CR6 Tech4Learning - Panther Parents

Personalized 24/7 Learning to Create Lifelong Learners

Dear Panther Parents & Guardians,

My name is Sarah Rausch, and I am our district's Instructional Technology Specialist. My role in the district is to help teachers integrate technology in the best way into their teaching and your student's learning. I was hired to transform the way we use technology in the district in order to personalize learning for every student.


Our education mission in Centralia is "to prepare our students to compete by providing a safe, nurturing, and challenging environment as we strive to develop them into extraordinary and productive citizens of our world". Technology is one of the many tools we can use to achieve that mission.


In the past two years, the district has upgraded our technology infrastructure by rewiring buildings and adding wifi. This year, we upgraded our website to make it easier for you to find information and access information on any device. We also upgraded our classroom technology with new laptops and iPads for teachers. Technology upgrades alone won't personalize learning for students, so we're also giving teachers over 12 hours of training on how to best integrate technology. I also meet with every teacher regularly to check in on their progress with technology integration and digital skills.


Last year, our Teacher Technology Committee members led our staff in a brainstorm session around four questions that helped us create our vision of personalized learning:


  • What will learning look like in Centralia 5 years from now?
  • What will our classrooms look like?
  • What skills do we want our students to develop?
  • How will we develop and grow as a staff to benefit our students?

The responses to these questions helped us to understand our vision for learning. We want to personalize education for all our staff and students because we want to create an engaged and inspired community of lifelong learners. We want our kids to develop the skills of communication, creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration because we want them to be able to "compete" and to be "extraordinary and productive citizens". We want learning to continue beyond our district walls, and we want to make sure that we as a staff are always improving so your child will always have the best education.


Technology is the tool that will help us to achieve our goals, and I look forward to sharing some of those transformed educational experiences and tools in the newsletter below.


Thank you for reading!

~Sarah Rausch

Spotlight On...

CIS: Mrs. Kropf's 5th Grade Students!

Mrs Kropf's 5th Grade Students recently completed a unit on story elements - plot, character development, rising action, etc. As part of the unit, students created plot diagrams of favorite stories as well as character development charts. To finish the unit and to give the students a real-world extension of their learning, Mrs. Kropf asked students to create book trailers for award-winning books in the CES library.


Students chose a book and filled out a storyboard organizer for their trailers. Then, students worked together using the iPads and the Animoto app to create short, easy-to-read trailers for the CES students. Students had to think about their audience in order to choose the right words, pictures, and songs that would make a K-2 student choose their book.


Mrs. Ross will show these trailers to her CES students on library days. Click the video below to see the project in action as well as several examples of trailers!

Kropf 5th Grade Animoto Show Me Books

CHS - Ms. Sebben's Drama Students & Mr. Martin's American Government Students!

Ms. Sebben and Mr. Martin recently completed units where students used iMovie to create their final project.


Ms. Sebben's drama students finished their silent acting unit by creating movie trailers with iMovie. Students chose a dramatic situation, then storyboarded the situation using the trailer option in iMovie. Students couldn't speak in the trailer, so they had to show their mastery of silent acting through their facial expressions and body language. You can see the trailer for Among the Shadows below.


Mr. Martin's American Government students finished their voting unit by creating an ad that would convince voters to keep the voting age at 18. Students had to research the voting age in the U.S. and other countries in order to create their argument. Their final projects had to include an interview, statistics, pictures, and music. Watch one of the ads below!

amongtheshadows
Final Project 18 year old vote

CBMS: Mr. Williams!

Aaron Williams put together an Amazing Race style scavenger hunt using Google Maps to help his students dig deeper into the Revolutionary War. Students first went to our district website where Aaron linked the scavenger hunt. Next, students clicked on the first battle, Valley Forge. By clicking on the battle, students were able to read a description of the battle. Then, students had to watch an included video about the battle. In the description, students had questions to answer while watching the video. Once they had the answers to the questions, students would run their answers to Aaron who would check for accuracy. If students were right, they would run back and finish reading the battle description for their clue to the next battle.


Aaron created the scavenger hunt using Google Maps. He was able to type in each description as well as create an icon for each battle. This way, students could easily look at the map and determine which country won each battle. Aaron also created an accompanying notetaker for the scavenger hunt so students could remember what they learned in their adventure.


You can access the Scavenger Hunt by clicking on the following link:

Revolutionary War Scavenger Hunt

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CES: Mrs. Durant's Kindergarten Students!

In order to practice beginning sounds, Mrs. Durant's Kindergarten students created Beginning Sounds Collages using the Pic Collage app and the iPads.


