Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tool #11 Reflection

I love my blog.  I have a blog that I use with my teaching partner, Angela Skrivanek.  It has been a great resource to let parents and students know what we will be doing in the classroom.  We've used a google document to show our weekly planner.  I believe that this has cut down on excuses for no homework and has helped students be more proactive regarding their homework.  

We are creating a google doc in the next few weeks for summer reading recommendations.  Each student will create a slide with their reasons that the title of their choice will make a great summer read!

The ipads in my room are a treat!  It's amazing what things kids can learn and what skills they will practice if it involves that technological piece.  My summer wish will be to discover even more LA and Social Studies apps that will help my kids.  

The technological conversations at faculty meetings and the lounge have dramatically increased thanks to our campus' participation in 11 tools!  AWESOME!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tool #10 Underneath it All

Thank you SBISD for the excellent resource on digital citizenship sites!
  • I want students to take their online privacy seriously. I want students to make good choices when sharing information on the web. I want student to be aware of the permanency of the internet.
  • I am excited to use the girls YOUTUBE video about online and electronic privacy. Kids love YOUTUBE and I think they will stay engaged to the message.
  • When introducing our homework blog, we talk about not writing anything you wouldn't want your mom to read. We also discuss only using your first name to post so that the creepy people can't find you.
  • Curriculum night is a great venue to share with parents your digital citizenship expectations.

Tool #9 Incorporating the tools

As in all lesson plans and activities, if it doesn't make sense or connect to the world, most kids won't BUY into the learning.

  • If we don't hold students accountable for time spent in centers/stations then we aren't preparing them for the REAL world. In everyday life, we are held accountable for our time and our lesson plans. Students need to be held accountable for their work and time so they understand that we believe their time is valuable too. When held accountable they are also more likely to stay on task.
  • I like the website Studyladder. I was able to set up a class account and assign whole group activities and even individualize assignments for students as well. NICE.
  • Tutpup is a great website to challenge my kids on spelling words, especially during spelling bee season! My kids love competition. The fact that they will be competing against kids from around the world will be a real driving force.
  • Futaba looks like a great ipad app for students to use when learning new vocabulary and can be played in pairs! This would be great also when we are reviewing vocab for upcoming assessments.
  • Play Time Theater sounds like a blast. Students use the ipad to create puppet shows. I think we could have a great time with this when we study tall tales. Students could use the puppets to create their own tall tale for others to view.
  • i books, is something I hoping will be a real helpful tool in my classroom. I always have some reluctant readers. I think I could get them to READ more if they were able to use the technology device to read a story.
  • I'm sure with more searching I will find more i pad games that are helpful for third graders. I know my child LOVES our ipad and has learned many of her letters and letter sounds thanks to the interactive games.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tool # 8 Devices

I'm so glad that we will be getting some more laptops for the classroom. I have five that work on a consistent basis these days, and look forward to having more available for daily use.

What I learned about the devices:
1. I will need to lug them into the network and power at times to receive updates from the district.
2. Students may find it easier to log on if they use SBS/username!
3. They each have a video option and we can record and manipulate videos.

I have my students reading in BOOKSPOTS while I pull guided reading groups. I will be able to create more webhunts, and reading/technology projects for students to share their reading and thinking now that I will have these devices. We will talk about proper use, storage, and sharing before we begin.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tool # 7 Reaching Outside the Classroom

    1. Content objective: The students will create book reviews using criteria charts and just right books to publish and share with other third graders at our campus.
    2. When you plan to implement: We will begin this project the last 9 weeks of the school year.
    3. What tool(s) you plan to use: Google Presentation and our classroom BLOG
    4. A brief description of the project (plan - two or three sentences): We are learning to write book reviews in third grade. Students in Mrs. Skrivanek and Mrs. Ford's homerooms will share a google presentation where they create book reviews to share with other third graders. We will post the presentation on our classroom blog so that their work can then influence the reading of third graders around the world!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tool #6 Web Tools for Class Discussion

I'm well aware that this tool is to help me with classroom discussion, but in case anyone is reading let me tell you I LOVE SKYPE! It's a great tool to keep up with friends and family. It has changed the way I get to watch family members literally GROW up.

My principal even allowed me to skype into a faculty meeting when I had my OWN child was sick. I was able to be a good mom and still DO MY JOB! Seriously, I LOVE SKYPE.

Skype- I'm excited to get our new devices and have the ability to use SKYPE in the classroom. This technology can be used to check in on our friends who have moved across the world and see how life in third grade is in China, Japan and other fun places!
We could also skype with third graders across Texas to review concepts in Social Studies or even have a book discussion. Nothing is more exciting than seeing the person you are visiting with. This face to face communication PLUS technology will promote student involvement.

COVERITLIVE- I want to like this site, but I'm not so sure. This site enables you to set up on online private chat room so that students can share thoughts and ideas on the topic designated by teachers. The thing I'm not in love with is that you can't preview your chat before it goes live. I'm sure in the moment this would motivate kids to discuss. We've got to get our keyboarding skills together before they can communicate well enough to keep up with a live chat. I think that I would like to use Today's Meet. There's no need to sign up for an account. We've practiced Today's Meet in faculty meetings. My only worry with third graders is that there's no way to moderate comments, so lessons will need to be given on appropriate comments and how to leave comments that contribute to discussions rather than distract from discussions.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tool #5 Web 2.0

Karen J. also introduced me to Stupeflix Video. It reminds me of Animoto, but seems a bit easier. I've always had trouble with kids working Animoto... either it is down, log in is difficult, or appropriate music issues. I would love to have the kids make an end of year scrapbook video, just like I did, but I can see education opportunities too.

