Fractions are Everywhere (at Donahoe ES!)

Last week, we had a great time exploring fractions at Donahoe Elementary in Mrs. Quesenberry’s fifth grade class. Mrs. Quesenberry found this great idea where students look for fractions all around the school building.


We took photos with the camera on the IPads, then imported them into Pixie and annotated on each slide. It was so cool to see how they really did find fractions all over! Some fractions were right out in the open, and others were a little more hidden. My favorite was definitely the glue sticks standing up and toppled over (take a look through and see if you can find that one!). We then exported the files as videos, and uploaded them to my Work Collector. Take a look at the finished product!

Mrs. Q Fractions from Christina Aquilina on Vimeo.


Here is the link to individual videos. Mrs. Quesenberry and I talked about having students write word problems to go with the fractions in their friends’ videos!  🙂

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MakerSpace @ Echo Lake: What did you make today?

Monday was an exciting day at Echo Lake Elementary. Mrs. Vick, the librarian, invited several ITRTs to come help assist her with her first MakerSpace Day. Mrs. Vick has spent many hours prepping for her 4th graders to participate in these stations. Students are invited to the library at certain times each day to create, invent, and learn. Now that the students have been introduced to these activities they are ready to spend time really becoming Makers!

On Monday several ITRTs set up stations, every 4th grader at Echo Lake rotated through the library and spent time investigating six technology MakerSpace stations that Mrs. Vick will offer in her library.

Ms. Aquilina spent some time showing the students how to use the littleBits. littleBits are Color-coded electronic bits that snap together with magnets. Students can invent and create with these bits. Most sets come with a design challenge book that allows the students to follow step by step instructions to create small inventions like a hand massager, intruder alert and even a door bell.

Mrs. Taylor and Mr. Caratachea introduced the students to the app Stop Motion. Student got to experience what it is like to be an animator. This app allows you to take lots of pictures and play them on a loop as if they were actually moving in real time.

Mrs. Green and Ms. Franklin both spent time showing the students how to create using the program Scratch. Mrs. Green used the library laptops and Ms. Franklin used Scratch Jr iPad app on the library iPads. With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations – and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively – essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Mrs. Browne’s station was a huge hit with the 4th graders. She introduced the kids to the Osmos. An Osmo is a device that attaches to your iPad, with the help of several apps students are able to interact and play word games, number activities, tangram creations and even become a master artist! We can already tell that this activity is going to be a big hit in MakerSpace Stations.

Mrs. Robinson set up the Makey Makey’s are her station. A Makey Makey is an invention kit for the 21st century. It turns everyday objects into touchpads and combines them with the internet. Makey Makeys pair well with the program Scratch. Students were able to practice with these invention kits while practicing with Pac Man and even playing a playdough piano.

We are excited for Mrs. Vick to kick off her MakerSpace Stations this year and can’t wait to see all the exciting inventions and creations these awesome 4th graders will come up with.

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2nd Grade: GoTemps at Longdale

Happy Friday! Second graders at Longdale are studying temperature changes, so this was a perfect opportunity to experiment with the GoTemps! With the changing weather temperatures, we were able to talk about hot vs. cold and how it feels when the temperature outside changes.

Next up, it was time for a little experiment. The classes have been discussing the differences between Fahrenheit and Celsius as well as boiling and freezing points of water. To practice our observation skills, we set up three glasses of water: hot, room temperature, and ice cold.
Second graders made predictions about the temperature of the water and recorded. Then, we plugged in the GoTemps and started collecting data! It was so cool to see how the temperatures of the water glasses changed and we were even able to see the temps on the same graph.


For the second part of the lesson, we broke into groups and tested the temperatures of our hands. Again, second graders made predictions, keeping in mind that normal body temperature is about 98*. These results were even more fun to see!

GoTemps are a great way to see temperature changes in real life. This lesson can be used with animal adaptations and even graphing!

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Tech Takeout: Shady Grove Edition!

Last Friday at Shady Grove the Tech Takeout Crew went to Shady Grove to work with around 160 4th grade students for our first Tech Takeout of the 2016-2017 school year! Tech Takeout is when a group of ITRTs travel to different elementary schools once a month to teach a technology infused lesson. This group was born from the guiding principle that we become better educators working together rather than being alone.

