Sunday, October 28, 2018

No More Half Truths on Glossy Cardstock

I have a problem with politicians sharing half truths about themselves on glossy cardstock and passing it off as the whole truth. A week ago, I posted my concerns about my district’s representative, but I didn’t share his name or my district. Today one of his flyers made an appearance in my Facebook feed and this has prompted me to share a little more about my experience with him. I won’t be sharing his name, but I will share my district for anyone who is interested. As I stated in a previous post I’m not trying to sway anyone’s vote, but I do think voters are entitled to the truth. For the record, I don’t know enough about his opponent to campaign for or against her. 
I live in House District 91, I teach in House District 91…and during the walkout a group of my teacher friends and I reached out to my representative. His message on day one: I will not vote yes on any additional funding for education, teachers have lost the support of the community, and finally teachers will not influence whether I am reelected. My experience with him was not unique…he said the same thing to other educators who had the opportunity to visit with him. 
This is the same representative who is claiming that his “Top Issue Is Education”, he told us that he was more concerned with health care…and seriously guys that’s an honorable cause. I don’t understand why he isn’t using that as his platform if that’s what he is most passionate about. His most recent flyer says that he “went to battle supporting the teacher pay raise and writing bills for classroom stipends and support staff” This could be true but I can’t find any education related bills authored by him...maybe I don't know where to look...and to my knowledge he didn’t have any part in writing 1010XX.
Yes, he may have a “red apple” but if there’s one thing I learned from being at the capitol it’s that our legislators are pressured to stay in line and play nice. His “red apples” are in line with party politics it’s not like he went out on a limb for education. On one of our final days at the capitol a large group of teachers met with representatives from the Democrat’s side of the House…the Republican mentioned as being instrumental in getting bipartisan conversation started for funding education was Representative Mark McBride (and no it’s not because I was in the room…they don’t even know who I am, or that Mark’s my brother.) 
There is simply no excuse for this kind of misrepresentation, and it should not be tolerated. I expect my family, my children, my students, my friends, and colleagues to represent themselves truthfully, and I expect no less of my political leaders. I find it difficult to believe that my representative is as committed to fighting for public education as he claims. If he were I believe that my encounter with him during the walkout would have taken a different tone...a tone of support, a willingness to discuss additional funding, the recognition that we had the support of our community (his district), and a tone of respect for educators. If the incumbent for House District 91 is reelected I encourage you to hold him to his promises.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Student / OneNote Avenger Of The Day

 Build community and celebrate the "Student / OneNote Avenger of the Day" by creating a special page in OneNote! 

In this example I've used frames from the OneNote sticker collection, added a photo of the student, and a photo of the student with her family.

The primary handwriting lines and dotted letters are a font that I purchased (there are free and for purchase fonts available). The student of the day can trace his/her name using one of the fun pens in OneNote.

Simple, but personal questions have been included on this page.  You can adjust the questions to meet the needs of your class. Responses can be typed or inked. I created a box around the different sections (i.e. favorites, birthday etc.) by highlighting the text, and selecting a single box in insert table. The box can be enlarged by grabbing the corner and dragging to the desired size. (Learn more about Tables in OneNote Win10

If you would like to create a static page/template that can not be altered create the page as desired, open in full screen mode, and click the "print screen key" (PrtScr).  Open Paint and select copy, save the image. (Learn more about Print Screen options) Go back into OneNote, choose insert and add the desired image, adjust to the desired size, right click on the image, select "picture", "set picture as background". You now have a static page to add student photos and information to. (Keep in mind that you would need to add the student's name after the template was created, or you could include blank handwriting lines in the template and the student could add his/her name).

The "Student/ OneNote Avenger of the Day Page" could be distributed to students in Class Notebook for completion at home or in class.  If technology is limited another option would be for the teacher to keep a special OneNote or OneNote section for the "Student/ OneNote Avenger of the Day" pages. Families could email photos, or teacher/students could take photos to be added to the page. The written portion of the page could be completed at morning meeting or during an individual meeting time with student and teacher.

(This page was designed to use in a kindergarten class, but the page could be adjusted for upper grades as well. There are many fun stickers in the OneNote sticker collection that older kids would enjoy!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Practice Position Words In OneNote

One of our early learning goals in kindergarten is to develop an understanding of position words, and OneNote is helping us do just that!

1. Type the position words you would like to use in to OneNote.
2. Locate free or purchased clip art to use as your fixed object (I chose a bus) add it to OneNote and set the picture to background.
3. Choose a moveable object/objects (I chose shoes) and add to OneNote.

We are also learning color words, so I add colored shoes. As we moved the shoes students helped generated descriptive sentences and I recorded their thoughts.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

PowerPoint in Early Elementary!!

Practice color words and sight words, by creating a group PowerPoint.

Ideas adapted from Google Apps For Littles By Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler 

In the following activity, small groups of students will collaborate on the same presentation.  Each student will be assigned a slide color…this will be the color of the slide they are to work on (alternatively you could label slides with numbers, letters, symbols, etc.). For consistency the color or number you assign could also be used for future assignments.

Students are to fill in the blank with a color word and add a photo.
Option 1: Follow steps 1-4 if you would like to create your own presentation.

Option 2: If you would like to use my presentation download and save the PowerPoint I’ve shared, choose the slides you would like to use, copy and paste them into a new PowerPoint (past using “keep source formatting"). Follow steps 3-4.

1.      To create your own slides open PowerPoint and create slide templates in the desired colors, add text as needed. Save slides as images.

2.      Open a new Power Point presentation, and add the saved images as background fill .

3.      Share the presentation (with editing rights) with the students who will be working together and assign them a slide to work on.

