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.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tool 6

I really like the idea of using twitter for a daily update on what's going on in the class.  It would be really cool to have the parents following it.  I also like diigo for storing websites for the students to reference and use.  I appreciate all the collaboration from others on our campus with moving through the tools.  It takes a "school" to get it done.

Twitter Account!/TraceyTomaro

Twitter would be great to tweet daily updates of my class.  I think parents would enjoy reading the happenings of their child's day.

Diigo Account for math sites

This is great to store math websites for the students to use in a center.  I loved adding the differents links for them to use.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tool 5

I enjoyed working with animoto and creating a set for the science lessons I will be teaching.  I had some difficultly linking my prezi, so not sure if I would say it was easy.  Again, I have completed this tool as part of my assignment, but now I need to keep practicing using them.

Memory Splash

Weathering - Erosion - Deposition

Create your own video slideshow at

Thank goodness for the assistance of Michele! I wasn't sure what to create and where to begin, so she suggested I look at her blog and see what she had created. I was so excited because I have created an animoto before and had some knowledge of what to do. I also spent more time finding pictures for a science lesson than figuring out which site I was going to visit and then thinking about a set. I am such a visual person. This task could have taken a lot longer if I didn't have guidance.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tool 4

I like the idea of using Google Apps instead of attaching files to an email and sending it to various teams.  The team can give feedback or change if needed.  I will use Google Apps anytime I am taking minutes for a team from now on.  Still working on playing with the different tools and really want to have better understanding of each one before moving on.  I love collaborating with teams on using the tools.

Tool 3

I really enjoy visiting youtube for educational purposes.  The videos are usually so short which helps with keeping students engaged.  Since attending the in-service with Alan November, I especially love to visit KhanAcademy and wolframalpha.
When reading about fair use and copyright, educators can pretty much use whatever as long as the entire work is not copied or the entire collection not scanned.  It all brings back memories from high school and making sure not to plagiarize will writing papers.
I love the idea of using Picasa.  The real life images are great for quick sets and also for visual support my ESL learners.
On to tool 4 and 5.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Descriptive Writing

Everyday in the summer, my sons and I ride past this house. We do this mainly because directly across the street is where Craig Biggio lives and my older son is hoping to one day see him in his yard and get his autograph. Anyway, in the area the homes are prestine except for this house. Because of the fact that it has not been kept up, the boys and I like to tell stories about the house. My younger son thinks it is haunted while my older son and I imagine the grand parties that happened in the garden and around the porch and all the famous presidents and people that may have visited the house. But, mostly we all wonder who left this grand home in such despair. 
I can see how students can take real life pictures found on picasa and create beautiful pieces of writing using their imagination and background information about an area. For example, the area in which this home is found was a summer hot spot for the presidents back in the day. Also, many famous people have summer homes in the area. Students can search an area that they have visited and find pictures that trigger memories to create beautiful pieces of writing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Exit Tickets

Exit tickets can really give you insight on the students understanding as they leave your classroom.  They can be used in all grade levels.  Look at the following website on exit tickets.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Counting by 5's

When looking for videos to post I remembered going on Dr. Loa's blog and seeing a video from school house rock.  It brought back so many memories of my Saturday morning learning that I decided I would share some of the videos on math with my students.  This video is great for grades K-5.

Math is Everywhere!

For years I have said that math is everywhere well Tom Lehrer seems to agree with me.  As educators if we continue to tell and show kids how math is everywhere maybe it won't be so scary.

Moving Concrete to stop abstract

When I entered second grade I was so excited to see the students in different groups, with differentiated work.  Two tables were using concrete manipulates to work their word problems and another was working with their teacher using pictorial representation.  The teacher explained how her group was ready to move into the pictorial representation while the others where still needing their manipulatives.  She also showed me how they were anchoring their numbers to ten for easy calculation.  It was a great learning environment.

Tool 2

The process of moving through the 11 tools is actually fun.  Okay I have only finished 2, but still. My biggest challenge is staying on track and not spending all evening searching through websites for great teaching ideas.  Blogging with my fellow co-workers will help me with this.  I can follow different people and get immediate information that I can use with the kids at school.
I am really looking forward to my own personal growth with technology and trying to stay in line with the kids.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Our librarian, Ms. Foster, is wonderful!  That was so easy.  I just needed to make sure my voice matched my picture. 

Creating Blog

Way too easy!  Now on to a VOKI.