Everyone’s back

Time to Learn!

Wow, the first day back…what a day.  I know that I’m tired, but that’s got to be nothing compared to those actually in the classroom.  Lots of changes this year – staff and administrative.  Things are looking quite good at Victory.  I’ll be able to see more about Brighton when I get over there next week.  Spent a bit of time troubleshooting today – everything from Promethean board settings to the new Gradebook. I actually had the opportunity to do a bit of training. Tthat was surprising, but made me really glad.  I did 1 – on – 1 with Ms. Mapp-Jonathan.  She’s working hard in that Early up room.  Using eBooks on the first day!  I did some Wiki training for our Lesson Plan repository wiki.  Since the whole administrative team is new, they needed some quick instructions.  The Encore team joined us and I think everyone got what they needed.

I wanted to take a moment to share a resource with you that I found while purging my inbox today.  Here’s a checklist for teaching with technology.  What I like about the checklist is the thought process that it leads you through as you look into trying new technologies.  Let’s endeavor to make good choices on use of technology.  We should look for authentic ways to use it.  Not just creating projects to check the box labeled technology on our professional development requirements.  If you have questions about the checklist or want to bounce an idea off me, let me know.

Promethean training will be held in Ms. Hamill’s room on Thursday after school.  Feel free to join us if you need a refresher.  Good to see you all back and in such great spirits.

Flip Video Anyone??

flip_videoThe Flip Video camera is an amazing little device.  It puts different types of projects in our reach.  Today while browsing Tech and Learning, I came across an article on using the Flip Video in class.  If you have an interest in using these cameras, you should definately check out the article: http://www.techlearning.com/blogs/32824 You don’t need to own one of these cameras yourself to do any of these projects.  PPS teachers can borrow a set of these cute little cameras from Instructional Technology.  Just ask your TRT to set it up for you.

Builder tools in action

builder tools

I am just so excited!!  For the better part of two years I have been talking to my teachers about using the DE Streaming teacher tools.  I have explained – they are easy to set up, students will really be engaged, I promise you’ll like it – to no avail…until this week!

KUDOS to Mrs. Mitchell, Ms. Hammil, and Dr. Hunter-Lowe who all jumped in the deep end this week.  Mrs. Mitchell and Ms. Hammil have worked with me to create a DE Streaming assignment that requires research, note taking and videos to crete a Wordle on civil war leaders.  Dr. Hunter-Lowe used a DE Streaming writing prompt to help her students prepare for the writing test. 

The kids are all excited.  The teachers are pleased.  The level of technology implementation in  the building continues to rise.

Digital Voice Recorders in Foreign Language

This is a VETC09 session. Live Blogging…

Sharon McGlone, TRT at Booker T in Norfolk, is presenting.

Things that help:

  • TRT gives overview to students
  • TRT creates samples when planning with the teacher
  • TRT co-teaches
  • students practiced in diads
  • Rubrics given to students before they were assessed
  • Teacher training is key
  • refer to podcasts as “audio files” to increase teacher comfort
  • Students in groups worked best
  • be careful about identifying students when putting their projects on the web
  • sometimes you may need to use a file converter depending on your intended application

Using recordings to improve student oral language – Oral assessments every 4 weeks

Students were able to listen to themselves and classmates while creating their projects once files were posted on the web.  Students self selected conversational topics.

Students work is posted on the web as part of a student portfolio and for comparison of student fluency.  After students learned to record themselves – they did extensions.  Research a topic and then record themselves talking about it.  Students got excited.  Shy students were more apt to participate.  Additional project extensions include creating a slideshow (PPT, moviemaker, photo story) and using the student audio files with pictures.  Students can make wordles out of their speeches out of their topics.  Students wanted to reread or recreate their readings to help with the timing when using the file for projects.

Teachers were able to create files for students to listen to and practice and put them on the web.  Files are posted on their websites (linked from NPS site    http://ww2.nps.k12.va.us/education/components/sectionlist/default.php?sectiondetailid=34&category=168&).  Teachers can show students how to download the files to MP3 players (PPS kids could practice this in class if the teacher has borrowed the class set of MP3 players from OITMS).

