Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bloom's Digital Taxonomy Resources

The following is a list of different resources for teachers to understand Bloom's digital Taxonomy clearer.  This list was created for the Professional Development Day scheduled for Thursday, September 1st of this year.
I hope this helps my colleagues with learning more about Bloom's Taxonomy.

Below is an outline of the Individual Professional Development Plan that the Professional Development Committee would like for teachers to fill in so we may match them with others with the same goals, and  help the teacher with resources to achieve their goals.  Another reason we hope to do this is to recognize achievements of all teachers in our school.  With writing their goal, coming up with a plan, showing how it can be measured and sharing successes we hope that the entire school (colleagues, administrations, even students) can celebrate their success of learning.

As stated before, it's best to do one goal at a time (and like the clip - maybe for 30 days because one failure does not mean you cannot do it).  Thank you.

Teacher Initiative for Professional Success
One Step at a Time

A brief list of my current strengths and assets:

Based on your self-assessment, a mentor’s  or friend’s input, and/or any school or district initiatives you are interested in, what goal have you identified?  What is an area of knowledge or skill that you would like to strengthen?

Describe the connection between this goal and your teaching assignment.

What would success on this goal look like?  How will you know when you have achieved it?  What would count as evidence of success?

Describe the activities you will do to work towards your goal and their timeline.


What resources will you need to better achieve your goal? (aide from colleague, helping teacher, books, materials, technology equipment

What will happen to show you that you have achieved your goal.

What evidence of growth will you share with a friend, a colleague, your department, you admin, or the entire staff (if it your choice of who you share it with).

Designed by Nicole Painchaud, Sullivan Heights.

More apps to look at...

Thanks to Viki Windman from Tech & Learning for developing a list of apps (their prices and an outline) to try for our students at Sullivan Heights.  Here they are:

History: Maps of the World  Free - A fun and educational collection of high-resolution historical maps.
Science 360 Free - fantastic visuals! The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Science360 for iPad provides easy access to engaging science and engineering images and video from around the globe.
Musee du Louvre Free - the next best way to see the Louvre without going there.
Shake a Phrase   $1.99  A fun interactive app to learn the parts of speech with 1700+ age appropriate vocabulary words. Three modes- Shake It: creates a new random sentence every time you shake - great for discovering new words. Not sure what a word means? Just tap for definitions! Story Starter: shake up the beginning of a story and let your imagination take over. Quiz Me: test your skills with adjectives, verbs and nouns. Tap on the right words to get points.
SpaceTime for the iPad $9.99 SpaceTime 4.0 is the most powerful mathematics app and graphing calculator ever developed for the iPad. This app has the ability to graph in 2D and 3D with beautiful and colorful graphics. Free -  great for teaching students how to look for a job a skill all High School and College students need to know.
Resume Writing Secrets
 $.99 All High School students need to learn how to write a resume.  This app gives you the hidden rules and secrets.

SkyORB - free - Collection of 7 tools including a 3d star map, 3D planetarium, ephemeris, search engine, sun clock, weather and more.  It's an updated astronomy engine that helps students learn about the stars.

For Autism
Social Skills Sampler HD Free -  This company the Conover Company has a wide variety of “Life Skill” videos  This particular one Is designed to teach and reinforce basic social skills critical for independent living.
EPIC WIN $2.99 It’s a streamlined to-do list, to quickly note down all your everyday tasks, but with a role-playing spin. So rather than just ticking off your chores and reminders, completing each one earns you XP to improve and develop your character.
IDIOM Dictionary $1.99 Can be used in all areas of curriculum but this concept is particularly difficult for children on the Spectrum.

Try it for 30 Days

There have been a number of blogs on motivation lately, mostly due to getting motivated for a new school year, and mostly looking at something new for our Professional Development Day (I like starting with something motivational for our staff).  This year's starting Pro D day is on the 21st Century Teacher (not the learner), with the idea of teachers looking at how different students are compared to a couple of years ago, and how learning has changed with students, so teaching needs to changed.  We need to start training for the 21st Century skills needed in todays world (critical thinking and team working a huge part of this).
With this in mind I want to ask our staff to set one learning goal (only one mind you) to do this year.  When you set one goal you can acclaim it.  The idea is also for the teachers to list the goal and then the Professional Development team will pair them up with others with the same goal, or the same interest, so we can start networking in our school.

So what does that have to do with "Try it for 30 Days"?  It's a TED video speech that was really quite motivational.  See below.

This clip is very observant. It's true about 30 days making your action a habit.  It is also true that you need to do one thing at a time, and to make it attainable, and not crazy.  So that starts with goal setting.  Use the SMART goal setting.



Always remember to make the goal measurable and realistic so you know when you reach your goal.  

