Hot Tech at Robertson

Learning at a Distance

October 2, 2015. Fifth grade students in Mrs. Baucum's class used Skype to talk to an Army veteran currently living in Kentucky who is changing careers to become a screenwriter. They were able to interview him about his career in the military, about his college education, and about his budding screenwriting career. 

Talk Like a Pirate

September 15, 2015. KRUN News team #1 is spending the week preparing Robertson Elementary for Talk Like a Pirate Day. The official day is Saturday the 19th, but these buccaneers paved the way for its bounty in their daily newscasts.

Ian, Alexander, Hannah, Andrea

Lights, Camera, Action!

March 26, 2015. Fifth graders produce a live, daily broadcast at the beginning of each day. Broadcast covers news, campus announcements, and a variety of engaging learning opportunities followed by a few minutes of movement and fun to get our engines revved!

It's a big job setting the V-screen, running the camera and teleprompter.

Tweet, Tweet!

February 27, 2015. We have questions for the American astronauts on board the space station. How to ask the questions--on Twitter, of course. Students in Mrs. Thomas's 4th grade class and Mrs. Keffales's kindergarten class sent their questions winging to space this week.
Our answer from space

Mrs. Keffales's kindergarten class

Getting the Basics

January 8, 2015. Students in Mrs. Figur's class use, the online technology resource to learn technology basics in an engaging way and at their own pace. This resource allows students to learn any time anywhere they have an Internet connection.

How Things Look Up Close

December 17, 2014. This is how an earthworm looks when you take a very close look. Mrs. Gonzalez's third graders used the MicroViewer hand held microscope and software to zoom in on an earthworm. This device allows them to move the microscope across the worm easily, zooming in and out, and projecting the view for the whole class to make observations.

Learning at a Distance

December 16, 2014. Second graders had a Yee-haw! Christmas learning opportunity with the Grace Museum's distance learning coordinator in Abilene, Texas. Using the book Texas Night Before Christmas by James Rice, students learned some Texas traditions and vocabulary. They even practiced a simple Texas two-step dance.

So Many Mistakes, So Many 4th Graders to Correct Them

December 9, 2014. Let's check with our editors . . . 4th grade students in Mrs. Mayo's class practice their editing skills using an interactive Promethean Flipchart created by their teacher. Just like on the STAAR Test, the students read a selection and are tasked with finding errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Here they use movable editorial markings to show where the errors are located.

Are You as Smart as a Pilgrim?

November 19, 2014. Well, are ya Pilgrim? Third graders and fifth graders learned more about how the Pilgrims lived and how the first Thanksgiving came to be. Using the Promethean interactive whiteboard to make predictions and ActiVotes to answer questions, students were able to find out how life was different for those who arrived on the Mayflower.

5th Slides Into US History

November 3, 2014. Fifth graders in Mrs. Wilkerson's social studies class used Google Slides to create presentations about American founders. Each student used a combination of print and online resources for information. Additionally, they learned to use the Research tool in Google Slides to find images related to their subjects. Slides allow students to work at school, at home, any place with an Internet connection.


October 31, 2014. Mrs. McMillan's TAG students learned about poetry and story elements using the online quiz tool, Kahoot! This is essentially a quiz game in which teachers create the questions and students answer on their devices (laptop, phone, tablet, etc.). What makes it so much fun is that it is created like a competitive game. Questions are timed, and students try to answer faster than their competitors so that they can receive more points. Students in Mrs. McMillan's class were engaged with their learning, and Mrs. McMillan was able to assess their progress throughout the lessons.

Teachers can register for a free account at:

A Story that Matters

October 9, 2014. Mrs. Keffales's students collaborated to create a book at explaining what they have learned about matter in science. Take a look at their book.

Kinders Can!

