Winter Tech Integration


Page Keeley has a classic problem, The Mitten Problem, that can be used to help elicit students preconceptions about heat and how heat is transferred.  This temperature assessment probe, coupled with Vernier Temperature probes can provide an excellent phenomenon-based learning opportunity in your classroom.

Begin by setting the stage for children, “Sara’s science class is investigating heat energy.  They wonder what would happen to the temperature reading on a temperature sensor if they put the thermometer in a mitten.”  Using temperature probes, students can plan and carry out their own investigation.  Oftentimes, this first investigation leads to more questions as students “often believe that some materials and objects, such as blankets or mittens, are intrinsically warm.”

  • I wonder what would happen with my really warm ski gloves?
  • I wonder what would happen with the fuzzy socks I wear at home?
  • I wonder what would happen with my winter coat?

These questions, lead to an additional investigation and support student’s sense-making in the ways heat is generated and transferred.  If you want to try this investigation in your own classroom, here’s one way to think about setting it up.


Jump Start 2016 Reflection


I am at the end of the Jump Start, Teachers Guide for Tech, summer online class!  This post marks my reflections and goals for future implementation.  I have really enjoyed the course and the people who’ve shared their learning and thinking along the way.  For me, this was a very effective way to think about the content, practice new tools and collaborate with others.

What was my Favorite Module? I loved learning about Thinglink because I had never played with it before and I was excited to try something so new.  There really wasn’t a module that wasn’t meaningful and relevant however.

What Module was the Most Challenging? Simultaneously the most challenging and the most rewarding was in working on this blog.  I started this Word Press blog about a year ago and I have really struggled with meaningful content, a regular posting schedule and sharing the URL with others.  Through this course, I have built a much more realistic and practical approach to using a blog and I think it will work well in my current job as a Curriculum Coordinator.

What Tools will I Start Using? I plan to continue using Word Press, as well as continue using Twitter professionally.  I also already have plans for several more Screencasts to support online courses that I offer.

What’s Next? I have been working through the tutorials to become a Google Certified Educator and I am going to finish that process before school starts in September.

3 Immediate Goals:

  1. Complete tutorials and the online test to become a Google Certified Educator by August 26.
  2. Add  video tutorials to both NGSS 101 and STEM Online courses before the new Science Online session begins in September.
  3. Add a column to my weekly plan that includes a weekly blog post.  Send a link to both curriculum teams each week to forward to teachers.

Take-Aways… This was a rich learning experience made more meaningful by having the intentional practice through a blog and a small group for collaboration.  I look forward to practicing with the tools more and  having a more confident approach to using technology.

Screen Casting

So, today I learned how to use Screencast-o-Matic!  This is one of the tools that I was most excited to learn to use during this technology Jump Start.  There are so many times that I wish I could just show someone my screen, thinking it would be so much more efficient than trying to describe what they should see or what they should look for when they are back at a computer.

I offer several online classes as well as face-to-face professional development.  Much of the real work of PD happens when a teacher is back in his or her classroom trying to remember the specifics.  I love the idea of offering short videos like this one to support their learning and practice.

This tutorial is a bit longer than recommended and I think I may edit it down a little more still.  I wanted to develop something that I can use with teachers this fall, and I thought of walking them through the NGSS @ NSTA website and showing them how to find classroom resources that are aligned with the NGSS.  I scripted this a bit and tried it a couple different times and I can see that (as with most things) screen casts will get better with time.  I was pretty excited by the first attempt though!


Mind Maps

I chose to work with mind maps for my Module 6 assignment because I don’t really like mind maps.  I like to organize my thinking in outlines or take sloppy notes the first time and then organize them into outlines as  layer of sense-making.  Mind maps always seem a little …random and cumbersome to me.

I decided that for this experiment, I would not do a rough draft on paper but use the online tool to help with my thinking and I wanted to create something that would help with our district’s curriculum work.  First, I tried Coggle.  I am looking forward to reading other people’s posts, maybe I just tried this on a bad day, but it seemed to reinforce everything I don’t like about mind maps.  I got frustrated and walked away from the project.  Today, I went back to the assignment and tried it again.  I decided to use something different and went to Popplet  It was a completely different experience!


