Category Archives: Wissahickon

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.”

Requirements:

  • 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 Tech Squad

techsquad2The Wissahickon Middle School student technology team, The Tech Squad, was started on a trial basis in the spring of 2015 with about 10 hand-selected students.  This group of students met a few times during the spring and we established some baseline expectations for the team but the overarching raison d’etre of this group of students is to provide just-in-time, “first line of defense” technical support in the classroom so that their fellow students do not need to leave the class to go to the Technology Office.  … 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

Ten Tools for Engaging Learners

On Wednesday, September 30th, from 3-6 pm, the Montgomery County Association of Teachers of Foreign Languages (MCAFTL) held its fall conference at Wissahickon Middle School.  I was asked about 6 months ago if I would be the presenter for this conference as they wanted to once again focus their fall conference on technology.  As a former French teacher and member of MCAFTL, I jumped at the chance to share my love of instructional technology with my world language colleagues once again.  … Visit the author's original post

ReBoot Camp 2015

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The hectic beginning of school continues for me as I leave the trenches of Boot Camp and enter into the realm of ReBoot Camp.  While Boot Camp is for the 6th graders of WMS, ReBoot camp is reserved for the 7th and 8th grade ‘upperclassmen’.  They have a year or two of using their  laptops under their belts so they are well-versed in Wiss21.  However, each year it is important for me to meet with them once again (I feel like their Jedi master sometimes) to apprise them of any updates, new technology, and to remind them once again about the importance of digital organization and Digital Portfolio expectations.… Visit the author's original post

Wiss21 Boot Camp

The second day of school is always an exciting one at Wissahickon Middle School, for that’s the day that about 1,200 students receive their Wiss21 laptops and begin or continue their journey through the challenging yet exhilarating wilds of 21st Century Teaching and Learning.  As sixth grade is the first year that the students are issued a laptop that is theirs and theirs alone that they can use in school and at home, not only do they receive their laptops on the second day of school, but WMS 6th graders begin the first of several sessions of what we lovingly call ‘Boot Camp’, otherwise known as computer orientation.  … Visit the author's original post

Wiss21 Summer Institute 2015

wiss21-white-bkgrdLast week, during the very last days of summer vacation, while most teachers are trying desperately to soak up the last rays of sunshine, riding that last adrenaline-pumping roller coaster, or savoring the cuisine of backyard BBQs, a group of teachers from the Wissahickon School District were devoting their time to personal and professional growth at the Wiss21 Summer Technology Institute.  The Institute ran Monday-Thursday, from 8:30-11:30 am, offering 2 sessions each day on technology integration and 21st century learning.

As technology integration and 21st century learning are large and broad topics, we put together and sent an interest survey in the spring to gauge interest for the Institute and its offerings. … 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