For Language Arts:
Wouldn't it be fun to have kids create a virtual scrapbook that the character in their book might own?
Social Studies:
We study people who inspired the STORY OF AMERICA the 4th 9 weeks in third grade. It would be fun to see how kids could make a quick video about the scientist, pioneers or explorers who we study.
Wouldn't it be fun to make a video of real world geometry or examples of multiplication?
We study the order of the planets in third grade. You could make a cute review to share and study by in this app.
I also checked out Slide Rocket. The virtual tour was interesting. It seems like a really fancy powerpoint that you can use with all kinds of virtual media and tracking components. I can see where it would help businesses, but I'm trying to think through avenues to use it in the classroom. If you have any ideas, please let me know. I'll try to come back and share if any ideas come to me!
A reading group of mine is working to create a glogster right now and share with us what they learned about Dr. Seuss. I'll attach it here as soon as they are ready for it to be published.

Tool #4 The Cloud

1. I teach third grade Language Arts and Social Studies. I partner with Mrs. Skrivanek who teaches math and science. I love partner teaching. There are so many perks to being able to focus on curriculum and dig deep rather than skim across multiple content areas. With partner teaching there are many things to think about. One major issue is helping families keep up with what' s going on in both classes. We have create a blog which we use to help keep everyone up to date. One page on our blog that has worked beautifully thanks to Google Doc is our PLANNER PAGE. Angela and I created a good spreadsheet which we share and update weekly with our content area. Check it out! One of the best parts is that once we edit it in Google Docs, it is automatically changed and updated on our blog. THANKS GOOGLE!
2. Creating a form was super easy, and check out the backgrounds you can use?! Right now I have my kids record their reading homework on a blog. I think it would be interesting to try a google form instead, just a thought. I'm going to keep thinking... and have a few friends try it out. I'd like to see more once I see how information that is submitted is then reported to me through the app.
3. I've had my students use google docs this year to publish their writing. It has been very helpful since they are able to access their work from any computer and even share it with me!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tool #3 Videos

I love using videos in my classroom. Discovery Education is one of the best teacher tools I have! There are so many videos on a variety of topics and the search engine helps you narrow down your choices to find the one that is JUST RIGHT!

Below, you can see a few of the videos that I have used in my lessons.
I'm digging on this PURIFY website. Here's a video of one of my students and his Dr. Seuss shtick! N-joy!!

I understand that copyright and fair use are serious business. I'm still not sure I grasp it's complexity, but simply...
don't use it all....
only use it for instruction...
use it in places where passcodes and firewalls are in place...

Karen J. came and spent some time with me first semester. She showed me dropbox and I thought it was the COOLEST thing. I'm excited to use it for our upcoming planet research. Won't it be easier for my 44 students to each find two pictures to share in the box rather than looking for 8 on their own?!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tool #2 PLN

I visited a few of the sites noted on SBISD 11 tools for the 21st century.

Below are the sites I visited and what I noted....
  • http://classblogmeister.com- This teacher's blog is very similar to what I have been using in my classroom. She seems much more confident to use pictures and video than I have. I often worry about kid's privacy.
  • http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3/- This site has ROCKED my world and totally influenced my classroom. Thanks to Beth, teachers everywhere can benefit from her great teaching strategies and ideas. She's so wonderful, that SCHOLASTIC now employs her to write for them and share ideas. I think her ideas can be tweaked to work for a variety of grade levels and subject areas.. but grades 1-5 would benefit most from her work. I went to read the third grade blogs from Valley Oaks Elementary. They did a nice job last semester thinking through the use of a blog and have interested me in pinterest.
I also activated my Google Reader account and subscribed to the following websites:
  • www.ihategreenbeans.com- This site is not at all teacher related except that the voice that this young woman uses to talk about reality TV is HILARIOUS! Mostly, she blogs about my favorite tv trash, THE BACHELOR. I hope you will enjoy her antics and wit as much as I do. Happy Reading.
  • http://booksforellkids.blogspot.com/- SBISD 11 tools page noted this website as well. I decided instead of writing about it above, I would include it in this section. It is a nice resource for books to use with all students, but especially ELLs. I have added it to my list of subscriptions so I can keep up with her new additions to the bookshelf.
  • Last year, my teaching partner and I used edublog for our class blog. While I understand why the district wants us to use blogger, I feel like the edublogger community was much more organized and easier to reference when trying to find how to get a blog started and what to include. One teacher that did a great job was...http://weblogs.pbspaces.com/mrskolbert/.
I already have a delicious account. At first, I found it very helpful for keeping track of my bookmarks. However, these days with "the cloud" and my apple devices, keeping up with bookmarks isn't an issue for me anymore.

I find it easier to comment on blogs when questions are posted or if I have experience with the technology that is being referenced in the blog. Sharing my comments wasn't an issue. I realize the world could read my thoughts, but the probability of that is slim in this forum.

Tool #1 Voki

Finding the Voki website and creating a character was fairly easy. My biggest challenge was finding the right thing for her to wear. I'm not sure she reads my text correctly, but for my first attempt, I'm not too worried. One teacher shared the idea of having kids create historical or storybook characters to teach other kids about ideas. That's an interesting idea.