There was a short tutorial when I first logged in that showed me how to use each “popple”.  This tool is very easy to use, and very easy to rearrange.  The essential questions were added in last, though they should have been first. Typically this would cause me frustration because I would need to rearrange everything to build the new level.  With Popplet, you can grab a popple at any level and drag it.  Whatever is linked to it comes along for the ride.

I loved that this tool was flexible enough to allow me to change my mind and hold my thinking.  This would be a great tool to teach students to use as a way to organize their thinking and make sense of big ideas in science.

Social Network

I use all three social networks listed – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  However, I have tried to keep my Twitter account more professional and my Facebook and Instagram accounts more personal.  I know there is some great content on all three sites but this has seemed to work for me.  Like blogging, I have struggled to maintain and active Twitter account as I don’t typically “come up with” unique things to tweet.  This is something I would like to change, and I appreciate the nudge from this course to push back into that arena.  I have enjoyed reading my Twitter feed and have heard it described as some of the best PD available online.  You can find me on Twitter @jenchase13

I logged in this morning and spent some time completing Module 5, here’s the proof…

My original tweet:


My response:


and my retweet:

Retweet 1

Slide Share

Slide share is another site that was new to me, and I need to spend more time on the site exploring.  I appreciate the access to content that other people have created.  I am facilitating two different groups over the next school year as we adapt our current science curriculum to more closely align with the NGSS.  While we will need to create some content, I know there are also very smart, thoughtful people creating content to share.  Curating some of that will be a key to our curriculum work.

In keeping with my theme, I found a slide show that focuses on volcanoes…

As with Vimeo, I appreciate that the embed code from Slide Share also cites the source and gives credit.


I subscribe to several different YouTube channels, and collect videos to use in the classroom.  Though I am familiar with Vimeo, I haven’t spent much time exploring their site.  I decided that I would have an Earth Science theme for Module 4, so I found this great video of a volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Volcano eruption in Iceland from Enrique Pacheco on Vimeo.

I love using video and I appreciate this strategy for easily embedding a video into a blog post.  I also appreciate that the embed code cites the source of the video in the post.


Thinglink is a new process for me.  Essentially, its a way to create a digital poster that allows a user to link websites, information and other content directly to the picture.

When I explored the Thinglinks already created this one caught my eye.  This is called “Pacific Ring of Fire” and was created by Mrs. Sweet.

I am very interested in exploring this site and playing with creating my own ThingLink.  I think this is a very creative way to share content and engage students in a topic.  This provides some structure to their exploration and also allows them choices.



Learning with Technology…

Last week I spent learning and sharing with teachers getting ready to go back to school.  Among other things, there was a thread of technology running through the week.  Thinking about ways to engage students in data collection, research and dialogue through a variety of applications and hardware.  It was an exciting week for me, in part because I was able to facilitate inquiry and share in the learning myself.  There is a quote sitting above my desk that reads, “Encourage students to be producers of knowledge with ownership over it rather than mere consumers of it.” (Engle & Conant, 2002)  Last week was a week in which we explored that very tenant, letting go of regurgitating information and focusing on sense-making.

Rebound Ball Let’s think about engaging students with the tiny computer they carry around in their pockets.  In order to answer the question, “What effect does the surface have on the rebound of a ball?” we used video, clipping a single frame and editing the photo for each data point.

5th We can connect investigation to formative assessment.  In this lesson, teachers responded to a prompt through Google Classroom – if equal amounts of warm water are mixed with cold water what will be the final temperature?  Once predictions were made, investigations were planned and carried out.  Rather than following a set procedure, groups designed their own investigations and grappled with variables and recording data.  A follow-up Google Form shared final thinking about the initial, formative question.

JM_KO_LVWe can improve data collection so that our students spend time analyzing the data and making sense of big ideas.  Teachers learned how to use LabQuest2 devices from Vernier to collect data and then send the graph and data table to students personal devices.  In this way, students can work collaboratively in the lab and then use the group experience to make sense of the data.

In all cases, learners were taking ownership over the learning experience with the support of technology.   This was a great way for me to launch my work this year, and to spend a great week learning alongside some amazing teachers.

What are you excited about as your year takes off?

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