/Teacher Lessons
Teacher Lessons 2017-12-12T22:41:07+00:00

Teacher Spotlights

Science- Audio Assessments

Stephanie Henze
Stephanie HenzeORMS- 7th grade Science

Stephanie Henze, 7th grade Science teacher, at Oak Run Middle School uses a variety of audio features when assessing her students.  When giving students a short quiz, she uses Vocaroo to quickly capture herself reading aloud the quiz questions.  The audio recording is accessible through a link on the web so students are able to access the audio recording by scanning a QR code.  For longer assessments, she chooses to use Garage Band to record herself reading aloud the entire test.  Her students are then able to access this lengthier audio recording through her iTunesU course.  The students have full audio functionality through the Music App on their iPads which gives them the ability to pause, rewind, and fast forward.  These functions are very helpful because they allow her students to pause for work time or rewind to hear a question again.

Categories: Middle School|Tags: , , , , |

Science- Living Things Research

Anita Carrera
Anita CarreraVeramendi- Kindergarten Teacher

Anita Carrera, Kindergarten teacher at Veramendi Elementary School, integrates a variety of technology into a research project on Living Things.  Students choose a living thing to research and then create Chatterpix presentation on what they found.  Chatterpix allows the students to combine an image of their living thing with a recording of their voice to create a talking image.  Anita shares her students’ presentations through a QR Code display in the hallway.  When the QR Code is scanned, the viewer is linked to the student’s Chatterpix presentation.  Anita is also able to share the student created Chatterpix presentations with parents through each student’s SeeSaw account.

Categories: Elementary|Tags: , , , |

AP Spanish Language: Ninth Grade Center

Nancy Barajas
Nancy BarajasNinth Grade Center- Spanish Instructor

This month’s Technology Spotlight is on Nancy Barajas, AP Spanish Instructor at the New Braunfels Ninth Grade Center.  Known to her Foreign Language colleagues as “The Chicana from Chicago,” Sra. Barajas spent her first 2 years teaching at inner city schools in Illinois before moving with her family to the New Braunfels area.  Her spitfire attitude, combined with her extensive cultural knowledge, make for one of the most dynamic instructors we have in our district. Faced with the daunting task of preparing her students for the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam (imagine taking an AP exam when you were 14 years old!), Nancy relies on a variety of teaching methods, many of which require current technology.  Her students enjoy using FlipGrid for interactive engagement, allowing her to use real world, native speaker prompts for students to record their reactions and practice their spoken Spanish. Similarly, while preparing for the spoken section of the AP exam, students use the QuickVoice App to record and submit spoken responses… not as fancy as FlipGrid, but certainly effective! She even uses the Voice Record feature on Notability with her students… she really gets those kids practicing their Spanish! For vertical alignment, Sra. Barajas collaborates weekly with Sra. Padilla at NBHS vía Google Hangouts to keep their AP curriculum synced up, ensuring her students are all set for AP Spanish Literature once they get to the High School campus.  (Digitally) Together, these instructors prepare in-depth PBL lessons, including a yearly project on Magical Realism in Latin American Literature, culminating with a field trip to The University of Texas at Austin to conduct their research in the Benson Latin American Library while preparing their end of year presentations!

FlipGrid for interactive, spoken Spanish practice.

QuickVoice for AP spoken practice.

UT Austin- Research Field Trip!

AP students enjoying UT campus life!

For some students, this is their first time finding books in a University Library.

Notability has an Audio Record feature that not many people know about.

Categories: High School|Tags: , , |

ELA – Grammar Review and Daily Warm -Ups

Larry Hickman
Larry HickmanNBMS - 7th Grade ELA

Larry Hickman, 7th grade ELA teacher at New Braunfels Middle School, assesses students’ strengths and weaknesses by using several apps to help students succeed on upcoming classroom assessments.  In Google Slides Mr. Hichman creates a crossword template for students to fill in as they review for the test. “Google Slides is a great way for me to create my own review packet which makes it relevant to what I teach and what the students need to learn for the upcoming test.”  He exports this slide into a PDF and places it into iTunesU. Students then grab this PDF and complete the assignment in Notability.

For independent work, students work at their own pace to review vocabulary terms in Quizizz. Once students complete their quiz, Mr. Hickman accesses reports on the admin side to see the percentages of questions missed. This data helps him see which questions were missed the most so he can immediately review concepts that were misunderstood.

