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Word Wise

Nickel Flash

I’ve ventured into new multimedia software and web-based applications. I added several podcasts to my class website. I created a podcast about Spanish colors, high-frequency words, and words to blend. I also added our first VoiceThread. My students illustrated self-portraits using software called Kidpix. I uploaded them to VoiceThread and the students commented on their photos. I am still in graduate school. I am taking a course called Technology tools for learning. I’ve created an interactive PowerPoint game about adjectives and a flash movie about the Nickel. I look forward to creating more interactive powerpoints and flash movies/animations. Also keep a look out for Podcasts and digital video featuring my students.

Sidenote: Dr. Clif Mims submitted a challenge on his blog. It’s about teaching service/volunteering to our students. I am never afraid to take a challenge, in fact I love a challenge. I am working on creating a recycling/waste management project for my class.

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Here are some photos of my classroom.
Slideshow

I have been tinkering on my class website lately. I decided to create our own class message board for parents to network and connect.

I also added a widget from Widgetbox for parents to ask questions and leave comments to me.

home sweet home

home sweet home

I am back from jury duty. All I can say is “phew!” It was tough being without phones, TV, Internet, radio, and newspaper. But, I made it! Yay!

I was thinking about school during the majority of time I spent there. I had several bright ideas. Feel free to let me know what you think.

I want to try creating special class books. I want to create a Classmates’ Names book, an All About My School book, a colors, shapes, weather, seasons, rules, numbers, ABCs, and amazing words book. I want to do about two books a week. One would be the amazing words and the other would coincide with our unit of the week. I will let students select or sometimes assign the page for them to author and illustrate. I will then laminate and bind the book at our teacher center.

Another idea that I am piggybacking from Kristen’s Kindergarten. I will make 4-6 Busy Bee folders for each table. The folders will be laminated/dry-erase activities for students to complete such as ABC tracing, number tracing, the students’ own name (first and last), classmates’ names (and mine), a list of 100 common sight words, colors (with color words), number word tracing (with corresponding numbers listed), shapes/shape words, ABC beginning sound pictures, word families, left and right hand, common body parts (picture of a generic boy/girl), two/three/four-letter decodable words with pictures to coincide, addition facts, subtraction facts, counting by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s. I may think of more to add later. I may put sentence starters/writing prompts.

I am going to post pictures of my classroom soon.

I am continuing my discussion and reflections about my IDT classes.

Authoring Instructional Course-ware
*I completed my final project for this class. I created an on-line slidecast using Zohoshow. It is about objects that appear in the day and nighttime sky. I used photographs, clip art, and videos to enhance the project. I am looking forward to using this presentation with my students. I also plan to diigo and del.icio.us all of my on-line work for teachers everywhere. I am gaining a lot of confidence in my technology skills. However, I am not sure if this class teaches about effective technology integration. I’ve got some great tools to teach with but I would rather learn about ways the students can use the technology. This is a great segue…

Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0

I love this class no matter how much work it is (lol). Let’s finish up the topics that I mentioned in my last post. Tuesday’s homework was to review modules on the class wiki about Web 2.0, Internet Safety, and Balancing Real-world and online identities. After reviewing the modules, we discussed them in class onThursday.

I think I got a lot from the Web 2.0 and Internet Safety modules. Some thoughts were distinguishing the terms Internet and World Wide Web (the Web). The Internet is the interconnection. The Web is the online tools. I see the shift from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. There are fewer sites in which you are a passive observer. Most sites are becoming or already designed to be interactive . I liked the module creator’s (Amanda) term, iWeb. It stands for interactive Web.

I found the Internet Safety discussion to be scary, powerful, and thought-provoking. I didn’t think of cyberbullying as a serious threat until Suha (the module co-contributor) pointed out how far and widespread the bullying can get. She spoke about students commiting suicide and mothers wondering how did they get to that point. It reminded me of real-life bullying that I experienced in junior high. The feelings were hurtful, real, and very serious to me. I had my own suicidal thoughts. It affected my desire to be at school and my entire self-esteem and self-worth. I cannot imagine experiencing the devastating effects of someone creating an online profile about me and spreading rumors throughout the school. We came up with a lot of strategies to resolve the problem. One of which was a school wide Acceptable Use Policy that is strictly enforced. It would be a contract that students, and even parents would sign. I also believe that it is important for classrooms and schools to create a community that spreads teamwork, togetherness, unity, and positivity. One where students care for, help, and look out for one another. When we focus on cooperation rather than competition or even the ever-so-popular “you’re on your own” mentalities, then we can change the environment. It will shift from the negative environment that breeds such nastiness and cruelty to a more positive one.

Another interesting point that I got was to not add everyone who wants to add you. I think it is important for adults and children to filter their online associates (“friends”). I have not always done that. We have to move beyond popularity contests and feeding our egos with notions of so-called grandeur.

The balancing real-life and online identities was more humorous than anything There was a quiz that you can take to see if you have an internet addiction (Beware: prepare yourself for the results lol). However, the module did make me think. I began to wonder:

How much time is too much to spend online?

What criteria determines which online activities are more important than others

How does one prioritize the activities that one participates in online?

Are we really spending less time with our families/friends than we did before the Internet? (What about work and school? People have always had to do both?)

How does our online life affect our real-life?

Last, is it really that much of a big deal?

I am kind of on the side of no to the last question. I do not think that internet addiction is as rampant as the media and older generations suggest. This may show my age but I just think that it is something different. I do not think seeing someone or speaking with someone online is less interactive than face-to-face. There are less technological glitches. But hey, people walk away from face-to-face conversations just as confused as an online video conferencer. So hmmm…

Finally, a few words about Diigo

Dr. Mims showed us some cool tools to use with Diigo. Since then, I have only played around with tagging and adding descriptions but only because I couldn’t install the toolbar on Safari (??!!??). So, I installed it on my Firefox toolbar. I fiddled around with the highlighting function and highlighted supplies I want for this school year. I will delve into it more later on this weekend. I will keep y’all posted.

TTYL

This is Patti Labelle on Sesame StreetWow! The Alphabet should always be sang like this. 🙂

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Soul ABCs", posted with vodpod

This is my first professional blog. Welcome to my blog! This part of my blog will be my vents, ideas, experiences and just information I feel is relevant to education. I am going to create a page that is for my fellow kindercators and prekindercators to share, express, vent etc. So stay tuned.