NETA Day 2

After stuffing ourselves at Famous Dave's BBQ, I had enough fuel for another day at NETA12.  Well, slightly sluggish, but otherwise ok.

  • I got to meet up with NE♥PS (Nebraska Loves Our Public Schools) and build some more relationships with teachers that also love technology.   
  • The York Dukes showed us how students use technology throughout their school day and did an amazing job.  
  • I watched a group of students along with @AshleyGlesmann demonstrate their five favorite tech items in their classroom, and learned some new tricks for edmodo and Apple TV too.  It was great to see how much they use technology as a normal facet of every day classwork.
  • Papillion-LaVista schools did a great job showing us how they have commandeered Social Media to foster communication between the classrooms and parents.  It's a huge benefit to any district as they deal with an AUP for technology.
  • And many others, but the overall rejuvenation of NETA was exactly what I needed to keep me thinking and planning for my students!

What’s Your Sentence?

Ok, I rushed this a little and about drove myself crazy editing and tweaking and am still not completely happy with it, but here it is.

My 4th grade classes completed the "What's Your Sentence?" project this past week and I also recorded them reading their sentences.  I thought it would be a great part of their digital portfolio so of course it got uploaded it to YouTube for your viewing pleasure.  I apologize for the the no-so-great-audio of my Nikon D90 (Nikon reps, if you are reading this, I want a new camera!).

We are looking you and others state wide and worldwide to send us clips of your sentence and show the students the power of global collaboration.  Send us your clip at

Many thanks to Craig Badura for inspiration after reading his blog and seeing what he does with his students to challenge me to think more outside the box and get kids to be creative.

Enjoy and please leave comments for the kids!

NETA 2012 Day 1

Me winning a iTunes gift card from
I haven't been to NETA (Twitter link) for five years now, but I have to say that today was a great welcome back.  Kevin Honeycutt was our morning Keynote speaker and did an amazing job sharing his passion for education and how his teachers helped him by seeking alternatives for his learning outside traditional paper and pencil.  He also reminded us that as teachers we might be the only positive influences in a student's life much his teachers were to him.
Besides great Keynote speakers, NETA is also a great place to meet with other teachers across the state and hear how they use technology in their classrooms.  I attended several Poster Sessions where teachers get a few minutes to show you what technology they have in their classrooms and how they use it with the students.  There were a few teachers that used QR codes to aid in their classroom and QR codes are the one thing that I really am excited about.  Students can use them for anything from learning vocab, going more in depth about a topic by scanning a code and watching videos, reading more information, or hearing audio clips.  They are pretty simple to use and provide some great opportunies to expand education.

There were a lot of great sessions from today and I am looking forward to tomorrow and seeing what else can be taken away from NETA2012.

What’s your sentence?

After stumbling across this blog post I decided to have my 4th grade students give this project a shot.

We watched this video by Daniel Pink and decided to give it a shot ourselves.  We asked the question, "What is the one sentence you would want people to say about you?"  My students are working on their responses, but I am hoping to show them how social media like Twitter allows us to connect with others from around the world.  We want videos from people all over the globe.  We want them from you!

If you would like to help us out, please send us "Your Sentence" video.  Please send your videos to  Thanks in advance for helping us out!

Mystery Skyping

This past week, the 4th grade students were able to participate in a Mystery Skype session with another class from the United States.  The students had no idea where the class was from as we Skyped, but based on some Q&A, their job was to figure out in the US the other class was located.

Our students picked roles for the Skype session and we had people running around the room taking pictures, video, asking and answering questions, and a slew of other jobs in between.  We also had maps of the US that we used to eliminate states as we learned about where they were from.

The students had a few incorrect guesses initially, but as we worked our way through lessons, we eventually found out they were from Maryland for Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Piercy's class.  Mr. Rutter's class met with a class from Massachusetts as well.  We learned a lot of interesting things about our partner classes too!  We learned about their weather, wildlife, tourist attractions, crops, state symbols, famous people that were born in Maryland and their state nickname.  Maryland is called the "Old Line State."  We also learned that Cal Ripken, Edgar Allen Poe, and Michael Phelps were all from Maryland.  Their town also has around 53,000 people compared to Chadron's 6,000.  Mr. Rutter's class learned a lot as well and the kids from Massachusetts were super excited when they found out Danny Woodhead played college football in Chadron.

We were excited to participate and are planning a few more sessions in the future!  Keep checking back for more pictures as the students get them edited.