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April 27, 2012

This year my students and I discovered a charity that is raising funds to rebuild the schools that were ruined in the Haiti earthquake of 2010.  Concern USA has been working with other charities like Unicef to get teachers trained, housing built and children who might not even gone to school into schools and educated.  This is the video of the project as it wound down this year.  I was surprised how 9 year olds were so interested in what was happening to children in another part of the world and how important this became to the class as a fund raiser.



Keywords: anderson, ConcernUSA, Haiti, SWATTEC

Posted by Arlene Anderson | 32 comment(s) | Share This

September 11, 2010

We've been back to school about a month now and I thought I'd write a little post about being back and the classroom.  And for me that's not just any classroom, but a 4th grade SWATTEC classroom with 1:1 netbooks.

First thought here is that after 5 years out of the classroom working mostly with teachers, it does take some adjustment with a room full of mostly 9 year olds.  They are wide-eyed and eager to use the netbooks almost to the exclusion of any other learning going on in the classroom, so I've had to real them in some and make sure at this point their use is relatively focused.  Needless to say they would much rather play games all day.

What has been very interesting is that when I got them blogging the second week of class, they have really amazed me with their comments.  This group is generous and thoughtful with compliments to each other on blog posts.  They even comment back with a “thank you” for a compliment.  For many when they are given some free time to use the netbooks they ask, 'can I write a blog?'.  They have plenty to say, even when it's not a requested post.  Once student is on a vacation and has been posting a journal of his trip.  Nice addition to and Independent Study.  

I am finding that I am not using my Airliner as much as I thought I would.  With Social Studies and Math as online resources, we watch the lesson videos and discuss them in class.  I'm sure as the year progresses I'll use it more.  Part of my problem is where my computer is situated in relation to where I teach.  My computer, hooked up to the projector, is at the back of the room, rather than closer to my teaching area for easy access.  Wish I had some input on that.  I was going to turn my room around, but that didn't work with the placement of the projector.  So I'm pretty much stuck walking to the back of the classroom if I want to bring up an online resource to show the students.

One of the things the students have come to enjoy is our morning workout.  A while back I purchased a program called Smart Moves from Peter Reynolds' company Fablevision.  http://www.fablevision.com/smartmoves/   They refer to it as body puzzles for the mind.  I refer to it as a Tai Chi for just the brain and arms.  The students stand behind their chairs and for about 5 minutes every morning we do one of the “exercises” in preparation for the day.  At first there was a lot of giggling going on, but as they exercises have gotten progressively more difficult, the room is quiet and everyone is concentrating.  We do the same exercise for an entire week before moving on.  There are 42 exercises in the program. A few students have asked were they can get the program.

This last 4 weeks has definitely had it's challenges for both myself and the students.  They are struggling with 10 more students in the same sized room as they had last year and they all want one on one attention.  I'm struggling with a crowded classroom (please understand that when I say crowded it has more to do with the size of the room, not the number of students)  and getting back into the curriculum I love.  It's not like I have a lesson plan book from last year to refer to.  Every week is new.  So at this point, the adjustment period is pretty much over, but then, is it really every over?

Keywords: anderson, beginning of school, SWATTEC

Posted by Arlene Anderson | 21 comment(s) | Share This

August 10, 2010

Note: at any time if you need to see a larger version of the images below, just click on the image.

Sending an email via blind copy allows you to send an email to several people without those people being able to see the other recipients' email address. It also prevents recipients from knowing if there were other people who received the email.

Here's how to do it:

First, select the email that you'd like to forward, or create a new one.


Next, if you're forwarding, click the "forward" button (it might just be a right arrow if your window is smaller). If you're creating a new email just skip to the next step.


If you can't see a BCC field click on the button to show it (as shown below)

Zimbra_ bcc3.jpg

This last step is the most important! Address the email to YOURSELF. In the BCC field, list the recipents' email addresses or the address group to whom you're sending the email. Then, just click "send."


