Sample Lesson – JH Bell Warmer

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This is the bell warmer that Connie Schroeder does with her reading students three days a week.You can modify this for your classroom. It can be used for any grade level and any content. Here is the explanation that Mrs. Schroeder sent me:
“I do my bell warmer in Google Forms. I pull up the form and make it, usually in multiple choice format, but I have been known to do a short answer. The only draw back to Google Forms, in my opinion, is that I cannot format the font or bold or underline. I then make a short-cut link  for it by clicking on send in my form.  I can copy it from there. Next I go into Google Classroom, and I make a draft. I put this in my announcements, and I label it however I want. Then I just click on the attach link button, paste it in, click add, and voila -there it is. Once I click on add I can then X out of it and move on to my next class, which saves it as a draft. The reason I do this is because I want to use it as a first of class activity. At the beginning of each class, I go back to that draft and click on it. This pulls up the draft, so I can then click post. The students come in, they log into Google Classroom, and they click on the link. This directs them straight to the form. They fill it out and click submit. At the end of the day when I know everyone is finished, I make an answer key by clicking on the sheet myself and answering the questions. Then, I go back into edit mode and click on responses. First, I turn off responses by clicking on the no more responses button. From there I just click on the green create spreadsheet button on the top right. Next, I  click the add on, Flubaroo. I give Flubaroo access to my spreadsheet. Last I go through my Flubaroo information so that it will grade the assignment for me, and I’m finished. My questions are usually only about 5 questions each, so I take the grade for each, I add them up, then I average them out for a weekly daily grade.”
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Let’s Pray

Love God. Love your neighbor.  Mark 12:30-31

It does not say to love your neighbor if they are white or if they are black. It doesn’t say to love them if they are female or if they are male. It doesn’t say to love them if they agree with your opinion or if they disagree with your opinion. It says to love them as yourself.

People are hurting. Emotions are flying. Laws are being changed. We need to pray. Pray for people whose hearts and minds are hurting, confused,and searching for answers. Pray for our lawmakers because they have tough decisions to make – all while people are publicly slandering and judging their every move. Pray for them like you pray for yourself. Pray for them like your pray for your children. Just pray. Let’s pray to get along. Let’s pray that when someone doesn’t agree with our opinion that we can be ok with that. Let’s pray that we can disagree like “adults” – so that we can model the correct and appropriate way (not calling names, not pointing fingers, not shaming one another) to express our feelings, emotions, and opinions for our children. Because they are watching how we react, and that’s how they will react

Let’s pray. Let’s pray like the sinners that we all are. Let’s pray like the broken hearted human beings trying to survive life that we all are. Because being a human is hard.

Let’s pray. Because when we pray we will move mountains. Mark 11:23

*Disclaimer- I do have my own thoughts on all the political unrest that is happening in America right now. If you would like to ask me about them face to face I would love to chat. And if you don’t agree with me I will still love you. And I hope that you will still love me , too. 

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Full Circle – Changing my Failure Face into Fun

This year has been challenging to say the least. Almost daily I would look at Cherie and say, “Is it too early to put my Failure Face on?” The joke has been that we had to wait until at least 9:30 am. I always said that if I were to become an Instructional Technologist that I did not want to be a “Mrs.Fix It”.  I wanted to be in the classroom with teachers doing what I love – integrating technology into curriculum while watching children thrive. That didn’t happen this year. This year was one of constant learning, and for the most part I was a “Mrs. Fix It”.  Ironically, I  actually learned to like that part of this job – because when you fix something for a teacher it makes them smile. It calms them down. It takes away the anxiousness that their lesson is not going to work, and that is a big deal. It’s huge, and I like helping people. Although, I ended up learning a ton about networking shenanigans and a ton about the backbone of the school – I did not get into classrooms like I envisioned, and that has weighed heavily on me. Honestly, it has just made me feel sad. Like I have failed. The last few weeks I have realized that it’s ok. I needed this year to learn. I needed to be able to grasp networking, IP addresses, domains, wires, troubleshooting, etc. Because this part of technology, the intricate details that make it all work, has never been easy for me to comprehend. I have had to work really hard the past few years to just “get it”.  When people say that it comes easy to me…well, just ask Cherie.

A few months back I attended a Google Academy put on by Region 5 where I sat and listened to a few teachers talk about how they changed their classroom environment by integrating more technology into their lessons. They went through a Digital Champion Program in their district that the Instructional Technologists put together. Do you know how cool it was to watch those teachers present, with excitement, the  projects that their stuScreen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.01.09 PMdents had created throughout the year? These were teachers that were not really utilizing technology, and now they were presenting to other teachers. It really lit a fire inside of me. I began emailing Marla, one of their Instructional Technologists, and she immediately began helping me start on my journey of implementing this program at my school. Y’all, I am so pumped right now. I took their information, tweaked it to our needs, and then presented it to my administration. They are all on board. The coolest thing that happened from this process so far is the email that I received from Marla today. It reminded me of where I started – a teacher so afraid of technology that she rolled the SMART Board out of her room and refused to use it. A teacher so scared of not teaching to the test that no real world projects or learning was happening. A teacher so scared of change that she did the same thing year after year after year. A teacher whose passion was sparked one night on Twitter and she never looked back. A teacher that made a huge change for herself and for her kiddos. Guys, this can be you. If I changed – anyone can, and that’s just the truth. I will absolutely be blogging about this whole process. I am so thankful to Marla and her colleagues for sharing and helping me to remember who I am and what this is all about. The following is the flyer that I made to introduce our new program to the teachers in my district. I am so excited about next year and the chance to get into classrooms and really help teachers infuse technology into their daily routines. I am excited to tailor lessons to specific grade levels and content. I am excited to see students grow and thrive with the world at their fingertips. And I am even excited to fix some computers, restart servers, and troubleshoot any technological issue that may come my way.

Again, I took the information that Marla sent me and tweaked it to meet the needs of my district.

Visual Artist

Sample Lessons – Spanish

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I really enjoyed watching this project unfold. I was able to go in to the class and show students how Google Slides would benefit them in a group project versus using Power Point. Students being able to collaborate and edit in real time…why wasn’t that around when I was in school?! The first time I pulled up a shared Google Slide project between two students’ computers, their faces were priceless. That’s what this is all about. Being able to show students that technology helps and doesn’t hinder is always my goal. The students worked really hard on these slide shows, and the ones that I saw completed were really impressive. Here is a short blurb from our Spanish teacher Mr. Lee:
“As part of the “Cultures and Communities TEKS for Spanish II” students were to prepare a two-part presentation on a Spanish Speaking Country.
1.  Power Point Presentation in Google Slides
2.  Poster Presentation in a traditional poster format
25% of each slide was to have been in Spanish.  Basic facts to cover on the Powerpoint/Poster were:
A.  Name of country, Map, Important Cities, Flag, Monetary System.  Also, what the indigenous people are/were like, who has migrated there and why.  Which other languages are spoken in that country?
B. Geography facts to be covered were:  what hemisphere and continent is the country located in, what are the land forms and geography, e.g. deserts, mountains, coast lines, border countries?  Climate and seasons should be mentioned.  
C.  Music links/clips of the National Anthem or native music can be added to the presentation.  
D.  Customs, festivities and holidays should be presented in a compare and contrast manner with how we celebrate in the United States.
National sports should be identified.  
Time limit for presentation: 6-10 minutes
Grading Criteria:  Students were to follow an explicit Rubric in preparing their Powerpoint and Poster presentations.” 
Check out the following link to see one of the finished presentations: