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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Teachable Moment- Cinco De Mayo

From Pebble Go

Holidays provide wonderful opportunities to model use of websites and databases. Consider asking your students questions about Cinco de Mayo and modeling how to search for the answers using KEYWORDS and RESULTS PAGES. 

Use links from the learning commons website to go to places that South School students are familiar with. LINK You will find articles in Britannica and Pebble Go as well as Brain Pop Jr. (the video is about Mexico but mentions Cinco de Mayo). If you need help getting to Britannica, Brain Pop, or Pebble Go, please let me know.
From Brain Pop Jr.

From Britannica

You may also want to consider creating a free PBS Media account. PBS is a respected educational resource and PBS Media is specifically designed to provide teachers with videos, lesson plans and activities. For Cinco de Mayo, they provide a short video describing the holiday as well as word finds for Kindergarten through Grade 3. You can search their database by keywords or by standard. If you need help with locating these materials or setting up an account, please let me know.

Sample Questions:
  1. What country celebrates Cinco de Mayo? (Mexico)
  2. What does Cinco de Mayo mean? (fifth of May)
  3. How do Mexican people celebrate Cinco de Mayo? (parades, dancing, food)
  4. Why do Mexican people celebrate Cinco de Mayo? (victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

MEA Information

MEA Testing Information
  • Any staff members that will be testing students in the classroom, in small groups, or one on one, need to watch a 16 minute "Test Security video and the "Test Administrator Webinar" which is about 15 minutes long. 
  • There will be two opportunities to watch the required videos and to ask questions about the MEA test. They are Thursday, March 15th at 7:45 am and Tuesday, March 20th at 7:45 am. You may also watch the videos online at your convenience. All teachers must sign a Test Security Agreement and give it to Justin.
  • It is recommended that students have an opportunity to learn test taking strategies using the "Sample Booklets" that were distributed to classroom teachers. 
  • It is also recommended that students have an opportunity to learn the digital tools that are part of the testing app. There is a scripted "Student Tutorial" manual that was distributed to classroom teachers. The student login information will be distributed on a "MEA Cheat Sheet" as soon as it is complete. Follow the tutorial with your students to review how to do the test online.
  • Links to all of the necessary MEA materials are provided on the lower right side of this website.
Please email Monica or myself if you have any questions.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Groundhog Day Resources

PBS Learning Media is a site where you can locate videos and teacher materials on a variety of different subjects. You can create an account for free. You can search for materials by Common Core Standard or Next Gen Standards.

Britannica Encyclopedia has an article
DLTK has activities for younger kids
DLTK Crafts

Books in our Library
Kept at my desk for short term check-outs so everyone can use them.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Assistive Touch Tool

The Assistive Touch Tool is a "button" that will stay on your screen, providing you quick access to some handy features like "Speak Screen" and "Screenshot". This could simplify use of some of these features that are hampered by the child safe cases that are on student iPads. Here is how to set up the Assistive Touch Tool.

  • Open Settings
  • General
  • Assistive Touch 
  • Turn on by swiping the button to the right. It should turn green.
To Customize the Assistive Touch Tool with the features you want to use follow the instructions above. Click, Customize Top Level Menu...
  • Click the + button to add features (options include: Home, Notifications, Device, Siri, Control Center, Lock Screen, Rotate Screen, Volume Up, Volume Down, Gestures, Triple-Click, Shake, Multitasking, Screenshot, Lock Rotation, Pinch, Double Tap, Analytics, Dock, Restart, Speak Screen)
  • Choose up to 8 features
  • I recommend that students use the Screenshot feature and the Speak Screen feature.

Screen Reader

This is the new screen reader that will pop up on your screen and read aloud the text that is up on your screen. The turtle symbol will slow down the speed of the text and the rabbit symbol will speed it up. If you click on the first circle with the less than symbol, it will minimize the tool bar and keep it on your screen to use again when you are ready. 
  • Use a two finger swipe from the top edge of your screen to bring up the screen reader.
  • You can also add the screen reader to your Assistive Touch tool. It's called, "Speak Screen". (GENERAL-ACCESSIBILITY-ASSISTIVE TOUCH-ON-CUSTOMIZE TOP LEVEL MENU-(+)-SPEAK SCREEN)

Monday, May 15, 2017


It's the time of year when we would all like to spend more time outdoors. What a great time to learn more about the critters in the ARTHROPOD family, especially those that we need to be cautious of, like ticks! It's also a perfect time to observe the pollinators that are in our gardens, like bees and butterflies? In the learning commons we will be learning about INSECTS and ARACHNIDS, and all of the things that bugs do that help as well as hurt us.
This playlist has informative videos about bugs as well as information about how to be safe from ticks.

For additional information about ticks click on these links:

Brain Pop has videos about Lyme Disease as well as Arachnids, Spiders, Insects, and Ants. You can also read about Arthropods at Brittanica Encyclopedia Online using the Marvel Database.