A Bit About Me

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Digital Rendering of an IT Lab

Computer Lab:

3D model by
This is my idea of what a computer lab for a growing K-5 school could look like.

Towards the end of January, I had offered to create a digital lab rendering of my school's future IT Lab as a way to interactively show potential donors a rendition of the physical products that their funds would help to purchase. The model above is my final rendition.

One thing that I realized while using this Sketch Up program was that I should have paid much better attention in my High School Geometry class from 15 years ago. The nice thing with this free software is that you can download other peoples' models and position them on your own, if need be. 

In completing this meticulous project, I considered the many ways in which this software could be used to support classroom instruction. The software definitely caters to several types of Geometry standards found within the Common Core. Plus, if teachers are uneasy with introducing the software to a class of students, then the Sketch Up website offers a variety of great tutorial videos to ease users into the use of this wonderful tool.

Below are some of the CCSS Math Standards that could be applied to the use of the Sketch Up program:

7.G.2:     Draw (freehand, with ruler and protractor, and with technology) geometric shapes with given conditions.  Focus on constructing triangles from three measures of angles or sides, noticing when the conditions determine a unique triangle, more than one triangle, or no triangle.

8.G.1:     Verify experimentally the properties of rotations, reflections, and translations.

G-CO.12:   Make formal geometric constructions with a variety of tools and methods.

G-MG.3:    Apply geometric methods to solve design problems. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Great Opportunity: Doodle 4 Google

Last week, one of my students told me that she was creating a Doodle 4 Google to try to win a computer lab for our school. I had seen the initial call for entries from Google about a month ago, and hadn't really gotten around to revisiting it since. When the student told me that she was creating a Doodle 4 Google, I thought of a much bigger idea. Why not have a school-wide contest???

My school is located in Washington, DC, so when I first went to the Doodle4Google website, one can imagine my discouragement in seeing that DC was not listed. So, I looked through the FAQ and the "Judging and Prizes" sections and, low and behold, there it was: Washington, DC is lumped in with Maryland. This of course means, that not only can my student apply, but the entire student population could apply as well, if they so chose to.

With less than three weeks to go until applications are due (March 22nd), I'm planning to launch a school-wide application for Doodle 4 Google. Since the theme is "My Best Day Ever...", students would likely look at this as a fun way to creatively answer a question and express themselves. As educators, we all know how essential it is to re-awaken creativity in the minds of our students. This could be a great way to start.

Submissions can be drawn on physical paper, OR they can be created with the use of technology. As the Technology Teacher, I've already taught Kindergarten thru Second Grades how to use the Microsoft Paint software, and am so excited to give them this great opportunity to combine the use of this software with their imagination of the "Best Day Ever".

I'm curious to see if anyone else out there has students entering this contest as well. Anyone??

Google Teacher Academy - 8 days of waiting :)

I recently applied to the Google Teacher Academy that is taking place this May in Sydney, Australia. The mere excitement of the opportunity to apply for this great professional development session that will expand one's PLN and introduce one to several great educational technology tools is priceless. This will be the third time that I've applied for the program, and I feel that with each submission, I've gotten a little better. Below is my YouTube video submission on "Motivation and Learning" which is a step up from my last submission.

This leads me to my 7 days of waiting. Yesterday was Day One. It went by so quickly that the thought of running home to check my email only crossed my mind a total of 5 times, as opposed to the usual 20+ times. I can only hope that the events of this week (Gala, teaching, yoga, meetings, creating Tech Plan, blogging, and so much more) will create enough of a productive distraction from the anticipation of finding out whether or not I got in.