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Jolynn Sapia, Director Instructional Computing

Half Hollow Hills School District

Points and Clicks Technology News Published by and for the staff of Half Hollow Hills Spring, 2012

In this issue: Our newest Laptop Cohort: The Cybernauts

Exciting technologybased activities of HHH staff and students

Celebrating Technology Use By Our Teachers And Students Information literacy is a critical skill for 21st century citizens, students and teachers especially. Integration of technology can only take place when teachers are comfortable with and able to use technological resources and tools that support instruction, communication, collaboration and innovation. The Half Hollow Hills Instructional Technology program strives to give teachers the tools necessary to enhance their instructional practice and help their students become 21st century learners. This issue of Points and Clicks is dedicated to their work and provides a window into how technology is changing teaching and learning in our District.

Do you know about the teacher laptop program? For more information about the Half Hollow Hills Teacher Laptop Program, please go to:

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Introducing the “Cybernauts� The following staff members spent three summer days and one day in the fall and winter exploring new instructional strategies utilizing their new laptops as part of their professional development. Lauren Ambrogio

Samantha Gutleber

Melissa O'Halloran

Nicole Baggio

Isabella Hynes

Christyann Parisi

Roberta Berrios

Kara Jacobsen

Liz Propati

Vanessa Booth

Lisa Kane

Marianne Rossi

Eileen Burnett

Katie Keller

Laura Rubin

Bridget Conway

Elizabeth Kuzma

Jill Savini

Taryn Cuoco

Kristen Lange

Janette Simonsen

Rosemarie DeBello

Patricia Mancuso

Heather Stein

Lauren DiMeglio

Allison Mauser

Nathan Swift

Jennifer Friaglia

Paul McDermott

Stacey Tomasides

Jennifer Giarrizzo

Kim Miller

Michael Truocchio

Tania Godoy

Kristen Napolitano

Lisa Zarkadas

Laurie Guillem

Lori O'Connor

During the 2012-2013 School year Cybernauts will enrich their learning during 2 more days of training.


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Technology News From Our Teachers

Projects From Our Pilots Jennifer Ievolo, HS West, AP Art History “The teacher laptop program has been ESSENTIAL to my success as an AP Art History teacher this year. It has allowed me to create dynamic PowerPoint presentations to display the artwork for my students to interpret and analyze. Students are engaged and excited to discuss the work. This semester students created videos with the Flip camera and iMovie, using the concept of "Reality TV Programming" by substituting Famous Artists throughout history for the main characters. (For example: "Survivor, Art History" or "The Real World- Art History").

Debra Herbert, Forest Park, Third Grade "One way I integrate technology into my classroom this year is by

Laptop Pilots, Navigators, Co-Pilots, Flight Techs, and Cybernauts were asked to share their technology-infused lessons and also some thoughts about the technology program. The following selected excerpts are some of their thoughts, in their own words. using my laptop and projector to Skype with other classrooms, people, authors etc from around the world. So far this year we have Skyped with a colonel (Colonel Neclario) from the army who is a surgeon based outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. The students learned about various subjects like food, money, climate and general life in Afghanistan. We discussed what Colonel Naclerio does and she showed us many items and natural resources that come from that country. We also Skyped with Mrs. Papadakos' third grade class in Houston, Texas and shared different pieces of writing literature that our students authored. We discussed different books we use and crafts when writing. Another class we Skyped with was Mr. Kasey Huebner's fourth grade from Iowa. We learned many interesting facts about the

land, climate and geographic features from that part of the United States. In the upcoming weeks we will be Skyping with an architect from Haiti who will be telling us about the land after the earthquake. We will also be Skyping with an uncle of a student in my class who lives

in Nigeria, Africa and an aunt who lives in Dubai. From those two Skypes we hope to learn about the culture. I just LOVE the teacher laptop program which has helped to foster all this technology integration!"

Danielle Reed, Signal Hill, Grade 1 ICT “This year, I have had the


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Continued opportunity to work with a virtual interactive whiteboard which allows the students to have a hands-on experience with their learning through technology. This tool engages all students and also encourages students with special needs to learn in new ways. It also benefits multisensory learners because they can fully participate in their learning using an auditory, visual & kinesthetic approach. Students love coming up to the board and sharing their creativity and ideas!”

