Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Tech Tip; (Murray Avenue Edition): Archiving Mail in Outlook

Because there are limits to the amount of mail you can keep in your inbox, you need clear it out periodically.  You could delete them, but then you've lost the record of your email transactions and communications.  One solution is to put those old messages someplace.  Outlook provides such a place: you can create what is called an Outlook Data File ( or '.pst' file type) to archive and store old mail in Outlook.  I'll take you through two scenarios: making one from scratch, and reconnecting to one that you already have but isn't showing up.

  1. To make one from scratch, do this:
    1. On the Home tab, in the New group, click New Items, point to More Items, and then click Outlook Data File.
    2. In the 'Create or Open Outlook Data File' dialog box, name your Data File.
    3. In the 'Save in' dropdown menu at the top, CHANGE the default location to:
      \\lmtsdvlocker\mateachers\[your name]\Mail\
      (This step puts the data file on the network, instead of on your local machine.)
    4. Click OK!  You are all set up! 
  2.  If you have one already, and just want to connect up to it, do this:
    1. In Outlook, make sure your 'Navigation Pane' is visable. 
      (Your Navigation Pane is the column that provides access to folders used to organize your information. Click a folder to show the items it contains. It also includes the Favorite Folders section and buttons to switch between Mail, Calendar, Tasks and other views.
    2. Click the 'File' tab.
    3. On the 'Info' tab, click 'Account Settings', and then click 'Account Settings.'
    4. On the 'Data Files' tab, click 'Add.'
    5. Click the Outlook Data File (.pst) file that you want to open, and then click OK.

      Where is the data file located you ask?  Usually right here:

      \\lmtsdvlocker\mateachers\[your name]\Mail\[your data file].pst
That should hook you up.  Happy archiving!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Tech Tip: The Great Behavior Game (Pine Road Edition)

Just last week, I was introduced to "The Great Behavior Game" a free program from Educator's Handbook which can be incorporated into the classroom for behavior management or for review game purposes.  The initial purpose is for behavior management.  On the main page, educators can sign up for a free account, add a roster of their own students or teams of students.  I created the video below to demonstrate how the program works. 

Don't forget to click "enter" after typing a name.  I didn't know to do that initially, and you don't get far that way.  Utilizing this program on your smartboard provides a visual for students who need an extra reminder of their progress and the wireless mice and keyboards that we have in classrooms offer students the freedom to move around the classroom and have easy access to the "game".  In addition to the idea of creating a roster with individual student names, you could also create a roster with Our Class or some other name as decided by the class and utilize this as a whole class behavior management system or split your class into four teams.  When I was a grade level teacher in the classroom, I had a three tiered approach to behavior management and could see this system being utilized for any of the three.

During game play, there are three controls to know as outlined on the main page of the program.

How to Play

Start the game and project the scoreboard. Teach your lesson as usual. Referee the game by awarding bonus points and penalties. Reward high scoring students throughout the day.Innovative Game Play

Whether you have a class of 6 or 26, the innovative game board is designed to put you in control. Start the game when you begin the school day and let it run while you conduct your lessons. Each student game piece has three different modes:


When you start the game, your students will begin automatically earning points. Special points – stars – will be awarded every ten consecutive points. Single-click a game piece to award a bonus point for appropriate behavior.


Click-and-hold a game piece to assign a timeout. A red progress bar will count down the time remaining. During timeout, the student will not earn points and his or her progress toward the next star will start over. If the need arises, click the game piece during timeout to restart the counter.


If a student continues to exhibit disruptive behavior during timeout, you can click-and-hold the game piece again to place the student into a freeze. During a freeze, the student will not earn points, and he or she will stay in the freeze until you release it with another click-and-hold action.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Because I Said I Would...

I'm blogging because I know that I need to get back into a routine of doing so.  And a routine in which I schedule posts again.  Which means devoting a good bit of time to preparation leg work.  I had excuses, but they are running out.  Back to the business of blogging.  But for today, this will have to do.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tech tip Friday (Murray Avenue Edition): Juggling your personal & professional Google Docs accounts.

