Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tweets from around HHS:

HHS Digital Photo has created a place for you to check out their Daily Photo Blog! This includes a new student image from each class each day. Check it out at:

Ms. Taylor's Marine Science class is going to the GA aquarium. As a way to ensure that students see the exhibits that she needs them to focus on, she builds prior knowledge about the aquarium and its sea life. Ms. Taylor also prepares a virtual field trip for students who are not attending. 

Coach Smith uploads his notes for Forensic Science on Edmodo for the students to access. They then have the ability to open them in apps such as Notability. This allows them to make notes on them and personalized them for their learning. 

Ms. Taylor has letter cards for students to use as she informally assesses their understanding of a concept. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Friday!! I hope everyone has had a wonderful week. I have been encouraged this week by the number of teachers who have come to me and told me about a new idea or emailed me something that they wanted to share going on in their classroom. This is exciting and lets me know that the energy we felt at the beginning of the year is still going strong. We are excited about some new things that we are going to try at HHS this semester starting with our Technology Tailgate next Thursday night during the varsity girls and boys basketball games. Our students will have a tailgate set up where they will be displaying the technology and apps that they are using to enhance their learning in the classroom. We welcome anyone to come out and not only watch some top ranked teams play ball, but also see how we are using tech at HHS!

This is week is the last week of our January Tech Tips for Fun Fact Friday and we hope you enjoy! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

From the iPad of Jeff Johnson...

The following is an example of how I am attempting to become more of a facilitator and coach in my AP Physics class than some traditional teachers who practices the dissemination of knowledge. (Everything below is posted on my Edmodo website). 

Either use “educreations” or “explain everything”  to make SHORT 10 – 12 minute videos that explain a topic or concept. You can also use ready-made videos from  Khan Academy or the like. Make sure to use clear examples and explain step by step what you want students  to know how to do. It is wise to use relevant easy to understand examples that kids can relate to.

Post lecture notes or examples of problems that are completely worked out. Explain in text what you are doing as you move through each step. 

  Assign practice problems for kids to work. I use an online homework site that provides feedback to students after they work out the problems. I give students 5 attempts at each problem. Each assignment scaffolds on the prior to move toward more complex concepts. Each assignment consists of 18 – 25 problems that range from moderate to very difficult. It should require 1 – 2 days to complete each assignment, including homework time.

  Students that are very bright and work quickly can move through the easy concepts and move on to the more difficult concepts. Students that are struggling can get help as I walk through the room to assist. This is a perfect way to allow students to work at their own pace.

This is just a very rough outline of what I am trying. It seems to be working. By the way, I have no problem with students listening to music on the iPad as they are working through their practice problems. Students may also work together, as no two students have the same problems (Thanks to the online service).


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

From the iPad of Thomas Wilhite...

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. Apes are using iPads at the National Zoo.

When great ape keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo were deciding how to add more variety and enrichment to their animals’ lives, they turned to Orangutan Outreach and a program that had seen great success in 12 other zoos around the world: Apps for Apes. With the tap of a finger, keepers are introducing the Zoo’s six orangutans to iPads, which provide unique stimuli. They found that 36-year-old Bonnie likes to bang on the drums, 16-year-old Kyle prefers the piano and 25-year-old Iris is content to listen to the soothing sounds of the koi pond while watching animated fish splash. “Apps for Apes fits perfectly in this new era of zoo keeping,” said Becky Malinsky, great ape keeper at the National Zoo. “It’s about changing up the day-to-day lives of our animals. We already vary their food, toys and social interactions every day, but the iPad offers another way to engage their sight, touch and hearing.” -Arin Greenwood, The Huffington Post

See full story below:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another great week at HHS is underway! I hope everyone had a restful and reflective Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday yesterday. #ALedchat took place last night at 9 CST and the topic was bridging the gap between parents and students in the area of technology. We found several really good websites that I wanted to share. Hopefully these will be useful as we continue to educate everyone on the uses of tech in the classroom and beyond.

Learning Digitally: Empowerment with Responsibility:

No Parent Left Behind:

Commonsense Media: Parent Connection

From the iPad of Wes Cable...

Students independently learning about WWII dictators, from different sites, based on their differing learning styles, before coming together for a summary discussion.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happy Friday! This week has been busy as usual at HHS. We are continuing to integrate technology into our classrooms and to also look ahead and starting planning for next year and our full implementation of the 1:1 initiative. We we progress, there are also times to stop and reflect. Some issues that we are working through are students with no or limited internet access at home, students in the lower grades who do not have smart devices to use in class, and how to handle having only 1 or 2 students in a class without the iPad. We are also starting to plan advisory activities for next year that will be available to students through Edmodo. Students will have a separate advisory section that will include school info, dress code, calendars and schedules, and will have 2-3 weekly activities. Our focus for many of these activities will be Digital Citizenship. 