Maria Lennon, Candlewood, English 6 This year I have used the laptop to take my Eboard to a new level. My Eboard has become my plan book where students and parents can see exactly what it being taught

in class. It is my hope that this transparency will help students review what it being taught in class and help parents understand the dayto-day lessons that take place. Using the scanner, I am able to post student exemplars so that all stakeholders have this information available to them. Since our standards have changed it is critical to have parents, students, and teachers working together to support learning. My laptop has worked as an important tool to teach, plan, and share. My classroom is wired so that I can use the document camera and laptop as teaching tools that can be interchanged with a click of button.

Frank Genise, Candlewood, 6th grade Social Studies “I have been using the laptop

from the program to integrate technology as an assessment tool. Online polls and Online quizzes, tests etc., have been my main focus and am using the laptop as a central hub for keeping a database for producing assessment activities and results. Students submit responses via cell phones or laptops. The information they produce is then analyzed to determine what adjustments are necessary to meet individual needs as well as instructional approaches and to also determine future strategies for teaching and learning. Students have been very motivated using these modalities and the technology has helped to improve the accuracy of assessments as per individual, whole class, and team.”

“The laptop program changed the way I teach and changed the way students learn” Jeannine Ortiz, West Hollow, ELA Grade 7 “The laptop program has given me the expertise to integrate technology to the fullest. It has changed the way I teach and changed the way students learn. There is no substitute for having the technology at my fingertips all the time to really become an expert at seamlessly integrating technology into all

that I do. Students this year are becoming “master bloggers” in ELA. Not only are they posting book recommendations and alternate story endings; they're using web tools and graphics to enhance their blog posts to the fullest. Students are currently working on illuminated poetry assignments where they can bring in images and other

files including graphics, audio, and video links attached to the images in some great American poems to help ""illuminate"" or shed light on their interpretation of these poems. They are also using Voki characters to narrate their poems to the class, adding another layer of media interaction to their blog posts. Students are also using Blackboard and


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Continued Discovery Education video and online quizzes to access content and complete assignments.”

Wikis are being used by many teachers as a way of allowing their students to collaborate in developing various types of websites

The Ladibug document cameras are a very popular addition to many teacher’s technology toolkits this year…

Maryann Meade and Allyson Uttendorfer, HS West, Art “This year our Art History classes are collaborating on a project that uses several types of technology. The Architecture students have designed and constructed 3D gallery spaces in Iron CAD, inspired by architect Frank Gehry. These galleries were then photographed and uploaded to a Wiki where Art History students where able to view them and prepare an exhibition based on an artist that best reflects the style of the gallery space. The images were then loaded onto the Wiki, where Architecture students can download them and insert them into their 3D Iron CAD galleries. We intend to bring the students together so that the Architecture students can present the finished galleries and exhibitions and the Art History students can in turn analyze and reflect on the exhibition as a whole. This is the second year that we have worked on this project together found it a great way for students to collaborate between disciplines as scheduling conflicts are always a concern.

Anny Espinal, HS West, Spanish "I switched from using the Eboard to using a class wiki page. It was a project I worked on with my students to develop a better classroom website. Now we post examples of the students work on the page labeled 'Student's Work.' Visit our page to see what we created: " Janice Nelkin, Paumanok, Art k-5 “I use my program laptop every day. I use it connected to my Ladibug document camera in school for daily whole class instruction. I use it from home to do research for instructional ideas, strategies, techniques, and tips. It has enabled me to communicate with colleagues and exchange ideas. I have made instructional presentations, podcasts and movies that have helped to enhance my instruction.”

Nicole Jackson, Signal Hill, 3rd Grade “This year, my class researched US landmarks and used Comic Life and Photo Booth’s green screen to create informational posters highlighting the history and importance of their landmark.”


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Orsola Dutra, West Hollow, Spanish 6-8 “This year I've created virtual field trips for several topics in my classes. These virtual field trips enhanced the cultural topics that are part of the curriculum. These cultural topics were enhanced with the help of audio clips and short videos. Also, I’ve used my laptop to create interactive games, presentations and/or to show motivational/instructional videos.”

Projects From Our Navigators Geri Sundermier, Candlewood, Science “This summer I was one of fifty teachers chosen out of 4,000 applicants from across the United States to be a Siemens STEM Institute Fellow at Discovery Education in College Springs, Maryland. During a weeklong workshop one of the presenters was Dr. McCammon who did a great presentation on "flipping" your classroom. “Flipping” is a strategy where the students watch a lecture at home that was created by their teacher. This then creates more time in the class for "meaning making" activities. As a result, I have been creating similar lectures for my classes. My students

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loved the lecture on volume because they were able to take in the information at their own pace. They liked being able to freeze and rewind the video that I created. The next day in class after completing a quick check for understanding, students were able to get right to the "rainbow lab" in which they used the information they learned about volume the night before. I am still developing lessons and my students will be creating paper slide videos to demonstrate their understanding. For more information about “flipping a classroom”, go to ect/fizz/pd/lecture. You'll find that Dr. McCammon has created Flip videos demonstrating clearly how to use and create them for your classroom. My involvement in the teacher laptop program truly helped me in the process of applying for National Board Certification. I am very proud to say I am now a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescent Science and I couldn't have done it without the expertise that I gained from my involvement in this program.”

