Stop Motion Science

8Science students collaborated in the creation of a LEGO Stop Motion Video to demonstrate their understanding of substances and different types of Elements. They created a story line that included MONATOMIC ELEMENTS, DIATOMIC COMPOUND and TRIATOMIC COMPOUNDS!

New Blakers!

Welcome Dash and Dot! AfterSchool Coding Club members are test-driving the new robots which will soon be integrated into the Science curriculum.

Digital Learning Day 6th Discussion Panel

Medfield School District held its 3rd annual Digital Learning Day Conference filled with over 60 workshops for K-12 teachers in district and from schools out-of-district. Wellesley 6th Grade teachers joined Blake's 6th teachers and students for a discussion on their initial year of having 1:1 iPads in the classroom.

A Shout Out to Medfield HS/MS Student Volunteers

Our Digital Learning Day Conference wouldn't have been possible without the support of our wonderful Medfield HS Students and Blake MS students. This photo was taken at the beginning of the day, during a briefing with Neal Sonnenbergy (HS Tech Integration Specialist)

Look out for these future App Developers

This group of Blake MS girls are entered into the Global Competition, Technovation to design a mobile app that solves a community/social issue. Wish them Luck! The final pitch is on May 1st @ Microsoft NERD Center!

Took the Show on the Road

Blake MS Principal Nat Vaughn and 8Science Teacher Jason Heim presented about the Blake iPad Initiative at the LearnLaunch Conference, Harvard Business School.

Green Screen App Smashing

At our final EdTechTeacher Workshop, 6th/7th Grade Teachers explored their creative side by layering green screen videos over images for engaging instructional videos. It was total fun!

Convert Smells to Energy = Smellergy!

Nicolina is changing the world one nose at a time! Her entry was clearly on track with dreaming, designing, and delivering an energy-saving idea into the Blake Energy Invention Contest!

Sometimes the Ideas start here

Planning and drawing out a story board before the creation of an Explain Everything project is an essential step in the process!


Parent iPad Highlight Night

Stars Cluster: iPad Presentation

With a good six months into the 8th grade iPad initiative, Blake MS held an iPad Pilot Highlights night for parents to showcase student learning with the 1:1 integration of the iPads, to announce our next year's plans of expanding the pilot, and to allow time for Q & A.

Principal Nat Vaughn began by framing the evening with a video that explains the importance of technology integration as we try to prepare students for the 21st century.

This led us to the big question of the night, "What do we want for our students?", as he explained the following goals, guiding principles and evaluative measures of the iPad initiative. 

However, most of the night provided time for the Stars Cluster's teachers and students to highlight the variety of the apps that support instruction and learning. The selected apps demonstrated the students' ability to create digital projects to convey their knowledge, collaborate synchronously with other students on the same document and share their projects and written work via online notebooks or screencasting movies. In addition, teachers have also found ways to increase engagement, interaction and assessment of students' learning during the lesson through the use of presentation apps, such as NearPod and Socrative. Kristen Kirby, the 8th Grade Learning Specialist spoke to the overall improvements in her students' executive functioning and organizational skills as evidenced in their homework and material management along with increased accessibility to the curriculum as significant advantages in using the iPad. At the end of the showcase, Jason Heim, the Star Cluster's Science teacher summed up their experience as, "We've only scratched the surface of what is really possible with the iPad!".

Due to the early success of the iPad initiative, Medfield Public Schools has decided to expand the iPad pilot to include all 8th graders next year.  To learn more information about the decision and the rollout of the additional iPads, please stay tuned to Nat Vaughn's blog and this site.

A big thank you to all Star Cluster teachers: Cynthia McClelland, Brenda Perachi, Jason Heim, Kristen Kirby and Seth Hellerstein and their wonderful students for sharing and presenting at the iPad Highlight night. And not to forget, we are lucky to have a tremendous administrative and technology support staff that also works behind the scenes to make this possible. Thank You!


Student Work: Explaining Everything about Paragraphs

Paragraph Comparisons
Mr. The Hellerstein's class has spent several weeks reading and discussing the book, The Crucibles.  Part of the literacy unit included time examining good paragraph writing in preparation when they will write their own essay.

