Are Your Students Rocking the Lab?

Classroom teachers are my heroes. I can’t think of anyone else who is more dedicated to the overall well-being of 23+ children on a daily basis. They wear every hat in the book and I am in awe of how … Continue reading 

Standard V Lesson Examples


Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, NEISD teachers will be required to submit 1 student product that was created using technology. This initiative supports the Standard V requirements as outlined by SBEC.

My El Dorado peeps have been very busy planning with me and wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the projects they will be doing with their students. Many of these app/web tools are cross-curricular and can be applied to different TEKS or units of study. Please contact me if you have an idea for a lesson and need a similar task card to use with your students.

  • Kinder Language Arts K.6A identify elements of a story including setting, character and key events: Facetalk Retelling
  • 1st Grade Math 1.3 The student applies mathematical process standards to develop and use strategies for whole number addition and subtraction computations in order to solve problems: Farmyard Math
  • 1st Grade Language Arts 1.9 A Describe the plot (problem and solution) and retell a story’s beginning, middle, and end with attention to the sequence of events:  BME Summaries
  • 2nd Grade Science 2.5D Combine materials that when put together can do things that they cannot do by themselves such as building a tower or a bridge and justify the selection of those materials based on their physical properties: Videolicious Structures Project
  • 2nd Grade Science 2.5B  The student knows that matter has physical properties and those properties determine how it is described, classified, changed, and used. Matter and Energy Digital Story
  • 3rd Grade Reading SE 3.16 Students use comprehension skills to analyze how words, images, graphics, and sounds work together in various forms to impact meaning.  Students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater depth in increasingly more complex texts: Big 6 Research Project-PDF, Big 6 Research Project-Word 2013
  • 3rd Grade Math 3.11B: The student directly compares the attributes of length, area, weight/mass, and capacity, and uses comparative language to solve problems and answer questions. Perimeter Party
  • 4th Grade History 4.3 The student understands the importance of the Texas Revolution, the Republic of Texas, and the annexation of Texas to the United States: Google Tour Builder
  • 5th Grade Science 5.8 Students will understand that weather represents the short term conditions of the atmosphere by producing a video that explains weather patterns of a specific region over a 3 week period: Videolicious Weather Project

 

 

Tool of the Month: Google Tour Builder

Inspired by Williams Sonoma Pork of the Month Club (who doesn’t love a new pork product every month?), I bring you Tool of the Month Club. The idea behind these posts is to showcase new online tools or apps with ways to support the curriculum. I’ve decided to start with December because I have no patience and can’t wait until January to share the new Google Tour Builder. For years, Google Earth has been my favorite lab activity and now the Tour Builder is even easier to use. The beauty of any great tool is the ability to be cross-curricular and support multiple grade levels. The following resource was created to support the 4th grade Social Studies TEK: (3)  History. The student understands the importance of the Texas Revolution, the Republic of Texas, and the annexation of Texas to the United States. Click here for a printable version of the Texas Revolution project which also includes links to video tutorials. Since 4th grade also focuses on writing, Google Tour Builder is perfect for place-based storytelling. Students can design a story/path around a pigeon or crow that flies to different locations around the world bringing messages to different characters. For math, multi-step word problems can be written and solved based on distances between area schools or cities.  Check out the video below for a great overview.

Geo Greeting for Spelling Practice

Geo Greeting is a neat little tool that allows you to create a message that contains up to 40 characters. It uses satellite images of buildings from all over the world that look like letters. The link it creates can be posted on your blog or emailed. It doesn’t generate an html code for embedding, but you can create a screen recording like the one below (AC/DC background music not included). This would be a fun way for students to practice spelling words. All the links can be submitted using a Google Form. It would also be a great way for primary students to chant word wall words.

November Themed Lessons

(If you are viewing this post from within NEISD, make sure to override Lightspeed so you can see the above video from YouTube)

It’s a new month, which means a new holiday, which means new themed technology lessons. Of course, I have to begin by sharing a Thanksgiving Google Doodle from last year. (Remember that you have to override Lightspeed to view the video from within the district.) The following list contains free sites and apps that you can use in the classroom or computer lab. My favorite lesson you should try is the Thanksgiving Timeline virtual field trip using Google Earth. I taught this a few times last year and it will take at least 2 lab visits to complete.  It’s well worth the time investment!

Haunting Shipwrecks and AC/DC

Here’s my second product from the online Mapping with Google course. Our task was to create a tour of 5 secret locations from around the world. They ended up being shipwrecks from various continents. We had the choice of including audio, so of course, my background music is AC/DC…hence the name Haunting Shipwrecks and AC/DC. Click here to download the tour and open in Google Earth.  Enjoy!

