Monday, December 5, 2016

Internet Safety in MSAD6 K-5

MSAD6 Internet Safety Lessons have been updated and now include lessons for kindergarten and first grade. Read below to find out what students will be learning in Kindergarten through 5th grade in our school district.

Going Places Safely

In kindergarten students will discover that the internet can be used to visit faraway places, compare how staying safe online is similar to staying safe in the real world, and learn guidelines for traveling safely on the internet. This lesson is provided to us free of charge from Common Sense Media. There is a nice short video that students will watch and discuss, My Online Neighborhood. After the video and discussion the class will participate in an online field trip and the students will create a drawing of their favorite online place.

Staying Safe Online

In first grade students will discuss how staying safe on a website is similar to staying safe in real life. They will learn to recognize websites that are good for them and that they should ask a trusted adult before visiting sites that might not be just right for them. There are a few different tasks that accompany the first grade lesson. Some students may make a ChatterPix to talk about what they do online and then discuss if the sites are safe or not. Others may complete a traffic light worksheet and play the Website Traffic Light game. Good videos to accompany this lesson are Wild About Safety with Timon and Pumba or CEOP KS1 Lee and Kim Cartoon

BrainPop Jr. Internet Safety

In second grade students learn about how to keep themselves and their computers safe while using the internet. Students watch the BrainPop Jr. Video as a class. After watching BrainPop we have a discussion about internet safety and take the on-line quiz. Once we have finished the quiz students create an internet safety digital book or digital drawing. For this project we have used a variety of apps, and sites. Some of my favorites: Tar Heel ReaderBook Creator, and StoryKit.

Student Examples: StoryKit Book and another StoryKit Example

Creating Internet Safety Skits/Videos

Third graders are not usually very shy in front of the camera so it is a great grade level to take advantage of their eagerness to be a star. In third grade we have students watch a couple videos of previous MSAD6 third graders performing internet safety skits, talk about internet safety, discuss what they could do to teach others about internet safety, break up into small groups to write/practice skits, and then record their skits. I post their work on my website and send the videos to our district's television station. Students are so excited to know that they are going to be famous on BETV

Student Example:

The Digital Citizenship Pledge 

In Fourth grade we discuss appropriate online behavior plus how to participate respectfully and responsibly in an online community. Using an iPad app like ChatterPix or Tellagami students create online pledges to share with their classmates. Student example below.

Think Before You Post

Fifth Grade students also are not usually camera shy and are quite creative with iMovie. Honestly, this is my favorite lesson because the students come up with really good ideas and capture the message to help the technology coaches teach this lesson to the following year's fifth grade students. We focus on three messages. 1. Think before you post personal information. 2. Think before you post pictures of yourself or someone else. 3. Think before you post hateful words. Below you will find an example of all three types of Think Before You Post trailers, created by former and current BE 5th graders.




Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Front Row Math and ELA Features

email I sent to my teachers:

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a Front Row Webinar to learn about the Front Row School Edition. I want to share with you some of the things that I learned about the School Edition and mention some free features as well, since some of you are new to Front Row.

For ELA:
1. The Articles are now leveled down to early readers. What this means is... the early reader articles have audio to go with the text. All articles will be assigned to each student based on their reading level, but they will all get similar content so that they can participate in a classroom discussion. Every level has a different set of comprehension questions and writing prompts.
2. With our paid school edition, you can assign unlimited articles.
3. Benchmark assessments are only available with school edition. The benchmark assessments will be graded for you and you can print them for conferences or other purposes.
4. Word Study is available for free, however the Word Study reports is part of our School Edition.

For Math:
1. We have Inquiry Based lessons that are aligned with all math standards available to us. Please invite me in to model a lesson. They are very easy to teach and with little set up. You only have to print out the Inquiry Base Sheet and hook your laptop or iPad up to the projector. Students will be engaged and talking about real world math problems!
2. You can assign Benchmark Assessments with the paid version. You can customize the assessment to test a particular standard, domain, or grade level. (As with all of the on-line practice and assessments, they are graded for You! WootWoot!)
3. Something that is part of the free version, but worth mentioning... You can assign practice for common core standards and as many times as you want because each assignment will generate new questions.
4. With the paid version we can now create customizable worksheets. You pick the domain and Front Row does the rest by generating a personalized worksheet for each of your students based on what they are currently working on in Front Row. At the end of all of the worksheets an answer key will be displayed and will also print. (I am wowed by this feature!)
5. Also worth a mention, even though a free feature... Front Row has a very nice math fact practice built into the program with a chart available in reports for you to know what facts your students are working on and have mastered. No need for Xtra Math any more. Now you can have your data all in one place.

1. With the paid version we can share students with other teachers that have your students. This comes in handy if you switch classes for different subjects. 
2. If you click on the Standards option on your dashboard, you will find sample questions for every math standard and links to short YouTube videos that you can show your students either whole group, or create a QR code for students to watch individually in centers. Plus it is listed by Domain so you can see the progression that every student will encounter as they make their math journey through our school district.

