Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Made It - June 29

Happy summer, everyone! I'm linking up with Tara and the other wonderfully creative teachers at 4th Grade Frolics for this Monday Made It.
The Made It that I am probably most proud of is our teacher staff videos we have done for the past 3 years.  Each year we end the school year with a student talent show.  We used to end with a teacher dance number that the kids always loved.  

The past three years, however, I have organized a fun video for the kids and parents.  The most fun part for me is hearing the reaction of the kids (and teachers) as the video is played.  (This year, they were so loud I could barely hear the music!) Since I record and edit all of the video, I get to see all of the footage before everyone else  which means it's a surprise. 

We have used this video also as a special send off for our retiring or leaving staff members who we always try to showcase in some way.  As you'd expect, it typically gets posted all over Facebook and other social media so it becomes a neat shared experience for the whole school community.  Here was the video we shared this year.

You might recognize this as our version of the famous Evolution of Dance. What?  You've never seen it?!?  Well, it's posted below.  We are hoping to catch up to his 290 million views!

Our video we did the previous year was to the song "Happy."  Stay tuned for the end to watch the bloopers.

Our first staff video was to the viral video hit "Call Me Maybe" with a surprise ending using "Harlem Shake."

As many people have done, I have used some of my summer to finish and update some of my products on TpT.  This was one of my most popular, but it was also one of my first products so I decided to spruce up the design a bit.  I also changed about 10 of the questions so there was better alignment and balance with the Common Core standards.


The cool part is that the answers can be used to fill in this secret code joke!

This was my weekend TpT project.  I am a big fan of Learn Zillion.  I have used LZ over the past couple years in many different ways.  Most commonly, I would give students videos to watch for homework ahead of my introduction of a skill - preteaching the skill, if you will.  The problem I had with the videos initially was that there wasn't any really assessment to go along with it for me to gauge the students' understanding of the concept (or to check that the student actually watched the videos in the first place).  Hence, I developed these Learn Zillion Practice Packets. They are great for more than homework.  They can work well if you have a sub, if a student was absent for a lesson, if you want students to work independently at a math station, or for those looking to try a "flipped" classroom.  

This product is currently half price ($1.75)

So, my son and some of our friends planned a 4 day overnight backpacking trip at the start of summer.  Unfortunately, the weather and the conditions of the trails where we had initially planned to hike was not ideal for us or our first time backpacker friends (bad mosquitoes, uncleared and poorly marked trails, rattle snakes, thunderstorms).  So, we called an audible and decided to hike the safer/shorter/less snake infested trails around Mohican State Park in central Ohio.  
 Here we are at the parking area by Pleasant Hill Dam where we started hiking.  (I'm not in the picture because some one had to take it.) 

The long stairway down to the trail head which follows roughly along the Clear Fork Mohican River.

The pink line shows roughly where we hike in the first day, minus some backtracking that we did.

Despite choosing an "easier" backpacking option, the hike was actually much more challenging than we anticipated.  Despite having three different maps to refer to, we had trouble finding the access areas to the different trails.  (I won't say we were "lost").  To be on the safe side, we actually hiked on roads for a time to make sure we made it to the right area.  By the time we got to our campsite 9 miles later, we were very tired and running low on water and there was no water source there.  The river, while relatively close to us, was down several hundred feet of steep terrain making it effectively inaccessible to us.

  The next day at our campsite, ready to hike to the state campground.

 Oh yea, enough backpacking stories, what did I make, right?  How about these cool firestarters.  When wood is sometimes damp, its great to pack something like this that burns hot for a long time.  We tried them on this trip and they worked fantastic!

Here's the video that taught me how to make them.

 Thanks for reading! See you again soon!

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