These are my notes from the presentation “Get Out of Your FUNK, Cut the JIVE! Make Your Classroom Come Alive!!!” Presented by – Kim Herron, Tamara Padfield, Linley Voboril from Inman Elementary School: Inman, Kansas. This was shared at the PodStock 2009 conference in Wichita, Kansas, hosted by ESSDACK. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. I audio recorded this session for later podcasting, and live webcasted the session with Ustream Mobile. Here is the UStream archive:

Choose the right tool to get the job done
– we have used VoiceThread and Mixbook a lot more this year

Study on “Blood on the River” with VoiceThread
– teacher-created Voicethreads, recorded markers throughout, asking students to make predictions throughout the book or make a reflection on what we had just read
– collaborated with another classroom via our Polycom videoconference unit

Kids used free Mac program Skitch to create their icons/avatars in VoiceThread

Kimberly Herron’s MobileMe website: Herron’s Happenings (6th grade)

Tamara Padfield’s MobileMe website: Padfield Publications (5th grade)

Linley Voboril’s MobileMe website: Voboril Vibes (5th grade)

Seamless integration was a big goal for us when we went 1:1 in our classrooms
– engagement is the key
– hands on learning experiences like dissecting owl pellets have been big for us as well

Colonial Commercials project
– we used the green screen feature using PhotoBooth on our Macs for the first time
– with Leopard or newer you can do it
– got a big piece of green material

Had the “Granite Awards 2009” project this year
– gave kids rocks and they did many different kinds of tests
– big assembly, like a fashion show for rock re-enactment, with music, DVD created

End of year 6th grade project: Virtual Museum for 6th graders with Google SketchUp
– awareness of audience really led kids to realize they could not plagiarize, copy/paste others ideas
– easybib and bibme.com are great for formatting bibliographies

link is on my website to the Ancient Civilizations project
Project directions included different roles for each group

Students were assigned into 8 groups of 5.  Each group consisted of a/an      Author – wrote an elementary level book on government and social classes using mixbook.
Geologist – created a hands on and online game about the daily life, resources, and landscape using Smarttech Notebook.
Cartographer – Created a map of civilization, located 3 architectural locations researched by architect in Google Earth, and created flight tour of locations inserting map pic and weblinks in Google Earth.
Archaeologists – Created a podcast in Garageband of 3 artifacts researched relating the artifacts with the civilizations culture and religions.     Architect – Created a webpage using iWeb telling about the architectural structures and resources used to make them relating their importance in the culture and religions of the civilization.

Biomes Project

Letters to the President Project
– students asking for a law to stop people cutting down the rain forest trees
– story of a student who is normally not a fluent reader in front of the class, asking to record his letter on his own with his Macbook so it could be included in the teachers’ keynote presentation, the student asked to do this, and his audio file was fantastic!

IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO JUXTAPOSE A LETTER LIKE THIS WITH A DISCUSSION WITH STUDENTS IN BRAZIL, DISCUSSING DEVELOPMENT, HEATING AND COOKING IN VILLAGES WITHOUT ELECTRICITY, ETC.

Recognizing the importance of role models in the classroom
– started a community connections project
– contacted local leaders and
– started as a lunch once per month
– talking about “8 keys of success,” part of the Quantum Learning Model, also Boys Town social skills
– Bently (our tech integrator who has been with us for 2 years) suggested doing this as a geo-caching activity, students went to see and visit each community mentor who talked with them and gave them something, quotation, information – was a great way to start the school year

Had a veteran note writing project
– Veterans were so touched by students taking time to contact them
– Christmas letters to Veterans

Now planning a “Got Canvas?” project on going green
– our platform is reusing canvas shopping bags
– our research has been very eye opening on usage of plastic bags
– key is reduce: not just about recycling
– we spent an hour picking up trash in our community
– 5th grade field trip yesterday was to the dump / landfill: with all this background knowledge the kids had was so eye opening, how much we waste
– McPherson Kansas produces 100 tons of trash per day! (200,000 pounds of trash, every single day!)
— is that not just staggering?!

We are really excited to not only see what happens at the end of this year with this, but also what the 4th graders coming up next year as 5th graders will want to do
– if you can get kids involved in things like that, where they are passionate, you are going to change their lives

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