Another great resource that Mr. Hickman utilizes is Kahoot. Students are given a code to join the game that Mr. Hickman has created, then they race to see if they can get the answer first and be the top scorer. Kahoot is a great way for students to get instant feedback, which allows them to immediately reflect on their answers and clear up any misunderstandings they may have had.

Categories: Middle School|Tags: , , , , , |

What Does the Geometric Fox Say?

Katherine Bowers
Katherine BowersMemorial Elementary - 3rd Grade

“Finding fun ways to incorporate technology into a math lesson can be difficult.” – Katherine Bowers

Students in Mrs. Bower’s 3rd grade Math class were having a blast turning their geometric shapes into foxes and describing all their characteristics. They were given a geometric shape on a piece of card stock and asked to color it as if it were a fox. They then cut and taped together the paper to create a 3D “fox.” After the fox was completed, the students took a picture of it on their iPads and uploaded it into ChatterPix. The students recorded themselves describing the different characteristics of their specific geometric shape. Mrs. Bowers created a folder in eBackpack for the students to turn their videos in to. She was then able to download each video and upload it into iMovie where she added music and transitions to bring the shapes to their foxy lives!

Categories: Elementary|Tags: , , , , |

Math – Prodigy

Megan Hybner
Megan HybnerORMS - 6/7th Grade Math

Megan Hybner, 6/7th grade math teacher at Oak Run Middle School, keeps her students engaged by having them complete practice math questions on Prodigy. Prodigy is an online “game” that has students battle animals, similar to Pokemon. To win a battle they must correctly answer math questions. The program is individualized to the level of the student so everybody gets to practice on their own level. Prodigy has math content available for students in 1st grade through 8th grade. When students first login to the game, they will take a placement test so the program can give them the right material. Teachers are able to track student progress and usage from the teacher portal. Prodigy also has just added STAAR based questions for teachers to push out to their students. Ms. Hybner has an added incentive for students to play Prodigy; each week she posts the class winners up on the board and those students get Hybner Bucks which can be redeemed for prizes. 

Categories: Middle School|Tags: , |

AP Spanish Language and Literature

MariSol Padilla
MariSol PadillaNew Braunfels High School- Spanish Instructor

This month’s Technology Spotlight is on MariSol Padilla, AP Spanish Instructor at New Braunfels High School.  A proud Unicorn graduate, Señora Padilla brings her infectious enthusiasm and extensive cultural knowledge into the classroom every day, inspiring her students to be actively involved in the language learning process.  In order to keep her AP clientele challenged and engaged with the College Board Curriculum for not only the  AP Spanish Language, but also the AP Spanish LITERATURE and Culture coursework, MariSol relies on a variety of teaching methods, many of which require current technology.  For interactive engagement, the FlipGrid app is used for sending out real world, native speaker prompts for students to record their reactions and practice their spoken Spanish. Working collaboratively with fellow AP teacher Nancy Barajas at NGC vía Google Hangouts, they even began doing a #flipgridfriday as part of their weekly routine! As a springboard to captivating, relevant conversations and reflective writing, Virtual Reality lessons using our ClassVR headsets transport her students to the exotic settings of the literary pieces being discussed within the AP Thematic Units.  Sra. Padilla is always on the hunt for new ways to keep her students’ interest piqued.  A great example of this is having them create pretend social media posts as if they were the characters of Don Quixote de la Mancha or El Burlador de Sevilla… allowing students to prove their deep understanding of the personae in a fun, whimsical delivery!  On the practical side of things, she has made good use of Ducksoup.us to deliver her PDFs to classes, which will automatically grade their work, thus freeing up more time for planning.  We could all use some of that!  Excelente trabajo, Sra. Padilla, that you do with your students!

Some funny Twitter posts from Tisbea, one of Don Juan’s many victims.

FlipGrid for interactive, spoken Spanish practice.

Virtual Reality trips to Spain and hilarious GIFs from 14th century peninsular literature characters!

Ducksoup.us to get the grading done for you!

Ducksoup.us to get the grading done for you!

Categories: High School|Tags: , , |

Pre-AP Biology- YouTube Lectures

Ryan Avera
Ryan AveraNGC- Pre-AP Biology

Ryan Avera, Pre-AP Biology teacher at the Ninth Grade Center, hosts videos of his lectures on his YouTube channel so they are always accessible to students. A native of the McCallum area, Mr. Avera understands the importance of providing extra help to ESL students that are still acquiring the academic language of a difficult course such as Biology. He began providing pre-recorded videos of his lectures for Mrs. Zúniga’s ESL students to supplement his class lectures and discussions at their own pace. Using the QuickTime screen record feature combined with his iPad, he now has compiled a solid library of lectures which all of his students can visit and review when needed. Whether it is for an absence or they just need to review, his YouTube channel is available when necessary. If you ever visit the NGC just before school starts, you’ll see one of the most dedicated teams of teachers in NBISD in the science wing of the building. The NGC students are truly blessed to have Mr. Avera and his team leading the way as they charge their way to the High School AP Science classes and beyond!

