Thursday, December 13, 2012

How can Science, Math, or Engineering be used in a new way to make the world a better place?

Grade: 12
Subject: Math
Project Name: How can science, math, or engineering be used in a new way to make the world a better place? (Sponsored by S.W. Cole Engineering)
Resources: Are You Ready to Dig in to Science?

Dig Into Science is a contest open to students in New Hampshire and Maine in grades one through 12. To enter, students must submit a two-minute video that answers this question: How can science, math or engineering be used in a new way to make the world a better place? Creativity counts; the video can feature one teacher and up to five students, but don't let that limit you. As long as you are not using copyrighted music or doing anything illegal in your video, the sky's the limit!

Science Exploration Recorded on our iPad

Grade: Third Grade
Teacher: Todd Abbott
Subject: Recording Science Exploration with our iPad
Project Description:
We created "rocks" using Epsom salts and container lids. Our panel of scientists will tell you more about that:

Quite impressive, aren't they?  Photos were brought to you by our Class Photographer Paige. Now we know how easy it is to make "How-To" videos using Explain Everything on the iPad!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Global Collaboration Presentation

Grades: 11 and 12
Teacher: Amy Sanders
Subject: Social Studies
Project Name: The Arab Spring Project
Resources: Global Collaboration

Wes Fryer recently updated an audio file about visiting Amy Sanders' session on Global Collaboration during our Playing With Media Staff Development Day on March 16, 2012

This is an audio recording of Amy Sanders’ presentation, “Global Collaboration” at the March 16, 2012, professional development day at Yarmouth High School in Yarmouth, Maine. Amy teaches several high school social studies courses, including Arab Studies (in fall 2011) and Asian Studies in spring 2012. The official session description was: "Rapidly advancing technologies and globalization trends increasingly connect us to communities throughout the world. As educators, how can we prepare students for a world of growing cultural interaction and diversity? This session will share two collaborative projects undertaken this year and explore how each of these projects gave students an opportunity to: investigate the world, including research on significant global issues, recognize and respond to perspectives different from their own, communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences, develop and practice new skills, show initiative and work creatively. We’ll share the challenges and successes of these projects, and invite discussion of other collaborative projects." 

Blogging Around the World 12/12/12

Grade: Third Grade
Teacher: Nicole Colfer
Subject: Student Blogging Day
Project Description:
Starting from an invitation by a teacher in Louisiana student bloggers from all over the world have joined together to list 12 of their FAVORITE things on 12.12.12! Also, it's 12:12pm Eastern Standard Time when we started this blog post! Here are our favorite things:

1. Favorite Video Games: Sky Landers, Super Mario Brothers, Up, Pac-Man, Angry Birds, FIFIA Cup 13, Derby, Indiana Jones 2, Star Wars, Just Dance Kids 2, Red Redemption, Lord of the Rings, Sponge Bob, Earth Movers.

2. Favorite Foods: sushi, chicken, shish kabob, chinese, chili,calzones, pancakes, waffles, plums, mahi-mahi, pizza, lobster, meatball soup, hot dogs, candy, raspberry, cheeseburgers

3. Favorite Places to Visit: Martha's Vineyard, New York, England, Sugarloaf, Canelli's, Florida, Shawnee Peak, Yarmouth Elementary School, Vermont, Boston, Washington, Monkey-See-Monkey-Do, Lego Land, Disney World, Italy, Crayola Factory, Alabama.

4. Best School Activities: Math, Lunch, Library, Music, Computer Lab, Gym, Recess, Writing, Reading, Art, Science.

5. Favorite Books: Mustard, Wings of Fire, Zoo Break, Because of Winn-Dixie, Socks, Captain Underpants, The Earth Dragon Awakes, Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Stella Bats, Baily School Kids series, Super Diaper Baby, Harry Potter, Warrior series, Matilda, Jack and Annie, Mallory, Goosebumps, Bad Kitty series.

