Skip to main content

cristina.runkles's blog

Kidspiration: Activity Wizard (Create or Adjust an Activity)

Posted in

Teachers can adjust pre-made Activities in Kidspiration or start a new Activity for students to use by beginning of scratch and using the Picture View, Writing View, or Math View.     

     Kidspiration Options

Let’s take a pre-made Kidspiration Activity and adjust it to meet the needs of students.

  1. Pick an Activity and click, “OK”.
  2. Delete and adjust what you need to on the Activity.
  3. If an item is locked and you want to move it or delete it you must first Enable the Teacher Menu.  When the Password Option box appears click, "OK".  To unlock and item, you need to select it and then click on "Locked Item" under the Teacher Menu.

    Enable Teacher Mode 

    Password Option 


  4. Once you have your Activity ready you need to click on "Save With Activity Wizard" under the Teacher Menu.

    Save With Activity Wizard

  5. Go through the steps to select the various options for your Activity.   Once you come to the last step, you need to name your Activity, type in a description, and click on "Another Location" for the place you would like to save the Activity.  You need to save the Activity in the Student Drive so students have access to it.  Most teachers have a grade level folder with their name on it in the Student Drive.  This is a great place to save the Activity.

    Location and Save on Activity Wizard
  6. Now when students come to the lab they can open Kidspiration from the Productivity folder on the Application Menu.  Once Kidspiration is open, students click on "Open a File" and go to the Student Drive to open the adjusted Activity you made.

    Open a File

Example of an adjusted State/Country Template below:

Original Template

Original Template  

Adjusted Template

Adjusted Template


Using the eInstruction CPS Clickers with ActivInspire

Have you found some ActivInspire flipcharts that have multiple choice questions on them? You may be using dry erase boards or journals to have students write down their answers as you go through the slides. The questions in ActivInspire are meant to work with the ActivVotes and/or ActivExpressions

If your school does not have ActivVotes or ActivExpressions you can still use the CPS eInstruction clickers that are available at most, if not all schools already in our county. Follow these directions below to use your eInstruction clickers and ActivInspire at the same time.
A special thanks to Regina Ryan from Spring Ridge Elementary for testing this out and helping with the directions.
Before you begin, you need to make sure you have CPS installed on your computer. Ask your Tech Coordinator to install it. Be sure that all other software programs and web browsers are closed before you follow the directions below. If you have other programs or websites open, it can cause your computer to freeze up.  Click here for condensed printable two-page directions.
1.     Have ActivInspire open with a flipchart that has questions on it.
2.     Plug in the CPS Receiver and open CPS from your Desktop.
     Prepare - Set up Class and Students
4.     Click on the Engage tab and then the green Engage arrow.
     Engage Tab
5.     When the Verbal Questions Setup pops up, click OK.
     Verbal Questions Setup
6.     The Verbal Questions bar appears at the top.
7.     Click on Verbal and select the type of question that is on the flipchart page.Verbal Select Question Type
8.     Students look at the ActivInspire question from the flipchart and insert their answer with their clicker.  You can move the Content Deliver toolbar wherever you would like on the screen.
     Division Flipchart with CPS Content Deliver Bar
9.     Click End and select what the correct answer is.
     Select the Correct Answer
10. Advance the flipchart to the next page.
11. Click on the next question type on the top CPS Content Deliver bar and repeat steps 8 – 11.
12. When finished click on the red circle with the white x.  X
13. Click the Close button.  Close
14. You can get the data from the Reports > Report tab. The session that you just worked on with your students will be closest to the top. Click on the session and Generate.  Some suggestions for helpful reports are –
o    Instructor Summary – Gives student name and percentage
o    Question Grid Export – transfers data to an Excel spreadsheet showing the student name, what the student answered correctly and incorrectly and percentage.


Additional Twitter Resources

Posted in

TwitterThe TRT site has many Twitter resources available: and




There is a video and Guide to Twitter for Educators from Cyberwise that is very helpful.  You can download the guide as a PDF.  The guide links to other websites, documents, and resources.  Scroll down below the video and download the guide for teachers next to Supplementary Files.

Cyberwise Video and Guide

Follow our Superintendent on Twitter at!/FCPSMDSuper.


There are many educators in Frederick County that have started to use Twitter with students or professionally. I am adding to the list as I learn of  users.!/list/runkles1/fcps-ed-twitter


Have you Built Your Own Personal Learning Network (PLN)?

Posted in

Personal Learning Networks are the connections and communications made with others to:

• Share best practices, resources, and ideas
• Guide and challenge your thinking
• Answer questions or point you in the right direction
• Learn from other specialists

PLN’s have been around for quite some time, but over the past few years through online tools, educators have been able to expand their networks like never before.

Through the use of Twitter, Skype, Nings, Blogs, and much more, educators can learn from others all around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Twitter is an amazing tool that has really helped me in many ways professionally. There are many educators in Frederick County that have started to use Twitter with students or professionally. I have started to compile a list and will continue to add to it:!/list/runkles1/fcps-ed-twitter

Twitter runkles1

Through my PLN on Twitter I am able to:

• locate resources to use with teachers and students
• learn about emerging technology topics
• challenge my thinking in regard to educational issues
• collaborate with other educators and specialists
• share resources and educational ideas with others

Have you built your own Personal Learning Network? 

Additional Resources Available at

Reminder: MSET Contest Deadline January 21st







Teachers and students can enter the MSET contest. 

Deadline for all contests: Postmarked/Received Digitally no later than January 21, 2012.

