Sharing the Awesome

Sharing the Awesome

Screenshot 2015-02-05 21.38.04Often what gets attention is not what is right with the world, but what is wrong. After Leslie Pralle Keehn and I attended our first Google Summit, we were inspired to capture stories of innovation and inspiration. In the spirit of that quest and the spirit of Kid President, I created a form with a few simple questions collecting classroom successes. Please feel free to share and celebrate a few of the awesome stories happening in your building by filling out the form: Collection of Awesome. We will post throughout February. Below, you will find the initial responses shared on the form.

Shared Stories

1. Mrs. DeCarlo does a great job of bringing student voice into her second grade classroom. She is a first year teacher and does is starting her own classroom Facebook page and using ChatterPix along with other apps to share student work! –Albert City-Truesdale

2. Ms. Lorenz is another first year teacher. She has her sixth grade students blog to share student voice and connects with others using Skype. –Albert City-Truesdale

3. Mrs. Bjork has taken coding to the next level. She is coding with Kindergarten – 6th graders and making lessons meaningful for all. She has been doing this for a month using code.org and you can feel the excitement and energy from the students as soon as you step foot into the room. – Albert City-Truesdale

4. Abbey Greene is doing amazing things with her ELL students. We have 19 or so native languages in our district, and Abbey is using technology effectively to not only help students learn English but to also give them learning success with content. –Storm Lake School District

5. Preston Meineke is our Middle School Technology teacher. Rather than just teach students how to use technology, though, Preston works with content teachers to design lessons that apply to what the students are learning in the curriculum. In addition, Preston encourages students to pursue their interests by allowing lots of choice in his classes. –Storm Lake School District

6. Jacquie Drey is a teacher who must not need sleep. She is constantly looking for ways for technology to contribute to student learning in her classroom. She’s had students remotely interact with experts on various topics. She’s very interested in getting coding added as a piece of the elementary students’ technology experiences, and she’s done some coding in her classroom. – Storm Lake School District

7. In Ally Bruhn’s classroom, 1st grade students are collaborating with a 1st grade class in Houston, Texas on the topic of weather. Every morning our students look at Houston’s weather and plot the temperature on a graph as well as our own. When our weather conditions are different than the day before, our kids take the iPad outside for recess and “capture” the weather. We have a private Google+ Community set up where our kids then post the weather pictures they took and write about their pictures and the weather and vice versa. Each class asks the other class questions that we answer as well. Of course, our weather is very different in Iowa than Texas. We have Skyped once to introduce the classes. We will continue to Skype once a month as well. The end product hasn’t been completely determined yet, but it will probably be a weather book that each class collaborates on together. –Pocahontas Area Community School District

8. Our 2nd grade teacher, Alexis Wiltgen, is doing a Mystery Number Skype with a classroom in Oklahoma. We did our first one this month. We are excited to see the growth in students’ communication skills, math reasoning, questioning, and math concepts as each month unfolds. –Pocahontas Area Community School District

9. Leon Johnson “flipped” his classroom! Through conversation, Leon wasn’t happy with the performance/effort of his students. They weren’t doing their homework assignments, weren’t engaged, etc. I suggested the possibility of “flipping” the classroom. Leon has done a tremendous amount of work to make this happen. I have joined his classroom several times to see how it is working. The conversations, collaboration, problem-solving, motivation that he and I are seeing is amazing. He is making a difference! –Pocahontas Area Community School District

Special thank you to those who shared a few of the many stories happening in their buildings: Albert City-Truesdale, Sarah Freking, Storm Lake District Technology Director, Susan Oehlertz, Pocahontas Area Community Technology Integrationist