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Thursday, September 30, 2010

ATS Picks 9/30/10

1) Adora Svitak- What Adults Can Learn From Kids.
A prolific short story writer and blogger since age seven, Adora Svitak (now 12) speaks around the United States to adults and children as an advocate for literacy. She was a BLC 2010 presenter. She says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach. Also check out her blog.

2) Fun for the Brain
The Fun for the Brain site has engaging games that help elementary students review math facts. A favorite is "Gone Bananas", a Mario Brothers style game.

3) Discovery Education's PuzzleMaker
Puzzlemaker is a puzzle generation tool for teachers, students and parents. Create and print customized word search, criss-cross, math puzzles, and more—using your own word lists.

The 4Teachers site has: RubiStar for creating rubrics, NoteStar for note-taking, QuizStar for creating quizzes, etc. Use of the website and its family of education tools is free, but one does have to register, provide valid email address and zip code.

HGSE Launches the Harvard EdCast

Harvard Graduate School of Education announced the launch of the Harvard EdCast. The weekly series, which will be available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world.

Lesley Interns Learn about Technology in Math

On Tuesday, September 28th, I gave a presentation to the Lesley Interns on how to integrate technology into the math classroom. I shared some of the current projects being done at BB&N, including the BeeBot, LOGO programming, MIT's Scratch, and the 4th grade math/science/technology Excel project. In addition, the presentation included the following resources:

6th graders and Scratch

6th graders at BB&N have started programming in Scratch already! Their first project, a collaboration between Language Arts and Technology, will be complete before the end of October. Students will create a project titled "If You Really Knew Me" related to their reading of "The View from Saturday." Students will post their projects to the "If You Really Knew Me" Scratch gallery as their projects are completed.

WeDo at the Lower School

This week, 4th graders at BB&N will be using the LEGO WeDo kits for the first time. Their first project will be to build and program an alligator that opens and closes his mouth in response to sensing an object in front of the motion sensor in his mouth. Check back for updates.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Initial Impressions of BB&N

It's great to be working at BB&N- this is such an intellectually stimulating place! I've been here for about three months and it is clear to me that the school is full of smart, vibrant, and fun students, teachers, and administrators. I've had the pleasure of sitting in on several faculty meetings and am starting to make the rounds on the EPC meetings. Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of attending the US diversity committee meeting. Several teachers and administrators sit on this committee under Mr. Bryant's wise leadership, but I was truly impressed by the students on this committee. Their ideas, wisdom, and eloquence on the topic of diversity at BB&N was a real pleasure to hear. These juniors and seniors stand out in my mind as shining examples of what this place is all about. One of the students mentioned how easy it is these days to skype with her friends in places like Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. It's great to hear how technology like this is getting to be so easy to use, and connects us across a disparate globe.

Meanwhile, another committee I'm on is looking at the evolving role of school libraries in this new century. We are thinking about how the digital revolution is changing what happens inside and out of our libraries. If you would like to read more about it, please visit this discussion over on the Independent School Educators network.

~ Demetri Orlando
Director of Technology

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eighth Grade Current Event History Blog

Welcome to Billings History 82 classroom blog! We will be using this blog during the course of the year to discuss current events in the world of U.S. politics and government, and to post news, homework and notes for everyone to use. Also, there are many other creative uses we can think of including posting video and pictures for all to comment on.

Vocabulary Study in History

7th grade students in History classes are using Quizlet to practice the vocabulary of Latin American Geographic Features. Quizlet is a free website that lets you creating your own flashcards to study vocabulary on any subject.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Voicethread - students leave comments using voice, text, audio file or video

8th Grade students used Voice Thread for their first assignment in Spanish. They posted an audio responses to a question: Describe what makes a perfect teacher?

8th Grade Science Fair Research

The librarian introduced eight graders to the Science Fair Resources posted on the library web page. Students evaluated two bogus websites and learned some search strategies. They explored search engines (advanced google and sweet search) as well as electronic databases and educator-approved websites accessed through the library online catalog.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

ATS Picks 9/23/10

1. NewsMap's objective is to simply demonstrate visually the relationships between data and the unseen patterns in news media. News map also allows to compare the news landscape among several countries, making it possible to differentiate which countries give more coverage to, for example, more national news than international or sports rather than business.

2. Create your own “word clouds” using Wordle.Net The clouds give greater promnence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. As an example, here is: a Word Cloud Analysis of Obama's Inaugural Speech Compared to Bush, Clinton, Reagan and Lincoln's.

3. Jeff Utecht- Moving from Consumer to Producer of Knowledge.

4. Check out this video of Dr. Sameer Hinduja on the effects of cyberbullying.

Dr. Hinduja is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University and Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. He is a member of the Research Advisory Board for Harvard University's Internet Safety Task Force, and works nationally and internationally with schools, law enforcement, businesses, parents, and adolescents to reduce online victimization and its real-world consequences.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010