Friday, May 17, 2019

Post #20: Lab iPad Carts, Lab Color Printer, Report Cards, Tech Committee

Lab iPad Carts: I met with Leisha yesterday and we discussed the lab iPad Cart. 

GREAT NEWS - Leisha reviewed the budget and our use request. We will keep the main lab iPad cart (orange cases) and the skills lab iPad cart (black cases) in tack for next year. 

  • Leisha was so happy to hear that the need is there. She would not want to make any changes that would limit your access to devices that you need to support the curriculum. 
  • The desktop computers in the main lab will still be returned.
  • We will still get a new cart of iPads for use with tech classes! 

Thank you for your thoughtful thinking around technology issues! I'm feeling better about how things will look for next year. 

Lab Color Printer: We have noticed that the quality of the new lab color printer is not great. I have reached out to the company and they are sending us a replacement. We hope to have it in place next week.

Report Cards: In case you missed it, Term 2 is open for reporting!!

Tech Committee: The next meeting is Wednesday, June 12th at 2:30 in the computer lab. All are welcome to join our conversation. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Post #19: Headphones, iPad Cart Google Calendar, Projectors

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Headphones: If students need to borrow headphone, please DO NOT take them from the hallway lab. Classes go to the hallway lab and expect that all stations are equipped with headphones. I have some extra headphones in the main lab in a pocket chart behind the door. Students should borrow and then return. 

iPad Cart Google Calendar: This week I noticed that all events on the Lab iPad Cart Google calendar after the April break were deleted. I'm not sure what happened. I have recreated the events that were permanent weekly sign-ups.

However, if you had signed up to use the cart for any special projects, please check the iPad calendar and sign-up again if it's missing. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Projectors: Joe cleaned all of the projector filters over the April break. If you notice any issues with your projector, please let me know.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Post #18: Converting Word Docs to Google, Tech Committee

Image result for april break

It's been a busy and hectic week. Wishing everyone a wonderful and restful break. Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Converting Word Docs to Google Drive: Wondering how to convert your MS Office files to Google. Then check out this quick tutorial. Stop by if you'd like assistance.

Remember if you have converted a file from Office to Google Drive then add your name to the monthly bulletin board that May has so graciously been doing this year!

Tech Committee: The tech committee met this week. Please see the agenda for our notes. Thanks again to everyone for their thoughtful conversations and insights into the use of technology at Happy Hollow. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Post #17: MCAS, New Features on Mac Teacher Laptops, Subscription Update, Teacher Laptop,

teachers for making your laptops available to Joe for updates. HH is all done and we appreciate your flexibility.

MCAS: For those administering MCAS, here is a link to the HH MCAS website, which has been updated with Spring 2019 information. Please refer to this website for login information, practice sessions, and live testing day procedures. We will be reviewing this information in your training session. You can also find the link under For Staff - Technology. Please let Michelle or I know if you have any questions.

New Features on Teacher MacBooks: There are a few new features available on your teacher laptop since the upgrade of the operating system (OS) to Mojave.

1. Screen Lock
2. Light and Dark Mode
3. Screenshot annotation

Here is a short video demonstrating these 3 features.

Subscription Update: Thank you to those who responded to the 2019 Spring Subscription survey. With continued limits on the budget, we have decided to not renew Culture Grams. 

The rationale for not renewing: 
  • only used to support 1 or 2 units of study
  • one of those units was already completed for this school year
We can revisit the purchase of Culture Grams next year if the demand increases. 

Teacher Laptops Tips: A few teachers mentioned that their computers are slow to wake up and sit at the black screen for longer than usual. The update may have helped. If not, here are a few things to try:

1. Restart your computer on a regular basis. 
2. If you use Google Chrome and have a lot of tabs open (I'm guilty for sure), this uses a lot of memory. Close some of those tabs!
3. When you disconnect from your projector, it may take longer for the computer to wake up as the internal display needs to switch settings. 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Post #16: Teacher Laptop Updates, Headphones, TumbleBooks,

A few updates this week. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Teacher Laptop Updates: It's that time of year where we need to update the operating system (OS) on our mac teacher laptops (not TA laptops). Joe will start these updates the week of March 11th. I have created a sign-up sheet to assist with this process.

  • back up your files to the server, or external drive (here are directions on how to do so)
  • the update should take about 90 minutes

If you should have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Headphones: All of the loaner headphones from the computer lab are missing. If you have any of these headphones in your room, please remind students to return them to the lab after each use so that others may borrow headphones too. Thank you.

TumbleBooks: Ways to integrate TumbleBooks in March...

