Monday, March 28, 2016

Tackk.Com Introduction To Building Websites / Spring Break Tackk

Check out TACKK.COM.  I found this in a magazine on the flight home from a weekend trip a couple years ago.  I thought this would be an interesting and fun way to post information (Like Final Projects) for school.  You can easily create single page websites for your work.  You could create a single TACKK without logging in, or create a series of TACKK's.  Please go to the website TACKK.COM to get started.  Make sure you add the TAG (#varetech) to all of your sites so we can see them.

"Spring Break Tackk" Project


Please go to and create a website.  Create an account using your Gmail address and a password you can remember.  You may use photos, youtube video links, and other items.  Please make sure your website has the following items to receive credit for this project today:

Here are the steps to create a new Tackk:
  1. Log Into Your Google Account
  2. Go to
  3. Sign In with your Google account (Click the Google Button)
  4. Press the GREEN PEN in the top, right corner to CREATE a New Tackk Page
  5. Choose "BLANK CANVAS"
  6. Begin by clicking the "+" on the Layout Section of the screen.
  7. Add a HEADLINE title for your New Tackk "Spring Break 2016"
  8. Click the "+" under your new headline.
  9. Add a Sub-Headline underneath your title "By (Your Name)" and another line that says "Vare STEM 321 Tackk Assignment"
  10. Click the "+" under your new headline.
  11. Add a Picture or Collage that illustrates what you are grateful for and what you did during Spring Break 2016.  Also add 4-5 sentences (TEXT) about your time off.
  12. Choose color, style, and a layout you like using the menu on the right.
  13. Add keywords and custom titles using the menu on the right.
  14. Once complete, click the "PUBLISH" Button.
  15. Email your Link to Mr. S for credit
  16. Review pages of your classmates and offer helpful advice.
Here is what your "Spring Break" Tackk should include:
  1. Website must be created using
  2. Website must include keywords #varetech and #springbreakvare
  3. Website must have at least one picture
  4. Website must have a Spring Break Theme
  5. Website must include at least 4-5 sentences about what you are grateful for in your life.  
  6. Finally, when you are done, please search the Tackkboard or Google Classroom for at least 5 other websites created by our class and post comments on them.  Be careful to be helpful not hurtful and let your classmates know that you appreciate their efforts!  

In addition to the items above, you must also include the following items on your new website:
  1. Add a video to your website.  You may copy/paste the link from Youtube or Vimeo, but it must be appropriate for school use.  DO NOT POST ANYTHING that might be offensive or inappropriate.
  2. Add a FORM for visitors to send you an email.  
  3. Add a MAP of the address of our school. 
Have Fun With This!!

- Mr. S

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Inspiration 8/9 Graphic Organizer Project - Family Tree & Personal Timeline

Today students will be creating a Personal Timeline and Family Tree with Inspiration 8/9.  Students will outline major events in their lives and a complete list of family members.  They will organize their items in chronological order, create hand-drawn organizers, create digital versions of their work, and upload the final creations to their Google Drive and SHARE them with Mr. Scribner for credit!

Students will work individually on the assigned projects.  Students must complete a hand-drawn version of the project prior to opening a laptop.
Today we will begin the Graphic Organizer Timeline and Family Tree Project!
Standards Covered In This Class  
PA 3.7.7 & 11 Section C / ISTE 2011
CSTA Tied With Common Core ELA/Math rev. 2014


Today you will design graphic organizers on Inspiration8/9.  Please create a Personal Timeline and Family Tree in a digital format.  You must create these from scratch using Inspiration 8/9.


To start, use a blank piece of paper to list your birthday, list all the schools you have attended, list any significant events in your life (birthdays, deaths, weddings, graduations, holidays, family trips, honors, awards, or any other events you can remember) and the dates they happened.  Open Inspiration 8/9 and open a New Blank Document.  Begin to drag boxes into the timeline and label them in order.  Once you have created your first box with a date underneath, you can now select the box, copy and paste a new one next to it, and link them with an arrow.  Continue until you have listed all the events up to today's date.  You need to list 10-15 events to complete the project.

For the Family Tree, make a complete list of all of your parents, step-parents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, grandparents, and any other family members you can think of.  Now begin dragging in boxes and labeling them with each person's name and date of birth (if you know it).  Now list weddings in text between married couples.  Make sure to line up each placemarker with others in the same generation.  Make sure you include extended family (Aunts, Uncles, Brothers, Sisters, Etc.)  I would like you to do your best to include at least 3 levels of your family tree.  These should include siblings, parents, aunts & uncles, grandparents, and anyone else you might know.  Once you have your Timeline and Family Tree on one document, Go To FILE and EXPORT and save it to the desktop as an IMAGE (JPEG) File.  Upload the JPEG File to your Google DRIVE and SHARE the picture with me for credit. 

