Monday, April 18, 2016

The Ron Clark Academy Visit Announcement!


My Team Newell learned all 
about Craft and Structure: 
 Describe how words and phrases supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song. 
We made our own cup song about my upcoming trip to The Ron Clark Academy! 
I hope to observe great technology integration to share with you!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2nd Grade Fitbit Friends

Click the link above to read the article in the Fall publication:

I am excited to share my Fitbit Friend project sponsored by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.

 I ordered the materials and supplies early October and by the end of October we were off on our Fitbit adventure!  

What do you plan to accomplish with this project?
I plan to accomplish improving my students' critical thinking skills such as reasoning and problem solving by providing real life experiences that make educational standards relevant. 
Students will wear Fitbit trackers at all times throughout the day as a tool to make personal goals, conduct experiments, analyze data and report results. 
A Fitbit is a small wireless tracker that tracks how many steps you take in a day, how many flights of stairs you climb, and how many ounces of water you drink. 
The Fitbit will not only motivate students to be active, but it will also provide meaningful data to integrate into math lesson, writing lessons, geography lessons, and cooperative learning lessons. Students will not only benefit physically, but they will also benefit academically from the implementation of this project. 

The First Citizens National Bank sponsored 7 Fitbits for our classroom. 

How does this project address the Martha Holden Jennings deep learning theme?

Creating goals, receiving immediate feedback, and devising strategies to achieve personal goals will help develop students' problem solving and critical thinking skills. The Fitbit provides personal data which engages students in meaningful project based learning. Goal setting fosters students' self-directed learning skills and makes Common Core Standards meaningful, relevant, and effective. Applying Fitbit data in math lessons, writing lessons, geography lessons, and cooperative learning lessons engages students in interdisciplinary learning. 
Fitbits will be worn daily to collect data such 
as how many steps students take in a day, how many flights of stairs they climb, how many ounces of water they drink, and even how well they sleep at night. 
Students will analyze data to collaborate with several Fitbit friends to make smart decisions to live healthy lives. Student will use data to integrate into daily math, science, geography, and writing lessons. 

How will this project help you to grow professionally and how will it add value to your work as a teacher? 
This is my 20th year of teaching. I take my position as a role model to students very seriously. I want to inspire and to encourage my students to strive for greatness. 
I am confident in using a Fitbit because I have faithfully worn a Fitbit for two years. My students could learn through my experiences, but I want them to create their own Fitbit experiences. I can't wait to do it together! I am very excited about this project because new content and skills will be learned in more than one step and with multiple levels of analysis so that my students will apply the skills in way that change thinking or behaviors about health and learning. The Common Core State Standards are very important, but this project teaches many of life's most important lessons. I am excited to grow with my students as we implement this project in our classroom. Trying innovative learning experiences with my students will help me grow professionally, and it will add great value to my work as a teacher. 

Common Core State Standards:

Students will apply Fitbit data to develop addition, subtraction, measurement, writing, mapping and graphing skills.  (2.MD.D.10, 2.MD.D.9, 2.OA.A.1, 2.NBT.A.4, 2.NBT.B.7, W.2.1) 

Students will develop physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self expression and/or social interaction by completing the Ohio Common Core Physical Education Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 

We will also develop 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. 
(SL.2.1 and SL.2.1 A)

15 Fitbits @ $99.99

Yubi Power 40 Port Universal USB Family Charging Tower Station w/ Surge & Overload Protection for Iphone, Ipad, Android Devices, Samsung, Digital Cameras, Mp3 Players, or Any Usb-charged Device. $110.99

Students put Fitbits in storage unit before they leave each day.
We do not wear them home! Yet!
Each Fitbit is labelled with a number, and an address label is attached just incase it is lost.
The Fitbits charge over the weekend.

When I wrote the grant, I originally planned for the students to sync their Fitbits with our 30 iPods each day, but unfortunately- I found out that our 4th generation iPods are not compatible.
We do have 5 iPads to sync Fitbits, but with so many Fitbits in one room, the iPads had trouble finding the correct Fitbit.

I have been syncing them on the weekends. Students make their own goals each week. Some have a 5,000 step goal and others have a 10,000 step goal. They know if they achieve their goals each day if the Fitbit vibrates. They also can lightly tap the Fitbit to see how close they are to reaching their goals.
I enabled the notification option so students receive weekly updates through email. They can view badges and data by logging into their emails on our chromebooks.
We use GoNoodle each day for brain breaks.
We also use it for indoor recess!

On days that we have 2 indoor recesses, and we struggle to reach our Fitbit goals, we sneak down to the gym at the end of the day to play freeze tag or we run/walk for 10 minutes. 

Freeze tag with the 4th graders. 

 Not only do we stay active during the day, but we also learn about how to live a healthy active life style by using a variety of children literature that I purchased with grant funds.

EEEK the Frog is my favorite series! 
I emailed the author and she replied instantly! 
She sent our class some extra goodies and a signed copy! I hope to SKYPE with her at the end of the year!  

30@ $5.99

Book 1: The Most Clever Frog

EEEK!TM learns- YOU just can’t SIT, if YOU want to be FIT!

The main character, a frog named EEEK!, finds himself in a situation with a choice to be physically active or inactive.  Readers can easily identify with the lead character which makes him an outstanding teacher. The story reveals the benefits of balancing calories in with calories spent during exercise. EEEK!  solves his problem as he begins to recognize the consequences of physical inactivity.  Through the rhyming verses, the character comes alive and teaches a lesson we all need to hear.