A couple weeks ago Front Row had some hiccups in their system. This company has grown tremendously lately, for good reason, and are working out some kinks. Do know that they have worked on the problems and it should be running better now. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Nicole Gleason
Technology Coach SAD#6
BlogWebsite, and Wiki
George E Jack, Steep Falls, Edna Libby, and HB Emery Schools

In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but
what you have taught them to do for themselves that 
will make them successful human beings. 
Ann Landers

Monday, October 24, 2016

Using Google Calendar to Sign out STEM Lab

The STEM Lab can be signed out using Google Calendar. Here is a link to a video tutorial for signing out the lab or Chromebooks... or watch video below text.

You can take out the materials that you need when you and your students arrive in the lab. Before you leave, you and your students should put everything back where it came from, unless something is wet. If that is the case, at GEJ you can rinse the items out in the Art Room and then put them on a table in the STEM Lab to dry or at Edna use the sink in the STEM Lab and dry items at the sink. If consumables get low, please shoot me an email so that I can try to get more donations.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

iPad Wrap-Up School Year 2015-2016

Prior to sharing a checklist for taking care of your iPads before the students leave, I would like to say that if you have downloaded WriteDraw on your iPads... do not delete the app if you like using it with your students. It has been removed from the app store and will not be available to be downloaded once removed from an iPad. I will keep searching to find a similar tool, but so far nothing compares to the features of this particular app.

iPad Checklist: (Ryan most likely will not be touching your iPads this summer.)

1. Have students upload all valuable work to their Google Drive account. A video tutorial can be found here.
2. Have students sign out of all of their accounts like Google account apps, Newsela, Front Row, IXL, email, Literably, TenMarks, etc.
3. Have students remain logged into accounts that are teacher accounts to save time next year. (Examples: Adobe, Epic!, Educreations, AudioBoom, VoiceThread, ThingLink, AutoRap, ect.)
4. Have students delete all photos and videos from their iPad.
5. Have students close all tabs in Safari.
6. Have students delete all apps that you think will not be pertinent to the beginning of the school year.
7. Charge iPads to 80% and then unplug them from the charger.
8. Shut down the iPads. You may need to recharge the iPads when you come back in August, but doing these last two steps will help to preserve battery life.

Friday, May 6, 2016

What a Voyage! Two Stops and Lots of New Friends!

The SS Scots, a mini boat with a GPS locator, was built in Maine-USA, visited classrooms in the Bonny Eagle School District (Standish, Limington, Steep Falls, Buxton, and Hollis - Maine), driven to Cape Cod Massachusetts, loaded onto a fisherman's boat, and plunked into the Atlantic Ocean. The students from the Bonny Eagle school district made predictions on where the iBoat would travel and checked the GPS map regularly to see where the SS Scots had journeyed. The students were hoping to make new friends from another country.

Students lucked out when the SS Scots landed in La Coruna, Spain.

All of the iBoats launched in 2013!

Third grade students from the Bonny Eagle school district, who were 2nd graders when the SS Scots was launched in 2013, Skyped with students in La Coruna, Spain. Videos of the Skype visits are embedded below.

Then our friends from Spain fixed up the SS Scots and set it out for another voyage. Check out the photos below showing how the SS Scots was fixed up and the students from Spain sending the boat out for it's next journey.

Video of the SS Scots leaving La Coruna, Spain = Video

On September 8, 2015 the SS Scots was found in Tenerife (Canary Islands) by an environmental consulting firm that specializes in marine environment. The firm took the SS Scots to a local school.

Bonny Eagle students that Skyped with the students from Spain had the opportunity to Skype with students from Tenerife, Spain.

The SS Scots will soon be on another journey that is predicted to bring the iBoat back to the United States. Follow the journey here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Why the myBlee Math iOS App is a Perfect Learning Tool for Elementary Students!

First of all I want to say that the myBlee staff have been wonderful to work with. They are open to suggestions and get back with answers to questions in a timely fashion. Beyond the support provided for this app/program, the teaching method of the myBlee Math app is phenomenal! Students absolutely love the interactive and engaging lessons. Learning is individualized! Every student can work at their own pace and monitor their own progress. If a student does not master a skill the first time, they can revisit any lesson to get a better score and earn a better trophy. I have used myBlee with all grade levels from K-5 and I was surprised that even the 5th graders love it.

myBlee is fairly new to the classroom so some things are still a work in progress, like a teacher dashboard. The teacher dashboard will be ready for the next school year and is going to Beta testing in a couple weeks. For districts that use common core standards, there is a pdf that shows which standards match up with which lessons. An updated version is coming out shortly.

The set up for myBlee is well thought out for teaching students math skills. When students go into a grouping of lessons they will start off at a comfort level that will make them feel successful. For example, a third grade student may choose Weighing an Object. Once they go into that lesson card they will start with a quick learning intro. I call them the book lessons because there is a book icon, as seen in the photo to the left. Then the student will practice the newly acquired skill. For every correct answer, the green bar at the top will fill up. If a student does not get the answer correct they will receive a brief lesson to help them answer the following questions correctly. Once the students answer enough questions correctly the students will be taken to a page that will show the awards they earned and their score for that section of the lesson. In Weighing an Object there are three book lessons and six skill practice pages. Every lesson card is different. Also if a student goes back into a lesson that they did not master the first time, the questions will be different. Very cool!

