After finishing up their unit on Native American literature, students in Diane Euston's English III classes were tasked with creating their own origin myths incorporating a moral or lesson at the end. Once the written piece was completed, they had to present their story to the class using technology. Students were given a choice to create a Google Slides presentation, Prezi, iMovie, or another tool (as approved by their teacher) to share their stories. Judging by the end results, students appeared determined to show what they'd learned in creative ways. Just check out this fantastic iMovie by 11th grader, Noah Moore, on the origin of the sun for one example of the many awesome projects!
During the 2015-2016 school year 5th grade students at Belvidere Elementary participated in a pilot of the Project Lead the Way Launch (PLTW) program. PLTW Launch is a Project Based STEM curriculum that introduces students to career paths in Engineering, Computer Science, and the Biomedical Sciences. This year 5th grade students at Meadowmere and Butcher-Greene are joining in the fun. 5th grade students in these three buildings will be participating in the following PLTW modules as a part of their science curriculum this year.
Each PLTW Launch Module requires students to collaborate around a design problem and work together, problem solve, and create solutions for that problem. Students who become interested in the three career pathways offered through PLTW have opportunities to further explore those fields through programs available at GMS, MCM, and GHS.
Tyler Stolberg (BV), Samantha Dane (BG), and Peter Norgren (MM) are leading the program in their respective buildings. They have done a lot of hard work to train and prepare in order for their students to be able to benefit from these great activities. In addition, Mr. Stolberg and Diane DeLaTorre, our district PLTW Launch Trainers, have done an incredible job of training and supporting our two new PLTW Launch Teachers. Please join me in thanking all four for their hard work to make this opportunity available for our students. If you would like to learn more about PLTW Launch just click here.
What is OSMO?
Try it Out!
Try out OSMO in your classroom! We have OSMO Words, Tangrams, Numbers, and Code with 5 Bases. To check out an OSMO, please go to Teacher Resources on the left, then click on Mobile Makerspace. This page will give you a calendar of available dates and a google form to fill out.
Email Diane DeLaTorre if you have any questions on how to use OSMO in your classroom.
Students wrote scripts, brought in props, and recorded in front of a green screen to create the appearance of being on the scene and in the studio, just like real news reporters. What a meaningful, exciting way to wrap up a unit on Natural Disasters!
Check out the awesome examples below:
Tsunamis by Shannon Johnson, Jae'lyn Moore, and Asia Stevenson
Earthquakes by Ahjana Hayes, Jalyn Tucker, and Sinise Jackson
Reflecting with SAMR
Grandview C-4 has had a long relationship with Project Lead the Way at the secondary level. In fact, Grandview was the first district in the region to incorporate Gateway to Technology (GTT) at the middle school level. This year we are excited about an expansion of that program that will offer Grandview students engaging and relevant experiences in Engineering, BioMedical Sciences, and Computer Science. Although we have always been proud of the GTT courses we have offered our middle school students, the ultimate goal of the GTT program is to introduce students to a variety of career pathways. Our previous offerings focused solely on the engineering pathway. These changes will ensure students are introduced to at least two additional pathways. Although the changes are only taking place at GMS this year, the plan is to make similar changes at MCM in the following year. An overview of the new courses is below.
8th Grade students at GMS will be participating in the new Medical Detectives course taught by DeeAnn Moore. In this course students assume the role of a real life medical detective. Students will analyze evidence found at a mock crime scene to learn about genetic testing, DNA, and disease through hands-on projects and labs. While the students have fun solving the mystery they will also be introduced to hundreds of career paths in the medical industry. Did I mention they get to dissect a sheep brain?! Interested students will be able to continue this journey in the BioMedical program that already exists at Grandview High School.
Energy and the Environment
7th grade students at GMS will be participating in the new Energy and the Environment course. This course is also taught by DeeAnn Moore. In this course students will collaborate around energy issues, and work to explore sustainable solutions to energy needs. This is a hands-on course in which students design, model, and evaluate energy solutions. Students who remain interested in the engineering career pathway will be able to continue their studies in the already established PLTW engineering pathway at Grandview High School.
