Category Archives: Cool

Reader’s Workshop – The Sway Way!

At Wissahickon Middle School, we have been using Sway in a variety of ways for demostrations of learning, teacher presentations, and communication, collaboration and project-based learning.  Another great way that our teachers and students are using Sway is through reading portfolios.  Read on to find out how Language Arts teacher Chad Towarnicki and his students […]… Visit the author's original post

Project Communication and Collaboration with Sway

I had the honor of being a guest blogger once again on the Microsoft in Education blog.  This time I wrote about how the students and staff of Wissahickon Middle School are using Sway for project communication and collaboration.  As of today, the post was not only posted on the Microsoft in Education blog, but […]… Visit the author's original post

MakerSpace “Playdate”

On Friday, November 13th, WMS hosted educators, technology/instructional coaches, administrators and librarians in our MakerSpace and Library for what we dubbed our “Playdate”.  The intent of this time was for folks interested in MakerSpaces and STEM education to come together to collaborate, experiment, communicate and essentially PLAY with the items in our MakerSpace and other […]… Visit the author's original post

Wikis & Skype & Tech Squad – OH MY!

Last week was another great week of innovation and global collaboration at Wissahickon Middle School!  Read on to find out all about our Community Organization Wikis, Global Collaboration with Skype and WMS Tech Squad. Community Organization Wikis 6th grade Social Studies students are researching community organizations as they relate to community pride and concerns.  Each […]… Visit the author's original post

Making Monsters to “Say Boo to Drugs”

Our latest foray into WMS’s MakerSpace was not only festive fun for the upcoming Halloween holiday but also in support of next week’s school-wide celebration of Red Ribbon Week.  The theme of the week is “Say Boo to Drugs”, so we took that theme to the MakerSpace with a frightful challenge for our 6th grade innovators.

taskThe Task – Create a Halloween Monster that relates to next week’s theme of “Say Boo to Drugs.”


  • Create a free-standing monster
  • Must use at least 3 different elements from the MakerSpace
  • Challenge:  some part of it must move!
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WMS Innovates!

Wow, what an awesome day yesterday!  In addition to all the great 21st century teaching and learning that happens on a daily basis at Wissahickon Middle School, yesterday was a day for global connections, innovation, creativity and making.

The day started with a 6th grade teacher conducting her first every Mystery Skype with another class from Georgia who also experienced their first Mystery Skype.  Mystery Skype is a 20-questions type guessing game played by both classes to figure out where the other class is geographically. … Visit the author's original post

The Beginnings of a MakerSpace

As each WMS student and teacher now has a district-issued laptop, the former computer lab at the back of the library sat empty last school year.  It was used here and there by different classes, clubs and trainings, but this year the space has a new purpose – a MakerSpace!   Last year, along with school budget and grant funds, we acquired several items that were MakerSpace worthy, but we did not yet have a truly dedicated space for our Romo and Sphero Robots, our Little Bits electronic sets, Hot Wheels Speedometry Kits and our MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation 3D Printer.  … Visit the author's original post

Top 5 Back-to-School Tools for Creation, Collaboration and Communication

Along with the preparation of bulletin boards, seating charts, classroom procedures and syllabi, it is also important for teachers to consider the go-to digital tools and resources they will rely upon as they head into the school year.  The five tools and resources outlined below can be utilized by teachers and students in many different classroom settings, grade levels and subject areas for creation, communication, collaboration, and so much more.

Tool #1 – OneNote & OneNote Class Notebook

To maximize efficiency and rise to the top of the class in organization, consider using OneNote (free to download for any devices) and the OneNote Class Notebook as the backbone of your digital life.… Visit the author's original post

E2: Microsoft Global Educator Exchange

I had the most life-altering experience of my life a few weeks ago as one of 20 educators from the United States chosen to join about 250 other like-minded educators from around the globe at the Microsoft Global Educator Exchange, E2.

Check out the Sway that I created below as a recap, photo album and reflective blog post all wrapped into one!  You can view it as embedded below, or click HERE to open it up in its own tab to see it fully.  … Visit the author's original post

Newton’s Laws of Motion, Sports and Sway!

Sway is a new online creation program by Microsoft that allows you to create on a canvas adding text, images, pictures, twitter feeds, videos, etc.  I think of it as a combination of Prezi, Glogster and OneNote (kinda) but it is a COOL new way for you and your students to present information. Although the students (and teachers) need accounts, the accounts are free.  Sharing is very easy via link, so it is a stand-alone website page (also very cool to broaden the audience, etc.)  Sways can also be embedded into websites, blogs, wikis, etc. … Visit the author's original post