Categories: High School|Tags: , , , |

US History – Andrew Jackson Memes

Alan Alcala
Alan AlcalaNBMS - US History PreAP
Chesney Tompkins
Chesney TompkinsNBMS - US History PreAP
Kathy Hughes
Kathy HughesNBMS - US History PreAP

Eighth grade US History PreAP students at NBMS have been studying about Andrew Jackson and the impact of his election and presidency on the United States.  They wrote about the important points of his presidency and how he differed from the first five presidents.  Sketch notes were taken throughout the lesson to help students retain the information in a more creative format.  The students were then tasked with creating Jackson themed memes, Twitter feeds, and other forms of social media that could convey different culminating views of his impact on the US.  They really took off with this project and came up with some very creative products!

Categories: Middle School|Tags: , |

Library – Scribblebots

Julie Gallichio
Julie GallichioWSE - Librarian

Julie Gallicio, Librarian at Walnut Springs Elementary, invited Stem in Action: Scribblebots to join her class virtually by using the video conferencing tool Zoom.  As the presenter was explaining the directions, the students were busy building robots.  Students were required to use higher order thinking skills to try to develop a plan of how to attach a motor, a glue stick, and a battery to a plastic cup to make it move.  During the second part of the activity they recorded their progress by drawing, taking a picture or taking a video and then writing their hypothesis and conclusions in Notability or See Saw.  After taking notes they used rubber bands to secure three markers to the outside of the cup.  They were then able to watch their little “robot” draw designs on the big poster paper provided by the teacher.  

Categories: Elementary|Tags: , , , , |

AppLetics – Unicorn Football’s Technological Advantage

Glenn Mangold
Glenn MangoldHigh School - Athletics/ Football
Mark Wrase
Mark WraseHigh School - Athletics/ Football

This month’s AppLetics Technology Spotlight is on Coaches Mangold and Wrase and the NBHS football program.  Building a successful 6A football program is no small task here in Texas.  Maintaining it once the foundation is in place is perhaps the most challenging endeavor of all successful programs.  Our coaching staff, led by Head Coach Glenn Mangold and Defensive Coordinator Mark Wrase, require plenty of technology to help keep the community updated on results, streamline workouts and practices, and conduct vital behind the scenes tasks such as scouting and game film review.  To keep our athletes taken care of, as well as posting online schedules and results, NBISD coaches rely on RankOneSport.com.  Through this portal, they can monitor injury reports, publish event information, and post live results to the web vía the RankOne Mobile App.  In the weight room, athletes are run through their workouts on our flat screen array using our RackPerformance.com account, optimizing their “Iron Paradise” time.  Lastly, for practice and game footage analysis, as well as playbook memorization, coaches and players use Hudl.com for their off the field preparation needs.  A huge “KUDOS” to our coaches for all the work they do for our student athletes!

Unicorn coaches oversee a RackPerformance.com workout.

4 screen flat panel array keeps athletes focused on their workouts.

RankOneSport.com for schedules, results, and injury monitoring.

HUDL.com… a multi-sport analysis tool.

HUDL.com for footage analysis and playbook memorization.

Categories: High School|Tags: |

Science- Structure of Elements PBL

Melissa Brown
Melissa BrownNBMS- 8th grade Science
Kyle Adams
Kyle AdamsNBMS- 8th grade Science
Lindsay Hargrave
Lindsay HargraveNBMS- 8th grade Science

The 8th grade Science team at New Braunfels Middle School guides their students through a tech-infused PBL unit where students learn to model the structure of elements. The driving question of this unit is: As scientists, how can we design and create a model of an element so that these models can be used by other students in a lab scavenger hunt? Students began the unit with a pre-assessment.  The score received on the pre-assessment then places each student on their individual level: Level 1-Emerging, Level-2-Proficient, or Level 3-Advanced. In each level, students are given activities and checkpoints to facilitate their own learning.

In level 1 students scan QR codes to access a video or reading passage on the Bohr Model.  Students check for understanding by completing a checkpoint on the Bohr Model that they retrieve from iTunes U and turn into eBackpack.

