Bringing the Creativity to Carver

Today the #TechTakeout crew went over to Carver Elementary to work with some amazing kindergarten students and teachers! We had a blast working on some Math skills on both iPads and computers. As a group we made sure to focus on particular skills that the students had trouble with throughout the year. Even though we were working on tough concepts for kindergartners such as money and fractions the students were engaged and having a blast the entire time!

We kicked off the day with a great game of Kahoot! The game focused on fractions and money and really got the kids pumped to start the lesson. All of the students were cheering for their friends when they got the right answer. Kahoot is a great tool because it is so easy to differentiate for the younger grades. Today we only let the students choose from two answer choices since they are younger.

Julie Smith and Jessica Robinson helped the students to review the fractions ½ and ¼. The students started by creating a farm fraction scene using the app Farmyard. Students were encouraged to make equal groups using the animal stamps to represent ½ and then make a second scene with four animals to represent ¼. They saved their scenes to the camera roll and imported them into the app, Educreations. Students used Educreations to record and annotate their explanations of their fraction scenes. Mooooooooooooo!


Sarah Green and Stephanie Wright helped students review money by making movies. First, they took pictures of the coins and then used the Shadow Puppets app to add labels to each picture. Finally, they recorded themselves talking about each coin to make a movie.

Tech takeout from Sarah Green on Vimeo.

Gina Browne and Karen Hues used the iPad app 30 Hands to create food fractions. The students uploaded pictures of different foods from the camera roll. There were three pictures of each food item: the first picture was the whole food, the second picture was the food cut in half, and in the third picture the food was cut into fourths. Once imported into 30 Hands, they used the drawing tool to write “one” on the whole, “½” on the halves, and “¼” on the fourths. The students then recorded their voices describing their food fractions. The three slides were combined and exported as a movie.

Fraction Foods from Karen Hues on Vimeo.

Jim Covais and Matt Caratachea turned their group of students into computer programmers! When most people think of computer programmers a kindergarten student is not typically the first thing that comes to mind, but these kindergarten students were disproving that all day! The students used both Scratch and Makey Makeys to make money actually speak.

First, the students went to the Scratch website and the students added the event “when spacebar is pressed.” Next, they added the command to make a sound. They students had a great time recording their voices explaining which coin they had and how much it was worth. We then added the Makey Makeys into the mix. The students took a coin and connected it to their own Makey Makey and then connected a ground wire to the earth section of the Makey Makey. When the students touched their coin their computer said, “I am a quarter and I’m worth 25 cents.”

Henrico 21 is Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the BIG day! Come join us at Glen Allen High School for the Student 21 Fair and Henrico 21 Awards Ceremony!

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Coding in the Classroom

There are some amazing things your students can do with coding in the classroom. If you are unfamiliar with coding it’s essentially writing a computer program. I know what you’re thinking, “Really? I don’t have time for this….”

There are many real benefits to coding in the elementary classroom. Coding helps with problem solving skills and logical reasoning. Let’s be honest, it’s these types of questions that our students miss most on the SOLs. Coding also doesn’t have to be taught in isolation. We can teach our students to code while still teaching our core curriculum.

The question is where do you start, because it can seem so overwhelming. I put together a website that walks you through getting your students started with coding. The website takes you through the free available resources so your students will be coding in no time.

From kindergarten to fifth grade every student can start to code. Check out the website and get started today!

#TechTakeout comes to Glen Lea

Wow! Today marks the fifth day of 5 and 5, the Tech Takeout crew went to 5 different schools in 5 days to work in different grade levels on different math and language arts skills. As a group we discussed the areas of need in each of the schools we visited. The teachers provided us with data explaining the needs of their students. Every school we made sure to focus on area of need for that particular grade level.



For the opening activity the students did a quick opening pre-assessment with Plickers. Plickers is a great student response system that takes the need of multiple devices out of the equation. As long as the teacher has a smart device that has the Plickers app loaded onto it they could use this platform in their classroom. The way students respond with this student response system is by holding a Plickers card, which can be printed from the Plickers website. One of our

favorite things about Plickers is that all of the cards look different. This keeps students from looking at a neighbor’s card to copy their answer. Mrs. Wright made a quick five question pre-assessment of various language arts skills. The students and teachers both had a great time participating in the Plickers activity.We were so lucky to visit Glen Lea Elementary today to work with the fifth grade. In every class we used different digital tools to hit different language arts skills that the students needed a little extra help with. We worked on inferencing, synonyms, main idea, and summarizing.

