Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thirteen Colonies - Individual Learning Speed Opportunity

There are times when we need to "get the facts" to the students.  Tools that we used to give specific information  to the students about the thirteen colonies included:

3 Videos
3 Google Forms

See Our Classroom Blog For Details

After the facts are given to them, students will interact with our guidance.  They will be allowed to ask questions and discuss the answers to those questions.

Finally, they will will be formally assessed using a digital project/problem based activity...more about that when completed.

Learning Target Met With App & Quizlet

Blog Reflection With Various Digital Tools

When asked students really feel that reflecting helps to solidify (my word, not there's) the concepts. In Our 8th Grade Classroom

ReelDirector (to create the video)

WASB & PCSD School Board Presentation

Tools In My Classroom:
30 iPad2s & Cart video
iPad2 Apps video
Digital Classroom Setup video
External Monitors For Group Work video
Digital Presence on the Web video
Six Whiteboard Work Stations video

Slide Show of Whiteboard Learning Areas

Collaborative Whiteboard Learning Areas

Our YouTube Channel

Engaged Learning in Room 2025: (Changes Because of Tech Tools)
(Extended Version)

Engaged Learning in Room 2025:  (Changes Because of Tech Tools)
(Short Version)

Scan This For More Information about Mr. Reisler

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Students + iPad Created Video + Sharing = No Easy Answer

Our challenge lies in the sharing aspect of the video.

Resources That May Fix The Problem:

A Big Help: @tonyvincent

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chapter Assessment Video Comments To Students

As I was correcting our end of chapter assessments today for the 3,126 thousandth time (approximately) in my long teaching career, I said to myself "there has to be a better way to provide positive and constructive comments about the student's test to the student."

There Is.

After correcting the tests, (we still use paper and pencil for this...hoping to change soon) I recorded a video message to each student using my iPad2 camera.  At the beginning, I placed the camera directly on the students name as it was written on the paper.  This allowed me to see who the video clip belonged to when I went back to review each video.

To distribute the video to students, I sent it in an email to their school Google Email.  The only negative to this is that the video must be less than 1:00 in length.  If it is not, the video asks for you to clip it prior to emailing.  I did and clipped the last 10-12 seconds of the video.

After I sent all the emailed videos to each individual student, I sent a mass text as an email to the students telling them, "Algebra Students: Check Email For Chapter 3 Test Comments" 

The entire process of video tapping and sending took less than 30 minutes.

21st century way of communicating


➔Students who performed very well on the assessment do not need to sit through corrections

➔Students who need help can be instructed AND invited for more help during team study

➔Quick response to assessments - students know score

➔Allows for the NEXT class period to be an immediate start to the next chapter

What I Want To Improve On:
Finding a way to make the comments longer for those that need personalized instruction
➔This was my first attempt, I am sure that I will become for efficient.

The video was edited to remove the name:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Google Form For Peer Editing

Our language arts/science teacher created a form that allowed for students to be quite productive in editing a student's paper.  See and hear how it works.  While this form is on a desktop other students were on iPad2s or Netbooks completing the editing.  THE EDITING FORM

Tic Tac Fractions

After direct instruction in adding fractions with unlike denominators, students used the Tic Tac Fraction app to practice the types of problems.  A great feature of this app is the scratch pad where students can complete the work right next to the place where an answer should be entered.

One negative, the app doesn't require students to simplify the answer in order to be correct.

Class Digital Presence 2011-2012

Logical (Math) Apps To Complete After An Assessment

Students complete assessments at different times during the class.
iPads offer the solution!  iPads offer many apps.

Logical thinking apps are fun and challenging for students.
Students used the apps below to enhance their thinking today...

Classic Peg Jump


Primo Kakuro HD Lite

Students reflected on their use of the apps by video taping themselves.

Monday, November 21, 2011

iPad2 Apps as of 11-21-11

Recently, I published a list of the apps that are on our classroom set of iPads.  At some point, I would like to categorize these, but not at this time.  Just getting the list may spark other iPad classrooms to see an app and apply them in their own way.

Amazing that only a few of these cost money.

So many free apps. So many uses!

THE iPad2 App LIST!

Visual of Apps Below...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Animation HD

We have always looked for apps that can help students create.  This one may be one of the best.

