Saturday, October 2, 2010

Geocaching, A "Rewarding" Experience

A few years ago our schools adopted SWEBS (School Wide Effective Behavior Support). Unfortunately my understanding of SWEBS is limited as I was just leaving the classroom as it was being adopted. Every teacher has the same set of expectations for students... that they be ready, respectful, and responsible. As part of this approach, students can earn school money that can be spent in a variety of ways. Routinely a school store on wheels makes its rounds to classrooms where students can purchase school supplies and novelties with their school money. Teachers offer other ways to spend the loot, such as having lunch with the teacher, getting extra computer time, or earning an extra recess.

One school, Lakeside Elementary, offers students another opportunity to spend their "Lakeside Loot." Each month the SWEBS team comes up with larger rewards. This month it is GEOCACHING!  Thanks to a mini grant from PAECT, I have ten GPS receivers that we can utilize!  So, in a nutshell, we have a few hundred students paying their hard earned money to use GPS receivers to find hidden treasures on the school grounds.

Here is how I set it up:

1. Purchased 10 Lock N Lock containers and created labels for them. "Lakeside Geocache A, B, C..."
2. Purchased 10 different kids of stickers, placing one kind in each container
3. Found 10 hiding spots and noted the latitude/longitude coordinates of each one
4. Loaded these 10 spots (waypoints) into EasyGPS and sent them to GPS receivers
5. Created a map, complete with pictures, for those helping guide students

Here is how it will work:

1. Students will get a 15 minute orientation on the sport and how to read the receivers.
2. In small groups, students will be assigned an order to follow. This way every group isn't searching for Geocache A at the same time.
3. Groups venture outside and search for their caches. When they find a cache, they take a sticker from the cache to put on an index card. This is their proof that they found the caches.
4. Follow up with be a brief refection piece.... what did you learn, did you enjoy the activity, and what could be changed to make the experience better?

I will check back in after and let you know how it went!

Reflections:  Things went according to plan for 4th and 5th grade. If I had it to do over again I would send an adult with each 3rd grade group. They handled the activity well, but could've used a little more assistance. I was very thankful for the help of two teachers... they stayed with their classes. :)

Our experience was captured in the newspaper!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

First Week

Year 2, Week 1 as a K-12 Tech Integration Coach... reflections
This year has gotten off to an insane start! After only one week in, I have a good part of next week all booked. It is soooo nice that teachers know what I do and how I can be of help to them this year. Next week I will be helping people set up email groups, create wikispaces, spruce up and revise current wikispaces, start Moodle sites, use Moodle within their classrooms, create effective powerpoints.... and I know there will be more as time passes. I am thrilled to be busy!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Constitution Day

I was asked to share my Constitution Day resources... still building...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Testing Posterous!

Testing 1-2-3, blogging just got easier! Thanks to my pal, Kristin Hokanson, for introducing me to Posterous!

The Summit

At this time last week I was in my element, surrounded by like-minded folks, immersed in topics of learning and technology, two of my passions, and loving every minute of it! If you have not yet seen Sir Ken Robinson talk about the "element," you can check out this TED talk or see his book here.

The 2010 Keystone Technology Integrator's (KTI) Summit was an amazing experience! Having attended the summit in 2007, I decided to leave the classroom and attempt a new role, of technology integration coach. This time, attending as a mentor, I was looking to soak up as many good and new ideas as humanly possible. While I could go on and on forever about the experience, I have boiled down my week into my own "top 5" list!

The Top 5 Take Aways from the 2010 KTI Summit

5. The Livescribe pen has so many practical classroom applications. (post more on that later)
4. My friends are inspiring!
3. It is time to turn up the H.E.A.T. in our lessons!
2. Connections, connections, connections lead to further learning. PLNs are crucial!
1. It's not about the technology.... it's about learning! FOCUS ON THE LEARNING!

I will expand on these in more depth, each one will take a post of their own! Spending an entire week in my element, exploring ways to better engage students... it doesn't get much better than that!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Keystone Technology Integrator Summit 2010

During the week of July 26th, I am attending the Keystone Technology Integrator Summit at Bucknell University. I attended the summit for the first time in 2007, and that became a life changing experience for me. (I will save that for another post.) This year my role is "Keystone Mentor." Today I will find out what that means exactly, but I know one thing for sure.... I am in for a fabulous week. I will post my reflections and learnings here.... looking forward to an exciting week with many new adventures!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

STEM Resources

Patti Duncan, Science and DEN Guru shared some amazing STEM resources. Here is a overview of STEM and the list of resources. Thanks, Patti!

From PETE&C Den Preconference:


~ Changing the way we teach to integrate more of them together.
~Prepping our kids for futures in these industries. "workforce ready"
~Making kids aware of the careers available in these areas.

Students will be problem solvers, innovators, inventors, self starters, logical thinkers, technologically literate...

STEM Resources: (Includes future careers!) Great for elementary grades!
Log in to DE Streaming....STEM Connect

A most amazing presentation!!!