March is a PUNNY month!
Start the month off with the delightfully PUNNY TumbleTune classic: The Ants go MARCHing!
March 2: Read Across America Day
March 2nd is the birthday of the celebrated poet, and children's author, Theodor Seuss Geisel... AKA Dr. Seuss! And in honor of his birthday, we celebrate "Read Across America Day" with the TumbleBook "How Do You Read to a Rabbit?"
March 3: World Wildlife Day
"Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out" is a classic TumbleBook that depicts the lives and struggles of one of Mother Nature's most vulnerable creatures: the Sea Turtle.
On World Wildlife Day, we take a moment to acknowledge how important it is to safeguard the natural world from pollution, habitat destruction, and other human threats so that such beautiful creatures can thrive in the wild for generations to come.
March 4: National Grammar Day
Mgn wht th wrld wld lk lk f thr wr n vwls? T mght lk smthng lk ths!!
Translation: Imagine what the world would look like if there were no vowels? It might look something like this!!
Join the Vowel Family's adventure as TumbleBooks celebrates National Grammar Day!
March 8: National Women's Day
March 8th is National Women's Day: A day to honor the achievements and the struggles of women all over the United States - and the world!
"Ruby's Wish" is a story about a little girl named Ruby, living in China many years ago. All she wants is to go to school!
It may seem like a simple wish, and one that's easy to take for granted in 21st century America, but without the perseverance of girls and women like Ruby, women's rights would not be what it is today.
"Clever Beatrice" is a delightful tale of an ingenious little girl who outsmarts a giant, showing that there's nothing you can't achieve without a little bit of brainpower and courage!

March 9-10: Daylight Savings Begins!
"Spring forward / Fall Back" ... It's that time of year again!
It's the time of year when many parts of the world (especially most of The United States and Canada) adjust their clocks by 1 hour, to coincide with Daylight Savings Time.
As you set your clocks ahead by 1 hour before bed on March 9th, why not read "What Is The Sun" to learn more about what makes our sun shine so brightly? Or enjoy a little hedgehog's dedication to the sun in "Hello Sun!"

March 14: "Pi" Day!
Why is March 14th's known as "Pi Day"?? No, it's not "Pie Day"! (sorry, dessert-lovers! Put down those apples!)
It's because it's the 14th day of the 3rd month! 3/14... just like Pi: 3.14
Or, if you're nerdy (and loving it!) like us Tumblers, it's 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693... *deep breath*...99375105820974944592307... we could go on! but we shouldn't! Pi has an INFINITE number of decimal points!
Enjoy "Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi" and learn more about how important this number is when measuring a circle!

March 15: The "Ides of March"
In Ancient Rome, a soothsayer told Julius Caesar to beware the Ides of March - also known as March 15th.
Unfortunately, he didn't listen very well and met an untimely - and bloody - end at the hands of some conspiring Roman politicians.
Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar" recounts this unfortunate tale, but it's a bit too much for our young readers. If you're interested, you can find a copy on TeenBookCloud though!
Instead, enjoy "A Midsummer Night's Dream"! It's a graphic novel based on Shakespeare's play and is a great way to introduce Shakespeare to your grade 4-6 readers!
*Please Note: this title is only available on TumbleBookLibrary Premium, and may not be suitable for children under 8-9 years old.