6. Favorite Things: kittens, cats, dogs, family, video games, sports, stuffed dog and animals, Crossfit Beacon, hockey, making comic books, basketball, making snowflakes, blankie, rocks, swimming, biking, soccer.

7. Favorite Movies: Because of Winn Dixie, Star Wars, Finding Nemo, Top Gun, Scooby Doo, Harry Potter, WillyWonka and the Chocolate Factory, Ralph S. Mouse, Indiana Jones, The Princess Bride, Avengers, Wreck It Ralph, Animal Planet.

8. Favorite Heroes: Underdog, Percy Jackson, Batman, HonSolo, Spiderman, Kit Fisto, Captain Underpants, Luke Skywalker, Hulk, Iron Man, Superman, Black Widow.

9. Favorite Villains: Lord Voldamort, Joker, Hacker, Wicked, Darth Maul, Darth Vader, Dr. Octopus, Goo-Man, Lizard Man, Boba Fett, the Penguin, Zurg, Dirty Bubble.

10. What to do with $12, 000,000?:  shopping spree, toys, motorcycle, buy a castle, snowmobile, limo with a hot tub in it, Ferri, iPad and iPhone, give it to charity, food, anything technology, buy one of everything, put it in the bank to get interest.

11. Favorite Christmas Present: ipod touch, iphone 5, ipad mini, littlest pet shops, high heel boots, keyboard, dirt bike, legos, candy maker, how to build a tree house book, DS 3, violin, gaming chair, Wii, Macbook Pro Laptop, play mobile set, Butterscotch the horse, and a pony.

12. We wish everyone a very Happy Holiday!!!!!  

(See the post and comments at:
Mrs. Colfer's Crew

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Nexus 7s in Fourth Grade Classroom

Grade: Fourth Grade
Teacher: Kate Parkin
Subject: Pilot 1:1 Nexus 7s grant
Project Description:

The Nexus 7s arrived in Maine on Friday afternoon and we were able to give them to students just three days later. Kate Parkin (4th grade teacher) and Cathy Wolinsky spent time preparing for the devices, exploring apps, becoming familiar with various resources like Edutecher and Android4Schools and thinking about how to bring this to the students in the most productive way. Some weekend work went into charging, updating and preparing the tablets with each student's Yarmouth Google account. We were pleased to find that there is a Content Filtering Setting that should modify any suggested apps and materials to keep them appropriate for students.

As teachers, Kate and Cathy planned for the physical realities of having the new set of devices in her classroom. Consistent with our district practice with student 1:1 laptops we ordered cases to protect the tablets. At the time we ordered they were $6.95 each and they have the added feature of putting the device to sleep or waking it on opening. We set up 4 bins in the classroom with plug strips nearby. The strips only allow 3 plugs at a time so we will be rotating overnight charging.

Once we did the planning and getting the room ready it was time to rollout the tablets. We invited parents, our building principal, Alice Barr (integrator at Yarmouth High School) and a college student who has helped us move ahead with technology since we was a student at YES. We planned an hour and a half at the end of the school day for the rollout. We started by giving each student a label to decorate so that s/he could easily identify her/his own tablet in the bins. We affixed the labels to the cases with plastic book spine labels to help them last through the year.

The slideshow above shows a set of photos from the preparation, through the labeling, to unboxing the Nexus 7s, changing the wallpaper and widgets on the devices. Once the students had done some personalizing and exploring the screens available Kate used the document camera to project her Nexus 7 onto the screen and showed students how to download and install a set of apps that we had previewed. We looked for an assortment of apps that allowed students to create simple projects, take notes and practice math facts as a start. In the slideshow you can see the students working from this list of apps.
Apps to download:
Free Rice
50 States
Google Drive
PopMath Lite
Space Images
Math Workout
Sudoku Plus
Math Maniac
Countries of the World
Note Everything
SimpleMind Free
Kitchen Timer
Camera Launcher
ListNote Speech to Text

