Sunday, October 26, 2014

This Week @ Elkmont and Beyond! October 20th -24th, 2014

1:1 Success Story

This week my school district received some very positive feedback about our Digital Passport Initiative that put a MacBook Air in the hands of every 3rd and 4th grade student this year.  We are happy that this initiative is already making a positive difference in our students lives.

Digital Passport Initiative: Full Steam Ahead!

The amazing 3rd and 4th grade teachers at Elkmont High School continue to expand the use of technology in their classrooms. Students have added the Limestone County School District's Symbaloo webmix as their home page in both Safari and Google. By using Symbaloo this way students can easily navigate to websites their teachers want them to use without the hassle of typing in a long or confusing URL.

Ms. Katie Walker is using Class DoJo to help encourage good behavior in her classroom. Class DoJo helps teachers instantly reinforce good behavior, communicate with parents, increase student engagement and collaborate with colleagues.

Next week the 4th grade DPI Team will work on a collaborative project using Google Maps to support what they are learning about Ecosystems. Watch our map grow HERE.

The 3rd grade DPI Team will begin using MobyMax next week to assist students in building their reading and math skills. MobyMax is an outstanding online resources that offers a free math, language, and reading curriculum for K-8 teachers. All lessons are aligned with the Common Core Standards and teachers can implement the service with very little work on their end.

Athens Storytelling Festival

3rd and 4th grade students attended the Athens Storytelling Festival this week on Wednesday, October 22nd. Storytellers featured at the 8th annual event included Donald Davis, Carmen Deedy, Kevin Kling, Bil Lipp, John McCutcheon, and Andy Offutt Irwin. Our 3rd grade students were especially excited to hear from Carmen Deedy as they had just read a story written by Ms. Deedy in their Language Arts/Reading class.

Friday, DPI students wrote their own original stories using StoryBird. Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. StoryBird curates artwork from illustrators and animators around the world that inspire writers of any age to turn those images into original stories of their own.

Here is are a few links to first time very rough drafts:

Students will continue to work on their stories and examine them for grammar, spelling, plot, beginning, middle, end, conflict and resolution, etc.  Stay tuned to see our final stories soon!

Other story writing technologies students could use include:




What story writing sites have you used?

Celebrating Accomplishments

Elkmont High School Coach, Barry Pugh, won the amateur storytelling competition at the Athens Storytelling Festival this year.  Congratulations Coach Pugh!

Professional Learning

The week started with TL News Night with special guests from the North Carolina Library Media Association.  The topic of conversation was, The Tale of Three Libraries.  It was great to see the contrast between three libraries all in different parts of the state, different budgets and different levels of technology integration.  It was inspiring to learn how each of these librarians made the most out of what they had to bring the best, student centered learning to their students.

Links shared during the show:

Wednesday night I missed out on two professional learning opportunities but hope to catch up on these soon.  The first was the ISTE Librarian Network Webinar featuring Diana Rendina who discussed makerspaces in your school library. The other learning opportunity I missed was to be part of the inaugural Edchat Interactive.  I love their motto: Replacing Talking Head Webinars With An Awesome Interactive Online PD Experience.  I hope that I will be able to participate next month and learn more about the new webinar format Shindig!

October 22, 8:00 Eastern time (Wednesday)
Being A Relevant Educator
Moderators: Tom Whitby and Steven Anderson
Join Tom and Steven as they will examine how connectedness empowers educators to be better professionals. Taking cues from their book, The Relevant Educator: How Connectedness Empowers Learningparticipants will work in small groups to discuss the challenges faced by connected educators and how we all can over come them. You will share tips and techniques to save time, overcome obstacles, and develop new skills.

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