Google Maps Engine Lite – Scotland Style

I’ve been taking part in an online Mapping with Google course mainly to learn how to use Google Maps Engine Lite. I must say I’ve been at my computer for 2 days straight. One of our assignments was to create a custom map on a topic of our choice. I’ve been missing Scotland and felt compelled to share my favorite points of interest with the world, so… here it is! Expect many more posts on using Google Maps Engine Lite in the classroom.

Timelapse Video in Google Earth

As many of you know, Google Earth is one of my favorite cross-curricular tools to use with students. They recently added a timelapse feature that makes it possible to view changes in the Earth’s surface over a period of time. Click here to read more about it.

In the example above, students can explore a global timelapse video of our planet, constructed from Landsat satellite imagery. The Columbia Glacier is retreating at a rapid rate. Each frame of the timelapse map is constructed from a year of Landsat satellite data, constituting an annual 1.7-terapixel snapshot of the Earth at 30-meter resolution. The Landsat program has been acquiring images of the Earth’s surface since 1972. Landsat provides critical scientific information about our changing planet. How can this new feature enhance your Google Earth placemarks? They can be embedded! Simply right click on the timelapse video you would like to use and select “inspect element”. Copy and paste the highlighted HTML code into your placemark. Below is a screenshot of a placemark I created and some follow-up questions for students. More featured sites can be found here: http://earthengine.google.org/#intro

 

Columbia Glacier

 

A Thanksgiving Timeline Via Google Earth

The following activity takes some VERY cool interactive websites and combines them with my absolute favorite web tool, Google Earth. At the bottom of this post is the KMZ file I created along with a printable copy of directions. Enjoy!!!

To access the Google Earth tour:

  • Students login to Active Directory and open Google Earth
  • Go to File>Open and navigate to the Student Shared Drive
  • Click on the KMZ file named A Thanksgiving Timeline (teachers need to save the KMZ file to the student shared drive prior to teaching the lesson.)
  • You will see the tour on the left side of the screen. There are 7 place marks total with information and links to online activities.

  • Double click on the red letter in the left pane to advance to each location. Double click on the red letter in the center to view the content within the placemark.

  • Advance through each placemark while completing each interactive until students reach the final destination where they describe family customs and traditions celebrated by their own families.
  • Students can document their learning by filling out a timeline graphic organizer or they can directly comment inside each placemark by right clicking and choosing properties. This will open the placemark for editing purposes. When complete, simply right click on the Thanksgiving Timeline folder located in the left panel and choose Save As.

The following links are possible extension activities:

A Thanksgiving Timeline KMZ (Google Earth File)

A Thanksgiving Timeline Directions

Free Digital Timeline Maker

A Thanksgiving Timeline Recording Sheet

Windcrest Kinders Travel to Africa

During the week of April 16, the Kindergarten at Windcrest Elementary used Google Earth to travel to Africa in search of animal adventure. Our first destination was Lion Park, South Africa. They used their “binoculars” to get a close up look at a lion’s body parts and how they help him survive in the wild. Then they used Switchzoo to create an animal of their own and design a habitat to support its basic needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our second destination took us to Timbe Elephant Park where we learned how the elephant uses his trunk in various ways. The students completed a Kidspiration activity where they used their “trunk” to paint a picture like a very special elephant from Thailand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our final destination was Cameroon, Africa, home to the world’s largest frog. We learned what a frog looks like during each stage of his life cycle by viewing an interactive tutorial from Harcourt School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While visiting each location in Africa, the students filled in their research using a Passport. Below you will find the Google Earth KMZ and Passport used in this virtual field trip. Other Google Earth virtual field trips can be found on my Teacher Web. Please let me know if you are interested in creating a virtual field trip for your grade level.

Kinder Safari

kinder vft passport

 

 

My Favorite PowerPoint Lesson!

I LOVE THIS LESSON!  In the new NEISD world of iDevices and Web 2.0 tools, I’m always telling teachers not to forget about the world of PowerPoint.  This isn’t your everyday, boring slideshow.  This is a really cool fun foldable that can be used with any subject matter.  It can be created from scratch or can be saved as a template for younger grades to use.  Here is an example of what a completed project looks like using images from Google Earth:

You can use this template for multiplication facts, animal adaptations, parts of a cycle, scientific process….on and on!  Below you will find a blank template with directions, the Google Earth example you see above, and the landforms template.

LandformFlipbook_Final Product

LandformFlipbook_Template

Question and Answer Filpbook_Blank