Position and Motion and Robots Oh My!

When Kathy Harms (@kathy_harms), first grade teacher at Wake Robin, described her upcoming Science Objective, EO2 Position and Motion, Ann Feldmann’s (@annfeldmann1) wheels began turning. The objective has students compare relative position and motion of objects. As they discussed possible ways to integrate the iPads, Feldmann, Bellevue Public Schools Instructional Technology Specialist, thought this unit would be a perfect fit for the Dash Robots and Parrot Minidrones.

Together, Harms and Feldmann crafted the following lesson.

Before the lesson:

  • Download the Blockly App on all student iPads.
  • Reserve the robots and drone from the technology specialists.
  • Create job cards, color cards with the numbers 1-4 on them, this was the order that students took turns.
  • Charge the Dashes and Drone so they are ready for the lesson.
  • Download the Seesaw app on all student iPads.

Day 1

The first day was a “show and do” format. First up, Feldmann and Harms took turns showing the students how to code Dash to show the basic movements. They started with forward/fast by using the Reflector app to display the iPad with a projector and showing students how they dragged the coding blocks together to make Dash move. Then, the students got into their groups and took turns coding forward/fast. They gathered the students again on the rug to show the backward/slow motion and sent them in their groups again. The “show and do” format was repeated four times and helped focus the students to assure they knew the directions before working independently in their groups. The other motions covered were zig zag, back and forth and round and round. To create the movement of zig zag, we used the “Dance: Dash Confident” block that was pre programmed and had it loop. For back and forth, we coded a loop using forward and backward. The last movement created was round and round and it was programed by coding Dash to turn left 360° and loop three times.

After 40 minutes of Dash, it was time to pull out the Parrot Drone. The students experienced the up and down motion through a teacher demonstration. Harms coded and operated the Drone, while the students described the movements. They were thrilled to see the drone fly, hover, and maneuver unmanned above them.  

Day 2

Feldmann, Harms, and student teacher, Ali Saner used the station rotation model for more opportunities for hands on learning with the robots. Each station was around 10 minutes including transition time. Three of the stations were teacher led.

Materials: job cards, Dash Robots, Drone, iPads, vocabulary worksheet, motion worksheet from logbook

Center 1

Teacher coded and operated Dash through motions: forward/backward, round and round, zig zag, and back and forth. As students observed, they recorded and narrated what they saw in SeeSaw. Here is a video of the students at this station.

Materials: One Dash needed.

Center 2

Teacher coded and operated Drone. Students recorded and narrated the video describing the motions. These videos were shared in Seesaw. Here is a video of the kids at this station.

Materials: One drone needed.

Center 3

Can you find the path? This is an independent worksheet.


Center 4

Each student had a robot to code using the previously learned motions and then tested the code on the robots. (4 dash robots needed)

Center 5

Motion Vocabulary worksheet



This activity took students to a new level of understanding within this objective. The activities allowed students to not only learn the objective, but to transfer the learning to coding the robots. The experiential learning solidified the concept and 95% of the students earned an advanced score on the assessment, one student who earned Proficient was absent Day 2. The center activities, both teacher guided and student guided, were appropriately timed so students could experience the successful completion of the activities or tasks. Applying the vocabulary as students coded or viewed Dash’s motions was a meaningful way to learn, reinforce and extend the science objective (SC2.2.2).  


  • Be sure to name the robots so students join the correct robot using the Go app.
  • Make sure all robots are updated and charged.
  • Color coding the stations around the room was helpful for students.
  • Expect students to be excited.
  • It is helpful to have more than one adult in the room.


Let the students experience coding Dash by creating a course and then writing the code to move Dash through the course. This would be a fun challenge that would continue to build their coding skills and develop an increased understanding of movement.

Written by Kathy Harms (@kathy_harms) and Ann Feldmann (@annfeldmann1)


Blending First Grade Math: The Station Rotation Model

One of my first conversations with Cassie Raymond (@casa_ray) as we began our journey to integrate iPads into her first grade classroom centered around her math stations. It was one month into the school year and her students were well-trained in the four stations she had them going to daily during their math block. As a result, the focus of our conversation shifted to how can we take the math framework that we were going to implement and merge it with the stations that have been working so well for Raymond, her co-teacher Kayla Kill (@kaylakill123), and her students.