In level 2 students scan a QR code to watch a video on element identification and then complete a checkpoint using eBackpack Assessments.  

If students are not mastering the level 1 or 2 checkpoints they are pulled into small group workshops where the teacher reteaches each concept until individual student mastery is achieved.

In level 3 students demonstrate mastery of content by creating a study aid and an Element Identity Quiz.  Students created their study aids using one of the following apps: Trading Cards, Quizlet, Popplet, Prezi, Tiny Cards, or Study Blue.  Students created their quiz using one of these apps: Quizizz, Kahoot, Quizalize, Notability, Google Docs, or Google Forms.

For the project culmination students were to create a model of an element that could be used in a lab scavenger hunt.  Students could choose to create a tangible model or a digital model using the app 123D Design. Students practice identifying each others element models during a lab scavenger hunt.

Librarian/ PBL Director

Amanda Hunt
Amanda HuntOak Run Middle School- Librarian

This month’s Technology Spotlight is on Amanda Hunt, Head Librarian and Media Specialist at Oak Run Middle School.  Born and raised in New Braunfels, Ms. Hunt brings her True Blue enthusiasm to the workplace every day and inspires her students and teachers to explore and think outside the box during the learning process.  The daughter of 2 Unicorn educators, she began her hi-tech trajectory at a young age, winning a TCEA grant in High School that set the path for her technological applications within the educational space. In addition to her librarian expertise (she has a Masters in Library Science!), she also leads the UIL reading and writing teams, sponsors the monthly Book Club and MakerSpace Club, is the campus GT facilitator AND is our district PBL director!  If you ever drop by ORMS, you’ll undoubtedly find Ms. Hunt working with both students and teachers, guiding them on how to most efficiently incorporate the latest technology into challenging and thought provoking lessons, using a VARIETY of tools such as 3D printing, PicCollage, iMovie, Animoto, NearPod, Spark, Google Suite apps, 3D pens, Ozobots, Spheros, Virtual Reality, MakeyMakey, LittleBits, and MORE!  We appreciate all you do for our faculty and students, Ms. Hunt (AKA @libtechGT )!!!

48 Transform Badges?!?  Is there anything you can’t do, Miss Hunt?

3D Printing with MakerBot.

MakerSpace Club!

Plenty to learn in MakerSpace Club!

Ozobots in MakerSpace Club

Categories: Middle School|Tags: , , |

VR Trip to Austrailia

Bryan Mortenson
Bryan MortensonNGC - Geography

Mr. Mortenson’s class took a virtual field trip with a set of VR Goggles to Australia and New Zealand to compare and contrast the differences between the coastal and central regions of these two areas.  While part of the class was “down under”, others researched text, and some looked for additional information online.  The students really loved the experience of feeling like they were submerged in the actual environment. The goggles provided a complete blackout of the real world around them and allowed them to feel like they really were walking around the Australian Outback.  Mr. Mortenson was also able to direct them to certain parts of the area they were in during the virtual tour to make sure students were getting the most out of their short time.  After the trip concluded, they completed an analysis of their findings and submitted a report back.

Dual Language – Spanish Body Parts

Guadalupe Gonzalez
Guadalupe GonzalezVFE- 1st Dual Language

Guadalupe Gonzalez, 1st grade dual language teacher at Voss Farms Elementary, used Adobe Spark Video, YouTube, RAZ Kids & Epic to help her students learn the parts of the body in Spanish. Students were shown a YouTube video that was a Spanish version of Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes. They encouraged to sing along and follow the video as a whole class. They also read a few books on Epic and RAZ Kids that were in Spanish over the parts of the body. These books not only tied in with the high frequency words they were studying but the ELA TEKS as well. At the end of the unit students were tasked to create an video dictionary using Adobe Spark Post. 

Categories: Elementary|Tags: , , , |

English III PreAP – Allusions

Suzanne Freese
Suzanne FreeseNBHS - English III PreAP

Students in Suzanne Freese’s English III Pre AP class at New Braunfels High School, found a primary resource using myths, historical events, or a story from the Bible.  Once students chose their article they downloaded it to Notability so they could annotate and then summarize the article.  Students also added an image that clearly illustrated the story. Students then found the modern use of allusion and added an illustration to depict it. Once the summaries were written and images were found, students used Keynote or Google Slides to create a presentation for the class. These presentations were then turned into eBackpack to be graded.

