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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: May 2011

As teased in a previous blog post, we’re making some changes to the annual Show-Me A Movie digital storytelling contest. Show-Me a Movie categories are now as follows:

  • NEW! Show-Me Your Creativity: Convey a message (informational or persuasive) using music, drawings, digital photos, and/or clay models.
  • Show-Me Something New: Make an instructional or how-to movie.
  • Show-Me a Story: Tell a story about someone special, your school, your community.
  • Show-Me a Challenge: Share local environmental concerns and social issues, which promote awareness and public action.
  • Show-Me Your Community: Recount an aspect of your community/ethnic culture that is unique, significant, promotes a message, and advances a better understanding of it.

Divisions remain elementary, middle school and high school. This contest is open for Missouri students. Revised rules (including changes in the submission process) will be posted this summer for the 2011 contest on Cooperating School Districts’ website. If you have questions, contact Show-Me Movie Program Manager Rebecca Morrison. We look forward to seeing what your students submit!

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We’d love to see you at the updated Online Classroom Collaboration with Google Docs tele class here at Cooperating School Districts on June 22, 2011. The cost is just $149 for a CSD member and $189 for a non-member. This one-day BYOL (bring your own laptop) class is taught by Google Certified Teacher Bill Bass.

What do you know about Google Docs? Come create using free Google tools and open up your classroom for your staff and your students! Did you know that you could use the basic abilities of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel in an online collaborative environment? Are you interested in creating a variety of online forms for assessment through surveys, quizzes, and questionnaires?  Would you like to create a classroom website or online collaborative environment?

In this full day of instruction, participants will learn how Google Documents and Google Sites can support learning 24/7. PRE-REQUISITE: You must have a Google Account and/or Gmail. To register for this class, or any other tele workshop, visit our website and look for the registration button.

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Explore rich digital media & interactive learning through visualization!

Book trailers are a great way to connect digital and print literacy in a real-world application. In this class, (a Midwest Education Technology Conference precon sell-out workshop!) learn how to create and manage a book trailer project in your classroom. We will make book trailers using Photostory 3 – a free Microsoft download. The class will cover how to help your students select their audience, and decide how to construct their message to accomplish the persuasive goal of the trailer. We will touch on copyright compliance issues and practice finding acceptable images and music.  Creating voice-overs using the free download Audacity program will be demonstrated. Skills covered during the day can be applied to any subject area and any grade level, so won’t you join us?

Connecting Digital and Print Literacy – Creating Book Trailers
Monday, June 13, 2011 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the tele at Cooperating School Districts
$149 CSD member; $189 non-member | (One Graduate Credit Available) | Register here.

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Our friend Janine Lim is revisiting some of her older posts, so I thought I’d do the same- we started to blog regularly on The Wired Classroom in the spring of 2007! (Hard to believe it’s been four years now!) This post I’m sharing today is dated May 17, 2007 … enjoy!

Deep in the Swamp, in the warm morning sun…
Yesterday, we had a wonderful videoconference- actually two- with St. Louis author Donna M. Bateman. Donna, along with Dexter the Alligator, talked about life in the swamp. For our first session, we had 4 kindergarten classes (at 4 sites) connect- two schools in the Francis Howell District, one in Parkway and the final one from Fox. The kids were fantastic! For the second session, we had 2 Francis Howell second grade classes connect from 2 schools. The feel was a bit different than it had been for the first group, but these kids were on top of it. At the end of the session, they asked Donna questions about writing a book, where she lives, and her inspirations. Donna revealed that Deep in the Swamp is her first book but she already has ideas for a second. One participating teacher wrote me a lovely e-mail: “You made it happen! My students and I thank you for this authentic and meaningful learning experience. Connecting and interacting with the author has brought this story to life. We continue to appreciate the opportunities for powerful ways to grow!” Another wrote, “Just wanted to tell you how wonderful the VC was yesterday. It totally fit what we’re studying and I was not expecting it too. Awesome! Everything was perfect!

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He’s our favorite astro’not’! Commander Robert Powell from the Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis was here yesterday talking to crews in Arizona about the Body in Space. New Links has two more programs scheduled for Robert this spring, one with a local school- Hancock Place Elementary- and another with a school in New York. Like author Amy Sklansky (see previous post), Robert has jetted back and forth across the country this year, talking with students all over the United States via videoconference.

For those of you stationed in St. Louis, you should know the the Challenger Learning Center here has summer camp for students. (Prices and times vary, so check out their website).