Image from Reading Horizons (2)

A great blended learning strategy for this situation was the Station Rotation model. According to the Clayton Christensen Institute, “The Station Rotation model differs from the Individual Rotation model because students rotate through all of the stations, not only those on their custom schedules.”1 Since Raymond and her students were already using stations we were well on our way. To transform this math instruction into a blended learning environment we needed to create a digital workflow, integrate online learning into the stations, and transfer ownership to the student.

Below is a before and after look at the math stations during the process of integrating the iPads and implementing our blended learning math framework for a 1:1 classroom.

Stations Before the iPads

Raymond’s students began their math block with their Daily Spiral Review and an introduction to the lesson before breaking off into groups to complete the four stations.

Station 1: Guided Instruction and Independent Practice with Mrs. Raymond

Station 2: Math Facts Practice (done individually or in partners)

Station 3: Math Activity/Worksheet with the Co-Teacher

Station 4: Hands-on Math (done individually or in partners)

These stations were a great combination of small group instruction with teachers, independent work for students, and collaborative work in which students were working together practicing their math.

Stations with the iPads

As iPads were integrated into Raymond’s classroom the goal was to keep the stations in place. Over the next couple of weeks the stations changed and evolved as we began taking advantage of the power of the iPads.

Students still begin their math instruction with their Daily Spiral Review, however, the introductifile_005on of the lesson is now done using Nearpod. Nearpod is a tool that allows Raymond the ability to introduce the topic through a teacher guided presentation and get real-time data on her students understanding of new concepts. She can then use this information to pull students during station work. Once Raymond is finished introducing the topic students go right into their three stations that are each approximately twenty minutes long.

Station 1: Students View Teacher Created In-Class Flip Video & Complete Seesaw Reflection (Replaces Guided Instruction & Independent Practice) – The apps used for the in-class flip include Schoology (digital workflow) and Explain Everything (to create instructional videos).file_002

Station 2: Front Row Ed App (Replaces Math Facts Practice) – Front Row allows students to do self-paced math lessons at their own individual level.

Station 3: Math Activity/Worksheet/Teacher Choice Activity with the co-teacher


One of the changes that was made over time was to cut down the stations from four rotations to three rotations allowing students more time in each station. One factor was the in-class flip. The in-class flip transfers ownership of the math instruction to the students as they are now in control of the speed of instruction by having the ability to pause, stop, and rewind their teacher as needed. Also, increasing the time of the stations allowed students to spend more time on Front Row, which is a great opportunity for them to practice math skills and concepts at their own level and pace.

The besfile_001t part of creating the blended learning environment with the iPads is that it has freed up Raymond to work and support students individually or in small groups. Kids that need more help are able to work directly with Raymond or Kill. According to Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker in their book, Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, “When students receive one-on-one help from a tutor instead of mass group instruction, the results are generally far superior.”3 By implementing the Station Rotation model, Raymond and Kill are free to mentor, support, and guide students individually when needed.  

Strengths of Using the Station Rotation Model 

  1. Provides flexibility for both teachers and students.
  2. Allows teachers the opportunity to work with individual and small groups of students.
  3. Stations can be changed depending on needs, apps, and other variables.
  4. Allows students to become more independent and take control of their learning through the in-class flip and the use of the Front Row app.
  5. It is a natural fit for teachers who are in a co-teaching environment.

Written by Jeffrey Bernadt (@jeffreybernadt) and Cassie Raymond (@casa_ray)


  1. Clayton Christensen Institutue. “Blended Learning Definitions.” http://www.christenseninstitute.org/blended-learning-definitions-and-models/ (accesed October 25, 2016).
  2. Reading Horizons. “The Rotation Model.” http://www.readinghorizons.com/blended-learning/models/rotation-model           
  3. Horn, B. Michael, Heather Staker, and Clayton M. Christensen. Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools. San Francisco: Wiley, 2014.