4.      Duplicate this presentation for other groups, share the presentation with them, and assign them a slide to work on.

5.      Depending on the number of devices and the way you access Microsoft Tools students can find a link to this PowerPoint assignment in their OneNote Class Notebook, LMS, or access the assignment directly from PowerPoint.

Once completed the presentation can be added to OneNote for in class and at home review of
sight words and color words!

Download and save the PowerPoint bellow for use with your students.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Create and Share Literature Based Activities Using Microsoft Tools!

The following activities can be used for group or independent work in the early elementary classroom, but with changes could be elevated to higher grades.

These Gingerbread activities were created using PowerPoint, OneNote, and Flipgrid. The Activities are shared with the class using OneNote.

In the first activity you will start with a shared reading of The Gingerbread Boy and then complete the character/story sequence map. 

This Character/Sequencing map was created in OneNote, I then used Print Screen to save it as an image that could be added to OneNote. (This is helpful for me because sometime my littles have difficulty if there are too many moving pieces.) Images added to OneNote can be locked to background...right click, select picture, set picture as background. The next step will be adding images  of characters into the page, students will be able to drag images into the desired circle.

As students place the images in the correct space they can use audio record (found under the insert tab in OneNote) to record a quote from the character, or simply state the sequence and name of the character (i.e. First the little old woman and the little old man ran after the gingerbread man.)

After reading a collection of Gingerbread Stories discuss how they are similar and different (could share ideas on Flipgrid). Next create a class graph by collecting data and showing which story is the favorite.

This Gingerbread house can be used to create a custom graph.  Create a table in OneNote, add photos from the desired books, and collect data!

Repetition and pattern can be helpful for pre/beginning readers. In this activity the students are provided with a story pattern, students just add a character to the end of the sentence. In this case a closing sentence was  also created by the students. 

This activity can be extended by having students extend the sentences in their journals adding illustrations, and perhaps even making a class book (digital journals, OneNote, paper pencil...whatever works best for your students). 

Depending on ability level and access to technology this could be a whole group, small group, or independent activity. If done in a group setting students might enjoy rereading the passage independently. Immersive Reader could be used for assistance in mastering the passage, and audio record could be used  to show fluency.

Continue the conversation using Flipgrid!
Flipgrid is a website that allows educators to create grids and topics for engaging conversation and collaboration!

If you haven't already set up a Flipgrid account you'll need to start there, next step create a grid, finally add a topic to your grid. You can add the Flipgrid topic that I created to your grid, or create your own. (Follow this link Save Your Ginger Breadfriends to add the topic to your own grid.)

Haven't used Flipgrid and want to experiment? Feel free to respond to this grid. (Password: Storybook)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Ten Frames for PowerPoint or OneNote

A Ten Frame can be a great tool when helping students to understand number.  The Ten Frames shared here are by no means a complete set, but they can get you started (I have included a slide in which you can easily add an equation of your choice by typing or with digital ink).

These slides can be used in PPT or OneNote for whole or small group instruction, by sharing on a white board, or added to class notebook for independent work. 

In this example a slide has been added to OneNote and circles were used as counters.

In this example the "blank slide" was added to OneNote and duplicated so that a fact family could be discussed. Inking was used to add the equations and fill the ten frames. (don't forget you can lock the slides to the background in OneNote so that they don't move around.)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Take Graphs and Anchor Charts to the Next Level With OneNote

When you create graphs and anchor charts in OneNote, not only do students have the ability to use digital inking, they can record their voice too!

The OneNote pages in this post were created/used in OneNote for Win10, there are differences between OneNote 2016 and OneNote for Win10...but they can be used interchangeably. For more info: What's The Difference Between OneNote and OneNote 2016

First Day Jitters is one of my favorite back to school books. There are so many great activities to use with it...and adding OneNote can take those great activities to the next level!

In Kindergarten I would complete these  First Day Jitters activities in a whole/small group setting with guided discussions. 

First Day Jitters Character Discussion:
Prepare your page by adding a Title/Sentence Starter and Question if desired. I drew a picture of the character, however other options would be to have a student/students draw the character, or add a photo of the character to OneNote.

Since this activity would be part of our "First Days of School" activities most of my students would not be ready to write in complete sentences; however the majority have the ability to express their thought by speaking in complete sentences. As students generate ideas they can be added to the character discussion chart and their voice can be recorded. 

The option to record audio can be found under the Insert Tab. Place your curser in the are you would like the recording to show, and then click audio to begin recording. The recording can be moved when finished if needed. For more info: Record Audio or Video Notes

Recording student voices certainly adds an element of fun to the activity, but it also helps students make a connection between spoken and written words. 

First Day Jitters Graph and Discussion:
Prepare the graph by adding a table with the desired number of cells to your OneNote page. The option to insert a table can be found under the Insert Tab. Change the width of the cells by dragging the edges outward, change the height of the cells by highlighting the cells and enlarging font size. For more info: Insert a Table in OneNote For Win10 or Insert Table (OneNote 2016)

Students can select their favorite color of highlighter to mark their response on the graph (the highlighter works well because of it's width, it fills the space in nicely.) If you have students add their responses in a small group setting or have them come for one on one time, you might want them to record their reason for marking yes or no on the graph.  The opportunity to verbalize and discuss feelings helps students feel valued and can lead to a positive classroom environment.

Another idea...that just occurred to me. Share your graph results with students from another school..communicate using Skype or Flipgrid and allow students to share the reasons for their responses.

I will have a OneNote Notebook ready to share very soon, to provide more interactive examples with OneNote.