Posts Tagged Interact

It’s Coming…INTERACT 2013

Are you ready?   INTERACT 2013 is on it’s WAY!!

INTERACT Logo

INTERACT is a week long learning experience for teachers across our district in which attendees are invited to explore some of the best research-backed teaching strategies while being immersed in the all of the amazing technology resources available here in LCISD! The week of INTERACT is one of the most amazing, fun, fulfilling, and meaningful learning experiences we get to be a part of…and we want you to be a part of it too!

Here are some important dates to remember as you plan to be a part of INTERACT 2013:

SAVE THE DATE: INTERACT 2013 will be held June 10 – 14; 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

APPLICATION PROCESS:

  • Application window is open from Jan. 7 – February 28
  • Your Team’s “Intent to Apply” form MUST be submitted by Jan. 31  (see below)
  • Your Team’s Application will be video based – more details to come!

WHO CAN APPLY:

  • Teams must contain 2-4 members
  • Teams must represent at least two grade levels for Elementary or two subject areas for Secondary
  • Optional:  Teams may contain one specialist (Facilitator, Special Ed, etc.) per team

Oh yeah…and after attending, you get to outfit your team with the technology tools that best suit you and your students!

So start planning now! Get those teams together, start brainstorming some possible ideas on what you might like to say in your video application, and check back with the iCafe blog soon for more details!

Ready to Apply?!

One participant per team must follow both of the links below by the dates noted.  (Team Video Application Information Coming Soon.)

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INTERACT 2012 Application!

Are you ready? Excited? Can hardly contain your enthusiasm?! Well…neither can we! It’s time to open up the INTERACT 2012 Application! YAY!

Here are the basics that you should know before you fill out the application:

What is INTERACT?

For the fifth time Lamar CISD is gearing up for a staff development like no other. INTERACT is designed to provide attendees with research based teaching strategies paired with outstanding examples of technology integration. In fact that is what INTERACT stands for, INtegrating TEchnology Realistically Among Classroom Teachers. Our goal is to pair fantastic teaching with amazing technology and make it feel second nature to you. We recognize that for a teacher to feel comfortable with the technology they need to have regular access to it rather than simply checking it out once a semester. That goal, along with a firm belief that only you, the teacher, can best decide which of the many technologies best suit your style and meet your student’s needs, compels us to follow up the training with the chance for you to outfit your classroom with some cutting edge technology.

Who can apply?

You apply as a team and each campus has one team…except High Schools, which can now have two!

  • Teams must contain 2-4 members
  • Teams must represent at least two grade levels for Elementary or two subject areas for Secondary
  • Teams may contain one specialist (Facilitator, Special Ed, etc.) per team

How do you apply?

There are a few steps you will need to follow in order to apply for INTERACT 2012:

STEP 1: Complete the “Intent to Apply” – ALL teams that hope to attend INTERACT 2012 MUST complete the “Intent to Apply” by Feb. 1, 2012! You don’t have to be ready to fill out your application by Feb. 1st, you just have to have let us know that you are

STEP 2: Complete the “INTERACT Individual Application” – This is a quick three question form that helps us know who you are as a teacher and professional. Be honest and show off how great you are!

STEP 3: Create the a fun and creative video with your team answering the following prompt:

“Why do you NEED to attend INTERACT?”

We will be evaluating each video on its creativity, vision on education, and demonstration that all of your team members had a role in creating it! The video should be no less than two minutes long and no more than four! After you are done, your team will upload the video to YouTube and share it with us via the “INTERACT 2012 Team Application“.

When does all this need to be done?!

Here are your deadlines and important dates, so write these down NOW!

What if this all sounds too intimidating or I don’t know where to start or I just have additional questions?!?!?!?

Easy! Contact your CITS! They would love to help you find a great team, let you know when video trainings are available, or simply tell you how great INTERACT is.

We are so excited about this year’s INTERACT…it’s going to be the best one yet! And we hope you’ll be a part of it!

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It’s coming…INTERACT 2012

It’s coming…are you ready?

INTERACT 2012 is on it’s WAY!!

INTERACT Logo

INTERACT is a week long learning experience for teachers across our district in which you explore some of the best research proven teaching strategies while being immersed in the all of the amazing technology resources available here in LCISD! This week is one of the most amazing, fun, fulfilling, and meaningful learning sessions we get to be a part of…and we want you to be a part of it too!

Here are some important dates to remember as you plan to be a part of INTERACT 2012:

SAVE THE DATE: INTERACT 2012 will be held June 4 – 8; 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

APPLICATION:

  • Application window is open from Jan. 4 – March 1
  • Intent to apply MUST be submitted by Feb. 1
  • The application will be video based – more details to come!