Mrs. Durant spent several days building up to the activity by teaching her Kindergarteners to use the iPads and the app in small chunks. Mrs. Durant started by teaching iPad rules - how to carry the iPad, how to use the buttons, etc. Then, she taught the app. Students practiced in the app by creating collages of their classmates. Finally, on the day of the activity, each student was able to take pictures of classroom objects, add them to Pic Collage, and then use Pic Collage to label the beginning sounds. Mrs. Durant then AirDropped the pictures to her MacBook from the iPad so that she could show each student the collages. Students then had to decide which item in each picture matched the beginning sound, which helped the kids to further review their sounds.


Mrs. Durant is now working with Mrs. Erisman at CBMS to create a coding unit for her Kindergartners. This coding unit will teach students the basics of creating computer code in order to create a simple app.

Learning Resources

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Wonderbox

Wonderbox is an app for kids designed to promote creativity and problem solving. Students earn coins by completing challenges in various categories. Categories include design, animals, world, drawing, people, imagination, space, photography, sports, DIY, science, kidpreneur, health, and riddles & puzzles.


Within each category, your child can pick a challenge. Challenges include tasks like creating a pet diary, making a dinosaur talk, drawing a self portrait, meet an author, and design a costume, among others. The app includes everything they need to complete the challenge. When students are done with a challenge, they can choose to share that challenge with their WonderBox friends.


As a parent, you can allow your child to have WonderBox friends. Your child can only have friends by giving his WonderBox friend code to someone else with the app. The app is for students only, but WonderBox automatically creates a parent account in the app for you. You can then use your parent account to create your child's account. You have access to all their Wonderbox friends and creations.


Wonderbox can be found in the Apple App Store for free!

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Google Drive

Your child can access their files, with or without Internet access, using Google Drive. By creating documents in or uploading files to Google Drive, students can access and edit those files from any device, anywhere. Students can also collaborate on files by sharing those files with their teachers or classmates.


In the app, students can choose to keep files offline. If a file is offline, students are able to view and edit the file even when they do not have access to the Internet. When their device has Internet again, the file will automatically sync any changes created offline.


Students can create documents, presentations, surveys, spreadsheets, and drawings with Google Drive. They can also upload and edit Microsoft Office files, as well as photos, videos, and music.


Because we are a Google Apps for Education district, your child has unlimited storage in their Google Drive. They can access their drive from any computer, as well as apps for Android and Apple.

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Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media is a website (www.commonsensemedia.org) that rates books, movies, apps, and websites for parents, as well as provide guides on topics related to media and kids.


As a parent, you can search for a particular piece of media. Each rating will let you know the age range for the media, as well as individual ratings for categories such as positive role models, violence, language, etc. Common Sense gives a summary of the media, as well as other reviews and discussion topics for families.


You can also explore pieces of media by age range. If you're wanting to find a gift for your 8 year old or your 17 year old, you can search through Common Sense's resources for an appropriate book, movie, app, etc.


Common Sense also includes guides for parents on topics such as cyberbullying, social media, learning with technology, and screen time. You can also find lists of essential apps by age range as well as apps for students with special needs.


Common Sense Media also have apps for Android and Apple.

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Family Time with Apps

Family Time with Apps is a guide to using apps with your kids from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, a Sesame Workshop organization. The mission of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center is to foster innovation in children's learning through the use of digital media. They have created the Family Time with Apps Guide to help parents find and use apps to promote your child's learning. From the website:


"When we think of apps for kids, we often think of games for either entertainment or learning. But apps aren’t limited to just games or books—apps can provide important social, emotional, and physical experiences too. Family Time with Apps is designed to help parents better understand the variety of ways that apps can support children’s healthy development and family learning, communication, and connection. The guide aims to show parents how to find the best apps that fit your child’s needs, provide tips on how (and why!) to use apps together, and highlight even more resources that will make the process of selecting apps less overwhelming, and more fun."


You can find a copy of Family Time with Apps in the iBooks Store or online here:

Family Time with Apps

Tech Tutorial

Setting Restrictions on Your Student's Devices

Most devices now include parental restrictions. Watch the video below to see how to use Guided Access on the iPad or iPhone. Guided Access allows you as the parent to lock your child into one app for a specified amount of time. If you only want your child to access a specific app, you can turn on Guided Access, and then hand them your iPad or iPhone. After their time limit in the app is up, the iPad will shut off the app and won't allow your child into anything else until you put in the passcode to turn off Guided Access. Guided Access is a great tool that will allow you to control what your child sees and how long they can use your Apple devices.


You can also learn more about parental restrictions on Apple products here:

Apple Restrictions / Parent Controls


And on Android products here:

Android Tablet / Smartphone Parent Controls

Guided Access on the iPad