Thursday, March 25, 2010

Skype in the classroom for writing!

This past quarter my students have been able to connect with a class from Arizona via Skype. We wrote each other friendly letters and read them to each other. It has been a powerful learning experience because my students have agricultural backgrounds, use English as their first language, and have lived in a rural setting all of their lives. The students in Arizona are mostly ELL students who have lived in an urban setting all of their lives. They have been able to ask many questions and share trends and culture from both of our areas. I hope to continue connecting to more classrooms in the future. If you are interested please contact me at

Saturday, March 13, 2010

MEMTA announces the next 200 teachers selected!

  (this is a picture of myself and Phil Mickelson this past July 2009, I was 7 1/2 months pregnant)

My cousin Nancy Meyer from MN was selected for the 2010 Mickelson ExxonMobil Academy! I am very excited to share my experiences with her!

200 Teachers Selected to Attend the National Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy (out of 1,270)

MEMTA 2010 selected teachers 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Web 2.0 in Education

Check out this web site for interesting resources about web 2.0 in education - collaboration is key and networking makes all the difference!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

MEMTA PLN connections

The Mickelson Exxon-Mobil Teacher's Academy in 2009 gave me plenty of resources for data collection (Math) and Newton's 3 laws of Motion (Science), but it also gave a new perspective on my PLN (Personal Learning Network). I was lucky enough to again see a wonderful MEMTA participant in Seattle at the NCCE (Northwest Council for Computer Educators) conference. It was great to compare how we were using what we learned from our amazing professional development this past summer in our classrooms. What a great connection to have and hopefully Betsy and I will continue to stay in touch.

Waiting IMPATIENTLY to find out who made it to this years academy!

Smartboard Resources, Lessons, and MORE...

Need I say more...
Just go to the following linke:

Library of Congress-Primary Resources

I am glad I went to one of the many Library of Congress sessions. The presenters had a lot of wonderful ideas and teaching tips for using the LOC espescially for primary sources--example: historic photos. go to to get started.
CIM Technology Solutions will be giving away $250,000 worth of technology over the next year. Register on their website each month to enter the drawing for that month's giveaways.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Avatar

so you ask how is this relevant in the classroom?
well if you save it into a png format and uncheck the background, you can use any background with it!
You could have your children explore many places and tell stories, write poems, use these images for online editing, email pals, the list goes on and on...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Discovery Education's Tech Tune-Up Sweepstakes!

Enter to Win Tech Tune-Up

Wordle rocks!

Check out this presentation on Wordle!

Tammy Worchester's Web 2.0 Tools - join free - apply for grant - In the Classroom
imagination cubed (for mac only)

Discovering More about Discovery Educ...

Discovering More about Discovery Education!

Hall Davidson talked about students learning to edit movies first with DE streaming and then they learn to create their own content
- check out California Student Media Festival
Digital sales have now surpassed physical sales - Wall Street Journal Feb. 2010
Discovery Communications has 1.5 Billion subscribers
    Most popular is Discovery Channel, next is TLC, then Animal Planet, and fourth is DISCOVERY EDUCATION
Interesting thought for the day - When choosing curriculum, why don't the end-users have any say? HMMMMM..... EXCELLENT POINT
Do we need textbooks, you cant write in them, edit them, share them, or make new copies....
**Don't forget that LIFE  will be March 21st on the Discovery Channel and will be in streaming to view on March 22nd! Talk about efficient!|life+discovery|LIFE+-+Discovery|GGL+LIFE+-+Branded+Show+-+General+-+VPB

Lindsay ran through how to search for content, reminded us about the MY BUILDER tools and the best part (drum roll please) the TEACHER CENTER
Lindsay was born and raised in Montana... just so you know!
She told us about downloading in FLASH to help out with Bandwidth issues (PAY ATTENTION TOWNSEND FOLKS) use Flash to download your streaming!!!
Lindsay also reminded us that we teachers have access to a FULL ENCYCLOPEDIA!!

Digital Kits
why use actual boxes - use digital kits
Jennifer reminded us that FILE MANAGEMENT is pertinent - Naming folders and subfolders should always be a priority
Jennifer showed us examples of projects made with Kidspiration and DE streaming  (if you do one of these you have to use Quicktime in Kidspiration and Inspiration for movies)
One of these Inspiration templates was named 3 Truths and a Lie - It requires the students to think CRITICALLY about media!!!
She offered to share these kits with everyone - maybe on media share ??? hint hint, Jennifer

Amy introduced us to interacting with videos by using a sheet with checks and stars to show what the students learned about and still need to learn about.
She shared how they will develop their understanding of the key concepts by sharing and self-checking what they know.
She suggested using Images from the Flickr - they have a Creative Commons search
She showed us how to then show an image and then match it to one of the same key words - then discuss which word matched to that image to understand the meaning of the word.
I think it is a great way to for students to connect to the learning to make meaning.

Westin Woods provides a lot of videos on Discovery Education - can share elements of a good/bad video, product placement, stopping videos before they are finished - then predict or create an ending
Debbie reminded that we should all share as educators - check her web site out for amazing resources!
She also showed us a neat project making President trading cards
She also reminded that everyone should apply to be DEN STARS and attend the DEN National Institute!
She ended with some of her favorite web 2.0 sites such as glogster and

twitter: abakken
Shared information about DE assignment builder - Go to MY BUILDER - ASSIGNMENT BUILDER - follow the steps - remember you can add your own content to the lesson
You can also add web link to add outside content to it.
If you have trouble using streaming videos, download them to your server or to your desktop and have the students watch them in the downloaded format
You can differentiate instruction easily by using the Assignment builder
After you create a lesson you can either assign it to your class (which need to be created beforehand) or get a link with a passcode and paste it to your web site for the students to access.
She also encouraged everyone to check out the student center. You can log in and see what it is like to be a student in the student center
by using Jennifer Gingerich's fake student accounts. Login Jellyfish1  Password Jellyfish1
She also shared how powerful google docs at conferences can be!

Martha started off by talking about how all that was shared tonight at this workshop connects.
She then shared a great web 2.0 site called - it is a great way to present information with photos, video and sound or music.
She created a short JFK animoto video for us to see using images and JFK's inaugural speech. Amazing content created in less than 5 minutes.
Animoto helps kids use content from DE in a different way to learn and share information they have learned.

she shares one more tool - GLOGSTER - make sure that you go to
regular may have content that you definitely don't want your students to see

Please feel free to add or edit content.
Thanks for viewing!

DEN workshop on Wed. night NCCE2010

PLN what is it and why you need it!

Learning why it is so important to network with others across the country! Check out their information at

Helena teachers share info from a conference!

Helena Teachers created a blog to share what they learned from NCCE 2010.
What a great idea!

Starting New Blog

I have decided to start a new blog because I am realizing the importance of networking and sharing what I have learned. This type of learning and sharing is truly the future... now!