 “Enter students' multimedia, desktop publishing, or graphic art work or a teacher's own technology-infused lesson for a chance to win and be recognized by MSET members across the state of Maryland. Please note that we are accepting entries that were created during the end of the 2010 - 2011 school year after February 1, 2011. MSET encourages individual counties to host local contests prior to the January 21st deadline."

More Information -

Holiday Sites for Young Students

If you take a look at the Maryland Technology Literacy Standards for Students it states in Standard 1A that students in Pre-K and Kindergarten should be able to:

b) Use the mouse (or track pad) to perform computer functions (such as accessing an application, indicating a choice, or activating a hyperlink)

c) Recognize symbols and icons used to identify common functions (such as the arrow, hyperlinks, printer, save)

d) Use the keyboard to type letters and numbers and know how to use special key functions

Below are some fun holiday links that will help younger students to reinforce or practice these skills.  Remember that students can use these in the computer lab, with a slate, or on an interactive whiteboard.

These would be nice to also put up on your website for students to play and practice over the Winter break.

Make a Snowman   Make a Snowman by HelpKidzLearn   Ten Little Snowmen  Snowflake Workshop - Create a Flake 


Design Your Own Gingerbread House   Decorate a Gingerbread Man   Make a Gingerbread Man from Starfall  Make a Christmas Tree 



Edmodo Parent Codes (Multiple Children)

Posted in

Question:  "If I have more than one child and their teachers are all using Edmodo, how (as a parent) can I log-in with one account?"

The answer is simple.  You don't have to create separate parent accounts using different emails.  You can see what all of your children are doing on Edmodo with one account.

If you have already created an account for one child using the parent code your child's teacher gave them then simply sign-in with that username/email and password.  If you have not created an account at all, click on the Parent Sign-Up link on Edmodo.


Next you need to make sure you have the parent code for your second child. Click AddType in the Parent Code for the new child you want to add to your account, select your relation, click Add

Add Student


Add New Parent Code

Now you have your children all under one account. 

Multiple Children on One Account

 If you want additional information about Parent Code/Accounts - check out the Edmodo Parent Guide created by Edmodo.


Annotate on Assignments in Edmodo

Posted in

Edmodo Support CommunityEdmodo is always making updates to improve the experience for teachers and students.  If you are an Edmodo user and ever have any suggestions, I highly recommend that you go to the Edmodo Support community and add your question or suggestion. 








I love the annotate feature on Edmodo!  Have you tried it yet? Edmodo posted a video showing how to do this.

Edmodo Annotate Feature - When a student uploads an assignment you can annotate on top of it!  By using Crocdoc you can type, draw, etc on the student's assignment to give them feedback.  Read more about it on the Edmodo blog. 

 * First click on Annotate in Edmodo under the student's assignment.  Then annotate using the highlighter, text, draw, and comment features. 

Annotate on the Assignment

* When you are finished, click on Download.  A prompt will appear asking if you want to include annotations within the document.  Click OK.  Save the PDF.  It actually turns the document into a PDF.  I like this feature so that students can not change any of the comments you have placed on the document.

* Upload the PDF under where the student submitted their assignment. 

Uploaded Annotated Assignment

Updates to Check Out in Pixie 3

Pixie 3Pixie 3 has many great updates that you can incorporate right away with your students.
New feature highlights:

1.  Add a Page Button - Now you can create multi-page projects easily all under one file name.

2.  Students or Teachers can Share Projects and Collaborate in real-time.

3.  Try out the crayon, marker, and brush paint tools.

Let's take a look at these featured highlights closer.

1.  Add a Page Button - Now you can create multi-page projects easily all under one file name.  Simply click on the "Add Page" button and create additional pages for your project.  You can save them all under one file name.  In the past students would have to save each page individually under a different file name. 

Pixie Top Toolbar 

 Notice how you can go back and forth between the pages by using the arrows at the bottom of the page. 

Multiple Pages

2.  Students or Teachers can Share Projects and Collaborate in real-time. 

* A teacher or student can click File > Share Project.  
* The project should be saved to the student drive (so students can access it), and the person sharing the project picks an icon to represent the project. 
* Students that want to collaborate go to File > Join Project, click on the icon and select ok. 
* The original person that shared the project will approve people by clicking the "Approve" button on their screen.
* Now students can collaborate in real-time.
* The original person sharing the project should save it at the end.

Share Project Join Project    Pick an Image

3.  New crayon, marker, and brush paint tools - Check out the new paint tools in Pixie 3.

Paint Tools

Updating ActivInspire

In order for links and navigation to work properly in many flipcharts, including the Elementary Math Electronic Curriculum Maps, ActivInspire needs to be updated.

Teachers can update computers without having to ask their Technology Coordinator.

If ActivInspire is already on your desktop, you can double click it to open the software.  Once the software is open, click on "Help" on the top menu bar and then click on "About.

ActivInspire icon on desktop      Help>About  

 The version number that is loaded on your computer will appear.  It should say, "Release version 1.5.33840."  This is the version that is being supported by FCPS in the schools at this time.  Please see the picture below.

   Current FCPS Supported Version of ActivInspire

If you do not have this version on your computer or you do not have the ActivInspire icon on your desktop, you will need to open the Application Menu, click on Productivity, and double click on "Install ActivInspire 1.5."  It will take around 5 minutes to install.  If the software does not install properly, please let your Technology Coordinator know.  They will need to uninstall the software and reinstall it.

Install ActivInspire


Syndicate content