Students earn trophies, badges, and puzzle pieces to keep them motivated to get the correct answers. I love how students may earn a lower level trophy but have the opportunity to revisit skills until they achieve 100%. When students obtain 100% for every lesson within a card they earn a diamond trophy. This ensures that students revisit skills to get a better trophy.

Some students helped me create a video to highlight the features of myBlee...

Some Good Videos to Watch from myBlee Math

For Students...

For Teachers...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Newsela for Current Events (Grades 2-12)

It seems that students are not exposed to current events as much as students were when I was a student. Yeah, so cliche. When I was a student we also did not have computers and the internet. We would clip articles out of newspapers to share with the rest of our class at school.

Well, I have found a safe way for students to read current event articles that are customized to individual students' reading levels. Plus students can take quizzes after reading an article to keep track of their own progress.

Here is what you do to get started...

1. Download the app Newsela. The app is also located in the SAD6 App Store for students to download.
2. Sign up for Newsela at or on the iPad app. You will need to verify your email address. In our district the verification email will go to your spam folder. Go to Spam under the more tab and look for an email from Newsela.
3. Once you verify your email address the site will have you create a class. Once you create a class, go to settings in the upper right hand corner and click classes.

4. Your students will use the class code when they sign in.

Here is what your students will do to get started...

1. Download the app from the SAD6 app store.
2. Open up the app by tapping it after it downloads.
3. Click "Sign Up".
4. Choose "I'm a Learner".
5. Click "Yes".
6. Enter the class code and click "Next". (The code is not case sensitive.)
5. Fill in the information. (Students will choose their own unique username and password using only numbers and letters with zero spaces.) You will be able to reset student passwords from your account if students forget their password.)

Teachers can assign articles from their account. Students will find assigned article in their binder. When you are looking at an article there will be a place on the upper left side to choose "assign". Students can explore and read articles without the articles being assigned. Over on the right hand side, while reading an article, students can change the reading level to meet their needs.

Screen shot of an article:

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Write Draw; An iPad Version of the Telephone Game

 I recently ran across an app that students can use to practice writing sentences. Plus the app can be used a variety of other ways if you think outside the box. For instance Write Draw can be used in math. The first student would create a math problem. The second student would solve the problem and the next student could solve the problem a different way. Students could use the app for a "How To" collaborative writing assignment. The first student would write the first step. The second student would draw it out. Then the next student would write out the next step, etc. Or a student could hold on to the iPad for two turns so that they are writing and drawing each turn. I used this app with 2nd and 3rd graders so far. It is probably appropriate for 1st-5th.

For the introductory activity I gave students a quick walk through of how to use the app and showed them an example. Then I had all students get their iPads and sit in a large circle around the entire classroom so that they will not see each other's iPads. Next students went into the app and wrote a silly sentence. After each turn students would 1. Click send 2. Type their name 3. Click pass 4. Put their iPad onto the floor as a cue to me that they were ready to pass their iPads to the left. We passed iPads for around 7 turns and then used the rest of the class time to share via the classroom Apple TV and projector.

A quick video of students working and two student examples:

Friday, January 22, 2016

Mystery Science Lessons: Getting Students to Think and Talk Like Scientists

As of today, teachers can get a free Mystery Science account. There are many many reasons to love this tool for teaching science in your elementary classroom. First off, all lessons are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, at the moment that is what our school district is aligning our science curriculum with. Then, of course, there is the fact that the lesson is all prepared for the classroom teacher. The only thing that the teacher needs to do is collect the supplies and guide students through the presentation created by the folks at Mystery Science. Lastly, THE STUDENTS LOVE THE LESSONS! The lessons are interactive and extremely engaging.

Video of four third grade classes participating in a Mystery.

Videos of a fifth grade classes participating in a Mystery.

Here is what Mystery Science explains as their mission...

Overview of Mystery Science

At Mystery Science, we think the overall purpose of science education is the same as all the other subjects: to prepare children to thrive as adults--to prepare them to achieve their values and be happy in the world. But science class has a unique contribution to this goal. It’s in science class that children acquire the proper habits of thinking and problem-solving. And they do this while learning lots of useful knowledge about the physical world around them.

Mystery Science is unique from other science curricula both in what is taught and in how it is taught. We promise that even you, the teachers, will be astounded by what you learn during the course of teaching a Mystery to their students.

Every scientific conclusion began as a mystery in the world—someone was surprised by something they experienced and they set out to discover the cause behind it. So every Mystery Science lesson begins by presenting students with a mystery. Students are guided to make observations and connections between what they’re observing to help them resolve the mystery. The scientific conclusion is the climax of this investigation—the solution to the mystery.

Mystery Science meets and exceeds the new Next Generation Science Standards. In addition, it incorporates the latest research about how to address and uproot students’ natural misconceptions about the world. And most important of all, every lesson meets our own MS Motivational Standards (MSMS).