Bellevue Public Schools #ipadacademy on Action 3 News

We are very excited and proud to share with you this KMTV Channel 3 Action News story on the Bellevue Public Schools #ipadacademy The story includes interviews with Ann Feldmann and Greg Boettger, along with a peek inside Mrs. Ellis’ 2nd grade iPad Academy classroom at Belleaire Elementary.

Click here to view the video segment.


Spanish Students Create Paper Slide Videos

I had the pleasure of working with Spanish teacher Angelica Musil and her students on a project to make writing come to life by creating paper slide videos. What is a paper slide video? It’s a video created in one take by putting the iPad on top of a wire shoe rack which creates a stage below the camera. Students slide paper puppets and creations under the camera and narrate as they move the papers to create the super slide video.  

Goals of the project:

  1. Write a paragraph in Spanish.
  2. Speak in the target language, Spanish.
  3. Create a video illustrating the paragraph and share it with the class.

Here is how the lesson developed.

Day 1: Students created a word web and from the word web wrote five simple sentences.

Day 2: With partners, they put a story in order and then wrote a second draft of their sentences adding transitional words.


Day 3:  Students worked in groups and were given a short sentence to elongate by adding details. Students revised their paragraphs by adding two details to each sentence.  

Day 4: Students wrote the final draft based on teacher critique and feedback. The script was handed in and graded by Mrs. Musil.

Day 5: Students animated their paragraphs by creating paper slide videos.

First period students created paper puppets to animate their script. Musil had pictures already printed out for students to cut apart and tape on straws to make paper puppets. They handed in the puppets for students to reuse in future class periods.  


Then, students practiced their script with the puppets. As they practiced, they added their paper puppets at the appropriate times to illustrate their sentences.

Next, using the camera app and a stand, they recorded the video as they slid the puppets under the camera. These are one take videos, so the recording time was less than a minute.


Once the video was created, students shared them in the Seesaw app where they were available immediately for the class to view.


When students finished recording and the video was uploaded to Seesaw, they deleted the video from the camera app.

Things we learned:

  • Have class in the library the entire hour. We started first period in the classroom to explain the project and then went to the library. We lost valuable class time in the transition. All subsequent classes met us in the library.
  • Put the Seesaw and camera apps on the iPad dock. This made it simple for students to find the apps needed for the project.
  • Only one iPad per station is needed. We gave an iPad to each student first hour, but found it easiest to use five iPads, one for each station.
  • Although each student recorded an individual project, many chose to work as a team moving the puppets or sliding papers for one another.
  • In the camera app, double tap for the wide screen and touch and hold to lock the zoom to prevent the camera from refocusing as each puppet is moved.
  • We started in the main area of the library, but moved the recording stations into a classroom off the library to minimize the background noise.  Students spoke louder, clearer, and with more confidence in the smaller room.
  • Make sure iPads are logged out of Seesaw at the end of the period.
  • Technology was transparent and did not get in the way of the learning goals. The camera app was simple to use and Seesaw made it simple to share the videos to the entire class.

Written by Ann Feldmann (@annfeldmann1)

Day 5 with iPads

As iPad coach in our Bellevue Public Schools #ipadacademy we are often asked the question, “How do you get people started with the iPads in their classrooms?” What sets our model apart from others, all of our teachers with 1:1 iPads have been through 40 hours of Apple Foundations training before they receive the devices. Then, upon receiving the devices, they also have an iPad coach to work with as they implement teaching in a blended learning environment.

Research shows that when teachers have between 31-50 hours of professional development, they are ready to start adapting the curriculum with technology (Garet et al. 2001). The solid foundation in the Apple ecosystem, accompanied by shadowing in classrooms with similar content area or grade level, and having ongoing classroom support with an iPad coach allows for a new culture of teaching and learning to emerge.  

This post is an interview with Terry Sorensen, middle school math teacher, who is in his 5th day of having iPads in the classroom at Mission Middle School.