When given two paragraphs, Mr. Hellerstein challenged his students to answer the question: Can you spot the better paragraph?

To complete the task using their iPad, students followed this work flow:

1. Get Assignment:  Get the digital copy of the two paragraphs from Mr. Hellerstein's shared class Dropbox folder.

2. Complete Assignment: Open in the screencasting app, Explain Everything.  Record explanation by narrating and marking up the paragraphs.

3. Turn in the Assignment: Export their movie directly from the Explain Everything app to the student's own Dropbox folder shared with Mr. Hellerstein.

Explain Everything is a screencasting app that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and learning through visuals, narration and annotating the screen. In these examples, students 'explain' their comparsions of the two paragraphs with details supporting their decision.


Student Work: Defining Terms


In English Class, the book, The Crucible was filled with symbolism.  Therefore understanding many terms, like Communism and Theocracy helps students build a foundation and background knowledge before they even begin reading the book.

This 8th grade student used Educreations, an interactive whiteboard app to describe his understanding of the two terms.

Click here to view his movie: Communism and Theocracy

(Educreations movies upload and are hosted directly to that website- Students are also able to create Educreations movies on the website itself, rather than the iPad. To share his work, he emailed the link to his movie to Mr. Hellerstein)

Student Work: Charles Law by Shakespeare

Check out the work created by Medfield students:  
Using the Puppet Pals App to learn about Charles Law

Typically to assess students' learning about a science concept, they're given the usual multiple choice /short answer quiz.  Not this time!  With iPads in hand and the Puppet Pal app, students were given the opportunity to expand and to push their imagination by developing a short animated puppet movie instead.

Who knew Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln and science went together?!  
Watch how these eighth graders create a unique way of explaining their knowledge.



This is a repost from the Educational Learning and Mobile Learning Blog 
Below is a list of some excellent books for your iPad. I have curated this list over  the last couple of months and I kept adding to it every time I stumble upon a resource somewhere online.I don't know if you like reading books on your iPad or not but let me tell you this: having at least a couple of titles installed on your iPad would really be of great help particularly in those moments when you are stuck somewhere and have nothing to do but waiting.

Reading is a habit ( luckily a good one ) that we can ACQUIRE  by force of habituation at least in the eyes of Skinnerian theory.The more you read , the fluent you get at reading and the more used your mind becomes to the act of reading. Check out these books I selected for you. All of them are free and require iBooks. Enjoy

1- The Student Guide to iPad

The Student Guide to iPads & iOS 6 was written to help middle-school and high-school students become proficient with basic iPad operations to support learning.

2- Publishing Student's Writing to iPad

"This short work describes how educators can gather student work into an eBook, quickly create cover art using PowerPoint, format it for uploading to Smashwords (including links to Smashwords Style Guide), upload it, and then invite students to download it to their iDevice via the free Bluefire Reader app. No cables, syncing, or iTunes required!"

3- Changing Student Engagement with iPad

"This book will prepare you for a 1:1 iPad program. It will highlight basic functions of the iPad, care for the iPad, pedagogy and lessons to challenge students. Use this book as a diving board. Our hope is that it will spring you into action, and plunge your students into deep thought and a sea of learning. "

4- Reference Guide for Students

"This book is intended to provide reference for students engaged in a 1:1 iPad program. The reference materials include gallery photos, interactive content, and movies that will enable students to use the iPad to its maximum potential. Information regarding basic iPad functions, care and digital citizenship is included. "

5- Lecturing with an iPad

"In an attempt to give students more opportunities to interact with me I've created an iPad app that allows student response to instructor questions, note-taking, student questions to the instructor and even allows students to indicate when they're confused. All is stored to the cloud an can be accessed via web apps as well."

