Green Screen and Do Ink Create Movie Masterpieces in Minutes!

A teacher asked if I could create a movie with a set of sight word flash cards.  She wanted the kids saying the word and showing the action over the top of the cards.  She hoped to be able to send it home for practice.  I had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to try Do Ink and a green screen!  This was my chance!  It turned out to be very easy and I finished it all in one day.  I put up a sheet of green butcher paper in the hallway which was very low budget but it was what I had.  I pulled kindergarten students into the hall, filmed them doing the action on a particular card and saved the movies to my iPad.  I then did another low budget move and just took pictures of the flash cards and saved those to my iPad.  I left school on time for once to attend a concert at the high school for my daughter.  As I stood in line waiting to get into the auditorium, I started to edit the movie.  It was so easy and fun!  I completed it before they started singing!   Check out the finished product and then follow the steps to create you own!

Here are a few steps to create a movie using Do Ink!

This is the final screen shot.  Notice the storyboard at the bottom.  The video should be on top so that you can superimpose it on top of your image easily.

Upload your picture and then use the edit button to edit the image.  You can see that my low budget day even included taking the picture on a school table!

Editing is so easy!

Rotate and resize the picture to fit the screen the way you want it to look!

Then import the video clip you want to use on top of the image and rotate and resize it.  Remember to be sure that the video is on the top line for the storyboard!

Use the Chroma tool to "remove" the green background and set the video over the image.

You can resize the video and place it over the image where you want it!  Brilliant!

It is addictive!  Create a video!  Use Do Ink!  Now I can't wait to try the animation app and add more bells and whistles to my videos!  Do Ink has a tutorial too!  Click here to see their tutorial!  


Infographic 101: Yep - It's Easy as Pumpkin Pie!

Infographics are tools used in business on a regular basis for delivery of content in a digital format. Simple, concise, and easy to share ( with low MB use ) they are also flexible for classrooms too. We have found great uses for several tools in creating infographics including Piktochart, Easel.ly and several others you can explore.  Here are some quick reference samples and a cheat sheet for you to explore with as well!

Cheat Sheet

Piktochart in 5 easy steps...

Piktochart YouTube

Student Samples:


Mindfulness II

Educator Example:

Mindfulness example in PDF form

Mindfulness in long infographic form

Cheat Sheet

YouTube Video

Student Samples: 

MYP Global Context Infographic on Place #1

MYP Global Infographic on Place #2

Educator Examples: (Inquiry Infographic for Students, Inquiry Infographic with Leading Questions)

Explanation of the use of the infographics above.

Using Easel.ly with primary sources.

Professional Development Sample from INNEDCO: (Two of us created this to share information about another tool SMORE )

GREAT reminders on infographic creation

Other Infographic Tools for Reference: 



Gliffy  (More for diagramming)


NCSHPO Meeting

Thank you for sharing with us today. Resources we have discussed are here for your reference, and you are welcome to use them and share. Thanks for being with us! 

Technology References:

Tech Tools Resources: http://bit.ly/toolsSHPO
Tech Tools 2: http://bit.ly/Tool2SHPO

Contact Information;
Katie Orr: Katherine_orr@nps.gov
Michelle Pearson: michelle.l.pearson@adams12.org


Happy Birthday National Park Service!

We are HUGE fans of our National Parks and are not ashamed to admit we love the Junior Ranger Program as well. We are on a continuous mission to #FindYourPark and share it with our students. Over the past several years we have shared multiple resources for teaching about our National Parks with students.

We recently had students learn about a park and share it with their families and school. Their wonderful artwork will be shared with the wider digital community on the #FindYourPark hashtag and #StepInYourPark. Take a look at what they have learned.

We encourage you to share the Centennial Anniversary of "America's Best Idea" and join us in wishing our favorite places happy birthday! 

For resources and links created to study our National Parks, Preservation 50, and historic places check out:

10 Ways to Teach About Your National Parks: 

Junior Ranger:
Check out one of our most popular blogs on the program:

Preservation 50 in the Classroom: 

Teaching About Historic Places: 

Honoring Ludlow National Historic Site: 

Maps Photos and the HABS Collection: 

Researching PLACE in the Classroom: 

Here is PROOF we practice what we teach !



