Snow Day and some thoughts on Twitter...

Portland is experiencing a bit of a weather event today. We are expected to get a few inches of snow this morning, along with some freezing rain. My school district started off with an announcement of a 2 hour delay, but now the official word has come down that school is cancelled for today. 

Since I have a bit of time on my hands, I thought I would share a bit about the work of my staff and their use of Twitter. I have been very happy to see several of my staff embrace Twitter as a tool to document and share the work taking place in their classrooms. I have created a Twitter list so I can easily keep up with their work and posts. You can follow along at http://twitter.com/timlauer/lists/lewis.

Below I have listed our Lewis Elementary teachers on Twitter, along with a bit about what you will find on their Twitter feeds. 

Mr. Richner @lewisroom20
Mr. Richner teaches 5th grade at Lewis. He utilizes Twitter to document events throughout the school day. He designates a student to be the class photographer and then curates those photos into blog posts and Twitter posts. A nice way to get a student perspective on the school day. 

Ms. Murphy @murphyroom8
Ms. Murphy teaches first grade and this year has begun to use Twitter to document the learning of her students. Using her smartphone, she captures several images a day and shares them on her Twitter page. A great way for families to get a peek into her first grade classroom.

Ms. Kennedy @pamelakennedy17
Ms. Kennedy teaches 3rd grade and has been using Twitter for a few years. Her tweets highlight student work and classroom activities. She also shares about her proficient use of DonorsChoose to equip and outfit her classroom.

Mr. Hansen @lewisroom5
Mr. Hansen teaches our blended 2/3 classroom. He utilizes Twitter to document the work of his students and also to share news with parents. In addition he shares interesting teaching practices, especially related to writing.

Ms. Layman @gymjumprun
Ms. Layman is our physical education teacher and she has embraced Twitter both as a tool for sharing what is going on in gym class, and also as tool for continuous growth and professional learning. She has become an active participant in PE twitter chats, eager to share and learn from other physical education teachers.

Mr. Colvin @mrcolvinteacher
Mr. Colvin teaches 5th grade and is one of our veteran Twitter users. His feed provides a great view of what his students are learning and images that convey student work and engagement.

Signs of Spring...

What a difference a week makes. Last week Portland was covered in about 6 inches of snow. Sunday saw temperatures near 50. The daffodils planted in the front of the school are coming up and in a few weeks should be in bloom. A nice sign that winter is ending and spring is just around the corner.

Nexus 7 Tablets and Chromebooks at Lewis Elementary

This year our 5th grade students at Lewis Elementary are 1:1 using Chromebooks and Nexus 7 tablets. Basically for each 5th grade classroom we have a half set of Chromebooks and a half set of Nexus 7 tablets. So for every two students, they share a Chromebook and a tablet, and at any given time there is a device available for every student. We chose this option because of cost, and also because we wanted to take advantages of the strengths of each tool and have devices that tied into our Google Apps for Education ecosystem.

The Chromebooks provide a traditional laptop experience. The tablets allow us to utilize a good quality camera, along with easy audio recording. Quite a few students also use the Nexus as a writing tool. They dictate a first draft using the voice to text feature to convert spoken words to text into Google Docs. They then can easily open up the doc on their Chromebooks for more editing. 

All in all we are very happy with our mixed environment. As I mentioned we use Google Apps for education and the ability to login to multiple accounts on both the Chromebooks and the Nexus 7 tablets makes the process of students accessing their work a pretty easy process. 

We also utilize the Hapara Teacher Dashboard which helps teachers easily keep track of student work. I'll have more to say about Hapara in a future post. 

No (Printing) Selfies

A sign in Ms. Speer's classroom. Recently we have added an app to our Nexus 7s that allows students to print to the Ricoh copier in our library. Once the kids figured out the printing someone got the idea to print out selfie pictures. The ban on selfies is really a ban on printing selfies. The kids still take lots of pictures, but we have talked with them about being responsible about printing. 


Run for the Arts

On Friday at school we held our Run for the Arts fundraiser. Run For The Arts is our annual jogathon that helps us raise money to provide additional arts related activities and events at our school. For the past few years we have used these funds to support our drama teacher in residency program. Below is the start of the run.

Lewis Bike Safety Class

On Friday, April 10, 2009 our 5th grade students finished their two week bicycle safety class with a ride through the Springwater Corridor on a trip to Sellwood Middle School. The class was lead by Carl Larson of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Carl also has lead pedestrian safety classes for our second and third grade students. Below is a short interview with Carl. We thank Carl and the BTA, for their continued support.

Originally posted on lewiselementary.org