6- Using New Technologies in The Classroom

"This is a short book of three articles I have written on new technologies that can be used in the classroom. Each chapter will include a summary of the article, and then a review or reflection of my thoughts about the idea of using the technology specified in the article. "

7- Flipping The Classroom

"This book describes classroom flipping and details various means to its implementation. Covering the reasoning behind this new instruction method, the book focuses on mastery learning, and includes sections on using social networking and mobile devices as part of classroom structure. "


The Star Cluster teachers and students gave a presentation of how these dynamic 1:1 mobile devices have impacted their learning and teaching to Medfield's School Committee tonight. The team highlighted organization, accessibility, communication, collaboration and fluid adaptation as five areas of noted enhancement. (The above photo shows students explaining their experiential learning with the iPad.)

The School Committe members were also engaged in understanding the iPads capabilities with a showcase of our go-to apps such as Nearpod, iBooks, and Evernote. But the real potential was demonstrated by our 8th graders in their use of the screencasting app, Explain Everything to draw math solutions with narration and pulling in actual photos of a hands-on activity as a part of an interactive study guide. (The below photo is of Seth Hellerstein, English teacher demonstrating a Nearpod presentation as students assist school committee members with the iPads.)

Bravo to those who presented.  It's hard not to feel the excitement in seeing the vast possibilities the iPad offers to students! Being only 6 months into it, we've only scratched the surface! So stay tuned!

Parent tips: Home Management ideas

At this point in the year, our iPad Pilot team has had the chance to obtain feedback from parents through surveys,  the iPad Technology Parent Night and coffee meet-ups.  Our 1:1 model of allowing students to take their iPads home as created a challenge for some families. Not surprisingly, the most consistent feedback from parents is partly around the management and control of their child's use of the iPad at home... you know, beyond the filters and 'teacher' supervision.

In my twitter feed, I came across this blog post,  IPAD TIPS FOR PARENTS on that offered a few creative parent iPad tips from 'Saying Goodnight to your iPad' to learning how to change the settings to turn off notifications and more.  (By the way, be sure to bookmark that site.. endless resources and ideas.) 
Also, recently in the news, one parent's Christmas gift of a new iPhone 5 to her son was bound by her own strict terms of agreement which included the tips mentioned above of vigilance, accountability, restrictions and responsibility.  Click on the link below to read more.

As always, our iPad pilot teachers, principal and technology team is available for support. Do not hesitate to contact us. Feel free to leave other suggestions by leaving a comment!

Quick English Quizzes with Poll EveryWhere

Mr. Hellerstein - English

I've used the iPad Socrative program quite a few times with vocabulary, creating mini quizzes, mainly multiple choice. These quizzes come in 5 categories: syllabication, parts of speech, spelling, synonyms, antonyms. These mini quizzes are good for assessment purposes. I also use PollEverywhere in my class to assess students at the beginning and end of class. This helps me determine what information is sticking with the students and what concepts need to be reinforced.
--Mr. Hellerstein

Math and Educreations- a perfect combination

Mrs. Perachi - Math
So far, in math class, the iPad has been used mostly for organization, demonstrating knowledge, and study skills. The iCal app has been very helpful for students entering daily homework. They have also been able to use it to enter long term assignments. They set reminders for themselves. They have also set an assignment to repeat daily so that it shows on their list of assignments every day as a reminder to continue working on it. Long term assignments are often the ones that students forget to complete. The option of repeating an assignment has helped students remember that something is due.

Evernote has also helped with organization. Students often have binders that are overflowing and papers are not put in the correct sections. With Evernote, students take completed notes from my webpage and save them in a notebook in Evernote. This has also assisted in helping them study. They have a notebook with all of the notes from each section that they can refer to.

In addition to Evernote, we have been using Educreations and Explain Everything to create lessons that students can use to help them study for assessments. Educreations and Explain Everything allow students to record themselves writing and speaking. They have been recording themselves solving problems and explaining their thinking as they work. These lessons can be used later when studying. It is more engaging than reading through their notes or looking in the textbook. In addition, they have created flip charts for vocabulary. They record themselves writing the word, saying the definition, and also writing some examples. Similar to flashcards, these lessons can be used to quiz themselves before a test. The students can pause the recording, try and come up with the definition and example, and then play it to check for accuracy. Using technology can be more exciting than flashcards and they are also getting the auditory feedback that they do not with a flashcard.

Express Yourself

An example of a student's use of drawing on the iPad.

Our Famous iPadders

Creativity begins here...