As Sorensen started his 1:1 classroom, he spent a class period observing colleagues at Central Elementary and Bellevue East before he started integration in his classroom. He observed Meagan Cinfel, 1st grade teacher at Central Elementary and Tina Holbrook, Kendra Wisenhunt, and Chelsea Hoglund, math and special education teachers,  at Bellevue East with the blended learning in full swing. Blended learning, as defined by the the Clayton Christensen Institute, is “a formal education program in which a student learns:

  1. at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace;
  2. at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home;
  3. and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience.”

Sorensen observed blended learning, the in-class flip model, in all of these classrooms. “I talked with teachers, gathered ideas and it gave me a good starting point,” Sorensen said. “The chance to observe, ask questions and see what they do was invaluable.”

As Sorensen began his journey with his students last week, he felt supported and ready to begin.“The district has put the time and effort into making sure I have the hardware (iPads, projector with HDMI, and Apple TV) and they invest in my teaching skills. This shows a serious commitment on the part of Bellevue Public Schools to improve the education for their students. Bellevue has done this iPad Academy right,” Sorensen said. “I have had 40 hours of training even before I got the iPads and then there’s the gift of Ann, the gift that keeps on giving. She comes daily with ideas, answers questions, is patient. I didn’t realize how important that was. It’s incredible the ah-ha moments that occur.“

What apps has Sorensen been using in his classroom?

Classroom App

The Classroom App by Apple allows the teacher to see student screens live, open apps, lock screens, and project student work and more. This digital classroom management piece makes it easy for teachers to monitor what students are doing on their iPads and makes them more efficient with classroom management too. Sorensen’s favorite way to use this app is to project his classroom app screen so he can look up at at any time and see what every student is doing. It’s a 21st century version of the old quote that teacher have eyes in the back of their heads.



Classkick is a free app that allows teachers to create interactive slides and a two-way workflow for the student and teacher. It is an easy way to organize and deliver the curriculum content to the students.

What does a Classkick lesson look like? Here is an example of a lesson Sorensen created and how it has transformed content delivery and workflow in his math classroom.

  1. Students see the homework slide when they enter the code and join the session. Students independently grade their own homework with the key provided in Classkick.  If students need to see a problem worked out, they raise an electronic hand and Sorensen works the problem on the student screen. Students enter their homework grade on the slide 


  2. It’s quick and easy for Sorensen to see the homework grade in the far left column as he scrolls down his screen.


  3. Sorensen shares his teacher created math video lessons to students via a link in Classkick. Students watch the video lesson, take notes, and work practice problems.


  4. When students finish working the problem, students see the answer. If they are correct, they move on, if not they view the video answer key of Sorensen briefly explaining the answer.


Here is a link to the video lesson from today.

5.  Then students begin their homework.

“Mary Beth Peppers, my co-teacher, and I both login at the same time to our Classkick session. We can both see and help all the students,” Sorensen said.  “One time I literally helped students from the library when there was a sub in my room.”

Helping students in the moment is another strength of the blended learning environment. Sorensen can see all student screens all the time. In one class, he saw a student making a common error so he popped in on her slide and fixed it with her as she worked. Only she and Sorensen knew he helped her.

Here is quick question/answer with Sorensen at the end of day five.

What have kids learned in five short days?

Kids have learned self-sufficiency and accountability.

What features do you like the most?

My favorite things about all of this is I can get more individual with my students than I have. It is the cloning of myself so I can spend my time working one on one with students and catching errors that will help them be more successful, “ Sorensen said.  “I can see they have done their work and pop in and check their work. All of them.

What advice do you have for others?

If you get the chance, don’t even hesitate, do it!

5 Benefits to the Global Classroom

Connecting is common place for students today. Students connect to people everyday via social media, gaming, and YouTube so why not tap these connectivity tools for your classroom. Globalizing your classroom is beneficial because it allows you access to experts, raise multicultural awareness, give students an authentic audience, provide opportunities for cooperative learning, and create a magical classroom environment.


Let’s look at five benefits to the global classroom.

