Monday, December 8, 2014

Beyond the Four Walls

Last week, students in Texas History and in Leadership classes learned a new skill - video chatting.  The Texas History classes visited with the Bob Bullock Museum through their distance learning program.  They offer several programs, but this particular occasion was devoted to the program titled "Gone to Texas: Part of the Nation's Immigration Story". Students learned about the 4 waves of immigration to Texas - why and how they came, as well as circumstances going on across the sea. In this interactive session, students examined artifacts from the museum and discussed their uses and meaning. For most 7th graders, this was their first interactive video chat.  It was a big success and I'm sure we'll have more chats with them.

Our second instance of video chat also happened last week. The leadership students will be developing 3 project proposals for our school educating others about forms of hate and how to respond as allies to targets and those who are aggressive towards the targets. Mrs. Hobbs heard JC Pohl before school started and suggested the students consider his programs. Students researched his programs, developed questions and interviewed him via Google hangout. They will make final decisions collaboratively across the leadership classes about what they will do. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sushi Monster

Power math students had a great time today using Sushi Monster to practice multiplication skills. The idea is to find numbers that multiply together to make the number that hangs around the monster's neck.  Get it right, the player gets points; get it wrong and the monster gets angry. Problems start with 2 multipliers, but quickly progresses to 3 multipliers. The students reported it was fun and challenging. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's elementary !

Eighth grade students are seeing the periodic table in a new light. They are using the iPads and an app called Elements 4D to bring the elements to life. The app developer, Daqri, makes a cube template to use with the app.  Students put the cubes together the old fashioned way...with scissors and glue. Each side of the cube shows a different element. They use the app to scan the sides of the cube. It brings up information about the element, shows the bore model, and a graphic of the element.  The gold block turns gold and even reflects light.  When 2 cubes that would combine to make something are bumped together, the app dings and show the bond formula.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Canyon Echoes Broadcast

Mrs. Wilkinson's Canyon Echoes staff works hard each week preparing the Canyon Echoes online newsletter ( Students decide which articles they will research and write about each week. They interview teachers, students, and staff about all the events going on in their school.  This has helped our school community to learn more about each other.  In addition, the students are publishing a monthly newsletter titled "The Potty Press". This is posted in the student restrooms.  The newsletter provides students tips for studying, eating healthy and important upcoming events.

This year, they have added a new feature to the online newsletter.  They have been doing a weekly newscast.   Student broadcasters develop script and deliver the news in front of a green screen. Several students go out to campus events for filming, while others interview students and staff about relevant topics.  Then editing goes into action, putting all of the video clips together to create the newscast. These productions are so professional - it's hard to remember that they are middle school students!  This broadcast will be the last for this year! Check it out!

11-07-14 Broadcast from Canyon Echoes on Vimeo.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Virtual Lesson

Next Generation teacher, Will Waghorne is going virtual with the Aurasma app on his set of iPads. With Aurasma, you take a snapshot of a trigger picture, then you video a segment to go with it. If that particular trigger picture is scanned with the Aurasma app, the associated video will play!

His history classes researched Revolution figures and came up with a script to create a video "living portrait" Note the following pictures. The first one is students shooting video for those. The next three are snapshots of the Aurasma app, and the last is a student viewing the portraits. Mr. Waghorne notes "I think the students will like seeing their work presented in this way."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Story Time

Last week our English Language Learners got a chance to write and read stories. They had a choice of Sock Puppets or Puppet Pal apps on the iPads for recording and animating the stories.  They had a great time making them!  Here's a sample for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Canyon Treasure

Art teacher Mary Loera is using technoogy to share student art! Mary always shares student art, but it's the way in which it is shared that is so unique and creative. What better way for students to share than wear! Mary created a t-shirt design to advertise the artwork. The front displays a hashtag, while the back sporsts a QR Code (with mustang in the middle). Scanning the QR code takes you to the Mustang Visual Arts Gallery.  The shirts come in t-shirt or hoodie as modeled here by 2 of our six graders.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

World Cultures PBL

Sixth graders have just completed their first Problem Based Learning assignment.  As creators of a new country, their task was to study various forms of government and persuasively present their findings to the audience.  They looked at two perspectives - one from the view of the government and the other from the view of the governed.  This was a student-centered project. They formed teams, researched and created presentations  while the teachers facilitated any discussions. 

Friday was the culmination of the projects with a presentation to the other social study classes as well as the campus administrators. Students chose a wide variety of presentation methods - from traditional PowerPoint, Prezi and Google Slides to creative animations with Powtoon.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mustang Discoverers Find Apps

Our sixth graders spend 12 weeks in a technology discovery class with Mrs. Wilkinson.  They are always doing amazing things!  Last week was a discovery of apps - students researched various apps and then shared what they found out with their class!  Here's what Mrs. Wilkinson had to say:

"I just witnessed some really impressive and cool apps for students to use during App Week!

App Recommendations for Students:
-iMovie- only on Apple devices, great video editor
-Khan Academy- available through the Google Chrome Store, amazing app that allows students to practice and learn a variety of subjects including computer programming
-Duolingo- available through the Google Chrome Store, super awesome language learning app, reading, writing, and speaking!
-Biodigital Human- available through the Google Chrome Store, incredible app that allows students to learn the body, anatomy, and diseases
-Planetarium- available through the Google Chrome Store, interactive sky map that shows students the stars and constellations
-3D Solar System Simulator- available through the Google Chrome Store, takes students through the universe to see planets orbit and gain more information about them
-VocabMonk- available through the Google Chrome Store, helps students build their vocabulary
-3D Tin- available through the Google Chrome Store, 3D modeling!
-EasyBib (extension)- available through the Google Chrome Store, helps students cite their sources with correct documentation
-StudyStack- available through the Google Chrome Store, great flashcard and review app

Planning and organization apps for students (and teachers):
-Google Calendar

Apps for Teachers (all available through the Google Chrome Store):
-The QR Code Generator
-Turn Off the Lights- blackens the background when showing videos on YouTube
-Nearpod- allows you to go through slideshows with students on devices and quiz them throughout the presentation"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Our library received a 70 inch interactive TV (IT) as part of the Next Generation Digital Classroom pilot. It's a huge touch-screen monitor! The librarian and I have been using it during our presentations of the iPad and the QR code scavenger hunt. The students have also been infatuated using Paint on it - creating their own class 'walls' of graffiti.  