See the sample below for some more clarity.  Good Luck!

- Mr. S

Steps to complete Timeline/Family Tree Project:

1. Open Inspiration 8 / 9 on your Mac
2. Click DIAGRAM Button to create a blank Diagram
3. Drag enough blocks into the workspace to allow for one block for each person in your IMMEDIATE Family.
4: Label Each Block with Person's Title (Dad, Mom, etc.) and First Name
5. Connect each block with who is related to who.
6. For the Timeline, you must drag in at least 15 blocks.  
7. Label each block with event from your life.
8. Make a connection, in the order that the events occurred in your life, from one event to the next.
9. If you have not completed your work before class ends, SAVE your Inspiration File to Desktop and Upload it to Google Drive so no one can delete it.
10. Once complete, EXPORT your file as a Graphic Image and Upload the Picture to your Google Drive. 
11. SHARE the Graphic Image (Picture) with Mr. S for Credit.  DO NOT SHARE THE INSPIRATION FILE!  You will only get credit if you SHARE the appropriate file on time.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

GDrive: My BIO Slides Project

 Students will use online collaboration tools (Google Drive) to create a 10-slide multimedia presentation.  Students will follow directions and use photos, text, and color to highlight specific facts about their topic.  Students will be able to understand the difference between a written report and how writing for a presentation requires bullet-style sentences.

  Students will log into their Google Drive and open a New PRESENTATION.  Students will learn the basic tools used to create a presentation.  Students will create a MY BIO Presentation about themselves.  Students will use Google Images to select pictures for use today.  Students will Copy the pictures selected to the desktop of the computer they are working with.  Students use PIXLR.Com to upload, manipulate, adjust, save and add pictures to their project.  Students must complete the steps below to CREATE and SHARE a MY BIO Presentation for credit.

 Original Project Link - Autobiography PowerPoint Project

Hello Everyone,

Your assignment is to create a GOOGLE DRIVE PRESENTATION Slide Show that is all about you.  Here is a list of the requirements and some suggestions for what to include in your slides.

A)   Part 1 {200 points} 
        i)     Presentation

(1) Saved as “(Your Name) Bio” and emailed to Mr. S

(2) Have a logical order to your slides

(a) Do NOT follow the slide suggestions order

(3) Use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation

(4) Have 10 Slides

(a) Include a Title Slide

(b) Include a Birth Information Slide

(5) Have at least 4 Graphics/Photos that are related to their slides

2)   Slide Suggestions

a)  You may use these suggestions or come up with your own

i)     Make all your slides have appropriate content

Slide Suggestions

First and Last Name
Student Number
**Birth Information
Length, Weight, and Time
List at least three accomplishments.
What you want to be?
How you will do this?
Class Schedule
What is your schedule this semester?
Identify your dislikes.
Family Information
Family Size
Parents Names
Identify your favorite things.
Who are you friends?
What do you do with them for fun?
List short-term goals (for the year).
List intermediate goals (for the next 3 years).
List long-term goals (for the next 10 years).
Identify your hobbies.
What is your job?
What are your job duties?
Identify your likes.
Have different people make comments about you.

            ** Required Slide

Part 2

      _____ / 5 points               Saved as “Bio”

      _____ / 5 points               Logical Order to Slides

      _____ / 5 points               Correct Spelling, Grammar, & Punctuation

      _____ / 5 points               Slide 1 – Title Slide

      _____ / 5 points               Slide 2 – Birth Information Slide

      _____ / 5 points               Slide 3 –

      _____ / 5 points               Slide 4 –

      _____ / 5 points               Slide 5 –

      _____ / 5 points               Slide 6 –

      _____ / 5 points               Slide 7 –

      _____ / 5 points               Slide 8 –

      _____ / 5 points               Slide 9 –

      _____ / 5 points               Slide 10 –

      _____ / 5 points               Graphic 1 –

      _____ / 5 points               Graphic 2 –

      _____ / 5 points               Graphic 3 –

      _____ / 5 points               Graphic 4 –



      _____ / 85 points


1. Sign into Google Drive
2. Open NEW Slides Presentation
3. Rename SLIDES Project "(Your Last Name) MyBio P(??)"  
4. Open new Browser Tab to Google Images  
5. Select VEIW IMAGE of Full Size Pictures (You need at least 4 pics)  
6. Save Images or Image URL's for Use In Presentation
7. Choose Template Style  
8. Begin to enter personal information on each Slide.
9. Complete each slide by adding information and photos  
10. SHARE with Mr. S for credit!  DO NOT EMAIL!  JUST SHARE IT!  
11.  Be Prepared To Present This To The Class In The Future!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Autobiography Project - Google Drive Document


Students will learn to use Google Drive Documents by CREATING a ONE-PAGE Autobiography.   Students spend the next two class periods completing the assignment.  They must SHARE it with Instructor for Credit.