Becky Merejo, HS East Grade10 & 11 “I am incorporating Blackboard tests into my

teaching this year so that students are able to practice the material at home with immediate feedback. Other website tools I am using in class this semester include wikis, Google Docs,, videos using the Flip camera, Mimio and Animoto.”

Jennifer L Houston, HS West, English “I have used my laptop to connect via SKYPE in my classroom with a high school English class in France. I use this in conjunction with the videoconferencing equipment that I have in my classroom. This way, my French students practice their French with native speakers their own age!”

Julian Aptowitz, HS West, Regents Physics “During recent Saturday trainings with the HHH Robotics Team, I was able to use my laptop, along with a Ladibug document camera, to show new team members a close-up view inside the electrical and mechanical systems of the robot we built. With the flexibility of the camera I was able to move in and out of the robot's interior to identify individual components and project them onto a screen.”


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My involvement in the teacher laptop program truly helped me in the process of applying for National Board Certification. I am very proud to say I am now a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescent Science and I couldn't have done it without the expertise that I gained from my involvement in this program. ~Geri Sundermier

Caryn Meirs, Sunquam, 2-5 Enrichment, 3-5 AHAP "I can’t even imagine a day without my laptop. It is my plan book, my reference collection, and my portal to the universe… My AHAP students use the wiki server to keep in touch with each other all week, post questions and work, and submit assignments. We have followed along with researchers in the Arctic and Antarctica and created iMovies about everything from the weather outside to a journey through a human body. We have created movie trailers for books we love, and shared photos of our work throughout the year. We have captured our storytelling in Garageband

and created books in PowerPoint. Sunquam enrichment students posed in front of a green screen so we could create postcards of their faux travels around the world with a little stuffed bunny named Felix. 5th graders have been recording times for their drag racers to track improvements in their design, and 5th grade parent volunteers blog about what they did out in the organic community garden. This year I will be working on an epals project to Skype into classrooms in Mexico and Canada. I maintain a blog for the Sunquam Professional community with tips and ideas posted each month and pages that I update regularly. I have taken graduate courses on this teacher laptop

program computer, sent back emails and blog posts from a trip to the Costa Rican cloud forest. I can easily respond to parent and colleague emails regardless of what building I am working in on any given day. I keep spreadsheets of testing information just a few clicks away, and try to never hand out a worksheet or send a note home unless I have also posted it on a wiki or eBoard. I spend 4 hours each week monitoring the discussion forums and online learning center for the national Science Teachers Association." Charles Bartolotta, HS West, AP Physics C “The AP Physics C classes at HS West created an "Air Rocket" video lab using the

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FLIP video cameras and iMovie. The cameras and software were used in two ways in this project. First for creating a different medium in which to communicate the information usually contained in a written lab report and second as the actual measuring device. Students captured the motion of high-speed rockets on the video cameras then analyze the motion frame by frame to determine their velocity. Their final product contained all the elements of a conventional lab report but was in the form of a movie with the students as the actors.”

Diane Calise, West Hollow, Library/Media/Information “This semester I developed a brochure of selected middle school online databases which HHH subscribes to. This brochure includes the title, URL, username/password if needed, and a brief description of the database. This info gives teachers and students easy access to these important tools. Currently, I am in the development of a West Hollow Library Wiki. This Wiki, called 'the WH Library Wiki', contains ways to integrate Web 2.0 technologies into our teaching. Included will also be information related to PDPs which I will be presenting in the spring: 21st Century Information

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Literacy: Accessing and Evaluating Information; Animoto, the perfect tool for creating videos and presentations; iMovie ’09 PDP: “Have Your 15 Minutes of Fame!”. As new technologies arise, I will explore and incorporate those for our staff and students at my wiki: Being in the laptop program has provided me with advanced technology skills and support that I use on a daily basis. Creating instructional movies, brochures, and presentations are but a few of the tasks I can now perform as a result of the laptop program and its professional development support.”