September 12-18, 2014. Kindergarten classes at Robertson learned to log onto laptops themselves with a user name and password. Think that's easy? Try pressing <CTRL + ALT + Delete> when your fingers are only this big! But they can do it. Learning this skill opens up many learning opportunities for some of our youngest students who then went on to access Starfall where they can practice letter sounds and much more.

Science Presentations

May 28, 2014. Students in Mrs. Wilkerson's 5th grade science classes have researched, created and presented their turtle investigations using Google slides. Signing into their Google accounts, students kept notes in a Google doc, then applied their findings in a Google Presentation. As they put together their presentations, students shared work with their teachers and worked cooperatively with peers to comment on each others' work. The research tool gave these 5th graders an opportunity to find photos of their specific turtles to display and information to fill in holes in their previous explorations without leaving the slide editing screen.

Turtle Art

May 1, 2014.  Many folks aren't aware that turtles can draw, but with the help of a second grader and a program called Turtle Art, a virtual turtle can be programmed to create some fantastic designs! Here in an after-school session, one Robertson second grade student puts together the programming building blocks that create a wavy design he calls rainbow worms.

A Prickly Situation

March 27, 2014.  How many of you have ever seen a porcupine in Texas in the wild? Have you seen a porcupine from the Philippines? Today Robertson first graders with +Amy Canary , +Lynette Doney , +Cecilia DelCastillo , and +Raquel Figur  saw and learned all about these creatures through the Texas Wildlife Association's distance learning program "Prickly Porcupines." They got a close look at a live porcupine's long teeth, learned what it eats, where it lives, and met a relative (the guinea pig). Thanks to +Raquel Figur for making arrangements for the classes!

Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty

February 13, 2014.  Today Mrs. Canary's first graders got down and dirty with soil! As students viewed soil samples in clear plastic bags, they also got a close-up view using the Motic digital microscopes and displayed the results from the projector.  Imagine how seeing a close-up of sand and loam would help students better understand the properties of these types of soil.

Grains of builders' sand as seen through the Motic software.

Publishing Science Research

January 22, 2014.  We all know about the Itsy-Bitsy spider, but take a look at the information these first graders from Mrs. Doney's class published in their paper slide video.

Reflecting on What We Learned

January 15, 2014.  Kindergartners at Robertson Elementary have been learning about states of matter in science. One way to reflect on that learning is for students to collaborate in writing a book online. Today Mrs. Keffales's class divided into groups with each group creating a statement about matter. That statement went on a page of a StoryBird book, and the group chose a picture from the StoryBird collection as an illustration. Take a look and enjoy our book!

Field Trip from Our Classroom

November 14, 2013.  Special guest painter, photographer, adventurer, and naturalist J.J. L'Hereux has visited Antarctica each year since 2000. Through a video streaming connection, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History brought Ms. L'Hereux to students across Texas to share her experiences with penguins in the Antarctic. Robertson Elementary fourth graders were able to view the presentation and interact with the presenter as their teachers texted student questions to the museum then listened to her answers live.

Roadrunner Reads Blog 

November 11, 2013.  Robertson students explore the book Wonder by RJ Palacio as a part of the Round Rock ISD one book initiative.  Part of their participation is interacting with Librarian Selma Flores on her blog Robertson Roadrunners Read. Students enjoy reading posts, making comments, and replying.

A View from the Other Side

October 17, 2013.  Today two educational professionals observed Blanca Ramirez, a intervention specialist, in action. Because the student is working one-on-one with his teacher and having observers present might disrupt the focus of the lesson, they observed from the room next door.  Using webcams and a Skype call, the two rooms were connected with sound and video projected in larger-than-life proportions so that the lesson could be uninterrupted, yet the observers could see and hear all facets.  What a wonderful way to share expertise and teaching techniques!

