Reduce, Reuse, Recycle "UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss, The Lorax The City of New Braunfels and New Braunfels ISD have teamed up to educate our 6th grade students on the importance recycling and how it specifically impacts our community. Did you know that if we continue to consume waste at the same rate as we have in the past, our New Braunfels community landfill will be full in only 15 years?! Unbelievable, right? We've got to do something big in our community before it's too late and New Braunfels City Recycling Coordinator - Catelyn Scholwinski - believes this change could start with our students. She has worked with New Braunfels Middle School and Oak Run Middle school 6th grade teachers for several years now to create a recycling awareness program that every 6th grader participates in. Catelyn believes that by educating our students on the importance of recycling and how it impacts New Braunfels - they will in turn become advocates for recycling within our community as well. Students learn important concepts like how long trash take to decompose in the dump, what materials can be recycled here in New Braunfels, and ways to reuse materials instead of creating more trash. Over the course of 3 days students learn about these concepts through both tech integrated and hands on activities. On the first day of instruction students take a pre-assessment to gauge their [...]
Kids Need Mentors Cassie Thomas - WSE 5th Grade Reading & Writing Flipgrid Skype "I want my students to know that they can be writers of amazing stories, they can be illustrators of the next best graphic novel, they can be authors and illustrators if their hearts desire." - Cassie Thomas At some point in your life you have probably had a mentor. Maybe it was your Dad when you were a small child, a favorite teacher in school, a colleague, or a friend. Whomever it was, it was someone that you learned from, received advice from, and turned to for help. Everyone needs a mentor at some point in their life, especially kids. Cassie Thomas, 5th grade Reading and Writing teacher at Walnut Springs Elementary, believes this as well. She believes in this so much that she has brought a mentor into her classroom and into her students lives. At the end of the 2017-2018 school year, Ms. Thomas decided to sign her class up to be a part of the movement #KidsNeedMentors. She was introduced to this movement through her friend Kristen Picone, an educator from Long Island, NY whom she connected with through her Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter. The goal of #KidsNeedMentors is simple, pair a classroom of students with an author to learn from and collaborate with. Ms. Thomas’ class was paired with Melanie Sumrow, author of The Prophet Calls, [...]
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.
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.
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 [...]