Monday, December 10, 2012

Gracious Professionalism and Robotics

Deerpark Robotics recently video conferenced with Cedar Valley's two First Lego League Teams.  The two teams presented their research and gave each other feedback as well as asked questions on their research presentations.  All in all the experience was pretty fantastic.  The two schools made signs for each other and support each other throughout the tournament with cheering and high fives.  In the end, all three teams received awards.  Each team from Cedar Valley won an award for their outstanding projects and Deerpark won the Inspiration Award for inspiring other teams to take on the First Lego League Core Values.   One of Cedar Valley's teams as well as our Deerpark team were invited to the Central Texas First Invitational First Lego League Tournament where sixty teams will compete among the best of the best in Central Texas.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Geocaching in Language Arts Excursion

8th grade ELA teachers recently used Geocaching in their Language Arts Excursion.  Kids were given a reading passage with questions.  Each possible answer was given a coordinate, and if the students got the answer correct, they would find the next clue at the location using Deerpark's GPS units.  If they answered incorrectly, they would find an explanation of why it was the wrong answer, and have another chance to answer correctly.  This was done as a race so students were encouraged to answer questions correctly the first time.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weebly Websites

After reading a non fiction article on the "Justin Bieber of Afghanistan", students conducted a mini research project and created Weebly websites to answer research questions. 
Here are some examples of student work:  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Self Grading Forms in Google Docs

Ms. Pennington recently used Google Forms to create a self grading assessment for her 8th grade history students.  The students had the test in front of them and could mark on the test, but they would submit their answers on a Google Form on the computer.  What amazing way to use Google Apps for Education to her benefit!  Way to go Pennington!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Geometry Photostories

Mr. Teal's Geometry class used technology to illustrate "if then" statements in Geometry.  Some students used photostory, while others used power point and some students even used their own devices.  Check out some of their work below!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spanish Missions - Texas History Takes a Virtual Field Trip

Mr. Waddell's Texas History classes recently took virtual field trips to the Spanish Missions. At one station, the students viewed the images below of Spanish Missions.  

At the next station, students viewed a YouTube video where they could listen to a gregorian chant and see the Latin words to go along with the chant as well as the English translation.  At this station they had to answer the question:  "How do you think listening to the chants helped the Monks and Natives become closer to God?"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

8th Grade History Goes Global with Google Earth

8th grade United States History students in Ms. Pennington and Mr. Pedraza's classes recently used Google Earth to engage students in the battles of the American Revolution.  Students searched each battle of the Revolution as reporters taking notes of what occurred and why it was important to the war effort. Students were engaged because they were seeing exactly where battles had occurred in relation to where they were sitting in their classroom.  What an innovative way to give students ways to relate their experiences in the classroom to the real world!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Here's My Poem, So Scan Me Maybe

Ms. Spivey's Sixth Grade ELA classes have been working on writing poems recently.  This week, she had the kids type up their poems in word, and they had to record themselves reading their poems in a program call Record MP3.  From there, the students turned their recordings into a QR code using the web-based tool, QR Stuff.  The students copied their QR code and pasted it onto the typed up version of their poem.  Now, you can choose to read a poem yourself, or scan a QR code and listen to the writer read the poem to you.  Students were excited to see their poems in the hallway and scan them using QR code readers on their phones.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Collaborative 6th Grade Science

Ms. Engelke, Ms. Black, and Ms. Rodriguez are sharing common assessments by using the online class program, Moodle.  Students get to take the assessments online and teachers get to provide immediate feedback and have their work automatically graded for them.  The teachers collaborate on the questions and import them into each other's courses.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Digital Way of Doing Safety!

Mr.  Blevins' classes decided to tackle lab safety this year by writing up words and phrases and holding them while he video taped the kids using flipcams.  Mr. Blevins imported all of the videos into animoto, and animoto added borders, music and transitions automatically.  He added a couple of text slides, and his videos were done!  

Here's an example of one of the videos!

Repeating Yourself? Use Voki Instead!

Mr. Dempsey, 6th grade teacher has been using Voki's, online avatars in his classroom to introduce topics to his World Culture classes.  He says, "it's a great way to say the things I would normally have to say over and over again for every class, and the kids love it."  When I walked into his room today, he had one of Borat up on his computer.  

