Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just Me...

I love to learn! Nothing beats a group of teachers collaborating and discussing best practices. This past pweek, I have seen the following:

1. I have just watched the best math/technology integration EVER! The teacher addresses his students with a simple math question/number talk. The students are very involved in the lesson and all anxious to share their strategies. However, while students are solving their problem and getting ready to share their strategy, I notice one student get up and go to the computer. Yes, I had to follow. OMW...he had a digital math toolbox (on his website and his ipods). The student knew what strategy he wanted to use but just lacked the confidence to put it all together. I have seen students get up to move, look at other's work, or go get manipulatives BUT never go to a digital math toolbox. This is a man that is using technology tools to the fullest. He records one math discussion/number talk with his students per week and groups them accordingly. How, you ask? Simple use of a document camera/lightsmith. That is not all...with each lesson, he has math games listed along with internet links and activities. PLUS.....some orginal work from the students (mathcasts). Way to go SCOTT! Excellent math and school-t0-home connections. Great integration of technology with your math lesson.
LESSON - if you have new technology and STILL doing the same thing, then why are we buying these tools if we (teachers) are not going to use them to the fullest potiental?

2. Technology has the biggest AUDIENCE. Why are we not using it? Look at the tools...Blogs, disccussion tabs in a Wiki, and the one I have started using some with my personal children..THE NATIONAL GALLERY of WRITING. It is about the creative process not the tool. Saying I have a blog is saying I have a tool BUT what are you and your students doing with that tool?

3. Students have to POWERDOWN to come to school. Why? Teachers are still afraid of technology. Students are not afraid of technology. These tools are everywhere. My personal son came home with a 50 page booklet for robotics. He went straight to the internet to learn about robotics (YOUTUBE). Students want to learn in the NOW, not in the LATER. They know how to quickly access tools and find the information needed with visuals that we could only dream about receiving years ago.

4. There is NO limit on learning. It is an open highway. Where do you stand?
5. So when asked what technology skills do teachers need to have...ask yourself, what skills do your students have. Let them teach you. Turn them lose and give them a choice. They are not afraid to CLICK. It is their world.
6. Have you ever thought about the functions in the LEARNING PROCESS? The student has the ability to RECEIVE information, the student has the ability to PROCESS information, and the student has the ability to USE/EXPRESS information. How do you meet the expressive needs (oral expression, written expression, spelling, speaking, writing, encoding, doing, applying, demonstration, and understanding) of the learning process? Think about all the ways technology can enhance your curriculum in this area.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Networked Teacher

(Picture credits from Twitter...not sure of the orginal owner)

Technology Standards for teachers include 21st century skills such as finding and managing resources, publishing on the web, and connecting with colleagues, students, parents, and local and global communities. Teachers must be proficient in these skills in order to model good practices for their students and to help students include these skills for learning.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

More on Literacy

Discovered this site while in Leadership class. I forgot to post earlier. Topic of discussion...How GRAMMAR should look in the elementary classrooms. Our assignment deals curriculum issues. I am in a group of four focusing on Language Arts. I am sure I will be posting more on this.

E-Learning Interactives

This is a nice site for interactive courses. Check it out...e-learning for kids.

Lab Time!!

This video reminds me of how students act in computer lab. They are ready to go as soon as you walk in. Their little fingers can not say NO to that keyboard and mouse. The computer is the marshmellow. Try walking out for just 20 secs and see what they do. They click the mouse, type on the keyboard, and go to internet sites and will minimize the screen when you walk in.

Don't be afraid of technology...it is our world....an open highway with NO Limits of knowledge (Yes, I believe is Intenet Safety and teaching students the correct way to search etc...)

What I want to do in this post is give a few suggestions on how teachers can best utilize their computer lab time with little frustration.

1. Manage your students with Netsupport. If you are not sure how to do this, see your tech coach. Using Netsupport, you can send and receive files to/from your students, communicate with them, and send appropriate links for research. I do not recommend using the logging in/logging out control with upper grades. They need to learn how to do this on their own. However, it is a grade tool for kindergarten (for the first month or so or unitl they learn their login/password).

2. Have a place where students go to receive their computer assignments (Computer page on a blog or wiki). We (teachers) waste too much time trying to get them to an internet site. Your students will quickly pick up on going to the computer page, reading the assignment and clicking on the link. Upper grades should be able to type an URL in the address bar without wasting a lot of time.

3. I do think games can help teach, however, I am not a big believer in having games each lab time. I believe students should be creating, mixing, and researching. The diagram below best explains where I would want my students to be.

4. Technology is NOT an isolated subject. It is to be integrated into different subject areas. Know your curriculum and where you can integrate technology in your classroom. Web2.0 Tools are perfect for digital media/photo/paint projects. Science just lends itself to technology research, presentations, and movies.

5. Students love animation and cartoons...integrate this with your writing.

6. Blogging...perfect for reading and writing.

7. Establish your rules/expectations early.

8. Never start something you can't finish.

9. When a project is finished, post it for the world. Students are proud of their work.

10. Know the site and how it works before you assign an assignment from that page.

11. Let your students help you....let them problem solve if you are not sure of something.

12. Make internet safety a topic of conversation with students. There are many sites that help teach this and have games for students to play.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Halloween Site...

Try this site with your students in lab. Make sure you take a picture of them ahead of time. Enjoy!

Got Grammar?

Writing, spelling, and grammar are interrelated components of the language arts. Writing, spelling, and reading are highly related, especially in the beginning stage of learning to read. First, writing is the process of composing and expressing ideas. Second, writing is a support process of reading, word recognition, and spelling.

In the beginning stages of reading, writing plays an important role in developing concepts of print, phonemic awareness, and letter-sound associations. Writing is also related to teaching children to spell and use the grammar of the English language. Given the strength of the relationships between reading, writing, and spelling, spelling should be taught as an integrated part of the literacy program. Most children need systematic, direct spelling instruction. The more closely connected this instruction is to the teaching of letter- sound associations that are used in reading, the better it is likely to be for the learner. At the beginning stages of learning to deal with letter-sound associations, children use a process known as invented spelling; this is the process of trying to spell a word using the letter-sound knowledge an individual has
when the correct spelling is not known. Use of invented spelling is a normal and productive stage for a beginning reader and writer to go through. In fact, use of invented spelling is very effective in helping children refine and extend phonemic awareness and letter-sound associations. However, as children develop in reading and writing, they must also be taught to spell words correctly.

Research reports strongly discourage the teaching of grammar as an isolated subject. Grammar, however, should be taught. This instruction should be provided in close connection with students’ writing.

Links can be found at Interactives.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

ToonDoo Spaces

Toondoo - the place where you can create your own comic strip - now offers Toondoo Spaces!

"This is where you can create a private virtual ToonDoo space for your educational institution, business organization, community or group. Publish, share and discuss your comic strips with your group members in a secure and private environment!"
Toondoo Spaces


**Easy way to podcast, record voice, voice memos, and reading recordings.

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