Categories: High School|Tags: , , , , |

ELA – SeeSaw Activity

Natalie Randazzo
Natalie RandazzoVE - 1st Grade

Natalie Randazzo, 1st grade teacher, at Veramendi Elementary uses the Activities feature in SeeSaw to enhance her students learning experience.  Her class completed several reading and writing lessons themed around the “Gingerbread Man.”  Natalie gave her students the chance to decorate their own digital Gingerbread Man using the SeeSaw Activities feature.  After they used digital pen tools to decorate their Gingerbread Man, they were also able to use the record tool to tell a story about their Gingerbread Man.  All of the students’ work was shared with Natalie through SeeSaw so she could grade the work and show student samples to the whole class.  Check out Natalie’s SeeSaw Activity HERE.

Categories: Elementary|Tags: , |

English – Edgar Allan Poe PBL

Melanie Jaramillo
Melanie JaramilloORMS - 7th Grade ELA

Melanie Jaramillo, a 7th grade ELA teacher at Oak Run Middle School,  uses several technology resources in order for her students to complete the Edgar Allan Poe PBL.  Using Google Docs, Melanie uses Hyperlinks to help students navigate to important websites, access the grading rubric, a calendar of due dates and expectations.  Melanie uses the Smore Newsletter in order to deliver the PBL driving question, answers to frequently asked questions and links to important websites.  Students are required to use Sign Up Genius to attend a mandatory workshop before beginning the project.  Students use the Google Slides Presentation app to turn in their final presentation to the teacher.  Melanie’s quote about Google Slides. “I have found Google Slides to be one of the best apps to use for group projects.  Google slides app enhances group productivity by allowing the students to create one slide show and share it with each member of their group, at which point, every member can work on the slideshow at the SAME TIME!! They and see each other’s work, edit each other’s work, and even work together on the same slide on two different Ipads at the same time.  I also have each group share their slideshow with me, which allows me to see their work and check their progress on a daily basis at any given time from any device from anywhere!  I LOVE it!”

Categories: Middle School|Tags: , , , |

Math-Smart Resolutions

Lynda McLean
Lynda McLeanNBMS- 8th Math

Lynda McLean, 8th grade math teacher at New Braunfels Middle school, kicked off the new year with a Nearpod that encouraged students to think about smart new year resolutions. Many teachers use Nearpod in their classrooms but few are aware of the new “collaborate” feature in the program. This feature allows students to post to a virtual corkboard and see posts from other students in a controlled environment. Students are not just limited to text responses, Collaborate also supports links and images as well. Students in Ms. McLean’s class were actively engaged during this quick warm-up and shared many great resolutions!

Categories: Middle School|Tags: , |

Create a State

Cari Gray
Cari GrayNBHS - Social Studies

Imagine being able to create your very own state – you decide how it came to be and how the state is governed. Students in Mrs. Gray’s US Government class were able to do just that!  They utilized a “recipe sheet” to outline a story about the origin and background of their state. They had to decide on the geographic distribution of power, the legislative/executive relationship, the number of people who participate, and more.  Then, they chose the program/app of their choice to tell that story. Some students chose Keynote, others used Adobe Spark Page, while still others used iMovie.  It was fun to see the individual creativity of each student with the creation of their state and how they chose to tell its story to the class!

Categories: High School|Tags: , , , |

IDEA Lab/ MakerSpace

Jennifer Mulero
Jennifer MuleroVE- IDEA Lab

This month’s Technology Spotlight is on Jennifer Mulero, IDEA Lab Instructor at Veramendi Elementary.  Having retired from the United States Navy, Mrs. Mulero seamlessly blends her structured civil service background with her love for creativity to provide the perfect recipe for the MakerSpace environment.  Trying to organize a variety of challenging tasks for students ranging in age from 5-11 would be a daunting endeavor for any teacher.  Mrs. Mulero is able to structure her stations and differentiate her lessons using everything from Origami to OSMOS to Coding, providing a multitude of tasks that stimulate students’ creativity in an environment that encourages exploration without fear of failure.  Great job, Jennifer!!!



Tools of the trade.

Working hard with the kids!


Categories: Elementary|Tags: |

Light It Up! – Circuits PBL

Briana Morgan
Briana MorganME - 5th Grade

Briana Morgan, a 5th Grade teacher at Memorial Elementary, completed an electrifying PBL with her students over circuits!  Students were required to use a 9-volt battery as their power source, have at least one switch, and complete a closed circuit that produced working lights. The students were also able to include extra parts to their circuits such as motors or moving parts. They tested different materials for conductors and insulators, researched some Math and Science connections through StemScopes, and built a project to show off their knowledge of how circuits work.  They completed to-do lists in Notability throughout the PBL to keep them on track and submitted these to eBackpack.  They were able to present their projects to the entire school in the gym with the lights dimmed so their work could really shine! The students had a lot of fun with this project and were able to discuss in detail how a circuit works and what they did to complete their own.