Posted by David Lindsay | 2 comment(s) | Share This

May 28, 2010

We are pleased to present Where on Earth is SWATTEC? Inspired by Where is Matt (http://is.gd/ctCy5) this video presents the greatest teachers in the world and the students who's lives have been touched by the SWATTEC program. While pictures may paint word, videos inspire dreams. Enjoy!


Posted by Jim Klein @ SWATTEC | 20 comment(s) | Share This

May 19, 2010

As always I like to share some of the best resources that I find online.  While this one is set up for Tennessee, it still breaks down the areas of science that we all study in grades K-8.  I hope this will be helpful for you.



Posted by Arlene Anderson | 8 comment(s) | Share This

April 14, 2010

I happened to come across this site through a Twitter feed that I follow.  In the blog there are 45 website for students to create original art works.  I've seen some before and they are fun for students.  Some can be saved as a screen shot or as a jpeg and put on the Student Community blog.

The link has been corrected so that it works.  Enjoy!


Keywords: art, online art, student art resources

Posted by Arlene Anderson | 13 comment(s) | Share This

March 18, 2010

There's an interesting article on the New York Times learning network which talks about a new book by David Shenk.

The book certainly looks interesting. It takes a look at research about the impact of genetics on learning and addresses some of the myths that have formed around "gifted and talented" learners.

Here's the link:


Keywords: dlindsay, genius, gifted, IQ, talented, times

Posted by David Lindsay | 5 comment(s) | Share This

March 07, 2010

While so much went on at CUE 2010 in Palm Springs this weekend, I wanted to share some thoughts and information while it is fresh in my mind.  And based on my sinus infections things could go stale very quickly! :)

First off it was just amazing that our District was able to send 17 teachers to the conference funded by our EETT C grant.  It was not originally planned, but with staff development funding in the grant available, we were able to get it approved.  Fourteen of the seventeen teachers were first time attendees and I could see the happy faces on Friday night when when we all met up and I asked, "What was the best thing you saw today?"  For many of the teachers it was difficult to find one thing as their best.  The excitement was abuzz and they were ready to tackle Saturday with enthusiasm.  We got some of them using Twitter and "tweets" were flying back and forth as they days progressed with information about sessions.

Over the next two weeks these teachers will be sharing their experiences and what they have learned at our last staff development day of the grant for this year.  I'm sure they will bring that same enthusiasm back to our training days.  Their move from trainee to trainer has now become complete for many of them.  This sharing will be posted in our SWATTEC wiki  as the training week progresses and teachers will have access to it when they want to go back and look for a resource.  It's always been important to have a place to put all our resources for teachers to have easy access.  Over time this will be even more refined and organized so it is easier to use.

I'd like to give props to our vendors who have been so supportive to our teachers.  They were so excited to see the teachers come by and say hello while the teachers were visiting the exhibit hall.  I've heard that they have actually been spreading the news about our SWATTEC program. 

For many of the 55 teachers in our program, the infusion of all the new technology over the last 2 years has been an uphill struggle, but they have worked very hard to implement the programs and use the new hardware to improve their student achievement.  If the results from last year continue through this year, which I'm sure they will, they have met and exceeded any expectations.  They should be very proud of themselves.  So many props to our classroom teachers. 

Providing quality staff development experiences like CUE is something all teachers should have the opportunity to participate in at least every couple of years. 



Keywords: CUE, CUE2010, SWATTEC

Posted by Arlene Anderson @ SWATTEC | 4 comment(s) | Share This

February 17, 2010

I find this slideshow to be very helpful in walking kids through what works and what doesn't in Powerpoint design:


Keywords: dlindsay, mentor, powerpoint, presentation, swattec, tips

Posted by David Lindsay @ SWATTEC | 18 comment(s) | Share This

February 06, 2010

Not real satisfied with Wordle?  Try WordItOut.  Gives you more options ad can be saved.

