Friday, June 29, 2012

Eco Friendly, Nature and Green Things to do in July

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Eco Friendly, Nature and Green Things to do in July

There are so many incredible things going on in the Detroit area, so I focused on the greener options that are family friendly.  

Ongoing Activities

Check out your local Farmer's Market for some weekly healthy local foods

Life on earth at Cranbrook Institute of Science
Educational Exhibit on evolution $9.50-$12.50

Be Kind to our World  at Shalom Street 
Learn about the earth through the elements: earth, wind, fire, water. FREE

               Hydrophonic Display at Shalom Street           Baby Bear at Shalom Street 

Park it For Fun at various locations
kids activities, concerts at the park, and outdoor movie 

Evolution & Health at U of M Museum of Natural History
learn about how evolution enabled us to survive and was affected by health

Activities by Date

{July 1}
Anna Banana Bread Concert at Ingalls Mall/Ann Arbor Summer Fest
Bring a picnic and blanket to hang out and watch this Rock Band for Kids Concert sponsored by the A2 Library

{July 3}
Bats of The World at St. Claire Shores Public Library
Informational program by the Organization for Bat Conservation

{July 6}
Oakland County Fair ~Miracle of Birth Exhibit
See live animals being born and other kid fun
FREE admission, but other things have a charge

{July 11}
Live Green Fair in Wyandotte
In conjunction with the Wyandotte Art Fair you can learn how to green your life, home and diet Free

{July 13}
Lavender Festival at Blake's Orchard and Cider Mill
10th Annual Lavender Festival featuring food, drinks, art and workshops
Adults $5/Kids FREE

{July 15}
Children's Day at the Beach at St. Claire Metropark
Games, Sandcastle making, Free Adventure Gulf and Magic Show

{July 14-15}
Royal Oak Antique and Garage Sale
200 vendors to shop for reused goods and great finds to repurpose
Adults $2/Kids FREE

{July 14}
Photo Safari at Black Pond Woods
Guided tour of Black Pond Woods where you get to snap photos of animals, flowers, and fungus
Bring a camera. $5-$8 per person or $25-$30 family (based on residency) 

{July 15}
Kids Day at Lake Erie Metropark
Fun for Kids, inflatables, puppet show, music
FREE ($5 vehicle entry) First 100 kids get a free bike helmet

{July 25} 
Baby Bears Picnic at Shelby Township Library
Love the name, so I had to add it to the list! Stories and songs for babies 9-23 months

{July 25}
Preschool Earth Explorers at Lloyd A. Stage nature Center
Play games, hike, see animals and make some crafts

{July 25}
Enrich your sensations at this Alexandra Hicks Herb Knot Garden nature program. Make and Take Herbal Ice Tea

{July 28}
Clinton River Walk-a-Thon at the Detroit Zoo
Raise money and awareness for the Clinton River with this 2 mile walk around the zoo.
$10 registration includes all day admission to the zoo with food/beverages before and after the walk 

Think I should add something else or did you try one of these? Leave a comment!

Cool tools for iPads/tablets & Tech Products -ISTE 2012

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Cool tools for techies
for use in the classroom and everywhere
Love this staying.. This is the way that I teach & learn!

These are some of the products that I liked from the ISTE conference and wanted to share with you.  If these are not things that you are in the market for, they may be tools that you kids will use in the classroom!

Doing math problems using fingers to get the answer.  You will need to have the group using the table work together to get enough fingers to make the correct answer.

Smart Table
Touchable table with programs that kids can do in a group
Up to 8 kids and 40 fingers at a time 

Turning Technologies Clicker for Smart Boards
These can be used to get responses from students.  They have a fancier version that has a text feature.  The software has teacher assessment tools, testing abilities and more.
Free for teacher to use to make iBooks and also read printed books.  You will receive one printed book per student or one hardcover book for the class. (The catch is that you send home a form for parents to order additional copies) 

If you don't have the money to buy WhiteBoards, then you can use a, iPad to do the same thing. Use these
converters to make an appleTV.  You an use this with your Apple Computer or iPad to make your own projection devise. 

