Catching the Hype!

A powerhouse month when it comes to digital learning, students at Elmwood School have been catching the hype.


“How do you SHINE?”  This is a question many third graders have been pondering as they’ve launched into a series of self paced lessons through Thrively.  An online platform designed to unleash students’ strengths and passions, Thrively is exploding with new features, one being lesson packs called courses.  “Ignite Your SHINE” is a brand new course students have embraced.  One lesson at a time, they are asked to think deeply about who they are, what they love, and what they have to offer.  From internalizing the SHINE acronym to creating their own unique avatar, these third graders are catching the Thrively hype and believe they can shine a light in their own unique way.

Google Classroom

Third graders have also zoned in on their superpowers and passions through Google Classroom.  Often after watching an inspirational video, students reflect on how they can make an impact.  This month, they created a comic using a Google Drawing template to show off who they are.


Mrs. Newton’s second graders hopped on Seesaw this week and captured their thinking in a variety of ways.  With their class QR code in hand, students were almost jumping out of their seats with anticipation.  Once on, Mrs. Newton asked them to practice typing a note and sending it off to her with a simple tap. She then had students take a picture of the book they are reading, touch the microphone icon, and record themselves explaining their favorite part of the story.

The class was completely engaged and empowered to show what they know.  Not only would Mrs. Newton immediately see their thinking come to life on her own screen, but students’ parents will soon have an opportunity to see it as well.  A mobile site with classroom and parent apps, classrooms across the country have been catching the Seesaw hype and now Mrs. Newton’s class is one of them.  We can learn from this amazing teacher, who spent her own time embracing Seesaw’s PD in PJ’s!









BrainPOP Jr

What’s different about BrainPOP Jr?  A new interface is cause for a lot of hype and Elmwood students aren’t missing a beat!  Second and third graders have been taking advantage of concept mapping as well as the updated “Draw About It” and “Write About it.”  Students have been able to express their knowledge in unique ways, discover which features fit their learning style, as well as push themselves out of their comfort zone in trying those that don’t.  And now for the first time ever, BrainPOP Jr. is available on the iPads as a mobile site!


Students continue to feel empowered with coding.  Launching a coding mission with videos from “Hour of Code,” students started their journey last month with Code Monkey.  One third grade class has continued their mission with Lightbot  and they are surpassing our expectations.  Students now realize coding is something they can in fact do.  They also feel safe in improving their skills with help from their classmates.  The coding hype is certainly spreading around school!

Google Hangout

From interviewing Broadway stars to running a student led “Mystery Hangout” teachers and students are understanding the potential role video calls can play in student learning and classroom culture.  Why not learn levels of questioning in asking actors how they achieved their dreams? Why not tap into geography skills with intense motivation in order to determine where in the world the other class is?  Google Hangouts bring engagement and empowerment to new levels and students are catching the hype.

We will continue to catch the digital learning hype here at Elmwood School and if you have any questions about any of the spotlighted tools and approaches above, please contact your building technology integration specialist.

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