Kinder Students Navigate with Laptops

October 10, 2013.  It's only October, and already Robertson kindergarteners have so many computer skills to use in their classroom.  Today Mrs. Keffales’s class learned more about using the laptop computers.  This is what they said they learned:

Felix:  We learned about how to turn off computers. How to hold the computer.
Joshua: We know how to do puzzles on the computer.
Journey: We can read a story on the computer.
Huzayfa: We learned how to turn the computers on.
Mateo: We can watch book videos on the computer and press the red X to close a program.
Omar: We know how to get to the Internet, our website, and programs.
Haley: We can press the little square to make the screen full size (maximize).
James: We use three fingers to press CTRL + ALT + DELETE on the computer.

Voki Classroom

April 29, 2013.  Fourth graders in Mrs. McMillan's class use Voki avatars to publish their persuasive essays.  Voki allows students to select and customize an avatar that speaks/reads their words.  The words may be input in a text format for reading by a computerized voice, or students can read and record their own voices for the avatar to speak.  Either way creativity and a new mode of communication come into play as tstudents collaborate to determine the effectiveness of their persuasive communications.

Mrs. McMillan demonstrates creation of avatars as she introduces Voki to her students.
TA TEKS:  (1) Creativity and innovation. The student uses creative thinking and innovative processes to construct knowledge and develop digital products. The student is expected to: (A) create original products using a variety of resources

Laptops Promote Differentiation in Kindergarten

March 27, 2013.  Students in Mrs. Keffales's kindergarten class practice what they need most using classroom netbooks.  A walk through the classroom shows students who need to sharpen skills telling time on a website that offers practice, using online resources to do research on a person of interest, and writing using a desktop publisher.  All of this allows the teacher monitor the group and work with students individually.

Black History Month Comes to Life

February 13, 2013.  From the seats in their classrooms, Robertson 5th graders viewed art and interacted with educators at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas.  The program called, "New View of Black History", introduced selected works by William H. Johnson, made connections with the poetry of Langston Hughes, showed actual muesum art conservation work, and connected all to African American history during the Harlem Renaissance.  No magic carpets were involved here, because students "traveled" to Fort Worth via video conference equipment that allowed students to see, hear, and interact with experts at a distance.

More Math, Please

January 31, 2013.  Second grade TAG students at Robertson use the online Quizlet program their teacher Mr. Haag set up to practice more advanced math skills.  Quizlet is a free program with six different study modes that allow students to learn in the way that they learn best.

Drag and Drop in with Us

December 13, 2012. Think it's tough to use a tiny mousepad on a netbook instead of an external mouse?  Robertson kindergarteners have it under control!  Today these students practiced mouse skills including hovering, clicking, double-clicking, drag and drop, and drawing with the mouse all only using a small mousepad.  This practice website offers students the opportunity to refine skills that they will apply over and over on other websites as they navigate through the business of using computers at school.

Every Vote Counts

December 13, 2012. First graders in Ms. Kuhlman's class used ActiVotes to learn more about reindeer.  Did you know that female reindeer grow antlers?  Did you know that their main cold-weather food is moss and leaves (not Lucky Charms cereal)?  We learned this and more about reindeer, also know as caribou, a mammal that thrives in cold climates.  Through the use of the ActiVotes, students are actively engaged in the learning process as they follow the lesson.

Storybird in Kindergarten

November 8, 2012.  We have published a book!  Mrs. Keffales's kindergarten class has published its first online book for you to read.  Students collaborated in their table groups to create a statement about how things change when it gets cold (Science TEKS Changes in Properties).  As the story was created online, each group added a statement on their page and selected a picture illustration. (TA TEKS Communication and collaboration. The student collaborates and communicates both locally and globally using digital tools and resources to reinforce and promote learning.)
You can read their book to find out how things change when it gets cold.

When It Gets Cold Outside on Storybird

We've Got the Ticket

November 7, 2012. Third graders in Mrs. Hoffman's class improve reading skills using the Ticket to Read program.  During their center time as their teacher works one-to-one with other students, the program targets skills appropriate to these students' needs.  