Introduction to Computer Science
8th Grade students at Grandview Middle School will get the opportunity to learn about career opportunities in Computer Science by participating in the new Introduction to Computer Science course. This course is taught by Tynisha Watson. The course focuses on creativity and design while introducing students to computer coding. Students will design and create their own apps using MIT App Inventor. Students who remain interested in this career pathway will be able to continue their studies through Grandview High School's Computer Science course.
Thanks to our Teachers
These changes would not be possible without the dedication, enthusiasm, and time commitment of DeeAnn Moore and Tynisha Watson. Each one of these courses requires rigorous and time consuming training in the summer and a great deal of prep work before students even arrive. If you see DeeAnn and Tynisha please join me in thanking them for their dedication to expanding opportunities for our kids!
What is a Makerspace?
A makerspace is a space where students can gather together to explore, create, tinker, learn, and discover with items given to them. It is a mindset of creating something out of nothing and exploring your own interests. That is the heart of a makerspace. Items given to students can be anything from high-tech 3-D printers to low-tech legos to let them explore.
GC4 Mobile Makerspace
Grandview C4 School district now has a makerspace that you, the teacher, can check out and use in your classrooms! Take a look at what is available in our Mobile Makerspace below.
Try it Out in Your Classroom
Check out a Mobile Makerspace item! To do this, click on Teacher Resources on the left sidebar and select Mobile Makerspace. The calendar on this page will show you the availability of items, then just fill out the Google Form to reserve an item.
Breakout EDU boxes have arrived at CSD4 and they’ve taken off like wildfire! Students and staff all over the district have participated in this engaging, exciting activity. Working in small groups, students must solve a series of puzzles and riddles to break into a wooden box that has been locked with five different locks!
These boxes are perfect for any grade level! Second graders at Martin City participated in a back-to-school themed breakout, “If You Take a Mouse to School”, sixth graders at GMS learned about digital citizenship during Transition Days, and high schoolers in Mrs. Dolinar’s class were introduced to a variety of disorders for health class in a game she designed herself!
You can design your own games or select from a database of pre-written ones on the Breakout EDU website (all games are password protected, so if you’re interested, contact Mary Cordry or Diane DeLaTorre). Breakout boxes are the perfect way to introduce or review content with students. You can even have them design their own games for each other!
The Instructional Technology department currently has four boxes available for check out to anyone in the district. Simply hover over Teacher Resources in the left hand menu and select Mobile Makerspace to see the availability and request form.
GMS Choir teacher, Mr. Levy, has been flipping his classes and music instruction to provide students extra practice outside of class. He designed a class website that would be a hub for all things course-related that his students can access at anytime. On this website, students can find everything they need to learn and practice their specific parts/notes when they aren't with him in the classroom!
Every song that students sing in a performance can be found on his webpage. Mr. Levy creates all of the tracks you'll find here by recording his own voice and using the GarageBand app for Macbook to change the octave (yes, that's his voice singing each part!). Once completed, the recording is uploaded to his classroom SoundCloud account and is then embedded into the Weebly page for students to practice.
He has done this not only with his regular choir classes, but also with the upcoming Shrek Jr. the Musical tracks. Students who will be starring in the production this coming weekend are able to access all of the songs online to make sure they're ready for their big performance. Be sure to come see all of their hard work April 14th through 16th in the GHS Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.!
What an awesome idea for flipping music!
Reflecting with SAMR
DeeAnn Moore’s 7th grade Science students have just wrapped up their unit on electricity and as the culminating activity, she decided to let students experiment with Little Bits and Makey Makeys! Students were first introduced to the Little Bits through a series of seven challenges, starting with creating simple circuits. These challenges were designed to familiarize students with the pieces. The next class period, students were split into groups of three to four and were tasked with either creating an airplane that flies on its own while the lights are out (see project here) or designing their own musical invention using Makey Makeys. The groups were not given any specific instructions (only a picture of the airplane), but were given plenty of supplies, like bananas, pipe cleaners, sticks, and more, to create and invent! They had to collaborate to accomplish the tasks and they were successful! What a great way to integrate technology, promote collaboration, and give students creative freedom!
