Friday, February 26, 2016

TED Ed Club at GVES by Al Elliott




I've started a TED Ed Club this year at Green Valley Elementary. I am excited to have so many fifth graders sign up.  I will be delivering my own TED Talk on March 12 at TEDxBirmingham so I am especially excited about facilitating the club at our school.  There is a process to delivering a TED-styled talk and to be able to share my experience with students in this way is a nice change of pace for both the students participating and myself as an educator.

"TED-Ed Clubs aims to introduce a school-friendly framework that supports students in meeting regularly to discuss, pursue and present their big ideas in the form of short TED-style Talks. We hope to celebrate exceptional student ideas by potentially featuring them at the annual TEDYouth conference or TEDxYouth events." - From TED Ed Club Website






Monday, February 22, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Games that Teach Empathy

Graphite (Common Sense Media) recently released a list of games that teach empathy to children of all ages.

Quote from Graphite:
Kids who are in tune with other kids' emotions are off to a great start. They earn the trust of their peers. They can help mediate when tempers flare. One day, they may even use those perspective-taking skills to become organization or world leaders.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Gmail Default Email

Have you ever been viewing a website and click on an email link only to have Microsoft Outlook open? Want Gmail to automatically open? Find instructions below from Cameron McKinley:


Try this...

1. Open your email
2.  Find the little diamond icon in the browser address area shown below.
3. Click it and choose Allow and Done
4. Once you do, emails on websites will automatically open in Gmail.

Inline image 1

If that doesn't work for you, see more detailed instructions here:



Gmail Canned Responses

Canned responses is a Gmail Lab that might just save you a lot of time! You can create and save an email which you might send out a lot and insert it whenever you need to. For example, maybe you send out an email to your classroom parents saying to check your blog. In the body of your Gmail, you can click on a drop down arrow (after activating canned responses) and insert an email you have already written. Maybe you're getting many emails about the detailed for an upcoming field trip...you can use canned responses so you don't have to type the same message many times.

Check out the video below on how to use Canned Responses:


Explain Everything and Chess

Mrs. Shackelford's 2nd grade class at Trace has been studying chess for the last few weeks. After learning so many new skills, the students were ready to share with the world. They created an Explain Everything video demonstrating how to play chess complete with the proper names of the pieces. (Unfortunately this tech coach called the knight a horsey and it got a few groans. Thanks to their video, I now know better!)

I love this project for so many reasons: 

  • The students are taking ownership of their own learning and sharing for a real audience - you!!!
  • The students were their worst critics. After watching the movie, many wanted to rerecord. I can't think of a better way of teaching drafting scripts, writing scripts, and writing again...and again...and again to get ideas across to the audience. 
I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did! Way to go, Mrs. Shackelford's Class!








Monday, February 1, 2016

ISTE Standard 4 and Graphing - K. Darroch


Great information from K. Darroch!

Got Data?


ISTE Student Standard 4 covers critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. This standard includes the collection and analyzing of data using appropriate tools and resources. This week we will take a look at the math standard that covers data collection and add a couple of technology resources available for your students to create graphs.


Kindergarten - Grade level does not have a specific standard for graphs. Here is analyzing shapes: Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices or “corners”), and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length). [K-G4]

Shapes and Colors

1st Grade - Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another. [1-MD4]

Gynzy - Chartmaker
Gynzy - Diagrams
IPad App - Teaching Graphs -http://www.littlemonkeyapps.com/teaching_graphs


2nd Grade - Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems using information presented in a bar graph. (See Appendix A, Table 1.) [2-MD10]


Gynzy - Bar Graphs
Gynzy - Diagrams
Website: Create a Graph
IPad App - Teaching Graphs -http://www.littlemonkeyapps.com/teaching_graphs


3rd Grade - Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many less” problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs. [3-MD3]

Gynzy - Bar Graphs
Gynzy - Diagrams
Gynzy - Pie Chart and Histogram
Website: Create a Graph
Use Google Sheets to Create Graphs


4th Grade - Make a line plot to display a data set of measurements in fractions of a unit (1/2, 1/4, 1/8). Solve problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions by using information presented in line plots. [4-MD4]

Gynzy - Central Tendency
Gynzy - Finding the Average
Gynzy - Line Plot
Website: Create a Graph
Use Google Sheets to Create Graphs


5th Grade - Make a line plot to display a data set of measurements in fractions of a unit (1/2, 1/4, 1/8). Use operations on fractions for this grade to solve problems involving information presented in line plots. [5-MD2]

Gynzy - Line Plot
Website: Create a Graph
Use Google Sheets to Create Graphs