It is also time for another Fun Fact Friday. This month we are focusing on iPad Tips and Tricks. Hope you enjoy!

Helium Voice Video Lite

HHS collaborates with Bumpus Middle School to help teachers understand the HS registration process and shares how to help students make the right course selections.

From the iPad of Cathy Shelton....

We are thrilled to have the large TV, and to be able to show students how to work through Moodle Choir Theory lessons with it.  Using Moodle is brand new for the choral program, and it has been a challenge to get all of our students on board, but we feel that it is going to pay off.  Through Moodle students are able to use an online music notation program to compose music (Noteflight Classroom) and also practice their music, as well as view and learn from countless youtube videos, etc., etc., in addition to the more standard text and graphics lesson with matching and multiple choice questions that was in the lesson today.  We have given all of the choir students 15 lessons on Moodle during the first semester, and have maintained a policy of allowing them to improve their grade on any lesson at any point.  Choir Theory is 20% of their total choir grade.  This is a great way to keep track of individual student progress in a large performance class without taking too much class time. 

From the iPad of Brad Coltrane...

One of the items on the list regarded getting additional information about Common Core. Who has time to go out and research this issue when there is so much information (and mis-information) out there?  Well, if you are on Twitter, it is REALLY easy.  I follow Mel Riddile (@PrincipalDiff) and he is “Scooping” articles on CC daily.  When you follow the link in his Tweets, you will see a catalog of CC-related resources (lots for both math and English).  If you follow him, you will have access to a wealth of CC information through Twitter.  I am kind of doing a CCSS lite, and you are welcome to follow me (@bradcoltrane) for the “Cliffs Notes” version of articles I’m finding useful. 

Caution: Old dog learning new tricks.

Brad Coltrane
IB Coordinator
Hoover High School

Tweets from around HHS:

From the iPad of Glenith Moncus...

At our Finance Academy Regional Advisory Board meeting last fall, a colleague told us about the BB&T Bank Bus.  We had to wait several months to get it to come to Hoover.  The bus is a 40-foot mobile financial classroom that provides Internet access to homeownership and credit counseling programs, and free annual credit reports all around the country.  It also provide comprehensive financial services information, including a Web-based Credit 101 course.  BB&T relationship bankers can also be available to help with checking and savings accounts, other financial services and provide access to computer-based Money Smart Financial Education in English and Spanish. 

Heidi Schoonover, BB&T Vice President for Community Development said, “It is our mission to make the communities in which we live better places to live. One way we do that is by bringing financial education to where our clients live work and play.  We want to simplify the banking process and make access to our services as convenient as possible. We invite area students to come learn more about managing finances online and planning for your financial future. We can also help them access their free annual credit report.”

Ms. Schoonover and the bank bus driver Mr. Shane arrived yesterday at Hoover High, making the “attendance ladies” think they missed a big field trip! They have been talking to all our Finance Academy students from 9th grade to 12th grade at Hoover Hall about the importance of building an excellent credit score and credit report as early as high school!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

#ALedchat was excellent again last night. We had participants from all over AL and across the US discussing their goal for this year. In case you missed it and want to read and learn more, you can view the Storify archive of the TweetChat on the right hand side of this blog. Mrs. Hogan uses Storify to "clean up" the chat a little and organize it in a way that is easier to read. Learn more about Storify below.

Here is an example of the #ALedchat Storify 
Mrs. Hogan creates weekly:

Friday, January 11, 2013

It's Friday! The first Friday of the new semester and already so much has happened this week at HHS. Our Juniors received their iPads on Monday and have been busy getting oriented to their devices. We are already busy getting ready for the new year by producing short videos that will be posted in our Interactive Course Selection Guide to help students and parents make more informed decisions about their courses for the 2013-2014 school year. The collaboration to complete the videos and the collaboration between our teachers on uses of iPads in the classroom has been awesome! The focus for the Fun Fact Friday for this month will be iPad tips and tricks. There are so many things that we learn daily and want to share in order to make our teachers lives easier and help them to be more efficient. Hope you enjoy our FFF.


Alabama EdChat will resume January 14th at 9:00 CST. The topic of this week's #ALedchat will be developing a goal or resolution to improve one aspect of your teaching or administrative day through the use of technology. We are not really talking about just adding a new app, but really making a change that will allow you to grow professionally. Often these type of goals/resolutions have obstacles that you will have to plan for or work out or around. We want to share those and start helping each other make a plan for success. We will revisit the goals in March and again in May. It is our goal to grow the #ALedchat and increase the collaboration between all of the wonderful educators in our state and beyond. We hope you will join us!