Ipeva Chopsticks for iPads.  These you can use as a stylus and as your fingers since there are 2.  Use them to zoom and move the screen as you would your 2 fingers. 

iBallz for keeping your iPads/tablets/readers safe.  Absorbs the shock and the balls can be re-arranged to angle the screen. Very economical option to protect your investment. 

There were a lot of live camera feed technology out there, but the IPEVO company had 2 great quality cameras that were both under $100!  You can use them to project your text, show experiments on the screen, look closer at an object, etc.  He put a penny on the book and you zoomed up with the magnifying lens addition and you could see Lincoln on the penny!  

Belkin Tablet/iPad/Reader Stand with Storage Box
It is one of those simple but incredible ideas for using your iPad at work or school!

I LOVE my Silhouette Cameo and was happy to see it at the conference to show teachers how to apply it to the classroom setting.  This is a *must have* in my mind! PS. I will be featuring a follow up post with more on the Cameo.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Apps for the Classroom - iPad and Other

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Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works ISTE 2012
Lecture by Matt Kuhn

The coolest part is that the teacher is doing his presentation off an iPad!

If you want to purchase technology get a mix of iPads and Netbooks- cheep and you can get a bunch of them to do cloud computing. Get a zagg keyboard to connect to iPad. 

3 themes of Apps that are relevant for Teachers to Use

Create an environment for learning
develop understanding
extend & apply knowledge

infinote $2.99
brainstorming idea mapping app that students can add to.

Idea Sketch - free
 brainstorming idea mapping app to set objectives with students

MindMeister -free

eclicker - free for participant $9.99 for the host
edmodo - devise agnostic app.  It is a Space for learning and interacting with students

Annotate PdF

Intro to Math $4.99

Free Grammer - free (4-5 level)

apps that reinforce learning objectives 

Monkey Thinks- Praises young children learning to speak and read.  Look at the pictures and say it out loud to the iPad.

Easy Chart HD $.99
ongoing chart making software so that students can see how efforts pay off

Cooperative LEarning

SyncPad  $9.99host, readers are free  turns your app into projection too.  One 'leader' projects to other iPads so that the teacher can share the material with students

Brainstorm Together (use with syncpad)
use the ipad like a smart board and it will projection on the screen.  Students could also get the power to project and show their thinking on problems.  

ReelDirector $1.99
Great assessment tool instead of testing. Cooperative group work- storyboard, practice, edit, listen, watch
Bring in video/photo, photos, record sounds, bring in sounds and stitch them all together.  

Brain Pop free app but $ for subscription (highly recommended as a purchase) 
assessments, games, videos, etc you will need subscription

Draw Free
collaborative drawing

WatchKnow - free
Educational videos that are free unorganized.  You can easily use this instead of YouTube for schools since it is monitored and rated by teachers as safe for student/class viewing.  

Nonlinguistic representation

Make a tutorial with students and then make available for students to watch

VoiceThread- free
Better then powerpoint software. Students can pop in during a presentation to engage and comment during presentation by other students

AudioNote $4.99
allows you to take regular written notes and add audio notes

Note Taking

Pages $9.99
word documents for iPads

PaperDesk $2.99
looks like paper and you can write and draw on it

My Editing Buddy $.99
Simple to use. 2 screens, one where students write and the other a student will correct the work and use symbols to correct it or give editing suggestions. Teaches students to write well and collaborate. 


Bobo Explores Light $4.99
sophisticated science app for older students (middle and high school)

Math Pentagon subscription required
Wide range of levels (K 12)  track progress and student performance.  

Inspiration $6.99 (webspiration on browser)
compare and contrast diagramming

iDesk Lite - free
similar to the 2 above for free

QuickGraph- free
sophisticated graphing program with scientific graphing calculator type equations . *makes the TI calculators obsolete

Generating and testing hypothesis

3D Cell Stain free
teaching about body cells, great drawings

Isaac Newton's Gravity HD- free for a few levels
illustrates the way that the formulas feel.  You will need to know and understand the formulas and laws of motion. 