Elissa Reichstein, Otsego, k - 5 Classroom Music "To encourage my older students (Grades 4 and 5) to work independently on their computers, I assign 2 homework projects throughout the year. To access these projects, the students must log onto my eBoard and follow the links provided. They are then encouraged to submit their completed assignments online via email. This year, our spring assignment will include a VoiceThread "discussion" about one of the major works of music. I have also integrated technology

during regular class time. Last year, we Skyped while rehearsing and we were given constructive comments from our "ePal audience.”

Franchette Mamodesen, West Hollow, French 6,7,8 “My 6 graders created and performed a puppet show. I videotaped them, and edited the videos by using IMovie. The show was designed for the students to show their understanding of the expressions of courtesy and salutation that they learned in French. They did an excellent job, and they had a sense of accomplishment when they watched their video. It was helpful to be able to edit all the videos on the laptop.”

Katherine Homenides, Vanderbilt, Grade 4 “This year, I am running a Newspaper/Computer club for Vanderbilt. In an effort to "go green", we created an eBoard to make our newspaper interactive for the students and parents in our Vanderbilt community. Instead of printing a copy of our newspaper for each student in the school, our final copy is posted on our website for everyone to easily access. When you log on to, you can see the different sections of our newspaper in each tab and leave a comment or suggestion on any article.


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There are also certain notes specifically designed for student feedback, such as our "Spotlight", "Travel" and "Advice" columns, which are written based on student suggestions. The members of our club are very excited about this site and love to read the feedback from their peers! Being a part of the laptop program has had an amazing impact on the way the students are learning in my class. Lessons, projects and daily curriculum are authentic and exciting! The tools I acquired through this program are used constantly. I thank the District for this amazing opportunity!”

Leslie Pilgrim, Candlewood, English 8 “As an English Language Arts teacher, I love using the laptop together with the Ladibug document camera to teach students how to annotate, read closely, write, or complete grammar practice questions. It makes it easier to model all of the above. A student writes a great introduction to an essay and I can simple grab it and share it immediately to the entire class. It has transformed the way I teach on a daily basis.”

Nancy Garcia, West Hollow, Math and Science ICT 7 “Being a Navigator has allowed me to integrate

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technology and enhance the curriculum. In my Math and science class students use my eBoard to blog about upcoming projects, commented on each other’s PowerPoint presentations, create circle, line, and bar graph graphs, follow up on assignments and view daily homework assignments. Students also can access other links to helpful academic interactive websites, like Brain Pop and study guide review sheets and observe the examples of student work from previous years, thanks to iPhoto. At the end of the year students will be creating an online portfolio so they can view the progress of their projects on line and share them at home. Parents also have access and can easily email me through my eBoard. I also communicate through Infinite Campus Messenger to remind parents of upcoming assessments as well as provide study tips and guidance. I also plan on uploading lesson reviews through the use of live scribe and the Ladibug document camera. Students love the digitally produced, guided notes through Microsoft Word, which allow them to easily follow along and get every single detail. I am so thankful to be a part of the laptop program and will continue with the program next year. I know students appreciate and enjoy using and incorporating technology into their daily lessons.”

Renee Clark, Chestnut Hill, Enrichment Grades 2-5 “My fifth grade enrichment students wrote, directed, and produced their own documentary. The purpose of this project was for students to create a multimedia movie that documents the history of Chestnut Hill while developing creative thinking and problem solving skills. Throughout the course of the school year, the students documented the history of Chestnut Hill. They gathered documents, such as yearbooks and blue prints, as well as artifacts relating to our school and analyzed these records. They then conducted interviews to learn more about the school’s history. An original script was written and recorded using Garage Band and their final presentation created in iMovie. The purpose of this project was to enrich the fifth grade curriculum while emphasizing technology and cooperative learning. Integrating writing, reading, and research skills through the content area of social studies helped promote deeper understanding while working in a group emphasized cooperative learning and problem solving. Technology skills were also emphasized and enhanced throughout the unit.”


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Projects From Our Co-Pilots Alysha Mohammed, West Hollow, Grade 7 “Every year I create or enhance a Keynote presentation for parents on Back to School night. I am constantly using the overhead projector to utilize online resources for my AIS students. I use my laptop along with the projector to develop and present class notes to my students. I have even connected the document camera to the overhead projector as another form of presenting information to my students. The accessibility of the laptop provides me with the opportunity to create new and innovative projects for my Seminar classes. It also enriches professional collaboration time for gives me access to the Internet, note-taking tools and past documentation. I am able to easily update my e-board and check my emails.”