Students could peer review each others work…

Add “Watch TV” to your homework assignment

 Electric company

The Electric Company is back and it’s better than ever…I just found out that WHRO will be airing the Electric Company at 5:00pm weekdays.  The show is perfect for 2nd grade and struggling third grade readers.  Far from the classic that I watched when I was a kid, the updated show has all the bells and whistles that attract the current generation.  I ran across an interview that the new producer did and she explained some of the changes…http://www.pbs.org/engage/live-chats/01-21-2009/karen-fowler .

In addition, the show has a really cute website that helps students to practice some basic second grade word study skills.  I would add this site to those that students use in the computer center: http://pbskids.org/electriccompany/

Teaching Naked

What a title right?  I’ve seen about 3 references to this recently…I was slightly intrigued each time.  Today, trying to “get into” doing my homework for a PD class I am taking, I ran across Al Rowell aka locotech – a fellow learner in the class.  I decided that as a technology director who seemed interested in edtech training he might be a great source to add to my PLN. Looking at what Al’s been tweeting lately, I saw yet another mention of teaching naked and I had to bite.

 The Chronicle of Higher Ed published an article on teaching naked last month.  The article is about a Dean at a college who is removing computers from “smart” classrooms.  His premise – powerpointing students to death is not best practice.  Students come to class to interact with the teacher and each other and the crutch that PowerPoint has become is getting in the way.  Think about it – the most boring thing that you can have in a class is an instructor who reads to you from a PowerPoint presentation.  This Dean thinks a good professor will put the PowerPoint online along with a podcast to accompany it.  Students can take a short quiz online or in class that verifies that they have read the material.  Then they can take student knowledge to a higher level on Blooms taxonomy with the time they have in class through group work and discussion. 

 What if we did that for our elementary students?  We can’t make them read PowerPoint presentations and listen to podcasts at home, but we could at school. 

 What if we covered the recall and understanding portions of Bloom’s taxonomy using centers?  Students could watch video clips or listen to podcasts in centers.  We already have the equipment.  A teacher could use Discovery Education Streaming quizzes or lesson builders to deliver video and podcasts that would cover the basics.  RECALL could be tested, remediated, and the quiz could be scored automatically using a well constructed DE Streaming quiz.  Would you rather use a podcast?  You can create one yourself using a voice recorder or find a ready made one (there are tons out there).  Put together a quiz or worksheet for the student to fill in as s/he listens.  Moving up to UNDERSTANDING – ask your student to summarize.  Use a DE Streaming writing prompt, use a few questions on your blog: either can be easily done as a group in the school computer lab or on a COW or at the computer center in the back of your room. 

 When you are ready for whole group instruction you can break out the FUN!  Starting at APPLICATION now that the boring part is done – do that science experiment, practice as a whole group using your whiteboard/slate/wireless keyboard, work on an application assignment together at the document camera. Group discussion becomes ANALYSIS using your similarities and differences Marzano strategy – In what ways is this like or different from what we’ve studied before? Or make a connection – when I think about (insert your content here) I am reminded about…

 EVALUATING and CREATING can be a part of every class project.  Where your students can create a representation of your concept (create their own podcast, photostory, wiki page, animoto, voicethread, museum_box etc.) evaluating resources from DE Streaming or Freeplay music or some other source to decide what types of content is appropriate to add to their project.

Changing your style of teaching won’t be easy, but wouldn’t it be a great thing for our kids to operate at higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy?  We don’t have to throw out our technology, just use it in better, more powerful and more appropriate ways.

Games for K

sesame street logo

Need something interactive for rhyming, letter-sound correspondance, one-to-one correspondance and colors?  Look no further…Sesame Street’s got you covered.  Cute interactives that you can use whole group to model the skill and then hae kids play independantly…Let me know if you want me to model it for you in the classroom…

Whiteboard Games from PBS Kids

PBSkids

 

The title really says it all…PBS Kids has Interactive Whiteboard games.   They cover all content areas, but most are at the K-2 level. Teachers in the primary grades definitely need to check it out.  Also if you have an MCPS setup in your room, don’t forget that you can use these games with your wireless keyboard.

Let me know when you try it…