Our Little Friend- The Brookesia Chameleon

Our google slide project would be used as a science project about the rainforest and its animals, specifically a unit based on ecosystems and the food chain. We would begin our lesson by going through the google slides presentation with our students to demonstrate what we are looking for in the presentation, pausing occasionally throughout to participate in a discussion. We would directly hyperlink in our presentation to take our students directly to comment on the video or photo about what they see or think is important to notice. We may also use the Q & A or comment feature in google slides as part of this discussion as well so students can see many different ways to have class interaction within the presentation. Students will be active participants in the presentation constantly commenting their ideas about the chameleon and what they are learning which also allows the teacher to check in assuring that students are both following along and are understanding the knowledge being presented to them. Once we finish the presentation the students will break into groups of 4-5 and become animal researchers picking an animal from the rainforest in Madagascar to learn about and present on. Students will collaborate together to create their own google slides presentation on their animal. The hope would be that this would be an activity incorporating technology into the classroom in a fun and collaborative way that incorporates a lesson students are excited to do.

Madison and Lauren’s Project


“Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch,” by Eileen Spinelli, is about a lonely man who one day receives a mysterious letter in the mail. The letter changes his outlook on life, and he begins spreading joy to all his neighbors, until he is told it was meant for someone else. Mr. Hatch goes back to being lonely, but his neighbors surprise him, and he reverts back to his cheerful state. Our lesson will teach children the message that you do not need objects to keep you happy. They will learn this through the powerpoint which will include little projects and writing prompts.

Class 5: Explore Place with MyMaps

Explore Place with MyMaps

Places are locations having distinctive features that give them meaning and character that differs from other locations. Therefore, places are human creations, and people’s lives are grounded in particular places. We come from a place, we live in a place, and we preserve and exhibit fierce pride over places. National Geography Standard 4: Place

Exploring Place with Google MyMaps

Google MyMaps is a great tool for visualizing place or creating tours. It works well with other Google tools and can be easily embedded in WordPress or shared via email. When you open a MyMap on your SmartPhone you can used it as a navigational tool. MyMaps get saved in your Google Drive account for easy cataloging.

Class will begin with a MyMap demo and instruction on creating and sharing MyMaps.

Assignment 5: Due Tuesday Feb 20 | COmpleted Work

Design a MyMap representation of a place that can support a learning activity. Here’s some ideas:

  • A community tour around school.
  • A real or fictional journey.
  • Explore the setting of a story.
  • Create a “timeline” using map layers.
  • Plot locations of habitats / geographic features.
  • Share an interactive map of a field trip with parents.
  • Make a map of authors you’ve read

Design your map using Google MyMaps and be sure to include at least 6 destinations. Attach about 10 content elements to the map – these could be photographs, videos or links to attractions. You may wish to design it as a walking or driving tour of your destinations. All content should be geotagged to the map at its actual location (or close to it).

When your map is complete, embed it in a blog post that details what you hoped to convey in your map, and/or what you learned from the experience.

What have I learned from this activity or how might I use MyMaps to support my instructional goals?

Scroll down for video instructions. Need ideas? Check out MyMaps Gallery and find more on MyMaps techniques.

MyMap How-to videos

Image credit: @chrislawton with AdobeSpark Post


Explain it: My lesson is based on the Oregon State Standard, “CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.5: Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.” In my lesson, students will learn the elements of a stories’ beginning, middle, and end.

The beginning of the story answers the question: “Who are the characters? What is the setting?”

The middle of the story answers the question: “What happens to the characters?”

The end of the story answers the question: “How are the characters different than they were at the beginning because of what happened during the story?

Students will select a picture book, and look for a beginning, middle, and end. They will then retell the beginning, middle, and end of the stories they have chosen to the class.

Teaching how to Kahoot!


Hello, Substitute!

This video is a description of the Kahoot activity you will be running today. You can use the projector to show this to the students. As described in the lesson plans, students will be given some time to create their own Kahoot quizzes and will have the chance to quiz their tablemates.

Please note that the feed froze for the last minute or so. Luckily, this last minute was just going over something that they already have seen me do – hitting ‘next’ in order to move through the quiz. I’ve left it there in case you need it for any reason.
Have fun today!
Michael Birkhead

Exploring the World Through Nat Geo Kids!

For this screencast, I am recording as the science teacher of a fourth grade class. I begin by opening up this website and telling the kids they will be researching the animal of their choice. Since we were hypothetically watching the Lion King, I told them I would start by clicking the mammals button and exploring what the website had. There were fun facts, images, and resources about these species.

This website is important because it can help kids learn about the world around them through the click of the button. These images can take the students on an adventure to another country, or see an endangered animal they may never have the opportunity to see. I want my students to travel the world and if they can’t do so physically, then they have this resource to see the limitless possibilities of learning.

I would integrate this into my lesson, after the conclusion of our movie the Lion King. I think this movie shows animals in a beautiful way because it displays them with feelings and emotions. I want my students to feel connected to what we learn, so I will show this website after lunch (when they watch the movie) during our science class. This will be a nice transition from the classic Disney movie into a subject they may gain empathy for.

Questions for students after given time to explore the website:

1)How can you use this website for other classes?

2) What do you find most useful about this particular website? What do you like? What don’t you like?

[embedit snippet="melissa-screencast"]

Introduction to Zearn

According to their website: “Zearn Math is a coherent and rigorous K-5 curriculum delivered in a personalized rotational model. Zearn is designed so that each day, students work through engaging digital content at their own pace and learn targeted lessons with their teacher and peers. Students learn by demonstrating their math thinking with concrete and virtual manipulatives, explaining their reasoning aloud and on paper, and receiving personalized support throughout their learning. ”

Here’s a little video to introduce it better…

Screencasting example Bri Ponzetti


My screencast was an example of sending a homework assignment home with kids and this video explanation would be sent out to parents along with a link to the video students are expected to watch to complete the activity. This specific activity would include watching a short news segment video and then completing a graphic organizer that differentiates what students heard in the video that they think was fact and what they heard that they thought was an opinion. The goal would be that we would then have a discussion the next day about the difference between fact and opinion, and we would eventually be using this graphic organizer to write an opinion writing piece. I think screencasting to create little videos like this can be a great tool for students to use to keep parents up to date with what their students are learning in class and also what we are expecting them to complete for homework. Using screencasting allows parents a visual connection of exactly what the teacher is looking for and the level of detail they are looking for.  Another reason I think screencasting can be a useful tool is it allows students to go back and review what they are expected to do in this case or you could use it to give them an example to look too if they are unsure of what to do.

Google Drive Shared Folder

This week in class we will be collaborating on a Google Slides project, but did you know Google has a bunch of other (free) products as well? From to-do lists, documents, spread sheets, and slideshows, you can do almost anything with a Google account. In this video, you will learn how to create a Google account AND a shared folder within Google Drive. This shared folder will enable you to share all types of documents with anyone you wish.

By creating the shared folder, teams can have access to all of their documents in one place. This is perfect in any setting – whether it be a classroom, office, or even between friends. I hope you find this screen cast useful and leave comments as to how it can improve.

How will the shared folder make YOUR life easier?

How can Google Drive help YOUR classroom run more smoothly?

Much thanks,

Featured Image: Austin Kleon / flickr