March 16: Happy Birthday Peter H. Reynolds!
Born on this day in 1956, Peter H. Reynolds turns 63 today. Happy Birthday!
Peter H. Reynolds is a prolific and award-winning children's book author and illustrator, and a staple of TumbleBookLibrary!
"The North Star" is a new TumbleBook we hope you enjoy! Also check out Peter's other TumbleBooks: "Ish", "The Dot", "Rose's Garden", and more!
March 17: St. Patrick's Day
Happy St. Patrick's Day, Tumblers! May the "luck of the Irish" be with you and your families!
But wait! A greedy Leprechaun King has stolen all the luck in Ireland! Can Fiona outsmart the king and restore luck to the land?!
March 20: First Day Of Spring (Vernal Equinox)
On March 20th, North America officially says goodbye to winter and HELLO to warmer weather!
Use the classic TumbleBook "Our Seasons" in your classrooms and story times to discuss how our weather changes from season to season throughout the year!
March 21: World Poetry Day
TumbleBooks is full of delightfully poetic... and poetically delightful storybooks! But did you know we also have several poems, and books inspired by poetry on TumbleBookLibrary?
On March 21st, we celebrate World Poetry Day with "Casey And Derek on the Ice" which is a new take on the classic "Casey at the Bat"! (Which you can also find in the Read-Along section of TumblePremium Subscriptions.
March 21: Full Moon
Look up! Waaaay UP! The moon! Do you see it up there in the night sky?
How could you miss it?
That's right! Tonight, March 21th, 2019, is the night of the Full Moon! It's the night - which happens once every 28 days - when the full light of the moon's bright side is facing the earth!
Learn more about the phases of the moon with this TumbleBook, "Faces of the Moon".
March 22: World Water Day
 March 22 is World Water Day: A day to reflect on the importance of one of the world's most vital resources.
Why is water so important in nature? to animals and plant life? to the weather? to humans?
TumbleBooks' video "Why Care About Water" from National Geographic will explore these ideas, and more.
March 23: National Puppy Day!
They say that dogs are humans' best friends!
And here at TumbleBooks, we think the reverse is true too! ... that humans are dogs' best friends!
The classic TumbleBook "Always" is a book about how much a little puppy LOVES his girl and, for the love of dogs, it is a perfect way to celebrate National Puppy Day!
March 25: Happy Birthday, Kate DiCamillo!
Born on this day in 1964, Kate DiCamillo turns 55 today. Happy Birthday!
Kate DiCamillo is a best-selling and award-winning children's book author, and a staple of TumbleBookLibrary!
"Bink & Gollie, Best Friends Forever: Empire of Enchantment" is one of our favorite TumbleBooks - we hope you enjoy! Also check out Kate's other TumbleBooks: "Mercy Watson" Series, MORE "Bink & Gollie" books, "Louise the Adventures of a Chicken", and more!
March 28: Happy Birthday, Doreen Cronin!
Born on this day in 1966, Doreen Cronin turns 53 today. Happy Birthday!
Doreen Cronin is one of our favorite authors, and some of her books - like the Diary series - have been with us from the beginning!
We hope you continue to enjoy her books, like "Diary of a Fly", as much as we do! Also be sure to check out "Diary of a Spider", "Diary of a Worm", "Stretch", "Wiggle", and a new book we have coming soon: "Bloom"!
March 31: César Chávez Day
César Chávez was an American labor leader who lived between 1927 and 1993. He founded the United Farm Workers union, and passionately fought for workers' rights.
TumbleBooks' "Helping Out is Cool" is a great way to help teach your students about social responsibility and thoughtfulness, in honor of César Chávez Day on March 31st.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Post #15: Computer Lab, IFPs, Newsela, Teacher Laptops, Tech Committee

Wishing you all a wonderful week! Please let me know if you have questions or concerns, I'm always available to chat.

Computer Lab: The main lab next year will look a bit different. The lease on our desktop computers is up in June. The desktops will be replaced with a dedicated cart of iPads. iPads will be used with skills classes that are in the main lab as well as technology classes 1st-5th. The upper grades (3rd-5th) when not using iPads will bring their assigned Chromebook from their classroom. I'm excited about the change and the opportunity to do more with our iPads and Chromebooks. 

The hallway lab will remain in tack as long as the desktops continue to function.

Interactive Flat Panel (IFP): Leisha was notified this past week that a newer version of the IFP we are purchasing is coming out in May. It doesn't seem to make sense to order one model in March and then a different model in the summer. Therefore, our thinking is to hold off on ordering until the newer model is released in May so we can all have the same IFP. 

Newsela: This past week several teachers had issues with printing articles from Newsela using their MacBooks. Here are the 2 solutions to print from Newsela:

1. Download the article to your computer. Open the article with Adobe Acrobat Reader NOT Preview. Then print. Check out the video below for directions.

2. Print articles from a Chromebook.

FYI - Below is the error message printed on the paper from the printer when printing with Preview or directly from the Chrome browser.

Teacher Laptop Update: As many of you have heard, the district is considering alternative options for teacher laptops, specifically Chromebooks (again this would be a larger durable Chromebook, not the student model). We understand that such a change has caused many concerns. 

While budget restrictions are still an issue, Leisha has been able to extend the current lease on our teacher MacBooks for one more year. This will give us over a year to research Chromebook models, software solutions and any other challenges that would arise from such a change. Technology is always changing so it's hard to predict what exactly will be our laptop options (Mac and/or Chromebook) for the summer of 2020. 

Thank you for expressing your concerns and how such a change would affect you and your students. If you have any questions, please let me know. 

Tech Committee Update: The technology committee met on Wednesday. We had thoughtful discussions around teacher laptops, interactive flat panels, and using Google Docs vs MS Office. Check out our notes for more details!!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Post #14: Report Cards, Tech Committee, TumbleBooks

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. 
GO PATS!! 🏈🏈🏈

Report Cards - I was asked about a reminder on how to print out report cards. I know for some this makes editing a bit easier or if you want to share information with your special educator. In order to do that, you must first generate a report. Here are the directions on running a report. You can generate a report for one student or your entire class. 

Technology Committee Meeting: Our next tech committee meeting is on Wednesday, February 13th @ 2:30 in the computer lab. All are welcome to join in our discussion. If you are unable to attend and have a question or concern, please connect with your grade level representative or stop by the lab to see me. 

TumbleBooks: February is here and with that here is the latest calendar to help you incorporate TumbleBooks this month!