Vanguard Teachers: iRigor

iPad integration + SAMR + Rigor = What Good Looks Like

WHAT GOOD LOOKS LIKE: Spotlighting Our NLCI Teachers and Redefining Student Work Across Our Network of Schools

Vanguard Professional Development Meeting January 7th or 8th, 2016

Thursday, Jan. 7th, 1pm

This is an online event.

Please do the following before Nov. 5th;

  1. Peruse the SMORE.
  2. Read the given article:
  3. Be prepared to give examples contrary to the myths in the article.

Toby Grosswald

As the Education Manager of Instructional Technology, I will be meeting online through videoconferences with the Vanguard teachers once a month the first Thursday or Friday of every month. I am excited to continue our work integrating the iPads and technology in the K12 schools as we continue to teach the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and collaboration!
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Professional Development Goals 2015-2016


  • To collaborate online and through video with other Vanguards across our network of schools monthly by using the video platform of 'GoToMeeting' and SMORE to support the teachers in your schools with the integration of the iPads and technology
  • To continue to coach, support and train Vanguard teacher leaders to turn around and train teachers on the best instructional practices using their iPads in order to produce, reflect and share by showcasing student work and best practices.
  • To communicate and collaborate with your instructional team and teachers an understanding of "what good looks like" as we add rigor and move through the SAMR continuum.
  • To differentiate the information in this SMORE by finding out what works for you and your teachers using Toby and the Education Team as a partner, coach, support, mentor and guide


  • Discuss the given article and apply the facts about rigor in order to make connections between rigor and SAMR
  • Collect and relate additional best practices for technology integration in grades K-3 in order support all teachers in your school as the Vanguard Teacher


  • The What and Why of Rigor
  • Article Reflection: The 7 Myths of Rigor in the Classroom
  • Making Connections: Rigor and SAMR
  • Primary iPad Integration Lessons and Best Practices
  • Next Steps
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The SAMR Model
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Toby's Tech Tip of the Month: Siri Tips and Tricks for the Classroom

Use Siri As a Calculator

There is no need to tap in numbers into a calculator app. Just say "85 plus 25.5 plus 941.12 plus 6 plus 168.96." Make a mistake? Just tap to edit a number. For currencies, just say, "How many euros is $200?" For measurements, say, "What's 105 degrees in Celsius?" or "220 kilometers per hour in miles per hour." Siri can convert speeds, weights, fluids, temperatures, cooking measures, distance, area, time, decimals, and fractions.

Use Siri to Flip a Coin, Roll the Dice, Pick a Number

Have trouble making decisions or teaching probability? Let Siri help by asking her to flip a coin. Siri can also roll the dice and pick a number. Simply say, "Flip a coin," or "Roll the dice," or "Pick a number." The latter defaults to 1 and 100, but you can specify any range.

Use Siri to Find Out What Movies Are Playing and How They're Rated

If you're in the mood for a movie, ask Siri, "What movies are playing?" You'll get times and nearby locations as well as ratings. Or you can ask, "Show me the ratings for the movie Steve Jobs." Also, you can ask, "Show me the trailer for the movie Steve Jobs." Then students can write a summary or make their own trailer on iMovie.

Use Siri to Find and Launch Apps

You can tell Siri to launch an app or to play games you can say, "Play [game name]." You can also use Siri to get apps from the App Store or to search for apps relevant to your interests in the App Store. This feature can save instructional time when trying to find an app during a lesson.

Use Siri for Converting Measurements and Currencies

For currencies, just say, "How many euros is $200?" For measurements, say, "What's 105 degrees in Celsius?" or "220 kilometers per hour in miles per hour." Siri can convert speeds, weights, fluids, temperatures, cooking measures, distance, area, time, decimals, and fractions.

Use Siri for All Your Sports Information

Siri can tell you scores, schedules, and more. For example, you can say, "Are the Iowa Hawkeyes winning?" of "Did the Iowa Hawkeyes win?" Also, "When are the Iowa Hawkeyes playing next?" And "Show me the season schedule for Iowa Hawkeye football.

Use Siri to Check Stock Prices and Performance

You can check a stock price or index performance by asking, "What's the price of Apple stock?" or "How is the Dow doing?" To compare performance, say, "Compare Apple and Google stock prices" or "Compare Apple and the NASDAQ." Or you can ask, "How are the markets doing?"

Tobytech's Free App Recommendation


While you do have to sign up the first time you use it, the site is free and you can turn off emails. NewsELA is a source for articles on many kid-friendly subjects. The great thing about the site though, is that you can search by grade level to make sure the article is targeted to your kids’ reading level. Often you can find the same article with several different reading levels — perfect for differentiating.

Tobytech's Website Recommendation


The educational site built by the Ted Talks folks, Ted-Ed is a site where you can search for videos complete with lessons you can use alongside them. They are polished, detailed, and fun. You can also search by categories, like “Literature and Language.” You can use plain old Ted Talks in the classroom, and have the students create and deliver their own.

Primary Corner

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Create your own "WHY SAMR PD" to use during the next meeting with your teachers. Since Oct. 2014, I have been sharing videos, websites, photos, evidence, share pages, etc. about how to add rigor and redefine lessons - now it is your turn to take this information and tailor it to your school. Please use me as your support as you continue to be the leader in your school for technology integration. All SAMR PD links will be shared on next month's SMORE!!!




One of your fellow Vanguard Teachers wants to know how to share files with the students if you are not using google accounts. Please share via email to Toby or


  1. Complete the TOBYTECH SAMR CHALLENGE by February 1, 2016. (see above)
  2. Meet with your instructional team at least once a month at a designated time and place to summarize and share pieces of the SMORE as you differentiate the information to your teachers. The instructional team consists of you, your Principal, Lead Literacy Teacher, Lead Tech Teacher and Assistant Principal.
  3. Use Toby as your "go to" Education Manager for Technology. If I don't know the answer, I will direct you appropriately. Use FaceTime as much as you can. My cell is 215-680-0123 and you can FaceTime me on my NLCI email. I am also here to coach you and help you plan your professional development sessions.


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