We have worked on students understanding the creation of equivalent fractions using the "Giant One" method or the 1 as a fraction method.  Example:  4/4, 1/2, 6/6

To have students understand the process we gave them the Animation HD app.  See what transpired!

We'll try to post some finished videos as they become complete.

Student Productions:

Individual Learning: Infusing Collaboration, Reflection, and Drills

Technology really gives us the opportunity to do so many things in our classroom during different times.  Students can take each opportunity for learning at their own pace.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chamber of Commerce Visit

Picture Source: 

I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to all of the Pulaski Area Chamber of Commerce members who visited our room.  I appreciate you giving us the opportunity to show the great things that the students are learning and creating using iPad2 and our Pulaski Google.

I encourage you to visit again as you are welcome any time.

See parts of their visit below.
***At this point in our lesson, the students are experiencing direct instruction on a new app that we will be using called Animation HD.  More on this app after our class uses the app!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Google Spreadsheet for Math Closure Activity

A very cool side note:  Student found and tweeted about a math resource that she found on the web...

Resolving iPad Tech Issues

As we increase the amount of apps that go on our iPad2, there are some times when we get to a class period and the app does not appear on the students' iPad2.  For whatever reason, it just isn't there!

Due to this issue, we have developed an easy way for students to report issues with their iPads so that they can be fixed.  Once the issue is reported, the app is synced as soon as time permits.

I'm sure the method may go digital at some point, but for now it is an easy way to fix the problems.

After students report the issue on the board, they check out a new iPad for that activity.

Freddy Fraction & Frac Factory

We took 10 minutes to complete a fraction warm up before multiplying fractions.

Student Review:

U.S. Historical Documents and QR Codes

QR codes are a great resource for getting students additional digital information. We attempted a QR code mathematical scavenger hunt at the beginning of the year.  We have also used QR codes for morning announcements.  Both procedures using QR codes seemed to engage the students and the scavenger hunt was relatively successful in that students were able to find mathematical concepts throughout our school.

QR codes presented themselves as a great tool for our U.S. Historical Document activity. Students were to "discover America's history through U.S. historical documents". We did incorporate our OLD textbook into the activity, but included three (3) minute or less videos that we found on YouTube. These videos allowed for additional, more informative information than a small paragraph in a textbook.

The document that was given to students is found HERE.


The videos were chosen due to their length (tried for less than 3 min)
➽ Some of the videos were formal, some were informal

➽ Allowed for students to see reenactments of famous speeches or historical events

➽ QR codes sent students directly to the YouTube on the iPad2 which looks stunning.

➽ Opened up the content to more than a paragraph or a page from our textbook


➽ 4 pages per packet for 50 students = 200 pages of paper that needed to be copied

The process:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

U.S. Historical Documents App from Standard Works LLC

Our use of the app...

Student interviewing student and reviewing the app's bookmarking features.

Team Building Activity

We have really worked on being a productive citizen in our classroom society.  Which at times, means we need to go slow, to learn fast.  We took about 35 minutes to conduct another team building activity.

See the idea below.

We then completed a writing prompt found here.  Students were able to TWEET or BLOG as a response.

12 students tweeted

12 students left comments on our classroom blog 

23 students created their own blog post.


✔All video below was shot with an iPad

✔The ability to return to the classroom to reflect via everyone on a digital device with the opportunity to respond was beneficial.


✔Would like to have students conduct the filming and production of video.

✔Would like to have students develop the writing prompt.

✔Would like to have students interview other students on the experience

In due time, students will have their own YouTube account which will facilitate turning the negatives into positives.

Friday, November 11, 2011

PaperPort Notes Improvement From Noterize

Yesterday, I discovered that our often used Noterize App (see blog post) has changed to PaperPort Notes.

Positive Changes:

►If you use PaperPort Anywhere - you now can obtain a document from the Cloud

►Obtain a "File or Snapshot from Web" Great for putting writing or images on class blog and having the students get "screen shots" so that they can mark it up. Not new, but new to our class

►Image from Camera - this is the item that I am excited about. Students will be able to take a picture of their work if we choose to do the work in our notebook and mark it up. Students will also be able to take pictures of group whiteboard work and mark it up.

I hope that the Nuance Company continues to update and improve this app as it is a well used tool in my classroom.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

PCSD - Model Classroom Teacher Work Day

I appreciate the fact that after almost three months our seven teachers are meeting today to discuss successes, failures, and the future.