That brings me to a web site called "43 Things".  It's a site that helps you list and share 43 things you want to do, and you can update the changes that happen in your life because of these changes.  So make your list, choose one at a time, do it for a month, and make a note of how it's changing you. 

Best of all this is a site that helps you connect with other enthusiasts interested in everything from sky diving to writing a book. So the next time someone asks you, “what do you do?” you can answer with confidence, “I am doing 43 things!”.  Cool answer right?!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Relationships in the School

In an Aug. 22 keynote address to more than 2,000 educators from across the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Todd Whitaker (professor of educational leadership at Indiana State University and author of the best-selling, “What Great Teachers do Differently.”) talked about what makes great teachers – and people – different from others. He challenged  educators to consider a number of issues, how to to treat everyone as if they were good — even the so-called “crummy” kids, teachers or parents.  His speech makes you consider how approachable you are for your students, colleagues, even the admin. It also makes you consider other in the school, and why they are the way they are.  The principal who says my door is always open, but he/she has their door closed because they have so much work to do.  The teacher who say to the kids after a lecture - come ask me questions if you don't understand, but then they sit behind their desk looking busy, so kids feel they can't come up.  
This speech is thought provocative, innovative, humorous, and best of all, it makes you consider your actions, not just the actions of others..  "There is nothing wrong with being afraid, there is only something wrong with being not afraid"  There is a difference in action.  Enjoy and thanks to George P. Matysek Jr. at 

Todd Whitaker addresses Convocation of Catholic Schools by George Matysek

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Apps Review for this Summer

My administration was very kind in giving me an IPad (version 1) to play with and discover what was useful and what was not.  I needed to train myself on how to set up a new IPad, how to change the settings, see what problems could occur, and what apps would be useful.
In the process of doing this I crashed the IPad twice, had to redo 4 apps (remove and then add them back) and investigated 49 apps.  Not bad for playing part time.
And for those of you that are curious, yes I do have Angry Birds (it did help when the IPad crashed.).  So here they are, the apps, a summary, and a pricing.  At the end, just to satisfy my curiousity, I did a total pricing of all these apps I think we will need on all our IPads.  That was when I got scared.  Check it out.

Name of App
Keynotes -
like powerpoint
Garage band -
Draw pad

for drawing.
IMovie –
for IPad2 only
Strip design –

for making comics & you can draw in drawing pad – put in web pictures and use that. by Vivid Apps
 student favorite.  Explort moving cartoons to strip design.  Easy to use.  Reviews story elements with students as you create.  For describing investigation.  Easy to export to ToonTube for viewing anywhere.
Noteshelf -

Writing utility.  Take notes.  Can edit, customize as well.  Can do it by handwriting.  Has zoom.  does grouping notebooks (folders), passcode protected, landscape mode,
It helps you draw on what ever is up.  Can load to IPad and IPad 2 - This virtual white board app allows you to contribute lessons drawn on your tablet device to an online community where anyone can teach or learn topics from basic algebra to atomic theory. Educators use ShowMe to publish lessons for students to review at their own pace so that face-to-face class time can be used for group projects and discussions. This inverted classroom maximizes collaboration and encourages a more self-directed student learning environment.
Idea Sketch
concept map – free 0 can export it to keynote or for your lectures.
Mental Case Class

lashcards to get  - can change font, have words and definitions- you can have students read definitions.  Studens can import pictures from web or you can draw from drawing Ipad.
Solar system Journey
kids love it. – great resource for Earth & space Science .  Great videos, a lot of reading, but images are great and you can increase font for easier reading.
Speak it –

text to speech - the most advanced text to speech solution in the App Store! Speak it is now redesigned and fully compatible with the iPad. Introductory pricing for iPad launch, download today!
WritePad for IPad

lets you take notes in your own handwriting with an iPad stylus pen or even your finger. The state-of-the-art handwriting recognition software will adapt and learn your style of writing. You can use simple gestures to select text, cut, copy, paste, and insert special characters.
Microsoft word 2010 – cookbook

just like word.  Easy to follow stops and screenshots can be done.  Can do letters to reports, format text, create tables, apply themes and styles, print documents, envelops and labels.  Share you work with others and keep track of changes.
Microsoft Excel 2010

