Monday, February 1, 2010

Work, work, work

That sums up my life lately. I have been extremely busy at work and home. First, we officially started working on our new house (my grandparent's old house). We completely emptied it and took the majority of the furniture to Goodwill. The rest of the stuff ended up in the dump. We have a lot of work ahead of us. As I mentioned before, my grandparents smoked. You can see exactly where everything hung on the walls. We have to paint and replace carpet. It is fun, exctiting, and overwhelming at the same time. Mark, my husband, is also sick with strep throat. So, he has been feeling horribly but still being a trooper. He has helped tremendously and been a good sport about everything. Next weekend, my brother-in-law is watching the boys the entire weekend. So, we plan on painting frantically the entire weekend.

Region 12 was successful. The teachers were excited, motivated, and left ready to try some new tools. I hope I changed the way they think about using technology, that it isn't a separate entity but a part of their teaching and curriculum.

This week, I am busy preparing for an early release day. We have some break-out sessions planned and I was partnered up to present new ideas and uses for document cameras. I have some clever ideas but I wish I could come up with more exciting ones:

1. Word Walls
Create mini thematic word walls in Word using clip art, print and lay under the document camera during writing or reading time so the students can easily see the words if needed.

2. Writing Practice
Display an essay, story, worksheet etc...Have students revise/edit, complete the worksheet, etc.
3. Scrabble
Write a word. Have students take turns adding/editing the word. Points are awarded to the side of the class that lasts the longest.

4. Fill in thinking maps

5. Spelling Practice
Use your letters to spell words; place some letters (you have secretly already pre-selected which letters) under the camera and let the kids come up and try to spell a sight word from their list.

6. What's Missing Memory Game
Place several objects under the document camera and then use the Freeze feature on your document camera and take one item away. Now unfreeze the camera and have the students guess which object is missing. This activity helps students learn to pay attention and notice details, which is a valuable skill when noticing letters, shapes of letters, and their similarities and differences.

Use the missing shape as a writing prompt – Where did the (object) go?

7. Matching
Color Match – match color objects to their color word
Alpha/Word Match – match letters or words to pictures of objects
Money Match – have a Money Amount sheet for students to count the money “into”

8. Categorize
Have two pictures beside each other of terms (vertebrate/invertebrates) Pass out cards of animals, traits, characteristics and have students place them in the right spot.

9. Ordering
Alpha Order – alphabetize letters or words
Number order – put numbers in the correct order
Bigger/Smaller – order objects by size

10. Timeline
Project a blank timeline and have students write on post-it notes to add events

Our session is this Thursday so any ideas are welcomed. Have a great week and try not to work too hard!


  1. Lisa,
    I feel your pain. We are smack dab in the middle of finishing our basement, I can't seem to shake the viruses this year, and work is absolutely crazy. I hope that things settle down for you soon!

    I love the ideas for the document cameras, I am training first and second grade teachers on the document cameras tomorrow. I can't wait to share your ideas with them, thanks!

  2. Lisa,

    Looks like you've already got a lot planned. I hope we get more access to document cameras soon.

    BTW I believe there is an undercoat sealant that specifically locks away the smoker smell and stain from walls prior to repainting. Otherwise I have heard the smell comes back. And both you and Kelly T. are reminding me that I have many changes to make in my own manor house.

  3. Lisa,
    I've been putting together a list of ways to use document cameras in the classrooms to share with the teachers at my school. After reading your list of ideas, I quickly added it to my list! :)