➽ Successes

➽ Challenges

➽ Collaborating Time

➽Resources Learned

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gmail Filter

Today, in our Wall Street 2 Wisconsin class, we viewed all of the E*Trade Baby Commercials to see just how easy they make it seem when investing stocks.

We also reviewed the "fine print" that E*Trade puts down about

No Bank Guarantee
Money May Lose Value

After this, I wanted students to send an email with thoughts as to whether they could invest their own money in real life.  In order to have all of their emails skip my inbox, I created a filter in Gmail.

Written Directions


Small change:
New way to access the settings is to click the gear button and get to settings.

Students Using Email
Be sure to tell the students the exact criteria that you are going to use.  They will need to include this in their email.  I chose to use the SUBJECT: option and told students that E*Trade Response must be in the subject.

The process worked beautifully as I received 20 emails in my designated folder from students.

Easy to grade and sorted!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Veteran's Day Preparation

We have experienced Veteran's Day many times over in our educational career.  This year, our teaching team chose to look at it in a different way.  We tied it into our "History of the United States" timeline by focusing on nine major wars.

We used the Prezi below, combined with a "Rolling Thunder" Veteran's Day presentation this Friday, to focus in on exactly what our soldiers do to sacrifice themselves for this great country.

It's not too late to show some or all of the video clips in preparation for Veteran's Day.

*Note: Due to mature language and graphics, a parental note was sent home for their approval of their child viewing these videos.  Students who did not get approval viewed all content on the Prezi, but NOT the videos.

**Thank you to our 8th grade social studies teachers for setting up the Friday Veteran's Day presentation!

Twitter - Reflections of First Time Classroom Use

Our students completed a week long Problem-Based Learning experience in which they lived one full month as an adult.  Twitter was used as a real time reflection piece to express excitements, disappointments, failures, and successes.  They were required to complete a minimum of six tweets during the week.

➔ I use it in my own personal learning, want students to experience it!

 Great real time writing!

Instant viewing by all students and teachers!

Makes writing concise (140 characters)

 Time stamp to know exactly when it was written

 Beautiful on the iPad2

 Students can follow and respond to other students

➔ All three teachers were able to use the same twitter account at one time!


➔ Twitter continues to "suggest who to follow" and some of the suggestions are not positive for students. We discussed how this is a professional conversation, and you (the student) will be associated with the people that you follow. This must have worked as not many students wanted to follow famous people. I had one student ask if following the president of the United States would be o.k.
➔ It truly is open to the world. Not sure I am ready for that with students.

➔ Didn't really allow students to open up their twitter feed to outside sources.

➔ I would have liked if every student would have taken the opportunity to complete in depth reflection. "Got a house" is not what we were looking for.  

Exceptional tweets are below.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tactillis App For Assessment

Students are completing algebraic equations with variables on both sides.  They are also experiencing equations with no solution.  In an attempt to see some daily work in an easy, readable format, I am having the students solve four problems using the Tactilis app.  They will need to create steps of the mathematical process in different colors, which the Tactilis app provides.

Students published the work to their blog.  Upon completion, I will be commenting on their blogs for each problem.

Students becoming much more familiar with the app, which speeds up the process.  I do think this app has a place in my tech toolbox for evaluation.

After students completed their work, they were instructed to place the work on their blog.  I will be reviewing their work on their blog and leaving comments.  Since this skill directly relates to one of our mathematical benchmarks, I will be placing one single point or check in the grade book if the student demonstrates the proper steps for solving an algebraic equation that has one solution or no solutions.

I think this moves toward standards based grading, and I like the fact that students will get feedback prior to the quiz and it is not a homework assignment.

Dictation App Speeds Up Blogger Reflection

I Get It!

We can't stop writing, but with so many things to do in an educational time frame, sometimes a more efficient manner is needed...and the app is F.R.E.E!

Today, I used the Dictation app for students to create a one sentence definition of a solution.  It worked quite well in speeding up the reflection/assessment process.  Students simply stated their one sentence definition on Dictation, copied it, and pasted it into their blogger app.

Some students needed two times to slow their talking down, but most students felt it was a useful app.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Google Sites - Forms - Blogs - Twitter - Personal Econ

Today we concluded our week long personal economics unit and may I say it was exhausting, but outstanding! We created an entire city using Google sites.  All items students needed to complete were completed through Google Forms.  Students discussed their experience by using Twitter and Google Blogs.

