Henrico 21 is coming!!!

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3rd Grade Battleship

Mrs. Cottrell is an awesome third grade teacher at Ward Elementary! Last week, we talked about an idea for her students to play Battleship in order to practice coordinates and coordinate planes. I was so excited to help her execute this lesson!!

We started off with the Battleship template. You can find a copy for yourself HERE!

Looking back, Mrs. Cottrell and I realized that the class didn’t have a ton of experience with Battleship, so it may have been a better idea to start with just a couple hit points on the grid instead of full ships!



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Assigning Work in Seesaw

Have you seen this post on my friend, Mrs. Mangiaracina’s blog?? It’s all about Seesaw and how to assign work to your students!


Check out this great video she shared where she walks you through the steps:

If you are interested in using Seesaw with your students, send me an email, and we’ll get planning!!

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ITRTips & Tricks: First Edition

Happy Monday!

I’ve put together this collection of tips and ideas to help you start the school year strong! If you have questions or see something that interests you, please reach out!  I am excited to work with you this year!!

To use the links and read closer, click on the pop out button in the top right corner of the newsletter; this will open the file in a new window!

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Adding a Slideshow to your Blog!

I hope you’ve had a great first full week! With all of the fun things you’ve been doing in your classroom, you might be ready to share some photos with your families at this point!


If you’re already using Google Photos (there’s an app for that), it’s super easy to create and add a slideshow to your blog.

Have fun!!

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Field Day of the Future is HERE!!!

Field Day of the Future is here!!


We are busy training and conditioning for the big day, next Tuesday, August 15th at Deep Run High School! Have you registered yet? We are just about full, so be sure to grab your spot. The SRN for the event is: 20172928801.

Events included are “Lights, Camera, Selfie,” “To Infinity and Beyond with Virtual Reality,” “Get Me Outta Here (Digital Breakouts),” “End of Summer Pic Me Up,” and so many more! You can see the full schedule HERE!

Food Trucks will be on-site for lunch and all accept cash and cards! This year we are expecting The Grapevine, Continental Divide, Goatacado, Slideways, AND Gelati Celesti!

Click HERE for the Field Day Google Site to access all of the menus and more!

Let’s mix up our colors, please wear the following: (or your school spirit wear)
K/Ex. Ed.-Red
3rd/Art -Pink
4th/Library -Orange

Grab your Field Day buddy, charged HCPS laptop, and plan to arrive at Deep Run between 7:45-8:30am. We will have donuts!! (You must sign in and out to receive your $60!)

You will receive one more email telling you how to access the Schoology Course, all conference materials will be housed in Schoology this year.

We cannot wait to see you on Tuesday!

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Digital Learning Day 2017

February 23rd is Digital Learning Day! That’s this THURSDAY!!!!

Digital Learning Day is a time to try a new digital tool with your class or use an old digital tool in a new way. Check out this short video about DLD!!

The Elementary ITRTs worked together to create various Digital Breakouts. Use the following website to complete a Digital Breakout with your students. Get with me if you have any questions!

ES Digital Breakouts

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Schoology at Seven Pines

Seven Pines is super lucky to be a Schoology pilot school! The teachers have been using Schoology to communicate and share information since before the school year started. They love having everything in one place, and this week, we were able to get the students logged in and rolling too.


My teammate, Sarah, and I worked with Mrs. Maguire’s fourth grade class last week. Mrs. Maguire knew that her kids would love coding, so we made a plan to show them code.org and get them started on an Angry Bird challenge! Sarah and I thought it would be neat to get them to the site using Schoology. We know kids love discussion boards, so to generate some excitement about coding, we started a discussion about the meaning of coding. It was so interesting to see all of the different thoughts about coding:

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 2.21.04 PM

Then, we accessed code.org and started the adventure!


Have you completed your Hour of Code??

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Windows Movie Maker for Librarians!

I love working with Mrs. Hally, the librarian at Longdale Elementary! She has so many amazing ideas and is excited about putting them into action.

Today, Mrs. Hally and I worked with her second grade group to finish movies they have been making to share with the rest of the students at LES. Mrs. Hally wants to educate all of her students with useful tips like how to use the online library catalog and the five finger rule. What better way to do this than through student-created videos?!

Students worked with Mrs. Hally to create scripts, film themselves in the library, and upload their videos into Windows Movie Maker. They were then able to add titles, credits, and cool effects to their videos. Our final step today was to find interesting music clips to give the videos that special touch. We previewed a large selection of music clips from bensound.com and eventually decided on some catchy tunes! It was fun to clip the files so that the sounds were exactly what each student wanted (you’ll see how Kristen had some fun with this in the video below!).


We then published the videos, uploaded them to Drive, and shared them. Mrs. Hally plans to use them on the morning announcements!


Check out Kristen’s video!

KRISTEN TIPS AND TRICKS from Christina Aquilina on Vimeo.

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Tech Takeout: Seven Pines!

Last Friday, the Tech Takeout team visited Seven Pines Elementary! The fifth grade teachers noticed that students needed some review with the fourth grade SOLs 4.7 and 4.8 (the solar system) with a connection to their fifth grade SOL 5.6 on oceans. Everyone was super pumped for a Science themed Tech Takeout, because who doesn’t love Science?? Mrs. Gross, the librarian was kind enough to let us use her awesome library to host the three classes and we worked with laptops and IPads that are housed in the fifth grade classrooms. Special thanks to Mrs. Hall, Mrs. Marazzo, and Mrs. Bottari for letting us borrow their fantastic fifth graders on Friday morning! #SevenPines is a great place to be!


In Miss Aquilina and Mrs. Robinson’s group, students used the PicCollage app (in freestyle mode) to create an inspiration collage. We pulled in photos from a Comemories site, added a selfie, and played with the background and stickers. Then, we saved the photos to the Camera Roll on the IPads and opened the ChatterKids app. We pulled the photo into ChatterKids, drew a mouth over our selfie’s mouth, and record some narration of the photos. Most fifth graders chose at least one ocean photo and one solar system photo, which was cool! It was so hilarious to see our selfies talking; everyone had a blast with this activity! Here’s Michael’s:


Students in Mr. Covais’ and Ms. Browne’s group focused on how the Earth’s tilt in relation to the sun create seasons. Using Google Slides, the students imported pictures of the sun and Earth. They duplicated the slides and they then selected a sticker to place on the Earth. After rotating the picture to demonstrate the tilt of the Earth they downloaded the slides to their desktop and imported them into Windows Movie Maker. Finally they copied and duplicated the slides to make the movie about a minute long. The students published the movie to share with classmates. Everyone did a great job!


Students in Mr. C’s and Mrs. Green’s group created 3D models of the solar system using Tinkercad. They used different resources to gather information about the relative size of each planet. Then they logged into Tinkercad using their HCPS Google information and started tinkering! They referenced their resources as they built to make sure that the sizes, colors, and order was correct. Take a look at this awesome example:


To celebrate Computer Science Week, the students in Mrs. Hues & Mrs. Taylor’s group used Scratch to code the movement of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. They were provided a template with the sprites, but they had to add the background image, code for each sprite, and voice recordings to explain their model. When students were finished, they shared their projects and uploaded them to this studio. Check out this great student example!


Thank you again to Mrs. Hall, Mrs Marazzo, Mrs. Bottari, Mrs. Gross, and Mrs. Mothershead for having us for an awesome TechTakeout at Seven Pines Elementary!

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