You can find it at




Keywords: tech resource, WordItOut, Wordle

Posted by Arlene Anderson | 97 comment(s) | Share This

February 02, 2010

Once more I've found more resources for teachers.  Interesting how I find these.  Picked these up from someone I follow on Twitter!  Love those connections.





Keywords: math, Teacher resources

Posted by Arlene Anderson | 4 comment(s) | Share This

February 01, 2010

One of the programs on our Student Community links is Animoto.  I was trying it out this morning and all I needed were some pictures, a choice of their music (you can upload your own - including recorded audio), and waiting for the program to process the video (that takes the longest).

Lots of fun.  Here's an example.  I know it's Christmas, but I didn't have any music on my computer for this.

If you want you students to have their own Animoto, you will need to apply for an education account.

Go here:  www.animoto.com/education

They will send you the information to get started. 


Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.



Keywords: animoto, video

Posted by Arlene Anderson | 8 comment(s) | Share This

January 29, 2010

You can't do better than access a math gaming site that is set up by grade level and California standard.  Here's another one to check out.



Keywords: games, math, websites

Posted by Arlene Anderson | 8 comment(s) | Share This

January 27, 2010

Go here: http://davosaur.edu.glogster.com/swattec-mind-map/

to see this full-screen

Keywords: dlindsay, glogster, mindmap, swattec

Posted by David Lindsay @ SWATTEC | 2 comment(s) | Share This

January 15, 2010

Many teachers have asked how to make a contact group. These groups are very handy for emailing grade level teams, office staff, and parents. Here's the lowdown:

Note: for the pictures below, if you need to see the larger version of a picture, click on it to make it bigger.

First of all, open up Zimbra and click on the "Address Book" tab.


Next, find the "New" drop down menu.


Choose "Contact Group"


The next screen is where the real magic happens. You'll give your group a name, select the members for it, and add those members to the group. <click picture to enlarge>


Once you've finished the above steps, all you have to do is save the group.


Now all you need to do to make use of your group is to type the name of your group in the "To:" line of a new email.

Keywords: address, contact group, contacts, dlindsay, email

Posted by David Lindsay | 2 comment(s) | Share This

January 08, 2010

I'm sure quite a few people may know about this, but it is worth mentioning again.  When you are looking for a math website to supplement your curriculum, this one is great.  Sorted by great levels and types of math.

If you find one "game" that you think your students should play, just copy the URL of that game into a blog in the Student Community and they can all get the link from there.  Much easier than having them type it in.



Keywords: interactive, Math, SWATTEC

Posted by Arlene Anderson | 6 comment(s) | Share This

December 14, 2009

TeachersFirst is a great website with lots of input from teachers as a website in general.  On of the best things is that you can sign up (for free) and get monthly ideas for some great integrated lessons.  Here's one that is multi-age - great for buddy activities- that is based on The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.





Keywords: Giving Tree, integration, web 2.0

Posted by Arlene Anderson | 18 comment(s) | Share This

December 10, 2009

I had meant to post this back when I was in chpt. 5 of our math series, but I got distracted by the myriad of other stuff- go figure. Anyway, in our math text it seems that all the authors seem to agree that the first multiple of every number is zero. Now, I had been taught that 1 times a number is the "first" multiple of a number. So, unless the number you're looking at is zero, zero is not the multiple of any number.

Apparently it is more complicated than that. In the interest of being correct, I did some research. 0 is a multiple of every integer, but so are negative values of that integer times any other integer. That means truly multiples of 5 are {....-15, -10, -5, 0, 5, 10,...}. So I'm not going to outright say that the book is wrong. I will say that our text took the wrong approach. What we're interested in are not multiples of integers but multiples of natural numbers. After all, isn't the goal to eventually have these students calculating the LCM by comparing the multiples of the two (or more) numbers they're considering? If we teach them that zero is the first multiple now, what do we teach them later? Because they're sure to declare that 0 is the LCM every time. Think about it. Teacher: "What is the smallest number that I can divide both of these numbers by? Make a list, find the first multiple that appears in each, blah blah." If we undermine that method of finding LCM, then everyone will have to calculate it by using prime factorization (arguably not a bad thing).