 1.  Expertise

Let’s face it, we all can’t know everything.  In these days of tightening budgets, field trips may not be an option.  A perfect solution is to bring the experts and experiences to your classroom. Allowing students to connect with experts not only allows them to hear what they have to say, but to be inquisitive and ask questions.  Whether you participate in a Mystery Skype, explore a museum by a virtual field trip, join a global project, or bring in an expert to your students via a Google Hangout,  you will see direct educational benefits from the learning from their experiences.

2.  Multicultural Awareness

The second best thing to traveling to a new country is connecting with a country via a video conference.  Having a class discussion with two classrooms in different countries increases student perspective and allows all students to gain new insight.  While literature and videos are great ways to learn about new cultures and different languages, there is no replacement for face time with individuals actually living a different culture and speaking a different language. In addition, students gain a global perspective, understand time zones, can identify cities and countries around the world, and enjoy a first hand learning experience.  Connected teachers often hang a world map in their rooms and track their hangouts with thumbtacks. This map becomes a great talking point, is a visual reminder of their experiences, and an excellent way to keep track of all the connections made throughout the school year.

3.  Authentic Audience

What is the value of an audience beyond the classroom teacher? Motivation! I have witnessed students blossom into incredible readers and writers with an authentic audience waiting to read and comment on their work. Globalizing your classroom with blogging is powerful. Suddenly, not only does writing matter, but word choice and grammar do too. Our students have enjoyed being partnered with sister blogging classrooms. With blogging partners, classrooms takes turns in the blogging and commenting process. One day your classroom adds comments, and the next day you write blog posts! It is incredibly validating for writers to receive meaningful comments from around the world. An easy way to start blogging with students it to use the free platform on Seesaw (web.seesaw.me). Amplify your student work and join with other blogging classrooms using the hashtag #comments4kids on Twitter.

4.Cooperative Learning and Collaboration

Global classrooms foster cooperative learning experiences for students. One such global classroom idea is Mystery Skype / Hangout. Students participate in a class challenge to determine the location of the other classroom. Mystery Skype is global geography game. By asking a series of yes/no questions, students narrow the location of the mystery classroom. The first classroom to guess correctly wins! This activity taps into deductive reasoning skills, collaboration, and previous geography knowledge. The students gain confidence in their mapping, geography, and questioning skills as they partake in more and more of these activities. You can read more about Mystery Skype in Mrs. Evon’s blog post here.

5.  Curious and  Magical Classroom Environments

The ARCS model of technology integration says “lessons should increase students’ focus by using novel, surprising and out of the ordinary and uncertain events.  Effective techniques should stimulate a sense of wonder and maintain interest.”  The global classroom provides daily opportunities that raise curiosity and create magical learning moments.  One magical moment was when two high school Spanish classes connected for genuine Spanish speaking practice.  As the other students appeared on the screen, it was as if a UFO landed in front of the classroom. They were glued to the new people on the screen. Students fired off questions in Spanish and began a dialogue back and forth. They were curious to learn more about each other.  This created an authentic speaking environment with a classroom over 1500 miles away.  Suddenly grammar and vocabulary mattered.  It is important to have global learning activities on the calendar so students can look forward to the next time they travel outside the classroom walls and connect with others.

Globalizing the classroom gives your students access to the world’s expertise, an raises multicultural awareness, provides an authentic audience, allows for cooperative learning opportunities, and a creates magical learning environments.

Challenge yourself to participate in one global learning project this school year.  Use these resources as a springboard to connecting your classroom globally.

  • Join a Google Community such as Connected Classroom
  • Take a virtual field trip with your students with Skype in the Classroom.
  • Participate in a Global Project such as K-6 Classroom Projects by Jen Wagner or the Global Read Aloud
  • Participate in a Mystery Skype
  • Connect to other global educators via Twitter by following these hashtags: #mysteryskypeclassroom  #mysteryhangout
  • Let’s celebrate global classroom success stories.  Share your global classroom experiences by adding a comment to this post.

Written by Ann Feldmann


Fostering a Culture of Creation with Green Screen Videos

Our first green screen room in the district appeared back in 2014 at Lewis and Clark Middle School where retired Media Specialist, Pat Smith, had a vision for a creation space in the media center.