Julie Smith and Stephanie Wright worked on inferencing skills using real commercials. The students watched different popular commercials that did not use any dialog so it required the audience to use inferencing skills. While watching the commercials the students discussed how inferencing was used in the commercials. After the discussion the students made their own Comic Life that focused on inferencing. The students chose an emotion on which to focus and took a picture of themselves displaying that emotion. The trickiest part about making their Comic Life is that the students could not say what emotion they were displaying. Once all of the students finished their Comic Life they saved them as JPEGs and then uploaded them to a collaborative Padlet wall. The students did such a great job, and LOVED the activity!



Jim Covais and Matt Caratachea focused on main idea with their group. The students were given a short reading passage and were tasked with identifying the main idea. Once the students decided on the main idea they headed over to Bitstrips to show off their knowledge! The students created a one panel comic showing the main idea of their passage. When they finished their comic the students took a screenshot and saved it to their desktop. Mr. Covais created a Padlet wall for the students to share their work, so after the students took their screenshot they went to the Padlet wall for today. Padlet is such a great tool for sharing work! It is a digital collaborative corkboard. The students simply dragged their comic onto the Padlet wall to share their main idea with their classmates.

Karen Hues and Sarah Green had the students engaged in non fiction learning! Students used to read non fiction articles at different reading levels. Then they used Vocaroo to record themselves reading

their article to practice their fluency. After listening to the recording, they wrote a summary in TodaysMeet to share with the rest of their group. They were limited to 140 characters, so it was important to condense their article into a concise summary.





Jessica Robinson and Garry Marshall had a blast today with their students! Mrs. Robinson and Mr. Marshall focused on synonyms as well as inferencing. The students were given cards with an emotion listed. Once the students received their emotion card they started by taking a selfie using the Dell Webcam. After dragging their

image to their desktops they headed over to BigHuge Labs to make a trading card for their emotion. This is such a great web resource because it can easily be adapted to any content area. The students uploaded their picture and then typed sentences using at least one synonym describing their emotions. This activity was really useful because the students were able to work on multiple skills at the same time. The teacher can then print out all of the cards and use them as task cards in a center. Once the students finished their card they uploaded it to a collaborative Padlet wall.



#TechTakeout Attacks Math at Ashe!

Day 4 of our week long Tech Takeout extravaganza was AWESOME! We headed over to Arthur Ashe Elementary and focused on division, word problems, elapsed time, and line graphs in 5th grade. The students had a blast using a variety of technology while thinking critically. One more day left, and we are still excited! This has been an amazing week, and can’t wait to head to Glen Lea Elementary tomorrow!

For the opening activity Gina Browne had an amazing idea for a pre-assessment for how the students felt about math going into the day. The students used the word cloud feature on Once they typed in three adjectives describing how they felt, the students saved the word cloud to their desktop. They then headed over to a Padlet wall that Mrs. Browne created for each individual class so the students had an opportunity to see how everyone was feeling.

Gina Browne and Julie Smith used EdPuzzle for challenging word problem practice. EdPuzzle allows the teacher to find a video or upload their own video to the website. The teacher can crop the video, add a voice over and/or embed quiz questions. This program is great for a flipped classroom environment or even a great tool to use for centers/rotations. Students in this group viewed and worked on two different word problems involving fractions.Check it out:

Sarah Green and Karen Hues had the students use Google Maps to find how much time it takes to travel from Arthur Ashe Elementary School to a destination of their choice. Then they chose a starting time and calculated the elapsed time to find out what time they would arrive at their destination. They posted a screenshot of their travel route along with their elapsed time word problem on a padlet wall to share with their classmates.

Jessica Robinson and Stephanie Wright had their group using multiple online resources. Their students started out by choosing a vacation spot that interested them. They then accessed The Weather Channel website and recorded the high and low temperatures for the next five days at that vacation destination. After their data was collected they signed into their Google account and plugged in their data on a Google Sheet. After their data was recorded they created a line graph within Google Sheets. They personalized their graph and then copied into a group Google Presentation. After their resized their graph they used the image search feature and found a few key places at their vacation destination to add to their slides. Check out their great graphs!

Jim Covais and Matt Caratachea were training some future computer programmers using Scratch and MaKeyMaKeys. First, the students wrote division word problems and then headed over to the Scratch website. Next, the students selected two sprites to work with. The students programmed one of the sprites to state the word problem when the up key was pressed. We programmed the other sprite said the answer when the students pushed the down key. When the students finished programming they hooked up the MaKeyMaKeys to control what they had just programmed. An alligator clip was attached the the up arrow on the MaKeyMaKey and then another alligator clip was hooked the down arrow on the MaKeyMaKey. The students connected their last clip was to the ground, and they were almost good to go! The finishing touches were when we put Playdough on the other ends of the alligator clips. The students were completely blown away when they were controlling the computer with Playdough!

Gina Browne’s Slidely by Slidely Slideshow