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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.

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.

My professor, Dr. Clif Mims asked me to share this. I am honored because he knows so many big names in the edublogger realm and in education in general. For him to ask me, means a lot to me. Thank you Dr. Mims. 🙂

Two words. Three syllables. Over plan.
Review the curriculum. Things can and often change over the summer. This summer, our math pacing scales went through changes. Our state standards also changed. In fact, they will not be called standards anymore. We now have Grade Level Expectations.

Create a classroom map. Design how you want your classroom arranged. Think about how you want traffic to flow. Think about colors, posters, and where you want to post student work.

Modify/Review/Create a classroom management plan. I believe you must be consistent, firm, and fair from the beginning. I have seen several classes that lacked one of those components from the beginning. Those classes (including mine one year) struggled with classroom management issues throughout the year. Believe me, the headache of planning in the beginning will be worth the ease of the rest of the year.

by SBUDD

by SBUDD

Plan to have a positive and successful year. Expectations are extremely powerful. Just research the many sociological experiments involving teachers who told students that they were gifted. Those students who may have been labeled as average or worse underachievers shined. If you gripe and believe that your year will be bad. It will be. If you believe that your students are low, that is how they will perform (or seem to perform). I can assure you that children can and will rise to the occasion and step up to the plate. Sometimes they will step over it.

With parents, plan to have a good relationship with them. Write welcome letters or postcards. Give them positive phone calls. Know your goal and create a plan to achieve it. I really took the time and planned on having more parent involvement this school year. I called and introduced myself to each family. I sent home introductory letters and created an welcoming website. I told all of my parents how happy I was to have their child in my class. 15 of my 19 parents attended my kindergarten curriculum night. It was my best turnout ever. I planned and planned and it helped.

Keep in mind that no matter how much you plan. there will always be the monkey wrench. The unexpected whatever. This is why I say over plan. The benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Trying out. These are a few of my main web 2.0 sites that I frequent.

Check out my voice thread

Exploring Voicethread

Web 2.0 in Action
My cousin is in high school says that during final exam time, he and several classmates did an online conference using aim. They asked each other questions and shared key facts and subjects they needed to learn. He says it was extremely helpful and they all passed.

This is a continuation of my reflections from my Instructional Design and Technology journey.

I am new to this field but not new to technology or even Web 2.0. I am, however, a life-long learner who enjoys the acquisition of knowledge.

First news, I got a B in my online class, Authoring Instructional Courseware. Yay! I was a little sad because I am typically an A student. I believe that I would have earned an A if this were my only class. Oh well. The number one thing I take from that class is non-linear instruction/learning. I made my first PowerPoint game and now I do not know how or why I’d never used that format. Learning does not always take place in a sequential or linear fashion.

***Now to my new fave class, Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0

Over the past few weeks, I have been introduced to oodles of information and hundreds of sites. I have spoken and listened to fabulous well-known speakers on various subjects. Kristin Hokanson, Micheal Barbour, Tom Barrett, Trevor Acy, Stephanie Sandifer, Mrs. Durff (luv her so much!!!).

Some of the sites that have really peeked my interest are Ning, Twitter, Paint.net, diigo, del.icio.us, WordPress, Skitch, Voicethread, Odeo, Scrapblog, Slideshare, Zoho, GoogleDocs, Jott, and Thinkfree.

I have either frequented these sites and become a member or I plan on really exploring them.

I have also really attached myself to the following Web 2.0 tools:
blogs, microblogs, social bookmarking sites, online presentations, and social networks

Blogging
I like blogging because it is a form of journaling. I have always enjoyed expressing myself with the written word. I like the Web 2.0 aspect of sharing your “news”, linking to other blogs and sites, comments, and trackback. I am definitely adding the trackback feature to this blog. I read on Dr. Mims’ wiki about blogging ettiquette, safety and just making a better blog. I will definitely implement many of the steps mentioned. One example is using pingomatic to advertise my updates.

Microblogging
Twitter has become an important part of my PLN. I get valuable and sometimes purely entertaining information from people from all over the world. I also have the opportunity to share my knowledge, experiences, and various tidbits to them.

Social Bookmarking
Diigo grows on me more and more each day. I love to highlight words, sentences and paragraphs on sites. I love placing sticky notes to myself, friends, and group members. I love having an online storage room for my bookmarks. I love being able to connect with new people who share my interests. I started a Kindergarten group and I am in the process of getting my school board’s early childhood specialist to add the link to our kindergarten resource page.

Del.icio.us is still cool. It has it’s good points. I like the simplicity. Diigo can be overwhelming especially to newcomers. I also like the links for you function. I learned about it from this cool screencast Networking with Del.icio.us.

Presentations 2.0
I thoroughly enjoy presentations 2.0. Making presentations online, finding and sharing them. No need to buy an application!! I also like the comments features because you can get immediate feedback. I see myself using these applications more than any other with my students.

Social Networking
I really like Ning right now. I joined two education networks. I can post and read forums. I can send messages and read blogs. It is a great resource for ideas.

I tackled Diigo some more. I love highlighting and adding sticky notes! One problem–I didn’t realize that it adds the page as a bookmark. I think you should only get a message reminding you or there should be a link on your dashboard that lists your highlighted pages/sticky notes. I also completed a table of contents on our class wiki.

I also added the Creative Commons License logo to each of our modules. I hope it’s ok.

As the beginning of the new school year looms over my head, I still wonder how can we get around the massive filters and firewalls in order to include web 2.0 in our classrooms? Must we settle for desktop software applications? Of course, it is not the same. I read through my classmates’ module about virtual reality in the classroom. I found it very interesting. I particularly liked Whyville, Webkinz, and Club Penguin. I saw many ways that I can use virtual reality to teach and for students to learn.

I am looking forward to our special guest speaker, Tom Barrett. I am very curious about his project that involved the game Myst.

I am so sad that we are approaching the end of class. I am not sure if I will ever experience anything like it again. What an awesome round table we have!! The class continues to open and stretch my mind.

And now here are some more questions***
How do we prove a site is worthy to unfilter?
Should/must we (educators) send an approval request for each site we encounter that really should not have been blocked in the first place?
Who are on these committees that decide which sites to filter or block?
How can we get administrators to include more teachers (who believe in and utilize effective technology integration) and edtechies in decision making?