One-day camps include:
Astro-Tots for students entering 1st–3rd grades; on June 7 OR June 14
Robotic Rovers for students entering 4-8th grades; on June 9 OR June 16
Rockin’ Rockets for students 10 years-old and up; on June 8 OR June 15

Week-long camps include:
Astronaut Training Camp for students entering 4–8th grades; Session 1: June 20 – June 24 and Session 2: June 27 – July 1
Advanced Astronaut Training Camp* for students entering 4th-8th grades (must be at least 10 years old by first day of camp); Session 1: July 11 – 15 and Session 2: July 18 – 22
Young Astronauts for students having completed 3rd or 4th grade; from July 25 – 29
Aquatic Roboticsfor students 12 years-old and up; Session 1: July 25 – 29 (now full); Session 2 June 27 – July 1

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The 2010-2011 school year wraps up author Amy E. Sklansky’s third year as a content provider for CSD’s award-winning New Links program. Amy’s videoconferences are for elementary students and include themes of poetry and science. She’s “traveled” all across the country, connecting to classrooms for her author visits. Today is connected with students for Inside a Poet’s Mind. To read more about her offerings, click here. Thanks, Amy, for another great year of distance learning programs!

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Arctic Circle photo from NASA

Explore the Arctic with your students in a free LIVE webinar with ocean specialist Philippe Cousteau and Dr. Eduard Sarukhanian! Cousteau will be presenting live from Discovery’s World Headquarters near Washington, D.C., and Sarukhanian will be calling in from Geneva, Switzerland.

Adventure to the Arctic Circle, the Earth’s Air Conditioner on Thursday takes place Thursday, June 2, 2011, 1 pm ET / 12 pm CT

You and your middle school students (grades 5-10 are invited to participate) can to join Cousteau and Sarukhanian, an expert from the World Meteorological Organization, to explore the role the Arctic plays in regulating our global climate system and the changes taking place in the region’s waters. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions and will walk away with a better understanding of the role the Arctic plays in their daily lives, and what they can do to make a difference.

Join Discovery Education for this LIVE Siemens STEM Academy classroom webinar – register today! Also, don’t forget to check out the rest of the Siemens STEM Academy site, where you’ll find a calendar of upcoming webinars, blogs, and other STEM resources.

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NEW! Classroom Instruction that Works: Applying Researched-Based Strategies Using SMART Products Are you familiar with the nine McREL (Marzano) strategies, but aren’t exactly sure how you can use them with technology? Do you have a SMART Board, but feel you are not using it to full advantage?

This class at Cooperating School Districts is for you! We will discuss each of the nine classroom instruction strategies in-depth and show you how you can use your SMART Board, SMART Response system, SMART Ideas software, SMART document camera and SMART Slate in conjunction with them. Come see ideas for using these SMART products in your classroom and be compliant in using the nine Marzano strategies at the same time. Participants will walk away with concrete ideas and a SMART Notebook file they can use and/or modify.

When: July 27, 2011 from
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $149 CSD member; $189 non-member

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The St. Louis bestseller list for the week ending May 8 from The Riverfront Times, as compiled by the St. Louis Independent Booksellers Alliance and based on sales at Left Bank Books, Main Street Books, Pudd’nhead Books, Subterranean Books, and Sue’s News, has been released.

St. Louisans again top both the adult and children’s bestseller lists! Amy E. Sklansky‘s You Are My Little Cupcake holds onto the # 1 slot on the children’s list, while Eric GreitensThe Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy Seal placed # 1 spot on the adult list. (Amy is also #3 on the children’s list with My Daddy and Me).

Coincidentally, both bestselling authors are involved with Cooperating School Districts’ programming! Amy Sklansky, as you know, is one of our most popular New Links content providers- she videoconferences regularly from CSD (see above photo). Eric Greitens is a featured speaker at this summer’s Character Education Conference (produced by CHARACTERplus, another program of Cooperating School Districts).

Amy Sklansky and Eric Greitens were both on the bestseller list last week, too, as was New Links author Patricia McKissack. Their books are available at the booksellers listed at the beginning of the post.

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Well, technically, we’re covering the first two weeks of June in this list:

Tuesday, June 2:  SMART Board Level I
Wednesday, June 3:  SMART Board Level II
Monday, June 6:  Save Time & Collaborate with Your Own PLN
Tuesday, June 7:  Where in the World: Teaching with Google Earth & Google Maps
Wednesday, June 8:  New Links for Your Classroom with Videoconferencing & Skype
Thursday, June 9:  Google Feng Shui
Friday, June 10:  Promethean ActivBoard Level I

To read full class descriptions, and get information on graduate credit, times, requirements costs, etc., visit our website.

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