Students will enter the room quietly.  Once seated, they will log into their Google Account and Click on the Google Drive Button in the Applications Menu (Waffle) of the Browser.  They will Create a NEW Document.  They will immediately rename the document as outlined below.  They Must SHARE the document with MR.S for Credit!

Hello Everyone,

Today you will log in to your Google Email Account and open Google Drive.  You will CREATE a new document.  This document will be a one-full-page Autobiography all about you.  I have copied and pasted my example below.  Please use the whole page to describe everything about you since you were born.  You must use proper grammar, spelling, sentences, and be prepared to SHARE it directly from Google Drive to Mr. S.  You must use no larger than a 12-font Times New Roman and single space lines.  Please leave a line between paragraphs.  I am looking forward to reading these, and you will be creating a Presentation from the content later this week.  Make sure you include LIKES, DISLIKES, where you grew up, things you did, schools and activities you participated in, and add some things people do not know about you.  Good Luck!

- Mr. S


Questions To Get You Started (Copy and Paste Into Document To Help You):

1. Name, Birth Date, Family, Where You Were Born

2. What I Like Doing At Home, School, In My Community And Schools I Have Attended?

3. People and Things That Are Precious To Me And Why?

4. What Do I Want To Be When I Get Older?  

5. How Do Others See Me?  What Contributions Do I Make To My Family/Community?

6.  What Are My Other Ambitions/Goals/Desires In Life?

7.  Anything Else I Want People To Know....

I was born in Bloomington, Indiana.  I was raised in Indiana, Virginia, and  Missouri until I was in the Second Grade.  My family moved to Western Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  I attended the Upper Perkiomen School District from 2nd to 8th Grade.  I was then transferred to St. Pius X High School in Pottstown, PA for grades 9-12.

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania had many advantages.  I was active in sports, outdoor activities, and once I was in Middle School, I was able to ride my bicycle just about anywhere.  I also had many part time jobs since the age of 12 to support myself.  I started working on farms in my area to make extra money.  I bailed hay, milked cows, and chased calves around the barn when I accidentally left the gate to their pen open.  I then spent time working for a stone mason who lived on our block.  I spent a summer lifting bricks and blocks, mixing cement and building scaffolding systems.  I learned a lot.  I also delivered papers, worked at local fast food restaurants, and did maintenance work on a local golf course throughout High School. 

My grades were horrible throughout school.  I graduated at the bottom of the class from my high school despite scoring very well on standardized tests.  I was accepted at Shippensburg University in 1986 for a summer program called Act 101.  I was also accepted to the Antonelli School of Art and Design for my photography skills.  In hindsight, I probably should have gone to the photography school.  I did not succeed in college and partied too much.  Eventually I flunked out.  It was not all bad though, I was put in the position of needing to join the Army Reserve to help pay for school, and the leadership skills, training, and discipline would ultimately make that one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life.

I went to Basic Training in 1988.  I was stationed at Fort Jackson, SC for Initial training and Fort Gordon, GA for “Commo” school.  I made some of the best friends of my life while serving my country.  I have excelled at military training and went on to be deployed twice overseas after 9/11.   I am still very interested in the firearms training, first-aid, and other classes I was required to take.  My military service also allowed me to see the world and to really have an appreciation of what being born in the USA means.  I have seen the advantages that are taken for granted by others who have not had the same vision of poverty and war.  I am thankful for those experiences as well.

I was married in 1992 to my oldest son’s mother.  I was divorced and now am re-married to the mother of my other son’s.  My sons are 20, 9, and 7 and are awesome!  I will celebrate my 14th anniversary of my marriage to my wife this year.  We live in our home near King of Prussia, PA.  I began to try to be a teacher while at Shippensburg in 1987.  I wanted to be a history teacher, but found my way into other jobs as I needed more money to support a family.  I started in sales and customer service for various companies in the Philadelphia area in 1991.  With a new family and child to support, I took whatever job was available at the time.  I gradually, over the years, was able to turn one opportunity into another while moving from job to job every 3-4 years.  I got better at sales and more professional in my manners and appearance.  I have sold building products, health care services, engineering services, coatings and paints, and ultimately ended up as a kitchen designer and architectural sales representative.  I also went to Gwynedd Mercy College from 2004-2006 and finished my degree in Business Administration 20 years after beginning it at Shippensburg University.

While on deployment in the Middle East in 2008, I was given the opportunity to take my Praxis (teacher’s) exams.  I scored very well with no preparation.  When I returned from overseas, I went back to Gwynedd and enrolled in the Teacher Certification program.  I also approached the School District of Philadelphia for a job.  I was given an Emergency Certification and allowed to teach in January of 2009.  I was at University City High School for 3 years.  I also taught Middle School at Crossroads Accelerated Academy at Meade.  Most recently, I was teaching K-8 classes at Roosevelt Elementary School in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.  I am excited to be working with you here at Universal Vare Charter Middle School!