Experimental Inquiry- 
SPARKvue App use with Pasco Airlink that collects data and takes measurements. 80 meter radius from iPad and collects the data (temperature, PH, etc)

Sites that recommended Apps  Apple reccommended apps  Top 20 must have Educational Apps from Appolicious Advisor 

ISTE/teachers/readers/friends - please support me and join this site via google friend connect (link on the right side of the page) and follow me on your preferred social media

Monday, June 25, 2012

Game Creation for Students in 1 week

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Thanks to Prof. Dr. Alexander Repenning from the U of Colorado for teaching at ISTE 

You can make anything from Frogger to SIMs and there will be a 3D version called agentcubes. 
First you will need to download the software at .  

Why should you have your students create games? - To get computational thinking education in to public 

Once you download the software, you will want to start to play with it and learn it.  I think that it is simple enough to use when you just follow a few steps by Dr. Repenning in his step by step manual and lesson plans found here until I have some time at home to do screen shots.  

for now you can see my snapshots with my camera-

Here is the interface:

Here is the interface where you control how the games work. 

You get to draw your game board and control the actions

Great Education Links from ISTE 2012

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You can follow my Delicious Book Mark tabs to see what I am adding it as I add in real time

or see the links below

  1. Effective Mobile Learning: 50+ Quick Tips and Resources "In this e-book find several tips, resources, and links for integrating mobile devices into the curriculum." -ShellTerrell
  2. 20 Free iPad Apps Educators Can’t Live Without! "There are thousands of free iPad Apps out there, but finding the perfect ones for you can be tough. We’ve spent hours searching for the best-of-the-best, free iPad Apps for Educators, and we’re sharing all of them with you in this eBook! Discover a multitude of free apps for professional development, cross-curricular activities, and every area of the core curriculum. This eBook is part of a webinar, "20 Free iPad Apps Educators Can’t Live Without!". View a recording of this session inside the webinars area." -SimpleK12 Team
  3. Diary of an iPad Grant Team "Follow our school site as we pilot our iPad Lab and work toward writing a grant to fund an iPad Lab. We hope to share with others our iPad lesson plans, the FREE iPad apps we found, resources and tips. We also hope to collaborate with others on their experiences and resources." -Reba Gordon Matthews
  4. Essential iPad Websites and App Guide "A collection of essential websites and iPad apps guides to support your instruction." -Naomi Harm
  5. Free Educational iPad Apps for the Classroom Grades Pre-12 "Great apps that are both free and educational for the classroom." -ldenker
  6. iPad Apps Tied 2 The New Blooms "Web resource for iPad apps from tech guru Kathy Shrock. On this site she groups apps under the following New Blooms categories: Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating and Creating." -Jim J
  7. iPads in Schools "Live binder created by Mike Fisher. Links to a wide-variety of resources for administrators, teachers, & students!" -Patti Wilkins
  8. 15 iPad Tips for Teachers "Learn some “top secret” iPad tips that’ll change the way you think about your iPad’s keyboard, camera, settings menu, and more! This eBook is is a copy of the presentation slides for "15 iPad Tips for Teachers". You can view an on-demand webinar recording of this presentation in the Community." -SimpleK12 Team
  9. Apps for Students with Special Needs "This website has a comprehensive list and demos of iPad apps that are excellent for assisting students with special needs. This organization also helps students to gain iPads through donations. Each day they spotlight a different app and associated app demo." -reba Gordon Matthews
Everything Apps for the Elementary Educator 

Hebrew Through Movement

Agent Sheets 
Game Maker Software for the Classroom 
You can try this out for 90 days free.  Be sure to check out my 'how-to' posts to see how I make a sample Frogger Game at my ISTE secession.  
Then go here to get instructions to make your games and see sample.  There are lesson plans on this site. 

Brain Pop
Free educational games and places to go for game making instructions and software.  Easy to use and great looking website!  They also have foreign language sites in Spanish, Hebrew, ESL and others! 
Microsoft tools to save your files anywhere. Great for school computers so students can access work at home.

E-Learning Theory Meets Art Theory

A site that you can get a window for live commenting when you are teaching your lesson via twitter and some other social media.  This would be a great way to gauge students understanding of the topic while you are teaching.   Remember that [unlike some of us] they can still follow what else is happening in the classroom while reading and interacting with a twitter feed (some even may absorb the material better). 

Arcademic Skill Builders
Free online Eudcational Games for
Math & Language ArtsOur Story
A timeline that you can share photos, stories and video on a collaborative timeline.  I can already think of cool ways to use this!

