Thinking about trying something new…

In two short days I will finish my fourth year as an ITRT with Henrico County Public Schools. The past four years I have used a WordPress Blog for sharing ideas, lesson templates and updates. For 2018-2019 I’d like to change things up and start transitioning to a Google Site. Let’s see how this adventure unfolds!

Check out my new site! Never fear my WordPress site isn’t going anywhere! You can still access that site under the last tab labeled “Archive.”

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Ships Ahoy! We are busy polishing the deck and getting the sails ready in preparation for our Elementary Technology Conference “Dive into Deeper Learning” this summer!

We’ll have creative technology integrations on the Lido Deck, managing classroom devices in the Galley, and navigation of Windows 10 on the Concierge Level!

Food Trucks will be on-site for lunch and all accept cash and cards!

Click HERE for the Dive into Deeper Learning Google Site to access all of the info for this fun day!

This is the perfect opportunity for smooth sailing into the new school year!!

So, grab your first mate, charged HCPS laptop, and plan to dock at Glen Allen High School on Tuesday, August 14th from 8:00am-3:00pm. Register at using your HCPS issued username and password. To access the registration system you will need to be connected via Ethernet or HCPS staff wireless within any Henrico County building. Use the following information to help you locate the session when registering, SRN 20182930401.

Once you are registered, you will receive an 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 August 14th!

Interested in presenting at Dive into Deeper Learning? Complete this presentation proposal by June 8th!

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Save the Date – May 23, 2018

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Talking Sugar Skulls

As I’ve mentioned in some of my other posts, Echo Lake has a new cart of iPads (thanks to a Papa John’s Pizza prize)! Their art teacher Mrs. James reached out about wanting to slowing start incorporating these iPads into some of her art lessons. She showed me some of the art projects her students were currently working on I decided to introduce her to Chatterpix!

Mr. Kresge’s kids were our trial run. They had finished their Sugar Skulls and were ready to bring their projects to life. These 5th graders needed about 2 minutes of a Chatterpix refresher and then they were ready to roll.

Students took a picture of their Sugar Skull, introduced themselves as if they were the Sugar Skull and then exported their project to the camera roll. Then the logged into Drive on the iPads, uploaded their project and shared it with Mrs. James. Check out some of their finished products!

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Story Elements in PicCollage and Seesaw

Yesterday I got to hang out with Mrs. Gilmartin’s friends at Echo Lake Elementary. Her students had been working on story elements such as setting, characters, plot, problem and solution. She wanted our lesson to focus on these elements and also introduce her students to the new iPad cart at Echo Lake.

For this lesson we divided the students into five teams, we assigned each group a picture book. These books were Enemy Pie, A Bad Case of the Stripes, Library Lion, Stellaluna and Chester’s Way. Students used their new iPads to access the new StoryLine Online app. They listened to their story and followed along with the picture book.

After they had listened to the story they worked together as a team to identify the story elements from their book. Then they each grabbed an iPad and created a collage in PicCollage. Students were able to change the background, take pictures from the illustrations in their books and add labels and text to their collages. They saved their finished product to the camera roll and then uploaded it to Seesaw so I could share their projects with their teacher. It’s not often that I get to help with language arts lessons so I was pumped to give this one a try!

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Spooky Scratch Coding

Today I had a blast hanging with my 4th grade friends at Seven Pines! Their teachers reached out to me about wanting to do a Halloween coding project. Since this was their first lesson and we needed to create accounts I had a template ready for them! This helped since we were limited on time and wanted the project finished in one setting!

Our goals for the day included creating Scratch accounts, coding a bat to tell a Halloween joke and then fly across the screen and sharing their finished projects with their teacher in a Scratch Studio!


I had loaded a spooky image as the background and already included the bat sprite! Students accessed the template through a and then created an account using their HCPS username and password! Once their accounts were made we we “remixed” the template and coded the bat to share a funny Halloween joke! We “shared” their projects and uploaded them to a Scratch Studio so they could get some giggles throughout the day! Check out some of their studios below!

Mrs. Robinson’s Studio

Mrs. Uzel’s Studio

Ms. Hines’ Studio 

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PicCollage Leaf Man Learning

Big thanks to Christina Aquilina for this idea! Today I hung out with Mrs. Meier’s 1st grade friends and we created our own Leaf Man drawings.

Mrs. Meier had read her students the story Leaf Man, written by Lois Ehlert. We then took to the iPads to make our own original leaf designs. Ms. Aquilina shared a comemories site with me that was already loaded with PNG leaf pictures. This meant they had a transparent background so it was easy to imagine the leaf being something else. The student’s accessed this site from a QR code, saved their favorite leaf to the camera roll and then pulled the image into PicCollage. Then we used the Doodle tool in PicCollage to turn their leaf into something else!

Finally we saved their finished image to the camera roll and then uploaded their projects into SeeSaw. Awesome idea Ms. Aquilina and thanks for collaborating Mrs. Meier!

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Order of Operations Stop Motion Movies

Mrs. Woodard reached out a few weeks ago about wanting to try Stop Motion movies with her students. I cringed slightly because she also mentioned Math, and I can’t lie 5th grade Math makes me nervous! She assured me if I carried the technology portion she would rock on with the Math concepts and of course she did. I entered her room to the sounds of mathematical raps, iPads and art pastels. I knew right away we were going to have a great time.

Students had to create their own order of operation problem for homework the night before. Woodard had checked for understanding and then the students partnered up to begin their Stop Motion movies.

Stop Motion is a super easy app to use. One student was in charge of the iPad and the other student worked on the math portion. Stop Motion allows you to take lots of images and then play them on a loop as an animation. Woodard’s students broke down their math problem into smaller sections and took pictures of each part of their problem. When they had worked out their whole problem they went back and recorded themselves explaining the problem. They saved their videos the the camera roll and then shared them with their teacher using the Send Anywhere app. Check out some of their finished projects.


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Schoology Course Images

Some of you are diving right in and integrating Schoology into your daily routine! This makes me so happy! Some of you are still hesitant and I get it! No pressure either way. The more and more I use Schoology the more I like it! It’s growing on me, if you give it a whirl it will grow on your too! One confusing part, for not only teachers but also students is the way that courses are listed under the courses tab. Since Schoology pulls from PowerSchool students have a course for all subject areas, all resources and even conduct and work habit.

You can rearrange your courses by selecting the doubled headed arrow and moving the most used course to the top. You, as the instructor, can also upload a new course image! This just helps the students locate Math, English, Reading, Etc!

Below you will find some images (created in Google Slides) that you can copy, edit and upload to your courses to make it easier to locate! I’ve embedded them so you can see them but you will need to click the link beside each school name to make a copy for yourself. When you are pleased with the images go to File – Download as – JPEG so you can upload it to Schoology! Grab me if you need help!

Seven Pines – Great Minds Under Construction

Johnson/Echo Lake – Superheros

Fair Oaks – Go for the Gold

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Schoology Student Training Materials

By now you’ve had two full days with your students! I hope your school year is off to an amazing start!! This year your students have access to their own Schoology accounts. All they will need is their Google account information. If you aren’t familiar with your student’s Google information they will use their HCPS issued email address to log in (don’t worry it’s not an actual email address). Students email addresses look like this:

Our awesome team of Elementary ITRTs made these training videos that you can use with your students. If you are ready to dive into the world of Schoology let me know! I’d love to help you get started!

Click here to access these student training materials!


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