From the iPad of Debbie Henley...

Using Angry Birds is a great way to introduce and reinforce the concept of Projectile Motion. Students began by downloading the free game and then playing for a few minutes. We then had a discussion on Projectile Motion. Most are not familiar enough with subscripts, etc... on note taking apps yet to take all their notes on their iPads, but we are learning. They all used the iPad for calculations. Below are some photos from the lesson:

From the iPad of Judy Kehr....

Through one of the forums to which I subscribe, I just read about Flubaroo, a free testing/grading program that works with Google Docs and objective-type tests.  If you create quizzes/tests in Google Docs (forms/spreadsheet app), this is a simple add-in that will grade the test for you AND provide an analysis of the test grades.  Additionally, with a few clicks, you can send students their results.  Go to the site from the link below and view the video.

From the iPad of Jennifer Hogan...

This is just a fun email about how you can create a monogrammed background for your iPhone or iPad. 

On my personal blog, I posted today about how to create something like this for your iPhone or iPad. (There are all kinds of backgrounds you can download in all colors.) You’ll see the one I created for Holly in the Friday Fun Fact video today. Here’s the link to my blog if you would like to create something like this for your device:

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

From the iPad of Janet Ort...

Skyping with Famous Environmental Author 
Mark Hertsgaard

Greetings all!  My environmental research class & AP/IB students will be chatting with a famous author, Mark Hertsgaard, tomorrow.  We use excerpts form his books every year in APES. This counts as an in school field trip for 5th period. Please excuse them, if they request to come to my room A/B 5th. In addition, if you have a few students you know are interested in environmental issues or journalism, I have a few extra seats.  You are welcome also!!  This has been is the making for several years now.  Between books and traveling, Mark & I have been trying to combine schedules.  We will also be sharing the rough draft of a children’s book about climate change in graphic novel format with him.  His latest book that reflects on global climate change was written with his daughter in mind. Below find a brief bio of Mr. Hertsgaard. (BTW, he has a great book about the Beatles too!)

Hertsgaard’s latest book, HOT, describes how his five year old daughter and the rest of Generation Hot can cope with the massive climate impacts that are now inevitable. Packed with eyewitness reporting on existing solutions for "avoiding the unmanageable and managing the unavoidable," HOT shows how we all must think--and act--differently now in the fight against climate change. Read more
Pick up your copy | Barnes & Noble
About Mark
Called "one of America’s finest reporters" by Barbara Ehrenreich, Mark Hertsgaard is the author of six books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Earth Odyssey and On Bended Knee. He has covered climate change, politics and the media for leading media outlets around the world, including Vanity Fair, The Nation, Time, The New Yorker, NPR, L’espresso, Die Zeit and Le Monde Diplomatique.

Janet L. Ort,  MPA, MEd, NBCT
Hoover High School
AP/IB Environmental Sciences, Environmental Science, Enviromental Research
Environmental Competitions Sponsor

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hoover High School congratulates our teachers for being selected as the Hoover City Schools Teachers of the Year and Jacksonville State Teacher Hall of Fame Representative from HCS!

Jeff Johnson is the Hoover City Schools Teacher of the Year

Chad Cooley is the Hoover City Schools Jacksonville
State Hall of Fame Representative

The ELI has encouraged more collaboration than any other initiative we have had at HHS. Here is an example of teachers providing PD to other teachers.

From the iPad of Kellye Self...

For any of you using Moodle or considering it, I have created an “orientation module” for students to go through when they first encounter Moodle.  If you are interested in it, I will be happy to figure out how to do a backup and send it to you.  It includes links to several short videos on YouTube that show students the different types of assignments and explain navigation, along with little assignments that have the students practice each of those skills.  There is a short quiz at the end of the module for them to demonstrate that they understand how it works, along with a survey.

Also, for those who haven’t been in lately, as an FYI, they updated us to the next version (2.3) over the break.  It works just a little differently….nothing you can’t figure out easily if you are already accustomed to it.


Kellye Self
U.S. Government
Blended Online U.S. Government
AP U.S. Government & Politics

Tweets From Around HHS: 

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's Junior iPad day at HHS and they are very excited to get their new devices!

A comment from a student in Ms. Gibson's class:

One of my students just walked in, and when I told him we were getting iPads today, he beamed, “It feels like Christmas all over again!”

Needless to say, this is not the usual first day back in January commentary…  :)

We have put Mr. Rutsky in charge of coming up with a hashtag for the Juniors- give him suggestions!