Voki is a great way to communicate with students because it allows the presenter to become a character.  In order to use Voki, you can type in text and your Voki will have an automated tone to it, you can call in, use a microphone to record what you want your Voki to say, or you can upload a prerecorded file. 

World Cultures Pops with Great Ideas!

Mrs. Pazos' World Cultures Classes, recently diverted from making a flip book to creating graphic organizers using Popplet.  Popplet is an online Web 2.0 tool that allows students to create a graphic organizer not only using words, but also using videos, images, and Google Maps.  Students remain engaged while organizing their content.  Students and teachers can also collaborate on a Popplet by inviting other Popplet users to work on their project.  

Students had to explore Citizenship, Government, and Economy. They had to define, explain the rights and duties of citizens, give information on the three branches of government, and show how Market Economy, Traditional Economy, and Command Economy are different. Students were allowed to use images found from online by using the "free to use or share" setting in Google Images Advanced Search settings, and appropriate YouTube videos to complete their assignment.  Here is an example of work that one of Ms. Pazos' students created using Popplet.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Checking for Understanding with Today's Meet

Mrs. Pazos' World Cultures Classes recently used Today's Meet, a free back channel website, to demonstrate understanding of longitude and latitude.  Mrs. Pazos would give the students latitude and longitude coordinates and the students would have to look on their map and put what continent was located on those coordinates.  Mrs. Pazos said, "I like that I can see if a student is getting the answer wrong and then I can check in with him/her.  Polleverywhere does not show a name.  They feel like they are getting to do something super fun on the computer...but really they are learning latitude and longitude!"  What a great way to quickly check for understanding.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Socrative and Mobile Devices

Ms. Cameron's 6th Grade ELA classes recently read Iqbal by Francesco D'Adamo, and she wanted to provide an interactive review for students before she gave her test on the book.  Ms. Cameron set up a series of multiple choice and short answer quizzes in a free Web 2.0 tool called Socrative.  Students can either enter her classroom by downloading the free app on their hand held device or by using a laptop.  During the first part of class, while students were learning how to work with the program, students had to join the class and were asked a series of questions.  A graph shows up with the responses that the students are giving in real time.  Ms. Cameron then discussed each question with the class and the students talked about why the correct answer was the best choice.  After the students were familiar with the program, she started  a "space race" to challenge them further.  The users were automatically assigned a team color and had to answer questions correctly as fast as they could.  The more correct answers their team members made, the faster their rocket ship moved across the screen.  Students were so excited about the immediate feedback that some students were begging to use the program on a daily basis.  Ms. Cameron commented the next day that her students performed exceptionally better on the Iqbal test than other tests she had given this semester.  

Instant feedback for students

Space race game.

  Socrative from the Teacher
Side Using a Mobile Device

Socrative from the Student perspective
using a mobile device

QR Code Review

Ms. Pazos, World Cultures teacher, has always made her reviews optional.  Students who did the review would always get a 100 for completing the assignment.  Before her most recent test, she decided to put the review up in the form of a QR code.  QR codes were placed throughout the hallways and students could scan the code with their phones.  Students who didn't have phones, worked with other students who did.  When just doing a regular review, Ms. Pazos said that about 20% of students complete the assignment before a test, having the review placed on a QR code, Ms. Pazos increased her participation in completing the review to 80%.  When I asked Ms. Pazos if she thought her students did better on the test because of the QR code review, this was her response, "I have only had 1 class test today but their test scores were higher than usual. I asked a few kids why they think they did better on the test than they usually do and they both said it was because they did the review. I believe that they did the review because they were interested in it with the QR Codes."
What an amazing testament to how technology can improve the learning environment!

