Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tool 11

I have made it to the end :)
Some of my favorite sites have been animoto, picasa, epals, and twitter.  I have used animoto several times for a set and will continue to do so.  I have also used picasa a lot for science pictures and story starters.  It is a easy tool and fast.  I look forward to corresponding with other classes on epals and completing projects with them. I also want to try twitter as a communication tool with parents.
I don't know that I have transformed my thinking on how the students learn and how the use of technology is so important, but more that I must continually grow as a learner in technology.  I have to constantly staff development myself and network with other educators on technology and the best practices for my classroom.
I didn't expect going through the tools would take as long to complete as it did.  I have enjoyed working with others on my campus to help them complete the tools.  It has made me a better learner teaching others.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tool 10

I really like the first video that shares information on digital citzenship.  The gentlemen says that we need to empower our students to safely navigate the web and navigate with a purpose.  Students need to realize what they can share and how they must have parental or teacher permission before they go public with what they are posting.  They need to be safe and smart in the digital world.  The site Cybersmart Literacy and Curriculum has various topics on appropriate usage of the web and curriculum appropriate for various age groups.
I think it would be important to have a meeting with both the parents and students at the beginning of the year to discuss digital citzenship and also the SBISD acceptance policy.  I think it is important to constantly follow-up with the parents and students.  With the parents the follow-up can be at open-house and on conference days.  If I see the need I will also call special parent meetings and I can tweet information that they can peruse at home.

Tool 9

Technology is a huge part of our lives.  If our students are emerged in technology on a daily basis they will be better prepared for our high tech world.  Technology can enhance the learning process and deepen understanding.  It can help with reluctant learners because it is another learning style for students.  Using technology is fun and when students are having fun they are engaged on a task.

Students should be held accountable during stations so you can tell if they can apply what you taught.  They are also staying academically engaged if they have accountability.  You want stations to be thought provoking and fun.

Two websites that I have used recently are Mangahigh and Compass.  Both offer quizzes and opportunities for the students to move to the next level.  The students look forward to using these sites. In one of the fifth grade classrooms that I visit, Mangahigh is part of the station rotation.  They are held accountable by the levels and medals they receive and they also love tracking themselves with the other classes.

A couple of apps that I have used recently are I can read lite, and Shake and Spell.  The students have been engaged in their work each time.  One way they were accountable after using I can read lite is to spell some of the words on the dry erase board and share them with their partner.  I also have them come up with rhyming words.

I attended a math workshop at the beginning of the year and they used QR codes as a scavenger hunt while solving problems.  It was so much fun and very easy to set-up.  I really would like to use this with the students in January with the new devices.

Tool 8

After watching the videos I learned that all the devices have some sort of camera or recording device.  On the netbooks the camera is great for skype and on the itouches I love the idea of recording the students voices while they read.  In the netbook video it suggests having a workstation for the students when they login for the first time.  Great helpful hint since I was unaware that the first time students login in takes more time.
I wanted to create my new Itunes account, but was stuck finding KACE.  I will work with my librarian tomorrow so I can do this.  I also think it may be problematic because I use my school email as one of my Itunes accounts now.  I guess I will find out when I try to set it up.
As with anything in the classroom, management is key to the students learning.  Since I will not be given devices on my own, I will follow the teachers lead on the procedures of using the devices.  I do like the idea of creating them together and of course having them posted for a quick reference.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tool 7

For Tool #7, I will find another class on e.pals and correspond with them about weather.
Tsw measure and record changes in the weather using weather maps and other classrooms from different regions to find out why weather is different all over the world.
I would implement this at the beginning of our unit of study of weather.
I would use skye, digital cameras, various websites, and a class blog to complete this project.
On e.pals I will find another classroom that would like to correspond on a daily basis about their region and the climate in their region.  I would like the students to conclude from their conversations and research why weather is different in all parts of the world.

Just opened my e.pals account and have some interested students from Kenya!  Looking forward to this adventure.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trying to work on tool 7

Tool 7 seems to be a roadblock because I do not have a class to call my own.  So, while discussing my issue with various colleagues, I was directed to  While searching the site I found a math link, so I posted a question.  I am eager to read the responses and solutions to the problem from other students around the world.  I guess I should try to jump out of my math box when researching projects :)

Khan Academy

In the last two weeks, I have used Khan Academy with two different classes.  I was amazed how after teaching the different concepts for two full days (manipulatives and all) the deer in the headlights look changed to smiley faces saying, "I get it!" when the students watched the videos!  At first, I hesitated using the videos because of the time frame, but another colleague pointed out that I probably talk longer then the video :)
I would love to hear about others that are using the khan academy sight to help with math concepts.