This video gives a quick glimpse of the classroom once the students are exploring apps:
Many thanks to all who helped with this successful rollout and especially to Mark Wagner and the EdTechTeam for donating the devices to our school. An additional post about the arrival of the Nexus 7's is posted on Kate Parkin's classroom blog.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Student Art Portfolios

Grades: 9-12
Teachers: Holly Houston
Subject: Art
Project Name: ARt Fundamentals Student Portfolios
Resources: 2012 Art Portfolios

Friday, September 21, 2012

iPads Growing in First Grade

Grade: First Grade
Teacher: First Grade Team 
Subject: Reading Fluency and Math 
Project Description:
Last year we were able to pilot the use of iPads in first grade at Rowe School through a grant from Yarmouth Education Foundation (YEF). We have purchased additional iPads this fall so that each classroom has a set of four iPads. The teachers worked on App selection and planning for use of the iPads over the summer. 

These are the apps that we have aded to the first grade classrooms this fall:
  • ABC Spelling Magic (Short Vowel Sounds) - free
  • ABC Spelling Magic 2 (Consonant Blends) - free
  • ABC Spelling Magic 3 (Blends & Syllables) - free
  • All My High Frequency Words
  • Cimo Spelling (Lite)
  • DoodleBuddy
  • DraftPad
  • Futaba- Word games for kids
  • iKids Puzzle
  • Google Earth
  • Know your Math Facts
  • iBooks
  • LetterSchool
  • Little Patterns
  • Mathwise - free
  • Math Bingo
  • Montessori Approach to Addition Charts
  • Montessori Approach 100 to 200
  • Montessori Approach to 100 Board
  • Montessori Crosswords
  • Motion Math - Hungry Fish
  • Pocket Charts! Beginning Letter Sounds 
  • Pocket Charts! Long and Short Sounds
  • PopMath Maths Plus
  • PuppetPals
  • Scribble Press - free
  • Sight Words by Photo Touch - free
  • Storykit - free 
  • Sushi Monster - free
  • Tell Time Little Matchups - free
  • Telling Time Photo Touch  
We added some apps specifically for teachers. The apps that were free are on all 20 iPads, the few paid apps are only on one iPad per classroom:
  • Dragon Dictation - free
  • Educreations - free
  • Explain Everything
  • Pages
  • Puffin Browser - free
  • Quickvoice Recorder - free
  • Show Me Interactive Whiteboard - free
  • Skype - free
  • The Weather Channel - free 
Most of the apps were available for volume purchase so we bought 20 copies of those for the price of 10. So far we have introduced LetterSchool, Little Patterns, iKids Puzzle and MathWise in classrooms. It is working well to assign five students to each iPad and store any saved games for them when they return. The next challenge is to figure out flexible grouping based on student needs and then appropriately managing the settings for each group.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Educational Passages Miniboat Project

Grade: 4 Communications & Math Lab Groups
Teachers: Molly Smith & Cathy Wolinsky
Subject: All
Project Name: Educational Passages

A group of 4th graders who are in the Communications and Math Lab groups with Molly Smith (Talents grades 3-8) have taken on the task of following one of five drifting miniboats that were launched this spring. The boat was launched Saturday, May 12 by the crew of the State of Maine (Maine Maritime). The kids are in contact with the captain and they are working on latitude, longitude, rate of speed and some of the other concepts of navigation.

Based on a workshop session at a conference on Science and Literacy held at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute a few months ago we decided to look for a way for our students to participate in a "miniboat expedition". For more about this project, see the website and articles below:
This project costs about $1500 a boat, but the volunteers who run it (Dick Baldwin, sailor; Lyman-Morse Boats; Maine Maritime Academy; Midcoast School of Technology, etc.) do all the work for free and the cost to our school is $350 for the GPS unit that travels on the boat and a monthly fee to monitor it. There will be opportunities at YES and HMS for that small group of students to share the project with others as it connects to curricula, we bring in guest speakers, etc.