Click to view rubric and to do lists!

Rubric          To Do Part 1          To Do Part 2          To Do Part 3

Categories: Elementary|Tags: , , , , , , |

Foreign Language- Active Learning

Carolyn Barber
Carolyn BarberOak Run Middle School- Spanish

This month’s Technology Spotlight is on Carolyn Barber, Spanish Instructor at Oak Run Middle School.  A proud NBHS unicorn graduate, Señorita Barber incorporates her love for international travel and cultural studies into her curriculum, giving her students useful insight into the world outside of New Braunfels.  She has proven herself to be a leader amongst her peers in seeking out new technologies that further engage her students and ensure an active learning environment.

Carolyn is one of many NBISD instructors that is using Google Classroom for some content delivery and online assessment.  As you can see below, students are all engaged during this comprehension check on a cultural video about Costa Rica!  

Flipgrid is a popular app that fits perfectly into the Foreign Language TEKS.  The instructor can easily assess student spoken samples in a “grid” format, streamlining their comprehension checks and assessments.  To get students up and moving, Srta. Barber uses GooseChase activities for collaborative, teamwork-focused, interactive tasks.   While students are out chasing geese, Carolyn can monitor all of their entries and whereabouts in real-time on her iPad!

Tons of engaging tools in Carolyn’s quiver!

Google Classroom live assessments… everyone is focused!

Real-time, interactive monitoring of student activities.

Goosechase: easy to use instructor tools for assessment.

Flipgrid: Streamlining comprehension checks for instructors.

Categories: Middle School|Tags: , , , |

English – Journalism

Lauren Smith
Lauren SmithNGC - ELA Teacher

Lauren Smith, an English Language Arts teacher at the Ninth Grade Center, uses iMovie, Vimeo and Adobe Spark Page to share weekly announcements with her campus.  The students are responsible for gathering important weekly school news, editing the material in iMovie, exporting it to Vimeo, and lastly attaching it to the Adobe Spark Page. This page is then shared with the campus each week. Adobe Spark Page is a great way to see the full year at a glance all in one place.

Categories: High School|Tags: , , , , |

AP Physics – Atwood’s Machine Lab

Susan Barber
Susan BarberHigh School - AP Physics

Susan Barber, AP Physics teacher at New Braunfels High School, has her students use digital lab equipment to collect data for their Atwood’s Machine Lab.  The students objective was to determine how the acceleration of two masses of an Atwood’s machine are affected by their difference in mass. The students must experimentally determine the mathematical relationship between the acceleration of an Atwood’s machine, the difference between the two masses, and the sum of those two masses, and compare the experimental data to the acceleration predicted by Newton’s Second Law.  To achieve their objective the students will build their own Atwood’s Machine that includes the use of some digital lab equipment which will collect pertinent data for them— a Super Pulley and a Smart Gate Photogate.  Photogates are used to teach students fundamental concepts about measuring time intervals and calculating speed and acceleration from their measurements— they are much more accurate than a traditional stopwatch. The students iPads connect via bluetooth to the digital lab equipment so they can collect the data needed for the lab with the Pasco app on the iPad.

Categories: High School|Tags: , , |

Idea Lab – Coding

Hollee Becerra
Hollee BecerraLamar - IDEA Lab

Hollee Becerra, IDEA lab teacher at Lamar Elementary, gears her students up for Hour of Code during their specials rotations. Ms.Becerra had students visit two stations during IDEA lab that helped them learn how to code and program. Students worked on Code.org to code a character from the popular Minecraft game get through different challenges. Code.org is a great tool for the beginning coder, since it gives students hints on how to correctly code the characters for their challenges. Ms.Becerra also had students coding an electronic mouse to get him through a maze. These students worked as a team to create the maze and then code the mouse to go through the maze obstacles.

Categories: Elementary|Tags: , |

CTE Health Science – Organ Donor PBL

Winki Smith
Winki SmithHealth- NBHS

This month’s Technology Spotlight is on Winki Smith, Health teacher at NBMS.  Having dedicated 14 years to NBISD, Winki (AKA Coach Smith) is a dedicated Unicorn as are her 2 NBHS graduate sons.  She is particularly passionate about the importance of being an Organ Donor as the tragic loss of a close family member saved the lives of (at least) 4 other individuals in need of a viable organ.  Her students’ work with the Chris Klug foundation, featuring online coursework, combined with productive class discussions and hands on creation of Public Service Announcements blend together perfectly to make an AWESOME Project-Based Learning products!  Hats off to Coach Smith for her engaging lesson and for going out of her way to learn some advanced features of Imovie, producing her own instructor modeled PSA about Organ Donation using Sign Language! 