We take a concept of the teacher’s choosing. We then design 4 stations that use 21st century skills and technology to teach the material in a meaningful way. #TechTakeout takes the fear out of new technology and empowers teachers.

We had a blast talking about text features, summarizing, vocabulary and context clues. Tech takeout sessions were started with a Nearpod on Main idea

Mrs. Browne and Mrs. Robinson’s groups worked on summarizing and finding the main idea. Students started by reading a short passage about astronauts in space. After summarizing and identifying the main idea students accessed StoryBoard That from their school’s server shortcuts. Students worked to create a 3 panel comic strip about the main idea. They then used the snipping tool to take a screenshot of their comic. Finally, they uploaded their finished product to a Padlet wall so they could see each other’s work.

Mr. Covais and Ms. Aquilina worked with students to make trailers for popular picture books. Students read a book then made a short video explaining the main idea of the book, using Dell Webcam Central. The students then took the video and uploaded it to a shared Google Folder. Now students from all over the school can watch the book trailers and see if they want to read the book! This is such an easy way to not only work on main idea, but to also connect with other grade levels.

Mrs. Taylor and Mr. Caratachea worked with National Geographic and Google Slides today at Shady Grove! The students accessed the Google Slides Template through the student server. The first slide on the Google Slides had a link to National Geographic which the students clicked to access a magazine. The students worked in pairs after signing into Google to work collaboratively on their Google Slide. Each group worked together to track down the different text features such as Headings, Title, Bold Words, and so much more!

Mrs. Green and Mr. Favale had a great time teaching students how to understand unfamiliar vocabulary words. We started off by giving students an appropriate grade level article obtained from Newsela about using drones to understand tornadoes. The students chose a word in the article that they felt was important to the story and they didn’t hear very often. The students used context clues to first write the word to be defined. Next they listed some characteristics and provided some examples and non-examples that corresponded with the main word. If we had more time we would use Popplet, but unfortunately we were stretched for time and skipped this step. The students then showcased their work by creating an awesome short movie using a movie web tool called Wevideo. Students clicked the Google button on Wevideo then signed into Google and away they went to create. Students are able to save their work in Wevideo and continue editing at a later date. Here is an awesome example completed in a very short amount of time.

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Kindergarten Adventures: Sharing with Google Tone

In Mr. Lambert’s kindergarten, we have been working hard practicing logging into the laptops and typing in Pixie. One super smart observation was that all of the keys on the keyboard are capital letters, but when we type, the letters are automatically lower case. How cool!


Yesterday, we used a really neat extension through Chrome called Google Tone. It took some testing, but we were able to share the file through Tone; students could download and open the Pixie file on their computers without logging into Google Drive!

Mr. Lambert’s class is learning about shapes, so we practiced using the bucket tool to add color to different shapes. Some kindergarteners even figured out how to add patterns to their shapes! Here is the Pixie file we used:

To share with Google Tone, download the extension through Chrome on all computers being used (yours and the student computers). Then, go to the URL you want to share, and click on the extension. The option to open the file will pop up on all computers within range (that have the extension). Students can visit URLs or download files from you this way!

Happy Sharing:)



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Adding a Shared Folder in Google

Good Morning and happy first Monday of the school year!

Last week, I was lucky to spend some time in different classrooms helping teachers and students set up shared folders in Google Drive. Thanks to my teammate, Jim, for this idea! Students create a folder in their Drive, then share it with the teacher. Then, during the school year, they can drop files (or create files inside the folder) and all will automatically be shared with the teacher.

Here are some directions if you are interested in doing this with your class! If you want an extra set of hands, sign up for some time with me!!

Click here  to access the full file (there are two pages!).


Happy Monday!

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Capture, Explain, and Send Screenshots

Check out this awesome Google Chrome Extension my teammate Kelly just showed me! You can capture an image from where you’re working in Chrome, annotate it, and then send it where you need.

Karen wrote some great directions for how to download and use the extension; check them out below!

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Welcome to my ITRT blog! I will be serving Donahoe, Longdale, Seven Pines, and Ward this year. I’m looking forward to working with you all!

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