30@ $5.99

Book 2: Lickity Split

EEEK!TM sets a goal and makes it roll!
EEEK and his friends learn to set a goal, prepare, work hard and make it happen. It is never too soon to teach this important life skill. Goals are starting blocks for motivation, they give us purpose, they help us use our time effectively and most importantly they teach us that small steps with consistency give us BIG results.

30@ $5.99

Book 3: A Pirate’s Adventure to Eat Just Right

 EEEK!TM learns to eat yummy treats but not too sweet

A Pirate’s Adventure to Eat Just Right helps us to understand the importance of choosing fruits, vegetables and lean meats and to limit high fats foods and adjust portion sizes. The story defines “Sometimes” foods as once-in-a-while treats and “Everyday” foods as necessary choices to keep us healthy.

How will you share what you have learned from the project with others? 
After implementing this project, I will be able to share with coworkers how to use Fitbits in the classroom not only to enhance student learning, but also how to encourage students to problem solve to take responsibility of their own health. My students will be able to share with employees at the First Citizens National Bank how to use Fitbits and how to collaborate each year while becoming Fitbit friends. I will share the results of this project with other professionals at district level and share my results in our district newsletter. I will also update my social media pages such as Twitter, Edmodo, Facebook, Instagram, and my professional technology blog @ I will invite school board members and other faculty members who also own Fitbits to become Fitbit friends to take part in our Team Newell/FCNB Challenges. 
Hopefully, showing the effectiveness of the Fitbit, I will inspire others to implement similar fitness trackers in not only the classroom, but also in the workplace to ultimately benefit health and performance for all. My enthusiasm towards wearing a Fitbit has inspired many of my family members and many of my friends to purchase Fitbits. 
I hope to inspire many educators, students and community members to integrate the Fitbit into their daily lives. I look forward to implementing this project with my students for many years to come! 
If you would like more information about my Plan of Action or the Assessment, please email me @ 
We have just begun our Fitbit adventure!
 I will have a lot to share this spring! 
To be Continued...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ugly Christmas Sweater Challenge UPDATE

Christmas is time for plaid and......



The HGTV ugly Christmas sweater challenge inspired creative learning in Team Newell!

 Challenge #1:
Create an ugly Christmas sweater using paper.

Challenge 2: 
Use measurement and geometry skills while creating a REAL ugly Christmas sweater for Mrs. Newell to wear each day before break!

4 sweaters
4 teams
Cassius Clay was nervous about this project!
I organized the materials and supplies for each turtleneck. I did not tell the students what I wanted on each sweater, but after brainstorming in groups they were able to read my mind.
(Infer/Draw Conclusions)
This project was organized and structured, but I was blown away by my students' creativity! 

Students used glue to attach the items to the sweater. 

Team #1

Our ugly Christmas sweater pictures were used all week as  motivation to
Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences

Team #2

Team 2 traveled to The Ohio State Stadium by green-screen to play football on the 50 yard line and to hang out with the best * band in the land.   

Chroma key compositing, or chroma keying, is a special effects / post-production technique for compositing two images or video streams together based on color hues.

Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences

I use a green screen, camera or computer and software

MacBook Pro
iPhone or iPad
iMovie Green Screen Tutorial

If you do not have a professional green-screen, green fabric from Walmart or Hobby Lobby works great! 
I have even used green bulletin board paper. 
If you do not have iMovie or Windows Moviemaker, this app from iTunes works great!


The ORIGINAL Chroma key Studio application that allows the user to change a monochromatic background (Green, Pink and Blue) into any image.

Chromakey is a technique for mixing two images or frames together, in which a color from one image is removed (or made transparent), revealing another image behind it. This technique is also referred to as color keying, color-separation overlay, greenscreen, pinkscreen and bluescreen.

- Apply backgrounds automatically in real time.
- Intelligent one-tap Auto Enhance filter.
Team # 3

Team 3 had a full day of traveling to New York, Disney World, and to the Star Wars movie!

Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences

Team # 4

Team 4 had a great day on the golf course!

Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences
Recording Sheets
The sweaters were all size small from Kohls, but they all fit me differently. After measuring them and comparing them, we found out that they all had different lengths and widths. 

Measure and estimate lengths in standard units.
Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
Measure the length of an object twice, using length units of different lengths for the two measurements; describe how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen.
Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.
Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.


Reason with shapes and their attributes.

Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces. Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.
Partition circles and rectangles into two, three, or four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, thirds, half of, a third of, etc., and describe the whole as two halves, three thirds, four fourths. Recognize that equal shares of identical wholes need not have the same shape.

3rd Challenge:
Create your own ugly Christmas sweater! 
No rules!

My students loved this video!
It's a hilarious story about wearing your ugly Christmas sweater proudly and embracing the holiday spirit.  
My favorite lyrics are:
"Haters will hate...can't please them"... 
Don't care about what other people say....I wear this in public :)
We loved the song so much that I downloaded it 
@iTunes and we used it for a brain break all week to practice our moves for our ugly sweater dance party!

 Thank you Pinterest for pinning the reindeer dress! My students thought it was VERY ugly.
I hope to make this activity a Team Newell tradition. It was a fun, motivating way to practice educational standards the week before Christmas! By the time I retire, I might just have enough sweaters to start my own business! :)
 Team Newell Ugly Sweater Party Video

Merry Christmas!
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