the class box.  I believe it would be less time consuming if you had your students come and  type in their email address in the "Type Parent Email" box.   

Make sure you have taught your students to bake a cake with a file in it just in case the "parent email" police are watching and you are arrested for providing student emails instead of parent emails.  ��

This post was inspired by Hamilton County ESC consultant Allison Curran.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

In a Perfect World

"In a perfect world, doing research would simply mean you could shout your question out the window and have an answer shouted back to you. In a perfect digital world, you could type your research topic into Google and immediately have your research done for you. While most of us are unlikely to try the first method of research, all of us have probably done the second. " http://www.shmoop.com/common-core-standards/ccss-ela-literacy-ccra-w-8.html

W.CCR.8–that’s the 8th College and Career Readiness anchor standard within the Writing strand of the Common Core State Standards for ELA / Literacy–reads as follows:

Gathering relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assessing the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrating the information while avoiding plagiarism.
If our students are going to graduate being college and career ready, they will need to master this skill. With the rapid development of technology, it may be the most important 21st century skill.

While working on multigenre research projects EMS teacher Stephanie Johnson has begun working on this standard. A multigenre project enables students to explore a topic in which they are interested and produce various genre pieces, a portfolio, and a pursuit on their topic. Students must research, compile information, synthesize, and produce works in a different way than the more traditional research paper.

Please click here to Annie Patricks's  portfolio. 

I believe that Jennifer Chillman has also touched on this standard with the following projects in her HS marketing class.

Students will explore vacation destinations around the world to develop an understanding of exchange rates and the value of the dollar in other countries. Each team will conduct thorough research of multiple vacation destinations and then select the one that team members believe would allow a person to get the most for $3000 not including airfare. The team will then develop an interactive Glog/digital poster that creatively explains their vacation destination choice, incentives involved, the exchange rate, and expenses incurred during the weeklong vacation.

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!