The GPS unit on our boat connects to a company that will show the track of the boats in the project (at We don't know how many months to expect the boat to be en route, one boat arrived in Ireland after 5 months, another one took a year to travel from Puerto Rico to Portugal. The hope is that if a boat makes it to Europe the students can connect with the school that retrieves the boat.

As of May 30th the miniboats have been moved by hurricane winds are are all beached on the Carolina coasts. Today there was an article in the Hatteras newspaper about the people who found the Yarmouth boat on the beach and the next steps for getting it back out onto the ocean.

Update: October 8, 2012 from the project Newsletter:

5 Maine Maritime Launches

The “State of Maine” training ship launched 5 mini-boats approximately 250 miles north of the Bahamas on May 11th.  Within 10 days these boats got “battered” off the Carolinas by tropical storms Alberto and Beryll which blew all 5 boats across the Gulf Stream and on to the Carolina beaches.  A charter fishing boat captain told us in his 46 years he had never seen the seas so rough.  One of our boats was found by surfers on Cape Hatteras, two ended up on uninhabited islands and another went ashore on Myrtle Beach.  The 5th boat stopped reporting several miles off the beach and probably founded coming ashore.  Four of the five boats were recovered undamaged with their rigs intact attesting to their solid construction and their ability to transit our world’s oceans.
Two boats were taken to Charleston, South Carolina and put back aboard the “State of Maine” to be re-launched off Cape Hatteras, another boat was re-launched by surfers, and the 4th boat was released by the School of Coastal Studies on Cape Hatteras.  These 4 boats traveled up our east coast to Newfoundland where 2 made landfall and are currently being repaired and readied for re-launching in early October and the other 2 appear to be on their way to Europe.  All these boats can be monitored at

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Digital Citizenship Day

Grades: 9
Teachers: Grade 9 Team
Subject: All
Project Name: Digital Citizenship
Resources: Digital Citizenship Day 2012

Students explore scenarios related to Yarmouth's core values. They start out playing the Digital Compass game which is a way to gauge how students think about a topic such as Facebook use. Students are then put in small groups. We play core value jeopardy and watch a some public service announcements about a digital footprint. There is time built in for discussion. This year some of the seniors joined us for the conversations. Their comments and insights were valuable.

Next, students were asked to create their own digital Public Service announcement.  After submitting ideas from their discussions, students created a storyboard and got to work choosing the digital tools they wanted to use. At the end of the day, students submitted their work and wrapped up. 

New this year, we had the opportunity to be connected with Bonny Eagle High School. They have a theater troupe that performed "Sticks and Stones", scenes of bullying and harassment, which they wrote. The play was powerful and moving. 

Here are a few of the final products. We hope to have a showing before the end of the year.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The scoop at Yarmouth: Students step up to real-world challenge

Grades: 10-12
Student: Graphic Design I
Subject: Art
Project Name: Friendly's Ad Campaign
Resources: Maine DOE article

When a company like Friendly’s struggles to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, desperate times often call for desperate measures.

Could students at Yarmouth High School help?

Friendly Ice Cream Corp., based in Wilbraham, Mass., is a 77-year-old company known for its ice cream and hamburgers. When the economic downturn, coupled with higher costs and high rents, drove it into bankruptcy, company leaders realized the need for a new model, a new business plan and a new image.

The VIA Agency is a hip advertising and marketing firm located in Portland.  Already engaged in a fresh ad campaign for Friendly’s, the group’s creative director decided to reach out to a resource that had sparked great ideas in the past.

