Thursday, March 7, 2013

1.  My favorite tools are Google Docs; especially making surveys which you can then use to make
     graphs, etc.  I also enjoy blogging with other teachers so I am ready to let my students blog
     about important topics. Trading cards are a great way to get students to study different facts.
     I will have my students make wordles when we begin a new unit of study.  Also, I will show them
     how to make trading cards with different facts they need to remember.

2.  I now understand what is meant by a "flat classrroom."  The eleven tools course has opened my
     eyes to the many ways we can help students learn using the tools which they enjoy and are extremely
     comfortable with.  I want to continue to study the different tools and websites which I did not have
     time to thoroughly explore.  This course has helped me to want to learn more about how to use
     technology with my students to enhance their learning experience.

3.  The unexpected outcome for me has been overcoming fears that I am going to do something
     wrong on the computer that will mess everything up.  Now I realize that it is only by exploring that
     one can become comfortable with new ways of working.  I believe the students are so blessed
     to be attending school at a time when there are ways to learn which truly address many different
     styles of learning.  We as educators are also blessed to be a part of this global learning environment.!

Tool Ten

1. I want my students to understand the ollowing three things about being good digital citizens: a.  Students
    should follow the "Golden Rule" of treating other on line the same way that they would like to be
    treated-with respect.  b. They should never publish pictures or personal information about friends or
    family without asking for permission, and c. Students should never post personal information such as
    full name, address, phone numbers, etc. because this can be dangerous.

2. A web site titled CommonSense.Org has very good material for teaching about digital etiquette and
    citizenship.  BrainPop also has a good introduction to the proper way of working in the digital world.

3  I was very impressed with a lesson presented by one of the fourth grade teachers at Cedar
    Brook.  She presented a lesson digital citizenship from CommonSense.Org about the three
    rings of responsibility.  An important part of this lesson is the three rings of responsiblity- responsibility
    to self, family and friends, and the community.  I will use this three rings of responsibility to teach
    and remind students of the importance of responsibility to self such as not giving out passwords or
    posting very personal information on the internet, never publishing pictures or personal inormation
    about family or friends without their permission, and being responsible to the community by behaving
    with courtesy and respect.

4.  The parents of Cedar Brook students were sent a flyer this week with tips regarding digital safety and
     citizenship as part of Digital Citizenship Day on March 5, 2013. Flyers with tips for
     parents can continue to be sent home in the future.   

Tool Nine

1. Academic focus is curriculum driven.  Technology is meant to be a tool to help students access and
    work towards mastery of that curriculum.  Technology should be aligned with the TEKS that an
    educator is working on with their students. 

2.  Students should be held accountable at stations/centers so that they learn that the avtivities assigned are
    not games but an integral part of their learning.  If they are creating products, rubrics can be used for
    a type of grading system.  With interactive web sites a teacher can list the activities and have students
    place a check by the activity when completed.

3.  My current status as a resource teacher without my own classroom precludes me from setting up
    centers.  However, I can have one student working on an interactive web site such as Studyladder
    while I am administering a running record to another.  This would also work if I need to work with
    a student individually who is struggling with a particular objective.

4.  Even though my teaching situation is not set up for stations, I found the following apps which
     can be used on the iPad:  ABC Flash Cards, Studyladder, which can be used for a variety of
     academic subjects, Learning Games for Kids, and Ecosystems which introduces students to
     the eight major ecosystems around the globe. One of the most important apps for my students,
     who typically struggle with written language and spelling, will be Dragon Dictation.  This application
     will allow my students to produce stories without the struggle of getting the words on paper.  Dragon
     Dictation could also be used to answer questions about various topics.

5. I can also see my students videotaping themselves  reporting about topics.(With the correct
    form signed giving permission from parents for videotaping.) They can also take still pictures and use
    them as prompts for developing stories.


Tool EIght

As a Resource Teacher, primarily involed in "inclusive" services I am entitled to one iPad to be shared by two resource teachers.  Mostly we assist students if they are having difficulty with any devices in their regular classroom.

After viewing information about the iPad I learned that I must set up and iTunes account tied to my Spring Branch email account.  I also learned that content from the iTunes store can be downloaded directly to my iPad due to the new iOS5 operating system.  Content can also be directly moved to my device thorough cloud based storage such as Dropbox or Box. 

Since I will only have the one device to work with my students my primary focus will be to see that my students have equal access to using the device.
For regular classroom teachers I have noticed that the assignment of certain students to be tech managers and help with the computers seems to be working very well.

Tool Seven

Students will identify the characteristics of mammals and identify the habits in which they live. (For example, camels-desert, whales-ocean,etc.)
I will implement this project in the Fall of the 2013-2014 school year.
I plan to use Blogger to creat a blog titled "Marvelous Mammals."  Student will use Google and BrainPop to research facts about specific mammals and the habitats in which they are able to survive, thrive, or barely stay alive.
This project will involve resource students from Cedar Brook Elementary and Hunter's Creek Elementary sharing information about assigned mammals and their habitats.  For example, one week the students from Cedar Brook will post information about a specific mammal, such as the key facts:  size, lifestyle, and related species.  Then the students from Hunter's Creek will add information about their habitat, behavior, and relationship to man. (If they are hunted, becoming endangered, etc.)   The following week students from Hunter's Creek would post the key facts while the Cedar Brook students would  add information about habitat, behavior, and man's relationship with the animal through the posting of comments.

Video clips of various mammals and pictures could also be embedded within the blog to make it very interesting.

Having worked at Hunter's Creek for one year I will ask Mrs. Kostelnik or Mrs. Scully, Resource Teachers at Hunter's Creek,  to allow their students to participate with us on this project.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tool Six

I watched a tutorial on how to use Skype in the classroom.  This would be a great way for my students to talk with authors from around the country.  Also, we could talk to students from different countries around the world and discover what their schools are like.  Skype truly allows students to travel around the globe without packing, spending money for tickets, etc.  All the world truly is a stage with this tool.

Blogger is another wonderful tool which teachers can use to get their students actively engaged in discussions about a topic.  I can create a blog for my students to use in which they can comment on important topics such as ways to recycle, how to create environmentally friendly zoos, etc.  The topics which can be discussed are endless. The teacher has to discuss appropriate and inappropriate ways to comment about topics. 

Tool Five - Part B

I created a trading card with an eagle on it through a series of trials and errors.  At last I produced the wanted product.  Trading cards could be a great way for students to learn different facts.