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Showing posts from April, 2013

YouTube Editor in the Middle School Classroom....simple and free!!!!

I know that my posts tend to be a bit too detailed and long winded (sorry.... It's the liberal arts major in me... Write what you know... Give plenty of detail... Make them think they were there! Ha!). I'm going to try to do some BRIEF posts on some of my new favorite edutech over the next couple of weeks.First up, YouTube video editor! That's right... You can now edit keep on Youtube as well! What does does this free and amazing service have to offer?1. Access to clips you have uploaded to YouTube 2. Copyright free music and ability to upload your own 3. Transitions 4. Add text to the beginning, in between videos and pictures and over videos and pictures. 5. Cut clips, slow them down or make them longer. 6. And my favorite.... In the basic editor, after you upload, you can blur faces! My world language teacher has used this with the kids and she said it went very smoothly. It has actually become her student editor of choice. We have access to YouTube in our school but o…

Mashup: PBL, Google Drive, Edcanvas and KIdblog

Sweet, sweet vacation! I forgot how rejuvenating April vacation can be. It's been tough here in Massachusetts since last week's bombings and crazy manhunt, but you can really tell that Bostonians are a strong people. Things have really gotten back to normal at lightening speed.
Since I live in MA but teach in NH, the hub and son were on vacation last week. The little midget and I get to hang this week and it really is stress free because a singular trip to Target is like a day trip for a two year old. The worst thing about April vacation, though is when we get back the kiddos go to DC for a week, and then..... Well of you have spent anytime with middle schoolers you know that that just means its the beginning of the end. They check out and yet we have six weeks left.... the tragedy of it all.
On to more educational ramblings..... In the past two weeks I really tried my hand at my first exercise in Project Based learning!!! It wasn't a true PBL because we went immers…

More Classroom Gameification!

So I tried my hand again at my hybrid Gameification/small group instruction activity I call "Leveling Up" it it was successful! I wanted to move through the basal knowledge on Andrew Jackson and try to work in some nice CCSS close reading skills. I was able to find the information I wanted them to read, online (I'll leave out the name of the textbook for copyright reasons) and modified the work activities to meet my needs. I decided to focus on vocabulary, nonnegotiables (words you must use in order to truly understand the passage) and summary. I created my levels and instead of a focusing on content, like I did last time, I focused on those skills.
Students worked on the activities at their own pace and when they wanted to test out or ask a question, they spent time with me at the Leveling Up Station.
When they proved competency they received a badge for completing their level.
Here are my adorable badges that I printed out on colored card stock.
Again, the kids real…

EdCamp Granite worth it!

Today I attended my first EdCamp and it was soooooo worth it. I sat in a great work session on iPad apps, had a really fun experience in a "Things that Suck" session and met some amazing colleagues who will definitely be my new BFFs on Twitter. Probably the coolest thing for me was taking the plunge and presenting during the first session. Since I got such great feedback here, I decided to talk to everyone about creating their own opportunities for professional development. The middle school kid in me had an inner dialogue going on about nobody showing up but I decided it was worth risk. I decided to use this blog post as a guide so I could also show off my cool blogging and design skills (dork alert!). What ensued was a great conversation! People were really interested in Twitter so we started with that and probably could have done a full hour or more on just that. I showed them the other resources in the post and then others joined in the conversation and showed some…

Currently April

Ugh..... I totally remembered to do this on April 1st and then stupid life got in the way.  Here is my currently:
Go check out Farley to see where this originated.  Now I need to run to joint the last 15 minutes of #sschat and finish my Andrew Jackson PBL.  Have a great week!

WeSeed to Teach the Stock Market and Kidblog to Process

I might sound a little bright eyed but I had another fabulous week at school with the kiddos. I do think that blogging about my experiences puts me in a different mindset and I look at every unit as an opportunity to spread my wings.
We received new NH State Social Studies Standards about 6 years ago and we finally completed them about three years ago. I threw myself into aligning and reworking and at the end of every year I skipped the same unit: the stock market. We have a singleton set of standards on personal finance and my grade received the standard that has students creating and implementing an investment strategy. Interesting? Yes! Fascinating? Sure! Do I understand the stock market.....heck to the no!
Don't get me wrong.,,, I understand the basics of the stock market but I really like to be an expert when I teach. I made the decision that this would be the year I did the stock market and I even signed up for the national stock market challenge.... and chickened out…