Beth Arikian, Candlewood, Spanish 6 and 7 “My 7th grade Spanish classes created Podcasts using Garageband. Students described themselves and discussed their likes/dislikes in Spanish using vocabulary words. They then used the School Weblocker to submit their work. My 6th grade classes will be creating

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enhanced Podcasts using Spanish weather expressions.”

Cindy Cullen, HS East, Social Studies “This year my classes created a wikispace sharing knowledge and collaborating with a class in the Congo.”

Cynthia Schwartz, Vanderbilt, Grade 3 “We do a lot of researching on the links that the school librarian has given us. I also use Wordle for word walls. Discovery Ed is a very valuable resource in my classroom as is Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr. and Tumble Books.”

presented to class the week of December 19th. Erica Burns, West Hollow, English/Social Studies 6 “My students in English created PowerPoint presentations to teach each other the grammar rules that we had learned during first quarter. I think an important part of the laptop program is the use of the projector. I think that the projector is really what allows me to integrate technology into my teaching.”

Gloria Cucinello, Vanderbilt, Special Ed. Grade 4 “We’ve used Comic Life to create animal posters that support our Animal Research project. The students loving using the program and their posters are beautiful when completed.”

Danielle Mahoney, HS East, English 9 “This year, English 9 students are working on a Literature Circle assignment. Each literature circle group created a Wiki page for their novel. It was the group's decision how to split up the work and each member was required to contribute to the final product. These wikis were

Jean Szigethy, Vanderbilt, Grade 5, “In order to fulfill my co-pilot requirement, I took a technology course at CW


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Post campus. The course was centered on utilizing social media in the classroom. As a result of the class, I registered with Twitter. Twitter helps me to stay current on educational trends and evolving state mandates. I have also used this site as a means of getting ideas to incorporate technology into my lessons. The laptop program has provided me with much stronger technology skills which I am able to apply in my teaching.”

“Lauren De Stefano, HS East English 11 “I have created several class Wiki spaces for the purpose of interpreting literary themes, characters, and archetypes through music, film, and interactive roleplay. For my first Wiki project, I created Wiki pages for each of the students in my 11 Honors English class. For this assignment, students were asked to upload music videos from YouTube to their own Wiki pages, and underneath each video, to explain how song lyrics and themes linked to key characters and philosophies expressed in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. To help students get started, I also created five sample Wiki pages illustrating examples of my own work. These sample pages are listed alphabetically along with student pages, and

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may be found at the following link: http://scarletletterdestefano. Other, shorter Wiki assignments I have given include a brief homework assignment on the femme fatale archetype, and a Greek mythology role play assignment: http://mythmaniacs1.wikispa The laptop program has improved my practice as a teacher, enabling me to challenge my students with 21st century learning resources. The technologies I have learned to use in this program have afforded my students with an opportunity to participate in their studies in a forum that is comfortable and familiar to them, prompting even my most introverted students to share their work. My Wiki pages have also saved me a lot of class time, as presentations involving video and audio have been shared and discussed outside of my classroom, leaving more time for instruction.”

Leigh Salvage, Otsego, Grade 5 “We have been using our class eBoard to link to a variety of websites in order to research regions of the United States as well as specific states. We then used the program Comic Life to create a presentation for both the Regions of the United States and a state fact card. We also used our class eBoard to link to websites about Biomes and created a presentation about a specific Biome. We are now researching elements on the periodic table using the Internet. We also have been using Discovery Education, Brain Pop, and YouTube to enhance our lessons in the area of Science and Social Studies. We also have been using a Ladibug document camera to go over ELA strategies as a whole class.”

Meredith Szypot, Sunquam, Grade 4 “I feel so fortunate to be a part of the laptop program. There is not a day that goes by that the resources and techniques that I have acquired from this program have not enriched and reinforced my daily teaching. Rachel Swift and I have created a digital photography club for Sunquam's third through fifth grade students. The students participating in the club learn a different shooting technique at the beginning of each club session using either their own digital cameras or the


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cameras provided by the school. The students are then given time to practice the technique and to upload their work to our club's website. Our club's website was designed using the Weebly design site ( The students in the digital photography club will also be collaborating with the students in Sunquam's Newspaper Club. The students will be working on photo journalism projects as the year continues.”

Michelle Flammia Aulet, Otsego, ESL K-5 “We read "Oh the places you'll go!" by Dr. Seuss. The students wrote and created their own stories about some of the places that they would like to go. We then created a podcast based on what the students wrote and everyone loved it! They were so excited to show their parents at home too! Here is the link to our media creations: http://media.halfhollowhills.