Since that time, hundreds of kids have been through what was fondly named Studio 3B to create projects using the green screen.

Now we have two more buildings with dedicated green screen spaces, Leonard Lawrence Elementary and Bellevue East High School.  

What can students do with a green screen? A green screen allows students to take creation to new levels by putting different backgrounds, both video and image, behind them as they speak. Students plan, write, create and edit the video projects. Video creation provides an opportunity for students to collaborate, create and problem-solve while trying to effectively communicate their message.

Getting started is simple. Here is what you need to get started?

Would be nice to have:

Once students create, they need a place to share their work. A slick and easy way is to share their projects with the app Seesaw. It is simple to set up and even easier for students to use. Once they share their video, their classmates can view and leave comments, both as text or audio. It is a powerful way to let students share their creations with their classmates, teachers and parents.

To learn more about how to use green screen in the classroom, check out Lisa Pack’s (@ilisapack) resources on her website at https://sites.google.com/site/doanetechmaster/green-screen.

Leave us a comment and share some of your green screen projects and ideas with us!

Written by Ann Feldmann and Jeff Bernadt
@annfeldmann1 and @jeffreybernadt

Connecting Parents to the Classroom

Communication plays such an important role in giving parents/guardians a look inside the classroom. Technology provides us with a variety of ways that teachers, administrators, coaches and sponsors can connect with family members and the community. Here are four of our favorite communication tools.


Remind is a free text messaging app that allows you to send messages to students and parents without having to share your actual phone number. You can schedule reminders ahead of time and it will allow you to see who has read your messages. Another feature of Remind is that it will translate into over 70 languages.

Facebook Page

Did you know that 75% of parents are on Facebook? What a great place to reach out and share what is happening in your classroom, on your team, or in your club. Creating a FB page gives parents, grandparents and the community the chance to “like” your page in order to get updates when you share a post. You can post pictures, videos, reminders and important dates to your page.

Class Dojo

Class Dojo is an online behavior management system used to encourage positive student behavior and create a positive classroom culture. Students are given Dojo points for positive behavior and can connect parents by sharing photos and videos of classroom moments.

Written by Jeanette Carlson

What’s All the Buzz About Classroom App?

What’s all the Buzz about Apple Classroom?

In the latest iOS update, Apple rolled out Apple Classroom? What is Apple Classroom and how does it work?  Apple classroom is a game changer because it gives teachers the power to manage student iPads from the teacher device. Teachers have the power to

  • open apps on all devices
  • lock all devices into an app
  • lock all screens
  • send all students to a website
  • send individual messages to students
  • group students and manage each group of iPads separately
  • see a thumbnail of every student screen
  • AirPlay student devices
  • broadcast one student screen to everyone   

In order to use Apple Classroom, student and teacher devices need to be iPad 3, running 9.3.1 or newer and teacher rosters must be uploaded into our Mobile Device Management (MDM) system. We have 25 iPad Academy classrooms using the classroom app this fall. Curious about how Apple Classroom works? Talk to your Building Tech Coordinator to find out who is using it and schedule a visit. To read more about the Classroom App, see this article from Apple.

Written by Ann Feldmann


Another Successful Year of Operation Read

Operation Read is a district-wide trivia-bowl type competition for 4th-6th grade students.  All of the questions come from the current year’s ten Golden Sower nominees (the Golden Sower is Nebraska’s Children’s Choice Book Award).  Students work together with their team of 3-5 to tell the titles of the books that correspond with the questions that are always phrased, “In which book…”  One of the questions from this year’s competition was “In which book is there a life-sized statue of a character?”  This statue was only briefly mentioned in the book Escape from Lemoncello’s Library.

The students spend countless hours reading in preparation for this competition.  They have to read at least four of the ten books, but many read more than that and even read them more than once.  This truly is a remarkable event to be able to offer our students.  That they would get excited about reading is something we should all celebrate!  We had 215 students on 48 teams with each elementary school represented at our competition and hope to see the enthusiasm for this event continue to grow!

Operation Read
Congratulations to the team from Belleaire that took home the trophy this year!