Sunday, March 4, 2012

tool 11

It's hard to say what my favorite tool is.  I think the future activity I am most excited about is using this collaborative tool
This will enable us to still have the students reflect on what they can do to help the environment but with a much more global view.

I have always tried to teach kids with the thought of using a variety of approaches (in order to address all learning styles).  These 11 Tools just give me more ways to include variety in my teaching.  I certainly see my future classroom as being different - still encouraging kids, still supporting kids, still interacting with kids, but doing some of it in a different way.  I'm excited about the possibilities.

I would not say there was anything that was unexpected from this process.  Some of it was easier than I thought it was going to be.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

tool 10

Digital citizens: The first thing has to be student safety.  We also can't assume that they are all learning this from their parents.  In an age when some kids accept any friend on facebook (people they don't know or aren't even friends of friends), they need to be taught how to use this technology in a manner that is safe for them.  The second and third things are about sources.  I want to make sure that since students will do research online, they know how to do it well.  They need to know to check multiple sources to corroborate their findings (and how to do this).  In addition, they need to know to check to see if a source is reputable (and how to).

I went to the ed tech website to look for some other resources.  I came across another website where the kids can make comic strips.  This one looks more promising - students can design their own backgrounds; this would be necessary for the succession activity.

I think when students are first learning the concept of digital citizenship we, as teachers, need to require it in our projects.  For example, checking multiple sources and verifying those sources can be a part of the project.    We can also use this opportunity to talk about safety.  Once we have built this foundation, hopefully the kids will see the benefits of it and internalize those habits.

I would address the idea of digital citizenship with parents in two ways.  First of all, it can be addressed on my website.  Secondly, I can discuss it at back to school night and tell the parents how they can support this at home.

tool 9

Teachers have to start with the objective when deciding how to educate kids. We can't just think of something "fun", do it, and think we have contributed to their education. It's not any different when we use technology. I have to start with the objective. What do I want the kids to know, then decide what technology can be used to meet that objective.

Students must always be held accountable in some manner for what we ask them to do. I want to know what they got out of an activity - what they learned. This can be done in many ways, but it's not any different just because they are doing stations with technology.

I found a couple of neat interactive websites to use in the classroom. I like the Make Your Own Mission on the Thinkfinity website. I could use this during our solar system unit. As a part of this activity I could have kids write a blog about the problems they encountered while making the mission, why they chose the things they did, etc. I also like the Save Our Dumb Planet on the Mangahigh website. It's a great way for kids to practice writing equations of lines while playing a game. I could have the students write down their score when the finish.

I found a NASA app for the iPad that is great. NASA always has such good resources for teachers. This app has launch and mission information. Students could follow the progress of a mission (from launch through data collection). They could write reflections on their blog. I also found a Build.A.Body app. The students drag the organs to the correct locations on the body. A way to hold students accountable is to have them write down their time (time it took them to complete the system) to encourage improvement. This could easily be done as a station - either during the initial learning of the material or as a review.

I would love to let students find apps that they enjoy and reflect on their learning. Students know when they like something and they know when they are learning (or not). If I can give them some responsibility for their learning and hold them accountable for that learning, then their motivation is more likely to be high.

tool 8

I learned how to take a screen shot and how to sync the devices.  I think it will be helpful to be able to refer back to all of these tools as I continue to incorporate technology into my classroom.

I think the two most important things I will do to have a positive classroom environment are:
* constant monitoring of students (walking around the room - checking in on them and talking to them)
* have a consistent check out system for the devices

tool 7

I found this great collaborative project that fits into our human impact on the environment unit.  We already encourage the kids to take a look at their lives and make some productive changes.  This would be a great way to link the classes at CSA with each other and many other classrooms around the world.  I can't wait until I can implement it next year.

tool 6

There are many misconceptions about how the animal kingdom is classified.  We like to begin the unit by brainstorming what the kids already know.  This seems like a good way to organize what they already know in order to eventually come up with a visual representation of the classification of the animal kingdom.

<iframe src="" frameborder="0" width="100%" height="400px" style="border: 1px solid #999999"></iframe>

I must have classification in my head today.  In math, students know what the 2D shapes are but have a hard time articulating their similarities and differences. For example, what do rhombus and squares have in common and how are they different.  I think this format may help students in two ways: to not feel pressured to answer right away and to be able to look at other students' posts in order to get rid of common misconceptions.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

tool 5

My comic.

I made up this comic strip about succession.  I don't think it would work well for the kids to make one using this site, (we have them draw one to demonstrate their understanding of the concept of succession) due to the limited number of backgrounds and items.  The kids need to be able to be more creative in their story ideas.  Maybe I can find another comic strip site that would work better, though.

I also made a Wordle about algebra.  I did a science comic strip, so algebra needed to be represented, too.  :)

tool 4

We do a project about environmental issues.  The kids have to research both sides of the issue before deciding what they think.  We could use a Google doc to have the kids give their opinions on specific issues (justifying them with data).  Other kids could read and respond to them.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

tool 3

When thinking about space science topics, you can't do much better than NASA.

These are interesting NASA videos about the habitability of Mars and the Curiosity mission to Mars. and

I knew the fair use laws were vague, but the I think it is easy to use the basic phrase "the cost of copyright holder is less than the benefit to society" to help guide us.

tool 2

I really don't like sharing my thoughts in a forum that anyone can read.  I prefer to communicate with people directly.  I can see the benefits of hearing from others what works for them, though.

I think this site has potential.  It drew me in by discussing doing algebra using the ipad.

tool 1

My avatar is made, so yeah!  I have 6 pages open in order to complete it and still couldn't find a page.  Got it fixed, though.