WHO CAN APPLY:

  • Teams must contain 2-4 members
  • Teams must represent at least two grade levels for Elementary or two subject areas for Secondary
  • Teams may contain one specialist (Facilitator, Special Ed, etc.) per team

Oh yeah…and after attending, you get to outfit your team with the technology tools that best suit you and your students!

So start planning now! Get those teams together, start brainstorming some possible ideas on how you want to apply, and check back with the iCafe blog soon for more details!

READY TO APPLY?!

Be sure to follow this link and complete the Intent to Apply Form by Feb 1st!

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Looking Back on INTERACT 2011

We had an incredible week at the INTERACT 2011 Academy! We had over 100 teachers come through the program last week and they all did an incredible job! At this training the Technology Staff Development team takes the instructional strategies outlined in Robert Marzano’s book Instructional Strategies that Work and show participants how those strategies plus supporting technology tools can turn their classrooms into an incredibly powerful learning environment!

We are so proud of how this year’s teams were so open to learning new concepts and tools and we know it is going to have a HUGE impact on our district next year! We encourage you to check out the iCafe YouTube channel to see some of the products they created. And for any INTERACT participants out there, share with the world what you learned in the comments section below…and be sure to include your blog so they can see what you are doing with your new knowledge!

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Say It With Clay(mation)

Another report? A test again? Essay questions? I can’t handle anymore!!!

Sound familiar? The scariest part of it all is this is often what the teacher is thinking, not just the student. There are alternatives to “the old stand-by” methods we use every day, every year…forever. One of these methods is claymation.

Claymation, or stop motion animation, is a process by which students use props and digital cameras to create a movie explaining a topic of study you have been covering in your class. Mr. Bill videos, Chicken Run, and Wallace and Gromit are some examples you may have run across sometime in your lives.

The process is quite simple, really. Let’s take the life cycle of a mealworm, for example. A set, or background, is created. Students then create props using clay, paper or other supplies that can be manipulated one tiny-bit at a time. A digital camera is set up on a tripod so it remains stationary for all shots. After taking the first picture, students move their props very slightly (a fraction of an inch) and then take another picture. This process is repeated over and over until the concept is complete. In the example we are using, you start off with a mealworm and then move through all the stages of its life cycle until it becomes a beetle.

When students have finished taking all your pictures, upload the pictures to your computer and then insert them into Movie Maker. By setting the duration of the pictures to a fraction of a second, the pictures appear so quickly one after another that the props appear to be moving. Here is an example done cooperatively by Ms. Dybala’s second graders:

The Water Cycle: A Second Grade View

Don’t be shy when taking your pictures. It takes a lot of them (75 or more) to create even a short video.  Ready to get started using Movie Maker to create your stop motion animated movie?

CLICK HERE to view the Stop Motion Animation + Movie Maker Cheatsheet. 

What’s great about assessing learning through animation is that once the videos are created, they can be used not only this year but in years to come as an introduction or review of a topic in your classroom. Most people automatically think of only Science topics to do with this, but animation can be used to assess learning in any subject area. Re-create the battle of the Alamo, show simple addition or subtraction facts, or breath new life to any “how to.” The possibilities are endless. What are some concepts you teach that would be great for a claymation video?

Tired of the same old, same old? Give claymation a shot!

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Mid Week Review

Wow, Wednesday has already passed and there are only two days of INTERACT left! Where did the time go?

The past three days have been a whirlwind of knowledge, learning, and fun! From creating Skype accounts to making ice cream, the past three days have been challenging, but worth every minute! At some points there were many wondering if they were going to survive with all the technology stuff, but other times were simply the best.

Monday was what I call the seed of the academy because in order for your knowledge of technology integration to grow the seed must be planted. First, you received your laptops, created your Skype accounts, and created your iGoogle page. As your seed started to grow roots, you were diving into Video Conferencing with “Name that Tune” and Switcharoo Zoo. As the day came to an end it was time for everyone to go home and rest because Tuesday would be another day of continued growth!

Tuesday arrived with lots to learn about Marzano’s Similarities and Differences. From sorting popular TV shows to using ActivExpressions or Wallwisher.com for sharing instructional ideas, we started pushing our ideas into real lessons we can start using in our classroom on the first day of school! Then came analogies that we created in Movie Maker Live and we began writing our first 5E lesson plan. By the end of the day our seeds are sprouting roots and gaining steam!

After a good night’s sleep you and your seed are ready for an active and fun Wednesday. Starting the day with a Musician Geocache in the heat and humidity, we jumped into the importance of generating and testing hypotheses with our kids. We created a straw container to securely hold a raw egg in the egg drop experiment and after watching Humpty Dumpty fall, everyone was off to write up their blab report. Finally, after a fun, fast paced day, we went down for our sweet afternoon treat and graphed the temperatures of the ice cream as it froze into existence!

Wow! Your little seed isn’t so little anymore and has popped through the surface! Take a look at this Animoto video of some highlights of the past three days.

