Grade 5 Students Take the Lead

At IICS, we have been looking into avenues that allow students to personalize their learning experiences. As a result, MYP students have begun to participate in Exploratory groups where they delve into subjects that they are interested in learning about within a structured environment.

One such group is our student coders. These brave computer scientists are led by Phillip, a tenth grade student, and our Primary Technology Integration Specialist, Claire Wachowiak. These students have begun learning about Java as well as the reasoning behind coding with some unplugged lessons.

Although this time is set aside for MYP students, two fifth grade students, Hanako and Joey, have expressed an interest in coding and have begun to join this group to learn more about Java.

The other day however, Hanako, Joey, and Ms. Wachowiak decided it might be interesting to demonstrate Makey Makeys. So last Tuesday, Hanako and Joey took the lead to teach these eighth and tenth grade students a lesson in Makeys; Joey even used his own game he created in Scratch to show what these invention kits can do. Please check out the video below to see these grade five leaders in action.

Resources for Making Videos

Tips for making videos and creating screencasts:

  1. Storyboard and script what you are going to cover and say
  2. Have your resources ready and in the order you are going to discuss
  3. Keep it short and simple
  4. It helps if your voice is slow and steady
  5. Find a quiet area with good lighting
  6. Organize your screencasts and videos so it easy for students and others to find
  7. The process gets easier the more you do it; don’t be a perfectionist!

Please remember that you have a youtube account that is based upon your school gmail account. Just use your school gmail username and password to login. Videos on youtube are easy to upload and share on blogs!

Why make videos?:

  1. A great reference and review that can be used multiple times; especially with student absences.
  2. Easy to share (youtube).
  3. Great for snow days!
  4. Zaption can be used for formal or informal assessments.

Tools for making videos and creating screencasts:

There are several tools for creating screencasts: Quicktime, Camtasia, Screencast-O-Matic, etc. Please use the one that works best for you.


Explain Everything (iPad app)
Simple, easy to use tool to help create screencasts. Think of it as an interactive whiteboard tool that lets you annotate, animate, narrate, import, and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere. Create slides, draw in any color, add shapes, add text, pictures and videos.
Tutorials for Explain Everything


Sign in here using ‘Sign in with Google’
Tutorials from Zaption

Video Tutorial by Alex Alford

Source for Explain Everything

Transfer of Resources

Google-Drive Link to Google Drive File

Opening up IBO documents

When the IBO sends you documents, you may encounter issues when opening up the editable PDF files that are linked in the document. The following tutorial should show you how to open these files successfully.

Step 1: Click on the below image to open a sample IBO document.

IBO Forms

Click on image above to download sample IBO document

Step 2: When you click on any of the Internal or External Assessment links and you may encounter this error screen:

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 09.14.27

Step 3: Hover over the image and press the old school save to disk icon.

Step 4: Once downloaded, click on the little triangle next to the downloads area and select Show in Finder from the pop up menu. This will locate the downloaded file in the Finder.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 09.01.42

Step 5: After you have located your download, right click on the file and select Open with > from the pop up menu. Then find Adobe Acrobat Pro if you do not have the most current version of Adobe Reader. Either program will work.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 09.04.50

Exploring with Technology

Grades 2 and 3 at Hisar have had a busy morning with technology!

Grade 2 students used Spelling City to create their own spelling lists based on previous spelling exams. Way to go Ms. Apps and the students in Grade 2!

Mr. Hinkley’s Grade 3 class fearlessly explored the app Explain Everything. Students quickly learned how to import and edit photos, draw images, and record their voices.