Read the rest of the article

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Power of 1

Grade: 9
Teacher: Grade 9 Team
Subject: Social Studies, Science, Math, English
Project Name: Power of One Project
Resources: Power of One Website

Hunger and food insecurity impacts people in our own communities and around the world.  Students at Yarmouth High School will learn about the issues of hunger, and develop projects that can make a difference.  Projects are open-ended.  There is no one pathway for making a difference.  Through the work, students will:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Future Focus

Grade: 12
Student: Hannah Potter
Subject: Social Studies
Project Name: Future Focus Event
Resources: Maine DOE article

Future Focus event puts eighth-grade girls from central Maine in contact with Iraqi counterpart, women working their dream jobs

By Charlie Hartman

“Do you like Justin Bieber?”
With a roll of her eyes, Maryann replied, “Oh, noooo!”

Shrieks rang out in response through Given Auditorium at Colby College as 250 eighth-grade girls talked to Maryann Naman in Kurdistan, Iraq, live via Skype.  The girls, from four schools in central Maine, were at the morning keynote of Future Focus, an annual conference sponsored by the Waterville branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI).

Read the rest of the article and see the video

Fourth grade Book Group makes a Movie

Grade: 4
Teacher: Rosie Lenehan
Subject: Social Studies/Reading
Project Name: Biography

The Marvelous Munchkin book club recently read a biography of Harriet Tubman.  As they discussed Harriet Tubman in one of their meetings, they arrived at the conclusion that when she was alive, Harriet Tubman was relatively unknown.  They were troubled by the lack of recognition that she got when she was alive, especially given all that she did.  We talked about the reasons for this and we also talked about how it is that people become famous.  I gave them some options for individual or group projects they could do around the idea of making Harriet Tubman famous, and they decided to work together on a newscast.  This is entirely student-written, student-filmed, and student-edited, completed in about 2 hour-long blocks.  Also, it was done entirely using an iPad!  Enjoy!

(cross posted at

Thursday, February 9, 2012

iPad Pilot in YES Classrooms

Grades: 3 & 4
Teachers: Rosie Lenehan, Nicole Colfer & Kate Parkin
Subject: All
Project Name: iPad Pilot

It seems like every day there are conversations buzzing about how we can support learning with the single iPads that are in classrooms at YES. The teachers whose classrooms received the YEF grant iPads are using them connected to the projector for whole class instruction, for individual student use and as a center for a small groups of students. Additional teachers are using iPads that are their own.
  • One class recorded the field trip to the State House in Augusta by creating aVoicethread using the mobile app. The camera on the iPad made taking pictures easy and then students added narration with audio or video clips to describe what they had learned. The kids seemed to enjoy how easy it was to build the slideshow and the iPad made it possible to do everything on one device. 
  • Students are using the ShowMe app to write math procedures and record their descriptions of what they are doing or teachers are creating blog videos for explaining an algorithm.
  • Dragon Dictation is helping some students with writing as they can speak into the iPad microphone and the app turns their voice into text. This text can be emailed to the teacher who can help the student continue the document.

Some other thoughts for exploration are spelling apps, voice recording of reading fluency, math practice and TumbleBooks online. Also, we added an "eprint" color laser printer this week in the YES Lab for printing directly from the iPads.

There is excitement in the air as we explore ways to use this "touch" device in ways that supplement and expand the technology access we offer to students at YES.
(cross posted at

Friday, January 20, 2012

Grade 1 iPads

Grade: 1
Teacher: Heather Boutin
Subject: All
Project Name: iPads for Learning Pilot in First Grade

What incredibly exciting news!  I am sure that many of you have caught wind that our classroom now has some new technology - the first grade team was awarded a grant from the Yarmouth Education Foundation and each first grade classroom now has two iPads and the Yarmouth school department gave us new projectors and other equipment necessary to make the iPad a useful tool in the classroom.  This technology has really opened our classroom up to a whole new world of learning! 

As you can imagine, the students are ecstatic!  We are in the exploring phase of the iPads and we are learning how to successfully integrate them into our classrooms.  Students will be using the iPad in our listening center to read along with picture books and they will also be exposed to a couple of games that support our spelling instruction.  We have been using the iPad as a tool in math and handwriting lessons and I am very excited to find many more ways to incorporate the iPads!
 (cross posted at