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What is your Hypothesis?

When you hear the words “Generating and Testing Hypotheses,” what is the first thing that pops into your mind?  For me, it’s the Scientific Method and science experiments, but the process of generating a hypothesis, testing it, and refining your thoughts and ideas happens across all content areas!

Whether it is doing role play in your English class to better understand what a character is going through or discussing what would happen to an ecosystem if an animal became extinct, you are taking a normal topic of your classroom and turning it into one where students have to think, evaluate, and really dig deeper into the material making it much more meaningful.

So what about your classroom? How can you use “Generating and Testing Hypotheses” to take your students to a whole new level and broaden the way they think and experience your class? Post your ideas in the comment section below and be sure you check out everyone else’s ideas to help move you along in your thinking!

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Out with the old… not necessarily

The INTERACT Classroom:

“I see the students being more engaged and thinking outside the box.” –Tiffany Garcia

“I see myself growing and I also see my students being more successful.”—Carmen Chavero

“My teaching is more diverse and differentiated and I am able to better meet the needs of all of my students in exciting and electrifying ways…my students are using a higher level of thinking.” –Shari Stanley

“The skills that I gained at INTERACT have allowed my students access to learning on a level I never thought possible.” –Keri Ruggeroli

“I no longer just teach the curriculum to the students, I immerse the students in the curriculum through the use of technology and learning strategies.” – Jennifer Wagner

“We are a paperless classroom and in Kinder, that is a big to do!” – Maria Aldana

“The discipline problems in my room are now at an all time low!  The students enjoy coming to school to learn… I hear them say, ‘I love school!’”—Dustina Roden

Will this be your classroom?

Does this sound like something you can say, or hear your students say about your classroom?  Think about those lessons you’ve been teaching year after year after year.  Now, imagine Marzano’s strategies, iPods, interactive whiteboards, blogs, Moodle, video conferencing, and digital storytelling mixed in with those lessons.  Does that not get you energized?!  You’re students will feel the same way!

You’ve seen the statistics.  You’ve seen the tools.  You know the content…  what are you waiting for?

Interact Wordle

The Interact Wordle!

Don’t throw out those lesson plans of the past…electrify them!  How might your lesson of yesterday look tomorrow?  Please respond in the comment section below.

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App Addiction

We’ve all seen the amazing things that an iTouch is capable of, but um…have you gone to iTunes and tried to figure out for yourself which apps would be best for your classroom?  One word:  OVERWHELMING!  There’s just so much out there that it’s hard to know which apps work great and which are a waste of time and money.

Cue super-hero music

Never fear!  iCafe to the rescue!  Tirelessly, we’ve poured through the iTunes App Store and created a list of apps that will get you rolling.  So sit back, relax and prepare to be amazed.   Caution:  App Addiction may occur.

I’m addicted, now what?

Don’t worry we’ve got a 12 step program designed just for you!

Step 1: Open iTunes Step 7: Examine Screen Shots
Step 2: Create a Free iTunes Account Step 8: Read App Reviews
Step 3: Browse the App Store Step 9: Buy App
Step 4: Find an App You Can’t Live Without Step 10: Sync
Step 5: Click on the App’s Icon Step 11: Try your app out!
Step 6: Read Description And most importantly…

Step 12: Share

Found an amazing app that you can’t wait to tell other educators about?  Be sure to add it to our list of great apps for educators and post your ideas and comments here!

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Student Response System Showdown

The thought of getting 100% student participation throughout your lessons probably seems unrealistic, and at times even impossible. After all, you have that group of students that dominate classroom discussions, while others are too shy to speak up. Don’t forget about the ones who think they know the right answer, but the risk of getting it wrong outweighs their desire to participate. With student response systems, EVERY child has a voice and the opportunity to participate in a nonthreatening environment. It also doesn’t hurt that in addition to the empowerment that the students feel, the teacher is gaining valuable assessment data through quality, engaging lessons. Plain and simple, it is a win-win situation.

How can I use a response system in my class?

The possibilities are endless when it comes to a student response system.  Many get stuck in the mindset that response systems can only be used for test reviews, which could not be further from the truth.  In fact, that would be an incredible waste of a system.

Visit Vanderbilt’s Center for Teaching for a list of activities and examples.

Which response system do I choose?

Of course you would ask this, after all it is the golden question.  It truly depends on your individual situation.  Do you currently have a SMART or Promethean board?  If so, I would strongly consider going with the response system that correlates with your board.    Are you a data king or queen?  To those of you that answered yes, I would suggest a CPS system, as they have the most comprehensive reporting options.  Do you by chance teach at the secondary level?  If this is the case, I would encourage you to choose either the Promethean Activexpressions or SMART Response XEs, as these have texting capabilities.

Check out the comparison chart below to help you arrive at a decision.
Student Response Systems Chart

Click here to download a pdf version of this document.

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