Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tool # 11- Reflecting

Yay!!! I'm done.

1.Some of my favorite tools in my 'technology toolbox' would be BigHugeLabs because there are so many different things you can do on that site. I also like Studyladder. What a great website. I plan on using this website this year. It does take some time to explore and match the curriculum. I plan on using Studyladder for math stations. I did see it has some things for language arts. I would like to spend some time exploring what they have to offer in this area. I know we do reader's and writers workshop so I wonder how I can bring this into language arts.
2. Well considering I have done 23 Things and 111/2 Things, I haven't learned too much new stuff so I don' think my thinking has changed a whole deal. It did make me realize how important it is to incorporate technology into the classroom and what a big push it is to do it. It's time to put into action rather than saying I'm going to do it. I think the only changes I will need to make is setting aside time to utilize these tools in the classroom. Time... if only there was enough time in the day. I think it's great to use technology in the classroom but a lot of the tools you need to explore to go along with your TEKS and objectives.
3. There were no surprises really. It was nice learning some new things. I'm glad I did it. It took a lot of time but it was worth it.

Tool # 10- Digital Citizenship

1.Three things I would want my students to know about being good digital citizens would be to know how to use a computer safely. There is so much out there. I want my students to know how to research things and to make sure it's age appropriate. I want my students to notify a teacher if they did find something inappropriate and be mature about it. I would like to show my students helpful websites when researching on the web. I would want to know there are other tools to search besides Google and for them to make sure the facts are accurate.
2/3.Seems like BrainPop is the way to go. Students love Brainpop as it is so I know they will be excited. I like how BrainPop has questions at the end of the video clip. I would show the students the clip about internet safety and assess them with the questions.
4. I would like to inform my parents about internet safety in the beginning of school. I know there is a form that goes out about the students email address. I would send home a form about internet safety that goes along with it.

Tool # 9- Incorporating the classroom

1. Now a days, technology is very important to tie in the classroom. Most jobs required you to use technology one way or the other. It's important for students to know how to use the computer and be an expert at it by the time they graduate high school. It's hard getting a job not knowing how to use a computer. Students should be using a computer on a daily basis.
2. Students love going to stations because they see it as a fun way to learn and they are very engaged. I think it's important for students to be held accountable because we as teachers need to know they are learning and what objectives they are still struggeling in so we can help them. Also, it's a great way to access them and get grades without having to do tests and book work assignments all the time.
3.I did like Tutpup although when I went to register as a teacher, I had trouble. It always said the number wasn't available for the animal and color I choose. I tried choosing different ones but nothing seemed to work. I like the fact that you are playing different people around the world. I think kids would like that. I love Studyladder. I like how you can assign the kids tasks. The teacher can check on the status of each student. It's a great way to monitor the students progress and you can assign assessments to hold them accountable. I also like the way the website is divided into grade level, subject, assessments, activities, etc. I will definitely use this in my classroom.
4.After researching different apps, I like the Mad Lib app. Mad libs are great way to teach students about grammar terms. I know we don't do a lot of grammar work in our school but I know we are hoping to change that. I hoping that all my second graders leave my class know what a noun, verb, and adjective are. When the kids have extra time, they can play with this app. I would have the kids write down the words that they had to fill in the blank and write what kind of word it is. I also like the Little Reader app. This app allows students to learn new words with pictures. This would be great for the ESl learners in the classroom. I could have my ESL learns use this app during readers workshop.

Who knew there is so much out there to help us in the classroom.

Tool # 8

I like the fact that our district is very with it in regards to technology. It's sad to hear that other districts are barley getting active/smart boards or that they don't have laptops like we do. This year I was able to use the netbooks in my classroom. I only had a total of seven. I would have liked at least 12 or so that the students can work in partners to utilize them. The students were always excited when they were allowed to use them in class. I would definitely use these netbooks in class especially when it comes to math stations.

I was a little concerned when I knew we were getting ipod touches. I wasn't sure how we were going to use these in the classrooms. Luckily, I was able to research some different apps that I can use. I plan on using the Ipod touches during station time or free time. As the year goes by, I hope to find lots of ways to utilize them in the classroom.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tool # 7 Reaching outside your classroom

Talk about researching ideas to do in order to implement outside the classroom tools. After researching the scope and sequence for second grade, I notice they learn about hero's in America. I found a helpful website that I could use to go along with my lesson.

My lesson
1. Objective- Students will learn about historical figures who exemplified good citizens. Identify characteristics of good citizenship such as justice, truth, and responsibility for the common good. Express ideas orally based on knowledge and experiences.
2. I would plan on implementing this lesson/project during the second semester.
3. After studying various hero's in America ( Florence Nightingale, Amelia Earhart, Thurgood Marshall, etc) students would visit to read about various hero's. On the website, they have a page where students can read about stories that people have submitted that represent hero's everywhere. I like this website because it encourages students to write their own stories about hero's in their lives. I would have students write about their own hero. I would like for students to submit their writing to the website. ( with parental permission of course) I think it's very important to stress the importance of publishing students writing. Often times, students don't see the value of writing but I think if they knew more people were reading their work, they would be more interested to write.

Overall, I think collaborating outside the classroom would be fun for the students.

Tool #6 Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion

I have used some of these discussion tools in the past. I love TodaysMeet. When I was in my masters class, it was a good way to talk with my classmates during class and outside of class. I think this would be a good tool to use in the classroom when discussing books or a lesson. I think it would have to be used in older grades who are good at typing. For the shy students in the class, this would be a great way for them to participate in group discussion. The teacher can use the active board with this tool that way the teacher can monitor the discussion.