KIVA For Financial Literacy, Global Citizenship, Geography and 21st Century Learning Skills

Kiva is an amazing organization working to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty all over the world.  It is not a hand out but rather an hand up.  KIVA makes micro loans and recipients have to pay the money back over time.  Small loans change lives and move people and communities out of poverty!  We received a grant through Citibank and KIVA to enable our students to loan $25 to a recipient of their choice.

Our students worked in teams to choose loan recipients after working through the lesson plans and learning more about poverty and people in countries they are studying in Social Studies Classes.  They were assigned to create a presentation about their country and why they chose the person or group as their final grade for this unit.

KIVA Classroom Implementation Steps:
1.  Introduce with balloons and a big umbrella representing the Big 5 of poverty that is always hanging over people.  Job, Shelter, Education, Water, Medical, Food
2. Work through the KIVA Lesson Plans making sure to embed your standards in the lessons
3. Introduce the KIVA site to the students and show them how to look for the information they will need.

4.  Play the KIVA-U Global Impact Game to understand the loan process.
5. Share the Research for Entrepreneurs document with your partner and complete the research.
6. Complete the Persuasive Power-Point Planning Sheet with your partner.
7. Use the Student Presentation Template to create your finial presentation

A Few Hints:
Look for people who are 70% or lower to loan
Take screen shots immediately so you don't lose the loan as they turn over quickly
Use a Google Form to have students fill out to keep track of their information

8.  Create a Symbaloo for easy tracking of loans.  Students can return next Fall and will be able to easily see if their loans have been repaid or the progress that has been made.  Check out our Symbaloo:


Sharing Preservation Stories: Tools for Success

We are proud to be a part of the National Alliance for Preservation Commissions National Forum this week. We love the support, sharing, and work of our colleagues in preservation and planning across the United States. As part of our work- We are sharing our resources here for Conference participants.

Thursday: Training Module

Training PowerPoint

** Note this is the "hiccup" presentation ( The one with all of the Do's and Do NOT's for reference ) so it is for you to use for reference but we have left it intact with the training mistakes we discussed as part of our session.

Friday: Youth in Preservation

Here are the two presentations used by our presenters in the Youth Voices session at NAPC:

National Park Service PowerPoint

Youth in Preservation PowerPoint

Grant information for the Teaching with Primary Sources Program can be found here:


* Contact Michelle at michelle.l.pearson@adams12.org for more information and support in crafting a proposal

Saturday: Outreach in Preservation

Junior Ranger

Sunday: Icebreaker Ideas

Train the Trainers: Icebreaker Ideas


Pokemon GO: Keeping Up With the Student Geeks Before School Starts

Are you trying to figure out why swarms of students and adults are out in the community with phones looking for creatures that have wild names? Or have you jumped in and started collecting Pokemon for your PokeDex? Does this new craze haunt you with memories of this little creature?  Are you thinking that you better find out how to join in before school begins? 

Here is a crash course for educators that will allow you to at least start a PokeDex and collect some of the same language/creatures as your students before the school year launches.

Basic Pokemon Vocabulary

Pokemon: Creatures that you can collect in the virtual world.
Poke Dex: The log of Pokemon that a user has collected.
Poke Balls: This is a way to catch your Pokemon. By swiping the Poke Ball towards a Pokemon you can catch them for your Poke Dex.
Poke Stop:  These are locations that are noted in the game. They are denoted by a blue box that will turn into a spinning disk where you can collect items for your journey, learn about a place, and check in. They reset at different intervals, and can be logged into several times a day if desired.
Poke Eggs:  Eggs that you can collect and hatch using an incubator in the game. They are hatched by walking a certain distance.
Pokemon Gym: A location that looks like a tower on your screen, where you can battle other gym leaders and Pokemon trainers.

Join the Game

Step One: How do you access this game?

