Archive for June, 2011

Digital Storytelling – Who are YOU?

I took a little bit of a different approach to this project.  Its not as much instructional, but more of an introduction piece.  My digital story is a tool I can see myself using in the upcoming semesters to introduce myself to the students where I’ll be interning.  Previously, I’ve printed some of these photos and given my brown bag speech to the students, but the photos are so small and slow to get passed around.  Once students saw the photos I had them hooked with boating and skydiving and conversations just sprouted from there.  It gave me an oppurtunity to create a connection with them and feel comfortable with who I am…when I invade their classroom once a week.  With this video, I can see the students immediate reaction as they all view the film together.  I would be there to answer an questions and continue the conversation so I don’t think I would lose the human connection.

I noted Indicators from CCPS ILA 2nd grade curriculum in the film as I’ll be interning in 1st or 2nd grade this fall, but I believe it could be used for any elementary grade level to inspire students to write a brief introduction of themselves.  I really liked the article we read “Digital Storytelling Finds Its Place in the Classroom” and how the students were excited to share about a place they enjoyed and felt comfortable; this project helped the students learn about each other.  I think this would be a great introduction in the beginning of the year, possibly before school even started to have parents start collecting photos/art work.  The script could be written and reworked to fit their growing personalities.

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June 28, 2011 at 10:36 pm Leave a comment

M2 Learning Log 4 – Screencast: Shooting Take #32

Holy Moly!  Making a screencast is harder than I thought.  Not in the respect of hit record….hit stop, but WHEN to hit those buttons, where to move my mouse so I don’t see it squiggle all over screen, and how to control my voice.  I kept having to restart my screencast for various mistakes, each time angry that I hadn’t tried hitting pause earlier so I wouldn’t have to start from the very beginning.  I also started without writing down my script, figured I know what I wanted to say and could just wing it.  Not so much.  That only lasted two takes.   And for the mouse, I wanted to keep it over the pause button so I was ready because ALT-P just doesn’t work for my unskilled typing fingers, but then I needed my mouse to click through my various tab examples and show where I was instructing users to go to.  It didn’t take forever to make, but it definitely took a lot longer than I was expecting.

June 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm 1 comment

M2 Learning Log 3 – Flicker Slideshow

I created the set ‘Where in the world is Geometry.”  With the Common Core slowly being released, this could fit into several standards depending on the elementary age level you are working in.  Within the Common Core, you could focus on the Geometry domain from K up to possibly 5th; here a lot of the objectives are to identify and classify using properties/characteristics.   This slideshow could be used to show students how geometry is used and displayed in every day life.  Properties could be discussed and noted into the photos, or students could leave comments about what they see.  Click ‘Show info’ to view sample questions for each photo. Students could also be given the assignment to take some of their own photos to share with the class in their own sets or as a class group, etc.  In grades 3-4, you could also look under the Measurement and Date domain, under the Geometric Measurement standard; here students will have to recognize the geometric properties in order to perform the correct calculations and explain why their answers make sense. Some of these photos could be used in various word problems by simply noting a dimension or angle measurement.  As a teacher I could post these problems, or students could interact by writing their own problems (showing they understand the connection between properties/procedures) for other students to solve; as well as posting their own photos with accompanying problems.

June 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

M2 Learning Log 2 – Flickr Galleries

I created a Flickr Gallery to cover the States of Matter.  Photos show either a solid, liquid, gas, or a combination of the states.  I could see using this gallery in science class to either introduce the science/chemistry unit or more likely to get students thinking about the properties of each state and how to describe them.  Science (experiments) require a lot of observation skills and I found in my internship this past semester that the 3rd graders had a lot of trouble finding adjectives to describe what they were seeing, feeling, smelling, hearing, etc.  (no tasting was allowed for that experiment!)  I think these photos could be a good way to have students think about the words to describe these characteristics.  What words could you use to describe how the slime feels….and ‘slimy’ doesn’t count!

June 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm 1 comment

M2 Learning Log 1 – A vision statement

I just finished watching the youtube video “A Vision of K-12 Students Today.”  There was a quote in the video “If we learn by doing, what am I learning sitting here?”   Shortly afterwards they were all holding up the white boards with “Engage Me!” written on them.  Its scary to think about how many paper copies of worksheets have been passed out to document the students doing something in class……but the quote is true, are they really learning anything?  Most of those worksheets are filler time.  We as teachers need to find new ways to connect and communicate with our students in a language they understand and want to take part in.  Its a huge challenge for teachers with students who do have access to computers at home, and even a larger hurdle for teachers with 1 or more low SES students.  But how do we incorporate technology into the classroom on a daily basis when there are only 2 computers for the entire class??

June 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm Leave a comment

M1 Learning Log 4 – You changed my mind.

Ok, I’ll admit it.  I’m kinda diggin’ this blog stuff now.  I definitely signed into this class with the annoyed groan at the thought of having to create and use a blog, “I don’t care about what strangers have to say, and no one cares what I have to say.”  The last part may still be true, but when it comes to hobbies or things I’m interested in learning about….I can see the benefits of blogs.   It’s a whole new world and it will take time really getting use to the format, maybe exploring various blog software for ease of use, etc. but now I’m definitely intrigued to see how I could use them as continue my internships and even more so in my student teaching since I’ll be able to start with them at the beginning of the school year.  No need to over think how copyright and fair use come into play here…my eyes are already buggy and my brain fired.

I’m very interested to see what the remaining modules of this class brings…….and now I know NOT to wait til the last-minute 🙂

June 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm Leave a comment

Using Blogs

How might you incorporate blogs in your classroom?  -I think how I use the blog would vary with the age/grade level of students I teach.  I think technology is definitely important and younger and younger ages are becoming more efficient than adults using technology everyday, but the world wide web can still be a scary place and I would hope to ease students into this environment appropriately.  I really thought The Skinny and the SocialVoice did a great job using the blog.  They both communicated with parents what the students were doing in the class room as well as getting the student involved and really thinking about the content they were covering; just to different levels or extremes.  I think at the elementary level having all the schedules and contact information is crucial; hopefully it will eliminate some of the phone calls or emails from parents.  I like how the Skinny also had the students take turns posting what was going on that day/week for the viewers to see instead of the teacher; it gives them ownership of their work.  I really liked the various forms the SocialVoice gave the students to respond.  I think some of my awe for that site is just the content they were covering; very emotional, formidable time periods of our country that I’m sure spur some very interesting threads.

 How would you share blogging with teachers in your building and encourage them to give blogs a try?  How might you use professional blogs for PD?  -I think these two questions go hand in hand, depending on the comfort level and desire to learn from the teachers.  For teachers not comfortable with blog, maybe starting out with an unintimidating book talk blog could allow them to use and become familiar with how they work.  I could see having a grade/department blog for the teachers to communicate on shared units, activities, etc.  I think as PD the blogs could be used in endless options.  Simply as a discussion board on what PD sessions the teachers want, or maybe as page to catalogue and discuss quality examples of the topic.  Instructors could use the blogs to get pre-questions prepared for sessions, as well as follow up discussion on how the session went, and results of the material being put into practice, etc.

June 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm Leave a comment

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