Last year was the first year I used a blogger to help me communicate with my parents. I have to say that it helped me out a lot. If reduced the amount of emails I received through out the year. I was able to inform the parents what we were working on that week. I had pages that addressed homework, schedule, important dates, etc. The parents enjoyed it as well. Here is a link of my blog, Finley's newsroom, although just last week I deleted all the posts since I will be teaching second grade next year. This year I decided to add a book recommendation page since I always have parents asking me for book recommendations. ( Hence my summer project, to read appropriate level books for my little kiddos. It's hard since I'm used to third and forth graders) I would recommend all teachers have a blog. It's easier for parents to refer to and reduces the amount of communication on the teachers part. I know at first it might seem like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it, it's really easy.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tool # 5- Web 2.0 Tools

Who knew there is so much fun stuff out there. You find yourself spending hours exploring. I love Big Huge Labs. I have played around with many of my pictures using mosaic maker and framer. I think students can use the trading card option offered by Big Huge Labs. Students can make trading cards with geography terms or math terms. When teaching students about shapes, I was thinking students can make trading cards showing me they understand the terms. What a fun way to incorporate math and technology.

I have played around with Glogster for the past year hoping to use it in my classroom. I haven't used it yet but it just seems a little confusing to me. I think I have invested my full attention to it. One of my teacher friends who works in Cy Fair went to a class where they got to play around with it and ask for help. She said some second grade teachers were using it at her school. This gives me hope that I can use it with my second graders next year.

I like Storybird a lot. I thought a lot of artist had cute pictures and it was fun creating a story. I created a story and I had the kids I nanny this summer create one. I wanted to see what they thought about the site. (It's nice to get a kids perspective) They had a fun time doing it. The girls worked in pairs. They said they would like doing this in the classroom. The only thing is it did take them awhile to do. I can see my kids using Storybird if they have free time in writing.
One made by the girls.
The life of Emily, Frank, Caroline, and Jeff!! by efinley on Storybird

One made by me.
The story of Chester by efinley on Storybird

Tool #4- Google Docs/Apps

Google Docs
My husband first told me about Google Docs when it first came out. He is a teacher as well. He tired using it to collaborate with his fellow teachers especially when they were planning lessons together. Unfortunately, some of the teachers were not so savy with technology. I like how Google Docs allows you to share your papers with colleagues and receive feedback. It's fast and easy to use. I think if I worked with older kids, it would be a great way to use technology in writer's workshop. Students could write their comments on there. I could also see how it would be easier for the kids to revise their work.

Google Apps
Google Apps offer many things. There is something there for every user. Last year I was able to play around with Google Sites. Google Sites allows you to make a website offering pages and different layouts. I made a portfolio for my masters class containing all the things I learned in the class. I'm glad I did because over time, you forget the things you learn but now I was able to remember it all by looking at my site. Here is the link if you would like to check it out. Finley's E portfolio.

I always forget about all the things Google has to offer. It's important for myself and other teachers to go back and explore.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tool 3- Online videos and Images

I always forget about you tube and teacher tube as classroom resources. I think most of the time I always use BrainPop or United Streaming.I do have a problem at times using United Streaming. There are times when it slows down or won't work. How frustrating. I played around with
Teacher Tube for awhile. I searched for videos regarding communities for social studies. I found this cute video, All about Communities by Mrs. Roger's second grade class. This would be perfect to use for next year. It gives me the idea that my own class can do this next year. I know they would love it. I think Teacher Tube is great choice to use since you don't have to worry about inappropriate material. You do have to make sure the material is age appropriate.

Copyright Laws
It's always easy to forget about copyright laws. I like the site that was offered on 11 Tools website. I love how user friendly it is. I know teachers are always stressing to students about copying from books/plagiarism, it's important that teachers are following their own advice.

I never think to use images for my classroom although I think that's because I've taught language arts/social studies for awhile. I guess I could use them for social studies but never thought of it. I'm teaching second grade next year which will be new for me. Doing 11 tools is giving me a chance to visit the curriculum. I saw that second graders learn about cylinders,cones, and spheres. I thought it would be great to see how you can see these shapes in the real world. Here are some images that I found that I can share with the kids and discuss with the class.

I think images is a great tool for visual learners. I have to remember to use them more often.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tool 2- Commenting/Reader

I heard about Reader about two years ago. I was new to blogs and while searching some different blogs, I didn't realize how much was out there. I found some cool blogs that have to deal with home decorating and and I found one recently about baby showers. ( I threw a baby shower recently) Reader was a great tool to let me know when new things have been updated. I had a few blogs on my reader but then it seemed to be too much after awhile. I had a hard time keeping up with them.

I think commenting on blogs is important especially to the creator. The whole point of a blog is to share with others. It's a way to communicate with others and strike up conversations. I think when commenting, people should be genuine. When I originally did 23 Things ( a longer version of 11 tools) it was important for us to comment on other blogs. I was eager to check my own blog to see what people posted.

A great website that I like to refer to through out the school year is Beth Newingham's website.
She has great ideas and helps Scholastic with ideas for teachers. I've been teaching for awhile now but I always learn something new when I visit her site.

11 Tools- tool 1

Well, here I go again. It's time for 11 tools. I'm interested to see what different things I can learn this time around. If not, it's always nice to visit somethings over again. I know when you first do this tools, you get all excited about new things you can do in the classroom but time flies and before you know it, you don't end up doing them. I hope to at least implement one or two things next year in my classroom.