Michelle Jacobs, HS East, English 10 “This year I am using what I learned in various PDP courses to integrate technology into my classroom. I have been working with Nettrekker and Google for research and online collaboration, and will be using both with my students more comfortably

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this year.”

Nicole Dalton, HS East, English 10 and 12 “So far, participation in the laptop program has really assisted in broadening my teaching repertoire through the inclusion of technology in all aspects of my overall planning, as well as my day to day organization. I’ve been working on integration of technology-based assessments, including more frequent use of research in the classroom via databases and online sources. I also have been differentiating and streamlining certain lessons via the use of technologybased tools available to HHH teachers.”

Patrick Breig, HS East, English 10-12 “My students completed PowerPoint presentations to illustrate chapters of The Things They Carried to the class. Students integrated videos and music into their presentations.”

Pete Simon, HS East, Geometry and Algebra2 Trig “In my Geometry course, I have been using Geometer's Sketchpad and Geogebra to prove the truth of Geometry theorems. It is a very effective way to communicate the mathematics of Geometry, which can quite often seem to be rather

esoteric. It brings concrete visual examples to the students and Geogebra allows the students to participate at home.”

Richard Mungo, Signal Hill, Grade 1 This year the students in my class had not seen Kidspiration. I was able to demonstrate how to use the many parts of Kidspiration while my laptop was attached to the projector. Now, I have a class of experts in Kidspiration. We currently are completing a web using the software where the students put the name of the holiday they celebrate in the center bubble. Each arm off the main bubble is a picture of something from that holiday with a description written below it.”

Sarah Baptiste, Otsego, Grade 2 “My laptop and projector are an essential part of my daily math instruction.”


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Susan Stiglitz, HS West, English “I have used the laptop program successfully to create a blog for my classes. This gives me the opportunity to see firsthand how students feel about sensitive topics anonymously. I have also used my Flip camera for videos in class of presentations that students have created. Google docs are awesome when I have the time to create and collaborate with students. The possibilities are endless!”

Thomas Neary, Candlewood, Grade 7 Social Studies “I have continued to utilize my laptop in my teaching this year. I have focused on integrating iMovies into my presentations. This year. I have added the use of my laptop to station teaching. I was able to have the students view a presentation on a particular topic from iTunes U and then have them use the information presented to answer questions. It has been a huge motivator for the students.”

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Tracey Kueck, Otsego, Grade 5 “My students have been using Comic Life to summarize regions of the United Stated and Canada. They rely on my eBoard to direct them to the appropriate search engines and websites for the research. They have also used the Comic Life for organizing their element in science. The Ladibug document camera has been a very useful tool in our classroom; we use it for math lessons and science lessons. The students are able to see live demonstrations in the class this way.”

Projects From Our Flight Techs Andrea Marcus, Vanderbilt, Grade 2 “Class 2-M has been learning about graphic organizers and how they help us sort our thoughts and ideas. My 2nd Grade students used Kidspiration to complete "All About Me" organizers, which allowed them to explore the program and become familiar with it. "Things I Like" and "Things I'm Good At" were some of the topics that had to be completed with pictures and words. This program was then incorporated into our Social Studies Curriculum by using the "Community Comparison" organizer, with modifications to include urban, suburban, and rural communities. My students loved finding and sorting the

different pictures into the appropriate columns. This showed their understanding of the different communities, as well as the use and relevance of graphic organizers.”

Angelica Conway, West Hollow, Grades 6 and 8 Self-Contained Math/SS “Throughout my time in the laptop program I have tried to use everything I have learned at trainings in some form. During the past year and a half I have made numerous movies for class and extracurricular activities I advise using iMovie. Also, after completing training about Wikispaces and being reassigned to teach 6th-8th grade mathematics, I decide to create a Wiki for my math students. I thought it would be valuable for them to all have one central resource to refer to for study guides, homework, handouts, useful websites, and other valuable tools I collect. This also allows me to be transparent and easily communicate with parents.”


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Bea Reiser, West Hollow, Home and Career Skills 6 and 7 “My classes and I created a Technology Flip Camera Video in the Mac Lab when we were doing our Career Unit. You can see it at: http://media.halfhollowhills. hs/weblog/f373c/ I’ve also used a wiki for students to load their projects onto and then share with their classmates.”

