Monthly Tech Tidbits

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The purpose of this monthly newsletter is to provide you with quick information, tips, and technology hacks for the classroom.
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Take Care of Your Tech Over the Holidays

It's very easy to overlook the care of technology in your classroom the week before - or day of - leaving for Winter Break, but here are just a few simple suggestions before you go:

  • Lock up all laptops/tablets/devices and make sure they are out of sight
  • Run by your desktop computers with a Swiffer and knock the 1st semester's worth of dust off of them
  • While you're at it, you may want to glisten those headphones, mice, & keyboards with a kiss of Lysol. The Flu is a gift that keeps giving...

I appreciate your help!

Instructional Spotlight: Vocabulary Strategies

It is important that students connect a visual association to new vocabulary in order to understand and use successfully. The Frayer Model is a great activity to help learners do just that! And, it works in any subject!

But who is Frayer & are They Really a Glamorous Model?

Ha! No, but here's some info accourding to

The Frayer Model was first developed by Dorothy Frayer and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin. Buell (2001) suggests that the Frayer Model graphically organizes prior knowledge about a concept or mathematical term into an operational definition, characteristics, examples, and non-examples.

The Frayer Model helps activate students’ prior knowledge about a concept or word. It provides students with the opportunity to clarify a concept or term and communicate their understanding by providing an operational definition, describe characteristics or properties of the word, and list examples and non-examples from their own prior knowledge of the concept or familiarity with the term. This strategy can be used to help solidify conceptual understanding after students have had an opportunity to learn about the concept or use the term in context.

While Frayer Models have typically been used to introduce new terminology, Keeley (2011) suggests they can be used to determine students’ prior knowledge about a concept or term before planning a lesson. As students engage in learning activities and class discussions, they can clarify and deepen their understanding of the concept or term. They can revisit their original Frayer Model and make refinements to the operational definition, characteristics, examples and non-examples.

Check out the video below to see the Frayer Model explained.

Center Activity -- The Frayer Model Explained

Flipgrid Fever?

Do you want more engagement out of your students? Are you looking for a way to showcase what students know with their parents? Try Flipgrid!

Flipgrid works across all devices and is super easy to use. Students can record short videos, teachers can record instructions for centers, and you can even post QR codes with videos of students explaining their work hanging in the hallway!

Check out the Flipgrid Twitter Channel for other amazing ideas & be sure to let me know how I can help you make those awesome ideas happen!

And, take a look at the video below on fostering an inclusive classroom using Flipgrid. So cool!

You Can Foster An Inclusive Classroom With Flipgrid!

Get Ready for the Hour of Code!!

What is the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. Check out the tutorials and activities. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.

When is the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The 2019 Computer Science Education Week will be December 9-15, but you can host an Hour of Code all year-round. Computer Science Education Week is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).

Info from

Hour of Code - WORLDWIDE

New Work Order Procedure

Administrators, Faculty, & Staff,

Effective immediately, SPS & TFAA will be piloting the new process for reporting Work Orders! We will no longer be using spswo or tfawo emails. Instead, you will be provided with a link that will take you to the site to complete your work order request.

This link will be located on the Technology web page, as well as the school's website under the Academics > Teacher Resources tab. I will also post it in my email signature for easy access.

Please review the document below for specific instructions on how to get started.

As always, if you have any questions, please ask! If you have comments or suggestions, please write those down. The IT department will be sending a survey in the next couple of weeks looking for your feedback.

December Professional Development Offerings

Click here for the latest PD news!

Have You Checked the Latest Version of Potty PD?

Thanks for taking time to read this newsletter!

Please let me know if you have suggestions or ideas you'd like featured in upcoming newsletters!

Are you doing amazing techy things in your classroom? I'd love to feature you!

Did you make it this far? You're amazing! Send me an email letting me know you read this month's newsletter, and I'll have a special treat for you ;-)

~ Stephanie

Mrs. Smith's Tasty Tech Bytes

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Stephanie Smith, Instructional Technology Coach

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