I will admit, when I first saw it, I thought the coaches would really love to use this with the players. Sure enough, Coach Azios came into the library yesterday afternoon with a group of players. They used IT to go over some plays.  Maybe that's why they won the game!

Jamestown - Minecraft Style

Mr. Collin Fletcher, 8th grade American History, is no stranger to games. He had been thinking about students re-creating Jamestown using Minecraft.  Head on over to my Minecraft blog (Teksploration in Minecraft) to read more.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Quick Response Codes / Our First NGDC Activity

 Our library was selected as one of eighteen in the district to pilot tablets. We received a set of iPads as well as a 70-inch touch screen monitor.  It is customary for the students to attend library orientation each year to find out about what the library offers. 

We thought it would be fun for the kids to find out for themselves what the library has.  Mrs. Stiles created QR codes that linked to various library topics like book genres, and library databases. Then she scattered the QR codes in various places throughout the library. The QR code reader app installed was i-nigma. We gave the kids an orientation on handling and care of the iPads before turning them loose to find the QR codes and the hidden information.  Some links opened web sites, while others opened up engaging videos. They enjoyed 'the hunt' as they worked in pairs to explore the library. It appears that the iPads are a hit!

Math in Motion

The past few weeks have been a non-stop whirl of activity and a lot of it was centered around technology.  Our first day at the canyon is always the A-game day. That means teachers have really engaging lessons to get the students excited about the new school year.  Math teacher Mrs. Downs began the year in Geometry by having them log on to Geometer's Sketchpad. Take a look at this lesson about the relationship between lines.

And speaking of math, Mrs. Loose's eighth grade Algebra came to the lab to use Desmos Graphing Calculator. This free online program graphs functions, plots tables of data, evaluates equations and a whole lot more!

Take a look at some of the things the kids were doing with graphs.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

BYOD training

Group q&a about BYOD and a game of Kahoot! first.  Teachers are learning from each other about BYOD classroom mgmt, and effective uses in the classroom.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Best of Animations Section 3 2013-2014

Sixth grade students in the third technology rotation became film makers for a few days.  Their teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson, introduced them to stop action animation and the students were very interested in creating their own. They were taking pictures everywhere at the school - in the hallways, corners of rooms, other classrooms, and even at home.  They used Windows Live Movie Maker to put the shots together and added music to complete the projects. Take a look at this 'best-of' collage from these students.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Story to Tell

Sixth grade students have a story to tell. And the one they wanted to tell was about Nelson Mandela. This was a multistep project.

First the students used research tools to find information and photos about Mr. Mandela. Students learned to find non-copyrighted photos to use for their projects.  Then they inserted and organized the photos in a tool called PhotoStory. They recorded narration for each slides and added music to the story.  Once it was saved, it became a movie file they shared with the entire class.

Why are they in the halls?  For quiet recording!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Game On!

Entry Screen.
Kahoot is the hottest game in the classroom right now.  Several teachers saw the last PD in your PJs and decided to give this formative assessment game a try.  And the kids love it!

Here's how it works.  The teacher makes a quiz or gets from from the shared area. Shared quizzes can be copied and edited for another teacher's use. Quizzes can include text, pictures or both.

Once a quiz is loaded, a pin code is generated and is shown on the projected screen to the class.

Question on the screen.
Students go to and type in the code that adds them to the game. Then it's game time!  A question is presented at the front of the room with 4 answer choices.  The answer choices are colored coded and shape coded. The student looks at the choices and chooses the correct color/shape answer on their own screen.  Competition can be fierce during these quizzes. I've even heard students begging for the teacher to give another one to better their scores!

Response screen
The most accurate and fastest answer gets the most points. Summaries of responses are shown keeping individual answer anonymous.

Feedback screen.
At the end of a quiz, students are provided a feedback screen.  They rate the quiz according to whether they felt it was productive learning and whether they would recommend this quiz to others.

Getting Smarter Every Day

Sixth grade students have studied various cultures around the world this year. They have just completed research on various religions in the regions of India and were presenting the information they found to their peers.  Students in Mr. Erickson's class used the classroom interactive white board to showcase their work. 

They were given a choice of presentation methods. Some chose a traditional PowerPoint to share, while others used Google Slides. 

A few chose Gamestar Mechanic as a presentation.  They developed a short game for users to learn facts as they progress.

Wiki, Por Favor

First year Spanish students spent a few days researching sports & recreational activities in various countries around the globe. Students interpreted English text into Spanish and included the part English, part Spanish prose onto a classroom wiki. They included maps, videos, and hyperlinks in their wiki pages for interest.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Welcome to the new CVMS Blog!

For older posts of Canyon Vista Technology, refer to the side bar.   Also check out my blog on Teksploration in Minecraft.

Abolitionism Study

Eighth graders have been using Google research tools to find out about abolitionism - the movement to end slavery.  They studied the history of this time period, the problems faced during this period, and the important people associated with this movement.