Tech-KNOW-ology Notes

A Newsletter from your Instructional Technology Specialist

November 2015

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Anybody Can Learn - 60 sec teaser
The week of December 7-11 is the Hour of Code week. The Hour of Code is a game-based activity that students should be able to complete in 45 minutes to 1 hour. The game uses blocks to write code for the game. This is a way to introduce computer programming to students. Last year, almost 15 million students from around the world participated in the Hour of Code by playing one of the games created by This year, every student and teacher at Alanton Elementary School will participate in the Hour of Code. This will be easy to do! I will add an Hour of Code section to the Alanton Student Portal with links to the 2015 Hour of Code game that includes the Star Wars robot, BB-8. There will also be links for younger students to use for age appropriate games. Teachers can reserve the Computer Lab for an hour at a time during the week of Dec. 7-11, or you can use your classroom computers. I will also add a link to the game on all the school iPads. The games are fun and the kids will LOVE the Hour of Code. I have already signed our school up for the Hour of Code, but you can also register as a teacher. To learn more about the Hour of Code you can visit

BrainPOP - New Look Coming Soon!

BrainPOP's New Look

What is TPACK?

TPACK is a technology integration model. Whenever you plan a lesson with me or Heather, we use this model in planning what type of technology will work best with the content that you want to cover. You as the classroom teacher or specialist are the content experts. Heather and I depend on your input as the content expert to help us in planning rigorous and engaging lessons for your students. This is a model that you need to become familiar with throughout this year. I've added a short video below that explains TPACK a little bit more in detail.
TPACK in 2 Minutes

Colonial Williamsburg - HERO Electronic Field Trip Series

You have the opportunity to sign up for the HERO Electronic Field Trip series from Colonial Williamsburg. This program is available to any teacher in the building, but the videos are best suited for grades 3 and up. This is a great program that provides very interesting, historically accurate and awarding video programs to students. The videos are not just for fifth graders. Many of the video topics can be used by other grade levels. Each field trip (video series) includes a lesson plan, online and printable resources. Click here to check out the list of electronic field trips scheduled for this school year. The videos are available to view anytime after their premiere date. I will be glad to work with you on how you can use this great resource in your classroom.

How to Sign Up for a Free HERO Teacher Account

Electronic Field Trip Schedule for 2015-2016 School Year

Link to HERO website

Preview the new Electronic Field Trips from Colonial Williamsburg

Achieve3000 on iPads

Students are able to access the Achieve3000 program on school iPads. They are required to sign in two times. Students can follow the same directions to access both Achieve3000 and TenMarks. Click here to download a copy of the How to Access Achieve3000 on an iPad directions. Please remember that it is VERY important that student log off the iPad and fully close out the site on the iPad BEFORE another student uses it. Otherwise there is a risk that a student might complete work under the wrong name.


I'd like to see every student, in grades 1-5, using TenMarks at least 2 times a week by the end of November. Please see me if you need help setting up units or assessments. I'm also available to help you introduce TenMarks to your class. The Computer Lab will be available for you to use beginning Monday, November 23rd. It is often easier to introduce it to your students if you do it in the Computer Lab where every student can have a computer to access the program. By the end of December, students should be using TenMarks 2-3 times a week.

Instructional Resources

Here's the link to my favorite Thanksgiving site. It has everything from videos, to lesson plans. There are resources for all grade levels. Some of my favorite activities on this site are Letters from the New World and Tour the Mayflower. This site is worth spending a few minutes exploring all that it has to offer.

Plimoth Plantation

This next link two links are great for upper elementary grades. Your students take on the role of a historian and explore what the first Thanksgiving was like through the eyes of a Wampanoag Indian or a pilgrim. is a great resource site for websites and instructional resources. Just type your topic in the search box to see a long list of easy to use resources.
Check out my Tech at the Beach Facebook page for resources and information related to educational technology. It's a quick and easy way to keep up on new web 2.0 tools and other trending issues.