Monday, February 27, 2012

Have you been to Berenstain Bear Country?

I was very sad today when I heard of the death of Jan Berenstain. Jan along with her husband Stan created an amazing set of books that will always teach children great lessons.  They wrote and illustrated over 300 books.  After Stan’s death in 2005, Mike, their son, helped Jan to continue creating wonderful books.  With Jan’s death today, I hope that Mike will continue the legacy that his parents started in the 1960s.

I cannot even begin to tell you how many books I “wore” out from reading them over and over again.  As a teacher, I absolutely LOVED reading these books to my students.  I always enjoyed telling my student how the Berenstain family were born, raised, and lived in Pennsylvania.  The students always thought that was amazing to think that the “Berenstain Bears lived in our state”.  These books were not only entertaining but they taught the students many lessons.

The Berenstain Bears has a fabulous site, check it out!

Please share your favorite Berenstain Bear book below…

Sunday, February 26, 2012

PETE&C Pre-Conference Day of Discovery!

Wow!  What a wonderful day of Discovery!  I look forward to Discovery Education offering a wonderful pre-conference day at Pete & C each year.  I have never attended Pete & C but after this year I decided I am not missing it next year!

The opening presentation was a collaboration demonstration by Hall Davison, Lance Rougeux, and Steve Dembo.  They talked about how we need to look at the 22nd Century because many schools are surpassing the 21st Century.   One great app they talked about was “Life of George” created by Legos.  It’s an amazing app and you will want to check out for your classroom!  I left their presentation excited about the rest of the day!

The first session I attended was the Collective Brain given by Lance Rougeux.  He showed us many fabulous websites that would be a wonderful resource in our classroom, such as  (Amazon’s Product Visualization) and, which asks a question a day.  Great ideas!

The second session was iThink iNeed iPads in my Classroom presented by Steve Dembo.  Steve showed us many amazing apps along with Apple TV.  He showed us how beneficial it was to have Apple TV in our classroom if you are using iPads.  It was amazing to show our favorite apps by displaying our iPad on the screen.

After lunch there was a DEN Star Showcase. I had the great privilege to share Web 2.0 Tools, which I love.  It was called Beyond the Classroom Walls.  I met so many wonderful people and had the opportunity to share all the wonderful things that are taking place in my school.

My final session of the day was learning about Scratch. Scratch is a great downloadable package to teach programing.   I remember programming years ago and it seem like you wrote a hundred lines to have Hello come up on your screen.  I am so excited that teachers are still teaching it because I think it is important that students understand have programs work.

Once again, it was a fun-filled and educational day.  Reed Timmer, Discovery Education Meteorologist, made a guest appearance today! WOW!  That was awesome!

Overall it was a great day of learning! Can’t wait for the next one!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Can You Help Me?

As ITCs (Instructional Technology Coaches), we wear many hats such as: IT person, Coach, Co-Teacher, etc.  However, the other day, I had to admit I was unsuccessful at my job, or so I thought.  Then, I realized after reflecting on the day, it was success undercover.

A student came into our office during my IT time and asked me if I could help her.  Feeling more confident in my job then I did in September, I knew I could help her.  She told me that her USB flash drive was not working anymore and wanted to know if I could get her files off her flash drive and place it on a new one.  THEN…she handed it to me.

As you can see from the picture, it was not a good situation. Well, as promised, I did try to retrieve the files from the flash drive but I was unsuccessful.  I tried many machines, but not one machine even picked up the fact that I put a USB in the computer. 

But on the other hand, I thought about how impressed I was that the student had that much faith in us that we can fix anything!  So overall it was a success!  If we take time to think about our “unsuccessful moments”, we can find success!  Success is not always completing a task; success can come from the process or from the person who asked you to complete the task!