Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tool #7 - Reaching Outside You Classroom

A collaborative program with math was not the first thing I thought of, but I came across a program on iEARN that does just that. There are many different things you could ask the students to do, but the idea is that they document how they use math in their family or community and report on it. This is great because it makes math real to them and how they use it everyday. The collaborative part is even better because they will be able to see how students on the other side of the world may use math in the same way or how differences in their daily lives may greatly change how they use it.

Objective: TSW understand how they use math on a daily basis by developing word problems that they will then trade with a student from the collaborative classroom and solve.

The students could use Google Docs so both classes have access to the problems and once they are finished they could have a skype conference to discuss their math problems and how they use math in their lives. The program is working with two teachers from Puerto Rico and one from Argentina, if they are still interested in the program it would be great to work with them.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Tool #6 - Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion

There are a lot of great tools out there, so many in fact it can become a bit overwhelming. I think it can also be difficult to use some of them with elementary students. I am unsure if all of the students or their parents will have access to a computer at home, so I want what I do use to be done in class or optional. Two of the tools that interest me from the list are Skype and Wallwisher. Skype because it is something I use and I feel I can fully explain it to the students. I think it would be really great if my class had the opportunity to Skype with one of my classes from Korea. I wouldn't be able to tie it in with math or science, but it could be a fun activity some day when there is some extra time or as a prize for doing well. It would be really neat for them to see how similar and yet how different the students are on the other side of the world.

I loved the Wallwisher site, but maybe that is because I love bulletin boards! I put together a basic parent wall where parents are invited to ask questions, make suggestions, or post whatever they would like. I think this could be a really great resource since many of the parents would have the same questions. The biggest roadblock I see with the resource is the possibility that parents won't have internet access, but I can only wait and see once the school year starts!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tool #5 - Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

I can't believe how many tools are out there! Out of the list I have only ever used Blogger and Prezi before. I tried out Bookr and started a book about the solar system. If I were to use it in my class I would ask the students to have a page for each planet and write three facts on the page. Here is the link to a start of an example: http://www.pimpampum.net/bookr/index.php?id=40543

I wanted to try Superflix studio, but it said I only get to make one for free and I didn't want to waste it, so I will wait till I make something for my students.

One of the tools I know I will definitely use is Blogger. I would like to have a classroom blog where parents can go to see what we are doing in our classroom. I'm not quite sure what it will look like, but here is the link to my person travel blog (which is unsearchable by my name so my students and parents won't be able to access it!) http://amsbry.blogspot.com/2012/07/gibbons-tree-houses-and-hiking-in-mud.html

Tool #4 - Google Apps

I have used Google docs before and I have filled out tons of Google forms, but I didn't realize how simple they are to make yourself. I just made, edited and commented on a document and form. I think I will find myself using this in my personal life also!

Ways I want to use it for school:
  • As quiz for students during centers. 
  • To gather information from parents, but I am worried about not all of the parents having a computer.
  • As a quiz even if I were to print it out to give to the students, as all of the formatting is done for me. But I would love to know if there is a print view that takes out the unneeded log-in text, so if you know how let me know!
  • Google docs would be a great way to do lesson planning with the team so we don't have different versions floating around. 
  • As a way to survey teachers about school decisions or up coming events.
I also checked out BrainPOP. I've heard a bit about it in training sessions, and I am super excited we have access to it.

Tool #3 - Finding Online Video and Image Resources

I was shocked the first time I showed a video to my first graders this summer. The kids could barely stay still for a minute when I was talking, but I put that video on and they were silent, still, and focused. Obviously I don't want to show videos all the time, but I think they can be a great resource if they are properly aligned to the content.

I used YouTube all the time in Korea, but I'd never visited SchoolTube before today. I had to watch the video below because I think carnivorous plants are about the coolest thing in the word.

Here is a video I found on YouTube about the recent Mars landing. It is a bit long so I would probably cut bits of it out. I am super excited I get to teach my students about the solar system this year when we have such exciting stuff happening right now!

I didn't learn anything new about copyright and fair use, but I hadn't thought about it being something I would introduce or talk to my students about. Now I realize how important it is to begin talking about it.

I have used Dropbox a great deal, but again it wasn't something I'd thought about using with my students. I think it would be helpful if I upload all of the homework worksheets so they have access if they are absent or lose their copy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tool #2 - Creating a Community

It is absolutely amazing all of the information and ideas we have access to through blogs! I have tapped into some of it in the last few years and used quite a bit of it when I taught ESL in South Korea. What I have recently been doing and hope to get better at is organizing where I can get the information so I can go back to it. One way I have been finding and storing the location of blogs is through Pinterest. It is AMAZING! And to think I tried to avoid it for so long!

I have yet to feel comfortable commenting on blogs, but I definitely see the value in it and I love when people comment on my blog. If you spend the time to comment the blogger feels valued and it shows what is most helpful to the readers. Basically I need to get over it and start commenting!

Just a few Blogs that get me excited!(I found all of them through Pinterest) :

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tool #1 - Creating a Blog

Creating the blog was fairly straight forward for me since I keep one for my travels. I'm looking forward to learning more as I explore the rest of the tools!