Colleen Balsamo, Vanderbilt, Grade 5 Special Class “The laptop program has allowed me to integrate more technology into my lessons. Students are excited about using technology because I am excited about it! Having the laptop and projector has provided me countless opportunities to present information in a variety of ways, helping to reach each of my students' individual learning needs. The entire laptop program experience has been invaluable! The students in my class used technology to create PowerPoint presentations about a specific ecosystem. Each student was assigned an ecosystem to research. Students used links on my eBoard to access a website to research their ecosystem. Students completed an outline to gather their information. Once they completed the outline, students began working on

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their PowerPoint presentations. Upon completion of the PowerPoint’s, students presented their presentations to the class. They were required to explain the information they included, and students who were watching the presentation were required to complete an exit card indicating 1 fact that they learned from their classmate's presentation and 1 thing that that the presenter did well. Student presentations were videotaped with the Flip camera, for future opportunities to share with parents.”

Jeanette Passerello, Signal Hill, Grade 1 “Class 1P has been learning about graphic organizers and web writing as a brainstorming tool before they jump into writing. My first graders used Kidspiration to complete a "Winter Tradition" web. After they did their web, they will use that to create a writing piece during writer's workshop. This program is incorporated into our Social Studies Curriculum by talking about "Family Traditions. The students will then create a picture on Kidspiration to show off their family tradition.”

Laurie Guillem, Sunquam, Grade 2 “As a result of the lap top program I am integrating

technology into my teaching. I am using websites and having students create projects in Kidspiration and Word. I am also using Excel for my own notes and data reports. I have also taken and printed many pictures and am hoping to make an iMovie this year. It may not sound like much but for me it is a great accomplishment. I am planning to take more tech classes and hope to continue to grow.”

Rebecca Donders, Chestnut Hill Grade 3 “The laptop program has really improved my teaching. The use of the projector in the classroom has been invaluable as it allows my students to watch educational videos that enhance the curriculum in a fun way. I have been trained to use many different websites and programs to teach my students. Recently, my class has begun learning how to use the program, Inspiration, to create a Venn diagram that compares two states of matter. This was a fun way to assess what my students knew about the states of matter while familiarizing them with a new technology tool.”

Sarah Krinsky, Chestnut Hill, Grade 2 “After creating an account with m, I have discovered many


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videos that I share with my second graders that provide more depth in various curriculum areas. Most recently my class watched a video about mountains. Before students watched the video for a second time, I presented them with specific questions they were required to answer by watching and listening to the video. Together we highlighted key words in the questions that we should listen for in the video. I advised them that they should be prepared to hear many facts as if they were reading a nonfiction text. After viewing the 3minute video for a third time they were able to answer all the questions. (I provided a word bank for the ELL learners.) I shared many videos on magnets, as well, to provide a visual for concepts such as the Earth being like a giant bar magnet!”

Projects From Our Cybernauts Jennifer Friaglia, West Hollow, Health “The laptop program has been a wonderful asset to my lessons. It has given me the opportunity to take old lessons and apply new technology tricks and tools to enhance each lesson. The use of iPhoto, iMovie, Photo Booth, iWorks Keynote and iWorks Pages has provided me with the tools to create exciting and engaging

Spring, 2012

lessons. The Cybernaut support has been extremely helpful and the tips have been worthwhile. I learn something new every day and look forward to continue on this journey.”

Elizabeth Kuzma, West Hollow, Math “I have recently been using many PowerPoint presentations to incorporate and add to my lessons. Additionally I have included pencasts to facilitate with lessons on more difficult material.”

Heather Stein, Signal Hill, Grade 2-5 “Being part of the laptop program has enriched my life as well as the lives of my students. The first way that I integrated the computer into my class is with the use of iPhoto. It has been a wonderful tool for supporting my students’ writing and providing them with a visual to gather their ideas. The slide show repetitively plays my photos over and over while the students

independently work on their writing. I have also been focusing on GarageBand and all of the wonderful capabilities it has. For example, my SIP group worked on putting together an emotions podcast that will soon be posted for everyone to see. Finally, I integrate the use of the projector almost daily into my lessons. Most of my students are multisensory learners and this has afforded me the opportunity to support each one of my students in another way!!! I love this program and have only scratched the surface of technology!”

Jill Savini, Candlewood, English Grade 6 “I can not say enough about the use of Visual Thesaurus! This website that was introduced during tech professional development allows you to chose a piece of literature and create a vocabulary list based on the text. The vocabulary list is interactive. It gives students the definition, part of speech and synonyms. It has been a huge help in the classroom and great assistance to students studying at home.”