Be an Organ Donor!

Project Based Learning

Collaborative Projects

Categories: Middle School|Tags: , , , |

English – Campus Wide Service Project

Kim Nichols
Kim NicholsNBMS - ELA
Jennie Cummins
Jennie CumminsNBMS - ELA
Kacy Zaleski
Kacy ZaleskiNBMS - Librarian

As part of the Helping in the Community PBL, Kim Nichols, Kacy Zaleski and Jennie Cummins at New Braunfels Middle School are using Padlet to collect questions students wrote to ask expo exhibitors at the nonprofit expo and gallery walk. Questions were collected all day and students can see not only their classes’ responses, but other classes’ responses as well.

Students will also create a campus wide service project and multi media presentation. The PBL will culminate with students writing an essay about the experience.


Categories: Middle School|Tags: , , , , |

English Language Learners- Active Learning

Melissa Zúñiga
Melissa ZúñigaNBHS Ninth Grade Center- ELL Instructor

This month’s Technology Spotlight is on Melissa Zúñiga, ELL Instructor at the NBHS Ninth Grade Center.  Mother to a family of fellow Unicorns, Señora Zúñiga takes advantage of her strong bilingual background to provide a comfortable and engaging learning setting for her ELL students.  The pride she exhibits as a Unicorn graduate herself is evident in the productive classroom environment one feels upon entering her classroom.  Our ELL program is very fortunate to have Melissa leading the way on the challenging road of second language learning that all of her students face.

Google Suite:  

Melissa is one of many NGC instructors that use a variety of offerings of the Google Suite for some content delivery and online assessment.  In addition to Google Classroom, Sra. Zúñiga takes full advantage of Google Forms and Sheets for tracking ELL individual tutorial time for her students and aides.  Google Slides and Docs allow her to organize and deliver audio-visual content and create a user-friendly workflow to address her highly varied student needs.

Interactive Apps

Reducing learner anxiety is key to language acquisition! Interactive apps such as FlipGrid are perfect for getting ELL students to practice their English comprehension AND production.  Users must not only understand the prompts (can be video, audio, or text!), but be able to respond in the target language in an interface that students can customize and enjoy using.

For reading practice, Sra. Zúñiga and her students maximize their comprehensible input with guided questions and easy to use student data generated by CommonLit.

As for real-world audio comprehension, Melissa works with the NGC Biology/ ELL instructor Mr. Avera to record his lessons so that students can review lectures at their own pace, asking questions to the ELL staff as necessary.

Rosetta Stone

NBISD invests wisely in our ELL program.  Each ELL student has an individual license to (arguably) the most effective online language learning program… Rosetta Stone!

A true-blue Unicorn at heart!

Rosetta Stone for all ELL students.

FlipGrid for interactive student activities.

Pre-recording teacher lectures from NGC staff.

CommonLit for reading comprehension & instructor feedback.

Social Studies – French and Indian War

Norma Cowen
Norma CowenOak Run - 8th Grade American History

Norma Cowen at Oak Run Middle School had her students select from a tiered rubric what project they wanted to complete to end their unit on the French and Indian War.  For 100 points, students could create an Adobe Spark Page to creatively display their knowledge about the war.  For 90 points, students could create a 15 question Kahoot! to quiz their classmates.  For 80 points, students could complete a Guided Reading handout.  There was also an additional option for extra credit where students could reflect on a Flipgrid question.  Students were very excited to be able to choose the project they wanted to complete and enjoyed sharing their work with their peers.  It was an organized chaos where learning was taking place everywhere you looked!

Check out some examples by clicking below!

Adobe Spark Page



Science- Shared Texture Videos

Cheri Visser
Cheri VisserCLE- 2nd Grade

Cheri Visser, 2nd grade teacher, at County Line Elementary integrates technology into a science lesson reviewing texture.  Students first create a paper display labeling the texture of different everyday items.  Students then turn their paper displays into an animated video where they describe each of the items texture using Chatterpix.  Students then shared the videos with Cheri through SeeSaw. Now other students and parents can view the texture videos through SeeSaw too.  Cheri also created QR Codes that link to each student’s video so she could display the paper creations and videos in the hallway.  Visitors to the school can easily get a snapshot of each student’s learning experience as they are passing through the hall.

