Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tool #11

1.  My favorite tools are:  Google Docs for sharing resources with teachers and other instructional coaches; Animoto to inspire my students to share their learning, and creating this blog.  It is a wonderful way to connect with other educators. 
I'm going to use Animoto with my students at the beginning of the year so they can "introduce" themselves to the rest of the class.  I think that it will be a great way for them to share with the rest of the class their family and those things that are important to them.  Building community in the classroom is so important in order for students to want to take risks in the classroom. 
2.  I realized that technology should enhance the learning that is taking place.  There are many tools and "options" that we can choose from.  It is important that the tool doesn't become the focus, rather the learning.  My vision for the classroom has just been enhanced by the things that I have learned in this course.  My focus is always student achievement and finding the right tools to ensure the success of every student. 
The only changes that I'm going to make are those that relate to the management of the technology devices.  I think that it is going to be important to have systems in place so that students know what the expectations are.
3.  I was surprised that it was easier than I thought to learn the tools.  I was very anxious about setting up a blog because I had never done that before.  I'm very grateful for this expereince and I can't wait to use what I've learned with the students and teachers at my campus. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tool #10

1.  I want students to understand that digital citizenship includes safety, digital literacy, and etiquette.
We need to ensure that our students know the safeguards for keeping themselves safe. It is crucial that they understand that they shouldn't give out any personal information about themselves.  Another important thing to teach them is how to ensure that the resources that they are accessing are valid ones.  We can give them ways to verify the information that they are collecting.  It is also important that they are respectful of copyright issues.  Our children need to know how to cite resources appropriately.
2.  I really like brain pop.  I plan on using the Digital Citizenship video with the children. It is really easy for them to understand.
3.  I'm going to teach each of the 4 components of digital citizenship to the students that I work with.  It is important that they understand all of the components so they can be responsible users of technology. 
4.  It is also important for our parents to know and understand digital citiczenship.  One of the ways that we can do this is by offering a class for parents during library night.  Here we can show the prarents the videos that we are using with thier children and we can also share with them our districts user policy.  It is going to take everyone to ensure that our students are protected in this digital age.

Tool #9

1. It is crucial that the technology is tied to the objective. The objective is what the students are to learn, at what level, and how they're going to prove that they have learned it. The technology is there as a resource to assist the students in learning the objective. It can also be used as part of the product that the students can publish so that you know that they met your intended "target".
2. Workstations need to have an accountability factor built in. Without accountability then the the teacher will not be able to determine if the learning objective was met. We need to know where our students are in acquiring the information that they need to know, understand, and be able to use.
3. Learning Games for kids looks like it would be great as a workstation. For accountability the students can record the equations that they are solving in their math journal. Another option is for them to set a "goal" or a "target" number of questions that they need to get right or set a time limit for them to solve a certain number of problems. Then, they can reflect upon why they did, or why they didn't meet their intended goal. When they are finished they can describe how they will improve their performance next time.
Study ladder also looks really good. One of the benefits is having reports that both the teacher and the parent can access. I think that students will really enjoy earning the rewards. For the accountability piece the teacher can write some open-ended reflection questions for the students to respond to. Then, together the student and the teacher can pull up the progress that the student made and discuss it. It is good for the students to be able to discuss what they learned, enjoyed, and disliked about using the technology.
4. For the Ipad/Itouch two of the apps that I think would be beneficial in the classroom are coin genius lite, and everyday math name that number. Both of these will really grab the students attention. Counting coins is always a struggle for some 3rd graders to master. It really just takes practice and this is a great avenue for that to happen. With name that number it is really open-ended because the students can compose and decompose the number in order to reach the target number. This will really help with number sense and also with building a facts foundation. It really is important that the teacher is aware of what the students are doing in the workstation. One thing that the teacher can do is to have the itouch station in close proximity to the small group instruction area. Another thing that the teacher can do is to check on the status of the groups before taking a new small group to work with.
5. The devices can also be used during research projects. It is important that children are given opportunities to find information from digital resources. After teaching them how to do appropriate searches they can use the ipads to find the information that they need.

Tool #8

1. The technology that is coming into the classrooms is so exciting. Working at several campuses that already have these tools has been exciting. The children, and teachers, are so excited to learn their content through using the tools. It has added a whole new dimension to learning. Some of the tools that the classrooms will have are: Dell Notebooks with Web Cams, IPod & ITouches. The teacher will need to get an itoons account so they can choose what will be loaded onto the devices. It is a great way for them to make sure that the students are in the apps that they want them to use.
2. Management is key in the classroom. I like the idea of having a materials manager in the workstation. I've seen teachers use a variety of "containers" to hold the devices so that they are easy to retrieve and easy to pass out to the students. The students need to be the ones doing all of the "work". The teacher needs to facilitate through discussing the rules with the children. Often times the children are "harder" on themselves then the teacher would be. It is also good to appoint a "technology expert". The teacher can hold "interviews" for this position and it can rotate periodically throughout the year. The children will really enjoy this job and will take it seriously.

Tool #7

Content Objective
Using data from two different weather stations, TSW analyze weather patterns by comparing and contrasting the weather in Houston, TX to the weather in Orchard Park, New York.
Plan for Implementation
I'm planning on having the students start this project in October. That is a perfect month to see drastic changes between the two cities.
Tools for Use
Google Docs would provide a great avenue for both classrooms to collect the needed data. They will be able to identify similarities and differences throughout the 3 weeks. We will also use skype so that the students can actually "see" what the weather is doing in both locations.
Description of Project Plan
This project will give a purpose for knowing and studying weather patterns across the country. Both groups will have to create and fill out data tables on the weather in their area. We will skype between the classrooms at least 2 times a week so that the children in both areas can see the weather "first hand" and start to discuss with one another the similarities and differences. Together they will use google docs to create a final project.
We will do this project with my Aunt's school in Orchard Park, New York.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tool #6

1. For Tool #6 I have a skype account, Diigo account, and have created a wallwisher that I'll post.
2. I have used skype to connect a classroom I was working in with my Aunt's classroom in Orchard Park, New York. The kids were so excited to finally "see and talk to" their pen pals in person. It was great to see the smiles on their faces. I will use Diigo to share resources with the other "IIC's". We will be able to come up with a collective list of tools to use with teachers.
4. These tools will be very easy to incoporate into the classroom. I can see how teachers will be able to connect their classroom to other places around the world. We need to teach our children how to effecitvely communicate with one another. For older children I see how they can use Diigo to highlight and comment about different text resources that they are reading. A teacher can use a wallwisher as an "entrance" or an "exit" ticket. They can pose a question to the class for them to answer.

Tool #5

1. The Wordle was easy to make, I did mine on DDI:

Wordle: Untitled

Create your own video slideshow at  This tool was so easy to use.  It is amazing that in just a few minutes you can have a professional product that can be shared in a variety of ways. 

2.I also used Stixy. This is a really easy tool to use. It is a great tool for planning presentations. I also see how it can be used as a "parking lot" during presentations. Participants can post their questions and I can answer them after a break.

3. The wordle will be a great way to create visuals for presentations that I'll give at my campus. It will allow participants to get a "sneak peak" of some of the vocabulary that we will cover during the session.
The Stiky will be another great tool to use for presentations. It can be used as an agenda for the day. This will be especially helpful when I have trainings that last for several days.  I really enjoyed doing the animoto.  This will be a great way for us to "capture" the best moments of the year.