Make professional quality documents that can do documents.
Note Taker HD
In addition to the major features added in version 5.0/5.0.5, version 5.1 has a few new features and some bug fixes: New Move to Front and Move to Back buttons, over 20 new shapes including many commonly used for flow chart diagrams, extra support for the iPad 2 camera and the Digital AV HDMI adapter, and a fix to the rotated EXIF image bug that affected the iPad 2.
Evernote -
Thinking of ways to lighten your schoolbag? Your tablet device can replace both your textbook and your notebook. Download the Evernote app and take notes on it during class. The app can be integrated on all your mobile devices, allowing you to save and search your content index from your laptop, tablet, smartphone or whichever device you're using at the moment.
Evernote Peek

only works on the IPad 2 Smart Cover.  Evernote peek is the first app designed to let you peek under the cover to prepare for a zuie, practise a language or strenghtne your memory.  Here is how it works.  Chose a notebook to stury.  Close the Smart Cover.  Peekunder the cover to see a clue, lieft the cover more to see the answer.  Repeat.  Close the Smart Cover advances the app to the next clue.  If you get one wrong, tap the box marked incorrect – you’ll be able to re-test the incorrect ones.  This creates your own study notebook.  In Evernote, either choose an existing notebook or make a new one to use with Peek.  The note title will become the clue and the note body.
Calculator Pro for IPad
everyone needs a calculator

to read EBooks – from Apple so you know they’ll update it
Adobe Photoshop Express
lets you use simple gestures to quickl edit and share photos from your modile device.  Engjoy having your photo and video library right at your hand.  Works better with IPad2 that captures photos using the camera in the IPad but there is a limit of space (size) of photos you download.  There are some great effects and cropping to upload to the Blog.
Camera for IPad

this app connects your IPad (touch) to your IPad.  You open it up on both your IPad and your IPod and they find each other.  Your IPad is showing what your IPod is seeing.  It’s cool.  But you need WIFI and Bluetooth on both devices.
PrintMagic -

Print directly from your iPad. Redesigned UI for the iPad, additional functionality, including use of the full iPad screen for higher resolution printing. Print "Copied" material from Pages & Numbers.  Works only with WIFI printers like Epson and HP.  None in our school.
Idea Boards -
A simple easy way to put your ideas somewhere. This is an introductory price of $1.99 for the 1.0 release of Idea Boards.
Idea Boards right now offers 4 unique drawing surfaces.
IM+ -

iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch app. IM+ will keep you connected all-in-one to Twitter, Skype Chat, Facebook, Google Talk, Yahoo, MSN/Live Messenger, AIM/iChat, ICQ, MySpace and Jabber.
Brower Duo -

Designed specifically for the iPad, Browser Duo takes advantage of the iPad's amazing screen size to enable multi-tasking in the browser. Users will are able to serf two web pages at the same time, side-by-side.
Toontastics -

Parents and K-12 teachers enthusiastically endorse the Toontastic story app. With Toontastic, young authors can either choose from characters and story settings or draw their own. Kids develop plots as the app leads them through the introduction, conflict and resolution of their story, which they can then animate and upload to ToonTube so that others can watch and vote on their creations.
GoodReader -

Within moments of downloading GoodReader, you'll be transferring files directly from your computer over a Wi-Fi connection, from the Internet or from email attachments. It also easily integrates with MobileMe iDisk, Google Docs, Dropbox,, and other popular servers.  GoodReader is the super-robust PDF reader for iPad - the #1 selling non-Apple app for iPad in USA in 2010! Mashable describes it as “a Swiss Army knife of awesome!” Reviews worldwide hail it as “essential,” “the best,” “magnificent” and “the killer app”. With GoodReader on your iPad, you can read virtually anything, anywhere: books, movies, maps, pictures. Use it once and you’ll be hooked. Soon you'll be wondering how you ever managed to use your iPad without GoodReader.

GoodReader has earned its accolades by the way it handles huge PDF and TXT files, manuals, large books, magazines, and renderings of 100 mb and more with great speed. The ability to mark-up PDFs opens up new doors to GoodReader users who can now use typewriter text boxes, sticky notes, lines, arrows, and freehand drawings on top of a PDF file.
TanZen Lite -
tanagrams for math.
BlogPress - 
for updating blogs from eblog.
makes lists for kids to think about.
for your twitter account]
Google earth
for mapping
Google Search
for searching
for writing notes and drawing collaborately
Whitenote -

for writing notes to client – supports free hand drawing as well as images and sound and text

up to easy to copy files to your device for quick look on the road  and does all the others.
No explanation needed but if you have hootsuite do you need Twitter.
Tangram free
for math to learn about  placement
Adobe Idea

digital sketchbook, letting you capture and explore ideas.  Simple vector-based drawing tool, that lets you room, erase, move, scale, rotate, control layers.  Save as photos for IPad album and IPhone.  Can email ideas as PDF files for editing in adobe illustrator and photoshop.
gives you 5 GB free to easily view and share files on your IPad to your IPhone. Can use for projecting projects. And files.
streams movies from your computer to your IDevice.  Need to watch movies. 
simple countdown timer that runs multiple timers from a list of presets.  It lets you pause and resume timers and set timers with seconds. It alerts you even when it’s running in the backround.  Updated in June 30.


All machines (34 of them)