Friday, January 18, 2019

Post #13: Computer Lab, Google Classroom, Lab/iPad Sign Up Calendars, Report Cards, WeatherSTEM

Several items in this week's update. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend. 😀

Computer Lab: We are having an issue with computers freezing at login in the main lab. I have made it part of our end of class procedures for students to restart their computers before lining up. If you bring your class into the lab, please remind students to restart their computer before leaving. Thank you for your help with this.

Google Classroom: For those using Google Classroom, you may have noticed a few changes over the past week or so.
  • New theme options. 
  • Class Code is now shown in your classroom header below your class name. See the example below. If you click on the brackets, it will display the code for all to easily see. (Nice when students are joining your classroom for the first time.)

  • Drag and drop assignments to reorder them on the CLASSWORK page.
  • Adding Material Section to your Google Classroom 

Lab/iPad Sign-Up Calendars: Just a reminder that when you want to use either of the labs (main or hallway) or iPad carts (lab or skills cart), you should reserve them online by accessing the appropriate Google Calendar. If you are unable to access any of the calendars, please let me know and I will reshare the appropriate calendar(s) with you.

Lastly, when adding an event to the calendar, Google will default to your personal calendar. You must click the drop-down arrow near your name to select a different calendar. If you do not, then the event will only show up on your calendar :(  Hoping to avoid any scheduling conflicts.

**The paper calendars on the iPad carts DO NOT reflect online sign-ups. They only show who has a permanent sign-up spot for the year.**

Report Cards - Accessing last year's report cards: eSchoolPLUS does not provide access for teachers to see last year's report cards. However, Leslie can generate report cards from previous years. 

WeatherSTEM: You will now see a link under FOR STUDENTS for WeatherSTEM. This links to the weather station at CH, which was part of a WPSF Grant from last year.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Post #12: AV Uupdate, Report Card Update, Tech Committee, TumbleBooks

AV Update: We are continuing to move ahead with replacing classroom projectors with Interactive Flat Panels. Leisha is negotiating with local vendors regarding best pricing/installation for the ViewSonic IFP. We are also connecting with other districts that have installed panels to learn from their process and answer our many questions we have about ease of use, features... I will continue to keep you posted as to our progress.

Report Card Update From Leisha: Just in case you missed her email yesterday.

I want to apologize for the confusion regarding the Elementary Report Card entry in eSchoolPLUS.

An error occurred that caused T2 to be entered for every standard. This will be corrected for next year!

For Term 1/T1 Standards, you can click on the magnifying glass next to T2 and enter the appropriate grade. Otherwise, leave T2 next to the standard, as it indicates that the standard will be graded next term.

If you have any questions about which Term 1/T1 standards to grade, please contact Tricia or Karyn.

Thanks for your patience as we continue to learn in this new system!

Tech Committee Meeting: The Tech Committee will be meeting on Wednesday, January 9th at 2:30 in the computer lab. All are welcome to join our discussion.

TumbleBooks - If you are looking for books to incorporate in the month of January using TumbleBooks, check out this out...

Friday, December 21, 2018

Post #11: Lab Color Printer, Report Cards,

Lab Color Printer: This week Joe installed the new Lab color printer!! Please let me know if you have any trouble printing to the new printer.
Report Cards: Elementary Report Cards are NOW open for grading for Term 1. In case you need a refresher, here are directions on how to enter competencies in eSchool.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Post #10: AV Equipment Update,, Lab Color Printer, Tech Committee,

Several updates this week. Please let me know if you have any questions! Have a wonderful weekend.

AV Equipment Updates: Yesterday, Susan Cherwinski, Deborah Niles and I attended a Viewsonic Flat Panel demo at the HS. This was similar to the one we hosted at HH several weeks ago. I continue to be impressed with the ease of use and functionality of the interactive flat panels. We are very close to selecting a model. 


  • touch screen with finger or pen - like a giant iPad on your wall
  • multiple people can be writing on the panel at one time
  • connect your laptop (use the same software you currently use to project to the flat panel)
  • connect a document camera
  • speakers are embedded in the panel - no need for wall mounted speakers
  • students can cast their Chromebook screen up to the flat panel to share their work
  • mount a video camera on top for skype or video sessions A HUGE thank you to everyone for your assistance in getting signed permissions slips!! I have all but a couple. 👏

Lab Color Printer Update: A new printer has been ordered and delivery looks like early next week. Joe will need a little bit of time to get the new printer up and running. In the meantime, the old color printer appears to be working. I have noticed that larger print jobs do seem to make the printer unhappy 😞.

