Friday, July 31, 2009

Speak Up!

This summer we witnessed young Iranians protesting and standing up for what they believe in, something I haven't seen since I graduated from high school in 1989 when young Chinese citizens protested their government. This summer I also participated in several gatherings at our state capitol, and spoke with my legislature about educational spending. How often though do we give students the opportunity to Speak up about what they are passionate about? Using the PBS web site students have the opportunity to read what other students think and believe, post their own ideas, and vote on ideas. Wouldn't be interesting to have students conduct research on how recess benefits them(or what they choose to write about), blog about their findings, respond to comments on their blog, and present their ideas in a multi-media presentation? I think it would allow students opportunity to express themselves in an authentic writing and presentation experience, and of course using the technology they love! I'm doing it this year, and very excited about what ideas they'll come up with. Watch the video and read the entries already on Speak Up. You might be surprised about what our young kids think about.

Monday, July 27, 2009

a presentation to make you think!

a friend of mine sent me an email with a link in it to this presentation... that friend of mine is always pushing the limits of Innovation! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Early Childhood- Sid, the Science Kid

How many of you have taken a look at Sid, the Science Kid? It is located in Early Childhood and it has 5 programs per week that cover 7 areas of Science. This is such a treasure, when materials are expensive and hard to find for the primary grades. It is so easy to use the programs, interactive sites and lesson plans because it is all in one place. Better yet, parents can have access to these resources as well. The activities and videos are great ways to learn the concepts. I think even some of my fifth graders would like the way the concepts are presented. What a wonderful way to supplement your already developed lessons! Take a look and decide for yourself.

Tech4Learning- An Awesome ASSET Partner

This year as part of the ASSET Innovator incentives, I got to learn more about Tech4Learning. We even received free software from the company. I chose Frames and actually got a private lesson from Carolyn Daly- a rep from the company- when she was in Tucson. I shared this software with a third grade teacher in the Marana School District and was amazed first by the software and then by what could be achieved using this software.

The third grade was working on biographies of famous people. The students read the biography and created a 5 minute speech about the person. They spoke and dressed up as if they were the person. The school put on a Wax Museum where all of the students stood and people could go around and push their paper button in order for them to tell who they were and what they did. That part was awesome all by itself, but then we continued this by using Frames. Every child was photographed twice on a blue screen. That was an adventure all by itself since there were 130 students. Then we had every student record their speech in Frames. The last step was done by teachers since we only had 4 copies of this program. The blue screen was replaced with back drops of landmarks associated with the famous person and movement was placed in the program. When finished, a small flash movie was created with movement and sound. Every child received a disk with their own presentation on it. Since then that school has bought enough copies of this software to use in the lab. We are hoping to have the kids create their own movies next year.

I was so glad that I was a part of this and I realize it probably never would have happened if I hadn't had that introduction through the ASSET Innovator Program. This is just one small part of what can happen through ASSET. There are so many more learning possibilities out there.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What a Great Time to be an ASSET Innovator!

This past year has been a difficult time with the economy. No money for anything extra, teachers laid off until the budget was decided on, teachers in flux, not knowing if they had a job or if they did where they might end up in the district. With all of this uncertainty, teachers were supposed to stay upbeat and continue giving a good education to their students. I would walk into teachers' meetings and not be sure what I would find, but every time I did, I was amazed at how they were looking for ways to work with their students and open to new ideas. I felt like I was throwing out a fantastic educational lifeline that had little or no cost attached. Their enthusiasm was contagious to all present and before I knew it, teachers were looking at the resources available and sharing ideas on how they could use it with their students.

ASSET allowed me to share so many fantastic resources. Many people thought ASSET was no longer around. It was my privilege to share the fact that ASSET was still around and had many outstanding programs that cover all of the grades and subjects. Once they checked out how easy it was to access the ASSET site and saw the wide choice of programs, they were sold. Whenever I got an update of PBS programs, I sent it out to the teachers. Many times I would get comments back about ideas they tried out and programs they used with their students. I would forward these ideas to other teachers, hoping they would also try something new and then pass on their insights. I would also have teachers asking me if there was anything available for a certain age group or a specific topic. I would research it and before too long, I was always able to find something that was on the ASSET site that would work. Were they ever excited when they got that e-mail! Teachers are so busy and time is so limited that I was glad to do the looking and then sharing it with them.

It was an honor to be an innovator this year because I felt like I had this awesome product, available to everyone and all I had to do was get the word out. My only regret is that I didn't get to all of the schools, but I belong to a district technology group and there were reps from all of the elementary and middle schools. I regularly shared with this group (we meet monthly) and these members went back to their schools and passed the ideas on. I plan on continuing to spread the word next year and take more advantage of the free face to face classes that are available. The more we get the word out, the more this resource will spread like wildfire and we will be able to continue that spark of integrating technology into the curriculum.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

So who has tried Eko World on Can you share your experience with me, let me know how your kids or students reacted to it? My fourth graders love it. What I enjoyed the most was seeing them go on the website, even when they weren't told to!
Stacy :-)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Interactive Whiteboards - Workshops - and PBS - Oh My!

PBS KIDS ( has launched a collection of interactive SMART Board games for educators. The site offers games for Language Arts, Maths, Social Science and a painting game for Art. Students will enjoy participating in these collaborative, fun and engaging experiences, while exploring curriculum from trusted PBS programs such as Curious George, Super Why and Arthur. Visit for more information.

The ASSET Professional Development Team would love an opportunity to come to your school or district back-to-school trainings and share these research based resources with you and your colleagues! Have you called or emailed to schedule your workshop? 602-496-1104/ Workshops can be customized to highlight specific content areas and grade levels. Look for more information about our workshops on our website.

Monday, July 13, 2009


The WordGirl Summer Road Trip airs July 13-17 on PBS KIDS GO! and Eight-AZ PBS.

Check local listings for air times on and view episode segments live online at ASSET Kids!

The WordGirl Summer Road Trip features:
  • “Robo-Camping”

  • “Who Wants Candy?”

  • “Theme Park Wham-Page”

  • and “Highway to Havarti”

While you are watching, don’t forget to pack these activities for your trip!

Click on the link from WordGirl's Announcement to get to these activities!

There are ASSET lesson plans tied to the Arizona Academic Standards to help you make the most of WordGirl in your classroom.

Consider these activities and online resources for your back-to-school planning AND become an ASSET Educator to take advantage of great discounts for your end of summer classroom purchases. Join during the week of WordGirl’s Summer Roadtrip and receive a special WordGirl luggage tag!