Using an Android or IPhone access the Pokemon GO app.

Step Two: Logging into the game

Log into the game using your Google Account or another way provided.

** Please note the references below from more information.

Step 3: Create your avatar

Select an avatar and choose what you want to look like.

Step 4: Step out in your world and look at your landscape

The Pokemon Go landscape looks a lot like your world - this is what augmented reality is supposed to look like in many senses. BUT... there are other features in the world as well which you will see such as PokeStops and PokeGyms. 

** Please note the safety and security information below.

Pokemon landscape- note the gym tower in the foreground, and the Poke Stops on the horizon capped by a blue block
Step 5: Walk up to a PokeStop and spin

On your landscape you should see a pole with a square on  the top of it. When you walk close enough to have it located in your "sphere," the top will transform and spin. Items will come out of the spinning disk. Pop the bubbles to collect them and add them to your collection. After you have been to that location, then the block turns a different color.

Poke Stop with circle sphere.

Image of the Poke Stop - Swipe to Spin

Collect items from the Poke Stop by popping bubbles.

Step 6: Catch a Pokemon using a Poke Ball

When your phone vibrates, or you see a Pokemon appear in your sphere, tap the Pokemon. They will appear on your screen and so will a Poke Ball. Swipe the Poke Ball towards our Pokemon to catch it. ( As you level up it may take more than one hit by a Poke Ball to catch the Pokemon ). Once the Pokemon is caught, the information on the Pokemon pops up and it is added to your Poke Dex. 

Poke Ball when it has caught a Pokemon
Collect Pokemon for your PokeDex

Step 7:  Level up and head to a gym and join a team

Once you have reached Level 5, you need to visit a gym to select one of three teams in the Pokemon Go game. Walk to a tower, and click on it. The game will walk you through the steps t join a team. The three teams are #Mystic #Instinct or #Valor.

A Pokemon gym is in the front of the image.

Step 8: Catch an egg, hatch an egg

When you are at the Poke Stops you may receive an egg. You can hatch these eggs by placing one in and incubator and walking a certain distance which will then hatch the egg. The eggs show up on your Pokemon button on your phone. Click it, select "eggs" at the top, and your eggs will show up. You can place one of our eggs in an incubator at this time. After you walk a certain distance, you can hatch the egg and start incubating the next one. 

Notice the egg incubator on the top left incubating an egg as a certain distance is walked.

How do we harness this for educational use?

People are already starting to use this application for an educational purpose, and are also working with the challenges surrounding it . The National Park Service has a great post they put out on the Pokemon Go use at the National Mall (and how they are now gong to be offering Pokemon Tours). 

Check Out this FB post: 

Many of the PokeStops are located at museums, historic landmarks, and memorials, so museums are using them for marketing.  

Youth are engaging in the study of PLACES with this application as well. Below you can see one example of how it is being used with youth preservationists in a summer contest from the Preserve America Youth Summit:

Security and Safety: 

As with any game, or anything that is a recent fad/interest/phenomenon, there is a concern about safety and security. One of the key things to consider is to be aware of your surroundings (The Pokemon Go application states this at launch) . We encourage students to explore in teams, at public locations where they are safe, and to be cautious of situations that could encourage crime as there have unfortunately been some instances of this in the last week. 

Privacy Concerns:

As a side note there have been some concerns about the security of the application, although it is important to recognize that many other applications such as FourSquare access the same type of information. There is an article in reference here:

Next up: What is all that stuff in my  collection ? How do I transfer Pokemon and transform them? 
( We have to confer with the teenagers in our house to get the lowdown—stay tuned… )


Colorado Education Association Summer Leadership Conference

Power Point Presentation from Tech Tools Session at Summer Leadership: 

Presentation in Google Slides

Link to Additional Technology Tools and Resources: 

Links to Classroom Tools Suggestions and More Ideas for Instruction Based on Tools From Today:

Maker Spaces


You Might Be a Geeky Teacher is You Spent 3 Days of Your Spring Break in a 3D/4D Printing Photo Origami Class!