Technology Committee: We canceled our December meeting due to the Holiday Staff Party. We will meet in January on Wednesday the 9th from 2:30 - 3:30 in the computer lab. All are welcome to attend.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Post #9:, Kahoot, Subscription Renewals, & Tech Committee,

Just wanted to let you know that Joe no longer has a "set" tech schedule at the school. We want him to have more flexibility so he can be available to flow from school to school as needed.  With that said, please do not leave items on his desk with notes as who knows when he would see it. Please fill out a tech request or connect with me. Thanks. Thank you to everyone for your assistance in the collection and reminding students about permission slips. Much appreciated. I have almost all of them! Phew! All classes will start coding next week using a variety of resources and continue for the month of December.

Kahoot: Kahoot is a fun online tool used to check students learning. However, they declined to sign our Student Data Privacy Agreement (SDP). If you wish to use Kahoot, please see me for a parent permission slip.

We have found that Quizalize is a very similar tool to Kahoot and they HAVE SIGNED our SDP agreement so no parent permission needed. You may want to give this tool a try. It appears to work with Google Classroom as well.

Subscription Renewals: Thank you for your feedback about our subscription services. We have renewed Starfall and Tumblebooks. I am in the process of renewing BrainPop and BrainPop Jr. 

Tech Committee: The December Tech Committee meeting is Wednesday, December 12th from 2:30 - 3:30 in the computer lab. All are welcome to join our discussion.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Post #8: AV Refresh, PebbleGo Resources, Wordle Update

Image result for online tools

Happy Friday Everyone. Several updates below regarding our AV classroom refresh as well as updates regarding several online tools.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy the long weekend!

AV Refresh: As mentioned at Tuesday's staff meeting, we are looking at interactive touch panels as a possible replacement for our classroom projector and speaker system. The other option would be an interactive Epson Brightlinks projector. Loker went with the BrightLinks when that school was reopened K-5.

Last week we had the opportunity to test out an interactive touch panel manufactured by ViewSonic called ViewBoard. 

We found it to be very easy to use. It's like a giant iPad that would be mounted on your wall. Here are some of the benefits and features - 
  • Easily connect laptop
  • Easily connect doc camera
  • Attach an external camera for use when hosting a video chat (Skype or Google Hangout) as it captures the entire room not just those in front of your computer screen.
  • No need to calibrate a stylus
  • No need to charge a battery for the stylus
  • Use stylus or finger
  • Built-in speakers (No external speakers needed)
  • No projector needed
  • Crisp image
  • Several HDMI and USB slots
PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next: We added these 2 subscriptions last spring. I just wanted to remind you that they are available could be helpful as you are planning out your curriculum. See a quick video tour of each below:

PebbleGo (generally good for K-2)

PebbleGo Next (generally good for 3rd-5th) 

Wordle: FYI - May brought it to my attention that Wordle is not working on any of our browsers. I connected with Joe and it appears that Wordle will not work anymore as browsers are blocking Java applets, which Wordle requires. Below are a couple of other options you can try if you wish to create word clouds. (May is using this tool so she may have some advice or guidance)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Post #7: New Google Doc Features, Google Docs Menu, PBS Education - Free Reading Webinars,

Happy Friday Everyone! I am at MassCue today with Chris, Deb D, Miriam and several other teachers from the district. 

We will be spending some time in the vendor area exploring what's new in the AV world. Our classrooms will be getting an AV refresh over the next 5 years. We will be looking to gather information on the latest interactive projectors and touchscreen panels to inform our purchases. 

Please let me know if you have any questions and enjoy your weekend!

New Features in Google Docs: Earlier this week, Google Suite released 2 new features based on customer feedback. They are:

1. Vertical Ruler to manage tables in docs

2. New controls on header and footer

When using tables in a Google doc, there is a vertical ruler along the left side of the paper. This ruler will allow you to manage the height of the rows. 

The second feature allows you to manage the margins for the header and footer. After you click in the header or footer, click on the OPTIONS button to show the Headers & Footers window. 

Google Docs Menu - Did you know that you can collapse or expand the google docs menu bar? Students maybe unintentionally collapsing the menu bar and then not sure how to get it back. 

However, by collapsing the formatting bar, you and/or your students would have a larger working space in google docs. Chromebook users may find this helpful.

Before Collapsing - the typical editing/formatting menu bar is shown. (File, Edit, View...)

By clicking the down arrow you collapse the editing/formatting menu bar.

PBS Education - Hosting 4 Free Webinars for Reading called "For the Love of Lit: Professional Learning Series". The series is designed to help ELA teachers engage their students in learning about literature. PD certificates are available after attending each webinar.

The four webinars in the series are as follows:
  • Inspiring Young Authors, with NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty
  • Including All Readers, with student activist Marley Dias
  • Encouraging Bright Thinkers
  • Cultivating Young Book Lovers