A website where you can easily create cartoons online with cool graphics that would appeal to students. 

Self Publishing online.
Have your students turn their writing into real eBooks!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mayim Bialik at ISTE

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Mayim Bialik speaking at ISTE 2012

Sir Ken speaking

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Sir Ken Robinson speaking at ISTE 2012

Arrived in San Diego for ISTE conference

Pin It Now! I arrived in San Diego today for the ISTE conference. Baby Bear did something this week that made me believe even stronger that teachers need to embrace technology in education.

We were at a cash register and thee was a screen that faced Baby Bear and I with advertisements of specials in the store. Baby Bear immediately touched the screen to play with the images. It floored me to think that Baby Bear just assumes that all screens are interactive. 21 months old and this is her native language as a digital baby.

The other thing that happened this week about technology in our lives was a college student that I know described her major as a hashtag (#).

I feel that I am pretty tech savvy, but there are fast moving social media outlets that still puzzle me on how to use then to their fullest potential. The one thing that I am sure about is the potential for kids to discover more and learn better then they could without the aid of a computer or smart device.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Love of Aunts and Uncles

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Baby Bear is the first child of my siblings and I.  This is the same 'position' that I had in my family. 

man and child on a ride at mall of america

Uncle Ben with Baby Bear

I know that being the first is special because I remember how it felt to have my aunts and uncles dote on me all the time.  I just saw it from a kids perspective though and it is incredible to see the way my siblings look at Baby Bear and the love that they feel for her. 

man with baby

I knew that they would love her, but I never dreamed of the special bonds that they would have.  You can tell by the way that they look at her, and the way she responds that she loves them so much too and wants to be with them all the time.  She is so blessed to have so many people in her life that care so much about her.  

woman making silly faces at baby
Aunt Betsy (Ben's wife) 

"Mima" Aunt Marissa
Mima and Baby Bear have a very special bond because she was there when Baby Bear was born and was one of the first people to hold her and we lived in the same place as Mima when we first moved back to Detroit.

facetime screen shot iPhone of Baby Bear and Erica Villanueva

"Tiqui" Aunt Erica
Baby Bear knows when she hears the FaceTime sound on my phone that is will most likely be Tiqui and she yells her name.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Israeli Chicken Schnitzel Recipe

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Israeli chicken schnitzel
israeli chicken schnitzel

This is a family favorite that I wanted to share with you.  It is much better then giving your children pre-made processed  chicken nuggets and his is a great recipe to make and freeze for quick lunches and dinners.  

You can also make it healthier by using wholegrain bread crumbs and cooking it in the oven with only a spray of olive oil.

Skinless/boneless Chicken Breast
Bread Crumbs I used Panko Bread Crumbs because they did not have MSG and I had a hard time finding parve bread crumbs that did not have MSG as an ingredient

First you need to split the breast with a knife.  You want the chicken to be thin so it cooks all the way through.  Next, you will want to pound the chicken so that it gets evenly thin and flat.  You can either use a mallet or the bottom of cup to press it.

Now you need to prepare all of your ingredients.  
Mix the eggs in a bowl.  
Pour your flour and bread crumbs onto their own plates. 
Put a enough oil to cover the bottom of your skillet with a thin coating and heat low.

Lay out your dipping station out and get your chicken ready to dip.

I like to use my tongs to hold the chicken because I hate touching raw chicken. Start by dipping your Chicken in the flour.  This will give the egg something to stick to. 

Take your tongs and put the chicken in the egg and coat thoroughly. 

Now take your tongs and grab the chicken out of the egg and place it into the bread crumbs

Lastly, turn on your exhaust fan and put your chicken in the oil skillet to cook.  Once the first side browns, you will need to turn it over.

Check to make sure that your chicken is fully cooked and then remove from the oil.  If you need to add some more oil while cooking, do this very carefully.  If you do not have enough oil in your pan, your chicken will stick.
Some people use a large amount of oil to fry the chicken, but this is not necessary.  You can see in the pan that I barely have any oil in it. 

Now enjoy with veggies and hummus! 

Baby Bear LOVES them and she likes to dip it.

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