If you’re interested in using Little Bits in your classroom, contact the Instructional Technology Department and we can work with you!
Reflecting with SAMR
Back in November, we showcased the Science teachers at GMS for trying something new this year (going digital!) with the annual Science Fair. Well, students have been diligently working on their projects since then and the time has finally come to show off all their hard work! Teachers displayed the students’ projects in the school cafeteria and on Thursday, February 11th, parents and community members came to check them out!
Students were given the option to complete the traditional science fair tri-fold board or to use a digital platform to complete it. Some students even chose to do a combination of the digital and traditional projects which produced some awesome results! All of the digital projects were completed in Google Slides and were displayed using QR codes. Grab your device (with a QR Reader) to check out some of their amazing exhibits below!
In Lori McIntyre's classroom, students were given the opportunity to play the part as teachers to their classmates. Students were allowed to lead a lesson with a topic of their choosing. The preparation for these student led lessons was quite a process!
Students first had to write a proposal for the topic they wanted to present to their classmates. They had to research about their topic, cite their sources, and decide how they would like to present the lesson to the class. Students determined what they would like for their classmates to do during the lesson and how to assess them.
It was great to see all the different ways the students chose to present their lesson and how they decided to assess their classmates to see what they've learned. As information was presented using the Apple TV, some students kept their classmates' engaged by having discussions in between slides, asking questions and calling on students even those who didn't have their hand raised. Some students decided to give a pre and post test, and some had the students grade their own test.
As the students led their lesson, they were assessed by their teacher using a rubric they created themselves. What a great way for students to lead and set the standard for their work!
Walk into any art classroom in the district and you'll find students drawing, painting, and generally being hands-on to create beautiful work! In Nichole Peacher's high school art class, however, you'll also see students using technology, specifically iMovie, to document the processes and reflect on their work.
Students have been tasked with using photos and iMovie to create a video description of the process of creating a piece of art. Students examine art techniques and pieces to inspire their own creations. Once they are ready to create, they take photographs to document the entire process from beginning to end.
Students compile their photographs, descriptions/text, and music to create a video that documents their experiences. This allows them to showcase their art and reflect on what they've created. Check out one student's video and artwork below!
What a fantastic way to integrate technology into the arts!
Reflecting with SAMR
Kids are naturally curious. They like to explore, test and play. It is through these types of activities that lots of learning takes place. Tinkerlabs are a great place for students to start exploring and inventing. If you have never heard of a Tinkerlab, it is simply an idea where students learn by taking apart old technology to figure out how it works as well as how it can be re-purposed in other ways through exploring and testing new ideas. It is all about creating hands-on experiences where failure is acceptable and expected!
Tammy Anderson's and Cathy Christiansen's kindergartners at Butcher-Greene received old keyboards, laptops and other technology devices from IT to take apart in their Science center. Yes, students were given hammers, screwdrivers and wedges to explore these items. A little lesson on how to use the screwdriver was all students needed and they were off tinkering! Students were very determined to tear into these devices and you could hear squeals of delight when they made discoveries of what was inside!
Students will take the extra parts and see if they can build something with them as the next step. This is a great example of letting students explore and be creative with technology in a whole new way! Way to go, kindergartners!
Reflecting with SAMR
Are you looking for a way that your students can jazz up their Science Fair boards? Well, middle school teachers have come up with a fabulous solution by going digital! Every year middle school students throughout the district are required to complete a Science Fair project as part of their final grade in Science. It is a big undertaking that requires students to spend hours outside of class developing ideas and putting everything together in order to show their understanding of the Scientific Method. Students must develop a hypothesis, gather materials, perform an experiment that will test their hypothesis, gather data and explain their results.
This year, instead of requiring the majority of students to create a board that may or may not go on to the citywide competition at Union Station, students have been given a choice to create a digital version of their typical Science Fair board. Not only does this eliminate the need to purchase and bring in a board, it also allows the projects to be enhanced with photos and even video of the experiment conducted!
