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.
You know how sometimes you’ll try something new and it really works well, so you try it again and then it slowly becomes your new “thing”? Well, the new “thing” in first grade at Brighton is to use technology in Math. This is how it works…Mrs. Taxson (my Promethean board power user) will ask for an idea on using KidPix with her class for math the SOL of the week. After we come up with an idea, she’ll ask for help with getting the task completed. Her kids use KidPix for creative writing/drawing independantly, so our goal for her class is to get the students to do more structured activities using templates. We’ll demonstrate to the class on Wednesday using the Promethean board and on Thursday the students will go into the lab and do the activity. So this week we worked on number sentences. We used a template from the KidPix Deluxe 4 book. The kids had fun. Those who were done first became peer helpers!
Then there’s Mrs. Smith. Mrs. Smith’s goal for this year is to have her students use Kidspiration for writing. We have a long way to go. The students are just learning Kidspiration and we’ve used it in different ways. They need more exposure before we get to writing and outlining. So after Mrs. Taxson hits me up for some time, Mrs. Smith usually asks for some as well. They do group planning, so it’s the same SOL, but given their goals and technology experience, it looks totally different in each class. So yesterday in Mrs. Smith’s class we used my wireless keyboard to practice a number sentences exercise in Tammy Worcester’s math book.
Today we took the kids into the lab and worked on the same activity individually. Between these two teachers, I teach 4 lessons a week. Mrs. Gamble likes to join in every so often. When she does it’s an additional lesson that is completely different, because she like powerpoint!! I miss Mrs. Perry-Wallace, but I’m glad she’s still out on maternity leave. I couldn’t handle all four in this grade group.