We communicated each day's agenda by sending an email to all students.

BOTTOM LINE: We couldn't have done it without iPads, desktops, laptops, Google tools, and Twitter.  It was our largest problem based task to date.

*some material will not be accessible as we made them only available to our domain.  If you truly want the forms and other things, leave a comment with your contact information!

Our Town:  Raiderville, Wisconsin (created in Google Sites)

Some videos:

Persuasive Writing - Lesson & YouTube Resources

As we complete our afternoon block combination class with social studies and communication arts, we created a persuasive writing lesson complete with the ways that people use propaganda.

Our class in direct instruction...

The entire play list of videos we used with descriptions of the type of propaganda that they are...

To combine this with social studies, students will need to persuade someone to live in Raiderville.

Our Google Presentation is below...

Individual Mathematics Class

Today, I created a correction video with additional teaching information...

I then gave them small instructions...

Followed by students implementing the plan...

Completed with students filling out the form and moving to the quiz...

Resource For Students - (What They Viewed)

Students moving at own pace, but with a purpose.
Believe I saved five minutes in the class by doing this way.
Able to move throughout the room and determine if students were correcting accurately.
Video gave additional explanations on process of solving problems.
Students could review those processes if they felt need be.

Google Embedded form took small amount of time to load.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Contextual Math Problem

Individual Learning - Not Easier, But Better

iOS 5 - Picture Upgrades - More Efficient Classroom

In the old days, I would spend a great deal of time and energy standing at the board and showing how all problems in math were to be completed.  One would think this would be effective, but it really wasn't.

Fast forward to the use of iPads and a classroom blog and a new way to discuss the problem has emerged.

Take a picture of students' work and quickly email it to our blog.  Show the pictures of students' steps to complete the problem and ask if people agree?  If not, they will ultimately explain what parts of the problem they do not like and the discussion begins.

Students have expressed multiple times that they like this process and all too often students will volunteer their work for discussion.

In the past, I have used the Genius Scan app as it allowed for cropping and fixing of the picture.  Unfortunately, it is not a native iPad app.  It is  iPod first.

Two days ago, I upgraded to iOS 5 and noticed the editing features when a photo was viewed. The edit button reveals the options on the bottom of this picture.


It truly helps in eliminating excess paper or board space that might be associated with students' work.
Photo that was not edited - there is a ton of white space that should be eliminated!
Photo that has been edited!

BIG WIN for efficiency in the classroom!

I encourage you to try this practice.  Set up your classroom blog to receive mobile posts.  Use an iDevice to take the picture and whisk the picture off to your blog for discussion!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Side By Side iPad2 App

The Side By Side iPad2 browser app comes in very handy when students need to complete a Google Form again due to errors or incomplete due to time.  Check it out.

The Big Climb @ PCMS

To culminate our Chapter 2 concepts of integer operations and graphing equations, I modified our textbook problem to that of a three act math problem.

The best part of our problem was the "hook" found below.  Students had great expressions of "uhg" and "awe" when I asked them if they wanted to see the winner of the "climb to the top" they needed to complete the work.    So many times, students want the teacher to do more work than themselves.

I felt that they time and energy it took to create the videos (taken with iPad2) and produced using YouTube Doubler and Camtasia was well worth it.  The student version of the lesson can be found HERE.

Students used a Google Form to give their predictions.  Great accountability.  I thought the winner was obvious when viewing the prediction video, but many students did not guess the correct winner.

Students then received a "slowed down" version of climbers which allowed students to count the number of stairs versus the time.

I included the prediction video in this video along with the slower version.  Next year, I will NOT include the prediction took students some time to realize that the slower version was half way through the video.

Students then received a Google Spreadsheet that allowed for them to gather data for each climber.  See some classroom video below.

CHALLENGE:  The biggest challenge is that all climbers did not have a CONSTANT rate.  We eventually are going to create a rule that gives us an average of a climbers rate..  Not sure how to get around this, but felt this video of real people was better than the book.

CHALLENGE: This problem did not involve negative integers.  Next year, I would like to have students go up and down the stairs.

Overall, I believe that the problem engaged and assessed the students.  Obviously when we were done, we showed them the answers...

NOTE:  the whole process took about 4-5 hours of prep.  Was it worth it?  Yes!

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