Friday, April 13, 2012

QR Codes invade World Cultures

Ms. Pazos recently created a review using QR codes, and her students were so excited and engaged, that she adapted their next poster project to allow the students to create their own QR codes.  The original project had students take a place in the world and write two facts about various topics on their world map location.  Ms. Pazos' students had to write the facts, but also create a QR code with even more information about their location.  Students were very excited to learn how to create these codes that they have been seeing around the school!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Photo Manipulation Assignment

Ms. Simonds' Newspaper classes were given an assignment to take original photographs and digitally alter the photos however they wanted.  Students created completely original pieces of art with their photo manipulations.  The best part about this project is that students were given a variety of tools to choose from.  Students used Picnik (which we are sad to say will be integrated into the Google+ system and students will no longer be able to use without a Google account), Pixlr, Aviary, Photoshop, and many students used their phones to take their photo and then utilized photo manipulation applications on their smartphone.   Several students used more than one editing platform to get the photo to look exactly the way they wanted.  They learned that  Pixlr  is great for getting an overall manipulation on the entire photograph, while Photoshop helped them edit specific pieces of their photograph.  Students also had to turn in a specification sheet indicating what software they used and what manipulation tools they used to manipulate their photos.  Student products ranged from power points and Animotos to Prezi's and Movie Maker Files.  Below is an animoto with a combination of several students' work.  Deerpark has some amazing artists.  

Students using cell phones to manipulate photos  

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Super Source Citing with Animoto

Ms. Cameron, our new 6th grade Language Arts teacher, is using Animoto to cover her TEK regarding citing sources.  Students must research information about a country, site their source properly, and then they have to find images from their country, and site the sources of where they obtained those images.  What a fun and engaging way to teach how to create a bibliography!  Ms. Kinney's classes are also working on the same assignment using animoto.  Students used easybib to cite their sources and they turned in a hard copy from a word document to their teacher at the end of the assignment

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More QR Codes Everywhere!

Recently, I posted an article QR Codes on Campus.  We recently had a Technology Professional Development day where teachers were given options to learn more about Google Apps for Educators, Paperslide videos, QR codes, Cell Phones in the classroom, and Interactive Whiteboards.

Teachers have already started creating new masterpieces with the knowledge they have gained.  In particular, Ms. Cordaway, created QR codes on the various types of poetry for her class.  I will be posting more teachers creations as they come in!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mr. Teal's Math Classes take on Moodle!

Mr. Teal, 8th grade math and geometry teacher, has been using moodle for weekly problems.  Mr. Teal assigns the problem at the beginning of the week and students have until Friday to turn in their answers to the problem. What's great, is Mr. Teal has data of when the student submitted his/her answer Moodle provides documentation that an answer was turned in on time or late, and Mr. Teal cuts back on paperwork by grading the assignments online.  The questions review concepts that Geometry Students should know. Here's an example of what the kids will see when they get an assignment in Moodle.  

First, students get a list of assignments

Once they click on an assignment, students will get the problem and the instructions on what information they should submit for their answer.

Students can then type out their answers and click submit.  If they decide to change their answer, Mr. Teal has it set up to where each student can resubmit if he/she would like.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Engineers helping Engineers using Skype

Although the DMS robotics teams did not move forward to the Championship First Lego League Tournament, at their last meeting, they helped out their fellow middle school team, The Robojags, from Cedar Valley Middle School, who will be competing this weekend at the championship.  The Robojags presented their presentation to DMS robotics via skype, and Deerpark's coaches, mentor, and student engineers asked questions and gave feedback.  

Good Luck RoboJags!  Hopefully next year we will be able to join you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

8th Graders + Writing + Flip Cams + Movie Maker = The How Toies

Students filming their How To Video
Ms. Tyler, Mr. Garcia, Ms. Summers and Mr. Williams' students have been working very hard on writing and editing scripts for their How To Videos.  After students were done writing their scripts, each group was given a flip camera to video tape each of the steps of their How To paper.  

Once the videos were made, students used Windows Movie Maker to compile their shots and create a How To Video. At the end of the unit, the teachers held "The How Toies" to award groups on various categories from best actor to best video overall.  The teachers laid out the red carpet and were dressed to impress.  Winners were given trophies and allowed the opportunity to make speeches.  

Mr. Garcia, Ms. Tyler, and Mr. Williams dressed up for the Red Carpet!

Students had to walk
down the Red Carpet to get
to the awards
How Toie Awards were given to
Best Actor, Best Soundtrack, Best Costumes, &
Best Overall Video
Below is the 1st period over all winner, "How to Cut Grass the Old Fashioned Way".  Check it out, it's awesome!