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Monday, December 24, 2012

Tool #11

1. I am excited to use for various vocabulary and book club discussions. I also plan on using Glogster and Prezi at the end of the school year when we revisit poetry. My past students used them to publish and share their "I am From" poems at the end of the unit. During our second semester together, I would also like to begin going to the computer lab at least once a week for MangaHigh in math.

2. The 11 Tools assisted me in viewing how to use technology effectively and purposefully in the classroom. Rather than just adding technological aspects to particular lessons, we (the teacher that I plan lessons with and myself) strive to use the tools that technology offers throughout the content areas in order to implement student-centered learning where students really own what they are learning through self-discovery and peer discussions. I think that I will just need to always ask myself, how can I best use the tools that I acquired in teaching students, and how can my students productively and purposefully learn, use and become experts on these tools?

3. I really enjoyed viewing different websites and tools that I was not aware of before 11 Tools. In the future, I plan on exploring tools further and strengthening students' learning processes with them. I feel like I could better differentiate for students by giving them additional technological choices for activities depending on their learning styles, interests and individual needs and strengths.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tool #10

1. I would like for my students to acquire online researching skills in order to appropriately use google and other search sites for valuable, credible information. They also need to know how to determine and verify if that information is reputable. I agree with Vicki Davis in that we need to model and explain through active board demonstrations and think alouds, so we are not just asking them to use strategies without providing background knowledge and guidance. Additionally, once they acquire new information and wish to reference it, they need to know how to give credit to that source. In later grades, they will create works cited or works referenced pages, and they could not include simple versions of these in third grade as we discuss copyright laws. Thirdly, students need opportunities to use digital media while participating in authentic problem-solving situations, maybe even through virtual discussions with students and adults outside of our classroom. We would need to demonstrate how to go about this in a safe and purposeful manner.

2. I plan on using resources such as brainpopjr. during class discussions regarding digital citizenship. I like that it has the word wall feature and provides multiple examples for key concepts. I hope to also use the Adventures of CyberBee resources to address specific topics within the idea of being a responsible digital citizen.

3. I will discuss elements of digital citizenship as they arise when introducing activities such as research projects. Through class and small-group discussions, I will model and explain various strategies/skills; I believe that it is important for students to simultaneously follow along with modeling on their own devices. This helps them absorb more, as well as think of questions that they might have by actually doing and thinking through the process as it is discussed and debated. Then, I will target specific skills such as referencing copyright information and finding credible online information through individual activities and projects. These skills might be learned best through application activities that require these skills, rather than teaching and learning these strategies in complete isolation from one another and other concepts.

4. Through the weekly Friday newsletter that I email my students' parents, I will continue to include information in the 'weekly news' column regarding the digital citizenship skills that we are working on in conjunction with our core concept areas. I summarize what we will be learning in each area the upcoming week and what we covered that current week, and I think it would be a terrific place to explain the responsibilities and strategies in regards to digital etiquette, safety and literacy.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tool #9

1. Technology integrations need to connect with, and build upon, the objectives in order to strengthen the rigor and relevance of students' learning. We create objectives based on TEKS and Bloom's taxonomy, so we must ensure that the technology pieces promote higher-order thinking, engaging learning opportunities. Otherwise, their time with the devices does not mirror the purposeful and meaningful education that we strive for in class.  

2. We need to incorporate accountability pieces throughout work stations and centers because it promotes students to take further ownership of their learning; further, it provides both teachers and students with insights into their learning at that moment/stage. These stations give informal assessment/feedback into how well students grasp a concept thus far. Accountability encourages students to remain focused on the objective and goals, while giving them an avenue for how to record their thinking and oftentimes produce a product that highlights their ideas, knowledge, creativity, collaboration, etc.

3. I liked the Thinkfinity site, especially the interactive game and activity sources organized by content area. I can see students using tools like Calculation Nation at centers to practice their math problem-solving strategies. They could journal about one of the questions that they answered correctly or incorrectly, recording the question, explaining how they went about it and why or why not it worked. I also liked Manga High, and students could play interactive games on a particular unit (or review units) at a math center. Manga High gives teachers access to a class page, which I can use to easily monitor how each child progresses through the quizzes and games.

4. Word Games for Kids - Futaba builds students' vocabulary as they identify and match words to images (some of which are provided, and teachers can add more images via dropbox). It's a small-group word game in which they pass the ipad around, and it provides ESL students with an additional opportunity to expand their language skills. Afterwards, students can add the words that they encountered to their picture dictionaries, create imaginative stories using some of the words, etc. Multiplication Rap 2x HD allows students to practice their multiplication facts on the ipads and times each round. Students can record their time from each round in their journal to self-assess their progress, and they could also create a multiplication story problem after each round based on the district model of problem-solving steps that they, or a partner, could solve step by step. This would balance the drilling of facts with explaining your thinking behind multiplication.