The workshop, 3D/4D Design, Printing and Photo Origami  Class, by CU Discovery Services was a three day class offered for educators.  The video was our final project. We designed it in Sketchup, printed it and then used polymers and muscle wire to make the catapult work! This style of professional development offered hands-on experiences with 3D/4D printing and design. We were introduced to cutting edge work with polymers and creating objects that could be inserted into a space and then by introducing heat, changing what the object could do. We studied the design process and worked to solve real-world problems.   

Resources for Photo Origami and some aspects of this this program can be found on the Science Discovery website at:http://sciencediscovery.colorado.edu/resources/teacher-resources/engineering-is-everywhere/photo-origami-energy-design-and-change/
There are additional resources specific to this class are on DropBox at:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tndzw2odrjx1onw/AAAVZu9RXZ-7ANU9Q1QsjwJLa?dl=0  

Before taking this class, I knew that 3D printing would engage students in our STEM classrooms but didn’t have a clear understanding of the multiple ways that I could provide the instruction needed to make that happen.  My original goal was to learn enough about 3D printing to be able to share it with my staff and students at STEM.  Giving students time in CAD software like SketchUp and Tinkercad is a game changer and  enables them to harness college and career readiness skills at a very young age!  

Taking the class and being actively involved in the challenges has shown me how 3D printing can be an extremely valuable tool in creating prototypes with student solutions to our PBL’s.  CU Boulder is using polymers to solve real-world problems like creating inexpensive robots that can be placed in an area and then activated with light to change their dimensions.  This has medical applications like using it for angioplasty instead of balloons reducing the risk of rupturing an artery.  Adding the 4D dimension with the inexpensive polymers promotes 21st Century Learning Skills and expands horizons!  Imagine our kids working with the same materials that college research graduate students are using to solve problems at CU Boulder!  

We all can’t be an expert at everything, but after three full days, I feel that I have more knowledge to educate our staff on the Lulzbot Mini, it’s local support and how to use the Sketchup and Cura software.  I also feel like I can introduce the use of polymers in an engaging way so that student will want to use these two mediums to create a 4D object that changes shape or moves!    

The SketchUp drawing platform can easily be introduced and incorporated in the technology curriculum in the younger grades as they begin to visualize 3D objects.   

Making mistakes are part of learning.  When using 3D printers, there are ample ways to design, make mistakes, fix them, revise and print again.  This is part of the design process that engineers work through.  There is also a knowledge base with the printer itself.  Troubleshooting is a way of life with these printers and taking this class gave me a great contact and expert partner in CU Boulder’s Eric Carpenter.  Because of this training, he will help us to launch our program, troubleshoot projects and printers and even loan us a 3D printer on a limited basis so that we can print more projects at once thereby offering this experience to a whole class with a reasonable amount of printing time.  



Click HERE to see a video of the finished 3D Dice Thrower created during the training!  


Teacher Librarian Day! #FindYourPark #Preserve50

Teaching with Primary Sources at the Metropolitan State University of Denver in conjunction with History Colorado are hosting their 12th annual Teacher Librarian Day.  We love this interaction with our peers and scholars around the state.  Two Geeky Teachers are excited to present a session on Finding Your National Park and celebrating the 100th anniversary of America's National Parks!  

Click on this link to access the presentation!  You will find links to at least 10 ways to bring the National Parks into your classroom!

Join us in the discussion about your favorite park.  Click on this link to add your favorite park and why.  Consider using a shared Google Drawing to collaborate and gather ideas in one location.  This is a great way to jump start a lesson and engage your learners or to check for understanding at the end of a lesson!  

Check out Find Your Park for more information on the 100th Anniversary Celebration and how you can be a part of it!


#Preservation50: Yes it Belongs in the Classroom

Have You Thought about Teaching Preservation in Your Classroom? 
Sometimes, It is All About a Question.

