Friday, June 27, 2014

ISTE Conference Here We Come!

I'm leaving on a jet plane. All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go. But I do know when I'll be back again! (Silly reference to a John Denver song - look it up)

We are getting ready to leave for the 2014 ISTE Conference in Atlanta, Georgia (or "Hot"lanta as we have been referring to it - weather mostly, not the night life!). Used to the heat here in Phoenix but the humidity will be a bit different for us.

In addition to all of the learning, collaborating, and communicating, everyone in our group is also presenting: flip classrooms, challenge based learning, creating book trailers with QR Codes. It's always great to share with others and help them be able to replicate projects in their own schools.

Can't wait to get there and meet up with old friends, make new ones, and get great ideas to share with teachers! More to come...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

PARCC Field Testing

Several Creighton School District classrooms participated in PARCC Field Testing this spring. Some did the Performance Based Assessment (PBA) and then later several classes completed the End of Year (EOY) Test. Some classrooms took the tests via paper and pencil; others completed the online assessment. And one of our iPad flip classrooms was able to take the test online using their iPads. (Note: we would have liked to have more classrooms use the iPads but we did not get to choose which classrooms took the tests or which ones did paper/pencil or online).

One of our fourth grade classrooms used the iPads for testing. Prior to the test, the teacher had the students completed the online sample tests in the classroom. The kids were really excited to try out a new way of testing using their iPads - especially since they got to use the external keyboards!

You can see how intensely they are all working!

There were lots of thing to work on and figure out - like having to tap each square to complete the array!

These kiddos were ready to go when it came time to take the test. And it was a test for all of us to make sure everything was in working order for them. It was a good way for us to see how this would work in a real testing situation.

On the day of the field test we took the students into the library so they would have more room to spread out and work. This also made it easier for us to monitor the progress of the test and help with any issues that popped up.

The students did a great job. Too bad we won't get test results back - I'm sure they aced it!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Web Whiteboard

This is what happens when you share an online collaborative resource such as A Web Whiteboard with a group of technology literacy teachers!
Yes they did just what students would do the first time they are introduced to a new tool.

A Web Whitebaord ( is a nice way for students to collaborate with others - and you don't need an account. Users simply share the URL for the whiteboard with each other. Nothing to install and it works on tablets and smartphones too.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

First Grade Fun!

I observed in one of our first grade flipped iPad flipped classrooms this morning. It is always so rewarding to see the great things that are happening with these little ones.

While it wasn't a flipped lesson, the students were completing their literacy centers while the teacher worked on guided reading with small groups of students. It was a combination of both digital learning and more traditional paper and pencil activities.

Students were using the Starfall app to build beginning reading and phonics skills.

Sometimes they sat at their desks but sometimes they choose to sit on the floor.

There was buddy reading of favorite books.

And working on practicing writing and spelling skills.

This first grade classroom is composed of 34 second language learners. The teacher is just plain awesome and keeps everything running smoothly. The students know the class procedures and rules and transitions go so smoothly. It's always refreshing to visit this class!!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Apple Distinguished Program Award Presentation

On February 18, 2014, Brian Peterson and Karla Benge from Apple did an official presentation of the Apple Distinguished Award to the Creighton School District Governing Board and Cabinet. Mr. Peterson shared not only his impressions of iAchieve and how it is impacting students in the classroom but also shared many of the comments made by the reviewers of our application. We felt very honored.

Part of the presentation was to update the governing board on how iAchieve has progress during the 2013/2014 school year. This short video shares some of those highlights.

13-14 iAchieve Governing Board Presentation from Suzanne Sallee on Vimeo.

CSD Governing Board and Superintendent, Director of Technology, and iAchieve Staff
Apple Representatives and iAchieve Staff

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Write About This App

One of the apps we have been exploring recently is Write About This. The app is the brainchild of classroom teacher, Brad Wilson. He developed the app because the format was something he wanted for his students to help develop their creative writing skills but could never find.

The full version of the app contains 125 images and 375 text and voice prompts. Each prompt includes three different levels to meet the needs of a variety of students and the prompts align to Common Core Standards. Users can also create their own custom prompts with image and text support.

Students complete their writing assignments right in the app and can share their work in a variety of ways. We are currently using the free version of the app but are looking at purchasing the full version for our 1:1 iPad classroom

Student Examples:
In one of our 1:1 iPad English Language Learner classrooms, the teacher uses Write About This as a warm-up activity for writing. They have set up the app on each iPad to email writing projects directly to the teacher. This allows the teacher to review their work and determine specifically what each student needs to work on in class.

Write About This App of the Week