Students Drive the Board

October 15, 2012. At the Promethean board Mr. Benson's fourth grade students complete a chart as a part of their math center.  They use the pen tool to complete a time chart, using different colors to coordinate the times in the display.

We Can Do It!  Yes, We Can!

 September 13, 2012.  It's only the third week of school this year, and already Robertson kindergarteners are showing their technical know-how. They learned to handle, carry and power up the kindergarten netbooks correctly.  Students also entered user names and passwords to log onto the network and accessed district online resources.  Pictured are students from Mrs. Garcia's class enjoying read-alouds from the TumbleBooks site.

Online Databases Help With Biographical Research

May 2, 2012.  As Robertson 3rd graders prepare for their Living History Museum, library research databases offer a variety of resources for students looking for biographical information.  While some students use books at library tables, others come to computers to find more facts.  Everyone is able to rotate through the nonfiction texts and through the computer stations to find what they need to personify an historical figure.

PebbleGo--A Rich Research Resource for Young Readers

April 19, 2012.  Almost everyone loves animals, and these second graders are no exception!  Robertson 2nd grade classes are using a variety of research materials including nonfiction texts from the library and online resources to find information.  PebbleGo is an online resource specifically created for younger students to provide interesting, organized, and appropriately leveled reading on animals, biography, and earth and space.  It provides narrated reading opportunities and citation support for young researchers.  Soon these second grade students will publish their information in class with PowerPoint presentations.

Pebble Go--an online research tool for young readers

Students in Mrs. Jenkins's classroom take notes on dolphins from online resources.


Discovery Education Streaming Introduces Science Topics

March 22, 2012.  Kindergarteners in Mrs. Gonzalez's dual language class view an introduction to living and non-living things using Discovery Education Streaming, enhancing their science instruction.  Teachers can search for videos by subject, topic, and grade level, then present the videos in whole or in segment as a part of face to face instruction.

Moodle Helps Teachers Organize Content

February 2012.  Robertson teachers are in the Moodle!  After summer professional development workshops and campus-level workshops, some teachers at Robertson Elementary have begun using the Moodle environment to organize their planning/content and to provide curricular materials to students.  Special Education teacher Sharon Hyde gathers a variety of resources from various grade levels to bring content into one area accessible to her both at home and on campus as she plans.   Lance Haag has created courses for several TAG math grade levels, offering students many resources for homework, review, and other activities accessible to them via Internet 24/7.

Teachers Practice New Tech Skills

January 2, 2012.  "Roadrunner Race--Amazing Technology" gave Robertson teachers an opportunity during professional development rotations to explore a range of useful classroom technologies.  Grade level and departmental groups worked through tasks that introduced new technologies and offered ways to improve skills or see new uses for previously learned websites or software including Creative Commons, Library Catalog, Moodle, Google Earth Lit Trips, Google Search, Discovery Education, Wordle, and completing the Levels of Technology Implementation survey.

Presenting Science Concepts with PhotoStory

December 5, 2011.  Third graders in Mrs. Girouard's class used PhotoStory to create and record videos that explain a science concept they have explored.  Working in pairs, students wrote scripts, took photos, and edited their videos.  The duos were tasked with explaining the four types of energy--light, sound, mechanical, and heat/thermal as outlined in the 3rd grade science TEKS.

Kindergarten Mouses Around

November 10, 2011.  Kindergarten students in Mrs. Keffales's class practice mouse skills including click, double-click, and drag and drop with an online program on their new netbook computers.  At the end of practice students put their mouse skills to work using a drawing pencil to write their sight words.

Robertson kindergarten students learn how to control the mouse.

A Robertson Snapshot

October 12, 2011.  Walk through the halls of Robertson Elementary to see many uses of available technology.  These are just some of the ways that we use technology each day.

2nd Graders Lead Instruction at the Promethean Board.

4th Graders Collaborate in Journal Revision Using the Document Camera.

5th Graders Use Online Software to Practice Reading Skills.