50 years ago the National Historic Preservation Act was passed. This act created a system of preservation initiatives (including education) and processes that help to protect and preserve our vital natural and built historic resources and landscapes in the United States. This act makes possible many of the things that we enjoy and teach about today including historic houses, landscapes, and parks. The act provides funding for preservation,interpretation, and protection for many of these locations, and ensures that these important places will be a lasting piece of our heritage in this country. 

YET, how often do we ask the simple questions in the classroom that can not only support higher levels of thinking for our students, and at the same time create and environment for discussion of our historic places by our thoughtful future citizens and stewards of our country? Questions like: 

Why is this place significant? 
What are the benefits of historic preservation? 
What happens if this place no longer exists? 
What's special about the architecture of this place? 
How is this historic place tied to this region?

Preservation is a challenging word. To some it means restriction, to others creativity, to even others opportunity. In any case, historic preservation is a national movement that is relatively unknown by students. Have you thought about introducing it to your students in the context of teaching?  Take a moment and try one of these questions listed in this blog to engage your students in conversation about historic places. Then, how about taking a virtual jaunt over to the #Preservation50 website for some teaching resources as well? 

In honor of this year's anniversary, how about making a simple pledge? Next time you talk about a historic place, shift the conversation to your students and "take 5." 

Take 5 minutes to define what historic preservation means.
Take 5 minutes to identify why this historic place or landscape is significant in history.
Take 5 minutes to share a primary source from that historic place - and engage your visual learners.
Take 5 minutes to encourage your students to talk about their favorite historic place and share their connection to it.
Take 5 minutes to ask students what they can do to support the preservation of a historic place.


Honoring Martin Luther King With the Use of Primary Sources in the Classroom

As we celebrate Martin Luther King day in our nation, we wanted to share some resources for educators that you can use all year in your classroom. By using these sources, you and our students can dive into a deeper study of Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights this holiday.  From celebrating our collective history, to understanding our local history and resources, there is something for everyone.

The list of MLK resources is IMMENSE, so we have spent time pulling out some resources from websites educators may not be as familiar with. Many of them are from universities with specific collections of papers and primary sources, and some are from our National Education Association and government agencies. They are listed in alphabetical order - but scroll down as every link on the list has GREAT resources.

As a note, take a close look at the websites located here as they have extended resources and classroom materials under multiple tables on their site.  We have annotated this selection of sites to give you a better idea of what is available on them but we have only touched the surface. Take some time to explore and enrich your teaching!

Anti-Defamation League: The Selma to Montgomery March:
Lesson Plan from ADL on Selma.

Create your own Andriod App for the Martin Luther King Jr. Speech with this interactive tutorial.

Edsitement: I have a Dream Speech- Celebrating the Vision of Martin Luther King
A wealth of resources exist at the EdSitement NEH funded site. This lesson focuses on the I Have a Dream Speech, but there are many others as well.

A recording of King’s speech augmented by rich primary sources and materials for students to analyze and synthesize.

I See the Promised Land:
The text of the speech from the night before his assassination.

An online resource that has entries from key people, events, and writings in the collection of Martin Luther King papers.

Martin Luther King  National Historic Site:
Curriculum which will help bring resources to your classroom to teach about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

National Education Association: Resources for Teaching Martin Luther King
Did you know your National Education Association has resources for curriculum as well? Yes they do! Here is one on Martin Luther King (And PS there are other great ones on Selma as well! )

Newseum: “Make Some Noise: Students in the Civil Rights Movement”
Our amazing national museum of news shares these great resources on the Civil Rights Movement. 

A variety of resources used to teach about the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Teaching With Historic Places in Selma, Alabama
The National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places Program highlights the National Register sites in Selma including Brown Chapel AME Church and the first Confederate Capitol.

Teaching With Primary Sources: Materials from the TPS-Barat Program:
Outstanding resources compiled by the TPS-Barat program for teaching about Martin Luther King Jr.

TPS-MTSU: Primary Source Set 1850- Present
A great collection of resources from the TPS Partner at Middle Tennessee State University to give context to events leading to the Civil Rights Era and today.

This site includes a 1964 interview with MLK on the Civil Rights movement and additional primary source resources to support the content of the recorded interview.