Friday, November 30, 2018

Teacher Spotlight - Jumping in With Two Feet at Bethel Hanberry Elementary School

Mrs. Corbett is new to Richland Two this year and of the 21 years she has been in education, this is her first year in a 1:1 classroom. In a little over 3 months, she has successfully embraced 1:1 and Blended Learning. She integrates traditional face to face instruction with online learning in her 5th-grade classroom. She originally heard about "playlists" while attending the New to Two training in July and it intrigued her. Now if you are not familiar with playlists, it is a "checklist" or "Hyperdoc" of work/activities that allow students to have some control over their learning, whether it is over the pace or path of their learning. She does what every good teacher does and tweaks these playlists as she goes, going as far as to get feedback from her students to make those minor improvements. She started blending units for Social Studies and because she had such great success she quickly transitioned her science instruction to blended in just 3 months. Blended Learning allows Mrs. Corbett to support her students in a different way, whether it is scaffolding the playlist for the students or meeting in small groups more frequently.

A visit to Mrs. Corbett’s class at Bethel Hanberry Elementary School finds students responsible and engaged in his or her own learning. What does Mrs. Corbett think about the changes she has made in her teaching style? She says she is having fun. She is seeing the students grow in their learning. The level of thinking and conversations my students engage in is incredible. They have more time to work on projects and opportunities to think outside the box.

Keep up the great work Mrs. Corbett!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Coding is for Everyone

Write code

    Every year there is a greater emphasis on engaging our students in learning and experiencing coding. You may be thinking what exactly is coding? Coding is a language written to tell the computer what to do. As one becomes more comfortable with the coding process they develop the skills and dynamics of creating video games, computer apps, and software. The students who sit in your classroom today will need to know and understand the language and process in order to be successful for their future success. So now what?    

    You can start by participating in a week that is devoted to Hour of Code, December 3-9. It is normally more comfortable for teachers to work with content they are familiar with so they can assist students as they are learning. It's like the idea of always trying to be 1 step ahead of the game. However, with coding, it does not need to be that way. You could learn the material prior to teaching if that works best for you. OR, use this as an opportunity to learn alongside your students and model that even teachers are continually learning. You will see that the most "educated" person in the room may not always have the answers. This would be a great experience for the classroom. Coding enhances those soft skills of problem-solving, critical thinking and perseverance we want our students to also gain. If the code did work the first time, you look for the error and try again. It is also nice to know that websites have been created that walks the student step by step through the process of creating the code. Here are some examples of a few different coding languages.

    Block Coding:



    Here are a couple of helpful tips for you as you begin this coding journey:

    • Have them work with partners so they can collaboratively explore the language catch the coding errors and problem solve to their code to successfully work. Then transition them into individual opportunities.
    • Begin the process with a discussion of coding and use "unplugged" activities to start understanding the step by step process. Both and has some already created activities for you to use offline to get you started.
    • Students in your class will have different abilities and levels for coding. Find out which students are familiar with coding and they can assist their peers when they have questions. 
    Go out and have some fun with coding! 

    Thursday, November 8, 2018

    2019 SC Midlands Summit Call for Proposals are NOW OPEN!

    Are you interested in presenting a one-hour session? Now is the time to submit your proposal!  

    The SC Midlands Summit is a two-day conference focusing on the integration of technology into our schools with a focus on using Google Apps for Education, learning environments, innovation, transformation, 21st century skills and mobile devices for student learning. Over 150 unique sessions will be offered!

    BECOME A SPEAKER at the 2019 SC Midlands Summit, June 12-13, 2019, at the Richland Two Institute Of Innovation (R2i2), Columbia, SC!


    ****DON’T DELAY! Deadline for submissions are FEBRUARY 28, 2019****


    Teacher spotlight, Hayley Elliott

    It is time for another technology integration teacher spotlight!  If you missed our last spotlight, please head over to the post and read about Ridge View High School’s math teacher, Alesha Love.  Today, however, we’ll be moving down a few grade levels and share a spotlight use of technology from Hayley Elliott, 5th grade teacher at Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary.

    Teacher: Hayley Elliott
    School: Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary School

    Showcase of technology integration use:
    Students in the ACE (Academy for Civic Engagement) Magnet Program complete a “Where in the World” activity each Wednesday.  In this activity students read articles about current events and answer 3 questions plus ask a question of their own regarding the article to stretch their thinking. 

    In the past, Ms. Elliott had been using email as a method to distribute the articles to her students.  Students would read the articles to her and then email her back with their responses.  This process felt inefficient for Ms. Elliott and it lacked the opportunity for students to collaborate so Ms. Elliott transitioned to using Google Classroom as her method for distributing the assignment.

    Ms. Elliott sent two articles to students via her Google Classroom and then used the “Add a Question” feature to create a discussion-board like experience.  Students read the media online and answered questions in the public discussion board.  This allowed students to see each other’s interpretations of the articles as well as the questions they all generated.  They even answered each other’s questions when they had completed their assignment. 

    While students were working, I saw kids using the internet as a resource to help define words and add context to their learning.  Students even researched answers to their peers’ questions and responded in the discussion in Google Classroom.  This student to student interaction is so powerful and allows for students to practice and implement digital citizenship skills of public commenting and research embedded in their routine academic activities.

    Meaningful technology use often doesn’t require a teacher to learn a new app or revolutionize an assignment.  In this case, using Google Classroom instead of emailing the articles to the students allowed for collaboration among students, research skills, and digital citizenship all in one simple package.

    The Influential Parent - Episode 9

      The Influential Parent - Episode 9, Summer Care Tips   With devices going home for the summer in our district, we wanted to take some ti...