5. I see my students using ipad apps and tools (like notepad or skitch) to record and present their thinking in new ways. Rather than always making posters or anchor charts in small-groups during times like research activities, students may choose between paper/markers, ipad tools and netbook tools. They may choose to create photo shows, blogs, movies, prezis, and other products on the ipads and netbooks instead of hand writing and drawing everything. Then, their peers can pass around the devices in discussing one another's products, so we don't always need to print everything out. It expands the choices that I am able to give them in how they wish to showcase their thinking while strengthening their creativity. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tool #8

1. I did not know that the netbooks had projector connection ports to where we could quickly connect them to the classroom projector and display their screens for discussion, presentation, etc. I also didn't realize that we could insert a SD photo card into the front. I learned how to create an icon on the home screen of the ipad for commonly used websites, and its appearance as an app makes it more efficient for everyone to find and navigate.

2. I will have two classroom technicians (one for netbooks and one for ipads), and I plan on having students rotate through these roles similar to other classroom jobs; however, I will keep the same technicians for a few weeks in a row, thus rotating through those jobs more slowly, since they require more training/explanation. I also have general guidelines regarding the handling, storing and moving of the devices. The devices will remain in the cart overnight on a daily basis, so we can ensure that they are fully charged for the start of each day and receive any necessary district/software updates. I ask students on the netbooks to raise their hands (or signal with colored card) with any questions, for I do not wish for them to carry the computers around to their peers or myself in order to receive assistance. It seems like if we come to them, it lessens the chance for any accidental collisions/droppings.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tool #7

a. Content Objective: TLW connect, compare and contrast their own life experiences, languages, daily activities, customs and cultures with those of other cultures and communities. TLW also reflect on texts that they have self-selected to read by sharing a brief book review, so others can use their reviews as a resource in locating texts that interest them. 

b. We plan to implement it throughout the year, beginning in September, as an ongoing collaboration. We think that it might lead to other projects, too, such as a pen pal project.

c. We plan on using these tools: Blogger (for interactive book review conversations where students can comment on and ask questions about texts that interest them after reading the review) and a different blog page where students can write/create (maybe using Stupeflix or another photo/video tool) descriptions of their daily lives to learn about different cultures and customs. We might also use Wallwisher as a place for these conversations as well.

d. Brief description of project: A teacher from another SBISD school will ask her students to participate in this project with us, and her students are from a different community and language background than my class. We are hoping that through written conversations about their lives, students will connect with and learn about people their age from different backgrounds. We hope to see every student value one another's differing funds of knowledge and cultural wealth. Additionally, students will converse through writing, asking questions and responding to one another about books that they read.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tool #6 - cont.

I loved creating a wall on! It was really friendly to use, and I will definitely use it in my classroom next year. It reminds me of an interactive bulletin board; I never seem to have enough wall/bulletin board space to do all of the things that we think of using them for throughout the year. 

Instead of donating a bulletin board to posing the question of the day, where I post a free-response question (whether it's regarding a topic we're about to explore and see what students already know about it, a get-to-know one another question, a math question to quickly see where everyone is and how to best meet each child, etc.) and students respond by tacking up their responses on sticky notes or pre-cut slips of paper, I could have them interact on Wallwisher at a literacy or math station. 

I also really like how much easier and accessible their peers' responses will be to read for them. Before, they always had to walk over to the bulletin board and try to read one another's handwriting. I think that they would enjoy typing their responses and viewing them on a computer/ipad screen even more. IN addition, I can imagine my students formulating terrific, relevant questions to pose on walls as well, and I could maybe make that a weekly classroom job. My only concern is that there seems to be a limit on how many characters you type into your response, so it limits how much each student can write. We might need to have class discussions about them sometimes in order to give them the opportunity to elaborate,

Tool #6

I can see students asking their peers survey questions through Poll Everywhere in order to collect organized data in each content area (what is your favorite genre? which hero in our social studies discussions have you admired the most? what is your favorite kind of animal?). Students can then record and use their data for various purposes (paper graphs, graphs on the computer, research goal, etc.). I can see myself using it in order to get quick feedback on lessons, activities, student thinking, formative assessments, project ideas and more; it's nice that you can have multiple choice style or free response answers.

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