If you are a Google Doc user in your personal life as well as here in Lower Moreland, then you’ve probably experienced the need to jump out of your ‘Lmdocs’ account to get something out of your personal account, but needed to log off of all things Google before being able to do so.  It’s a pain, needing to shut out of everything, get what you want, then open everything back up again.  There’s a better way.
There’s an easy way built into Google to switch between your ‘lmdocs’-identity, and a personal Google docs identity. It’s called ‘account switching,’ and turns on a feature Google calls ‘Multiple Sign-In’ that lets you, um, sign in with multiple accounts.  Here’s how to do it:
1.       Once you are logged into Google Docs with your Lmdocs account, click on your username in the upper right hand corner. You’ll get a drop down menu, and at the bottom of it is an option named ‘Switch Account.’  Click it.

2.       The drop down menu now gives you a new set of options, and you should choose   “Sign into another account…”

3.       This will open a pop-up window that prompts you to log into your other account.  This is where you will enter your personal Google Docs account info. 
Signing in this way automatically turns on the Multiple Sign-In feature for Google, which is detailed on the left of this page, informing you that:

·         The account you’re currently using will be displayed at the top of most Google product pages, or at the bottom of most pages on mobile devices. Always check to make sure you’re using the account you want.

·         Not all Google products support multiple sign-in. When switching between Google products, the account you’re currently using may change.

·         Google products which do not support multiple sign-in will default to the first account that you signed in to using your current web browser session.

4.       Once you sign in, your personal Google Docs account loads into the pop up, allowing you to jump back and forth between your personal and professional lives with the greatest of ease!

Friday Tech Tip: Videos On Demand-Safari Montage (Pine Road Edition)

Our school district subscribes to a video source that is quite comprehensive and is housed on our network.  Safari Montage is a searchable directory of videos that can be utilized for educational purposes.  The service grants home access for teachers and students as well. 

This video covers some of the basics of Safari Montage.

Noticed one inconsistency in this video - I don't belive we can access live TV through our Safari Montage package...but I'll check into that further.

In our district, teachers can log in through the staff tab on our district homepage.

A teacher's network username and password (i.e. the same one to logon to the computer, email, etc.) is used to access Safari Montage.  When logging in, ensure that the School dropdown indicates your school.  In our case, Pine Road ES.  As the homepage pictured below indicates, video providers include:
  • Magic School Bus
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy
  • National Geographic
  • Scholastic
  • Weston Woods
  • PBS
    • Arthur
  • Sesame Street
  • Reading Rainbow
  • History Channel

One of the great positives to this service is the search feature.  You can limit your search to specific grade levels and topics beyond your search term.  Create a playlist for an area of your curriculum for quick and easy access to videos to support your lessons!  Happy Friday!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Talk: The Stranger Next Door

Honestly, I'm not quite sure how I feel about Pete the Cat as a co-author of this book.  Peg Kehret, I love.  Pete, I'm not so sure.  At the start of the book, I found myself annoyed, but as the book progressed, it seemed more natural.  I think this is, in part, because I am not a pet person.  And I find myself in the minority in that respect.  So, I think most people would be immediately endeared to Pete and his writing style and honesty, and the fact that humans think every time he utters a yowl he is hungry.  I, however, would just sneeze a lot.  But I digress.  As I am apt to do when I discover an author I enjoy, I gobble up EVERYTHING by that author in an effort to discern if those other books deserve a place on the shelves of our library.  The Stranger Next Door seemed to start off a bit slow, but the pattern I've seen with Kehret's books is that I don't get "into" them immediately, but about halfway through the suspense is ratcheted up and I cannot put it down.  As this is only the second book by Kehret that I have read, I can't say with certainty that this is true of all her books, but like Ghost Dog Secrets, The Stranger Next Door also has some elements appropriate for introduction during Red Ribbon Week in regards to a strong anti-drug message.  Without giving too much away.  I found it irritating not to know why Rocky, i.e. Clifford, was being whisked away from his home in such a hurried fashion, but I think that was a feeling purposefully evoked of the reader to mirror what Clifford would be feeling as well.  I guessed at what was happening, but not why and was pleasantly surprised (pleasantly doesn't quite fit the outcome...hmmm...can't think of a better word though) at the outcome.  I'm hoping to enjoy Peg Kehret's next book equally.