Nearpod: Increasing Levels of Engagement in Math Class

As part of my Professional Learning Network for the 2015-2016 school year, we are exploring Nearpod as a means of increasing student engagement and changing the way students interact with content.  Nearpod is an online presentation tool that provides interactive lessons and real-time assessments.

Step 1: Create or download interactive multimedia presentations

Step 2: Share your interactive lesson and control the student’s activity in real-time

Step 3: Your students interact and submit responses through any mobile device, PC, or MAC

Step 4:  Monitor and measure student results on an individual and aggregate basis

Rather than copying the examples from the Smartboard into their notebooks, students have the opportunity to use the Drawing Tool to work through problems.  I immediately see their responses in real-time and can provide constructive feedback.  Multiple-choice as well as open-ended questions can also be inserted as a means of formative assessment.  The Poll feature gauges student’s level of comfort with new information or their readiness to move on to the next topic.  You can provide a direct link to students or post to your Google Classroom.  I have used it in my pre-calculus classes to teach Polynomial Inequalities and in my Alg/Geo III classes to teach Multiplying Binomials and all classes have welcomed its use and have enjoyed the interactivity and immediate feedback that Nearpod provides.

Submitted by Angela Xander, Math Department


Genius Hour at SHS

Laura Nogueira’s classroom, Honors English students in 9th grade are working on their own Genius Hour projects. Genius Hour originates with Google’s initiative to give their employees 20% of their work time to focus on a project of self-interest. In the classroom, students are given a portion of the block to research a topic of their choice.

The opportunity arose out of the district’s Innovate Salisbury group that meets monthly to discuss a vision for our classrooms. Here, teachers were given the opportunity to choose a text that interested them and develop a project for their classrooms. Mrs. Nogueira has previously researched the Genius Hour projects and found this to be a perfect opportunity to try it herself. After developing a structure for how the project would work within her classroom and ensuring its alignment to state and district standards, Mrs. Nogueira introduced the project to her students.

The first day teetered between inspiring and scary for many students. They were excited to pursue a research project that they found personally meaningful, but they were not quite sure what that topic would be. After brainstorming, talking with one another, and some quick Googling, most students were able to develop an idea for the project. These ideas have ranged from developing videography skills and creating an app for the school, to volunteering with children in hospitals and initiating a high school group that helps mentor elementary school students.

Throughout this project students are required to write a proposal, present their proposal to an audience of their peers, maintain a blog where they will write about their research and reflect on the progress, and give a TED Talk at the culmination of their Genius Hour project. The project is still in the beginning phases, but one student has already surveyed her peers about potential interest in helping the elementary students. Her project is not only driven by her desire to help children, but also a larger desire to help her school and community.

Mrs. Nogueira’s students will continue to work on their Genius Hour projects throughout the second quarter of the 2015-16 school year.

Submitted by Laura Nogueira, SHS English Department

Survey Photo

Sample of a Student Survey


Students working on their Genius Hour projects.

Staff Wars, Garage Band, and Elementary Music Instrution

Students of Western Salisbury Elementary School use the app “Staff Wars” to improve there note recognition.  The game helps students develop quick recognition of notes on the staff which will help students become more confident reading music and learning to play their instruments.  Elementary students have also had the opportunity to use other tech tools to aid them in the development of their musical skills.  Garage Band, a program that allows students to play along with their method book exercises and concert music, is included on all Apple products.  It allows a student to record and play back their practice sessions so the student can listen to himself / herself and critique his or her performance.  Students can also vary tempo, change key, and accompany their own performance using Garage Band.

Submitted by Mr. Stan Griffis, Music Department

Fourth Grade Reading Fluency & iPad Integration

I have begun using the laptops for students to monitor their own reading fluency.  Students record themselves reading and then go back and listen for errors, flow, and cadence. In the past, either I have done fluency checks on the students, or they have been taught how to check each other for fluency.  This new system of students doing their own fluency checks has several advantages.  The first is that students are more at ease reading “to themselves” via the laptop than they are reading in front of the teacher or a peer.  Secondly, they enjoy doing anything with the laptops, so they are highly motivated to do this activity.  Most importantly, they get to actually hear themselves read – they can hear their mistakes and/or areas of oral reading that need improvement.  This is much more powerful that having a teacher or a peer say, “This is what you did.” Also, this method provides an audio record of student progress over time, and it allows for multiple listens of the same passage (both by the student and the teacher) to analyze fluency.

Patti Anderson

4th grade teacher



4th Grade Reading Fluency Video

Ms. Horne’s class has been using iPads:

“I am utilizing the mini ipads during reading and math BEE periods so students can self check or partner check for understanding using the QR Code Apps.”

iBook: Salisbury…Inspire, Think, Learn, Grow…Together!

cropped-Teaching-and-Learning-2020.pngTeaching and Learning 2020 (TL2020) is an initiative of the Salisbury Township School District located in Allentown, PA  TL2020 is the next phase in the development of teaching and learning that started in our district with TL2014. TL2020 builds on our successes at transforming teaching and learning through technology. The initiative offers increased learning opportunities by providing a personal computing device for each student (1:1), Kindergarten though Grade 12.

This ibook was created to capture the essence of TL2020 and was submitted as our successful application to become an Apple Distinguished Program from 2015 to 2017.

Download the iBook in the store!

Famous Artist Research Project

Fifth grade classes are using technology in art class by researching famous master artists with the search engine,,and creating a Keynote presentation on the artist of their choice. Students learned about various artists such as O’Keefffe, Warhol, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Monet, just to name a few. They included facts about their artist as well as images of several pieces of their artwork which gave them a deeper understanding of the artist and their style. Students shared their Keynotes with the class, eager to show their peers the interesting facts they learned about their master artist. Students then chose one piece of artwork created by the master artist that they are recreating as a 18 X 12 inch postage stamp. They cut out a stamp shape and then used pencil to draw the famous painting or print. Lastly, they chose a medium (paint, oil pastels, markers, etc) that best represented their chosen artist’s piece of artwork. Students will be adding the amount of 49 cents to their stamps as well as the artist’s name.

~ Mrs. Kunkle, HST Art Teacher

CNN Student News in 8th Grade Social Studies


Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 1.50.01 PMStudents in eighth grade social studies look forward to the daily broadcast of CNN Student News for their warm-ups. The news program is designed to bring current events, both national and international, into the classroom. Students choose one news story from the broadcast then write a summary. On Fridays they respond to a weekly prompt based on various stories from the week.