Lisa Kane, Candlewood, Grade 7 and 8 Social Studies/AIS “For Social Studies classes, I have been using more and more short video clips to emphasize important points we are studying. Last year I


Points and Clicks

Spring, 2012

“The laptop program has been a wonderful asset to my lessons. It has given me the opportunity to take old lessons and apply new technology tricks and tools to enhance each lesson.” ~Jennifer Friaglia

had a projector installed in my room mid-year. I polled students at the end of last year about how they learned best in my class and they overwhelmingly voted to say that the video clips were the most crucial in helping them remember curricula material! My best source for these clips is YouTube. I have also had students create PowerPoints and other technology-based projects and we use the computer and projector to view them. I took classes about IMovie last summer and am still working to learn that technology well enough to feel comfortable making IMovies for my students. A colleague helped us use IMovie to edit an HBO program to make it appropriate for our grade levels. For 8th G ELA/AIS students, I have implemented the Visual Thesaurus program I was shown in the Cybernaut training this year. I have also created numerous PowerPoint presentations incorporating many subjects and curricula material. Lastly, I just recently used the Ladibug camera with the

projector for DBQ writing. Students put their rough drafts of DBQ paragraphs under the camera and we used a peer-editing technique to offer tips and suggestions to improve or re-work writing. The laptop program is instrumental in helping teachers become more comfortable with a variety of technologies. Teacher training is essential to keep us "current" and able to better connect with our students who are technologically proficient!”

Nathan Swift, West Hollow, Chorus/Music Grade 7 and 8 “My Music Explorations class has been creating podcasts for the past several classes. For this project, students analyzed the form and composition of a painting by Alexander Calder. Next, students created a short composition using "Garage Band" loops to represent 3 aspects of the painting. Third, students wrote reasons for their choices and submitted

them to me via a Google Form posted on my eBoard. Students use these reasons for their podcast script in order to explain their musical choices. Final podcasts are posted on the District podcast server. As a "Do Now" activity for my Chorus, I create sightreading, using Finale software, for the entire class to practice. As a class, I have students label the note names and rhythms before singing the example. This is all projected onto the screen, allowing the class to focus on one task all together. Note reading has improved and students are learning their repertoire at a faster pace. This resource allows students to practice and me to assess, in real time, more often.”

Nicole Baggio, Otsego, Grade 1 “I feel so fortunate to be a part of the Cybernaut laptop pilot program. I am learning so much and my students are truly benefitting from it! I used my laptop and projector to teach my 1st graders how to make a bar graph in


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Microsoft Excel. I was able to demonstrate each step while my students followed along on their laptops. I was even able to teach them how to select and create a title in Word Art! Since getting the projector and my laptop, I have been utilizing my eBoard a lot more. Each Monday, I pose a Question of the Week in an iNote and project my students' responses throughout the week. My laptop has become a valuable tool to use during Work Stations. I purchased a splitter in which my students can plug their headphones. I have created a Listening Station for Listening to the story with friends rather than independently has fostered a collaborative reading community!”

Roberta Berrios, HS East, Resource Room “I’ve been using technology to help my students on many levels. A daily SAT word and Word of the Day from Visual Thesaurus is received, shared, and discussed with students. Digital media is used to

Spring, 2012

enhance re-teaching of lessons: for example, chemistry lessons on Khan academy, algebra and geometry review on Yaymath, and slide presentations of social studies topics found on Google docs. YouTube and TeacherTube have provided tremendous support on individual subjects that students might be struggling with, and need visual reinforcement on a particular concept. I feel my laptop has directly improved student learning of the more difficult curriculum.”

Stacey Tomasides, Forest Park, Grade 3 “I am currently working on a Podcast with my class. I also use a lot of great websites to enhance my curriculum. Discovery Ed,, Brainpop, and many others that I have links to on my

eBoard. I have been using many great videos for all subject areas. The students have really enjoyed exploring all of the websites.” Vanessa Booth, West Hollow, Health “This year I was able to design a new project utilizing Flip video cameras and our school's available computers. My students created original PSA commercials for health issues using iMovie, and "mashing-up" video they were able to use and edit from the Internet. I find that using technology tools to create a product is a strong motivator for most students. For health education, reliable Internet resources provide the latest information for students to incorporate into their projects. Advocating for healthy behaviors is an overarching skill, encompassing many other health skills (communication, decision-making, goal-setting, self-management and relationship management). This project provides an authentic way to assess students advocating to their peers here at West Hollow.”


Points and Clicks 2012  

Points and Clicks 2012

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