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So Many Things to do with Seesaw!

Seesaw is one of my favorite tools that seems to fit so perfectly into the elementary classroom.  We did a blog post on the basics - getting set up and everything else back in 2015 on our old blog which you can click on below, but I just wanted to take a couple minutes to share out some fun ideas of different ways our teachers in our region are using this tool.

Fluency Practice - have students audio record themselves at various points throughout the year.  Evaluate themselves or allow others to evaluate.  It's handy at conferences to share with parents to show growth made over the year.  Math - if the classroom has iPads, students are able to draw and work out math problems and add their audio explanations.  For those on Chromes, take a picture of the work from the paper or wipeboard and then audio record.  Presentations - video student presentations or group work in the classroom and upload it to the students' folders for all involved.  This allows for a private way to share w…
Recent posts

Use Viewpure to Show Clips of Videos

A couple weeks ago we did a session at IntegratEd on using video in the classroom.  We shared Viewpure as a great way to share links to videos or show videos to the class, that takes all the ads and comments away instead of playing "Youtube Roulette".

One of the topics we also shared was breaking up videos into smaller chunks with a focused instructional purpose.  There were other ways we shared about clipping a video but recently when I received an email on some updates with Viewpure, I was pleasantly surprised to see that built into the settings under the chosen video was the start and stop time capability. 

Not only can you choose the start and stop time you can also create a customized URL if needed.  Share the URL with the students and it will take them to a clean, clipped down version, of the video you want to share.

Other updates to Viewpure also include the new teacher resource lists.  This makes searching for a topic by grade level and subject a little easier when …

Sketchnoting and Reading Comprehension

Sketchnoting, visual note-taking or whatever we want to call it - has been growing in popularity.  A focus on visual learning, to teach us how to think about or think with pictures, is an important skill for our students to practice.   Sessions at conferences, blog posts, tweets all talking more and more about connecting the visual parts of our brains to what we are learning in the classroom.  Sketchnoting can be drawing on paper, sketching on a tablet, or pushing the limits and using the chromebook... essentially creating visual representations of what students are learning, helps draw a connection for the student and assists with recall and understanding.   A teacher in one of our schools took a risk by switching up his traditional reading comprehension questions for his book study of The Giver and exploring the use of sketchnoting as a way of processing what they were reading.  He said he didn't know what to expect from it, but was pleasantly surprised and saw an improvement in…

Math Centers with QR Codes

Many elementary teachers facilitate math centers as part of their learning environment.  One group of primary teachers at a local school creates QR code math centers.

On one side of an index cards, the teacher creates a QR code to a particular online activity supporting a math center.  On the flipside of the index card, an icon, name, and objective of the activity are created.

As an example, there could be a QR code on one side

an image of Clock Times Pairs on the other side;

which is an iPad interactive allowing students to choose from 5 activities providing the objective: practice matching digital with analog times on a clock

This math activity comes from a list of many iPad activities indexed by

Create a set of many index card math centers, thus when it's time to put a center together, pull out a card or two and lay them on the table.  Students will be engaged using your QR code centers.

ODS & Adobe Spark Video

Spring is a favorite time of year.  As instructional coaches we are out and about a lot but Spring means Outdoor School and Outdoor School means field studies!  Our region has AMAZING ODS opportunities for students.  Though each program is ran a little differently they all keep the academics and hands on time at the forefront of the students' day.

We are often invited to participate by bringing some technology into mountains.  In the past we have done GPS projects and 360 photos but the past few years we've been using Adobe Spark Video iPad app to make food chain documentaries.  This is just ONE of hundreds of ways to use adobe spark with students.

Few tips to go off line with Adobe Spark -

Log into the adobe app ahead of time - you will not be able to do this if you are in a remote location with no internet!    A generic account is useful for being able to sync and access all the videos at once online by the teacher.  Have students use the camera to take pictures and then pul…


Something we have been spending a lot in our region this time of year doing are learning walks.  We take a group of teachers to neighboring districts to watch classes throughout the day with a overview in the morning and a debrief at the end. With so many districts and teachers that we cover as facilitators, we get a chance to not only facilitate the discussion for the teachers participating but we also get to visit numerous teachers in our region in one day.

The most exciting part is when I step in to observe with a group of teachers and I see implementation of a technique or tool that I know a teacher just saw or heard about at a training or conference.  Just this week we visited a middle school ELA teacher, Eric Gustavson, that had taken something he saw at IETA in Boise with a great presenter Abbey Futrell in February and had it up and going in his classroom.

Do you spot it?  Mr. Gustavson attached Plickers to his numbered chromebooks in his 1:1 classroom with velcro.  Students …