Ok, so I’ve decided that I probably need to post as I go along during ISTE this time. When I don’t, everything just gets jammed up and then I have nothing to go back to and haven’t shared. This morning I went to a pre-conference workshop on creating photos and digital storytelling. The premice was simple: Learn to take good pictures so you don’t have to fix them up too much and then you’ll have great visuals for digital storytelling. After Ken went over some picture taking basics, we took a walk around the neighborhhood and took some pictures. Photography has always been frustrating for me. I never really was able to take very interesting pictures and basically walked around with a camera for no reason. I had always heard that I should always walk with a camera, so I just left it in my purse. Ken helped me to understand a bit of what I’d been missing. I was waiting for things to take pictures of rather than taking pictures of things I saw. So today I took some of the most interesting pictures that I have ever taken. Really. And after talking to Ken a bit, I think I’ve decided to use cameras a little more in the classroom. Typically I’ll do 2-3 camera “things” a year. Ms. Bass and I do simple machines, I’ll do a shape hunt with first grade, and an alphabet book with grade K. I think I’ve decided that digital photos and voicethreads are the combo of the year. Anywhere I see “identify” in the SOL, I can probably throw in a camera project. I’m going to work on it. I would like to do one camera project a year in every content area at each grade level. Yes, I realize that means I’ll need to do around 28 projects. That would be about 1 per teacher. So that’s an idea…we’ll see if it’s still at the top of the list in 4 days.
I was recently reminded about the Journey North website by Annenberg Learner. You can find the site at: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/ It’s a really great site for K-3 science in the spring. they have information for teachers and then additional pages that students can use to do research or content area reading. Check it out I promise it will be worth your time…
The 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.
One of the things on the list is to create a VoiceThread to be used as an educational resource. I worked with the Spanish teacher, Mrs. LaPiana and a small group of students to create this Vociethread. She wanted to use the voicethread to introduce the topic “Seasons” to her class. I think the kids did great considering that they had no idea what they were saying. She wrote the scripts out for them phonetically…
On February 10th the secondary TRTs and I held a work session for the Foreign Language teachers. I was very happy about the work we were able to do assisting most teachers individually or on small groups. I was able to work with April McKee from Churchland High School who was a really hard sell. Mrs. McKee has fully participated in every session that we have done with the foreign language folks, but she finds no use for technology in her classroom…I finally got her insterested in creating a review site for her students. We put together a wiki very quickly, and then used a digital voice recorder to create two podcasts for her Spanish 1 students.
What does this have to do with my 21Things?? Using a digital voice recorder with a teacher is number 21 on the list. Don’t get happy yet, I’m not done…I’ve skipped around a bit and still have 5 items to go…
I am forever getting great stuff from folks in my PLN. Two websites that I was introduced to recently are interesting: This first one – Kidblog looks promising and will need to be sanctioned by OITMS before anyone uses it. The premise is the same as classblogmeister – simple safe blogging for students. Instructional blogging – like writing prompts, journal entries and literature circles. The interface of the Kidblog platform is clean, slick and updated. I haven’t played with it at all to see if it has the same features as the blogmeister. We’ll have to see…
The other site is Carrotsticks.com – it’s a math game. It’s very cute and just for practice in basic math facts. The only part that is free is the addition part, but I played and had fun. “competed with two other kids” and even had a progress report and achievement certificate sent to “my parents” email address. I think there may be some real use for this in a classroom setting.
I’ve never tried Animoto before. Heard lots of good things, but just couldn’t get around to it. I just suggested a teacher try it, so I thought it might be a good idea to follow my own advice…tell me what you think.
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…
I know many of you think about Orchard for remediation – and it’s a great tool for that. But Orchard is also a wonderful tool to use for whole group direct instruction. It talks to the kids and has games as well as “powerpoint” type of presentations to use for both language arts and math.
But this post is not about Orchard really, it’s about Mrs. Rowson and Mrs. Armstrong who have decided that they will make the best use of the technology available to them. You see, this dynamic duo used to be in a second grade Promethan interactive classroom. They had activotes and a slate and made me come in to co-teach on a regular basis. Then they were moved to third grade and a room with only an MCPS setup. They made a decision early on about how they were going to handle it…they got activotes and a slate and are making me come in to co-teach…
We worked on Author’s purpose yesterday using Orchard for whole group instruction. Orchard has a reading and writing skill builder which can be cucstomized depending on the SOL you are trying to address. So we set up the activity so that all the questions could be used a discussion prompt on Author’s purpose and then we used some test taking strategies to answer the question. We did have a bit of fun.
Let me know if you are interested in doing something similar…