Students are using a template that was created in Google Slides (you can check it out below!). Google Classroom makes it extremely easy to distribute a copy of the template to each student so they can begin work right away. As an added bonus, Google Classroom allows the teachers to periodically check on a student’s Slides project simply by logging in to the class.
Projects are due in January and we are anxious to see how students respond to the opportunity to use technology to complete them! No longer do your students need to be "board" with their science fair projects!
Reflecting with SAMR
What happens when we empower our students as innovators with iPads or other technology devices? It can strengthen their learning and create highly engaging activities for them! This is exactly what Christina Phyall, 4th grade teacher at Butcher Greene, wanted to do for her students. Her fourth graders had the task of working on a research project on a famous Missourian and the contributions they made to society.
After doing research and writing a paper, she wanted another way for students to communicate their learning in a new way. Her students were asked to "be" their famous Missourian and discuss their accomplishments. Using a simple app called ChatterPix Kids, students took a picture of their Missourian, drew a mouth, and recorded themselves to create an animated picture. Click on the videos below to see some examples from her students.
Although this app only allows for 30 seconds, it gives students the opportunity to really think critically about what information they could use and how to effectively summarize, which is a hard skill to tackle with our younger students!
There is so much more you could do to get students to do some higher level thinking with this app:
Mrs. Phyall had students save their videos on Google Classroom but if you use Seesaw this is another way to "collect" videos from student iPads as well! Contact Diane DeLaTorre for more information on how to use ChatterPix Kids to think critically in your classroom!
Reflecting with SAMR
English teacher, Diane Euston, at GHS has been using iMovie with her Creative Writing and ELA students. In Creative Writing, students read a poem by Maya Angelou called “Still I Rise” which is about adversity.
Inspired by the style of this poem, students were challenged to create their own poems about adversity at school. Once they wrote their poems, they worked collaboratively in groups of three, decided on the poem of the three that they liked best, and then were tasked to create a video portrayal of the poem. Using iMovie, the students combined text, images, video, and music to create their own powerful piece on overcoming adversity. Check out the video "Becoming Strong" below for an example of what students were able to create. This is a great way to get students collaborating while using a tool that is typically thought to be one-user only!
Reflecting with SAMR
1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade teachers at Conn-West Elementary were introduced to a new iPad app called Seesaw last week and are already excited to use it! Seesaw is an app that allows students to share the work they do from their iPad to their teacher... with no usernames and passwords to remember. Students just scan a QR code to log in and post their work! It can't get any easier than that!
It is all about Student Creation
It is all about STUDENTS doing the creating with technology and Seesaw allows a variety of ways for students to communicate their learning.
Teachers can use this platform to have students create and share their learning in any subject matter, making this one of the most versatile apps available! Parents also love this app because they can join Seesaw to see that video or journal entry that their child has created.
It is easy to get started by going to Seesaw and creating your FREE teacher account. Please contact Diane DeLaTorre for any more questions about how you can successfully use Seesaw with your students.
Reflecting with SAMR
by Diane DeLaTorre
7th Grade Science teachers at GMS, DeeAnn Moore and Cassandra Fight, are starting the school year off with a technology bang! In just a month’s time, they have used all kinds of technology tools. They’ve had students create personal introductions using Animoto, set classes up on Edmodo and already posted instructional videos, and most recently their students went on a technology-enhanced scavenger hunt!
During their reading classes, Ms. Moore and Mrs. Fight decided to teach students about different textbook features using a QR scavenger hunt. They developed a set of questions that were embedded into a QR code using a QR Scavenger Hunt creator (http://www.classtools.net/QR/) that allows you to put text into a QR code instead of websites.
Reflecting with SAMR
In case you missed it...
The district has a new QR reader on all of the student iPads this year, I-Nigma. Just look for the image to the left on student devices and you've found it!
MasteryConnect provides time-saving assessment tools. With GradeCam bubble sheet scanning, MasteryScan app, bubble sheet assessment app, and browser assessment and scoring, teachers can easily grade their assessments. Yay, no more scan stations!
Learning the new system will take time and the district will be making this transition slowly. At this point, in grades 3-12, only assessments that were previously given using Achievement Series will be given using Mastery Connect. Grades K-2 will give some additional assessments (mainly benchmarks) as they transition to a standards based report card.