Categories: Elementary|Tags: , , , |

Math – Recording Lessons

Teacher Name
Teacher NameNBHS - Math

Jennifer Skrhak, Math teacher at New Braunfels High School, uses Mimio and Quicktime to record her lessons for her students to view outside of class. Mimio is an interactive whiteboard that allows Mrs.Skrhak to project her computer screen and record her annotations electronically. During class Mrs. Skrhak uses the Mimio to write electronically on notes that she has loaded into the Mimio software. She is able to capture her lesson and annotations on her notes for her students by using Quicktime to record the computer screen and a bluetooth microphone to record herself giving explanations to the class. After she records her lessons she uploads them to a Google Drive folder for her students to view after class is over.

Categories: High School|Tags: , , |

Social Studies – Colonies Commercial

Alan Alcala
Alan AlcalaNBMS - 8th Grade
Chesney Tompkins
Chesney TompkinsNBMS - 8th Grade
Kathy Hughes
Kathy HughesNBMS - 8th Grade

The 8th grade Social Studies team at New Braunfels Middle School had students persuading others to “join their colony” through creative commercials using iMovie or Keynote.  Students began by researching facts about their colony including geographic, political, and social information.  The class then created large graphic organizers to display their findings by attaching sticky notes to the corresponding research section. Notability was also used to gather information that would later be used in their commercial. This week-long research project was stored on their Google Drive to be able to stop or pick up at any moment. Once all the information was collected, groups were tasked with creating a script to convince others that their colony is “the place to be!” Commercials were required to be 2min or less, so a lot of practice was needed to ensure students did not go over the time allotted. After plenty of practice and perfection, students recorded each other to create their commercials.  They finalized their commercial using the iMovie or Keynote app on their iPads.  Students were really able to showcase their creativity through this PBL project and acquire a wealth of knowledge about the colonies and what made each of them great!

Categories: Elementary|Tags: , , , , |

Math Dual Credit – Canvas

Debra Cunningham
Debra CunninghamNBHS - Math

Debra Cunningham, Math teacher at New Braunfels High School, uses the Canvas platform with her dual credit students. Dual credit teachers have access to Canvas through the Alamo Colleges ACES account. Canvas is an online learning management system that allows teachers to post content for students and students are able to interact with the content within that system. Canvas allows students to turn in assignments as webpages, documents, video, and audio. Students are also able to collaborate with each other using discussion boards. Canvas is only available to students who are in Dual Credit courses but some of the features that are within Canvas can be found with the systems that NBISD has for our students. If you want to use a certain feature of Canvas and you do not teach Dual Credit you can contact your technology specialist and we can help you find a tool that you can use.

Categories: High School|Tags: , |

Pre AP Science – iTunesU Organization

Margaret Smith
Margaret SmithORMS- 8th grade Science
Jacob Guerrero
Jacob GuerreroORMS- 8th grade Science

Margaret Smith and Jacob Gurrero, 8th grade Pre AP Science Teachers at Oak Run Middle School, use a course outline and weekly posts to keep their Pre AP Science iTunesU Course ultra organized.  The course structure is formed by creating a course outline based on the district’s Pre AP Science scope and sequence.  The course outline includes the overlying units that guide the content and also includes specific sub topics that detail what will be covered throughout each unit.  Course posts are then tied to the relevant topic from the course outline and the instructional week during which the content will be covered.  Students or parents can open a post from any particular week to view activities, assignments, announcements, and other resources that will be used during that entire week of instruction.  Margaret says setting up her iTunesU course in this layout helps her students when they are absent because the students know exactly where to find the work they missed.  Setting up your iTunesU course in a structured, easy to navigate format ensures your students can stay organized and on track throughout the entirety of your class.

Categories: Middle School|Tags: , |

PE – Sworkit Kids

Shannon Spence
Shannon SpenceCSE - PE Teacher

Shannon Spence, PE Teacher at Carl Schurz Elementary, uses iPads to help motivate students during their daily workouts. Coach Spence has students rotate through stations during PE and one of those stations utilize a set of iPads with an app called Sworkit Kids. Sworkit allows students to customize workouts to the individual child. Students are able to create their own workouts by choosing from multiple different strength exercises, agility exercises and flexibility and balance exercises to add to their workout. Coach Spence has found that her students are more motivated to do their workouts now that Sworkit Kids allows them to take ownership of what exercises they are doing.

Categories: Elementary|Tags: , |