Category Archives: open-source

Mentoring, Day 1

I’m in Nevada right now mentoring teacher leaders with new project ideas with their students. One teacher wants her Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders to use an easy drawing program to create a retelling of story that they will put into a presentation. She was planning on using Microsoft Paint, but I showed her TuxPaint, an open-source drawing program for children. She loved the program, but one issue we ran into was getting the completed files onto the desktop (or another folder) so that we could import them into another program. Has anyone out there used TuxPaint before who could help us with this issue?

Another teacher is working with his 3rd-graders to create a wiki about the US States. He’s using PBWiki, (one of my favorites!) and his having each student take a state. He’s planning on using the comments feature of the wiki for his students give peer feedback and suggestions. He’s created a sample report on Nevada to serve as a guideline. Because he only has seven students, however, he’d like to extend this project to another teacher (or two) who would have their students create the pages for the missing states. Fun! His wiki is and if there are any teachers or anyone who works with teachers out there, please reply if you think you know of a class who’d like to participate. I just found out today that PBWiki has updated their editor, so instead of learning all the “wiki-ese,” it’s a WYSIWYG interface. I had to really navigate to find it, though. To see the new editor, log into your wiki, then go to SETTINGS > EDITOR and switch from “Classic editor” to “New point-and-click editor.”

My last session of the day was with a teacher who will be using movie-making as a math assessment with 2nd – 8th graders. Together, we created a list of vocabulary terms the students have studied which they will need to include in their movie (decimal, percentage, fraction, mean, median, mode, range, estimation, bar graph, and circle graph). The students will be given bags of different colored candy and will have to create graphics using the candy to show that they know & understand the vocabulary & concepts. I can’t wait to see this project!

Fun day!