Tammy and Cathy's modern listening centers did away with traditional tapes, CDs, and headphones, and instead allowed students to use QR codes to access prerecorded readings on iPads. Students could then follow along in the books while listening to their own teacher reading. Tammy and Cathy's session lasted two hours, and they stayed busy discussing their project with a large number of interested conference goers. Great job to these two teachers for representing Butcher-Greene and the Grandview School District so well at a major conference!
Reflecting with SAMR
The Grandview C4 Instructional Technology Department has been working hard to meet the needs of teachers during the summer. We know how hard it is to come to scheduled classes when you have other meetings, benchmarking, BYOC, and vacations! That is why on top of traditional face to face courses, we are offering eCourses and Google Hangouts this summer. With these other options, you won't have to miss out on all the great technology PD! And if we can't convince you, maybe these Kindergarten students can!
Grandview Teachers and Staff, Check out what is available at http://csd4summertech.weebly.com/
3rd Grade Treasures Centers
The 3rd grade team at Belvidere wanted a way for their students to complete centers with technology independently. So, Tyler Stolberg took the recommended centers from the Treasures reading series and embedded technology where appropriate. They use QR codes for students to easily access websites such as Dogo News, Todays Meet, Webster's Dictionary and more that correlate to the center. They also used several free apps such as Educreations and Raz-Kids during center time as well. Mr. Stolberg recreates the centers with Google Slides and prints out the directions for student to use and tapes them to the Treasures center tents. Take a look at some example centers the 3rd grade team have used with their students.
Kindergarten ScreenChomps Centers
Christina Phyall, Kindergarten teacher at Meadowmere was excited when she heard about Screenchomp. Screenchomp is a free and very easy to use screencasting app and she knew her students would be able to use it as a way to practice their blended sounds. She had students create their videos and turn them in using a Google Form. Check out a few videos below by clicking on the pictures!
Reflecting with SAMR
Want to know how to build centers with technology? We will be offering a summer course on how to do this! Details to come in the following weeks.
Students at GHS have been creating movie trailers about books that they have read for their English classes. Book trailers create opportunities for students to re-enact the story's plot and show their understanding of the events using visual cues such as video clips, pictures, music, and more. Many students have been using tools available on the MacBook, like iMovie and QuickTime Player, while others have opted to try a web-based tool, Stupeflix, for a simple drag-and-drop solution to combine text, video, and photos into a movie based on their books. Students had few restrictions when creating their trailers: conveying the overall plot of the book, using a combination of text, voice-overs, music, and video/photos, and making sure that it all matched the overall theme of their chosen book.
Check out this amazing book trailer created by two sophomore students in Ms. Cameron's English class about the book Insignia by S.J. Kincaid. This is a great example of what students can do when given the freedom of choice in completing a project! They chose to use Adobe Premiere and the streets of downtown Kansas City to create an elaborate movie trailer based on the book! Excellent job!
Reflecting with SAMR
Meadowmere's teacher, Andrea Carr, has incorporated technology into the kindergarten classroom since the beginning of the school year. Students learned basic procedures for technology safety, practiced using the keyboard and mouse, and learned the basics of various software programs.
As the students continued to learn and practice their technology skills throughout the year, they also began to integrate more science into their ELA. Students began working on life cycles and started researching about their favorite plant or animal. As a class, the students researched about the life cycle of a pumpkin and created their third Powerpoint presentation using pictures and information they gathered on their research.
Each student in the class took part in this research based project and was in charge of designing a Powerpoint slide with the assistance of the teacher as needed. After completion of the Powerpoint presentation, the students re-enacted the complete life cycle of a pumpkin using props they made.
What a simple and easy way to get kindergarten students involved in integrating technology in the classroom! The students love being able to take part in class projects, designing their own Powerpoint slides. They continued to create more Powerpoint presentations throughout the year with the students needing less help from Ms. Carr as they gained more experience in using Powerpoint.
Reflecting with SAMR
Weekly updates on the great things being done by schools, teachers, and students in the Grandview School District. A great way for us to learn from each other!