In addition to teaching,  I coach many sports for my sons, I play volleyball and lead worship and missions teams at my church, and I spend time with my family as much as possible.  I am also a Boy Scout Leader for my sons.  I am interested in sports, video games, and construction projects around my home.  My family and I also enjoy spending time outdoors fishing, camping, hiking, and riding bicycles. 
Foods I enjoy include anything grilled, ice cream, and spinach dip with pumpernickel bread.  I love to cook and enjoy cooking with my 9-year-old.  In 2014 I completed my Masters Degree.  I want to continue to coach sports and work with the Cub Scouts (BSA), improve the conditions here at Vare and continue to teach as much as I can.  Ultimately I might want to be a Principal or a Counselor as well.

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Integrity (13 Characteristics)

13 Characteristics of People Who Have Integrity

1. They Value Other People's Time: They value their own time so they also value the time of other people. They know you have plenty of other places you need to be and won’t hold you up. If you spend time with them, it is likely they will thank you for that as well.

2. They Give Credit Where It Is Due: They do not take credit for things they did not do. They will always credit those who deserve it. If you help this person with a project he or she will likely mention your name so you can take credit for your work.

3. They Are Authentic: They are their truest forms. You won’t catch them in a lie or being fake.

4. They Are Always Honest: They are honest people that feel no need to lie as it is important for them to get to where they need to get in life honestly.

5. They Never Take Advantage Of Others: They are not the kind of people who will take advantage of someone else. They love to build people up and help them get where they need to be. Taking too much from someone else will never be an issue with someone who has a lot of integrity.

6. The Do Not Argue Over Disagreements: They will talk through things in a civil manner or not talk at all. You cannot and will not force this person into arguing over something completely ridiculous. I find this to be a very respectable trait.

7. They Give Most People The Benefit Of The Doubt: They try to see the good in everyone. I think this is because they feel like maybe there are more people in this world that also have integrity. That being said, if you take advantage of them too much they will get rid of you.

8. They Know When Something Is Bothering Someone: They have a great intuition that lets them know when something is going on. If someone is down in the dumps they will notice. Chances are they will actually do what they can to cheer you up.

9. They Believe In Others: They accept your word as truth until it is dis-proven. That being said, they do not take lying well. And once you lie to them, it is unlikely that they will ever take your word again.

10. They Apologize First: If they have done something wrong they will come to you and apologize. This is just how they are. They own up to their mistake and try to make things right.

11. They Are Humble: They do not quite know their own worth. While they are very important and do so much good they don’t quite see it. You should remind them of it.

12. They Do Good When They Can: They are always helping other people. They love to know that they have improved someone’s life. It gives their lives meaning.

13. They Are Always Kind To Those Who Need It: Giving kindness can go a long way. When someone looks like they need a little pick me up these people deliver. They can brighten up almost anyone’s day.

If you are someone who has true integrity, thank you for being who you are and thank you for all that you do. You really do actually make a difference in society, please keep up the good work. If you feel no one else is proud of you, know that I am.

Journal Entries 2012-2013

1. Introduction (9/10/12 - Weebly Journal)
2. 9/11 Reflection (9/11/12 - Email Instructor)
3. Internet Safety (9/19/12 - Weebly Journal)
4. Violence (9/20/12 - Weebly Journal)
5. Taylor Mali Conviction (9/25/12 Email Instructor)
6. 12x12x12 (10/1/12 - Weebly Journal)
7. Habit #1 Reflection (10-9-12 - Weebly Journal)
8. Habit #2 Reflection (10-24-12 - Weebly Journal)
9. Habit #3 Reflection (11-9-12 - Weebly Journal)
10. Interview a Veteran (11-12-12 - Email Instructor)
11. Digital Photography Reflection (11-19-12 Weebly)
12. Habit #4 Reflection (11-27-12 - Weebly Journal)
13. New Years Resolutions (01-03-12 - Weebly Journal)
14. Habit #5 Reflection (1-9-13 - Weebly Journal)
15. College Inquiry Project Reflection (1-14-13 - Weebly)
16. Habit #6 Reflection (2-6-13 - Weebly)
17. Habit #7 Reflection (2-11-13 - Weebly)
18. Indian Talking Stick (Covey) (2-20-13 Weebly)
19. Historical Figure Reflection (3-4-13 Weebly)
20. Investing vs Gambling Reflection (4-8-13 Weebly)
21. Poverty On My Block (4-15-13 Weebly)
22. Apartment Utility Cost Summary (5-13-13 Weebly)
23. Memorial Day Reflection (5-24-13 Weebly)

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