If you're not in chpt. 5 yet, lucky you. If you've been there and didn't notice, you might want to go back and clarify any misconceptions. 5th grade will thank you for it.

I noticed this when I gave the publisher's test and kids were missing questions (graded with the key) that they had actually answered correctly (by my instruction). I generally use the text for pacing, practice work, and back-up if I don't know the topic as well as I'd like to. I couldn't figure out why during review discussions the kids kept telling me that zero was the first multiple. Sadly, it's in the book without the natural numbers explanation I gave above. I plan on putting a yellow sticky in my book to remind me of this next year.

Keywords: dlindsay, math, multiples

Posted by David Lindsay @ SWATTEC | 9 comment(s) | Share This

Illuminations has a great bingo activity on order of operations. It requires very little prep. I've used bingo games to reinforce order of operations in sixth grade before, but most of the pre-done activities are geared for a higher level. This particular one is great for a first pass. There are no exponents to mess with.


Keywords: bingo, dlindsay, game, illuminations, lesson, math, order of operations

Posted by David Lindsay @ SWATTEC | 1 comment(s) | Share This

December 08, 2009

I thought I would upload a graphic organizer that I like to use for order of operations. No big deal, here, but perhaps it will save you some time if you were thinking of doing something similar.

orderopstemp.xls application/vnd.ms-excel

Posted by David Lindsay @ SWATTEC | 4 comment(s) | Share This

November 19, 2009

As I was going through my emails, I came across this great Jeopary game site that was shared with me from another teacher.  I wanted to make sure it got out to as many teacher as possible as we are always looking for ways to engage our students in learning.  Students love jeopary, and they can even be involved in creating one for the class.   Again, this is free, and easy to use.  Thanks to Sarah for this.



Keywords: games, integration, jeopardy

Posted by Arlene Anderson | 2 comment(s) | Share This

November 17, 2009

How often do you wish your students would practice their multiplication facts on a regular basis.  We do have access to Tux Math on our netbooks, and that can be downloaded when they are home, but what if they are not at home.

If they have Internet access, here's a great website for students from 2nd through 6th grade to build their multiplicaiton skills.


You can add this to your website, or in a newsletter for parents to have and access anywhere students have Internet access.

Keywords: math, multiplication

Posted by Arlene Anderson | 1 comment(s) | Share This

November 16, 2009

Are your kids unmotivated to study for social studies? I've added the next installment of Social Studies Jeopardy: Since Unit 2 (4th grade) is so long I split in half and created a Jeopardy to review Lessons 1-4.  You can access it at http://www.jeopardylabs.com/play/social-studies-unit-2-part-1

You can also create your own Jeopardy games for any subject area at http://www.jeopardylabs.com


Sarah Sabol

PS: A tip for palying the game: If a question is answered correctly, add the points before clicking "Continue", or the question will remain on the board to be selected again and again.

Posted by Sarah Sabol @ SWATTEC | 2 comment(s) | Share This

I created a template for the students to use on their Eeepcs to use as they gather info about the different California regions. I'm intending for them to do some guided internet searching for info (with me), but feel free to use it/change it however you want.

regionsscrapbook.doc application/msword

Keywords: california, dlindsay, regions, scrapbook, template

Posted by David Lindsay @ SWATTEC | 139 comment(s) | Share This

November 13, 2009

Here's a website with a movie about this nonprofit organization. It goes quite well with the story from Unit 2 of the same name.


Keywords: dlindsay, food from the hood, movie, reading

Posted by David Lindsay @ SWATTEC | 1 comment(s) | Share This

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